Cold Sunday

Digging out of the snow?

Goodbye to Johnny Carson.

Watched the latest “Star Trek: Enterprise” – wherein the non-corporeal Organians take over the bodies of the crew to supposely make non-interfering observations of humans and other space-faring aliens. Apparently, the observers watch crews who don’t adapt very well to a fatal silicon-based virus. (i.e., basic organic chemistery: organic life on Earth – and theoretically Earth-like life, like Vulcans etc. – are carbon-based, whereas silicon, being like carbon, could be the root of seriously different form of life – and not exactly compatible either). The veteran observer expects the humans to fail and die, like all the other species he has seen; the rookie one feels humans are interesting and good candidates for First Contact. The bonus for long-time Trek fans: the Organians are the species that later negotiated a way for the humans and the Klingons to come to a peace treaty in original Trek.

Anyway, the episode’s plot was kind of annoying. See, “Star Trek” has this odd fondness for non-corporeal aliens and how they wish to comprehend the corporeal aliens (the more sad parts of “Deep Space 9” was when the non-corporeal aliens, a.k.a. the Prophets, kept driving poor Capt. Sisko nuts). This latest episode of “Enterprise” only reminded me of that – plus the Organians had to deal with their own Prime Directive principle – they don’t want to interfere with a species or make contact with a species until and unless they know that species meets their development standards. That’s sort of how Star Trek’s own Federation/Starfleet does it – and apparently the Organians, like Starfleet, still deal with that one moral dilemma: how does one choose between saving an innocent people versus not interfering with them? The rookie observer Organian refuses to stand by and let the silicon virus kill the Enterprise crewmates, whereas his veteran colleague wants to stick by the non-interference rules, no matter the possibility that the better way to get to know worthy humans might be in communicating with them. (well, the veteran didn’t think humans were worthy anyway).

And, by the way, the Organians’ idea of observing species is to enter crewmates like parasites – “possess” their hosts’ bodies and then alter the hosts’ memories. Yeah, right. Sounds pretty derivative of other sci-fi plots, and I totally sympathized with Dr. Phlox’s and Capt. Archer’s moral outrage toward the Organians – it’s just stupid.

On the other hand, the cast dealt with the plot in a pretty decent manner. They acted well, making me feel real uncomfortable with the Organians and they acted like possessed people very well too. The little character development parts were also good – we get to learn more about Ensign Sato – the language/code genius who has some minor neuroses; and Chief Engineer Trip – yep, he’s a good character and the actor playing him is great. But, I do wonder – why is it that Trip is always the one who gets the bad alien illness or near-death scenes? We already had that from him last season! (i.e., the episode where his clone died and he nearly did too). Plus, could the secondary characters of Mayweather and Reed be given more meatier stuff to do? Their portrayals of being possessed were truly creepy stuff, but it’s not like I feel like I know either of their characters well enough to feel bad for them.

I’d give this episode an average grade. Not very spectacular. Maybe the “Enterprise” arc episodes really are better than the standalone ones? I can’t be sure. Back to dealing with the work week.

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