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Saturday, November 13, 2004
TV Round-Up
Enterprise: The Augments
In references about this week on Enterprise and it's not necessarily a bad thing. If you're a huge Trek geek like I am, then you kind of smile getting all these little in-jokes but they're not such that a casual fan will feel left out or like they're missing some huge part of the storyline if you don't get them. Here are a couple of them I caught:
  • A reference to the area of space known as the Briar Patch, last seen in Star Trek: Insurrection.
  • Malik's idea to go find the Botany Bay, aka the ship with Khan on it. (Though this brings up an interesting nitpick--how did they know about Botany Bay? In "Space Seed" we get the impression that no one could confirm or deny if the Botany Bay had left Earth with Khan and his followers and it was pretty well covered up that their bodies were unaccounted for. So how did any of the Augments get this information if it was so hush-hush? )
  • Archer's bluffing scene was classic Kirk, stopping just short of threatening to use his "Corbomite device."
  • During that time, Archer throws in the insult of a "garbage scow" which you may remember is the insult that drives Scotty over the line in "The Trouble With Tribbles."
  • After his ship is disabled, Malik crawls across the bridge to set the self-destruct, ala Khan from Wrath of Khan.
  • Soong says he's gonna give up on genetic engineering and turn to cybernetics. And it might "take a generation or two." (OK, that was the most blatantly obvious and the one I liked the least).
But fan-boy references aside, was the episode any good? Surprisingly so. I say surprisingly becuase Trek multi-part epics have this bad habit of a solid opening episode or episodes and then completely falling apart in the final segment. This time around, they did a solid job, though I'm not quite sure it's as solid as the previous two weeks. Honestly, I think Enterprise caught lightning in a bottle with "Borderland" and while the past two episodes were good, they didn't live up to the promise we saw there. I think a lot of it was that Malik quickly turned into a cardboard cutout of a villain and beyond Persis, we didn't really get much of an insight into the other Augments. And Persis brings up an interesting question--why was she the lynchpin for loyalty to a leader? I didn't quite get what her role was other than female who kicks some butt. But why she was involved in so many power plays is a bit beyond me.

Also, Malik's plan is interesting--let's use the pathogens we took last week to go and destroy a Klingon colony, thus giving Earth something to worry about while we slip away. Yes, it was a bit Snidley Whiplash, but it had some merit to it, especially in light of his determination to go find Khan.

And we even got a scene that talked about T'Pol's marriage a few weeks ago and how that is affecting her working relationship with Trip.

But, again, the real highlight of this one was Soong. Brent Spiner acts his socks off in the episode, yet again. You can tell he really feels as if he is the father of these children and their betrayal really registers with him. Also, his obvious pain at his children being killed was nicely done. It's interesting to see Spiner and Scott Bakula share scenes, especially in the light of an interview a few years ago that Spiner felt Data was the best role on TV with the exception of Bakula's Dr. Sam Beckett on Quantum Leap.

But what I really loved about this episode was the incidental music. I am a big fan of the incidental scores for television episodes and I think a good musical score can only enhance an episode. Early on TNG did a good job as did DS9, but somewhere in Voyager, they scores got less and less memorable. There was music there, but it didn't really stand out like a "Best of Both Worlds" in my mind. With Enterprise, we've moved back to having some more memorable scores--and the one here really worked. It added the right amount of tension, it helped set the mood and it was memorable without being instrusive.


posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/13/2004 09:23:00 AM | |
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