6/19/11

Star Trek: Asterisk "Civilization"

Vital Information
Series: Enterprise
Episode: S01E09
Air Date: November 14, 2001
Written by: Phyllis Strong & Michael Sussman
Directed by: Mike Vejar

Premise
The Enterprise stumbles upon a planet inhabited by an pre-industrial civilization and a hot apothecary who's trying to save her people from a mysterious disease.

Review
I have a lot of love for this briefing in the teaser in which Trip, Mayweather and T'Pol show Archer a bunch of random, boring phenomenon for them to visit before mentioning an exciting fully-inhabited planet. Archer gets his kid-in-a-candy-store look on his face and then realizes he's just been trolled. "You could have put that at the top of the list," he tells T'Pol. Sometimes this show gets endearing character moments right.

This is also the episode where we discover that the Prime Directive is all the Vulcan's idea. Which is probably why Kirk had no qualms with completely ignoring it. Before going down to the planet, T'Pol explains that it's standard protocol not to interfere with civilizations until they achieve warp drive. Which means they have to explore those strange neutrino emissions coming from the planet's surface while in disguise. Neutrino emissions are odd because they are supposed to belong to a post-warp society. So, clearly, they must investigate. But first... MAKEOVER!!!!!!!
Phlox, I am your estranged hybrid daughter LOLJK!!1!
So, Sato, Archer, T'Pol and Trip go down to the planet surface and during the shuttle trip down we discover that T'Pol has an advantage that Spock never had: long hair to cover hear ears. Arriving, they quickly discover the source of the neutrino emissions: an antique shop. When they find it, Trip promptly goes about trying to pick the alien lock. Because they obviously make them exactly the same as Humans do. While he's busy with that, though, a woman named Riann pulled a small crossbow on them. Clearly, it was love at first sight for Archer.

Riann explains that she was trying to investigate the antique shop, too, because she believes a strange disease spreading among her people had come from there. When Phlox examines a sample of the disease, he discovers it's from an industrial lubricant being released into the environment. Well, now the stakes are heightened for the Enterprise crew. There's some kind of advanced technology making life terrible for the inhabitants of this poor society and it is now their mission to stop it.

When they stop by the antique shop the next day, they have a conversation with the owner and discover, to no surprise, that he is also not from this planet. Lots of stuff happens then including a universal translator malfunction which leads to a distracting kiss between Archer and Riann. Yes. Just to distract her. That's all.
Nope; definitely not getting a text from my ex right now.
They follow a guy taking crates out into the forest and discover a ship taking all the crates up in a tractor beam. Then the shop owner comes along, Archer gets into a fight with him, rips off part of his mask in the scuffle and discovers he's actually some kind of reptilian creature. He's a V!

After that, they discover the operation that the shop keeper had going on under his shop, turn off some stuff, and beam the reactor out into space which is when Reed fires a torpedo at it in front of the ship that had picked up the crates, the explosion disables the ship and then Archer disables the shop keeper. He tells him to leave and... he does... and that's that.

Afterward, Archer has a moment with Riann to give her all the medication needed to cure the people affected by the shop keeper's operation. Also to make out with her. And, from across the centuries, Captain Kirk reaches back to give him a high five.
I don't always bed a woman. But when I do, she's never from Earth.
I approve!
Overall Thoughts
This episode at least kept my attention. It was pretty predictable, but there was some action, some intrigue and a little bit of romance. I give a general seal of approval.