At long last, Enterprise
gets back to its original premise and what I think this show should be all about--showing the early days of the Star Trek
universe when things weren't always safe out there exploring the galaxy and showing us just how the Federation came to be. Yes, I enjoyed last year's Xindi arc as much as the next fan, but stories like this one are what I think Enterprise should do. And from what we've got here, "Borderland" shows they can be well done.
The whole "Brent Spiner comes back to Star Trek" angle could have been a ploy to garner some media attention and spike the ratings. But instead of just casting Spiner for the sake of Spiner being in there, Enterprise takes a chance and actually has a role that it makes sense that Spiner would play and that he is well suited for. The role of Arik Soong was written for Spiner and it shows with the sheer relish, delight and intensity that Spiner brings to the role. (Not surprising really if you think about the range Spiner showed over the course of TNG
The story starts off with a group of genetically altered supermen known as Augments taking over a Klingon ship. Archer and company are dispatched to stop them and they take on passenger--Dr. Arik Soong, the man who created the Augments. Soong leads them into the borderlands--an area between the Klingon Empire and the Orion Syndicate where the ship is quickly attacked by the Orions and several of the crew taken prisoner. Archer has to rescue them with the help of Soong who tries to escape (he says he likes to clear him mind by trying to escape every once in a while). Meanwhile, the Augments have a power struggle that is along the lines of scenes from the O.C
. (That's about my only real complaint with this episode).
I have to say, I enjoyed this episode more than I expected. There were raves about it in early reviews all day Friday and I was worried it wouldn't live up to the expectations. Well, except for the soap-opera like nature of the Augument power struggle, it exceeded my expectations. Enterprise has a reputation for having more action than most other Trek shows and one that I think is deserved and used against it unfairly. The action sequences in this one helped to move the plot along and encouraged a sense of drama and tension to the episode. And, let's face it, as a Trek fan, it was great to finally see a bit more about the Orions on-screen than the two glimpses of Orion slave girls we got in TOS
("The Cage", "Whom Gods Destroy").
My only huge reservation is this episode was all about setting up the next two and I hope they live up to the set-up. Trek has had a bad reptuation for great openings and lackluster endings to multi-part stories. I hope they pull out all the stops on this one.
So, the whole Clark and Lionel switching bodies things wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been. In fact, I thought it was handled pretty well, though Lionel has now made things a lot more difficult for Clark in terms of living his daily life. No what gets me are the final few minutes of this one. Lionel's memory of being in Clark's body--specifically of having powers--are fuzzy. And then, Lex just accepts Clark's usual lame explanation this Lionel got superstrength from the transference. If Lex or Chloe or anyone with two brain cells every was able to put two and two together they might figure out Clark ain't what he appears to be. Hell, the whole "Miss Sullivan" line by Lionel in Clark should've been a dead give-away to Chloe that something was up. I just dont understand how Chloe can follow-up every other freak event in Smallville in a logical manner but be blinded by the overwhelming evidence that Clark isn't who he says he is. And maybe if any0ne ever compared notes they'd figure this thing out. But, I guess I'm expecting too much. I also had to wonder at Lionel being magically cured by switching bodies with Clark. I also wondered if Clark might have some of Lionel's ruthlessness and seizing opportunities in him now and if he'd used that to get back on the team. (As in--Coach, I know you're smooching Lana, so you let me back on the team, I keep my mouth shut.)
What did intrigue me was seeing Margot Kidder in the back of the limo, getting hold of the artifact that called to Clark. Makes you wonder what Dr. Swann's group is really up to, doesn't it.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 10/30/2004 10:58:00 AM