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Herc Loves ENTERPRISE 4.7!!& Gives First Third of Vulcan Arc Four Stars!!

Star Trek: Enterprise 4.7 FAQ

What’s it called?
“The Forge.”

Who’s responsible?
Teleplay is credited to Judith Reeves-Stevens and Garfield Stevens, who contribute their first “Trek” teleplay after authoring a gazillion “Trek” novels, including “Federation,” “Prime Directive,” “Worlds in Collision,” “Captain’s Blood,” “Captain’s Glory,” “Captain’s Peril,” “Spectre,” “The Return,” the DS9 “Millennium” trilogy, “Ashes of Eden,” “Odyssey,” “Dark Victory,” “Avenger,” “Preserver” and “Memory Prime.”

What does TV Guide say?
“The crew joins forces with Vulcan authorities to investigate a deadly bombing of Earth’s embassy, which may be the work of a sect devoted to the logical teaching of Surak, the father of Vulcan philosophy.”

Surak, who got the savage Vulcans to calm the frick down centuries ago, is now inspiring embassy bombings?
T’Pol explains that the Vulcan suspects, the Syranites, are a small group who “follow a corrupted form of Surak’s teachings.”

T’Pol is back on Vulcan only four episodes after wedding Koss? What’s doing with hubby?
It looks at first like there will be no big reunion. T’Pol seems relieved when Archer says he’ll need to keep her on the bombing investigation full-time. “My mother hasn’t responded to my communiqués; it’s not unusual for her to become lost in her work. As for my … husband, our arrangement remains unchanged.”

Any action on the Trip/T’Pol front?
T’Pol seems only annoyed when Koss finally turns up.

The big news?
“The Forge” is not only one of the best episodes of “Enterprise” ever aired, it is one of the best episodes of “Star Trek.” The Stevenses demonstrate tonight that they know how to forge a richly compelling storyline and excite “Trek" fans beyond superficialities, and it’s a crime they had to wait this long to be recruited into the TV side of the franchise. Many may grow giddy at the cleverness with which this installment, in the space of 43 minutes, neatly dances around nearly 40 years of Vulcanian inconsistencies. (“The Forge” is, in fact, so much fun I vote its authors be given first crack at the next movie's screenplay!)

The bigger news?
We get a lot of specifics on Vulcan history. By my calculations, it turns out Surak lived around 350 A.D., and that Vulcans invented faster-than-light travel around the time of the American Civil War.

The biggest news?
There’s lots! Invisotext on! Admiral Forrest, a recurring member of the cast since the “Enterprise” pilot, dies in the opening minutes saving Ambassador Soval’s life. It turns out T’Pol and Spock share, in addition to many other things, a taste in pets. T’Pol learns that someone close to her is a Syranite. And the Syranite suspected of the bombing is T’Pau, who will eventually officiate at Spock’s divorce!

What else is TV Guide not telling us?
In the first act’s opening minutes, we learn much about the Vulcans’ attitudes toward humanity. Details lurk in the invisotext.
. “We don’t know what to do about humans,” Soval confides to Admiral Forrest. “Of all the species we’ve made contact with, yours is the only one we can’t define. You have the arrogance of Andorians, the stubborn pride of Tellarites, one moment you’re as driven by your emotions as Klingons and the next you confound us all by suddenly embracing logic.”
. “I’m sure those qualities are found in every species,” counters Forrest.
. “Not in such confusing abundance.”
. “Ambassador, are Vulcans afraid of humans? Why?”
. “Because there is one species you remind us of.”
. “Vulcans,” decides Forrest.
. “We had our wars, admiral, just as humans did. Our planet was devastated and our civilization nearly destroyed. Logic saved us, but it took almost 1,500 years for us to rebuild our world and travel to the stars. You humans did the same in less than a century. There are those in the high command who wonder what humans would achieve in the century to come. And they don’t like the answer.”

What’s good?
The pacing. The twists. The characterization. The ideas. The continuity porn. The sheer quantity of plot. Arev. Soval. The way the bombing galvanizes a bond between longtime antagonists Soval and Archer. Sweaty Hoshi in her tank top and gym shorts. “I find it familiar.” “Vulcan children are never late with their sehlats’ dinner.” “Vulcans never lie.” “I can perform the meld.” “I think you’ve been told many things about us that aren’t true.” “You must carry it to sanctuary.” “‘Remember.’ Remember what?” “You’re not Vulcan.” So much more.

What’s not so good?
I fear that the next two installments, authored by Andre Bormanis ("Extinction," "Countdown") and Mike Sussman ("Home," "The Augments"), may betray the greatness of "The Forge." But I hope I'm wrong.

How does it end, spoiler-boy?
“Don’t resist.” “What do you mean?”

Herc’s rating for “Star Trek: Enterprise” 4.7?


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

8 p.m. Friday. UPN.

I am – Hercules!!

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