Star Trek: Enterprise: “Impulse”

And for some really good news: According to StarTrek.com, none of the next five episodes have Berman or Braga with any writer credit. This is just too good to be true.

Impulse

Cast & Crew

Director: David Livingston
Teleplay By: Jonathan Fernandez
Story By: Jonathan Fernandez & Terry Matalas

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
Sean McGowan as Hawkins

Episode Information

Originally Aired: October 8, 2003
Season: Three
Episode: Five
Production: 057

What Happened

Boarding a damaged Vulcan vessel adrift in an asteroid field, Archer and his team discover that the remaining crew have mutated into violent, zombie-like creatures. When T’Pol begins to succumb to the mutation, the crew must fight their way out before they lose her forever.

Review

Alright! Night of the Living Dead meets Star Trek. Just in time for Halloween.

Seriously, this was a fun episode with some real consequences to overall story. The silver bullet to battle the Delphic Expanse’s anomolies turns out to be a death sentence for T’Pol. Ah yes, the cure turns out to be worse than the disease. I’m truly interested in seeing how this shakes out.

High Point

I liked the start of the episode, with an already-crazed T’Pol. It really sets up the tone and a sense of dread as you know what path you’re headed down. Running a close second was the ending revelation that the ore that can save the ship will also kill T’Pol.

Low Point

Nice flying pilot boy. Why does Archer tolerate Mayweather? Why do we?

The Scores

Originality: I can’t come up with a similar episode. Wow, is that a first for Enterprise? Sure, the theme’s been done before, but not within the Star Trek universe. 4 out of 6.

Effects: Pretty cool asteroid field. Made me take a second to figure it out. Sharp effects everywhere else, especially the destruction of the Vulcan ship, Selea. 5 out of 6.

Story: What really stood out was the ending. Sure, they got the ore they needed, but now look at the cost of using it. Devilishly clever. 5 out of 6.

Acting: Blalock gets to cut loose for a change, and she seems to enjoy it. Bakula is earning points for being a harder-nosed captain and surprise of surprises, a MACO with dialogue and a point! 4 out of 6.

Emotional Response: Kudos all around for creating a tense, well-paced episode. 5 out of 6.

Production: Cool set work for the Selea. If the set didn’t work right, the whole feel of the episode would have fallen apart. 5 out of 6

Overall: Nice, very nice. 5 out of 6.

Total: 33 out of 42

Episode Media

From StarTrek.com

Next Time on Enterprise (October 15, 2003)

Impulse

From light-years away, a powerful telepathic alien, Tarquin, mentally contacts Hoshi and convinces Archer to let the ensign briefly visit his isolated planet in exchange for crucial information on the Xindi. Video Preview

As a side note, this episode is listed in this week’s TV Guide as one of the 21 reasons to watch TV this week. So they seem to like what they saw.

Additional Notes and Comments

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

TheAngrymob

15 replies on “Star Trek: Enterprise: “Impulse””

  1. Daemonik says:

    Weapons and stuff
    I’m noticing that the MACO’s pulse-thingy (it’s a legitimate technical term, damnit) really suck next to a phaser. Often 10-12 blasts from the MACO’s are required to do the same damage as 1 or 2 phaser pulses. So why are the military ‘elite’ using these suck butt weapons?

    As for the trellium-d, I noticed that it was inside the Vulcan ship. So why can’t they coat the outside of Enterprise with it? I mean, just how close does it have to be to her before T’Pol goes all wonky?

    • GrimSean says:

      Re: Weapons and stuff

      As for the trellium-d, I noticed that it was inside the Vulcan ship. So why can’t they coat the outside of Enterprise with it? I mean, just how close does it have to be to her before T’Pol goes all wonky?

      Yeah, I have to agree with this – I don’t see any reason why they can’t just throw the McGuffin on the outside of the ship, or coat it with an inert plastic or something. Or maybe T’Pol could live in the decon room for the rest of the season (that’d be one way to drive up ratings)

  2. joe__gee says:

    These episodes are starting to get better?
    The shriek from T’Pol got my attention too. It looks like the cast are starting to feel more comfortable in their characters? I must be coming down with something, I’m starting to *look forward* to new episodes? Although the series hasn’t completely redeemed itself, the new writers/producers/directors seem to be on to something.

    I wonder if the ratings reflect an increased or decreased interest in the new story line?

    -Joe G.

    • vanyel says:

      Re: These episodes are starting to get better?

      The shriek from T’Pol got my attention too.

      Personally, I don’t like stories that start that way, though I may be biased by a screenwriting class that said that flashbacks are usually a fallback when you can’t get dramatic effect through the story. Still, the previews give you the same information that you get from that scene, so I think it’s just redundant.

      I did really like the asteroid field and the fact that the silver bullet ain’t so painless. Not being a particular fan of zombie movies, that aspect didn’t thrill me, but if it had aired on say October 29, I would have been happier with it. I suppose we’re close enough though. I also think Archer, when he got word that the Vulcan crew was dead regardless, should have been on the radio and said “ok, put weapons on full force”.

