Friday’s “Star Trek: Enterprise” requires a second viewing to appreciate, because in the meantime, it’s so plot-heavy, it really makes no sense. All kinds of stuff are happening:
– we may be getting an actual explanation for why the Klingons of the Original Trek era were human-looking (i.e., without the forehead ridges), tied in with the previous “Enterprise” arc about the Super Human Augments/Dr. Soong. But, I preferred it when the folks behind Trek left the mystery a mystery. It left more to the imagination (and, besides, as Star Trek’s favorite Klingon, Worf, has said: “We do not discuss it.” – yeah, Worf).
– Dr. Phlox, in the tried and true tradition of Trek’s principled medical doctors, is refusing to give in to poor medical practices of the Klingons, even if they kidnapped him to exploit his medical prowess (them Klingons used genetic engineering for imperial reasons; which let loose a mutated flu virus that was killing people – and so are forcing Phlox find a cure in two days. Good grief, and they didn’t think Phlox wouldn’t be mad about this? Like he said, it’d at least take him weeks to find a cure – all by his lonesome self – all because the Klingon pride won’t kindly, officially ask for help).
– Chief Engineer Trip transfers to Enterprise’s sister ship, relying on the excuse that he wants to contribute to the continued development of warp-worthy spaceships – but he’s really trying to find a way to avoid dealing with his romantic entanglement with the Enterprise First Officer, T’Pol. The angst between them is getting tragic, if not tedious and I almost want to tell the writers to just resolve it already. I suppose it’s an improvement over the poor romantic relationship building in Trek (like how in “Star Trek: Deep Space 9,” Worf grew attached to Ezri without seriously reflecting that it isn’t a good idea to jump into things with a woman whose past life was as his late wife; or how in “Star Trek: Voyager,” Chakotay suddenly fell for Seven (and we’re really supposed to believe that it was for her mind and personality, and not for her body – sure, Chakotay)).
– We get actual character development in watching security chief Malcolm Reed – he’s turning into a guilt-ridden James Bondish sort (I guess all British actors/characters have the potential to be Bondish, if I do recall what happened to Dr. Bashir on “Star Trek: DS9”). Reed’s compromised himself as a Starfleet officer – or so it appears, because he’s covering about what happened to Dr. Phlox. He sadly tells Capt. Archer that he has other obligations than Archer, the crew, or even Starfleet. Hmm. It looks like Reed is involved in some kind of black ops group. Are we watching the roots of the notorious Section 31, the Federation’s notorious spy group that drove Dr. Bashir and Capt. Sisjo nuts on “Star Trek: DS9”? Except we can’t be sure, since Reed is (respectfully) refusing to tell Capt. Archer anything. (got to hand it to the British stiff-upper-lip, I guess). Glad to see that Reed’s more than just The British Guy Who Likes to Shoot and Blow Things Up, but it feels weird that this whole Secret Agent Reed comes out of nowhere.
And more confusing stuff, such that the episode felt more like way too much set up and total confusion. I wanted to like the episode, but I kept wondering “what is going on?” I guess that’s what these first episodes of the arcs do.
The beauty of “Star Trek: DS9″‘s arcs was that DS9 allowed arcs to develop and let the viewer breathe to appreciate the characters’ messy problems. It got crazy, of course – there was that season where every character was rejected/alienated from their friends/family/homeworld. “Enterprise” tends to feel like a rush job (an improvement over “Voyager,” but this whole rushing thing this season feels like I have to hold onto my seat belt). As the UPN says, these are the final voyages of the starship Enterprise…
And, the news on the big change of Bugs Bunny and Friends. There’s just something so wrong about that. Warner Brothers has done some great modern animation (that is, of the past 10-15 years) with stuff like its Batman franchise, Superman, Justice league, (although the current Batman and Teen Titans are very much targeted to the young set, while the others had some themes that made me wonder whether kids really got it) – and I miss the funny stuff of Animaniacs and Tiny Toons. But, to make a Futuristic Superhero version of Bugs Bunny? Umm… well, we’ll see. (disclosure: I’m the one with the Classic Bugs Bunny (the version of him of the past 50 years) as a key chain. I might very well not buy Bugs in a new form; heck, I barely accept that anyone other than the late Mel Blanc as the voice of Bugs).
Three day weekend – salute to Presidents’ Day (the holiday which conflates Washington’s birthday and Lincoln’s, never mind that Lincoln’s birthday was last week).