Star Trek: Enterprise: Divergence   Rewatch 
April 26, 2020 10:44 AM - Season 4, Episode 16 - Subscribe

Captains Archer and Hernandez make the starship with two backs.

Memory Alpha will need to find a new specialty – perhaps cranial reconstruction!:

- The graphic designers mistakenly added the USS prefix to both the Enterprise and Columbia in episode artwork. Neither of the ships were ever designated USS.

- Reed's self-imposed exodus from Section 31 would prove to be short-lived; while he tells Harris that he takes orders from one commander – Archer – barely a month later, the captain himself, distrustful of the answers he was getting from Earth political figures regarding the burgeoning Terra Prime crisis, personally asks Reed to use his underground contacts in the hopes of getting some real answers to what's going on.

- "Do you understand what will happen if the general learns that we've deceived him?"
"A cure would save millions of innocent lives. What more honorable death could there be for a healer – Klingon or Denobulan?"

- Phlox and Antaak

"Denobulan family units are different from Klingons."
"Ah, yes, I've heard. Three wives for each husband – three husbands for each wife. Your mating practices must be very complex."
"Wondrously so!"

- Phlox and Antaak

"What'd they give you?"
"It's dead – I can't eat that! No wonder you're all so weak."

- Reed and Marab, comparing meals in the brig

"The ethics, Doctor, are simple – three lives to save millions."

- General K'Vagh, to Phlox

Poster's Log:

As we've seen earlier in S4, a cliffhanger in a multi-parter gets resolved by a cool action scene; I'll even allow the improbability that this was a better solution than Trip simply walking Kelby through the process via subspace radio by guessing that Trip probably tweaked and modded the warp core so much that he really was the only one who could do what he had to do; he also probably wasn't a stickler for documenting his work. (It's too bad that they didn't transfer Kelby over to the Columbia; they could have had a scene where he finds out that Trip, in his very short time as the NX-02's chief, managed to totally rewire that ship's core, too. Speaking of Kelby, his MA entry has a little drop-down list for "Chief Engineers of the starships Enterprise" that's amusing in the context of the TNG rewatch on the purple.) The only thing that I wish that they'd done differently with this scene would have been to show the detached grappler falling outside the warp field and immediately stretch out and go bang as it fell below light speed.

The rest of the episode was quite nice, although a bit anticlimactic; kind of hard to generate the same excitement after Speed IN SPAAAAACE, although they try with the whole Archer-as-human-cure-incubator (although not quite as human with the forehead ridges popping out) and racing against time and whatnot. Antaak is again pretty great, pushing against the whole Planet of Hats trope, and K'Vagh puts his money where his mouth is by volunteering himself (along with the other Klingons) to test the potential cures. And, although Krell isn't too cool, at least he puts one over on Harris, the Section 31 guy. (Interestingly, there's a Krell in the 23rd century, in the TOS Vietnam allegory "A Private Little War.")

Poster's Log, supplemental: There's gotta be a potential Short Trek episode dealing with Klingon plastic surgeons.
posted by Halloween Jack (8 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I got a week behind and so watched both of these today, so I'll just comment on this post because it's hard to tell what happened in which episode.

I remembered that there was a couple of episodes that retconned the Klingon situation, but thought it was much earlier. Now watching with a more critical eye, I am glad that it did happen this season, when they finally had a showrunnner that could make this kind of fan service at least decent. This was a good pair of episodes, even if part two was a little anticlimactic like some of the other two- or three-parters. Big cliff-hanger, followed by a first-scene action scene that clears everything up, followed by an epilogue that may be just a little too long. But still pretty decent.

Speed IN SPAAAAACE Yuuuuup, was wondering why they thought this was a good plot device, but you know, Speed in SPAAAAACE. I'm a little more confused after this about how warp fields work and all, but I will note that this is a sequence that would not have worked on an earlier, non-CGI trek, so that was fine. Not sure why Trip had to get to the very top before they could close the pod bay doors, but hey, whatever, it was fine and fun.

I guess I just have pandemic brain on max, but why did we need another pandemic episode so soon, and may I add, why was there no allusion to the disease Phlox just cured? "I was impressed by your presentation at the conference" doesn't mean as much as "You cured a disease that some weird aliens used as a test of your species" would have...been a little more interesting? Then again, not sure how news travels through empires, so pretty interesting I guess that journalism unsurprisingly dies in the next century.

