10/2/11

Star Trek: Asterisk "The Xindi"

Vital Information
Series: Enterprise
Episode: S03E01
Air Date: September 5, 2003
Written by: Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
Directed by: Allan Kroeker

Premise
After searching for six weeks inside the Delphic Expanse, the crew finally get a tip on finding a Xindi working as a miner and desperately wanting to escape.

Review
The Xindi are a collection of five distinct races. This is important information because in the first scene there are five races meeting together in a council talking about the Enterprise. All of these races are the Xindi. They are made of the same stuff, from the same planet, but their evolution has branched off. In "The Expanse", the shadowy dude from the future told Archer that the Xindi were told that Earth would destroy them some time in the future which is why they attacked. And now Earth is coming to their back yard. So the Xindi Council is preparing for an invasion.

The "invasion", however, is not quite going as planned. Inside a brand new control room which was modified from a storage bay, Archer, Reed and T'Pol discuss not being able to find the Xindi for the last six weeks and now taking a tip from a freighter captain of "questionable character". When Reed complains about this being a bad idea, Archer makes a grand speech like he's so fond of doing about being desperate to find the terrorists that defaced Florida... and a few other countries. Oh, and killed six million people.
Did I mention the lighting is darker?
Enterprise now has some marines on board. For now they're just hanging out waiting to strike as soon as they find Xindi. In the meantime, the whole ship is experiencing strange anomalies. The cargo in cargo bay 2 is falling onto the ceiling. Right. Falling... on the ceiling. And then onto the wall. Gravity is being weird and Trip swears it's not the gravity plating. Basically, people are trying to get used to the Delphic Expanse. And they're getting pretty bored. Even the cargo is trying to entertain itself somehow.

Meanwhile, while Phlox is studying the dead and burnt Xindi that they found in Wheatley, T'Pol comes in. And then things get awkward. This is when the writer's invent Vulcan neuropressure in order to get T'Pol together with Trip. Phlox mentions that, since the death of his sister, Trip has been having trouble sleeping. So Phlox suggests that T'Pol teaches him neuropressure. Which T'Pol describes as an "intimate practice". Yup. I'll just leave that plot line where it is.
Most. Awkward. Setup. Ever.
Anyway, back to the main plotline, they arrive at a mining colony and meet the boss in order to find the Xindi that works there. The boss gives them the Xindi's finger for Phlox to study and Phlox figures out that it's a Xindi, but a primate Xindi when they're looking for a reptilian Xindi. In either case, the guy can tell them where the Xindi homeworld is, so they go down to meet him. There's only one catch...
The mining boss tries to capture Archer and the rest of the crew to use them as a slave workforce. So their only chance of escape is through the Xindi who also wants to escape. So they came to interrogate a Xindi and end up saving him. Justice served! Luckily, there's a group of marines on board now, so they're able to come down and storm the mine to get Archer, Trip and the Xindi out.

They get back to the ship and, unfortunately, the Xindi dies from the terrible conditions in the mine, but not before giving Archer the coordinates to his homeworld. They get to the coordinates and find that it's all just an asteroid field. Like Alderaan when Han flew in with Luke, it appeared that the Death Star had gotten there first. So, disappointed, Archer orders the Enterprise deeper into the Expanse where Reed reports there are deeper concentrations of spacial anomalies.

The mysterious Xindi council believes the Enterprise will never survive where they're going, but the bug Xindi warns the rest of the council to finish "the weapon" or else he'll go after the Enterprise himself.

Overall Thoughts
I enjoyed this episode, mostly because it continues the Delphic Expanse story line. The Delphic Expanse reminds me of the Island in Lost. An underlying mystery is the key to my interest in any series, especially when there's some interesting character work over it. So that does not include T'Pol and Trip or Mayweather. The rest are ok.