7/31/11

Star Trek: Asterisk "Shockwave part 1"

Vital Information
Series: Enterprise
Episode: S01E26
Air Date: May 22, 2002
Written by: Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
Directed by: Allan Kroeker

Premise
After accidentally exploding an entire colony, Enterprise almost calls it quits until Redshirt Daniels comes to save the day by explaining the past and spoiling the future!

Review
Ok, follow me here: first I want to stress that the average Trekkie does not hate women. In fact, true fans of Star Trek would probably be the first to stand up for women's rights. When it became culturally unacceptable to use the masculine pronoun in the generic sense, we changed it to "where no one has gone before." We put a black female on the first bridge and eventually, when we found the right actor, put a female in the captain's chair. So when I tell you that Captain Archer was preparing to meet a colony with a matriarchal society, I beg the reader to understand that it's really not our fault when this colony is completely wiped out by a spark in their combustible atmosphere. It was a fluke in the system! The misguided product of a series that should never have been written! And probably a cue that the writing team behind Enterprise really had no idea how to write for a matriarchal society.

This tragedy of an inciting incident brings Archer into a deep state of depression. He sits around in his quarters reading through the colony manifest looking at the faces of the people he had unintentionally killed. Eventually, he gets orders from Starfleet that the whole mission is to be scrubbed. No more trekking through the galaxy for at least another ten years. Sensor logs show that the shuttlepod was well within normal parameters to make it to the surface without combusting the atmosphere, and the events just don't add up, but there's no proof that the crew of the Enterprise didn't just make a horrible mistake. Despondent, Archer goes to bed... and makes a quantum leap!!
Ok, not quite that dramatically...
For those of you unfamiliar with the core technology behind the sci-fi TV series, Quantum Leap, the idea is that your mind can travel through time, but it has to land in a receiving body and it can never travel beyond your own lifetime. Scott Bakula made several leaps into other people's bodies using this technology because of a glitch in the system, but the idea was to leap into your own body. The same idea happens here. When Archer wakes up, he finds himself in the past in his own past body. His mind has transported in time to just before he put together the crew for the Enterprise's mission. In that time, he meets Time Agent "Redshirt" Daniels! The boy who died, come to save the day!

Daniels explains that he brought Archer to this time because his enemies wouldn't think to look for him there. When Archer points out that Daniels was supposed to be dead, Daniels says... basically this:
Daniels then proceeds to explain what really happened over the matriarchal colony and charges Archer with the task to find proof in a Suliban ship that's still on the planet cloaked. He also gives Archer the schematics to build something that will help them find the ship as well as the device they used on Enterprise's shuttlepod to explode the atmosphere.

What follows is some fast-paced action that sees Archer and the crew carry out Redshirt Daniels' plan to the letter. They find the device on the shuttlepod, they find the Suliban ship, they board it, fight their way through the corridors and find ships logs that prove their innocence. Proof in hand, they quickly get out of there and make their way home.

In the meantime, however, Silik, the main evil Suliban dude, meets with the guy from the future giving him orders. Through temporal images. He explains to his superior that Archer overtook them and stole evidence, and the shadowy figure responds that he wants Silik to take Archer himself.

Cloaked Suliban pods eventually catch up with the Enterprise and Silik hails Archer. Trapped in the middle of dozens of enemy vessels, Archer has no choice but to board Silik's ship. So he leaves the bridge... heads into the turbo lift... goes out into the hall and finds himself... IN THE FUTURE.
Did I do that?
TO BE CONTINUED...

Overall Thoughts
Magnifico! I mean, the destruction of a matriarchal colony was a little sketchy, but the rest of the episode was spectacular! Action, adventure, time travel, Redshirt Daniels; the Temporal Cold War just got hot! If I had trusted this series enough to keep up with it when it was originally airing, then this would have been a perfect ending to the season to bring me back.