Enterprise Review: “Countdown”

To quote T’Pol from next week’s ep: “We’re not dead yet.”

Indeed, Enterprise’s renewal is now official.

Countdown

Cast & Crew

Director: Robert Duncan McNeill
Written By: André Bormanis & Chris Black

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
Scott MacDonald as Reptilian Commander
Rick Worthy as Xindi-Arboreal
Tucker Smallwood as Xindi-Humanoid
Josette DiCarlo as Sphere-Builder Woman
Bruce Thomas as Reptilian Soldier
Andrew Borba as Reptilian Lieutenant
Mary Mara as Sphere-Builder Presage
Ruth Williamson as Sphere-Builder Primary
Paul Dean as Reptilian Technician

Episode Information

Originally Aired: May 19, 2004
Season: Three
Episode: Twenty-Two
Production: 075

What Happened

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.

Review

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.

High Point

The battle around the weapon. Excellent effects, great action, very satisfying.

Low Point

Hoshi’s brainwashing was way too rushed. My guess (or hope) was that this was going to be the focus of an entire episode, but was one of the pieces dropped when the season was shortened. Not a glaring problem, but it does cheapen the overall effect.

The Scores

Originality: Not very, but with the tense pace and plot you’re not worried about it too much. 3 out of 6.

Effects: Oh. My. God. 6 out of 6.

Story: We’re definitely approaching the climax of a story worth watching. 4 out of 6.

Acting: Park could have gone for more, but she was limited by the script. Everyone else is tight. 4 out of 6.

Emotional Response: I’m actually bemoaning the fact that I have to wait an entire week. 5 out of 6.

Production: The weapon interiors are very cool. 5 out of 6

Overall: A great episode and a stellar way to lead into the season finale. 5 out of 6.

Total: 32 out of 42

Next Week on Enterprise (May 26, 2004)

Zero Hour (Third Season Finale)

Aboard Degra’s ship, Archer, Reed and Hoshi work with the Arboreals and Humanoids to chase the Reptilians and stop the Xindi Weapon from decimating Earth. Archer’s plan is to board the weapon and try to overload the power systems, but he’ll need the help of an ailing Hoshi to read the weapon schematics.

Back in the Delphic Expanse, T’Pol leads the NX-01 in an attempt to obliterate Sphere 41 in hopes of disabling the entire network of Spheres. But the crew’s time is limited, as that region of space has a degenerative effect on their bodies, and the furious Sphere-Builders try to tear Enterprise apart. More from StarTrek.com

Additional Notes and Comments

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

TheAngrymob

10 replies on “Enterprise Review: “Countdown””

  1. shayward says:

    They Pulled A Rabbit Out Of Their Hat
    I can’t believe it. This was another great episode. While without as much story line as I would prefer, the story line they did have was good. It furthered both plot and character development.

    I realize that one of the biggest problems they’ve had with Season 3 is that the Xindi were never an enemy worth hating. Sure, they were trying to blow up earth but so what. I could almost sympathize with them.

    The reptilians are now an enemy worth hating. They even turned on the insectiods. Linda Park did a good job with what she had, but they made the star of the show the reptilian leader. Very hate-worthy. Very good.

    Indeed, the horror that the reptilians put Hoshi through was well written. The death of Major Hayes – a minor character but one with whom we are attached – upped the stakes.

    Mix that with some eye-popping visual effects. The weapon is amazing looking. The Aquatics ships are just incredible. The battle scenes were awesome.

    If this kind of quality is indicative of the future of Enterprise then let’s go a full 7 seasons. If it’s going to go back to apathetic crap, they should quit while they’re ahead.

  2. SciFi0964 says:

    Fact and friction
    Okay, I was watching… I admit it. *shudder*

    Fact: The aquatics, a deliberate race prone to take time to ponder, realize they haven’t time to ponder and join sides to stop the weapon.
    WTF?: Archers repetitve empassioned pleas; what new bit of info did he really give them that forced them to make such a decision. Waste of a scene to me.

    Fact: T’Pol tpologizes to Trip for her emotional reactions.
    WTF?: What is a Vulcan? They were known for their calm, if arrogant seeming manner. Here I thought their discipline was to keep these emotions in check. By this entire story arc and the logic it enshues Vulcans are mentally disciplined only because of physiology and not mental training.
    I know a former addict. They want the stuff sometimes, but have the discipline to avoid its use. The body can be debilitated, but the mind drives it’s actions.

    Fact: Marines free Hoshi by sneaking aboard a reptillian ship.
    WTF?: The reptillians don’t detect their transporter and react? Xinti have the technology, as I recall.

