11/6/11

Star Trek: Asterisk "Harbinger"

Vital Information
Series: Enterprise
Episode: S03E15
Air Date: February 11, 2004
Written by: Manny Coto
Directed by: David Livingston

Premise
Enterprise comes across a huge ball of space lava inside of which lives a craggy-faced alien who seems sorta nice... most of the time.

Review
So for anyone who has been questioning the relationship between Trip and T'Pol, here's a great opener for you: Trip performing Vulcan neuropressure techniques on Corporal Amanda Cole. Not T'Pol. And then they kiss and afterwords Trip still denies anything is going on between them. Which is stupid because she's hot. Well, stupid unless he actually likes T'Pol, in which case the thing that was stupid was starting a neuropressure session with Amanda. In either case, there's something really stupid going on here.

Archer got the coordinates to Azati Prime from Degra, remember? They tricked him into giving it up and then made him forget that ever happened. Well, now they're on their way there and they run into a gigantic ball of space lava?
Or an even more gigantic cooler of orange Gatorade.
Turns out a gigantic ball of space lava is what happens when several spatial anomalies converge off of five equidistant Delphic Death Stars. Inside the ball of space lava is a transmission coming from a small pod. So Archer tells Reed to deploy the awesome grappler. (Interestingly, if they had a tractor beam, the spacial anomalies would probably interfere with it.) When they go to bring the pod into the ship, they get too close to the space lava and spacial anomalies rip along the interior of the ship. Sparks fly, the ship is tossed about, but before everyone dies, they save the day by doing something so unique, so novel that it's amazing that no one had ever thought of it before! They... back up! Successfully out of the space lava, they pull the pod into the pod bay and check it out. Turns out there's a craggy-faced alien in there.

And then there's this lovely little side-plot about Reed being territorial over his command while Hayes is on board with the rest of the MACOs. It evolves over the course of the episode, but it eventually ends up in an all-out fist-fight between Reed and Hayes. Probably one of the best fist fight scenes outside of The Original Series.
NOW KISS!
Meanwhile, the craggy faced alien is dying and Phlox is doing all he can to keep him alive. Why? Because Inquisitive Archer needs answers. The alien reveals that he's from a trans-dimensional realm and he was sent to the space lava to find out if he was able to live there for his trans-dimensional masters who are apparently going to come back later to live there themselves.


So Trip then goes to T'Pol for another neuropressure session and T'Pol expresses a very Vulcan brand of jealousy. She justifies it by making up excuses like it's inappropriate or whatever. We all know the truth. Vulcans have feelings, too.


Back to the craggy alien, when he doesn't feel like being nice anymore, he gets up and attacks Phlox while Phlox isn't looking. Then he walks through the wall. That's right, he is now ethereal. Which makes it really stupid for Reed and Hayes to keep firing at him when the phase beams go right through him. But does that stop them? Noooope.
Just keep firing until he's corporeal again!
The craggy alien reaches into the warp engine and starts destroying the ship, but Reed and Hayes are able to work together after their little tiff to reverse the polarity of the field coils which repels Craggy. Yay! After his embarrassing defeat, Craggy is brought back to sick bay.


In the meantime, some plot lines are tied up. T'Pol and Trip had sex earlier and T'Pol blows it off as an experiment. Reed and Hayes get dressed down by Archer for acting like bickering children. And Amanda sits and cries in her quarters. (Nope that didn't happen. But it might as well have.)


Back in sick bay, Craggy deteriorates further. Before he completely disintegrates, he says something pretty interesting: "When the Xindi destroy Earth, my people will prevail." So, great. Now we have another bad guy race. The one that is, apparently, behind the Xindi plot to destroy Earth.

Overall Thoughts
So there are three things happening here: 1) We find out what the Delphic Death Stars are really doing and who's behind it. That's pretty interesting, but, obviously, we still have more to learn. 2) Tri'Pol is breaking down before it ever really begins. Well, now it's just getting angsty and stupid. They're two grown adults. I don't care if T'Pol is a Vulcan, if she likes Trip, she should just admit it. 3) Reed and Hayes. Isn't it cute how Reed is so territorial over the Enterprise? I'm glad they finally worked things out and I'm glad it was because of a fist fight. Good on them. So there are some things to like in this episode, and some things to dislike. Overall, though, it's pretty important to the Delphic arc, so watch it regardless.