11/1/11

Star Trek: Asterisk "Stratagem"

Vital Information
Series: Enterprise
Episode: S03E14
Air Date: February 4, 2004
Written by: Michael Sussman
Directed by: Mike Vejar

Premise
SPOILER ALERT: It's a trap! Degra the Xindi is "stuck" with Archer on a "shuttle" "escaping" from "prison" "three years" after "Earth was destroyed."

Review
If you didn't know what was going on, the teaser for this episode would totally throw you for a loop. Degra, the Xindi primate in charge of the weapon, is stuck inside of a shuttle with Archer and they appear to be under attack by a fleet of Xindi insectoids. When Degra says he wants to contact "his people" Archer responds that it's been a long time since any Xindi has taken orders from him.

After they get away from the insectoids, Archer explains that Degra has experienced memory loss due to interrogation techniques that included a sub-dermal worm that made him tell the truth. This technique was allegedly used on him in an insectoid prison camp where he and Archer had allegedly been for the past three years. When Degra asks for proof of Archer's claim, he shows him that they have matching tattoos.
So they're either cell mates or drinking buddies.
So Archer tells this grand story about the Xindi weapon working and Earth being destroyed and the insectoids taking over all the Xindi and, naturally, Degra believes him because the Xindi are awesome and of course they're going to succeed. Degra mentions that he's got family on a colony near a red giant star that would most likely have been destroyed by the insectoids during their take-over. Archer asks for the coordinates of the colony so they could check to be sure, but Degra thinks it's useless and risky. So, instead, they try to fix a breach in the coolant that suddenly cropped up. After that they take a nap...

...and while Degra sleeps, Archer steps outside... and onto the Enterprise. That's right. We've seen Angry Archer, Arrogant Archer, Confused Archer and Regretful Archer, now meet Sneaky Archer. Remember when they found the Xindi test site? Well, turns out they went back there, disabled Degra's ship and captured Degra. They got just enough information off of his computers to know how to trick him, then Phlox figured out a way to erase his short-term memory.

So the plan is to find out where the superweapon is by tricking him into thinking it's already been used. And it seems to be working... until Travis goes and screws it all up!
Get it together, Mayweather!
So, the ship experiences some power fluctuations and the simulator they were using flickers a little bit while Degra looks out the window. Travis tries to fix it, but it's too late. And right after Degra entered the coordinates to his colony. But when Degra figures out what's up, Archer takes him back to the brig and he claims to have input false coordinates because he figured it out sooner.

Well, the coordinates are way out of their way, so they have to confirm wether they're correct before they go. So Archer pulls one more trick out of his sleeve. He makes Degra believe that he's adapted their subspace vortices technology or whatever, so they could get there instantly. When Degra believes they're at the coordinates, he gets really angry and that confirms it for Archer. They're on the right trail.

Archer has phlox wipe all the Xindi's memory and puts them all back on their ship. Then they make their way to Azati Prime.

Overall Thoughts
Pretty ingenious plan. It got me going for a while. I just wish there was a better ending for Degra. Erasing his memory and returning him? That does nothing for the story.