11/27/11

Star Trek: Asterisk "Zero Hour"

Vital Information
Series: Enterprise
Episode: S03E24
Air Date: May 26, 2004
Written by: Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
Directed by: Allan Kroeker

Premise
In a last ditch effort to save Earth, defeat the Sphere Builders, and appease Trekkies, Archer attempts, once again, to commit suicide.

Review
Archer outlines his plan to the Xindi Primates and Arboreals while speeding along in Degra's ship toward the superweapon. He wants to destroy it from the inside using the codes that Hoshi had decrypted while she was under the influence of a Xindi worm. In the middle of the planning stages, he's suddenly transported into the future by Redshirt Daniels. Daniels shows him the ceremony that began the United Federation of Planets. Archer himself is an integral part of that meeting. Daniels pleads for Archer to make a safer plan or else he'll die and the Federation will never happen. Archer refuses to play by Daniels rules, which makes this scene a bit useless except to remind the viewer that Daniels can pretty much transport Archer through time and space at will.

After Archer's visit to the future, we catch up with T'Pol, Trip and the rest of the crew on their way to Delphic Death Star number 41. If they can destroy this one, then the entire system of spheres will deactivate and the Delphic Expanse will be no more. Unfortunately, the Sphere Builders have been observing the Enterprise from their inter-dimensional realm and have activated a defense against them around Death Star 41.  A shield of space lava begins surrounding it, making it dangerous, nay impossible, to get close to the Delphic Death Star without killing the entire crew.

But, Phlox to the rescue! Of course he's able to whip a little something up that'll help the crew survive for just long enough to get close enough to the Death Star to blow it up. Well, now it's the Sphere Builder's move. Since they're able to survive in the space lava, a small contingency of them transport onto the Enterprise and start screwing things up.
I would really hate to be the one that died at this point in the mission.
Meanwhile, back on Degra's ship, Archer observes the Reptilians blow up an innocent science station orbiting Earth. That's right. They've made it to Earth, the superweapon closely in tow. Luckily, Archer and friends find help from what we have come to consider, after seeing them several times before, an unlikely source: over-sized Smurfs in insect costumes.
Does it get old? No, it will never get old.
Back on the Enterprise, the Sphere Builders are disrupting everything they possibly can, but Trip has aimed the deflector dish at the Delphic Death Star and shot a pretty blue beam at it, so you know stuff is happening. All it takes, apparently, is time. Time that Phlox insists the crew does not have. As a matter of fact, everyone's skin is starting to become craggy and cracked. At the very last minute, though, Trip exclaims that he's got it, and the Delphic Death Star collapses into itself, sending shock waves to all the other Death Stars which follow suit. The spacial anomalies disappear, the space lava vaporizes, the Sphere Builders that were on the Enterprise disintegrate and the Delphic Expanse is no more!

In the Sol system, things don't look quite as great. Archer has Shran to help him, though, so Shran acts as bait. He lures the Reptilians away from the weapon while Archer and a small team transport onto the weapon. They quickly take out any guards on board before Dolim, the Reptilian commander, realizes he's been duped. But after Archer commands his team to beam back onto Degra's ship, he alone is left to put the weapon into a self destruct sequence. He places some bombs and pushes some buttons and the last you see of him is him running away from an explosion from which couldn't POSSIBLY have survived... right?
Trollface.
After the whole crew reconvene, the Xindi are sent on their way as friends and an Aquatic Xindi ship helps the badly-beaten Enterprise return to Earth. Of course, the entire crew is devastated that Archer doesn't seem to have survived. Solemnly, they return to Earth... and Earth doesn't respond.

Upon investigation of the lack of a warm welcome, Trip and Mayweather take a shuttlepod to the surface and are suddenly attacked by World War II-era fighter planes! They have be transported over two-hundred years into the past!

On Earth's surface, at a Nazi camp, some of the Nazis are contemplating a new arrival that is beaten and bruised. A painfully slow pan reveals that this new arrival is Captain Archer! When the Nazi's commander arrives, it takes only a bit of light to reveal that this man... is definitely not human.

And now we have to have season 4 or else the suspense will kill us.

Overall Thoughts
As the final episode of season 3, this was pretty much everything it could have been. It wrapped everything up, made friends of the Xindi and destroyed the Delphic Expanse. The only thing that worries me is that the Xindi don't appear to have ever come back in Star Trek's entire history. Is it possible that their very existence is dependent on the false timeline that is to be set right during World War II? If we never see the Xindi again, then this will be my head-canon.