Star Trek: Enterprise: Awakening   Rewatch 
March 1, 2020 8:43 AM - Season 4, Episode 8 - Subscribe

The captain and a small band of rebels race against time to return a Vulcan's soul to its rightful place, pursued by a relentless, ruthless enemy that will stop at nothing to get what they want. (No, this is not a repeat of Star Trek III--look, I know that I just did this joke a couple of weeks ago, but it still works, OK? You try coming up with a new FPP joke every fortnight! Sheesh.)

Memory Alpha has never melded with a Human before. Your… unchecked emotions will, no doubt, prove distasteful:

- Bruce Gray plays Surak in this episode. The same character, though based on a memory extracted from the mind of Captain Kirk, also appears in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Savage Curtain" in which he is played by Barry Atwater.

- This episode establishes that Surak died of radiation poisoning following the explosion of one or more atomic weapons on Mount Seleya during the the last battle against "those who marched beneath the Raptor's wings" (i.e. those Vulcans that opposed Surak's teaching, eventually becoming the Romulan Star Empire). The allusion of the Raptor's Wing refers to the bird-of-prey symbol that represents the Romulan Star Empire.

- This is the last of ten episodes of the series to be directed by Roxann Dawson.

- Bruce Gray previously played Chekote in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "The Circle" and the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Gambit, Part I".

"Your accomplishments have been noteworthy."
"They don't justify deception…"
"Deception has never been a stranger to this room."

- Kuvak, V'Las, and Soval

"You don't trust Vulcans, Captain, and given your experiences with them, I can't say I blame you. The culture you've come to know isn't the one I helped to create. My people have strayed, and someone must restore them to the path."
"You've got the wrong man."
"Sorry, Captain, there's an Earth expression: 'We're stuck with each other.' Don't fight what's been given to you. Open your mind and your heart and the way will become clear."

- Surak and Archer

"So I'm suffering from… a mind-meld hangover?"
"I wouldn't characterize it quite that way… but essentially."

-Archer and T'Pol

"Son of a bitch hung up on us!"

- Tucker, after V'Las abruptly ends transmission

Poster's Log:

Pretty meaty for the middle episode of a trilogy, in no small part because of the presence (at least in Archer's head) of Surak, who, according to his MA entry, fans have been wanting to see more of since his "appearance" in TOS' "The Savage Curtain." Like Kahless the Unforgettable, who occupies a similar place in the Klingon Empire (and who likewise had an appearance in "The Savage Curtain"), he occupies a central place in the section of Trek fandom that's centered around Vulcan, and he is maybe the central character in Diane Duane's excellent book Spock's World. (The book was published over thirty years ago, canon has moved on, and in particular I think that Surak's eventual fate was quite different from what was depicted here, so there's that, but it's still a good book if you can get your hands on a copy.) I like the way that Bruce Gray portrays him here, not fussy or pretentious at all; I think that there's sort of an implicit contrast between him and V'Las, who's even more of a snake in this installment, as he makes it increasingly clear that he's pretty much running the show, even to other members of the High Command. Kara Zediker also does a good job as T'Pau (who was originally going to be in the main cast until the showrunners decided to create a new character, T'Pol); she was apparently cast because of her resemblance to Celia Lovsky, who played the character in "Amok Time", but she also gets some of the elder T'Pau's mannerisms, occasionally lifting her chin in this slightly haughty way.

One other thing that I wanted to make note of here is that the episode ends with the news that the Vulcan High Command was going to attack Andoria, based on their alleged possession of evidence that the Andorians had a weapon of mass destruction (derived from the Xindi weapon). For an American show to do something like that in late '04, with the understanding that that pretense for a major war was inherently bogus, was, I think, boldly going somewhere that most other shows--and even this one, with its previous season's space 9/11-ticking time bomb story--hadn't gone before.

Poster's Log, Supplemental: The concept of a katric ark seems to have originated in beta canon and been made canon with this episode. I know that things like this and the Kir'Shara smack of mysticism and some people don't like it, but I've always thought that a lot of Vulcan culture is pretty heavily steeped in quasi-mystical practices and atmosphere anyway.
posted by Halloween Jack (2 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I'm continuing to enjoy the long-awaited and well-realized redemption of Soval. He and Tucker make a great pair:

"Mind if I ask you something? Why are you doing this? I never got the impression that you cared that much about Humans. Seems like… you were always finding something new to complain about."
"I lived on Earth for more than 30 years, Commander. In that time I developed an affinity for your world and its people."
"You did a pretty good job of hiding it."
"Thank you."

- Tucker and Soval

And on that topic, Tucker remains enjoyable in command mode.

Pretty meaty for the middle episode of a trilogy

Right on. This is actually the first time in this ENT rewatch that I felt genuinely compelled to just go ahead and watch the next episode right after this week's FF one.

I think that Surak's eventual fate was quite different from what was depicted here

Did the episode actually establish that the radiation sickness KILLED Surak? MA says that's what happened, but I don't recall anything conclusive in the episode. Although, yes, it's a very safe assumption.

I like the way that Bruce Gray portrays him here, not fussy or pretentious at all

Yeah, totally not what you expect, and yet very appropriate to the wisest of all wise-space-elves. That said, I can't help but wonder how much of Archer's personality might have seeped into his hallucina-Surak, because Gray's depiction has some seemingly human touches.

Poster's Log, Supplemental: The concept of a katric ark seems to have originated in beta canon and been made canon with this episode. I know that things like this and the Kir'Shara smack of mysticism and some people don't like it, but I've always thought that a lot of Vulcan culture is pretty heavily steeped in quasi-mystical practices and atmosphere anyway.

Totally with you there. I mean, when I was a kid, I tended to tune out the final scenes of Search for Spock, but even then I didn't have a problem with them, franchise-fit-wise. And I always love it when noncanon expanded-universe stuff makes the big leagues, like Coruscant.

For an American show to do something like that in late '04, with the understanding that that pretense for a major war was inherently bogus, was, I think, boldly going somewhere that most other shows--and even this one, with its previous season's space 9/11-ticking time bomb story--hadn't gone before.

I'd applaud the choice more if they hadn't known by this point that the show was getting shitcanned anyway. But I still applaud the choice.

Bruce Gray previously played Chekote in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "The Circle" and the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Gambit, Part I".

THAT's where I knew that guy from! Argh :)
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 3:54 AM on March 2 [2 favorites]


Now this was a solid middle episode of a three parter. I'm also excited because they keep talking about Andorians and I expect Shran will march into view at any moment, antennae-first.

Poor T'Pol. Imagine going on what's obviously YOUR character's DLC quest and you keep not being super strong, and your grumpy Boss Dad wears his NX-01 hat as part of his disguise, and HE gets the soul of Vulcan Jesus, and you keep getting injured, and also your mom dies.

I like the Vulcan high command stuff. I wish they'd shown a little more about why V'Las gets to decide everything the high command does and why he has such a boner for war. I feel like this has to end in him committing suicide.

There's actually a decent "war is bad" message in this episode, which is really refreshing. I often think about how when I was growing up, the idea of peace (and hatred of war) was very commonly expressed in culture, but now it has almost completely disappeared and we're now just at war forever.
posted by fleacircus at 11:44 PM on March 4 [2 favorites]


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