Star Trek: Enterprise: Bounty   Rewatch 
July 15, 2019 10:24 AM - Season 2, Episode 25 - Subscribe

The crew meet their first Tellarite.

Memory Alpha details:

Background information:
> The selection of this episode's antagonist came early in the writing of the installment. Brannon Braga recalled, "When we sat down to develop the episode, we thought, why not make it a Tellarite bounty hunter. Why do Klingons again?" (Star Trek: Communicator issue 145, p. 31)
> The first draft script of this episode was submitted on 7 March 2003. The installment's final draft script was issued a week later, on 14 March.
> Robert O'Reilly is better known for his role as Gowron in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Jordan Lund also appeared in both those series, playing Kulge in "Redemption II" – in which O'Reilly also appeared – and Woban in "The Storyteller".
> This episode was filmed between 19 and 27 March 2003.
> This is the first appearance of the revised Tellarite makeup by Michael Westmore and first appearance of the Tellarites since Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, discounting stock footage.
> The interior of Skalaar's shuttle was a redress of the Class 2 shuttle set from Star Trek: Voyager.
> The space station visited by the bounty hunter Skalaar and Archer was a reuse of the Cardassian repair facility CGI model from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. They appeared in the Monac shipyards in "Shadows and Symbols", as the Kelvas repair facility in "Tacking Into the Wind" and one was seen in orbit of Cardassia Prime in "What You Leave Behind".
> A D'kyr-type Vulcan ship can be seen docked at the station with its warp ring in a horizontal position. This is the first and only time we see the ship in this type of configuration.
> This is the last episode of the "original direction" of the series occurring just before the Xindi attack on Earth, as is depicted in "The Expanse". The premise of Enterprise being a ship of exploration was scrapped in favor of the year-long Xindi arc in season 3 and the usually short arcs (as well as a few single episodes) that were more often closely related to Star Trek: The Original Series in Enterprise's fourth season.
> Captain Archer ejects in an escape pod off the Klingon vessel, though T'Pol claimed that Klingon vessels did not have escape pods in "Sleeping Dogs".
> This episode featured the last on-screen usage of decontamination gel in the series, though it would be mentioned in dialogue during some subsequent episodes.

Memorable quotes
"I've learned never to cross a Klingon."
- Skalaar

"You'd be wise to keep quiet. The Klingons pay me the same whether you're alive or dead."
- Skalaar, to Archer

This Week In:
* Pointless STO Comparisons: Tellarites are one of the base Federation races, although I don’t see many around.
* Vulcans Are Superior: Apparently T’Pol is more resistant to the microbe than humans.
* Non-Catastrophic Equipment Failures: None, but their sensors are still very easily fooled.
* Aliens Outclass Enterprise: Skalaar is able to run circles around the NX-01, but it’s through careful preparation rather than outright tech superiority from the look of things.

Poster’s Log:
Starting with the good: the Archer stuff worked fine for me for a change. It feels like Bakula is finally feeling comfortable here, and it doesn’t hurt that they give him a decent plot to work with. Skalaar is an interesting character, the Tellarite makeup is up to Westmore standards and so on. The plot even has a passably clever resolution.

The other side of the episode was awful, another one of their ‘humiliate T’Pol’ outings. I’m not sure what they were hoping to accomplish, but it was pretty bad seeing her character misused that way. I think it’s worse that she’s depicted not even remembering doing any of it, and nobody tells her about her encounter in the halls. The only point of relief there is that the decon gel scenes are done, per MA.
posted by mordax (14 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Ah, the mid-series finale!

“Ladies and gentlemen, the space show has been put on hiatus for retooling.”
posted by Servo5678 at 12:46 PM on July 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

“Ladies and gentlemen, the space show has been put on hiatus for retooling.”

"And the entire next season will be mostly serial, you know, like the best of DS9"
Cheers from the audience
"And it will be a terrorism/war on terror/9-11/hoo-rah America analogy!"
Boos from the audience
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 1:43 PM on July 15, 2019 [5 favorites]

I think that the A story actually worked rather well, for yet one more example of a trope that's already gotten a big workout in the series (Archer being kidnapped or imprisoned). First, I liked the reworked version of the Tellarites in ENT quite a lot; like the Andorians, it both pays homage to the original version and improves on it quite a lot. (I don't like the newest revisions, in DSC, much at all.) I also thought that Skalaar was a good one-shot character; someone who wasn't bad, necessarily, but rationalizing up a storm in order to get both his ship and his brother back. And, even though I wasn't that keen on the Klingons-as-murderhobos thing that was set up in "Judgment", at least they're being consistent with it here. (Speaking of Klingons, I almost laughed when I heard Kago-Darr's voice; I had forgotten about Robert O'Reilly being in the episode, but when I heard him speak, I immediately knew who it was.

