Enterprise Review: “The Xindi” (Season Premier)

Launching early to try and get a jump on Smallville and promising a whole new purpose to the show, Enterprise’s third season debuted last night. Did it work?

The Xindi (Season Premiere)

Cast & Crew

Director: Allan Kroeker
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
Steven Culp as Major Hayes
Chris Freeman as Alien Head Guard
Adam Taylor Gordon as Young Trip
Daniel Dae Kim as Corporal Chang
Richard Lineback as Kessick
Scott MacDonald as Xindi Reptilian
Stephen McHattie as Alien Foreman
Randy Oglesby as Degra
Marco Sanchez as Corporal Romero
Tucker Smallwood as Xindi Humanoid
Rick Worthy as Xindi Sloth

Airdate Information

Originally Aired: September 10, 2003
Season: Three
Episode: One
Production: 053

This Week on EnterpriseWhat Happened

Six weeks into the Delphic Expanse, Captain Archer and his crew learn of a Xindi working at a mining colony, and set out to track him down and gain information about the mysterious race. But when Trip and Archer get caught in a deadly trap, Enterprise’s newest crew members, a squad of Military Assault Command Operation soldiers (MACOs), must rush to free them. Meanwhile, T’Pol suggests an intriguing Vulcan cure for Trip’s vivid nightmares of his sister’s death.

Review

Here we are. Promises have been made. Stories have been told.

I’ve been burned by B&B before, so I’m not going to get really excited about this season. Is it a good start? Yes. The overall plot may be something worth watching, but at its core, has the show improved? No.

The stuff that was interesting, was the beginning and end pieces with the Xindi counsel. The mystery revolving around them was what stood out in my mind. The rest of the episode seemed just like any other. Indeed, all the mucking about in the mine felt like the Orion colony from “Broken Bow.”

They went to all the trouble of building up the MACOs and then barely touched the concept. If you’re gonna use them, USE THEM. Space marines are a cool concept (ala Aliens), but we get “You’re too important to risk Lieutenant.” Grow a pair.

And speaking of cojones, Bakula needs lessons in how to act pissed off. He isn’t doing it well. Trinneer on the other hand…Damn. Give him a rifle and some real marines. That I’d watch.

High Point

I liked the not-quite-an-ending. There’s a good mystery here, now just don’t screw it up. And I thought I’d hate it, but Trip and T’Pol were cute, just as long as they continue to play it for laughs. We can’t take it seriously, so at least have fun with it.

Low Point

While there were a lot of overall stinkyness; The MACO’s fumbling introduction in the mess hall was poorly written and obviously tacked on at the last minute.

The Scores

Originality: Let’s go find the Dominion…er…Kazon…er…Xindi homeworld! 3 out of 6.

Effects: At least they aren’t skimping here. 5 out of 6.

Story: They needed to create a sense of urgency, and this ain’t it. 3 out of 6.

Acting: I did like most of the guest cast and Trinneer is still my favorite series regular. The rest of the cast needs to wake 4 out of 6.

Emotional Response: I want to be more excited about this season, but I’ve paid that price. Instead, I just sit and watch. 3 out of 6.

Production: Nice new command center set (what the difference is between a command center and a bridge is beyond me), and the alien environments were suitably well done. 5 out of 6

Overall: Not much of a hit, especially when last season went out with a great bang. 4 out of 6.

Total: 27 out of 42

Episode Media

From StarTrek.com

Next Time on Enterprise (September 17, 2003)

Anomaly

The mission to find the Xindi takes a grim turn when Enterprise is crippled by inexplicable, destructive spatial anomalies that distort the laws of physics. With systems down, Ventaxian pirates board and raid valuable supplies from the ship. The crew captures one of the alien marauders and a determined Archer interrogates the prisoner.

Additional Notes and Comments

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

TheAngrymob

19 replies on “Enterprise Review: “The Xindi” (Season Premier)”

  1. Daemonik says:

    Don’t like it, no sir..
    You know with all the emphasis on T’Pol’s new uniform why didn’t anyone mention that they jazzed up the opening song? It seemed a much livelier mix. It still sucks as a Trek theme song but hey, what can you do?

    Speaking of T’Pol’s uniform, it didn’t take them long to get her out of it, did it? Like Trip couldn’t apply pressure to her neural points through the pj’s she was wearing? I’m a little torn over the issue though. On the one hand it’s degrading to the character to reduce her to a sex object, on the other hand it’s tits, so whooohooo. Still waiting for the Hoshi/T’Pol decon gel rubdown.

    As for Archer, well, dunno. He manages to make smoldering anger look like severe constipation.

    I have to agree with the impression of the MACOs. But considering that they’re going to be the new Red Shirts, I’m not totally surprised at how they were presented. I challenge everyone to keep track of how many die off this season to see if the replacement MACO supply is more than the carrying capacity of Enterprise.

