Enterprise Review: “The Council”

Only one episode left before the season finale!

The Council

Cast & Crew

Director: Roxann Dawson
Written By: Michael Sussman

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
Randy Oglesby as Degra
Tucker Smallwood as Xindi-Humanoid
Rick Worthy as Xindi-Arboreal
Scott MacDonald as Reptilian Commander
Josette DiCarlo as Sphere-Builder Woman
Sean McGowan as Hawkins
Bruce Thomas as Reptilian Soldier
Andrew Borba as Reptilian Lieutenant
Mary Mara as Sphere-Builder Presage
Ruth Williamson as Sphere-Builder Primary
Eric Lemler as Helm Crewman

Episode Information

Originally Aired: May 12, 2004
Season: Three
Episode: Twenty-Two
Production: 074

What Happened

T’Pol and Reed lead a team on a harrowing mission into one of the mysterious metallic Spheres to obtain vital information about how the Delphic Expanse was created, as Archer and Hoshi approach the Xindi Council hoping that diplomacy can stop the launch of the superweapon aimed at Earth. Meanwhile, with Enterprise about to derail their plans to invade our universe, the transdimensional Sphere-Builders urge key members of the Xindi Council to take drastic measures to undermine the humans’ peace overtures.

Review

Getting down to the wire and the episodes are getting better at holding the tension. There’s no set path for this week’s episode, almost like latter-season DS9. And that’s a good thing. The conclusion ramped up the stakes and made things “personal” so to speak.

Timeshredder made a good point in an email. Why are the good guys good looking and the bad guys likewise, ugly? Sure, I like The Wizard of Oz and all, but can we have a little more complexity in Star Trek?

High Point

The last 5 minutes. Tense, fast and incredibly cool.

Low Point

Can you all say “Redshirt?” Sure you can boys and girls.

The Scores

Originality: Trying to talk your way out of a fight is a hallmark of Star Trek. Not original, but it’s one of the reasons we watch it. 3 out of 6.

Effects: Sweet! 6 out of 6.

Story: The two-pronged story worked well, especially for upcoming episodes where splitting the crew up is necessary. However, Degra’s demise was an obvious plot twist. 4 out of 6.

Acting: Really well done. 4 out of 6.

Emotional Response: Those last 5 minutes left me going, “No, no, no. There’s gotta be a little more time left…” 5 out of 6.

Production: Xindi archetecture and the sphere interiors are well done. 4 out of 6

Overall: I’m glad to see everything speeding up to the finale, though we’re going to be cussing out the TV when we’re handed the cliffhanger in a week. 5 out of 6.

Total: 31 out of 42

Next Week on Enterprise (May 19, 2004)

Countdown

Archer and his new allies among the Xindi Council attempt a full-scale assault on the superweapon being deployed toward Earth by the rebellious Reptilians and Insectoids, before a kidnapped and brainwashed Hoshi can decrypt the weapon’s encoded arming mechanism and unleash its devastating power. Meanwhile, T’Pol and Trip hatch a plan to destroy a Sphere which they believe will disrupt the entire network of Spheres responsible for the Expanse’s spatial anomalies, bringing the transdimensional “Sphere-Builders” directly into the fray.

The Final Episode of Season Three

  • Zero Hour (05.26.2004)

Additional Notes and Comments

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

TheAngrymob

16 replies on “Enterprise Review: “The Council””

  1. Jethro says:

    See, this one I liked.
    Wasn’t too bad. (:

    The council meetings thing though… seemed pretty dumb.

    And the guy dying in the sphere… blah.

    Still pretty exciting ending though. I am actually looking forward to the next one.

    And it better not be a cliffhanger!

  2. Jethro says:

    Oh, I forgot!
    Gotta love the Insectoid Xindi/George W. Bush thing!

    • hexfortyfive says:

      Re: Oh, I forgot!

      Gotta love the Insectoid Xindi/George W. Bush thing!

      I don’t know what you mean? What part are you talking about?

      • Jethro says:

        Re: Oh, I forgot!

        Gotta love the Insectoid Xindi/George W. Bush thing!

        I don’t know what you mean? What part are you talking about?

        The insectoid Xindi walked up to the council and said “If you aren’t with us, you are against us!”

        • Kaki says:

          Re: Oh, I forgot!
          What I don’t understand I why we haven’t heard any more mention of Enterprise saving those little insectoids a while back. I mean, the insectoids seem to care a great deal about their young, and here Archer had a great chance to try to make them understand that humans aren’t vicious threats, but nice, friendly people. But no, even in a star trek plot arch, the past only sorta exists.

          • Jethro says:

            Re: Oh, I forgot!

            What I don’t understand I why we haven’t heard any more mention of Enterprise saving those little insectoids a while back.

            I think there was a part where Archer was kinda sorta alluding (sp?) to it.

            Maybe they woulnd’t believe him?

