12/6/11

Star Trek: Asterisk "Cold Station 12"

Vital Information
Series: Enterprise
Episode: S04E05
Air Date: November 5, 2004
Written by: Michael Bryant
Directed by: Mike Vejar

Premise
Arik Soong takes the Augments to a medical station that houses a bunch of Augment embryos with the intention of giving birth to them. Does that sound right?

Review
Arik spends a lot of time in the beginning of this episode going through the history of Augments on Earth and how they were feared and fought against by humanity. But since this is something that I covered in some detail in the review of "Borderland", I'll skip it. What's important is that he's telling this story to the Augments as small children inside a hidden facility 11 years prior to the present. It's a regular classroom setting demonstrating Arik's ability to be a teacher and a father to these young superhumans.

When Archer and the crew visit the facility 11 years later, they find it in disarray. The Augments had not been there for quite some time. But they did leave behind some vital information. Archer discovers by going through the computer database that Arik plans on releasing all of the embryos at Cold Station 12. Armed with this information, he starts to go back, but then runs into someone who had been left behind. Smike is a genetic anomaly as far as the Augments are concerned. He was left behind because he was given none of the strength, smarts or looks that the other Augments were blessed with. To them, he was the retarded cousin, but to us, he's really just a normal kid.
Also, he once helped Frodo carry the One Ring to Mt. Doom.
As Archer brings Smike onto the ship, the seeds of discontent are being sown in the Augments' stolen Bird-of-Prey. Malik, the leader of the Augments, is starting to realize that their "father", Arik Soong, is no more than a mere man. His female companion tries to calm him down, but the ripple has been made. As they close in on Cold Station 12, they steal a Denobulan vessel in order to get closer and board the station without suspicion. Really, this is all any Augment ever does. Steal ships in order to steal advanced technology from a station. By the time The Wrath of Khan came around, you'd think it'd be old hat.

When they get on the station, they meet Dr. Lucas...
Heretofore known as Dr. Walrus.
...who had been diligently working on some complex statistical analyses for the construction of his holographic model of a concept Jump-To-Conclusions mat before he was rudely interrupted by Arik. Dr. Walrus, though he denies it, has the codes to get into the room with the embryos. Along with the embryos, this station also carries incredibly dangerous pathogens. And guess what Soong and the Augments use on a colleague in order to get the codes out of Dr. Walrus? This is where we see Arik actually struggle a little with what he and his "children" are doing. He has a crisis of conscience as the redshirt doctor dies of a horrifying pathogen before Dr. Walrus is able to give up the codes. Can Arik Soong be saved?

Well, Archer and the gang eventually make it over to Cold Station 12 and use the transporter to get on board. Did I mention that Phlox is a close personal friend to Dr. Walrus? That's why Phlox transported along with the rest of the team. Also Samwise Smike is there. It doesn't really matter how many are in the boarding party, though, since they're immediately captured by the Augments. And this gives Malik the idea to put Phlox in the same chamber that killed one of Dr. Walrus's colleagues earlier. That's what finally pushes Dr. Walrus over the edge. Worried for the safety of Phlox, he gives Arik the codes to the embryo room.

Arik and the Augments grab all the embryos and start to head out, but not before Malik sets one of the more dangerous pathogens on the base to spread around and kill everyone on board. And to demonstrate how serious he is in accomplishing the death of a bunch of doctors and scientists, he shoots and kills Smike. A quicker, less painful death for his "brother". Archer and the gang are now tuck on Cold Station 12 with a pathogen quickly counting down to release... until the next episode.

Overall Thoughts
I gotta say, yes, Khan is a classic villain and no one will replace him, but it's taking several more episodes to defeat this band of young Augments than it did for Kirk and th-... wait... Ok, yeah, that's just because Kirk is awesome. Nevertheless, these Augments are a formidable foe. And the fact that they're lead by a Soong is just awesome. So far, I like where this story is headed, but I won't be able to make a full assessment until the continuous story line is finished.