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Enterprise Characters
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Detachable Saucer
Classify this under "What If?"

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Voyager "Endgame" Review
Their last episode. Our first review.









Enterprise review: "Silent Enemy".
(Episode 12)

Reviewed by Richard Whettestone.
Enterprise

THE PREMISE: As Archer makes Hoshi try to find out what Reed's favorite food is for his birthday, mysterious aliens repeatedly attack the Enterprise for no reason, causing Reed and Tucker to build and install the ship's missing Phase Cannons.

"Silent Enemy"
Written by Andre Bormanis


Phlox and Archer
I've been studying your culture, observing your crew and eating your varied foods, but I'm too damn stupid to know what Lt. Reed eats?

Okay, you're the Captain and you want to know what your Armory Officer eats. Who do you ask? The Chef that cooks the food? Or the most observant person onboard, Dr. Phlox?

Neither. You ask the woman that sits furthest from him on the bridge.

Whatever.


Trip Tucker Natalie? Who? Oh, oh, you mean that Natalie. Yeah, she left me. I feel sad, too. I'm sorry you never heard about her before though. She was great.

At least when Captain Janeway found out that her boyfriend Mark got married to someone else, we actually SAW him before and we actually HEARD of him before.

I'm not too saddened when I find out a relationship no one ever heard of before breaks up out of nowhere. Didn't we already explore this with T'Pol?


T'Pol It's alright Mr. Tucker, I know what it's like to break up a relationship that didn't exist until a script said it did.

After all, a few episodes back I had to break up my impending marriage just seven minutes after I heard about it myself. If only I got the script pages sooner.


Trip Tucker
Dear Marina Sirtis, er, I mean, Dear Natalie.

The writers have had nearly a dozen episodes beyond the pilot to have worked in some of those letters to and from Tucker and Natalie to have set this relationship up. But since the writers haven't a clue what they're doing, they're making it up as they go along, forcing us to sit through the breakup of a relationship that never existed.

Letters between Tucker and Natalie could have worked to make the show more accessible to new viewers unfamiliar with Trek, or make this new show more accessible to regular Trek viewers who may have given up the series, by having Tucker explain some of the characters and encounters they've had to Natalie through the letters, and thereby explaining them to us viewers. Kevin Sorbo was so obsessed with luring in new viewers to "Andromeda" that he fired lead writer Robert Hewlitt Wolfe because his stories were too complicated for idiots to follow, yet the Enterprise writers have been literally throwing away what men lost their jobs for: making the show approachable to new viewers.

As proof that the letters between Tucker and Natalie would have worked, next week's episode is called "Dear Doctor" and is entirely told from the point of view of a letter from main character Dr. Phlox written to another off screen character no different than Natalie, a letter based on his observations of the crew and situation.


Reed I'm not gay. I'm ambiguous. Maybe.

The TV Guide reported Lt. Reed might be gay. Yet this episode we learn he once had a thing for a waitress.

I guess that means he's not gay any more. Because if B&B decide to later make him gay, that would contradict the waitress reference. But then two things we know about B&B. The first, they will ignore the waitress reference because they ignore continuity. And the second, they won't try to correct the waitress reference because they ignore established Trek history. Which means as long as B&B is in charge, even if Lt. Reed is straight, he still might be gay if it suits their current script.


Reed
My sister is an idiot. That's why I never told her my favorite food.

So, Hoshi calls up Reed's sister and tells her about the surprise dinner, asking what his favorite food is.

But after the stupid sister doesn't know, she plum forgets the surprise dinner and asks if she can speak to Reed. To make matters worst, she virtually smacks her head and said "Oh, that's right. It's a surprise dinner." Not only was she stupid, the writers were stupid for putting that pointless line there which makes Reed's sister look like an idiot.


Lt. Reed You got a hotplate in your room? Dress up like a Geisha Girl and I'll be there in 10!

Actually I won't, because I might be gay. Maybe. I won't know until I get a script that says I am or not. I'm ambiguous. I think.


Vulcan I'm a Vulcan. Don't get logical with me.

The aliens attack and destroyed the subspace amplifiers the Enterprise deployed, preventing them from contacting both Starfleet and the Vulcans. Yet wouldn't the Vulcans have had some of their own subspace amplifiers operating? And wouldn't T'Pol not only know where they were, but how to access them?


Aliens
Thank goodness the aliens are so advanced they outgrew the need for transporters.

Because what's scarier than evil aliens that need to use a shuttle pod for a four-minute journey to dock before they attack the crew.

A more powerful ship is one thing, but what if the evil aliens could beam over whenever they wanted, once they got the hull plating down? Why, that would be suspenseful and edge-of-your-seat viewing, wouldn't it?