    • Kaki says:

      Song change.
      The change to the song sucked. One doesn’t make a questionable song better by putting in cheesey drum parts. I had just about gotten used to the previous version, had almost grown to accept (but not like) the hopeful nature of it. The new version is a bad remix.

    • vanyel says:

      Re: Don’t like it, no sir..

      You know with all the emphasis on T’Pol’s new uniform why didn’t anyone mention that they jazzed up the opening song?

      I don’t understand what everyone hates about the theme song; it’s one of the few things I like about the show.

      I’m not particularly interested in humanoid mammary glands, but *puhleese*: if she’s going to take her shirt off (even though the place he’s supposed to be pushing is above the neckline?!?) why the hell would she hold her hands over her breasts when they’re facing away from Tripp? I doubt T’pol really cares anyhow, and it would have been easy to arrange the bottom of the frame to be just above the nipple line. I just hope Jolene got some big bucks for kowtowing to such a lame tactic.

      I’ll probably keep watching out of morbid curiosity, but it’ll be low down in the Tivo priority list, and with Smallville near the top, they better hope nothing else interesting competes for the second tuner…

  2. grimjack says:

    Done with it
    This is ridiculous. Firstly, the introduction of the MACO unit was a joke. Supposedly they had been planning this, and that is the best they could do? A troop of Boy Scouts with paintball guns would have seemed ust as impressive, although they would lack the special effects and the rifle with an integrated rising scope. These guys aren’t even up to red shirt quality, by virtue of the fact they were built so high and have done nothing, and they had a crappy intro.

    Second, The Xindi aren’t just one race, they are 5 distinct races, who are in a power struggle of their own, yet they can build a device with parts from the future and attack earth, all without notice? Bull.

    Third, The acting. There isn’t any, with the exception of Trip. Blalocks Boobs are not an actresss, nor a set, they are an artificial (and I mean that in the most sincere way) fallback for lack of story. The captain could easily be replaced by Porthos, and there would be little loss in acting ability. The only characters who have any depth besides that are the Dr., Trip, and a minor bit of an apparently Schizophrenic vulcan. Nobody else exists. There is no motivation for them.

    A show cannot live on promises to get better, nor on great effects, not even on spectacular hooters. They need a story that gets your attention, isn’t 80% predictable, and keeps you interested and involved in what happens to the characters. Enterprise does none of these things.

  3. Babbster says:

    At Least They Raided Good Style
    Whatever you might think of T’Pol’s new wardrobe, at least they had the good sense to bring out “The Erin Grey Collection.” I think the neck line could stand to plunge a little less (too much visible bone) but otherwise I give the new fashion a solid 8 on the skin-tight fashion meter (10 being Pfeiffer’s Catwoman outfit).

    Content? Well, the big story arc is interesting in concept, but execution has been B&B’s problem. This episode on its own was mostly a steaming pile of stuff we’ve seen too many times before.

    They do, however, get points for giving Gavin Park (the name of the character on Angel played by Daniel Dae Kim; one of the space marine corporals) more genre work. Too bad he couldn’t have been cast as the leader of the unit, but I guess Enterprise isn’t set far enough in the future for minorities to hold positions of power on a starship – all the minorities on Enterprise seem to be low-ranking specialist types…how many people would have to be incapacitated or killed for Hoshi to take command?

    Unless I’m mistaken, Smallville doesn’t kick off for three more weeks, so I guess I’ll give Enterprise another shot or two before writing it off for the rest of the season [again]. Based on this episode, though, it doesn’t stand much of a chance in this house despite having three PVR tuners and four VCRs.

  4. Kaki says:

    Mostly agree.

    And speaking of cojones, Bakula needs lessons in how to act pissed off. He isn’t doing it well.

    I concur. He was much better at looking excited, confused, or morally conflicted. The anger didn’t quite work. Seemed to played up for effect. It would be better if he stuck to a stern, determined look with short orders in a mix of a sharp and crisp tone. And no extra words. I think that would convey the tension and frustration he is supposed to be feeling. Preaching was just a waste of time. Also he should always be reading something or exercising.

    The exercising goes for pretty much everyone. Imagine yourself on a starship going to confront an unknown enemy for the good of my species. When I try that, I quickly realize that I would spend almost every waking moment doing anything I could to prepare.

    The MACO’s fumbling introduction in the mess hall was poorly written and obviously tacked on at the last minute.

    Amen. They have been on the ship for more than six weeks and we are supposed to believe they haven’t already met Hoshi!? WTF? That is stupid writing, just stupid. I wish I had the time to find the words to express how increadibly stupid that is. But all I have time for is one more “stupid”. The friends of mine in the military would have been chatting up the eligiable females, like Hoshi the Hot, within 6 HOURS of coming on board.

