The Enterprise Docks at
Episode Air Date 10/17/01


With this being the fourth episode (counting the two hour pilot as one) Enterprise has done one adventure story, two horror/thriller stories, and now one comedic story.

We've seen humor on all the episodes, but the premise for "Unexpected" was funny. After visiting an alien ship, Commander Trip becomes the first human male to ever be pregnant (except Arnold Schwarzenegger, of course). It's almost something out of a space farce, like Red Dwarf, Mystery Sci-Fi Theatre 3000 or T.J. Hooker. All the one -liners punched up the unexpected comedy. The Klingon saying, "I can see my house from here", was the funniest line on Star Trek since Data's PG rating program broke in Star Trek: Generations, screaming, "Oh, S***"!

The show's teaser was so short that if you were one minute late, you would've missed it. If you did miss it, Captain Archer was taking a shower when the gravity plating stopped working, allowing for him and his water to freely fly around his space bathroom until the gravity came back on. Everything crashed to the ground. If it wasn't for Scott Bakula being naked, this thirty-second joke couldn't legally be called a "tease." (That was a little something for the ladies.)

After the title sequence and some car commercials, we learned how the entire starship was breaking down, not just the captain's bathroom. Clumping all of these elements together in the teaser would've stopped it from feeling like it belonged at the top of an episode of Cheers.

Enterprise wasn't actually falling apart, but a secret alien vessel, using stealth technology, had been drawing from the ship's power supply and causing a host of problems. The crew made contact with them, and learned the aliens needed help with their engines. So off went the country boy Commander Trip to fix the fusion multi-reactor-subcoils. Whatever.

On board the alien vessel we see another stem from the very cool thing growing on this show. The creators of Enterprise are honestly trying to connect the dots between the birth of the federation and the days when Kirk and Spock roamed the galaxy. The task has been really well met. The alien ship in "Unexpected" has psychedelic reflecting walls, and crazy plants growing food everywhere. In the 23rd century this sort of feature was very common, but by the 24th century (with the anti-psychedelic Picard) the closest thing to surreal were the Ferengi.

After fixing the alien ship and visiting a holodeck (not five episodes in and the writers are already missing the holodeck), Commander Trip returned to Enterprise and discovered he was expecting (a baby), and the crew quickly begins hunting the galaxy for the aliens, to help remove the baby spore from his rib cage. As a result Enterprise finds herself in a stand off with a Klingon vessel, which the aliens are using to secretly suck power (not five episodes in, and the writers have already used the Klingons twice).

Retro 60's space-lore isn't the only trend starting on Enterprise. In every episode (with the exception of the pilot) the crew underestimates the dangers of space, makes some horrible, irreversible mistake where it looks completely dark, and just in the last moment, someone on the bridge, full of daring and character-building charm, steps in front of the view finder and fixes everything.

In "Fight or Flight" the Enterprise would've had the life sucked out of them by some alien ship, if Hoshi hadn't set her fears aside and used her skills as a linguists to talk an alien vessel into helping. In "Strange New World" the entire away team would've been destroyed unless Captain Archer hadn't improvised a lie to convince his crew not to kill each other. And now, on "Unexpected", T'Pol fabricated a story for the evil Klingons to believe.

The Klingons, of course, buy T'Pol's story and Commander Trip's accounts of their holodeck. And thanks to a trade for the holodeck technology the aliens got to keep their lives, Commander Trip was taken off the single parent list, and we got to hear a Klingon, while standing on the holodeck, say "I can see my house from here." Data would be proud.

Looking at next week's commercial teaser, which undoubtedly is as long as the episode's actual teaser will be, Enterprise will be doing a new type of story. Not an adventure, or a horror-thriller. But an adventure-horror-thriller! Totally new. If the trend continues it will either be Ensign Travis Mayweather, Lt. Malcolm Reed or Dr. Phlox who will stand in front of the view screen and bravely save the day (they are the only three who haven't gotten a chance yet).

Kevin Miller

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