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On TV Today's Date:

original airdate: 09-17-03

So Enterprise and crew are in desperate search of the people that plan to destroy Earth. They're zooming around, blindly, in a giant expanse known for its hostile aliens and bizarre anomalies. What they don't know is that most of these anomalies were spawned from The Matrix.

Right off the bat, some crazy morphing energy field rips through different decks of the ship, up ending crew members and making the warp core go nuts. It ripples through the captain's ready room and flips his coffee mug into the air, spilling its contents in super slow motion. The only thing missing from the scene was Captain Archer bending over backwards to dodge the Colombian roast.

This area of the expanse, plagued by so many anomalies, seems to breed piracy. After the Enterprise finds one ship stripped down and scuttled in space, they themselves are attacked by an alien ship that looks like Voyager before a much needed car wash. In a very cool fighting scene, complete with 1970's cop show percussion, the space pirates clean out the humans in a matter of minutes. They took the plasma coils, the cargo boxes, the data ribbons and weapons tags. The took the woozamawatizits, the garacoochoosits, the vealatroniages and the realatilloginigz. They even took the Roast Beast! They stuffed it all up the chimney and were gone in a flash!

But unlike the Grinch, they left behind one pirate. His face has been distorted by the anomalies (in truth by some very well done make up) and he explains the cutthroat nature of the expanse. Resisting Captain Archer's threats he refuses to reveal his former ship's location.

Fortunately, the crew tracks down an ion trail which leads to a gigantic ancient cloaked sphere (or GACS). They load up a heavily armed shuttle pod, filled with leading characters, and explore the few pockets of the sphere with breathable atmospheres.


1. Why would you board an unknown, possibly hostile, cargo bay without wearing space suits? If the room had any defense at all the logical thing to do would be to depressurize the bay, and kill anything inside. Oh, it's more important to see the actor's faces.

2. Speaking of faces and space suits… When the crew do bother to put on the space suits there is this blue glow shining them in the face. Why? Wouldn't that light get in their eyes? Oh, it's more important to the see the actor's faces.

3. Then that probably explains this question. But we'll ask it anyway. Why would the shuttle pod pilot, Travis, be on the away mission? Wouldn't you want him to keep the engine running in case they need a quick get away? Oh, it's more important to give him more than one line an episode.

4. Speaking of actor's lines… What's the deal with T'Pol?!? Every line she mouths sounds like she's whimpering before Archer. The captain's mood has become more rigid since he's been on a mission to search and destroy (his character change is probably too much too fast), but T'Pol is acting almost unVulcan.

Yin and Yang. Sure, on a Star Trek show there will always be things to point out that are wrong or weird. But for the first time in a long time, there may be MORE right things. The writing on this show just seems to get better and better. With little or no dialog the writers are trusting the images to move the story along. And when the characters do speak it's in natural dialog revealing volumes about their unique personalities.

The editing, an art is that is almost ALWAYS overlooked, is so expertly done that it's no wonder the stories move along so fluidly. And when the editors aren't cutting and pasting it's so easy to miss the excellent camera work and performances as entire scenes are done in one take.

If you're not watching this show then you don't know what TV is supposed to be like.

In the end, the crew of the Enterprise recovers their lost items and is able to do a little pirating of their own. Instead of lifting cargo or weapons they are guilty of the kind of theft that every Silicon Valley guy still with a job worries about: information piracy.

Flying just close enough to the battered Voyager, Hoshi is able to log onto their servers and download all the info they have on the evil Xindi. Just before the alien FTP boots them off, Enterprise fires and their whole drive crashes (as well as the ship).

With new information on the Xindi, and a message from the lone pirate that "mercy will get you nowhere," Archer starts to soak in more about his enemy as we fade to black. Undoubtedly, Archer will become more and more ruthless as his newly fired need for vengeance burns inside his quickly chilling heart… oh, so dramatic.

Next week the hunt for the Xindi continue on a planet that hosts a plot every Star Trek show must have at least once. A magical parasite will devolve an away team. Some shows have Christmas specials - Star Treks have devolving. Are we not men?

On my new species ratings scale this week's episode scores a …

Human - more specifically the crew of the Equinox on Star Trek: Voyager. They too were trapped and forced to mutilate their morality to survive - just like these pirates… and maybe ENTERPRISE… dum dum dum dum!!!!

Kevin Miller

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