            Or maybe insectoids don’t care for their young at all – that’s why the baby insects spray you with that juice that makes you need to take care of them. Which, strangely, works on humans for no apparent reason…

  3. TwistyHat says:

    Huh
    So by “Only one episode left before the season finale!” you mean “there is one episode left before the finale one of the season” ?

  4. SciFi0964 says:

    Devils Advocate ala Degra’s demise
    Here is a character that was abducted by the enemy, interogated, and had his memory altered by the enemy. Here is a character that kills off his own so that “they can’t warn the council of their coming”, instead of disabling their communications and propulsion. Here is a character that afterwards comes to the council and acts as advocate to the enemy’s claim of innocence and your being manipulated by benevolent beings who can, like your enemy, time travel.

    I am surprised “the council” did not take these facts into account and find another option that would distance themselves from the possibility of Degra’s being corrupted and in doing so, allow pure reason and debate on the issue.

    Anywho, put in the reptillians shoes, and knowing these facts, wouldn’t any sane character come to the conclusion and do the same for his people?

    …..

    Incidentally, this post was to be much longer on various facts along this Xinti story arc that show why it is poorly thought out, but I think most susbscribers may already recognize this.

    • UncleJam says:

      Re: Devils Advocate ala Degra’s demise

      Incidentally, this post was to be much longer on various facts along this Xinti story arc that show why it is poorly thought out, but I think most susbscribers may already recognize this.

      As someone who’s only been paying occasional attention to this season until the last couple of episodes, I’d actually be interested in hearing this.

  5. shayward says:

    How Good Can It Get?
    I have been watching Enterprise as more of a “How bad can it get?” but I must say I was REALLY impressed with this episode.

    Lots of story line. Trip forgives Degra, Degra dies, some Xindi begin to doubt the sphere builders, the builders play god to the reptilians, the failure of the 6th Xindi race, and the reptilians insectiods acting without the rest of the councel, and Hoshi’s abduction. What a great episode!

    My only story line critique would be the builder/reptilian scene should have taken place AFTER Degra’s death. We knew full well why the reptilians were voting against launching the weapon … as a ploy.

    Naturally, the MACO’s death was a return to TOS. “Spock, how many people are supposed to die this episode.” “2, captain.” “Spock, let’s beam down you, me, dr. mccoy and 2 security officers.” But the scene inside the sphere was great.

    If this were indicative of the future quality of enterprise then the show would be worth running a full 7 seasons. Personally, I think this episode is the exception rather than the rule. But time will tell.

    • Kaki says:

      Re: How Good Can It Get?

      Naturally, the MACO’s death was a return to TOS. “Spock, how many people are supposed to die this episode.” “2, captain.” “Spock, let’s beam down you, me, dr. mccoy and 2 security officers.” But the scene inside the sphere was great.

      I saw it coming the moment Reed picked him. We all did. And that was, in my mind, exactly why it was so absolutely cool. I mean, people complain about continuity with the older series… there was some.

      I also liked how you could see exactly why he died and the others didn’t. Something dangerous was coming, and he died because he did, without hesitation, exactly what he was supposed to, he went towards it. He placed himself between it and the people whose continued survival were of the utmost importance.

      When all is said and done, and the sphere builders are defeated or whatever. It will be due to that guy doing his duty. The prototypical red-shirt steping up to the danger and accepting his death without complaint, but with a nice scream for effect. If only he could have fallen over a railing or something. ;)

    • Mr. Vapor says:

      Re: How Good Can It Get?

      Naturally, the MACO’s death was a return to TOS. “Spock, how many people are supposed to die this episode.” “2, captain.” “Spock, let’s beam down you, me, dr. mccoy and 2 security officers.” But the scene inside the sphere was great.

      What would be really cool is if (at some point in the future) some major actor wanted to leave the show for whatever reason, they completely setup the landing party with the token red-shirt or two, and the major character dies, but the red-shirts live. Maybe with a nod to the star trek audience with a private conversation after the fact between the two red-shirts on how they failed their duty.

      Hell, if they wanted to be chintzy, the conversation could even be about how they should make sure that red-shirts are on every away mission, that they purposely attempt to make security officers aloof from the rest of the ship so that crew don’t get too emotionally attached to them (since they are going to die anyways), and they be prepared to step in the line of fire. Thereby setting up the entire history of red-shirt phenomenom. I would like to see that kind of continuity (not the emotional attention bit though, that’s just stupid).

      of course – the fact the actor was leaving would have to escape notice of the internet community (like that would happen).

      Tasha’s death was almost that, except I don’t think that there where any red-shirts on that away team.

      • Kaki says:

        Re: How Good Can It Get?

        ….Maybe with a nod to the star trek audience with a private conversation after the fact between the two red-shirts on how they failed their duty.

