HOME ABOUT SUPPORT US SITES WE LIKE FORUM Search Fanboyplanet.com | Powered by Freefind FANBOY PLANET
On TV Today's Date:

Doctor's Orders
original airdate: 02-18-04

Due to the nature of this week's episode of Enterprise, we at the offices of Fanboy Planet feel it necessary to release a spoiler warning in order to review the material. So if you've got the episode stored somewhere in your TIVO or on one of those ancient analog TIVO thingies with the removable black rectangular things, and don't like secrets revealed, consider this the point of no return.

OK, are they gone? It's just us now, right?

Wasn't that a great twist ending!? It's getting harder and harder to spring a surprise ending on an audience. With movies like Fight Club and The Sixth Sense deeply embedded in pop culture we're not as easily tricked by imaginary best friends. To pull it off, the writers have to use some serious sleight of hand with the characters.

When Archer, Phlox and the rest of the crew are devising a plan to put everyone in hibernation they never mention if T'Pol is immune to the effects of the expanding anomaly. The audience is forced to ask the question, "Is T'Pol immune, too?"

Enterprise excels at leaving crucial information up to the audience's imagination. In this case it allowed the show to slip T'Pol right underneath the nose of its viewers.

In the beginning, when Phlox hears something, he calls out, "Hello? Who's here?" Which seems odd since everyone was supposedly in super sleep. But when T'Pol appears it makes sense.

Phlox going about his daily chores in the nude doesn't seem odd enough. In fact, the audience justifies it. "Maybe he knew T'Pol wasn't in that section of the ship." And besides, if Denobulans can withstand the anomaly, so can Vulcans.

To mask the card up its sleeve, "Doctor's Orders" made use of a number of red herrings. Phlox heard this in the corridor. Saw that running down the scaffolding. Or the best, when he looked out the porthole and there crawling around in space he saw, "SOMETHING ON THE WING!" Oh, the irony of a nightmare at 20,000 parsecs.

But on Star Trek half the time the thing on the wing is really there. So maybe the insectiod Xindi ARE hunting down Phlox and T'Pol. Of course, using a hero that hallucinates to release stress is a little suspicious. The next time Phlox is alone on the ship we'll be more careful not to believe what he sees.

At least the Doctor's delusions allow for some extra cool special effects. The stalking shadow of a Xindi is rather haunting. And the deformed Hoshi, with inside out irises, stammering out of the steamy shower, accusing Phlox of killing them was enough to send any child viewers (or child-like viewers or me) into Star Trek remission. So very creepy!

Kinda sucks for Hoshi, showing up for a day's work, and only wearing that creepy mask. But at least this episode afforded the good Doctor more stage time. Just the opening sequence of him chasing down Porthos is more action then Mayweather has gotten all season. In fact, Porthos - a puppy - had a more important role in "Doctor's Orders" than Mayweather has had in any episode all season.

It's as if Porthos should replace Mayweather… very interesting and very prescient of a certain Enterprise critic.

Then again, with Phlox making statements like "I can't wait till Enterprise's mission is over so I can be around Denobulans again," it makes one wonder if his days aboard the Enterprise are the numbered ones. (Oh, heck, with Les Moonves' statements this week, they're all numbered.)

In any case, T'Pol isn't going anywhere, in imaginary best friend form or otherwise. Every time Phlox gave her an order her eyes widened larger then the time before and her hands became more and more useless. But it was too subtle. If punched better, her comic relief would have rounded out the episode.

And the race to fix the warp core was a little anti-climatic. Perhaps because we were missing outside shots of what Enterprise was doing. With only one cut of the warp nacelles stalling, it left too much up to the imagination. Since the ship isn't populated by red shirts that can get blasted backward by a surge of sparks, we needed to see what was happening to the ship externally.

But the surprise ending of T'Pol being Brad Pitt to Phlox's Edward Norton was a well-placed band-aid for any anti-climatic issues.

Good thing the ship wasn't filled with those deformed Hoshi. My goodness, I think I'm going to have nightmares, or at least something to blame my bedwetting on!

Before I wake up in a cold sweat, let's chalk this week's episode up against the trusty Star Trek Alien Rating Scale…

You think they're there - but really they're not! But firing a real phaser at a real puppy, it's like having the safety protocols off.

Kevin Miller

Our Friends:

Official PayPal Seal

Copyrights and trademarks for existing entertainment (film, TV, comics, wrestling) properties are held by their respective owners and are used with permission or for promotional purposes of said properties. All other content ™ and © 2001, 2014 by Fanboy Planet™.
"The Fanboy Planet red planet logo is a trademark of Fanboy Planetâ„¢
If you want to quote us, let us know. We're media whores.
Movies | Comics | Wrestling | OnTV | Guest | Forums | About Us | Sites