6/11/11

Star Trek: Asterisk "Fight or Flight"

Vital Information
Series: Enterprise
Episode: S01E03
Air Date: October 3, 2001
Written by: Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
Directed by: Allan Kroeker

Premise
Ensign Hoshi Sato compares herself to an alien slug and freaks out over a few dead bodies.

Review
We open on a slug. What a wonderful way to open. Ensign Hoshi Sato has decided to pick up a slug from an alien planet and make it her pet. She has no idea if it will survive, if it will try to eat her, if it will grow to be bigger than the Enterprise, or even if it's sentient, but she decides to take it on board and put it in a glass cage. I think I remember another instance in which someone decided to put a species in a glass cage to observe them...
"To us you are but a slug."
Apparently this slug is having trouble adapting. And so is Hoshi. She's having doubts about having come out into space. Which is direct contrast with Trip Tucker who is chomping at the bit to get out of the ship and explore. Archer is crawling around in his room looking for some strange squeaking noise that Porthos is definitely not making and T'Pol is annoyed that they're not doing things the Vulcan way. So it's pretty much a normal day at the office.

And then dead bodies happen!

And then it remains a normal day at the office.

But back to the dead bodies. The Enterprise comes across a ship just floating out in space not moving. And, of course, the first course of action for any Starfleet captain when coming across an obviously dead ship is to give the full introduction speech before offering help.
Hello, friend! You seem to be having a good day!
Let us exchange fanciful pleasantries!
When no one answers, Archer, cunning captain that he is, figures there must be something wrong. So he assembles an away team to go over to the dead ship and explore. And that's when the dead bodies happen! Hoshi, who is already feeling pretty claustrophobic in her space suit, freaks all the way out when she happens to point her flash light upward at the hanging aliens with tubes coming out of them.

So, what does the intrepid crew of the Enterprise NX-01 do after they find these dead aliens? Pack it up and head home...

And then it remains a normal day at the office.

This decision by Captain Archer will never not bug me. Obviously, it bugged him, too. But way to make the wrong decision in the first place! At this point in the story, Archer has gone from completely mistrusting Vulcans to taking T'Pol's advice to walk away from a humanitarian mission. The fact that they are new to space is not a valid excuse, and a good captain would know that. These bodies are being brutally experimented on, and Archer's all like "Well, I guess you're right, T'Pol..."

Well, anyway... after a few hours they decide to go back and help the poor aliens out. Mind you, this is still just the B plot. Over in the A plot, Hoshi is still going back and forth between whether she should go back home and whether Flox should feed her slug to some other animal. I'm not kidding; that's the main plot of this episode. I mean, it may have been meant as a subplot, but they spend so much time on Hoshi, the whole show might as well be about her. Star Trek: Hoshi. Yup. That's our new show.
ZZZzzz...
Obviously, when they decide to help out the dying aliens, the other alien race that came to shove tubes up them came back and furiously guarded their science experiment. No hails, no signals, just a warning shot that nearly crippled the Enterprise. Another ship comes into view from the same race that had fallen victim to the scientist aliens. Well, now this ship has to figure out which aliens killed their kin. And obviously it's the far less advanced race with weaker weapons that tried to contact them as soon as they arrived.

Well, it turns out these aliens don't speak English. So guess who saves the day! That's right. Super-Hoshi. The A plot comes full circle when Hoshi overcomes her insecurities and learns the alien's language like a boss. With his help, they defeat the evil scientist aliens and, apparently, according to Archer's log, hang out with their new friends a bit.

But we don't care about that, we care about Hoshi's slug. Therefore, the last scene of the episode is Hoshi letting her pet slug go on a completely different planet from where she found it. Flox is sure that the slug will survive here, but I like to imagine that three days after Hoshi leaves this unnamed planet, Sluggo is eaten by a predatory species that's usually up for pasta.

Overall Thoughts
This episode sucked. That's all.