Enterprise Review: Cogenitor

A menage a toi, every time? Hmmm. Sounds like a Starfleet recruitment video to me.

Enterprise LogoCogenitor

 

Cast & Crew

Director: LeVar Burton
Written By: Rick Berman & Brannon Braga

Starring
Scott Bakula as Captain
Jonathan Archer
Connor Trinneer as Chief
Engineer Charles "Trip" Tucker III
Jolene Blalock as Sub-commander
T’Pol
Dominic Keating as Lt.
Malcolm Reed
Anthony Montgomery
as Ensign Travis Mayweather
Linda Park as Ensign Hoshi
Sato
John Billingsley
as Dr. Phlox

Guest Cast
Andreas Katsulas as Vissian Captain
F.J. Rio as Vissian Engineer
Larissa Laskin as Vissian Wife – Calla
Becky Wahlstrom as Cogenitor
Stacie Renna as Traistana
Laura Interval as Vissian Woman #2

Airdate Information

Originally Aired: April 30, 2003
Season: Two
Episode: Twenty-Three
Production: 048

This Week on EnterpriseWhat Happened

While studying a star in the early stages of going supernova, Enterprise encounters a race called the Vissians. The two crews get along famously, until Trip Tucker gets a little too curious about a member of the species’ third gender — a nameless individual called a "cogenitor."

Review

Now this has promise. Sure, the bulk of the episode was predictable, but the twist ending and Archer’s reaction to Trip makes it worthwhile. I’m surprised that B&B had the brains (and the balls) to pull that particular ending off.

High Point

Archer’s dressing down of Trip. It’s about time we saw Archer commanding and not coddling. The fact that he even goes so far as to blame himself for setting a bad example goes a long way in repairing some of the damage suffered over the last two seasons.

Low Point

Reed’s horny girl sub-plot. Was there a point to this? We already had one sub-plot with the two captains.

The Scores

Originality: A third sex, while inventive, isn’t so original. Especially when the show was really just about a repressed subset of the alien society. 3 out of 6.

Effects: Beautiful (but not really important) effects for the protostar. 5 out of 6.

Story: I really did like the messy ending. Keeps watchers off-balance and eager for more. 4 out of 6.

Acting: Both the regulars and guest cast do a great job. 5 out of 6.

Emotional Response: The surprise ending got me. I totally expected the show to just end (like it does every week) with a silly, pointless bit of Prime Directive morality. Instead, the point of the Prime Directive is hammered home. 5 out of 6.

Production: Hey, no caves, but we did get a crampt alien shuttlepod. 4 out of 6

Overall: Alas, it’s just a throwaway race that we’ll probably never hear from again. We can still hope for more of the same drama next season. 4 out of 6.

Total: 30 out of 42

Episode Media

From StarTrek.com

Next Time on Enterprise (May 7, 2003)

Next Time on EnterpriseRegeneration

An arctic research team on Earth discovers debris from an alien vessel, nearly a century old, buried in a glacier along with the bodies of two cybernetically enhanced humanoids. Once those beings are thawed for investigation, they come to life and abduct the scientists and their transport vessel. Enterprise is called to intercept, but Captain Archer and his crew find these cyborgs to be an intractable, insidious enemy. [Video Teaser]

Additional Notes and Comments

If you’re interested in what’s in the review queue, check out my What’s Coming page.

TheAngrymob

15 replies on “Enterprise Review: Cogenitor”

  1. Timeshredder says:

    more forehead aliens whom we never see again
    It wasn’t as bad as it’s been, but it seems like every time a Federation crew encounters a “different” alien species (in this case, the People with a Third Gender), they turn out to be deficient humans. (ie. The cogenitor really is being oppressed, since she has normal intelligence and ability).

    • Boglin says:

      Re: more forehead aliens whom we never see again

      it seems like every time a Federation crew encounters a “different” alien species … they turn out to be deficient humans.

      Ironically, the reason I was happiest about this episode was that Enterprise finally encoutered a reasonably friendly species. By and large, Star Trek has always had four types of species:

      1. Inferior Friendly: A species where the crew stops by, gives them new technology, sets them on the path to a better society (half the time violating the prime directive in the process), and leaving.
      2. Inferior Unfriendly: This species is usually bullying an Inferior Friendly species when the crew arrives. The crew fires a few shots at the vastly out classed Inferior Unfriendly ship, who runs away, then begins giving technology to the Inferior Friendly ship.
      3. Superior Unfriendly: These species instantaneously dislike humanity for not stated reason and usually have a large army to back up their threats. They tend to be reoccuring species, like Romulans or Kazon.
      4. Vulcans: Technologically superior, but extrordinarily arrogant.
      5. The new species in this episode borke the mold. They were friendly, generous, more technologically advanced, and actually seemed like people who you could stand to be in a room with. True, they were wrongly oppressing the cogenitors, but they actually seemed like they would be open to discussing the issue, unlike certain *cough*Vulcan*cough* species. It was just nice to see that humans aren’t always superior.

