9/16/11

Star Trek: Asterisk "Horizon"

Vital Information
Series: Enterprise
Episode: S02E20
Air Date: April 16, 2003
Written by: AndrĂ© Bormanis
Directed by: James A. Contner

Premise
Travis visits his family who turns out to be so dull and angst-ridden that much of the episode chooses instead to focus on an unrelated exploding planet and T'Pol's first experience with Frankenstein.

Review
Oops... I just spent the last hour on Tumblr because the Mayweather family is so boring.

Ok, imagine this: Yours is one of the first families to ever make a living in space. Your dad gets himself a warp-speed cargo freighter, brings along his best gal and starts a family in space. Where you're born. Space. You get to float around, see new worlds, meet new aliens before the first Starfleet starship ever leaves port. Awesome, right? Exciting! Well, not exciting enough for you, intrepid young lad. You join Starfleet to become a pilot, and then join the first human exploratory starship. And then your family gets mad at you. 'Cause they had you locked in on this cargo freighter and now you've gone off and done what every other college kid does and moved away.
Oh nooooooo... Travis is gooooone... whatever shall we doooo...?
This is basically Travis Mayweather's story. And, for all I care, the story of every other redshirt in Starfleet. Let me make this clear at the start: angst != drama. Now, when I say drama, I'm not talking about Jersey Shore, he-said-she-said crap; I'm talking about good, scripted, well-written drama. If you have a boring character, you don't spice him up by making his family resentful of him. Especially a family who's supposed to be part of a post-warp civilization.

Another terrible way to spice things up: kill off his father. Before we ever get to know the man. There's no way we can really feel the death of this man when the first time we ever heard about him he has been dead for weeks. True, it raises tensions when Travis comes back to an angst-ridden, resentful brother and creates some semblance of conflict, but since I never got to know Captain Mayweather, the conflict doesn't really feel as real as it could.

So here's the A plot in a nutshell: Travis comes aboard his family cargo ship, finds his brother still angsty toward him, but his mother loves him. He tries to make a few modifications from his Starfleet training, but his brother's all like "NO! I HATE YOU! DON'T SPOIL MY SHIP WITH STARFLEET!" They get attacked by some pirates and his brother is like "OK YOU CAN HELP NOW!"
Meanwhile, Enterprise is busy exploring a frakkin' exploding planet! This planet shifted its orbit and is now headed between two gas giants. The ensuing gravitational pull is ripping the planet apart and Enterprise has been sent to record what happens for scientific study. Meanwhile, Trip is busy planning another movie night and trying to get T'Pol to come along. But T'Pol really doesn't like the idea. In fact, when she learns that the planned movie, Frankenstein, is based off of a book, she suggests a reading of the book instead.

So T'Pol tries to find any excuse possible to get out of seeing the movie, but eventually Archer convinces her to see it as fraternization would be good for her. When she goes, she ends up enjoying the movie enough to try and quiet down Phlox who was talking during the movie (he's totally the type) and later quote the movie while scanning the exploding planet. She even drew some staggering parallels between Frankenstein's monster and the Vulcan race. Poor misunderstood creatures who were met with fear and distrust.

When Travis comes back, he says nothing exciting happened. Which was supposed to be a lie...

Overall Thoughts
I think I've made my feelings on this episode clear. I just... I just really don't like Travis. I mean, just look at that name. Travis. Ugh.