Enterprise Review: “The Seventh”

B&B are back. But is it as bad as we’ve feared?

Enterprise LogoThe
Seventh

 

Cast & Crew

Director: David Livingston
Written By: Rick Berman & Brannon Braga

Starring
Scott Bakula as Captain
Jonathan Archer
Connor Trinneer as Chief
Engineer Charles 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
Bruce Davison as Menos
Richard Wharton as Jossen
David Richards as Dockmaster
Vincent Hammond as Huge Alien
Coleen Maloney as Vulcan Officer
Stephen Mendillo as Vulcan Captain

Airdate Information

Originally Aired: Nov. 6, 2002
Season: Two
Episode: Six
Production: 032

The SeventhWhat
Happened

T’Pol is ordered by the Vulcan High Council to retrieve a rogue operative, Menos, who is suspected of selling weapons materials. The catch is that he’s evaded T’Pol once before. Menos, it turns out, is easily captured, but acid washing of the landing pad prevents T’Pol, Archer, and Mayweather from returning to the ship.

While marooned, Menos begs to be released, saying he’s no criminal, but a simple family man that didn’t want to go back to Vulcan. T’Pol, conflicted by repressed feeling’s of guilt (she killed one of Menos’ associates 17 years ago), doubts herself and their entire mission.

Setting the bar ablaze, Menos escapes. While searching his ship, Mayweather discovers a hologram masking Menos’ hiding place. He slips out, but T’Pol shoots him before he can get away. Mayweather finds a secret stash of weapons material, proving that Menos was a smuggler after all.

Review

You know what? For a B&B episode, it wasn’t that bad. Sure, Bruce Davison (X-Men, X-Men 2) holds it together for the most part, but by and large it was a much better piece of work than any of their previous outings.

That is not to excuse them from all blame, as the plot on this one wore a little thin around half-way through and the ‘twist’ at the end was no surprise.

On a final note: I shouldn’t be too surprised, but Paramount is wont to do this: Reuse items, props, etc. from the movies in production. Anyone else notice the Reman in the bar?

High Point

There is now a genuine trust between Archer and T’Pol and several scenes (particularly the one outside the bar) that make this evident. One thing the successful series have used is a familial relationship between crew mates. Something Voyager severely lacked.

Low Point

The additional “we found the bad guy’s stuff” revelation seemed pointless. I mean he was hiding behind a holographic wall. I think we now know he’s a bad guy.

The Scores

Originality: Not truly original, at least it is for Enterprise. At least it didn’t resemble A-Team. 3 out 6.

Effects: Fairly light on effects, but what there was looked clean. 3 out of 6.

Story: A nice delve into T’Pol’s background. And to think we wouldn’t see any of her fancy footwork again! 4 out of 6.

Acting: I live Davison. He’s a good villain. Blalock’s performance ranges from good to silly. 4 out of 6.

Emotional Response: I enjoyed the bond that’s forming between Archer and T’Pol. Trip’s foray into Captainhood was good for a laugh as well. 5 out of 6.

Production: There was the Reman cheat, otherwise, it was an OK production. 4 out of 6.

Overall: A better job than last week. Hopefully this is the last B&B episode for a while. 4 out of 6.

Total: 27 out of 42

Episode Media

From StarTrek.com

Next Time on Enterprise (Nov. 13, 2002)

Next Time on EnterpriseThe Communicator

Reed accidentally leaves his communicator on a pre-warp alien planet during a visit, and when he returns with Archer to retrieve the crucial technology, they are captured by soldiers who accuse them of being enemy spies. Meanwhile, Trip and Mayweather use the cloaking technology of the damaged Suliban Cell-Ship they had previously captured in an attempt to rescue Archer and Reed before they are executed.

TheAngrymob

13 replies on “Enterprise Review: “The Seventh””

  1. manly says:

    T’Pol’s Dreaming Scenes
    I found the first couple of flashback scenes to be very hard to follow. The first few scenes seemed like she was being raped. It seemed to be kind of a let down when the truth came out… after all, I would love to hear how a Vulcan would deal with harsher emotional situations, such as rape, family distress, failure to acheive expectations, etc. Of course, this would probably be too deep for most episodes…

  2. Daemonik says:

    Issues
    After last weeks embarrasing representation of the Klingons it should be apparent that B&B don’t care about how we have come to expect these characters to behave.