As for the decon gel scene, well... I liked the A story enough that i wanted to be charitable about this one, thinking that it was a bit less egregious than the previous ones, that it gave Jolene Blalock a chance to stretch her acting chops a little more than she usually gets (as we've seen with other actors in the franchise playing low-affect characters, e.g. Leonard Nimoy, Brent Spiner, Tim Russ, Jeri Ryan), even that it added some tension to the B-story, but honestly, I won't be sad to see this spacesploitation stuff go.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:18 PM on July 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

"And it will be a terrorism/war on terror/9-11/hoo-rah America analogy!"

Yeah, I sort of remember kind of going "meh" after the first season and only halfassedly watching the second season, but I think I watched exactly one episode of the Xindi arc before going "oh fuck _this_ GWOT bullshit".
posted by Kyol at 2:41 PM on July 15, 2019 [3 favorites]

the Tellarite makeup is up to Westmore standards

Likewise O'Reilly's. Between the great makeup and his always-reliable performance, he made an excellent…whatever that was.

I liked the A story enough that i wanted to be charitable about this one, thinking that it was a bit less egregious than the previous ones [...] but honestly, I won't be sad to see this spacesploitation stuff go.

In a way, this B story almost ruined the A story for me, because (with a few exceptions, such as the plot beats involving Skalaar's brother) the A story felt predictable enough that the main tension came from the shit-ass B story—specifically, will Phlox stay professional or not—and I resented that being the main tension.

But god bless Blalock for the B-plot's one redeeming moment, right after Phlox says they have to go into decon: T'Pol's fleeting "god fucking dammit" facial expression.

And in unexpected worldbuilding tidbits: judging by the fact that Skalaar once hauled fire salt, it sounds like Tamriel is somewhere in the Alpha Quadrant.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 7:56 AM on July 16, 2019 [2 favorites]

I loved S1 & S2 so, so, so much and the painful, rapid descent into jingoistic post-9/11 bullshit that marked the Xindi storyline was beyond exhausting.

Of all the Star Treks, I think Enterprise had the greatest squandered potential. I love these characters, I love this ship, I love the theme, and I abhor what they did to it. Archer is written in an all-but-unrecognizable way once the Xindi business kicks into high gear. He doesn't even feel like the same character.
posted by radiosilents at 12:59 PM on July 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

I can’t imagine S3 Archer giving the gazelle speech, that’s for sure.
posted by Servo5678 at 3:25 PM on July 16, 2019

See, the funny thing for me is that in rewatches, with some distance, the second half of Enterprise has held up a bit better for me. It still gets my damn hackles up just how blatantly post-9/11 it is initially, but it plays out better than I would have hoped, I guess?
posted by Kyol at 6:44 PM on July 16, 2019

If nothing else, S3/the Xindi arc cleared the board for S4, which was loads better.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:50 PM on July 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

I'm almost looking forward to the season 3 re-watch because so much of the last two seasons I couldn't watch for spoons reasons while season 3 I can totally re-watch without needing to watch myself for emotional/panic reasons just anger reasons and that's easily solvable with a lovely beverage or two in hand. I'll give wine/beer recommendations for each episode. Chateau Picard anyone?
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 9:56 PM on July 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

I would wager my firstborn that Chateau Picard will soon be purchasable. Even if the show sucks and flops.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 5:16 AM on July 17, 2019 [1 favorite]
posted by zadcat at 12:49 PM on July 20, 2019

"'Star Trek' Warps Into the Wine Frontier with Château Picard"
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 6:49 AM on August 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

Skalaar a fun side character. I can't help it I love the dopes. Plus, Bakula is best when he's playing off someone, not when he's giving orders. Archer's been captured a lot but this kind of unwilling companion capture is pretty different than being in alien jail or whatever.
posted by fleacircus at 6:00 AM on November 3, 2019

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