      Oh, and one last thing: do they have antimatter stored all over the bloody ship? If the containment field is breached, there’s going to one BIG explosion, not little fires scattered over the entire ship. I was willing to go with it on the self-destruct sequences, as there are a number of areas you want to make sure get properly destroyed if you’re taking that extreme measure, but those charges will be fail-safe and not containment fields subject to power loss failure. I guess enough of that hot button though…

      Those are my main nits; even with them, it wasn’t a bad episode, some decent suspense and worth watching…

  3. Boglin says:

    Annoyance.
    Alright, T’Pol served on this ship for a period of time, so she was obviously used to handling the layout. She could probably make it around on her own just fine if she hadn’t been going crazy.

    Then factor in the excellent physical condition that most vulcans are in. They are usually presented as have special strength and agility, possibly from mental focus.

    So, why the Belgium did T’Pol need two guys to help her up the ladder? Archer comes up the ladder just fine, as does Reed. However, as T’Pol is coming up, the two of them feel it is necessary to give her a lift. Of course, they don’t even stick around to see if the MACO carrying the BFG makes it up.

    Did she spend a year on the ship without ever having to navigate a ladder? Or were the guys just jealous of the time she’s been spending with Trip?

    • Mr. Vapor says:

      Re: Annoyance.
      Boglin sayz:

      So, why the Belgium did T’Pol…

      Tsk, Tsk, Tsk, such language! Can’t even have a civilized conversation
      anymore :)

  4. is says:

    not bad…
    I have to agree with pretty much everything said…

    It’s an improvement, and it’s about time.

  5. jbrecken says:

    Captain
    With his insight into the crew’s morale problem, it’s looking more and more like Trip might make a better captain than Archer. I first had the notion a few episodes back when they were mutating and he was in charge.

    Maybe the kick the show needs is some moment where the Cap’n has to make the supreme sacrifice, and leave the cowboy in charge.

    Nothing against Bakula, but Archer’s just not as interesting a character.

  6. crsmith says:

    Dead ships
    Why, why, WHY are dead or dying spaceships always filled with strobe lights everywhere and sparklers in the ceilings? It’s enough to make anyone epileptic.

    • vanyel says:

      Re: Dead ships

      Why, why, WHY are dead or dying spaceships always filled with strobe lights everywhere and sparklers in the ceilings? It’s enough to make anyone epileptic.

      Oh, man, thanks for reminding me about that — I had to close my eyes for a while it hurt so much to watch!

    • GrimSean says:

      Re: Dead ships

      Why, why, WHY are dead or dying spaceships always filled with strobe lights everywhere and sparklers in the ceilings? It’s enough to make anyone epileptic.

      See, I’ve always thought that they were the cause rather than the effect. Think about it – the lights start blinking, the engineers have epileptic fits, and everything goes to hell – it makes a weird sort of sense.

      • Kriptonian says:

        Re: Dead ships
        This show is annoying me now. I liked the revenge idea but wait aminute. Since when is it that a first deep space mission results in so little casualties. In my opinion the writers would to better if they had higher ranked officer perish during missions, like lets say Archer or even Trip. Then given the fact that they’are so far from home, they would have to debate among each other to see who would be Captain next. That would cause more interactions between the crew and spin things a bit(more realistic). Next new characters would keep the show going and more interesting. I really didn’t like Voyager and was glad it ended. Now I am starting to have similar feelings towards this one.

        • GrimSean says:

          Re: Dead ships

          This show is annoying me now. I liked the revenge idea but wait aminute. Since when is it that a first deep space mission results in so little casualties. In my opinion the writers would to better if they had higher ranked officer perish during missions, like lets say Archer or even Trip.

          Then it probably would have been something written by Whedon, and would have already been cancelled.

          God I miss Firefly – see, what Enterprise needs is a Captain willing to kick a man into an engine, just to drive home a point.

  7. SciFi0964 says:

    Vulcan Ineptitude?
    While I too enjoyed this episode one thing irritated me with regards to this scenario. Flox figured that the Trellium had poisoned the Vulcans to the point that they where these zombies. Then it occured to me that Vulcans; apparently superior in technology and sciences than standard Earth technology, somehow did not realize or would accept this poison? Where is the logic the race was noted for? (in another Trek Universe to my mind) This irritated me. How could their medical people not realize what it took Flox with a quick analysis?

    Were it possible to rewrite this, I would just have another race go through the same effects as the Vulcans and have T’Pol exhibit her symptons as she had done. It would have increased my entertainment. The crew would go through the dramatic upheaval of the uncertainty in determining the strange behavior and paranoia of the Vulcan and those other aliens.

    Then again, no one likes a back seat writer. hehehe

  8. NoPoet says:

    Second. Best. Episode. Ever.
    I thought this was the best-acted Enterprise episode so far, and it was as exciting as “Regeneration.” I think I prefer this to the Voyager episode “Scorpion part 1,” which I used to think was the all-time best Trek episode.

    T’Pol’s dream at the end scared me to death with the zombie face coming toward the screen – it makes me jump every time I watch it.

    Come on, Starfleet Marines facing off against Vulcan zombies. It doesn’t get much better than this.

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