    For instance, Starfleet might not meet the USMarine Corp ideal of gung-ho soldiery, but when your commanding officer tells you that details of a mission are classified they are by god classified. You do NOT continue to badger and whine for little details like a spoiled school child. But then considering the way they showed Trip taking command of Enterprise, perhaps infant is more appropriate. I can not comprehend how we are supposed to believe that someone who’s in charge of a friggen warp reactor, the chief engineer who should be capable of making snap emergency decisions that could effect the lives of the crew should be such a wishy-washy non-committal commander. Sweet baby Jesus, right or wrong make a damn decision and stick by it, the crew and the audience would respect it more than that “I’ll get back to you” crap.

    Then there’s T’Pol. Where to start. How about, who in their right minds tries to convice a Vulcan to let you go by playing off their emotions???? Logic, yes, pleas for mercy because of your family??? Gah

    But that’s okay, because B&B were there to ensure that this Vulcan had emotions to spare for this episode. Guilt, apprehension, anxiety and fear were running amok in poor Miss T’Pol. Good thing the captain was there to steady her so she could shoot M’nos in the back, even though it’s completely contradictory to his stance for the underdog last week, but then what’s consistency when you’re raping a franchise?

    We find that the emotional burden of having killed a man forces T’Pol to undergo a ceremony to purge herself of all memory of the events that led to the suspects death, a pretty crappy ceremony that falls apart the first mention of anything related to the event. No wonder it’s no longer practiced.

    Whatever happened to the stance that emotions could kill a Vulcan? Spock was half-human and didn’t display as much baggage as this woman.

    Ugh.

    Guess I’m done venting.

    • lost says:

      Re: Issues

      For instance, Starfleet might not meet the USMarine Corp ideal of gung-ho soldiery, but when your commanding officer tells you that details of a mission are classified they are by god classified. You do NOT continue to badger and whine for little details like a spoiled school child. But then considering the way they showed Trip taking command of Enterprise, perhaps infant is more appropriate. I can not comprehend how we are supposed to believe that someone who’s in charge of a friggen warp reactor, the chief engineer who should be capable of making snap emergency decisions that could effect the lives of the crew should be such a wishy-washy non-committal commander. Sweet baby Jesus, right or wrong make a damn decision and stick by it, the crew and the audience would respect it more than that “I’ll get back to you” crap.

      Have you ever tried to make a snap decision in a situation that you have no experience with? I actually felt for Trip in that situation; I’ve been there. I’m a system administrator and I have to make decisions about a network that affect my customers all the time. I have no particular difficulty making said decisions because I understand the consequences and have the overall picture for the whole of the network I’m responsible for. Now put me in the CEO’s position. Now, I don’t have the overview understanding of the whole company. If I had the “advisors” coming to me and asking me to approve something, I would be suspicious that they were trying to take advantage of my lack of knowledge and experience and I would be very worried that I will make a decision that is detrimental to the entire company.

      Sounds a little like apples to oranges you say? Well, in the company I work for, the CEO is equivalent to the captain and the system administrator is equivalent to the chief engineer. (That is, in comparative responsibilities.) Both are equally important but very different jobs. I make a passable (possibly good) system administrator but that doesn’t mean I can instantly fall into the roll of CEO!

      Overall, we didn’t see anything about Trip’s captaining after he bluffed the Vulcans (any bet that comes back to haunt them). I expect that bluff was supposed to be the point at which Trip started to make the tough decisions although that wasn’t made particularly clear. Certainly there was enough air time to put a couple of statements in about that at the expense of some of the excess with respect to T’Pol.

      • TechnoGirl says:

        Re: Apples and Oranges

        Sounds a little like apples to oranges you say? Well, in the company I work for, the CEO is equivalent to the captain and the system administrator is equivalent to the chief engineer. (That is, in comparative responsibilities.) Both are equally important but very different jobs.

        Having actually been in the military both as an peon and in a small command capacity (Technogrl is a Renaissance woman) I can ASSURE you that CEO’s and systemn administrators are NOTHING like Captains and Crew. For one thing you are not expected to give up your life as part of your job description…. for another, you are not expected to take someone’s else’s. The previous poster had it SPOT ON when he diuscussed proper military protocol.

