like the rest of television, Enterprise took last week
off to watch the World Series. And this week's episode was
just about as successful as the Giants. Too bad, because many
of the elements in "Marauders" were very strong.
But again, just like baseball, sometimes it comes down to
one team member making a bad play.
the stronger players this week were the ones that seldom get
any press. The first is the costumes. The crew of the Enterprise
donned their desert uniforms once again.
things are the coolest apparel to hit the screen since Deanna
Troi started wearing her bridge uniform. They have the slightest
hint of Kirk and Spock's old two-piece uniform, with the minor
difference being a very retro black belt. But the hottest
thing in the desert was T'Pol's silver alien suit. The opening
shot of Archer, Trip and T'Pol looked like something from
the biggest budgeted episode of the original Star Trek
heavy hitter this week was the set design, working in tandem
with the location scouting crew. Wherever it was actually
shot, the alien desert made an amazingly believable location.
Much like when we believed dinosaurs were marching around
tropical islands in Jurassic Park, location is everything.
the location look even better were the detailed sets. The
refinery town was simple and sparse. We had no idea what any
of the pumps or "crawlers" exactly did to pull valuable
deuterium from the planet's crust, but we believed that each
valve and metal sheet had some purpose. Other Star Treks
have built dirty mine sets on hot desert landscapes, but none
have ever been this believable.
don't have alien deserts without aliens. And we don't have
aliens without make up artists. On the original Star Trek
an alien had either different ears, or different colored skin,
or just a different colored shirt. But post-big screen, all
aliens have funny foreheads.
created one of the most frustrating continuity problems in
the franchise. Worf explained away the problem with his simple
line, "We don't discuss it with outsiders." But
the Romulans never explained it away. Nor did the Andorians.
all new species to hit the screen simply glue on a latex forehead.
This week's settlers were no exception. But the Klingons'
makeup looked fabulous. There were a number of subtleties
you'd have to be a complete "nerd" to pick out (like
the family ridges matched characters we've seen in previous
Treks - meaning these Klingons are the ancestors of
characters like Worf -- not that I noticed. But you
might. Nerd.). And the make up team is doing something different
with Phlox. He's looking a little red. At least he's more
than just a funny forehead - he's got a funny jaw line, too!
great strengths pulling for the show this week, the problem
came from a member of the creative team that has been otherwise
strong all season.
story was flawed. First of all this is a tired plot, so overused
it was A Bug's Life. "Thugs bully a small town,
until outsiders teach the locals they can use their brains
to fight brawn." Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
yet, they didn't pull it off. At least at the end of A
Bug's Life we knew the evil motorcycle grasshoppers wouldn't
be coming back in the new year. These Klingons were surrounded
by a ring of fire and heard a speech about how the settlers
aren't afraid anymore. Oh, no, the Klingons won't be back
the moment Enterprise leaves, no sir. They promise.
matter if the settlers are afraid of the Klingons or not,
Klingons can kill humans faster than I can identify their
family ridges. Not that I can. Nerd.
plot hole gets bigger. Either that or the Klingons of the
past don't know how to work their own machines. The settlers
needed to trap the Klingons in a fire. So they moved their
entire town to fool them. The tents, the pumps, the fake foreheads.
It looked just like the old town.
to reason, however, that a starship would remember where a
settlement was based on geography, not what the camp looked
like. And even if they could trick the sensors, they couldn't
trick the Klingons' memories. The mauraders have been coming
there for five years, but apparently never noticed where they
time they were probably trying to figure out how to work their
transporter. After listening to the stirring speech about
bravery, the Klingons beamed out of the ring of fire and onto
their ship. Why didn't they beam out of the ring of fire and
on top of the resistance force? The writing team must have
been resting in the dugout during this week's staff meeting.
we take a turn for the dramatic, as T'Pol struggles with murder.
It doesn't look like much room for the technical staff to
carry the episode, so the writers better be on top of their
game. Otherwise Enterprise may have to pretend every
week is World Series week.