Malcolm's stuff was fine, I guess. For some reason, I thought we knew that he was in intelligence, but I guess we didn't. Archer being mad was well done. We've seen him be frustrated by outside things derailing his missions; seeing him irate at Starfleet doing it to him was well earned.

Uncle Phil was great as a Klingon. That's basically all I got on that.

This was a good pair of episodes, but I don't think I'll ever get over the fact they had a great premise but decided that Speed in SPAAAACE was a good plot device to use to get it across.
posted by General Malaise at 5:07 PM on April 26, 2020 [4 favorites]

The first episode was better IMO.

During the opening warp-action sequence, I noticed lots of the same kind of dopey camera things we've seen intermittently in the past couple seasons.

I agree with Gen. Malaise w/r/t the ship-with-two-backs warp-field thing being "fine and fun" in spite of the oddities, but:
I'm a little more confused after this about how warp fields work and all

Well, since you brought it up (*wraps white tape around bridge of glasses and places tape back inside pocket protector*), according to page 66 of the TNG Technical Manual, warp fields aren't just big ovoid shields—it's more accurate to think of them as two combined subspace-pressure-field things, propelling the ship FTL via their precisely-calibrated pressure imbalance—and unless one of those ships was a lot smaller than the other, I don't see how this method should have worked.

I believed I recognized Krell actor Wayne Grace from something outside of Trek, but apparently, not. Krell was a nicely despicable character who should probably have had more screen time in this 2-parter.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 6:15 AM on April 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

I always get hung up on trying to figure out how the Columbia was able to catch up to the Enterprise if the Enterprise is far away and going at maximum warp, a speed the Columbia cannot exceed.
posted by juiceCake at 9:52 PM on April 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

I always get hung up on trying to figure out how the Columbia was able to catch up to the Enterprise if the Enterprise is far away and going at maximum warp, a speed the Columbia cannot exceed.

That struck me too. I just hand-waved it by explaining to myself that Trip was on the Columbia, and he can always eke out more speed like Archer mentioned at some point.
posted by General Malaise at 7:30 AM on April 29, 2020

It helps to remember that Columbia is an experimental ship as well, and that, because the warp scale increases exponentially, so that warp 5.3 is substantially faster than 5.2.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:03 PM on April 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

I've fallen a bit behind. I've never really been into Star Trek's explorations of Klingon culture. Besides seeming kinda racist (ppl don't agree who the Klingons are supposed to be but they seem pretty analogue Mongols to me), I just am not interested in runaway warrior culture. The doctor was funny, though.

I'm not sure why Trip had to manually climb the cable. Couldn't he just have held on while they reeled the grapple in? Or heck, he's got magnetic boots, tightrope walking would have been even cooler. I kinda wanted him to be carrying a lot of stuff he'd prepped to use in the warp core reboot, just for a little more realism flavor, and make it more clear he would not have been able to do it over skype.

Archer's strange convulsions when taking the injection were funny, even ridiculous. Of course they had to find some way to get him in on the action... To be honest all the completely arbitrary twists and turns in Phlox's research designed to produce maximum drama were a little hard to take. I may have made a very loud derisive sound when the "only one of these four vials will work" wrinkle came up.

I HATE SECTION 31. I haven't seen the series where they introduce it, so I really only know it from AbramsTrek -- and now this. UGH NO. Trek is supposed to be utopian IMHO, and adding this kind of stuff is no good. I feel like TOS would do this by making it about a character -- an admiral who is trying to do this double-dealing, giving secret orders to someone under Kirk.. more character, less worldbuilding.

It did make Reed a little bit more interesting. He was good. They really squandered the characters of Hoshi, Reed, and Mayweather in the first three seasons of this show, huh.
posted by fleacircus at 10:33 PM on May 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

I HATE SECTION 31. I haven't seen the series where they introduce it [...] I feel like TOS would do this by making it about a character -- an admiral who is trying to do this double-dealing, giving secret orders to someone under Kirk.. more character, less worldbuilding.

You pretty much just described how 31 was originally introduced in Deep Space Nine—as a foil for Bashir, from beginning to end. When you see DS9 (and of course, you must), you may find that you hate 31 everywhere but DS9, which is pretty close to where I'm at with it. (It doesn't help that post-DS9 iterations of 31 didn't have Bill Frickin' Sadler to work with.)
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 2:08 PM on May 5, 2020 [3 favorites]

That's why I thought we always new Malcolm was in Section 31! I just confused him and Bashir, and it's been quite awhile since I ran through DS9.
posted by General Malaise at 2:08 PM on May 6, 2020

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