Enterprise: Silent Enemy

My apologies for being so late. I fell ill the last few days and didn’t get to finish my review. But here you are!



Cast & Crew

Director: Winrich Kolbe
Teleplay By: Andre Bormanis

Scott Bakula as Captain
Jonathan Archer
Connor Trinneer as Chief
Engineer Charles Tucker III
Jolene Blalock as Sub-commander
Dominic Keating as Lt.
Malcolm Reed
Anthony Montgomery
as Ensign Travis Mayweather
Linda Park as Ensign Hoshi
John Billingsley
as Dr. Phlox

Guest Cast
Jane Carr as Mary Reed
Guy Siner as Stuart Reed
Paula Malcomson as Madeline Reed
John Rosenfeld as Mark Latrelle

Original Airdate

January 16, 2002

Cold FrontWhat

Enterprise encounters a new alien vessel. After several attempts to
communicate with it, it warps away without responding. A second encounter leaves
Enterprise bruised and beaten as well as two crewmen in sickbay (when
the aliens entered the ship through the shuttlebay.

Archer, frustrated at their inability to defend themselves properly, turns
the ship around and heads for Earth, hoping that they can install phase cannons
(which were missed in her rushed launch). Trip and Reed insist they can install
the cannons without Jupiter station’s help and begin mounting the two they have,
and building a third.

After installing the forward two cannons, they commence a test, leveling a
large mountain. Reed suggests there was a power overload somewhere in the system.
T’Pol finds a power reading from the shuttlebay. Upon closer investigation,
it appears the ‘silent’ aliens have planted a device for monitoring the Enterprise
and her crew. Using onboard sensors, Archer sends them a message warning them
not to underestimate humans and destroys the device.

The Enterprise runs into another (or the same) alien ship, this time
they are outwardly hostile. After a feeble attempt with the repaired phase cannons,
Archer orders an overload of the cannons, similar to the test file situation.
Scoring some solid blasts with cannons and torpedoes, the alien ship flees.

Archer decides not to pursue, and orders Enterprise back to her original
heading, away from Earth.


Yep, that was it. There was also a subplot regarding Reed’s birthday and Hoshi
contacting everyone she could find that knew him throughout his life. The only
thing we learn is, like us, no one knows him at all.

I was eager about this one, since I like Reed’s character. Sadly we didn’t
get much meat on this bone. The main story was fairly trite on top of things.
A little more information on the aliens would be nice. Enterprise was
sent out as Earth’s first real exploratory ship, and they’ve done very little
of that.

I’m still holding out hope for this show, but more and more frequently I’m
starting to think my father-in-law is right: “So, when do you think Enterprise
will get canceled?”

High Point

The re-editted “Archer Film” was cool, but some logical explanation
for why the aliens don’t speak would have been a lot better (and more Trek-ish).

Low Point

Hoshi’s subplot was cute, but the pineapple cake finale was pretty lame.

The Scores

Originality: Eh. The silent treatment was interesting at first, but without
some follow-through, it’s just not interesting. 3

Effects: The aliens looked well-done, except for their design. Anyone else
think “Mars Attacks!” when they first showed up? A high point in effects
for the phase cannon effect destroying a mountain. 5

Story: Dry and tasteless. I was hoping for a bit more action, and more depth
about Reed’s character. 3

Acting: Hoshi’s improving as is most of the cast. A good example was the dinner
scene. Sure the writing’s cliché, but the actors came off convincingly
enough. 4

Emotional Response: About the only tension we can get in Trek any more is when
subordinates start arguing with the captain. And even that felt forced. But
at least we can see some spinal development from Trip and Reed. 3

Production: This was an all-on-ship episode. Interesting lighting (for the
alien boarding) but not much else. 3

Overall: I don’t like alien-of-the-week episodes. Go somewhere with these enemies,
or else. 2

Total: 23 out of 42


From StarTrek.com

Dear DoctorNext

(Jan. 23, 2001)

When is compassionate medical treatment the wrong thing to do? Dr. Phlox draws
on his Denobulan past to address ethical issues in “Dear Doctor.”
Shades of the “Prime Directive?”

6 replies on “Enterprise: Silent Enemy”

  1. More on Reed
    On a related note, we’ve been promised an episode that
    actually develops Reed and Trip. More details can be
    found here.

