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I should say that somehow the producers managed to remix the title song in a way that made it worse. The original at least could muster some millennium ironic referencing of 90s alternative soft rock. The remix is the Ed Wood of title song compositions. It's got Jimmy Buffet. It has sappy strings. It has an electric guitar solo.

But most importantly, it has faith, and wants to tell you over, and over, and over again.

I think I've finally gone a bit crazy in wanting more versions. I want to hear Daft Punk sample "I've got faith," pipe it through a dozen effects and transform it into percussion. I want to hear the pornstep version drop the bass on the f%%ker. Give it to Wax Tailor to mix with Klingon dialog from Wrath of Khan and Yackety Sax. Give it to Lady Gaga to perform it as a duet with B.B. King.

And the song will still have faith, in being a complete piece of crap.

Episode 3.7: Regeneration

Xindi, blah blah, Xindi, blah blah, exposition about Xindi, blah blah, Xindi, blah blah, after a half dozen episodes pissing around about the Xindi, they deliver one of the dullest episodes of the series.

Serious Archer is Serious: 10
Archer Moralizes: 8
We Have a Lead/No We Don't: 10

Episode 3.8: Twilight

Archer loses his long-term memory. Humanity loses the war. T'Pol loses her command. We all lose respect for the writers of this dreck.

Let Me Tell You a Story: 8
Damn Vulcans: 5
Archer and T'Poll: 10
History, Future History: 10
Archer Moralizes: 8
Phloxus ex Machina: 6
The Science Directorate has Determined that Time Travel Episodes Suck: 5

Episode 3.9: North Star

Enterprise writers plunder a plot device from TOS: Genre Movie in Space! This time, it's cowboys and indians, in space. Although they managed to snag an antagonist who looks like someone decided to blend Sean Penn and Tracy Walter.

Metaphor For...: 10
Archer Punches People: 8
Hi Dad, I'm in Jail: 5
Humanity Has Improved Since...: 8
Malcolm Shoots Stuff: 6

Episode 3.10: Similitude

The good ship Trip/T'Pol sails with Tripp's short-lived clone. It probably would be more impressive an episode it it wasn't Trip. Enterprise writers wade deep into the swamp of science fiction bioethics and manage to come out the other side without much of anything. Phlox has become almost as predictable a plot device as Wesley Crusher, Season 1, but more tolerable due to superior comic timing, better acting, and a certain vocal authority that doesn't grate on the nerves.

T'Pol Disapproves: 5
T'Pol Has Feels: 8
Archer Moralizes: 10
Phloxus ex Machina: 8

Episode 3.11: Carpenter Street

Time travel horror thriller. Gets points for possibly slipping in two Halloween references. This episode makes up for the fact that T'Pol has been entirely too agreeable lately.

T'Pol Disapproves: 10
The Science Directorate has Determined that Time Travel Stories Kill Hitler: 10
Archer Punches People: 8
Vulcan Nerve Pinch: 5

Episode 3.12: Chosen Realm

Enterprise is held hostage by bomb-carrying religious terrorists. You can just skip this episode and watch this instead:

T'Pol Disapproves: 5
Metaphor For...: 8
Phloxus ex Machina: 10
Archer Moralizes: 10
Malcolm Shoots Stuff: 8
Archer Punches People: 10
Hi Dad, He's In Jail: 3

cbrachyrhynchos: (Default)

Episode 3.1: The Xindi

After the rousing urgent season conclusion of the previous episode, the new season kicks off with a bang with a lot of aimless wandering around and whining. The Enterprise finds a Xindi informant in a slave mining colony. Oh, and Phlox sets Trip and T'Pol up.

Hello, Dad. I'm in Jail!: 5
Plot GNDN: 8
Look, We Got Space Marines(tm)!: 8
"I'm looking for the Xindi": 10

Episode 3.2: Anomaly

Clarke did it better. So did Chrichton..

The Expanse is Weird: 10
Ancient Artifacts: 8
Hello, Dad. He's in Jail!: 5

Episode 3.3 Extinction

Archer, Malcolm, Hoshi, and T'Pol are transformed by a virus to an extinct alien race.

