Star Trek: Enterprise: Proving Ground   Rewatch 
October 21, 2019 1:30 PM - Season 3, Episode 13 - Subscribe

It’s a Shran-tastic day in the Expanse as Archer’s Andorian frenemy Shran (Trek franchise MVP Jeffrey Combs) drops by to wish him luck. But is there an ulterior motive behind his offer of aid?

Background from Memory Alpha:

- The Kumari's captain's chair is a reuse of either the USS Voyager's captain's or XO's chair.

- When Shran contacts the Xindi, he pretends to be a scout from the "Andorian Mining Consortium". This could be a reference to the non-canon video game Star Trek: 25th Anniversary, which was the first (and only) source where the Consortium was mentioned. However it is not made clear in that episode that the Consortium really existed; it could be an invention improvised by Shran.

- Shran justifies taking the Xindi weapon by claiming that Xindi technology would deter the Vulcans from attacking them, however it later has the opposite effect, when in "Kir'Shara", V'Las uses the (false) information that the Andorians have acquired Xindi technology to justify an invasion of Andoria.

- As Enterprise passes through the field of spatial anomalies, the anomalies begin to merge, forming anomalies large enough to fully engulf Enterprise. This foreshadows the discovery of the much larger trans-dimensional disturbance in "Harbinger".

"So… how did you get picked for this assignment?"
"I volunteered. It made sense. I've had the greatest amount of contact with pink… with Humans, and the last time we met you helped my people avert a war. I don't like unpaid debts."
"We keep doing each other favors."
"Isn't that how alliances are born?"
- Archer and Shran

"The last time I saw weapons like these was during my early tactical training."
"I'm sorry I wasted your time on our primitive systems."
"Not at all… I found it nostalgic."
- Talas and Reed

"The Andorian Mining Consortium runs from no one."
- Shran, sarcastically

Poster's Log:
I was pondering the Smartest Things This Show Ever Did, and here are the three things I came up with, in no particular order:
- Turning the reins over to Coto & Sussman (albeit too late to save the show)
- Giving the Andorians a conflict with the Vulcans
- Giving us Combs as the show’s Andorian standard-bearer

The Shran character just brings so many story possibilities to the table. I got the sense, in fact, that this episode came into being as a result of the folks behind the scenes realizing what a home run they had hit in establishing that character, kind of like DS9 “The Wire” w/r/t Garak.

(Btw, here is a recent Shran-related Mastodon thing.)

Anyway, apart from Shran: it seems infantile for the Xindi Council to whine about a planet only being split in half; what, does the atmosphere not evaporate fast enough for them?

But I did like the fact that the Talas/Reed stuff went in a slightly unexpected direction after the predictable opening scenes. And the overall story of this episode was just impactful enough to stir some semblance of emotion in my deadened breast.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil (8 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My favourite point about the Andorians in this series is they made their antennae move. There's one moment when Shran is startled and his antennae stand on end , like a couple of exclamation marks!!
posted by zadcat at 3:54 PM on October 21, 2019 [6 favorites]

A very solid Xindi/Expanse show that also does a great job in showing the evolution of the human/Andorian relationship. If the real ultimate arc of the show--or at least what it became, and promised to be more of if it had gotten three more seasons--is to show how the Terrans, Vulcans, Andorians, and Tellarites eventually became the Federation, it makes sense for them to go through a phase where they may not be openly hostile to each other, but are still self-serving in their actions. Even within the course of the show, Shran beams over the data that they collected on the sphere, when he has no real reason to, at least not in the immediate future, and a potential black mark on his career, especially if the general finds out that he shared the data. And there are a bunch of neat bits in the rest of the episode as well, with "Archerite" and Talas and Reed working together, even as they act out their own trust dance.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:04 PM on October 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

It’s a Shran-tastic day in the Expanse

We also would have accepted; It's gonna be a bright bright sunshraney (Shranshiney?) day.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 8:34 PM on October 21, 2019 [4 favorites]

Shran! Shran Shran Shran Shraaaaaaaaaaan!

Honestly, if there was one good thing to come out of Enterprise, it was Shran.
posted by Kyol at 6:53 AM on October 23, 2019 [2 favorites]

Captain Shrantastic
Blue and leather-chested
MeFi Fanfare's heeeeee-roooo

posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 9:57 AM on October 23, 2019 [2 favorites]

Heck yeah.

I love the introduction of Shran where they make it look like the antenna are on Archer's head. You can tell they just fucking love Shran.

I'm having fun imagining that the Vulcans used to be a little more soft and the Andoreans used to be a little more measured, and the two cultures were friends, but then they had a bad breakup and Andoreans are like, "You know what sucks? Lying hypocrite Vulcans RRARARHGGHG!" and Vulcans are like, "You know what sucks? Ever having a feeling ever."
posted by fleacircus at 4:13 PM on November 8, 2019

I love the introduction of Shran where they make it look like the antenna are on Archer's head. You can tell they just fucking love Shran.

Yeah, and Jeffrey Combs is clearly having a ball. This show has made the Andorians one of my favorite Trek species.

I found this wiki page on Andorians while looking for more info. If you ever wondered what James Marsters or Katheryn Winnick might look like as Andorians, wonder know more.
posted by homunculus at 11:31 AM on December 5, 2019 [2 favorites]

Enterprise Daytrippers
posted by homunculus at 12:16 PM on December 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

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