    But you didn’t mention the real high point: Alien creep knocks Maco girl over the head and she doesn’t even glance to find the rifle. Nope, she is beating the shit out of him with her baton before he even realizes she might still be armed. That, THAT! is good writing. A competent military person doing her job well without flinching.

    The only thing I can think of at this point to make the Maco unit better, would be for us to see them with some real projectile weapons on hand during some fight were the fancy ray guns give out. “Damn they made our phase rifles stop working somehow! Good thing half of us carry super M-16s.”

    Overall the sense of purpose seems like a good thing so far.

  5. usscaverns says:

    Dear Enterprise
    I am a sophomore at a small midwestern college, on exchange to a Starship. I’ve never been lucky with girls and nothing like this has ever happened to me before. I was having trouble sleeping and the doctor sent me to one of the officers rooms. She was hot. She is a vulcan, but she’s got the body of a human Maxim model. She was just wearing a sheer satin top that showed off everything. Before I knew what was happening she had whipped her shirt off and was asking me to rub her back.
    As I rubbed her back I was hoping she couldn’t hear how fast I was breathing or feel the bulge in my pants. Next thing I know she commands me to ‘disrobe’. Well, wait until my frat brothers hear about this!

    continued on Page 96.

  6. is says:

    crap…
    I think I was one of the more hopeful and one of the more patient. BUT B&B have really hosed this show.

    When I was done watching enterprise I was only impressed with one thing, and it was a minor deal. One of the Xindi appeared to be a purely CG character (the bug dude). That’s impressive because I can’t recall a single time that Trek has done a humanoid CG character. The only cg aliens that I remember have been a liquid or gas based type aliens that look like blobs. The Xindi was fairly well done too, and kind of reminded me of a “squiddy” from the Matrix.

    The rest of the show was utter crap, as has already been discussed here. I got ZERO emotional response, and it didn’t even feel like a season premiere. That’s saying a lot.

    The boob shot… nice on a guy level and horrid on a trek level. They’ve gone from hot chicks in the original series to partial nudity. I’m afraid that they only have one more place to go. I can just see a future trek show where the token female hottie is a Ferengi who insists on being “traditional”, which as we all know, means “naked”. Since Ferengi women cannot wear clothing, she can strut around the ship showin off her big ears and giving backrubs to the MACOs in exchange for latinum. Might as well call it “Space Whores” and stop trying to be a real show.

    I sincerely hope that the show improves, but I’m not very optimistic.

    • theangrymob says:

      Re: crap…

      That’s impressive because I can’t recall a single time that Trek has done a humanoid CG character.

      Voyager, I believe, gets credit here for the Trek first with Species 8472. But it doesn’t happen often.

      • Lurch_Kimded says:

        Re: crap…

        Voyager, I believe, gets credit here for the Trek first with Species 8472. But it doesn’t happen often.

        I never thought I would see the words Voyager and Credit in the same sentence. Miracles do happen I guess.

      • is says:

        Re: crap…

        That’s impressive because I can’t recall a single time that Trek has done a humanoid CG character.

        Voyager, I believe, gets credit here for the Trek first with Species 8472. But it doesn’t happen often.

        Well, 8472 was not humanoid… not that I remember. The humainoid thing is the key because usually they just stick a guy in a stupid looking suit if the character is remotely humanoid.

  7. rickyjames says:

    Back To Cave Trek
    Remember all the fun we had on Cave Trek? Here We Go Again, this time with Shaft Trek thrown in – in more ways than one. In the future plasma is rerouted so nonchalantly that I’ll bet it’s replaced liquid plumber. And you find your first Xindi, who seems halfway cooperative, so rough him up whether he deserves it or not. Why he left the coords is beyond me – he sure didn’t owe Trip and Archer as far as I’m concerned. And the MACOs: after six weeks in space in cramped quarters, they’re just meeting Hoshi – yeah, right. Don’t get me started on T’its. THis is lukewarm pap flavored like Star Trek I want to spit from my mouth. How’d it get in there in the first place? Oh, I guess I opened it, huh.

    • usscaverns says:

      Hoshi: MACO artist

      MACOs: after six weeks in space in cramped quarters, they’re just meeting Hoshi –

      Forget about the marines waiting to meet Hoshi… what about Hoshi finding the marines? Remember she’s the cunning linguist who jumped into bed with the first alien she met with an interesting accent. And don’t forget it was Hoshi that spotted a table full of Marines and ran right over to spread her pheromones under their noses. She’s already made clear which one she’ll bag first: the one with the accent!

  8. Trekkie says:

    If it wasn’t like watching a car wreck…
    …and if it didn’t go against every past principle I had I’d never watch an episode again.

    That says a lot coming from me. I *liked* Voyager.