Thank goodness the writers cared about our concern and didn't want us to fall off the edge of our seats so they had the evil aliens take a four-minute shuttle pod trip over to dock before they attacked.


Archer with Phase Pistol
They're called Phase Pistols. They have one setting. Random. Come get some.

Archer stunned the alien, but it had no effect. So he resets his Phase Pistol on the kill setting and fires, yet it still has no effect.

Where was the scene of Archer telling Reed that the kill setting had no effect on the alien? Where was the scene of Archer telling Reed to bring out the Phase Rifles? Where was the scene of Archer telling the crew the Pistols didn't work? Where was the scene of Archer requesting a second Phase Pistol and carrying one on each hip to double his firepower?

Yet for the rest of the episode, he still continues to carry his Phase Pistol by his side. The Captain is carrying an essentially useless weapon, and he doesn't bother to have a talk with the armory officer? And to make matters worst, we're reminded all throughout the episode that Reed is the armory officer.


Porthos
Oh no, Captain! Not only did the aliens injure two nameless crewmembers, but they also tripped over Porthos!

... because he was roaming the corridors with Archer and Tucker. First they showed a blatant scene where Archer tells Porthos to sit, even though Archer and Tucker only stopped for three seconds, but then they enter the kitchen and don't even bother to look down to see if the dog made it through the door?

Then the aliens showed up again and Archer heads straight to the bridge. Either he had time to drop off Porthos, or he should have brought the dog with him. They went out of their way to let us know he was there, and five seconds later, they went out of their way to forget him.

And nothing says fear like watching the Captain's dog whimper in the corner of the shaking bridge during an alien attack. This scene was obvious. That's probably why the writers missed it. Because it was obvious.


Lt. Reed Safety-sweep the ship? I'm ambiguously gay, I don't have time!

Even though I bitched and whined about scanning protocols we should take back in "The Andorian Incident", then bitched and whined about Archer letting strange aliens onboard last week in "Cold Front", I'm not going to even bother with a sweep of the ship after we were blatantly invaded by life-threatening aliens.

Sure, they may have left bombs and cameras and stuff onboard, but I'm ambiguously gay! I've got my own problems. Maybe. But if it turns out I'm straight, then... uhm, well... uh...I'm sure there was another reason why I didn't have the ship checked.


Phase Cannons
They're called Phase Cannons. They have one setting. And I don't know what it is.

Since Enterprise left spacedock prior to installing the Phase Cannons, Reed and Tucker decide to install them themselves. This sounds exciting. Except...

Why would Enterprise be carrying a proto-type Phase Cannon? They never stated that Phase Cannons in general were proto-types or experimental, but rather implied that the only one they had in particular just happened to be a proto-type. Why was it there? Couldn't they have clarified that a little?

Why weren't there any scenes of them trying to build or construct the Phase Cannons? There was one pep talk with the nameless crew, and one scene of Tucker and Reed arguing. Where were the scenes of the crew bashing their brains to figure out how to build or replicate these parts?

Since they had to build two more based on just the one proto-type, where was the scene where they took apart the proto-type to see how it worked or to check the details with the blueprints?

Archer believed Tucker and Reed couldn't install the Phase Cannons themselves, yet gave them the go ahead to start the groundwork on it to make the Jupiter Team's work easier. Yet Tucker and Reed successfully got them working. Where was the scene of Tucker and Reed telling a surprised Archer that they already have a cannon installed and are ready to test it? They went from a disbelieving Archer to Archer ready to fire the new cannons. There was a scene missing somewhere in the middle, and it included Archer's shocked expression when he learned the things were online.


Reed and Archer
So I hear you've been talking to my parents.

We have a Phase Pistol that has "Overload" in place of the stun setting. You'll get that one next mission.


Bridge exploding
No, no. Build Up the Threat.

While aliens continously pummel the Enterprise, there's still plenty of time to prepare Reed's birthday dinner, and plenty of time for Hoshi to discover Reed's favorite food. Huh?

If the writers were any smart at all and really wanted to play up the life-threatening attacks by the aliens, they should have had the characters forced to put everything on hold. Imagine if the first twenty minutes followed Hoshi's search for Reed's favorite food, then once the aliens attacked, it had to be dropped. The ending scenes should have been the day after Reed's birthday, with no special dinner because the alien attacks interferred with everyone's personal life. It also would have raised the threat level if the aliens managed to kill a few people.

Instead Hoshi pulled through 100 percent and baked Reed a pineapple cake.


Archer Because Tucker and Reed were so good at what they did, we're canceling our trip home.

What Captain Archer MEANT to say was:

"Nice job guys, but we're still heading back to Jupiter. I want five more Phase Cannons installed to bring the total up to eight."


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