Phlox is Phlox: 8
T'Pol has Feels: 5
Weird Biology: 8
The Expanse is Weird: 10

Episode 3.4: Rajiin

Enterprise gets punked by super-sexy space spy. Firefly did this one better. Somehow, on an extended mission into the unknown there's cargo space for sexy costume.

T'Pol has Feels: 8
Archer Moralizes: 6
Sexy Weird Times, in Space: 10
Hello, Dad. She's in Jail!: 5
Look, We got Space Marines(tm)!: 5 "I'm looking for the Xindi": 4

Episode 3.5: Impulse

I can't figure out if this one is more Night of the Living Dead or Event Horizon. Vulcan Zombies.

T'Pol has Feels: 10
T'Pol Disapproves: 10
Vulcans!: 10
Archer Moralizes: 5
Phlox Moralizes: 5
Malcolm Blows Shit Up: 3
Look, We got Space Marines(tm)!: 6
Travis the Ace Pilot: 3

Episode 3.6: Exile

Beauty and the Beast, in space with Hoshi and a telepath. Except that he really is just as creepy and stalkerish as it looks. I was mildly grateful for the return of an entire scene just about the food. Hoshi somehow gets her hands on a silk nightie and high-heels for this mission.

"I'm looking for the Xindi": 10
Translator Hoshi: 10
Space Telepathy: 10

cbrachyrhynchos: (Default)

Episode 2.23: Regeneration

Blatant fanfic episode based off of Star Trek First Contact. The Borg try to joyride their way back to the collective using found humans and suborbital junker.

Phlox being Phlox: 8
Serious Archer is Serious: 10
Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey: 8
Malcolm Blows Stuff Up: 5
Trip Fixes Stuff: 5
Archer Moralizes: 5

Episode 2.24: First Flight

Let me tell you a story, about a young pilot with nothing to his name but an experimental warp drive. But let me tell you, that young Archer had heart.

Let Me Tell You a Story: 10
History, Future History: 10
Damn Vulcans: 5
Have You Tried Reversing the Polarity?: 6
Archer and T'Poll: 10
Archer Moralizes: 8

Episode 2.25: Bounty

Archer is kidnaped by a bounty hunter. Little else happens.

Damn Klingons!: 5
Hello, Dad. I'm in Jail!: 10
Law and Disorder: 8
Archer Moralizes: 10

Episode 2.26: The Expanse

Round weapony thingy blasts the Earth. Timey Wimey temporal cold war type stuff. And stuff that's derivative of a fair bit of space horror ala Event Horizon. Mostly, the writers telegraph that instead of pissing about a multi-episode story arc, they're going to telegraph the heck out of it. It's really a big mess.

Good science fiction writers hesitate to step into time travel narratives.

Damn Vulcans!: 5
The Science Directorate has Determined that Time Travel is Fucking Hard to Write Well: 10
Archer Moralizes: 8
What Prime Directive?: 6

cbrachyrhynchos: (Default)

Episode 2.17: Canamar

Jailbreak in space, again. Trip bonds with the natives, again.

In space, we talk about the food: 5
Jailhouse Rock: 10
Archer Lectures: 6
Metaphor for... : 3

Episode 2.18: The Crossing

Trip gets stoned on space etherials. Malcolm flirts. Phlox saves the Enterprise. The crew spends more time on the catwalk, on the catwalk, yeah, they have their existential angst on the catwalk.

In space, we talk about the food: 10
Thank Gawd Trip's a Country Boy: 8
Trip Gets Intimate with Alien: 8
Action Girl Yoshi: 3
Phlox being Phlox: 7
T'Pol Disapproves: 10 (With innuendo.)

Episode 2.19: Judgement

Archer ends up in Klingon jail, and lectures the Klingons about their own justice system.

Klingons!: 10
Jailhouse Rock: 10
In space, we talk about the food: 3
Archer Lectures: 10
Metaphor for...: 5

cbrachyrhynchos: (Default)

Episode 2.12: The Catwalk

The entire crew of the Enterprise hides out from space weather on the catwalk, on the catwalk, yeah, they shield from the radiation on the catwalk.