      • GrimSean says:

        Re: more forehead aliens whom we never see again

        3. Superior Unfriendly: These species instantaneously dislike humanity for not stated reason and usually have a large army to back up their threats. They tend to be reoccuring species, like Romulans or Kazon.

        The Kazon were belligerent, but they weren’t superior to Federation technology (no replicators). The Romulans were supposed to be at about the same level as the Federation (the whole Cold War parallel and whatnot). The original, un-wussified Borg would probably fall under this classification, as would the Suliban. This type was always my favorite – it’s too bad that B&B so obviously hate them.

        You could probably also add 5. Superior Capricious to take care of Q and the Prophets of Bajor / Pah-wraiths – not necessarily good or evil, but obviously powerful enough to do what they want when they want as their technology (or whatever you want to call it) is sufficiently advanced to appear to be magic.

  2. is says:

    a non-happy ending… AMAZING!
    The episode itself was slightly above average, which isn’t saying much, but the ending was good.

    Trip was such a goof for doing crap like that, especially after being warned by T’Pol. He deserved the chewing out and I can’t beliee he actually got it. In any military type service a guy in his position doing something like this would be punished a harder. The captain’s sub-plot was good too…

    Overall, it’s about time that the writers had something even slightly more realistic and not feed us viewers the typical trek perfect ending crap.

  3. GusherJizmac says:

    Didn’t we see this on TNG?
    When Riker falls for the female of the asexual species? I mean, I’m glad it was a non-happy ending, but it was just a rewrite of that TNG episode. Bleh.

    Plus, why are all asexual aliens actually female? Plus, shouldn’t Hoshi have been the one to help out the 3rd gender? Doens’t seem in Trip’s character.

    • GrimSean says:

      Re: Didn’t we see this on TNG?

      When Riker falls for the female of the asexual species? I mean, I’m glad it was a non-happy ending, but it was just a rewrite of that TNG episode. Bleh.

      Plus, why are all asexual aliens actually female? Plus, shouldn’t Hoshi have been the one to help out the 3rd gender? Doens’t seem in Trip’s character.

      I thought it was, in fact I watched it twice just to make sure. It’s been awhile since I saw the TNG episode, but I think there were more than three species in it, and instead of a sun, it was a subspace anomaly.

      As to why all asexual aliens are actually female, I would assume it is because the casting director does not think that a male actor would be able to pull off the butch/effeminate that is needed for the role, whereas a female can. I think it is essentially the same reason you never see a homosexual on trek – the majority of the American viewing audience are not down with that – and before anyone mentions the lesbian scene with Dax from DS9, that’s lesbian, something American males accept.

      • Nickvotrobeck says:

        Re: Didn’t we see this on TNG?

        When Riker falls for the female of the asexual species? I mean, I’m glad it was a non-happy ending, but it was just a rewrite of that TNG episode. Bleh.

        Plus, why are all asexual aliens actually female? Plus, shouldn’t Hoshi have been the one to help out the 3rd gender? Doens’t seem in Trip’s character.

        I thought it was, in fact I watched it twice just to make sure. It’s been awhile since I saw the TNG episode, but I think there were more than three species in it, and instead of a sun, it was a subspace anomaly.

        As to why all asexual aliens are actually female, I would assume it is because the casting director does not think that a male actor would be able to pull off the butch/effeminate that is needed for the role, whereas a female can. I think it is essentially the same reason you never see a homosexual on trek – the majority of the American viewing audience are not down with that – and before anyone mentions the lesbian scene with Dax from DS9, that’s lesbian, something American males accept.

        In the TNG episode, the species of the week had only one sex, though some occasionaly felt more male or female, in which case they would be mentally altered to “conform”.

    • GrimSean says:

      Re: Didn’t we see this on TNG?

      When Riker falls for the female of the asexual species? I mean, I’m glad it was a non-happy ending, but it was just a rewrite of that TNG episode. Bleh.

