12/5/11

Star Trek: Asterisk "Borderland"

Vital Information
Series: Enterprise
Episode: S04E04
Air Date: October 29, 2004
Written by: Ken LaZebnik
Directed by: David Livingston

Premise
Brent Spiner returns not as the father of superhuman androids, but as the father of superhuman augments. When these augments steal a Klingon ship and start making trouble, it's time for him to help out Archer to stop them.

Review
Here's some background on the Augments: Long, long ago in the 1990's, a group of genetically enhanced superhumans, lead by the ambitious Khan Noonien Singh, started a series of underground wars for dominance over the human race. These were later named the Eugenics Wars. During these wars, the Augments produced several offspring, the embryos of which they kept  hidden away in artificial wombs. When the wars finished, and Khan left the planet on the USS Botany Bay, the embryos were left without parents. Because it was too controversial to destroy them, but too dangerous to let them grow, the solution was to keep them in cryogenic stasis on Cold Station 12... Until Arik Soong came along and kidnapped some.

Arik was caught and jailed, but not before raising the Augment children for a good eight or so years. The children were banished; marooned for all eternity in the center of a dead planet. Buried alive! Buried alive! And when they finally were able to escape, what did they do? What any good genetically enhanced superhuman would do: steal the nearest warship. This particular warship happened to be Klingon. So in order to try and prevent a war between the Klingons and Earth, Archer is ordered to track down the Klingon ship and bring the Augments to justice. In order to do that, he needs the help of one Arik Soong.
I'm the bad guy now. Deal with it.
Can we talk for a minute...
About how awesome the Soong family is? Never mind the fact that all the Soong men are played by Brent Spiner. I mean, that's awesome in itself - it's like some kind of Eddy Murphy movie. But they placed Arik in exactly the right position to pull the whole family into a tightly-knit bundle of awesome. Arik Soong, in Enterprise, is a genius who has a propensity toward eugenics, an attempt to make the human race stronger, faster, more intelligent and more attractive. Eugenics is what created Khan Noonien Singh who is the first Augment that Trekkies were introduced to, putting the Soong family (quite indirectly, I must admit) into The Original Series, and the Soong/Khan connection makes it perfect for Data's father to be named Noonien Soong in The Next Generation. Which means somewhere along the line, Arik's descendant was impressed enough with Arik's work to name his child after one of the most notorious Augments ever and that child grew up to with a propensity toward cybertronics, an attempt to make an android that is stronger, faster, more intelligent and more attractive than the human race. If you can't do it naturally, says Soong, do it electronically! Of course Noonien Soong then goes on to create B-4, Data and Lor, pretty much the awesomest androids ever and always a part of the Soong family.
So, back to the story, the Augments were spotted somewhere around the "Borderlands", which is pretty much the ghetto of space where Klingons and Orions vie for the same territory and end up clashing a lot. So it's not a huge surprise that when the NX-01 enters into the Borderlands, their lack of proper shielding allows the Orion syndicate to beam up T'Pol and a few redshirts for their slave auctions.
It's like he's selling a My-Size Barbie doll.
This slight diversion does two things for Soong: allows him to help out, and allows him to attempt escape. And when he attempts escape, Archer realizes that that's what he was planning all along. That's why he'd been so helpful. Well, now Archer is going to get any help from Arik. Now Arik is just gonna sulk in his brig cell.

Meanwhile, back on the stolen Bird of Prey, the Augments are getting into a little power struggle, as Augments do, and Malik ends up killing the other dude and taking command in the name of their "father," Arik. With Malik in command, he takes the Bird of Prey to the Enterprise and boards the ship under the pretense of peace. Then he attacks Archer, nearly choking him to death, while demanding that Arik be set free. When he is, he and the Augments return to the Bird of Prey and Arik announces his plan to mobilize the thousands of other Augment embryos at Cold Station 12.
Maniacal laugh! Maniacal laugh! Maniacal laugh!

Overall Thoughts
This is a fantastic idea! Nothing could go wrong!