10/10/11

Star Trek: Asterisk "Extinction"

Vital Information
Series: Enterprise
Episode: S03E03
Air Date: September 24, 2003
Written by: AndrĂ© Bormanis
Directed by: LeVar Burton

Premise
Archer, Reed and Hoshi are turned into primal aliens with the advanced ability to create mutagenic viruses.

Review
This episode opens with a scene of some aliens in space suits hunting down and killing a primal type of alien with flame throwers. Apparently someone was having a bad day.

Back on the Enterprise, Trip is having another visit with T'Pol for some neuropressure to help him "sleep". Only this time he reveals that the crew have been "talking". Yeah, well, guess what, Trip, the crew aren't the only ones. Luckily, before they are able to get too far, Archer calls for T'Pol who goes to meet him in the command center. There, Archer explains that he has found the planet that the derelict Xindi ship had been before they met it in the last episode, "Anomaly". They go to this planet and discover a shuttle, some scorched trees and stuff and a completely burnt humanoid corpse. That would be enough for me to go back home. But nope... they stick around a while.
Happy Halloween, everyone!
Reed and Archer start to feel sick and then instantly turn into a brand new species of alien accompanied by some fancy CSI computer graphics.
Enhance!
Hoshi eventually turns, too, but her Asian physiology is no match for T'Pol's Vulcan physiology. All she gets is some bumps on her cheekbones. She has remained herself, while Reed, Archer and Hoshi bounce around like apes and speak a completely different language. T'Pol convinces Mutant!Hoshi to hand over the universal translator and finally is able to understand what they're saying. They want to find a place called Urquat. It appears that nothing of the original people has survived the transformation.

Well, Trip takes a team down to the surface with protective gear on and brings back Mutant!Reed while T'Pol stays behind to learn more about Mutant!Archer and Mutant!Hoshi. Mutant!Reed is put in containment, and that's when it starts getting real. A new ship appears and the captain threatens the lives of all those who carry the virus that changed the crew. This brings Trip to the bridge to act as captain and defuse the situation.

The leader of these new aliens is called Commander Tret. After he comes aboard the Enterprise, he reveals that Archer, Reed and Hoshi have been turned into members of the Loque'eque race. This race which has so far demonstrated all the advancement of a neanderthal was apparently once part of a society that was highly evolved enough to create a mutagenic virus that turned other races into their own, since they were no longer able to procreate, and gives them the urge to find their home of Urquat. Commander Tret's race had lost hundreds to this virus and had decided that the only way to deal with them is to burn them alive because otherwise they'll do anything they can to get to Urquat.

The above has been one of the most nonsensical paragraphs I have ever written.

Well, it turns out that Urquat exists beneath the surface of the planet. Eventually Mutant!Archer, Mutant!Hoshi and T'Pol find the city and the mutants are devastated to find that it's dead and in ruins. No one has lived there for centuries. Mutant!Archer briefly turns against T'Pol thinking that she had something to do with it, destroying any sense of credibility that the Loque'eque was an advanced race.
ME POSTULATE WARP THEORY NOW.
And then they're attacked by the aliens that want to burn them alive. They escape, but not before tearing a hole in one of their suits. The alien now being infected, his companions promptly blow torch him. Making it out of the cave, they find themselves surrounded by blow-torch-wielding aliens. Things look grim... and then Trip arrives. He brings them back to the ship and Phlox quickly synthesizes a cure out of T'Pol's unaffected DNA. After a brief battle with Commander Tret who refuses to believe there is a cure and now wants to destroy the mutants along with the Enterprise, Trip presents Archer, Hoshi and Reed who are almost completely cured already after about two minutes of treatment. Commander Tret stands down and the day is saved.

Later, Phlox looks to Archer to decide whether or not to destroy the virus. But Archer decides that since it's the last vestige of a dead race, he'd rather not commit genocide. He puts the sample in stasis... and that's all for that.

Overall Thoughts
....Really? Really?? This is probably the most nonsensical episode ever. There are so many things wrong with it, I can't even begin. I take heart in the fact that LeVar Burton eventually admitted to being embarrassed to having directed it. At least he recognizes it for what it is.