    • Re: More on Reed

      On a related note, we’ve been promised an episode that
      actually develops Reed and Trip

      Sounds good to me. Here’s to hopin! (I seem to be saying that a lot lately)

  2. I liked it!
    I must disagree with this review. I liked this episode very much. I liked the character development. Reed and Trip arguing, Trip pulling rank. I loved the scene where Hoshi stumbled into accidentally coming on to Reed, to both of their embarrasment. Have you seen two such socially inept people?! I think they may actually be setting us up for a very slow development of a relationship between Hoshi and Reed, platonic or otherwise. Likewise (not in this episode) there is a definite ‘connection’ between Trip and T’Pol (must have been the antiseptic jelly).

    And I thought it was refreshing to see aliens that looked more alien than nose-bumps, forehead-bumps, ear-bumps, or other bumps on perfectly human looking faces. And it was also refreshing to NOT have them explain their entire race’s motivation and behavior in a nice clean summary for our benefit.

    And of course… NO CAVES! That’s gotta count for something!

    One point I didn’t like… it was too “tidy” that they figured out a way to overload the guns without damaging the ship. How convenient. Now that they can do that, that technique better not dissapear like all the nearly-magic technology Voyager came up with and forget every episode. It would have been more realistic and satisfying if they had overloaded the guns, defeated the enemy, and blown the hell of out lots of circuits all over the ship. A little acceptable risk and sacrifice instead of everything being so easy it can be wrapped up with no loose ends in one episode.

    -The Cave Watcher.

    • Re: I liked it!
      I think the idea may be that “overloading” the phase cannons will become standard procedure in the future, once they’ve perfected the energy (“recoil”) shunt into the shields. This might even spur advancements in shield technology.

      One side effect of this is that they may not actually mention overloading them in future battles, because it would just be assumed. Come to think of it, a few of the Amazing Disappearing Technologies(TM) from the other shows might be excused this way; of course, this doesn’t explain the cases where said technology should have completely removed the problem at the heart of the episode.

  3. Deux Ex Machina

    I agree, this was a less than sterling episode. The aliens were alien but we didn’t focus on learning about THEM, they were just a prop. For what? The earliest example of Trekspeak, which I was hoping this show would avoid.

    Archer: We need guns. Reed: Forget Jupiter Station – our engineering team of a half dozen people can install the two we’ve got in no time at all and build another one from mess hall aluminum foil and cardboard toilet paper tubes. Trip: And I can punch a few buttons on this panel over here and make them 10,000 times more powerful during the heat of battle in a way that nobody had thought of in the past 30 years!

    Oh, my God. I had hopes for Enterprise because it would focus on the concept of a FRONTIER again, which by definition is a zone of struggling, improvisation, and frequent failure while incremental progress is made. That’s where drama and stories worthy of telling await. Frontiers ain’t where you come up with deux ex machina superweapons to whoop up on cardboard aliens / injuns between commercials. I agree with the poster above, they should have jerry-rigged ONE cannon, that Reed was TERRIFIED of having to fire because Jupier Station hadn’t checked it out, and it only burned out half the ship instead of blowing it up entirely when they were forced to use it, and Archer says no turning back, the mission continues and Trip says we’ll just have to limp along at Warp 3 for a while until we fix it, and it’s gonna involve overtime and sweat and what do we do if these guys aren’t really scared off after all and what do we do if / when they come back and fade to black……..

    Now THAT’s my idea of a story about the frontier….what they wrote, they should have just gone and had a Wesley look-alike come up with the power booster in Act 4….and somehow watch Earthlings learn about aliens is what this show is supposed to be about, not learning the fruit preferences of the guy sitting beside you. If the intership relationships are on such an inane level they aren’t worth watching….

    Oh well, I’m writing this after seeing Dear Doctor (MUCH better) so at least there is still a pulse in Enterprise, but I’m with Scotty on this one, Cap’n, I don’t know how much more of this Enterprise can take…..

  4. Ratings Data On Silent Enemy
    The Futon Critic has reported the final ratings for the first-run showing of ENT’s “Silent Enemy” on January 16 as a 3.7/6 watched by 6.1 million homes. This confirms that “Silent Enemy” was the lowest rated ENT episode of the season to date and that ENT has officially lost 51% of its viewers since the premiere of the series pilot, “Broken Bow”, on September 26 of last year. The number of homes viewing “Silent Enemy” also show a 12% fall off from the pre-hiatus viewing numbers for “Cold Front” on November 28 of last year.

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