        • lost says:

          Re: Apples and Oranges

          Sounds a little like apples to oranges you say? Well, in the company I work for, the CEO is equivalent to the captain and the system administrator is equivalent to the chief engineer. (That is, in comparative responsibilities.) Both are equally important but very different jobs.

          Having actually been in the military both as an peon and in a small command capacity (Technogrl is a Renaissance woman) I can ASSURE you that CEO’s and systemn administrators are NOTHING like Captains and Crew. For one thing you are not expected to give up your life as part of your job description…. for another, you are not expected to take someone’s else’s. The previous poster had it SPOT ON when he diuscussed proper military protocol.

          I’ll defer to experience in the question of proper military protocol. (I’d be a fool not to really.) However, that’s not what I was speaking to. I was referring to what goes on inside a person’s head. You’ll never convince me that a good leader never has any doubts about the decision, military protocol or not, decision made or not. Yes, he should have been able to make that decision on the spot; it was obvious to everyone. (In fact, I found that whole scene painful as much as I sympathized with him even given that I clearly have never been in the military.) It would have been nice to see that play out a bit longer instead of some of those T’Pol flashbacks. That is, to see how long he dithered about the decisions.

          And, of course there is the whole fact that I never reread what I wrote before pressing “Post” which is clearly a stupid thing to do as I probably would have wrote something different (and closer to what I wanted to say).

          • TechnoGirl says:

            Re: Apples and Oranges

            You’ll never convince me that a good leader never has any doubts about the decision, military protocol or not, decision made or not….. That is, to see how long he dithered about the decisions. </BLOCKQUOTE>

            In the military, one of the axioms of command that you are taught is "Make a decision – *any* decision".

            Of course you have doubts…but an effective leader *never* shows them to her subordinates.

            On of the axioms of writing that you are taught is "Write about what you know"

            Clearly Brennen and Braga don’t know poop about squat and are counting on their assumption that Star Trek fans are a bunch of fat pre pubescent dunb kids who could care less about good writing and sensible plots if the show has a hottie in a skin tight outfit.

            I’ve been a Star Trek fan (but not Voyager) since the mid 60’s but I *HAVE* to conclude that Star Trek is dead and that Brennen and Braga have killed it.

            BTW you can express your dissatisfaction to Mr. Braga himself on his crappy "glamour photo" website
            at:

            http://www.brannonbraga.com/message_board.htm


            Of course when you do you will be immidiately be banned from his site but the satisfaction in telling that cheap hack off out to be worth it.

            Pass the word….

      • Daemonik says:

        Re: Issues

        If I had the “advisors” coming to me and asking me to approve something, I would be suspicious that they were trying to take advantage of my lack of knowledge and experience and I would be very worried that I will make a decision that is detrimental to the entire company.

        In a military setting (which Starfleet is), this would be a disastrous attitude to take. A senior staff member might try to help an inexperienced officer with their command, or they might take over the command if people’s lives were in danger (for which they could expect a court martial as soon as possible, the military does not take mutiny lightly) but they would not deliberately attempt to make someone look like a fool. Such a person would never have become a trusted member of the Captain’s staff to begin with if that was in their character.

        Someone as highly trained as Tripp, to have the position he’s in on that ship, should have no trouble making decisions and trusting the other members of the command staff. If the Dr. makes a recommendation to prevent the spread of a disease there is absolutely no responsible reason to ignore it unless you’re in an active combat situation. To think that Tripp was more worried about his reputation with the crew than their health is reprehensible.

    • SciFi0964 says:

      Vulcan Emotional Baggage? Was this Trek?

      Then there’s T’Pol. Where to start. How about, who in their right minds tries to convice a Vulcan to let you go by playing off their emotions???? Logic, yes, pleas for mercy because of your family??? Gah

      Forgive them. It must have been the 100 years of evolution not yet seen in the Trek History that caused T’Pol to show an emotional reaction. Either that or T’Pol is really a Romulan spy! (Role eyes to heavens).

      This story would have been better played off another character other than the Vulcan; like maybe Captain Archer’s dog. Did the story make sense? Not altogether with the character they used. I would have enjoyed another character that made sense like the Chief of Security with this plot. However, it seems Universal is pushing T’Pol related stories, probably for her more visual qualities like the 7 of 9 show.