    Fact: The insectoid recognized the connection between the guardians and the spheres upon their more direct action.
    WTF?: Too darned convenient that only one ship survived, only to be destroyed by their allies when they start to question their line of action.

    Fact: The spheres can be disabled by destroying one location.
    WTF?: The sphere builders never heard of redundancy? They can see the timelines but not the possibility that a non linear system would work.

    Fact: Archer is held to his promises.
    WTF?: The dual mission; you have to stop the spheres and the weapon at the same time. These Xinti don’t ask for much, do they? They won’t let enterprise, one blasted broken ship with less advanced technology, leave to save their world. It can’t make that much of a difference when pitted against, say, an aquatic ship with its seemingly more advanced technology.

    Fact: Captain Archer decides to put Hoshi’s life at great risk by bringing her along for what she knows about decrypting the devices safeguards.
    WTF?: He couldn’t ask his newfound allies for the codes or at the very least, someone who knows them so as to disarm them? Couldn’t they just shoot the generators like they were doing before to disable or destroy the thing?

    JM2C

    • TwistyHat says:

      Re: Fact and friction
      Glad to see i’m not the only one who thought it was rather lame. Predicatable, unimaginative, kliched, badly written and not to impressively acted. Though the insectoids are kinda cute – i say we follow them next season (Hoshi can tag along in a swimsuit – to learn the langauges of course ;)

  3. StarDrifter says:

    “What Happened” section
    Is it just me or is the “What Happened” section just a copy-and-paste from last week’s episode?

    • theangrymob says:

      Re: “What Happened” section

      Is it just me or is the “What Happened” section just a copy-and-paste from last week’s episode?

      My bad. I’ve updated the article with the correct info. Thanks for catching that.

  4. Jethro says:

    The Weapon
    Yeah, this was a pretty good episode. I actually didn’t know it was the one-but-last… I thought THIS was the last one, so I was a bit worried (:

    Now, about the Xindi Weapon.

    Um.

    Could they have MORE moving parts? I mean, the damn thing looks like someone might’ve left one friggin screw off and the whole thing will die. Especially the giant gyro in the middle. What the heck?

    Anyway. I am actually looking forward to next week… I’ve got a nice little assumption about Hoshi…

    • shayward says:

      Re: The Weapon

      Could they have MORE moving parts? I mean, the damn thing looks like someone might’ve left one friggin screw off and the whole thing will die. Especially the giant gyro in the middle. What the heck?

      Things in sci-fi aren’t always practical. The Borg cube, the universal translater that not only translates but makes a person’s mouth appear to move differently too, and the design of every starfleet ship.

      That weapon is for pure visual appeal. While it’s a matter of opinion, I personally think it looks very cool… albeit fragile.

      • bombadil says:

        Re: The Weapon

        it looks very cool… albeit fragile.

        It wasn’t so fragile when a ship flew into it and the rotating outer arm pulverized the ship…

        This thing is BIG.
        (That’s no moon…)

  5. joe__gee says:

    Great episode …
    Yes, I admit the plot has holes, and there are some murky character motivations … It’s television, not cinema noir. Still, I feel as if we’re in the midst of one of the better series of episodes in the history of Trek. I am shocked, taken aback. I wasn’t expecting this. I now like most of the characters. Those I don’t particularly like I can tolerate. I care what happens to several of my favorite characters.

    This is almost … Gripping.

    And now it’s going to be moved to the Friday night broadcast network wasteland where X-Files flourished. Could UPN be coming to its senses?

    I am astonished, although I admit we might just end up planet hopping as soon as the Xindi story arc is finished. Or we could move on to the Suliban, with more incompetent meddling from Crewman Daniels. We need a good Romulan war. :(

    Is it just me or do the HUGE Aquatic ships look remarkably like White Stars from B5? I feel suspect the forthcoming resolution of the Sphere-builder/Xindi problem might seem an awful lot like the resolution of B5’s Shadow war — I don’t trust (or particularly like) Daniels, and he’s going to show up in next week’s episode. I could see Archer reallistically saying to both the Spherebuilders and Crewman Daniels “go back to your future and get the Hell out of our present!”

    Of course we won’t see this for four months or so … I’d bet we won’t see the weapon destroyed next week, but according to the guest cast list on the web site Shran is back next week too … This could be good. :)

    -Joe G.

  6. joe__gee says:

    Those of you watching Zero Hour on the West Coast …
    Turn it off after 50 minutes. :)

    -Joe G.

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