With a special guest appearance by Chef's feet!

T'Pol Disapproves: 3
Trip Fixes Stuff: 5
Phaser Diplomacy: 8
Malcom Prevents Shit from Blowing Up: 3
Phlox being Phlox: 5
In Space, We Talk about Food: 10

Episode 2.13: Dawn

Trip fixes stuff, and engages in interspecies bonding through violence while marooned on a moon.

T'Pol Disapproves: 2
The Radio is Broken, It Don't Work Anymore: 10
In Space, We Talk about Food: 5
Trip the Boxer: 5
Trip in Underwear: 3

Episode 2.14: Stigma

In a weirdly mixed metaphor about HIV, Phlox tries to treat T'Pol for a disease she caught during an involuntary mind meld. Meanwhile, Trip makes first contact with an alien species hornier than he is.

Vulcans!: 10
T'Pol Disapproves: 10
Phlox being Phlox: 10
Metaphor for...: 10
Archer Lectures the Vulcans: 8
Translator Hoshi: 2
Alien Sports: 2

Episode 2.15: Cease Fire

Archer is caught between Vulcans and Andorians, again.

Vulcans!: 10
Andorians!: 10
T'Pol Disapproves: 5
Phaser Diplomacy: 8

Episode 2.16: Future Tense

The Enterprise salvages a Tardis. Of course, it's not really a Tardis, but everyone wants it. Trip and Malcolm demonstrate that they shouldn't be in the same room without adult supervision.

Temporal Cold War: 10
T'Pol Disapproves: 10
Malcolm Blows Shit Up: 3
Trip Fixes Stuff: 8
Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey: 6

cbrachyrhynchos: (Default)

Episode 2.9 Singularity

Strange astronomical phenomena make the crew crazy. Hoshi replaces the cook. Trip fixes a chair.

T'Pol Disapproves: 8
In Space, We Talk About Food: 8
Phlox being Phlox: 5
Trip Fixes Stuff: 2

Episode 2.10 Vanishing Point

Hoshi goes strange places via the transporter.

T'Pol Disapproves: 10
Translator Hoshi: 8
Action Girl Hoshi: 10
It's Not What it Seems: 10
In Space, We talk about Food: 2

Episode 2.11 Precious Cargo

Trip fixes stuff involving a beautiful alien woman.

Trip Fixes Stuff: 10
Trip Romances the Alien: 10
Trip in Underwear: 10
It's Not What it Seems: 10
In Space, We talk about Food: 5
"It's Just Like Home": 3
T'Pol Lies: 9

cbrachyrhynchos: (Default)

ST: Enterprise: Episode 2.7 The Seventh

Archer and Mayweather help T'Pol catch a Vulcan fugitive. Backstory, backstory, backstory.

T'Pol Disapproves: 8
T'Pol Has Feels: 10
Vulcans!: 10
Alien Diner: 10

ST: Enterprise: Episode 2.8 The Communicator

Reed looses his communicator at alien diner. Military shenanigans. Malcolm tries to sacrifice himself, again.

T'Pol Disapproves: 3
In Space, We Talk about Food: 1
Alien Diner: 2
Reed Roughed Up: 8
Archer Roughed Up: 8
We Oughta Have a Law: 10
Phlox being Phlox: 2
Translator Hoshi: 2
Trip Fixes Stuff: 4

cbrachyrhynchos: (Default)

Porthos spends a night in sickbay, while Archer rants with what turns out to be sexual frustration. Phlox turns out to be the worst roomate on the ship, between late-night feedings of his specimens, sawing off his toenails, and brushing his tongue.

T'Pol Disapproves: 7
Phlox Being Phlox: 10
Translator Hoshi: 3
Inappropriate Oggling of T'Pol: 10
Coitus Interruptus Interspecius: 8
Porthos: 8
In Space, We Talk about Food: 1

cbrachyrhynchos: (Default)

Episode 2.2: "Carbon Creek"

While eating food, T'Pol tells Jon and Trip the story of her great grandmother visiting Earth in the 1950s, where she buys food.

