Now, for the purposes of blogger disclosure, I should report that I am presently very high on
"Fight or Flight"
I remember loving these first few episodes of Enterprise. I was so totally delighted at the shininess of NEW TREK! that I bounced up and down demanding that everyone in my co-ed fraternity WATCH AND LOVE THIS GLORIOUS GEEKY SHOW. At this point, the show hadn't made any fatal Trekkie mistakes yet, in my books -- yes, the Suliban in the first episode are boring as all get-out, and yes, the first contact with the Klingons didn't result in badness, but I can forgive all that for the shininess of the new ship. I was especially a Hoshi devotee, because she was adorable and a linguistic savant to boot!
Anyway, the plot of this episode (for those of you who have blocked out most of Enterprise) is: After spending two weeks in deep space without making any really exciting and dramatic first contacts, they find an alien ship floating dead in space. Over T'Pol's objections that they leave well enough alone, they board the ship where Hoshi finds a crapload of alien corpses who are hooked up to a bunch of other alien equipment draining all their guts out of them. Hoshi freaks out and wants to go home, because she did not sign up to see CORPSES ON HOOKS, or to have her quarters on the starboard side of the ship, or to be stuck on a tin can that is totally going to implode due to its technological suckiness!! T'Pol agrees about the technological suckiness, and encourages them to leave the area before whoever is gutting these aliens comes back, and Archer agrees... until he throws a fit at her over dinner and turns the ship around, because it's in his human nature to want to contact the homeworld of these aliens. It all ends in a space battle in which Enterprise is woefully outmatched, but Hoshi saves the day by linguist-savant-ing the alien language.
My exciting opinions:
1) SLUG-O!!! Prior to the corpses-on-hooks, the only alien life forms they've encountered have been these argon-breathing slugs. Hoshi adopts one as a pet, and there are awesome scenes in which Phlox both tries to compare the dying slug to Hoshi ("Maybe the slug needs to go somewhere where she can TEACH LANGUAGES IN BRAZIL") and also tries to feed the slug to his Pyrithian Bat. Phlox is entirely awesome. At the end of the episode, they deposit Slug-O on another Argon-rich planet, where the slug hopefully asexually reproduces into a giant army of slugs who overtake the planet. (Or, more likely, dies a lonely death.) I spend most of the episode trying to remember the Slug-O Cola theme from DS9's episode "Profit and Lace."
2) T'Pol. It is SO MUCH EASIER to watch the Vulcans this time around, because I already know they get unfucked in the Vulcan Unfuck Trilogy (tm: Sis' boyfriend) in the last season. Therefore, I accept that they are xenophobic non-explorers who are a little too emotional. I also think that T'Pol's steadfast arguments against putting Enterprise in unnecessary danger make SENSE, because she's used to being on a much more advanced ship, and to her, this probably feels like trying to cross hostile waters with enemy submarines while you're paddling in a kayak.
3) I LOVE all of the universal translator scenes. Basically, my favorite part about Enterprise are all the scenes where they're in awe of alien systems and struggling to learn how to use them, where in later Star Treks there's never any language barriers or problems navigating alien ships. I've decided to just suspend disbelief about Hoshi's magical linguistic abilities, because otherwise it would drive me INSANE the way Archer is all "Just TALK to them!" and Hoshi's all "HELLO, ALIEN LANGUAGE HERE!" Of course, she can talk to them once she gets over her fear, because she is Hoshi, and she is a magical savant with languages and non-sentient animals.
4) ShipWatch 08: Ack! I watched this episode a week ago, and now I can't remember if there was actually a scene in which Hoshi and Travis couldn't find common ground about Living In Space, or if I just thought there should have been. Probably the latter.
"Strange New World"
The Plot In A Nutshell For Those Of You Following Along At Home: They find a M[inshara]-class planet and everyone freaks out with great delight. An away team consisting of the Captain, T'Pol, Trip, Mayweather, Science Blushirts Cutler and Navokavich, and the Captain's dog Porthos shuttle down to frolic and have some science. T'Pol and Team Science stay overnight on the planet to have more science, and Trip and Mayweather come along for fun. The winds kick up and they need to seek refuge in a cave system, and everyone LOSES THEIR MINDS and starts seeing things. Navokavich runs away, everyone thinks they see rock people, and Trip and T'Pol have a drug-induced phaser standoff. It's AWESOME.
1) I love Navokavich, The Redshirt Who Just Won't Die. I could be wrong, but I don't think any of our crew die during the first season, and a good chunk of the second season. In this episode, I expect Navokavich to die a typical redshirt death all of these times: 1) When he tweaks out and runs out into the dangerous storm, 2) when he gets beamed up to the ship WITH PLANT MATTER INSIDE HIM, 3) when Phlox says that he's almost certainly going to die of a drug overdose. He survives and is totally fine. What the hell, Enterprise.
2) Travis's ghost story is so great. I think that totally happened on Babylon 5 once, with the crazy alien on a lost ship that can jump from person to person. OH TRAVIS, PLEASE REMAIN AN IMPORTANT CHARACTER FOR AS LONG AS POSSIBLE.
3) Trip: "How long has it been since you slept under the stars?" Travis: "....." because, you know, they are always under the stars.
4) The scorpion in Trip's sleeping bag. Holy omg, I love it. "Are we allowed to squash alien bugs?" "When they're inside your sleeping bag!!" T'Pol: "... Do you require assistance?"
5) Remember when Spock got high on spores? Those were more funner than these spores.
6) ShipWatch 08: Trip, T'Pol, and a drug influence in the same scene. What does THIS remind me of?? No, really, I love that Trip hates her and wants to "split her in two," I love that T'Pol is rightfully disturbed at all his base human emotions laid bare, and I love that she finally shoots him, and then saves his life with the drug. I wonder if they -- espeically she -- continue to think about this event throughout the series.
The Boyfriend's Exciting Opinions On The Series So Far:
1) "This Star Trek show is too Star Wars." This is his general opinion about the plethora of Star-Wars-y aliens (FYI, he hates the Breen, who I love), not restricted to these episodes.
2) He doesn't believe me that Hoshi and Travis will one day be demoted to set dressings, because they both seem like such pivotal characters at this point. If it weren't so laughable I'd cry.
Next up (I may bombard you with these today): "Unexpected" and "Terra Nova"!!