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15- Shadows of P'Jem
16- Shuttlepod One
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23- Fallen Hero
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77- Storm Front 1
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93- Bound
94- In a Mirror Darkly Pt 1
95- In a Mirror Darkly Pt 2
96- Demons
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98- Trip Dies in Riker's Holodeck!

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









Enterprise review: "Shadows of P'Jem".
(Episode 15)

Reviewed by Richard Whettestone.
Enterprise

THE PREMISE: Months after Archer's actions in "The Andorian Incident" lead to an Andorian Commando Raid destroying the Vulcan Monastery [off screen], Starfleet and Enterprise is only just NOW hearing about it, when the Vulcans decide only just NOW that T'Pol should be recalled to Vulcan. Meanwhile, Archer and T'Pol get kidnapped on a slave planet franchised by the Vulcans.

"Shadows of P'Jem"
Teleplay by Mike Sussman and Phyllis Strong.
Story by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
(the usual suspects)


Enterprise
What Fleet? Oh, oh, you mean That Fleet?

The key word is StarFLEET. Yet so far we're more than half way through the first season, and the entire StarFLEET entirely consists of just the Enterprise and one cargo hauler in "Fortunate Son". I hate to think that the future of Starfleet is in hauling cargo.

Yet Starfleet was mentioned once again in the Teaser, rubbed in our face by the Vulcans who announced our joint fleet operations are temporarily on hold. What joint fleet operations? What fleet?


Admiral Forrest
What have you been doing Archer, sleeping with her?

Admiral Forrest calls Archer to inform him that the Vulcans are upset about him. He also tells Archer that T'Pol is going to be transferred. He begins that part of the conversation with the line "I'm afraid I've got some more bad news."

Why would Forrest think removing T'Pol was bad news? Nobody wanted her there to begin with. Just because Archer and gang warmed up to her on Enterprise, doesn't mean Forrest would have. He's on Earth. The last he saw her was when some whiny Vulcan Ambassadors started getting in his face demanding she be placed onboard as science advisor when they were taking an unconscious Klingon to his homeworld.


Reed That's the Shuttlepod. No, wait, that's the Shuttlepod. No, er, that one's definately the Shuttlepod. No, uhm, wait...

So here we have the Armory Officer and the Engineer staring at a scanner. And who concludes that he is ABSOLUTELY SURE the metal alloys the scanner detected is the Shuttlepod? The Engineer who may have helped build those things and knows more about the metals and alloys used in the construction of ships' hulls?

No. It's the Armory Officer.


Shadows
Oh, oh, you mean Those Shadows of P'Jem.

ALTERNATE PREMISE: Some dumb aliens rebel against the Vulcan-placed government and kidnap Archer on arrival. Andorians show up to fight and with the Enterprise crew caught in the middle of the battle, an ancient threat is accidently released, buried in the ruined cities (It would explain why the Vulcans were controlling the government, an answer we never got here).

Twenty-Seven ancient warlord machines once imprisoned by Vulcan society a thousand years ago escape and throughout the following seven seasons, Enterprise, Vulcans and the Andorians occasionally have to deal with these unstoppable one-of-a-kind killing machines, each one going rogue and on their own.

This forces peace among these three races, and causes problems among others, playing a recurring part in the birth of the Federation. And also playing havoc with the very plans of Future Guy, throwing the Suliban occasionally into turmoil as well.

ORIGINAL PREMISE: People we never saw before kidnap Archer because he was there. Then he goes home.


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

After Archer left the Vulcan monastery, a hidden Andorian Commando team bombed the hell out of it, and the Vulcans are only just NOW telling Starfleet about it?


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

Even though I'm a spy and report what I know back to Vulcan headquarters, plus I write letters to my fiancee who I ditched, when one of my people's most valued religious monasteries is destroyed due to my actions, I need to hear it from my Captain several months after the fact.


Tucker I'm a Vulcan. Don't get logical with... Wait, I'm not a Vulcan.

Even though the Vulcans have better scanners, better weapons, faster ships, better transporters, and more men who I can consider "expendable" for My Commando raid to rescue the Captain, I'm going to ignore them and go at it on my own.


Lt. Reed I'm an Army of One.

That's why even though I told you I had a rescue team standing by to rescue the Captain, when we finally did go the rescue team only consisted of just me.

I wouldn't have needed the help of the Andorians but Tucker got in my way.


Archer and Reed
News travels slow in this part of the galaxy.

Just after "The Andorian Incident" took place and the Andorian Commando team destroyed the valued and cherished historical Vulcan monastery, the following week Archer encountered a Vulcan starship in "Breaking the Ice" yet the Vulcans never said a word. Two episodes after that Admiral Forrest contacted Archer in "Fortunate Son" but never said a word (it doesn't make sense that the outraged Vulcans would have waited months before taking action).

This episode is either cleary an afterthought, proving that B&B have no idea what they're doing and they're making it up as they go along (as if we didn't know that already), or this episode is clearly an indication that B&B have NO sense of continuity and common sense (as if we didn't know that already). Either way it is clearly yet another indication that B&B are idiots (as if we didn't know that already).

This story of the Vulcans trying to remove T'Pol and expressing their outrage over their monastery should have took place during the episode immediately after "The Andorian Incident", not half a season later.

The thing with Shran should have been in a different story, as it doesn't make sense that at the exact same time the Vulcans start complaining about Archer giving the Andorians the information about the monastery, the Andorians who Archer gave this information to coincidently show up.


Janeway
Leave the confusion to the experts, honey.

So... renegade rebel soldiers are fighting a government placed in power by the Vulcans, which adds another black mark to the Vulcan name, yet none of this is ever explained. And the Andorians are there to help the rebels? Even though they attacked them? Or what?

As if this being unneccessarily confusing wasn't bad enough, it was more confusing when you realize that of all the people involved with the rescue of Archer - the Enterprise crew, the Andorians, the Vulcan starship crew - nowhere to be seen were the alien government that this whole episode was supposed to be about.

It's like the very kidnappers and the government they were rebelling against that triggered this episode's premise sat this episode out.


Shran It's a good thing I happened to have randomly stumbled across you or I might have died of exhaustion.

Saying that he couldn't sleep because he was in debt to Archer as a throw-away line was funny. But Shran repeatedly shoving it at us, expecting us to believe that he was actually seriously losing sleep over this so much that it was affecting his life was just too dumb.

He was like that jerk friend you have who only had one good joke and told it over and over and over...


Archer and wounded T'Pol
Shot to death in the line of duty.

In "Fight or Flight", Hoshi wanted to leave but doesn't.

In "Cold Front", crewman Daniels gets killed but we never saw him before.

In "Silent Enemy", aliens brutally attack the Enterprise repeatedly but nobody gets killed.

And now here we are with an episode about T'Pol being transferred off Enterprise, which of course she isn't. And there is NO DOUBT that many more episodes will come our way with forced jeopardy thrown at us that implies a character will die or leave, which will never happen.

I suggested in my reviews of both "Broken Bow" and "Fight or Flight" that adding a character whose sole purpose was to unexpectedly leave in the middle of the season would have added a great level of threat to the characters and suspense for the viewers.

So far we're getting neither.


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