        Hell, if they wanted to be chintzy, the conversation could even be about how they should make sure that red-shirts are on every away mission, that they purposely attempt to make security officers aloof from the rest of the ship so that crew don’t get too emotionally attached to them (since they are going to die anyways), and they be prepared to step in the line of fire. Thereby setting up the entire history of red-shirt phenomenom. I would like to see that kind of continuity (not the emotional attention bit though, that’s just stupid).

        Great ideas! Could be played subtle; could be played as pretty much the main point of the episode.

        The non-red-shirt and the red-shirt could be shown to be friends before the mission. Then that would be a good basis for the non-red-shirt reacting to put themself in danger to protect their friend. That would motivate the later discussion about segregating themselves from the rest of the crew.

        Tasha’s death was almost that, except I don’t think that there where any red-shirts on that away team.

        Seems to me that Tasha was the red-shirt, security, on that away team. So when it came time for a death, she stepped up, willing and able, to take the fall.

        • hexfortyfive says:

          is TNG considered offtopic?

          Seems to me that Tasha was the red-shirt, security, on that away team. So when it came time for a death, she stepped up, willing and able, to take the fall.

          Speaking of which, can someone explain how she had a child, on Romulus in the past if she died on that Skin of Evil mission.

          • UncleJam says:

            Re: is TNG considered offtopic?

            Speaking of which, can someone explain how she had a child, on
            Romulus
            in the past if she died on that Skin of Evil
            mission.

            Oh boy. Let’s see if I can remember this correctly…

            In the episode Yesterday’s Enterprise, the Enterprise-C
            comes forward through time, fleeing a Romulan attack on a Klingon outpost.
            Since they didn’t die saving the Klingons, the Federation never made peace
            with them and so our intrepid cast on the Enterprise-D now crews a
            warship, complete with Tasha Yar as a Tactical Officer (or something).
            (Because Skin of Evil never happened in this universe.)

            After Guinan tells Picard that the universe isn’t right, he convinces the
            Captain (or First Officer? I think the Capt actually dies before they can go
            back.) of the C to go back and face the Romulan attackers, thus restoring the
            timeline. The alternate universe Tasha Yar, learning from Guinan that she
            doesn’t exist in the “real” universe, elects to accompany the Enterprise-
            C
            back through time to give them the benefit of her military expertise so
            that perhaps they can last a few minutes longer. They return to the past and
            things are restored to normal.

            However, the alternate universe Tasha, now in the real
            universe, gets captured by Romulans and taken to Romulus, where she… I’m
            actually a bit fuzzy on this part. IIRC she is the servant (and later lover) of a
            high-ranking Romulan, who fathers Sela. Tasha dies somehow and her
            daughter rises through the ranks.

            That’s pretty much what happened, though I may be wrong on some of
            the details.

  6. NoPoet says:

    Hmm…
    More nitpicking about an episode of Enterprise. What a surprise! Nobody picks the bones out of Angel’s retarded fifth season.

    So here we have an episode of Enterprise that is once again down on points for no explained reason. Production only 4 out of 6? Er, excuse me? Throughout the run of DS9, Voyager and Enterprise, Star Trek has been one of the best produced shows I’ve ever seen. In my opinion, you dropped at least one mark here for no genuine reason.

    Originality: don’t get me started on why 3 out of 6 is a criminal offence. Trans-dimensional aliens are coercing Alpha Quadrant citizens into fighting each other for no known reason, and they’ve built weird-arse Spheres to turn an entire region of space into the Devil’s playground. Enterprise — Starfleet’s first interstellar ship might I remind you — has taken the worst hammering I’ve ever seen on Trek and the damage is NOT miraculously repaired, they’re using a primitive warp drive stolen from friendly aliens, the captain is tormented by the vile choices he is forced to make and there’s a dog on board.

    The trans-dimensional aliens actually seem to LIVE in a new and frightening environment which is totally unlike our own. They can distort the laws of physics and time to their own advantage. Plus we care about some of the Xindi — when did we care about the Dominion or the 8472s? (the Dominion rule, but they were never anything other than evil uber-villains with no motivation other than the will to conquer) — and Degra’s death was genuinely cool, not only for the sheer drama, but because I deeply liked the tubby little chap.

    Have I listed anything here that Enterprise is not presenting in a new or original light? There may be similarities to what we’ve seen before (the alien dimension reminds me of a much less embarrassing version of a Prophet vision from DS9), but Enterprise has proven to me that it means business. I would have rated this one 4 or 5 for originality.

    Acting: 4 out of 6? Don’t make me laugh. Everyone was on top form. By the way, I think Jolene Blalock is a fantastic actor, and she’s portraying her Vulcan as something close to a sympathetic character. I love the idea of a Vulcan struggling with emotions. Degra, Trip, Archer, the Sphere Builder and the Reptilian commander are awesome, they really make this show.

    I would have rated this episode at a much more realistic 36 or 37 out of 42.

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