T'Pol Disapproves: 10 (with inuendo)
Vulcans!: 10
In Space, We Talk about Food: 6
What Prime Directive?: 8

Episode 2.3: "Minefield"

A friendly breakfast between Malcom and John is interrupted by Romulan space mines. A defuse the bomb episode.

T'Pol Disapproves: 2
Phlox being Phlox: 8
Translator Hoshi: 5
Explosions in Space!: 10
Top-Gun Travis: 8

Episode 2.4 "Dead Stop"

Needing repairs, the crew of the Enterprise drop in on a mysteriously efficient galactic quick-lube station, where they are served food.

T'Pol Disapproves: 2
Phlox being Phlox: 8
Explosions in Space!: 10
It's Not What it Seems: 10
Trip and Malcom in Trouble: 5
In Space, We Talk about Food: 4

cbrachyrhynchos: (Default)

This episode turns out to be a bit of a mess. It starts with Klingon Commander Kurn stepping into Riker's role as part of the Klingon-Federation Officer Exchange program. Kurn then proceeds to patronize and insult all of the cast up to a confrontation with Worf.

At that point, it takes a right turn as Kurn reveals that he's Worf's younger brother. Their father has been posthumously accused of treason in the Khitomer massacre, of which Worf is presumably the only survivor. Since Klingon law holds family responsible for acts of treason, Worf must face the death penalty in order to regain his honor.

The second half of the episode becomes a weird hybrid of Shakespeare and John Grisham. Mogh is the political fall guy, chosen because presumably Worf is insulated by Starfleet. The discovery of the other Khitomer survivor, Worf's nanny who wears spine armor with her robes and carries a wicked throwing knife, unravels the rather simplistic plot. The conclusion is obviously a setup for a future episode. However as an episode it never quite recovers from the shift from a cross-cultural comedy of errors to political drama.

Ratings:

Klingons!: 10
Worf Denied: 8
Geriatric Badass: 2
Troi has Feels: 1
F**king Wesley Crusher: 2
Jean Luc Diplomacy: 5
Not Now Data: 1

cbrachyrhynchos: (Default)

Coincidentally I happened on two episodes from two very different science fiction television shows that had little humanist parables.

First, Season Three of Star Trek: The Next Generation included a fair number of innovations that were probably critical for the show to make it to the fourth. McFadden came back with better writing that actually put her into a more active parental role. Writers started thinking a bit more about continuity, rather than keeping every episode into its bubble. Wesley Crusher no longer saved the day every other episode. And Jonathan Frakes took the director's chair for the first time for The Offspring.

The Offspring is largely a replay of the Season 2 episode, The Child, which peaked early in a scene where Troi told everyone in the room off about how to deal with her unplanned, supernatural, accelerated, space-angel pregnancy. Since The Child was largely a bubble episode, her son was conceived, born, and dead in under 40 minutes.

The Offspring returns to the theme with Data introducing his child, Lal. Developments in cybernetics over the previous two seasons enabled Data to duplicate his programming. Spiner and Stewart get a couple of great scenes together (one with the famous Picard double-facepalm.) Picard initially is skeptical of Data's role as a parent and Lal's status as Data's child. At the climatic scene, Picard is midway through a moral argument and calls Lal a "child." He stops for a perfectly acted breath, realizing that he just changed his mind, and repeats the word for emphasis.

Of course, it ends in tragedy because we're still mostly in bubble-episode mode. Everyone but Data is grief-stricken, the Federation bad guy most of all. Questions about the "humanity" of Data and Lal are rendered moot. Questions about their souls are completely off the table. Data delivers the closing elegy. Lal persists through his memories, and that is enough.

In a completely different series, Doctor Who, Season 7.5 dives into what promises to be a labyrinthine plot with the introduction of the third incarnation of Clara/Oswin. Rings of Akhaten is notable for two things. SPOILER

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