      Plus, why are all asexual aliens actually female? Plus, shouldn’t Hoshi have been the one to help out the 3rd gender? Doens’t seem in Trip’s character.

      I thought it was, in fact I watched it twice just to make sure. It’s been awhile since I saw the TNG episode, but I think there were more than three species in it, and instead of a sun, it was a subspace anomaly.

      As to why all asexual aliens are actually female, I would assume it is because the casting director does not think that a male actor would be able to pull off the butch/effeminate that is needed for the role, whereas a female can. I think it is essentially the same reason you never see a homosexual on trek – the majority of the American viewing audience are not down with that – and before anyone mentions the lesbian scene with Dax from DS9, that’s lesbian, something American males accept.

      • GrimSean says:

        Re: Didn’t we see this on TNG?
        Note to self: Don’t double-click everything. Also: switch to more stable browser.
        Stupid IE…

  4. vanyel says:

    Yeah!
    I was astounded by this episode. The powerful ending really gave me some hope that they may yet pull this show out of the tarpit of mediocrity it’s been in. Not as bad as Andromeda, but on its way. This is a definite improvement.

  5. vanyel says:

    Oh yes: G’kar
    I forgot to mention that it was really nice to hear Andreas Katsulas’ voice again, and even see a little of him ;-) G’kar was probably my favorite character on Babylon 5, and part of that was Andreas’ ability to pull off the wide range that G’kar evolved through — it’s too bad this was probably a one-off role for him.

    • Eldhrin says:

      Re: Oh yes: G’kar

      I forgot to mention that it was really nice to hear Andreas Katsulas’ voice again, and even see a little of him ;-) G’kar was probably my favorite character on Babylon 5, and part of that was Andreas’ ability to pull off the wide range that G’kar evolved through — it’s too bad this was probably a one-off role for him.

      Yeah, but it was a one-off performed superbly as he always does. I remember with great fondness his appearances in TNG as various Romulans.

      Although of course none of his Star Trek roles have come close to G’Kar. Perhaps he should be found a regular character slot, as a recurring guest star perhaps, although somehow I can’t imagine him as a Vulcan…

    • TechnoGirl says:

      Re: Oh yes: G’kar
      <i>
      I forgot to mention that it was really nice to hear Andreas Katsulas’ voice again, and even see a little of him ;-) G’kar was probably my favorite character on Babylon 5, and part of that was Andreas’ ability to pull off the wide range that G’kar evolved through — it’s too bad this was probably a one-off role for him.
      </i>

      Too…tooo… true :(. Katsulas can act – and so can Bakula really…. but they are at the mercy of the writers and directors who are complete HACKS !!!

      Poor Bacula… poor G’Kar :( We’ll never see the likes of him on a B&B production I’m afraid.

  6. Kaki says:

    Much better than typical…
    I liked much about it. It was sometimes actually funny (I wanted pictures!). And other times ironic, like when Trip was trying to talk about rights and the Doctor and T’Pol kept shifting the topic back towards sex.

    But there are lots of things that didn’t sit right. For instance, did Trip have to be so tongue-tied about his concerns? Are we to believe that a starship engineer can’t form complete sentences about such things as equality and fairness.

    I thought the idea of sneaking the cogenitor a pad was slick. I actually didn’t see that one coming. I thought he would just have a chat. Personally I would have made that the ending and saved finding out the results (some civil war type stuff or whatever) for a later show. As it is, it doesn’t sit well that Trip never bothered to warn the cogenitor about how the struggle for equal rights would likely take lifetimes of work. He could have included a few relevant books on such things on the pad. Books on how to quietly spread the word to other cogenitors, how to do non-violent public persuasion methods when the time is right, and other such things. Maybe even some stuff that would have really gotten him in trouble. Like how to take and defend a city. Or how to go about making oneself sterile. The Vissians would have to come to the table with a population of cogenitors who have all been quietly educated on how to bring species reproduction to a halt. All of them acting as dumb as ever and waiting to hear how the equal rights talks go.

    At the very least, then Trip could have been more sure that the suicide bit was a cover story for the quiet disposal of an uppity cogenitor. As it is, he can’t really know, and he has to feel bad anyway.

    • Crazy Monkey says:

      Re: Much better than typical…

      But there are lots of things that didn’t sit right. For instance, did Trip have to be so tongue-tied about his concerns? Are we to believe that a starship engineer can’t form complete sentences about such things as equality and fairness.

      …looking around at the other engineers on my floor. Yes. Yes he did.

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