    But god damn it, the naked vulcan bull shit at the end did me in. How fucking lame was that?

    I mean good god what the fuck do the TV writers think? That trek geeks get their jollies by almost seeing a character with the good parts covered up? what are they marketing at, Beavis & Butthead? jeezus any self respecting trek geek has already cut and pasted heads and everything with all the free pr0n on the web, seeing it on TV is just stupid.

    Shit Fuck that was so gratuitous and useless and against everything Roddenberry envisioned. I mean if any episode was going to have gratuitous T&A it would have been the one built in the 60s during the ‘sexual revolution’ but now it’s just stupid, nothing in there. She went from ‘this is a waste of time’ with the doctor to ‘hey let me rip my shirt off for you’ in 15 min.

    As for all the other plot holes, woot, god damn can’t wait for smallville to get on, at least with THAT gratuitious borderline nudity it fits the characters because they’re all horny teens. And it helps that they have good story lines

  9. justdrew says:

    written by a focus group recruited at a mall during school
    The xindi look like a bunch of refugees from “Far Out Space Nuts”

    If T’pol resigned from the VHC, then why wouldn’t she get the same uniform as everyone else? If not why in hell would it ever be pink?!? Also, she’s changed her hair and appears to be wearing make-up now. Why?

    One cute thing: The vulcan massage thing was partially an homage a shot from the graduate. T’pol being Mrs. Robinson seducing young Benjamin.

    Why doesn’t the future federation people do something if the timeline is being mucked with? They go in and mess with Daniels time tri-corder, surely the future fed’s know somethings going on, so why does it fall to Mr. Mysterious to give them all the clues? Couldn’t it have been that the Xindi have nothing to do with it and the sulibans master just wanted to send enterprise on a wild goose chase?

    I will rarely watch from here out. I’ll check the season out later sans-commercials. Though at this point I’m not sure it’s even worth calling it Star Trek. Maybe it would have been best to give it a rest for awhile.

    • Babbster says:

      Re: written by a focus group recruited at a mall during school

      If T’pol resigned from the VHC, then why wouldn’t she get the same uniform as everyone else?

      To be fair to Enterprise (something that is so very difficult), they’re probably trying to maintain the last shred of cross-series continuity they have in that Spock was the first Vulcan (albeit half human) officially in Starfleet…not to mention the fact that they want her to be the new show’s Seven of Nine.

      • yodapez18 says:

        lame alien of the week
        did they PLAN that scene with those aliens at the end? it was like the cantina scene from star wars where each alien was wierder then the next, and Was that Darwin from Seaquest floating in that bubble back there? he didnt looks so good, guess tahts what happens when you live on a nuclear sub.
        I think you were all taken in by the special effects they pimped the scene with, speaking of which, whats with the outrage over T’Pole’s exposure? if she wants to show the cans who are we to judge? What right do we ahve to tell another species, another culture to keep their jugs tucked in? seriously this kind of intolerance makes me sick, if picard were here he’d give you all a good talking to. now there was a man who appreciated a rack, he let troid wear whatever teh hell she wanted no complaints!
        Till she got old and saggy, then it was jumpsuit for her…

  10. Go-T-Boy says:

    What is this problem they have with sex?
    In the Star Trek world, ever since TOS, we are supposed to believe that the male sex drive is, well, not really up to anything. Here is the evidence:

    1) I would like to know how many hetrosexual, single, males, would have the slightest reservations, or even second thoughts about being massaged by T’Its? Hell, you could bring along a video camera “for educational perposes” if you’d like. I mean, the doctor had to PERSUADE Tucker to go to her quarters! WTF? Seriously, is he playing for the other team? How are we supposed to believe that the doctor had to convince him to go by giving him leeches as an alternative treatment.. NO WAY! In reality he’d be running, at full sprint, to her quarters and then afterwards discussing it at great length with Malcolm who, at the very least, thinks she has a nice bum (of course, only admitting this when he’s off his face bollock-pissed).

    2) T’Its is begging.. BEGGING the doctor to fu*k the hell out of her in the decon chamber to ‘cure’ her pon farr urgings. We know that the doctor is a very openly sexual person, has no problem with his wives sleeping around etc etc, and he would absolutely not do it. It was a valid cure, and she was practically trying to rape him on the spot.. Nope.. No deal…. Sigh…. We all know it would be a case of FORM AN ORDERLY QUEUE AT THE DECON CHAMBER if ‘reality’ had a part to play, here.

    3) Harry Kim is trying it on with Se7en. She catches on and says something that approximates to: “Oh!! You want to have sexual relations? You wanna get jiggy with it? Ok, let’s go to my quarters and GET IT ON!” At this point, Harry makes excuses, and leaves… ???

    ———–

    So what’s with the “no sex please, we’re not in TOS any more?”

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