10/30/11

Star Trek: Asterisk "Chosen Realm"

Vital Information
Series: Enterprise
Episode: S03E12
Air Date: January 14, 2004
Written by: Manny Coto
Directed by: Roxann Dawson

Premise
Enterprise gets hijacked by a group of religious extremests that ENRAGE AND INFURIATE ME!

Review
We start with Trip and Travis checking out one of the Delphic Death Stars using a shuttlepod. Unbeknownst to them, there's a group of aliens watching the Enterprise and making plans to steal it. Their plan? Count on a stranger's sense of courtesy and send out a distress call.

Before Archer gets the call, though, he looks over all the information they've gathered on the Delphic Death Stars with T'Pol. Apparently, they've gotten a whole lot of data and T'Pol believes she can map out a clear path through the Delphic Expanse without running into the spacial anomalies that the Delphic Death Stars put out. It's a good day for science!

And that's when Hoshi calls in the distress call. When the religious aliens get onto the ship, Phlox gives them all full physicals to make sure their "distress" didn't hurt them too badly. Well, almost full physicals. Their religion doesn't allow Phlox to get too invasive. And that's just where the annoyances begin.
Has the fart machine been placed?
Their leader is D'Jamat. When he sits down with Archer and T'Pol for dinner, he explains that their religion believes that the Delphic Expanse is the "Chosen Realm" and that the Delphic Death Spheres were made by the "Makers" to be venerated. The spacial anomalies are the "Makers' Breath" and D'Jamat and several others have been "touched" by the Makers' Breath which gives them special knowledge or something like that. I dunno, it's all very... well, stupid.

If that wasn't enough, D'Jamat goes and takes over the ship by using suicide bombers. SPACE SUICIDE BOMBERS (because they use organic explosives that are planted inside them and activated by a syringe). One of the bombers blows himself up and injured and killed some officers. This invites Angry Archer out to play. Because not only has D'Jamat taken over the ship and killed some Humans, he had the audacity to erase all of the information they had on the Delphic Expanse just because he believes that by studying the Delphic Death Sphere, the Enterprise has been desecrating them AND because of that, he has the nerve to tell Archer to choose a crew member to execute for this crime!
THIS IS WHY RELIGIONS CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS!
Well, after D'Jamat tells Archer that he's going to use Enterprise to fight a war against heretics, Archer chooses himself as the execution victim. Don't worry, he's not that suicidal yet. His ingenious plan is to trick D'Jamat into thinking the transporter is just a disintegrator. The self-righteous dbag is satisfied and Archer is free to roam around the ship. Because, I guess transporting to another part of the ship isn't an issue in the times before The Original Series? (No, that doesn't bug me at all... /cough)

And then the heretical sect attacks. Not that it matters, 'cause apparently their ships can be taken out with a single torpedo. So then Archer works with Phlox to make a gas that takes out the suicide bombers by neutralizing their organic explosives. Using the element of surprise, he shuts down a few systems and then takes the ship back. Hurray!

The episode ends with Archer taking D'Jamat back to his home world to find that it had been completely destroyed by the war between the sects. And everyone lived happily ever after and learned a valuable lesson about religious tolerance.

Overall Thoughts
I have an extreme love/hate relationship with this episode. It enrages me to no end because I know religions can actually be this way, but the way Archer handled it was slick and awesome. I love episodes where they have to take back the ship.