8/27/11

Star Trek: Asterisk "Precious Cargo"

Vital Information
Series: Enterprise
Episode: S02E11
Air Date: December 11, 2002
Written by: David A. Goodman
Directed by: David Livingston

Premise
Trip helps save a whiney little pretty princess from being kidnapped by extremists. This is what happens when you complain about not being able to go on away missions.

Review
The Enterprise answers a distress call from an alien cargo ship that claims to be having life support problems. They're very grateful for all the help that Archer and the crew can offer and explain that the "cargo" is a woman who needs a lift back to her hometown, but there is only food and air enough for two on the ship, so she had to be put in stasis. Right off the bat, one starts to wonder why one of the aliens didn't simply stay behind. And when Trip goes to make some repairs to her stasis pod, one immediately knows she's eventually going to get out. But, no... we don't really have enough story to make the escape the inciting incident, so we'll draw out this facade for as long as possible....

The aliens settle in, accept a shower and a meal and pretty much just hang around while Trip is making repairs on their ship and gawking at sleeping beauty while accepting translations from Hoshi. Because Trip is awesome and learning alien technology really quick. Except not quick enough, because the stasis pod eventually breaks down and opens. The pretty princess is awake. SURPRISE SURPRISE. But, no, we have to stretch the premise just a LIIIITLE bit more, so, BAM, the universal translator doesn't work on her right away. I mean, it's not a real problem, Trip just has to calibrate it and then-- oh, wait, he's knocked out by one of the aliens.
"LET ME OUT OF THIS ACT!"
Well, finally the other alien is called back to the ship, but when he's accompanied by Reed, the first alien starts shooing. He escapes to his cargo ship and runs away. Let's streeeeeeetch it out some more, right? The ship can only go warp 2, so the Enterprise easily catches up to them. SURPRISE! The cargo ship drops the equivalent of an oil spill: a dilithium hydroxyl cloud that disables Enterprise's warp drive.
Just get on with it...
In the meantime, Trip, after finally waking up, gets the universal translator to work and we finally we get some real plot points. The princess reveals herself to actually be a princess. Well, First Monarch. She was captured while on a diplomatic mission and is being kept hostage for a ransom. Also she's really prissy and complains about everything. Including Trip's plan to get in an escape pod meant for one. (Which is an odd thing to have on a cargo ship built for two...)

While in close quarters, First Monarch Kaitaama and Trip argue and bicker and try to pilot the pod and break nails and braid each other's hair. Finally, in the GRAND VASTNESS OF SPACE, Trip happens to find a planet with a breathable atmosphere. He lands. (Look at that. "He lands." It takes less than a second to say. It takes about five minutes to accomplish.) And it turns out to be Dagobah.
Mudhole? Slimey? My home, this is!
Back on the Enterprise, Archer and T'Pol bluff their way into getting the warp frequency of the cargo ship from the alien that was left behind. I just... I can't explain how useless this scene is. I mean, sure, they need to find the cargo ship... they need to rescue Trip... do they really have to claim that regulations dictate that they kill whoever doesn't cooperate? And is that really going to work on any intelligent species? Really?? Besides that, T'Pol is really straying from her Vulcan upbringing by going along with this terrible, stupid plan. And the stupidest part is... it works.

With Enterprise on the way, Trip and Kaitaama fight a little more on the swamp planet before bed... and have sex. I mean, was it really that much of a surprise? They were bickering like a married couple and they're both a couple of the hottest people in the galaxy. So then the escape pod starts beeping, the alien finds them, but they trap him and the Enterprise crew once again finds Trip in his underwear. The end.

Overall Thoughts
So the moral of the story is pretty much that Trip can pick up babes. And T'Pol can lie. That's it. Nothing more to see here.