when Star Trek was about exploring the unknown? People
were optimistic. Science was the goal. Humanity was a species
of heroic space cowboys. It seems like that was a long time
ago or at least last season.
has been playing the same one note on the Xindi instrument
all season long. They're terrorists. They're terrorists. They're
terrorists. Hey, guys, the violin has four strings.
started the series as the Federation's first starship captain.
The galaxy had no limit. Neither did his positive outlook
on life. Then the Xindi struck Earth, and his wide eyes began
to squint with rage.
Sisko went through the same sort of metamorphosis. But Scott
Bakula, unlike Avery Brooks, would look silly if he shaved
his head and grew a goatee. Likewise, Archer cannot make the
same hate-driven transformation without coming off as crazy.
an episode rolls around where he's manipulated by an alien
chemical to act obsessive it doesn't seem out of the ordinary.
In fact, it only highlights the degradation of his character.
This is all
so very unfortunate, because it's becoming clear just how talented
Bakula really is. Captain Archer isn't a stretch. But Star
Trek often affords its stars decent acting challenges. So
when he's given the opportunity to play an obsessive compulsive,
his choices are subtle and very believable.
if this were an episode from last season there would be hardly
anything to complain about. If the crew of the Enterprise
was RESEARCHING a crashed alien vessel and the captain became
consumed with its onboard hatchery, then it would've been
a much more palatable story.
still wouldn't make the top five. Or even the top ten. "Hatchery"
has no mystery. Within the first five minutes the captain
is sprayed by a nozzle from an egg sack and he begins to act
thing going for Enterprise at this point is its recent
track record of narrative illusions. The audience finds themselves
thinking, "Its so obvious he's acting erratic because
of the alien egg sack spray." But then a little voice
whispers, "No, that's what they want you to think. Everyone
else is acting compulsive, too. Archer is the only one immune
to the alien's effects."
crew walks around the egg sacks for five days, and no one
else gets sprayed. How convenient. Or confusing. Or maybe
egg sacks only come with one nasal shot.
end, Doctor Phlox has the nerve to say, "Remember when
you were sprayed by that thing," as if the audience couldn't
remember something as obvious as an alien egg sack.
like filler. We're just stalling before the destruction of
the menacing Xindi death star. It was also an excuse to do
some cool special effects. The Xindi babies crawling over
Archer was cool, but could've been more creepy, with some
different lighting. And the Hatchery was fascinating, but
it too could have used a little more Alien in its aliens.
Comparatively, the machine-like Borg are more organic then
the Xindi insectoids.
the insectoid Xindi will get a better shot at being cool next
season. When there is no more super weapon, and we can (hopefully)
return to exploring the final frontier, and not trying to
time to bring back the Temporal Cold War. Bring back the Suliban.
Bring back the Space Cowboys. Without N*Sync.
next week the Xindi saga will continue and the Enterprise
will go on a suicide mission. Surprised?
then, this week's episode, on the Star Trek Alien Species
Scale, scores a