11/29/11

Star Trek: Asterisk "Storm Front part 2"

Vital Information
Series: Enterprise
Episode: S04E02
Air Date: October 15, 2004
Written by: Manny Coto
Directed by: David Straiton

Premise
With help from Silik, Archer plans to stop Vosk and, apparently, save the entire time/space continuum.

Reviews
Part two opens with a old timey newsreel of Hitler marching on New York City and taking in the sights. It's just like one of those propaganda reels they made back when he marched on Paris... only more American... scary. And then the Nazi flag is seen emblazoned on the White House. It's an alternate World War II nightmare!

Then, back on the Enterprise, the Archer meets with one of the friends he met while he was stuck on 1944 Earth, Alicia. She and the American resistance are on his side, which means he has all the ground forces he needs to get back Trip and Travis and go after Vosk, who's building a time conduit. There's just something about Alicia and Archer looking down on Earth from the Enterprise that reminds me of Picard and Lily in First Contact.

And then Vosk hails Enterprise. He wants to meet on the ground to discuss the return of Trip and Travis. Of course, there will probably need to be some compensation, right? Turns out Vosk wants to trade for some technology that will help him build the conduit faster. But Archer has no intention of helping Vosk. He has Trip and Travis beamed aboard the Enterprise, and Vosk is left with nothing. That's right... our ingenious evil Nazi bad guy has just lost his only bargaining chips.
Well, no wonder. Look at those eyes. He's high as a kite.
Well, it doesn't take long before Archer discovers that Trip is not really Trip. He's Silik in disguise. In the previous episode, Silik took a shuttlepod down to Earth's surface. Now, he tells Archer, he has returned with a data disk containing information on the time machine. With this information, Archer now plans to go back down to the surface and simultaneously save Trip and destroy the time machine. He takes along Alicia and Silik who shifts into human form. (Read: takes off his makeup.) It's really kind of odd seeing Silik in human form.
He looks so... frail...
Trip may be stuck in Vosk's compound, but he's not helpless. When he wakes up inside of a closet, once again stuck in his underwear, he quickly works through Macgyvering his way out of the situation. It's really not the best of ideas to try and trap an engineer.

Archer, Alicia and Silik meet up with the American resistance, a band of mobsters, and start to fight their way into Vosk's compound. This is made easier by the fact that Silik can squash his way into any ventilation shaft. The resistance fighters and Alicia take on the Nazis outside, but Archer and Silik soon run into a confrontation with Nazis on the inside. In the ensuing battle, Silik, the main Suliban bad guy who has been working against us since the very first episode, dies.

No sooner does Silik draw his last breath, than Trip runs out and points a gun at Archer, believing him to be Silik. Archer calms his fears by showing him Silik's dead body, and Trip is relieved that Archer is, in fact, alive! Last he knew, Archer had died on the Xindi weapon. Reunited, they transport back to the Enterprise and do battle with some Nazi airplanes that are protecting Vosk's compound over the Manhattan skyline. It's quite a beautiful sight to behold!

Well, as soon as Vosk tries to activate a time portal, the Enterprise fires on his compound, destroying him, the time machine and any chance Hitler had of staying in America. And here's where things get wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey. Redshirt Daniels appears again (you just can't kill this redshirt) and shows Archer the timeline restoring to normal. Apparently, by destroying Vosk's time machine, he ruined any chance Vosk had to come to power in the Temporal Cold War, which also disallowed him to go back in time to World War II in the first place. In fact, there's really no telling what kind of mess Archer undid by destroying Vosk. One thing's for sure: The Temporal Cold War is over and we won!

Within a few moments, Archer and the Enterprise are back in their own time, having just returned from destroying the Xindi superweapon and are being greeted by an entire fleet of Earth ships. Finally, a victorious end to a very, very long trip!

Overall Thoughts
So.. that's it? Silik is dead, the Temporal Cold War is over? Enterprise is left with a completely blank slate? I don't know how to feel about this... Surely, it's a great victory, but it didn't feel earned at all. Maybe that's because we never really understood anything about the Temporal Cold War. We just did what we were told. The entire Temporal Cold War has turned out to be the "Future Tense" episode all over again. On the other hand, this allows Archer's Enterprise to get back to the cornerstone of Star Trek storytelling: unhindered exploration. With no looming danger on the horizon, they can get back to what they do best. It leaves me excited, but nervous for season 4.