Star Trek: Enterprise: Carpenter Street   Rewatch 
October 7, 2019 5:45 AM - Season 3, Episode 11 - Subscribe

Archer discovers that he's only just begun to participate in the Temporal Cold War.

Background from Memory Alpha:

- Much consideration went into deciding when this episode would be set. "We talked about a lot of different time periods and felt that contemporary times would be cool" recalled Star Trek: Enterprise co-creator and Executive Producer Brannon Braga. The writers made their choice of selecting a modern setting because it allowed them to create the character of Loomis as a more relatable character.

- Leland Orser previously played Gai, (DS9: "Sanctuary") Lovok, (DS9: "The Die is Cast") and Dejaren. (VOY: "Revulsion")

- This was the first episode of any Star Trek series to be rated TV-14 in the United States, due to a small part of the plot involving drugs and prostitution.

- The idea of characters coming back to the same time period as the real-life filming is similar to TOS: "Assignment: Earth", Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, and VOY: "Future's End". In this instance, "Carpenter Street" was filmed and aired in 2003 and Archer and T'Pol travel back to the then-future year of 2004.

- According to background production art, this episode takes place mostly in October, 2004.

- The truck "borrowed" by Archer and T'Pol happens to be the same color and type as the one used by Tom Paris and Tuvok in the episode VOY: "Future's End".

- There are many references to the 1978 horror film Halloween. The title, and street name, is a reference to Director John Carpenter. Loomis is a reference to Dr. Sam Loomis, played by Donald Pleasence. Lawrence Strode is a reference to Laurie Strode, played by Jamie Lee Curtis. Loomis talks about a "Mr. Myers," a reference to the infamous killer Michael Myers. Loomis drives an old station wagon, much like one Myers drives in the film Halloween.

- Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who played Damron in this episode, stated in 2012 to Entertainment Weekly that he only took the role because he needed some money to pay his bills. He recalled the experience of playing a Xindi-Reptilian was not pleasant for him at all, remembering that he had to stick straws in his nose to breathe, was claustrophobic the entire time and that he couldn't eat. He remembered going to his home in tears and claimed he nearly quit acting because of his experience on Enterprise.

- After T'Pol refuses to have a french fry from the burger restaurant, Loomis says, "Have it your way," a slogan used in Burger King advertising.

- Brannon Braga was pleased with the way this installment turned out. "It was certainly fun," he said, "to get out off the ship and see reptiles creeping around modern-day Detroit." Braga also found it "fascinating" that the episode's main antagonist, at least in his opinion, is not the Reptilians but the Human Loomis.

Memorable quotes:
"People used to go to jail for this."
"We'll return what we don't use."
- Archer and T'Pol, after Archer uses 22nd century technology to take money from an ATM

"Why would anyone on the street be interested in acquiring Mexhohexital?"
- T'Pol, to Loomis, after scanning the drugs and discovering they were sedatives and not recreational drugs

"Those creatures – the lizard people – they're around here somewhere. You gotta find 'em!"
"No problem. We'll get right on that."
"Be careful. Be careful. They got ray guns."
"Yeah, ray guns. Got it."
- Loomis and his arresting officer

Poster's Log:
I admittedly haven't yet had a chance to do a rewatch of this one. I remember it being less fun than most "present"-day time-travel Trek installments, probably due to the scuzzy circumstances and the Loomis character. I may have more to add later.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil (5 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It is less fun than most previous more-or-less-present-day Trek episodes, without the various errors that the time travelers usually make (LDS, double-dumb-ass, etc.), but that's OK because of the fairly grim circumstances that they're in at the moment. My main objection to the episode is probably that the Xindi (at least the Xindi-Reptilians) have time travel, which could be used in any number of easier and more effective ways than paying a local to kidnap people in order to make a bioweapon--say, assassinating Zefram Cochrane. (Although that might set up a temporal paradox.) Mostly, I was a little frustrated at some details that seemed to be handwaved away: how did the Xindi make contact with Loomis (Craigslist?), and what did Loomis need the money for so badly that he was willing to kidnap people on behalf of other people that he didn't even get a clear look at, for purposes that even he admitted were probably nefarious? And that's not even getting into practical things, such as which of the Xindi were changing bedpans for all those unconscious people. (This is a consideration which of course no Trek show bothers with, leading fans to theorize that bodily waste is simply beamed away.)

But anyway, it's a good use of the plot where someone is basically just out to make a buck without considering the bigger implications of what they're doing. (See also: DS9's "Business as Usual", in which Quark temporarily gets into the arms dealing business.) A couple of other things: Methohexital is a real drug, and when I saw Jeffrey Dean Morgan's name in the credits, I wondered when he'd make his appearance before I realized that he was one of the Xindi.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:26 AM on October 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

This episode largely made no sense, and most of why is highlighted by Halloween Jack. Jesus, if you have time travel, just go back to the dawn of man and take out all seven of them with your phasers.

Also, um, kinda gross with the whole drugging and kidnapping sex workers.
posted by General Malaise at 11:05 AM on October 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

Oh, and because I hate just being negative: It was fun watching T'Pol navigate 2004 Detroit. She was a highlight in this one (and no Trip business!).
posted by General Malaise at 11:18 AM on October 7, 2019

Agreed, General. I really loved her no-bullshit approach to everything, even though it is strange that the "time travel is impossible" conversation was never followed up on.

I did miss the presence of a team member to remark upon or marvel at being in the past, a la Sulu in TVH or Dax in "Tribble-ations" or Bashir in "Past Tense." But justifying another main cast member's presence would've been tough.

In my headcanon, the seven victims all have last names like Bell and Cochrane and KHAAAAAAN
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 2:30 PM on October 8, 2019

They seriously overdid it with the Halloween references. When I read the summary I was like, "Strode? That's an unusual name. I think the only time I ever heard it before was in Halloween. Wait a minute... Loomis? Meyers? Carpenter? Oh, Jesus!" I wonder why they went so crazy with the references. It's not like this episode's plot is inspired by the movie or something.

Mostly I'm just posting to say that I'm glad to see these threads continuing!
posted by Ursula Hitler at 9:59 PM on October 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

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