Did the Gamble work? Well, this can be debated by the fat-cheeto-fingered, Magic Card Playing, Parents' Basement Dwelling, Comic Collection Hoarding, bad facial hair having uber-geeks in chat rooms across the world until the South Park Cows come home. What's funny about this is that, intentional or not, Enterprise made a nice, solid stab into the Chest of the Sci-Fi Channel with that night's episode, "Daedalus"! Any fat-cheeto-fingered, Magic Card Playing, Parents' Basement Dwelling, Comic Collection Hoarding, bad facial hair having uber-geek can look at the plot of "Daedalus" and see for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles (oh yeah) that this is a denunciation of the science behind Stargate SG-1, or at least a spirited cheer of "We're better, bee-yautch!"
Emory has used the ruse of creating a method of Long Distance Subspace Transporter Beaming to hitch a ride with the Enterprise to a Nexus of Lost Transporter Beams (I made that up... terrible, huh?). Emory is out to prove that one can travel unlimited distances through the transporter beam throughout the Galaxy, without a space craft, just like stepping through a Worm Hole on Stargate SG-1! But as Emory (with Danica's help, and to Trip Tucker's Chagrin) makes radical alterations to the Enterprise's power technology, it becomes clear that Emory has an ulterior motive worthy of Nicolette Sheridan on Desperate Housewives! As the plot thickens and unravels, Emory admits that such inter-stellar travel, without a ship, would "Never Work", (take that Jack O'Neill) and that he and Danica are really here to atone for a past mishap with the experimental transporter beam! If "Daedalus" tells us nothing else, it's that Stargate just couldn't happen in the Roddenberry-verse. Jolene Blalock, who appears in both shows, has no comment, nor does her character of T'Pol!
Luckily the (intentional or not) SG-1 Slamming isn't at the core of this episode. Instead, this is a much more thought driven show than previous events, and it's a much more emotional ride, as Emory laments the loss of his son, years ago, and Trip Tucker (Connor Trinneer) relates this to the loss of his sister, and of T'Bod! T'Bod (Oh, I mean T'Pol) in the mean time is throwing herself into Vulcan Religious convalescent meditation, and essentially telling Trip that their recreational sexcapades are fun bags of the Past... and since T'Pol is played by Jolene Blalock, this would make any man depressed.
In spite of the fact that Emory states that his power re-routing will allow everyone to keep the lights on, director David Straiton leaves them off, for mood lighting, allowing each character to deliver Ken LaZebnik & Michael Bryant's heady dialogue in near-darkness with little more than their faces lit for maximum dramatic effect. It's a cool thing for an overall noir episode, but it's all too transparent to really be terribly interesting for terribly long in an overall cerebral episode.
And it's not that this episode is devoid of action either. In that Enterprise is conducting its SG-1 Experiments in this haven for Particle Beams, there is something out there that floats through the ship like a nasty ghost, kills on contact and destroys anything it touches. But what is it, and how is it related to the rest of the plot? I know what you're thinking, and no, it's not the angry unquiet spirit of Gene Roddenberry taking his revenge! The answer won't surprise you, but it also won't be as much fun as the erasure of continuity errors by the great bird of the galaxy!
The bottom line here is that Enterprise is finally back on track as a real, solid prequel, dealing with the future of Star Trek as it should. Solid acting and the mood to try something new in the directing and the set make this a pretty good episode to boot, though it's still subject to some of the same grasps that its always tended to make. Taken for all with all, this one gets Three and One Half Stars out of Five! The truth is, that in the Fourth Season, more than ever, Star Trek: Enterprise is worth watching, and is at last a real "trek" again! And whether the slam on Stargate SG-1 was intentional or unconscious, can't you just picture Peter DeLuise watching this one and going "OOF!" like he's just been punched by Rick Berman? Okay, I'll stop. I'll see you when I transport to the next reel, kids!
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