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Enterprise 3.1 FAQ

An “Enterprise” review? When was the last time Coax posted one of these?

Not unrecently. Though we were hinder-deep in Buffy Bash planning at the time, we still found time to dissect “Regeneration” (2.23), the installment about unfrozen Borg.

What’s tonight’s called?

“The Xindi.”

Who’s responsible?

Teleplay is credited to series creators Rick Berman and Brannon Braga (“The Expanse”).

What does TV Guide say?

“The third season opens with a new action-oriented style as the Enterprise hunts the Xindi who attacked Earth. But Archer and Trip's zeal to capture a Xindi leads them into a trap. This episode marks the debut of the MACOs, Enterprise's elite surface troops. Alien Forman: Stephen McHattie. Xindi Humanoid: Tucker Smallwood. Degra: Randy Oglesby.”

So did they trade “Faith of the Heart” for a more palatable theme song?

They did not. But they do offer a more up-tempo arrangement of the ditty, which shortens (or at least seems to shorten) the title sequence.

Has the title changed to "Star Trek: Enterprise" (as hinted in the promos)?


The big news?

Jolene Blalock’s eyebrows, Herc believes, have been altered to make them appear less human. The actress has at last been Vulcanized, if you will, beyond her ears.

The far bigger news?

Remember the second-season opener, in which communications officer Hoshi Sato had to cavort toplessly, clutching her breastal region? We get to see the exact same thing tonight with another female member of the bridge crew!

“Another female member of the bridge crew”? But the only other female member of the bridge crew …

T’Pol! T’Pol gets topless in the final minutes of 3.1, (ensuring a better-than-average tune-in for this largely snoozy opener)!

How soon do we get to see T’Pol in her groovy new blue “Forbidden Planet” number?

About halfway through the opener. She’s also spends a sizeable portion of the hour in what looks like a salmon (or orange, or pink, depending on how your set is adjusted) velour catsuit.

What’s the big news that has nothing to do with the sexy, sexy T’Pol?

FutureGuy lied! Or was, at minimum, mistaken. We learn in the closing minutes of 3.1 that if the Xindi attacked Earth in 2.26, it wasn’t because they feared Earthers would destroy their planet 400 years hence.

Do we learn by episode’s end the real reason Florida was attacked in 2.26?

Not so much.

Does anybody get turned inside-out, like that rhesus monkey in “The Fly”?

Not this week. The Delphic Expanse is, however, generating all manner of violent poltergeisty weirdness in an Enterprise cargo bay. It’s mentioned that the ship has encountered a number of other “anomalies” since entering the region six weeks earlier, but they were all fairly quick to dissipate.

What about those new MACOs? Are they the coolest?

They’re mighty handy with rayguns, but not yet a terribly interesting dramatic force. (Certainly they’re in no danger of making us forget about Jim Cameron’s space marines in “Aliens.”) There’s a watery subplot about Reed feeling a bit outclassed, but it’s too generic by half.

Any other key changes for the new season?

There’s what appears to be a new permanent set. A ship storage bay has been retrofitted into a “command center” that looks suspiciously like a well-wired conference room.

What’s good?

The enjoyable bits include the brief (if logically suspect) Vulcan nakedness, the brief Jedi roundtable-esque segments that bookend the episode, Trip’s decidedly “T2”-ish dream sequence, and McHattie’s portrayal of a wily, weezy mine foreman.

What’s not so good?

The fun is far too fleeting. This is easily the most mundane and haphazardly constructed of the “Enterprise” season openers. The bulk of tonight's deals with a fact-finding visit to a “trellium mine.” Archer finds himself detained (yet again) by hostile aliens and his crew must (yet again) mount a rescue. Beyond this, the episode’s overall lack of focus suggests there may at this point be too many cooks are in the Viacom kitchen, with the showrunners shoehorning too many of the tired and repetitive elements “suggested” by their corporate overlords. Either that, or everybody’s just completely out of ideas. With luck we’ll discover soon that the series’ “new direction” is more than just window-dressing, but there’s little encouragement to be found in “The Xindi” beyond a few nifty computer-generated extraterrestrials.

How does it end, spoiler-boy?

“Finish the weapon quickly! Or I’ll destroy the Earth ship, whether this council approves or not!”

Herc’s rating for “Enterprise” 3.1?


The Hercules T. Strong Rating System:

  • ***** better than we deserve
  • **** better than most motion pictures
  • *** actually worth your valuable time
  • ** as horrible as most stuff on TV
  • * makes you quietly pray for bulletins

I am – Hercules!!

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