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Star Trek: In Defense of Enterprise’s Worst Episode




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Star Trek: In Defense of Enterprise’s Worst Episode
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Complaint 3: Archer’s romantic feelings for T’Pol come out of nowhere and are not convincing.

While many viewers view Archer’s romantic feelings for T’Pol in this episode as a one-off story that was never picked up again, this is actually the end of a mildly romantic thread between the two that started in season one, but then mostly fell away. . Archer’s defense of T’Pol in “Fusion” might be thought of as little more than a captain protecting a member of his crew, but in addition to several asides during the first season, they snuggle together under a blanket in “The Andorian Incident.” “; in “Fallen Hero”, Vulcan Ambassador V’Lar tells them she sees a “great bond” of “friendship” between them, and in “Shockwave Part 1”, T’Pol tells Archer that she supports him. That may not sound like much, but in the 90s trek terms, that was practically a relationship.

The suggestion of an Archer/T’Pol novel would pop up again, in season three’s “Twilight.” Nothing to do with sparkly vampires, this episode was originally presented as a romantic storyline between Captain Janeway and First Officer Chakotay on Star Trek: Voyager, a couple who flirted mercilessly for seven years before inexplicably linking Chakotay to Seven of Nine at the last minute. Rewritten for Captain Archer and his first officer, this episode is often considered one of Company‘s best – so it’s not the sexual tension between Archer and T’Pol themselves that is the problem with “A Night In Sickbay”, but the sloppy execution.

The main reason why the idea of ​​a romance between the two has such a bad reputation is that the way it was raised here feels rather odd, with Phlox insisting Archer’s care for his dog is actually stress caused by underlying sexuality. suspense, and some very questionable “Polarian briefs” (“the chest can I”, really? With poor Jolene Blalock in that catsuit?). It’s true that the dream sequence where Porthos’s funeral becomes a romantic moment between Archer and T’Pol followed by even more sexy “decontamination” is kind of silly, but it’s just a dream. No one played with each other and had lizard babies, and dreams are often weird – it’s not such a bad scene.

But the idea in itself isn’t necessarily terrible – T’Pol and Archer work well together, and she’s an obviously attractive woman. However, when she calmly tells Archer that any relationship would be inappropriate, he does the right thing and moves on, and that’s it. It is a simple story of an attraction at work that is not pursued.

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Complaint 4: The humor does not work.

Part of the episode’s bad reputation is a result of its attempts at humor. The opening suspense about Hoshi dieting T’Pol, which Archer is “decontaminating” and “decontaminating” Porthos, is meant to be funny. The problem is, the exploitative “decontamination” scenes are generally so problematic, it’s just not very funny, but rather it seems like the show is trying to sexualize the dog.

Likewise, the silly sequence at the end of the episode, where Archer has to go through a bizarre ritual to apologize to the Kreetassans, is a simple case of humor gone wrong. It’s crazy, his haircut is bizarre and it doesn’t make sense. But again, no one turns into a lizard or randomly goes into battle with a few cavemen. It’s not great, but it’s definitely not the worst Star Trek has to offer.

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