11/20/11

Star Trek: Asterisk "The Council"

Vital Information
Series: Enterprise
Episode: S03E22
Air Date: May 12, 2004
Written by: Manny Coto
Directed by: David Livingston

Premise
Archer stands before the Xindi council and diplomats his way out of Earth's destruction.

Review
Let's just skip over the fact that the Sphere Builders appear to live inside of a meth addict's freaked-out hallucination. The point is that they know how things are headed and they want to try to stop it. See, having made it through the subspace corridor, Archer meets with Degra and Degra is once again invited onto the Enterprise. Degra helps him prepare for his confrontation with the Xindi Council by giving him the most concise and informative breakdown of the five species we've ever come across.

Notable among Degra's exposition, however, is the position that the Sphere Builders have carved out for themselves in Xindi history. They call them "The Guardians" and these transdimensional beings appeared after the Xindi homeworld was destroyed. They lead the Xindi to valuable resources and habitable planets and, because of this, most Xindi began to worship them. It's this worship that Archer will find himself going up against when he faces the council.
And they reside in Heaven!
When they make it to Xindi space, they are met with Reptilian resistance, but the Reptiles are forced to concede. Archer goes to the council with Hoshi as a translator and explains that the Sphere Builders know that Humans will one day defeat them for trying to take over the galaxy, so to stop this they manipulated the Xindi into destroying the Humans first. Not everyone is convinced. The Arboreals and Primates are on board, but the Insectoids and Reptilians are forever resistant. The Aquatics don't know what to think.

Later on, the Reptilian commander, Dolim, is confronted by a Sphere Builder who tells him to go ahead and launch the weapon anyway. Yes, it would cause a civil war but 1) What do the Sphere Builders care about that? and 2) The Reptilians would be guaranteed a dominant position in the new Xindi government.

Archer and Degra come up with one more plan. Hearing that the Aquatics are more receptive to visual stimuli, they put together a biometric hologram of the Sphere Builder they caught earlier in the season that was inside the giant ball of lava. Bringing that before the council, everyone seems to be convinced except for the Insectoids who continue to bug everyone about how evil the Humans are.


Meanwhile, T'Pol, Reed, Mayweather and MACO Corporal Hawkins are headed to a nearby Delphic Death Star in a shuttlepod. Guess which one isn't going to make it out alive.
MACOs are glorified redshirts.
Hoping to gather more information on the Sphere Builders, they plan to extract the Delphic Death Star's memory core. T'Pol discovers that part of the Death Star's surface is actually a hologram and the shuttlepod passes right through and T'Pol, Reed and Hawkins don their EV suits and head for the memory core. T'Pol manages to extract the memory core, but a giant claw inside activates, putting the team in danger. They manage to fend it off with the shuttle, but Hawkins is disintigrated during the fight.


But wait! There's more death! When Dolim the Reptilian hears about Degra taking part in destroying a Reptilian vessel, he approaches Degra and stabs him with a nasty-looking knife. Following that, the Reptilians and the Insectoids withdraw from the council and go rogue - planning to activate the weapon themselves. The only problem is that they need three activation codes to turn it on and they only have two. Dolim, however, assures the rest of the council that he had planned for that...

As the Insectoids and Reptilians steal the weapon, they fight off the Enterprise and the rest of the Xindi fleet  in a grand, exciting battle. The episode ends with Archer sadly staring at the place where Hoshi once stood. Dolim had beamed her aboard the Reptilian ship. You could probably guess the reason, but if not... it shall be continued.

Overall Thoughts
There was so much more stuff in this episode than the plot and subplot that are provided. T'Pol and Trip work a few things out, Trip makes peace with Degra, Reed and Hayes have a moment. It looks like the writers are trying to tie up every possible loose end. Which makes sense because there are only two more episodes in the season. But they're rushing it and some pieces are getting lost in the process. It was an acceptable episode, but some of these issues could have been worked out earlier in the season to lighten the load here.