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
they gone? It's just us now, right?
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.
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?"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
if Porthos should replace Mayweather very interesting
and very prescient of a certain Enterprise critic.
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.)
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.
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
surprise ending of T'Pol being Brad Pitt to Phlox's Edward
Norton was a well-placed band-aid for any anti-climatic issues.
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!
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