      I give this 3 Ugs of 5 for my painful watching meter

  3. rickyjames says:

    Something’s Amok This Time…

    I’m so starved for expressions of depth on Enterprise that when pseudo-depth shows up the temptation is to grab it and hug it like the Prodigal Son. But no, if you think it thru, this bad boy deserves a spanking…

    Any story that’s based on manipulating the audience’s emotions by relying on the emotions of Vulcans is on shaky ground indeed. In TOS the two eps of this type that come to mind were Amok TIme and Journey to Babel – both classics. This was a pretty common element in the ST Movies. TNG and DS9 pretty much ignored Vulcan emotion stories, at least none spring to mind. Voyager got some mileage out of Tuvok in this regard but in general he was presented with SOME dignity – he never just flat cracked up and fell apart…like T’Pol.

    The key to a Vulcan emotion story is to show the individual’s will being reluctantly beat into submission by the dictates of Vulcan culture. At the end of the story, you’re supposed to appreciate that Vulcans DO have emotions and yet be in awe of the lenghts they’ll go to in repressing it to conform to their culture, which is NOBLE and WORTH such a sacrifice.

    Now what have we got here? T’Pol fundamentally DISTRUSTS all aspects of Vulcan culture. Their government leaders are presented as conspirators, their religious leaders as bumbling witch doctors and their starship captains as stupid simpletons fooled by lil ole Trip. T’Pol is presented as a heavy with a license to kill going after some kind of Vulcan Col. Kurtz up the Mekong River in Cambodia that lies and smuggles and is a terrorist. We’re never told WHY this guy chose this path…just that he DID. But wait…we see he really IS a bioweapons terrorist so any doubts we have against him were UNJUSTIFIED. So what was a shade of grey turns out to be black and white after all…. a typical Star Trek ending lately…

    So with the basic principle of a Vulcan emotion story unfulfilled, this was just a mess. You don’t believe in the Vulcan (T’Pol) and you don’t believe in Vulcan (the culture). In it’s way, this is as big a rip-off as last week’s Klingon farce. It’s just harder to see because it’s cloaked in pseudo-depth instead of a Seuss poem.

    The (ahem) “heart of darkness” in all of this is that usually a show goes a couple of seasons before scrapping the dregs of recycled movie plots just to make it from week to week. Last week was Seven Saumeri; this week was Apocolypse Now. What’s next week? The Gods Must Be Crazy? I think it was almost better when it was the Cave Of The Week…

  4. Trekkie says:

    T’Pol’s Outfits
    I’m having a dificult time taking T’Pol seriously in any form. She is there, dead serious wearing the painted on outfits she does, standing there at attention with enough upper body support to point them at her eyes is absolutely ridiculous.

    Totally ruining the idea of trek IMHO.

  5. jsimon12 says:

    B&B drop another stinker?
    I tend to agree, seems B&B have little if any regard for “standard” Trek rules, like Vulcans don’t have emotions, Klingons are badass killers, Spock was the first Vulcan to serve on a human ship, etc etc etc. Don’t get me wrong, I can completely understand bending or breaking the rules to make things interesting, but if Enterprise keeps moving the way it does I think it will be the end of Star Trek.

  6. is says:

    not as bad as last week…
    …but last week was pretty darn bad. so I’d say that this episode sucked too. My biggest problem with it was the fact that it was VERY lacking in suprise. The story is so predictable that the answer could be seen coming around the mountain (when she comes).

    So basically it can all be summed up in “No fighting, no suspense, no cool aliens, no cool tech gadgets” What have we got left after you remove all of that? A stupid story not having enough creativity to at least gloss over the fact that the rules were broken.

    I’m tempted to make the prediction that in 2 seasons all aliens will act just like humans. :O)

  7. Steve Franklin says:

    Just Plain Boring
    If anything is going to finally kill Star Trek, it will be when the plots get so stupid and meaningless that there’s no point in watching. This episode was a giant step in that direction. Others have listed the deviations from well established Star Trek lore. I will not repeat them. What the writers need to realise is that when you end up with characters who look like Star Trek characters but behave in other, peculiar ways, it rapidly gets to the point where they are not believable any more or there’s no way to determine what’s really going on, and that’s the point when people will lose interest. I am personally nearing that point.

Comments are closed.