Ent 009 -- Civilization
airdate 11-14-01

First contact never goes the way it should.

Every time someone from Star Fleet makes those bold first steps to meet an alien race for the very first time something goes horribly wrong. Picard almost lost Riker to the aliens who could see through bodies using their hands. Sisko was abducted into a bizarre gambling game by a band of aliens who were kind enough to make first contact on Federation turf. And now at the very first first contact with a major alien civilization Captain Archer gets dealt the same rotten luck.

Of course in this timeline there are a few more things to consider. Picard and Sisko had a guidebook to follow. The Federation had already made many failed attempts (and presumably successful attempts that we never witnessed). Captain Archer and crew are writing that guidebook in real time.

But they're not using smart tactics. There has always been the issue of jumping in feet first. Already this season on Enterprise we've seen the problems that happen when proper scans of an alien world aren't made before landing a shuttle pod (Strange New World). And Archer's excuse then for making rash decisions was the same as this week's, "If the Federation had wanted to send a probe into space to take pictures and chart stars, then they would have. But instead, they sent us."

There is a huge difference between experiencing events firsthand, and having that same hand rot and fall off your wrist because of some unknown alien virus. Apparently the Federation doesn't teach their captains good science and proper skills of deduction.

We leave that up to the beautiful co-stars.

Who can count the number of green-skinned tails that Kirk chased on Star Trek? And since Enterprise is continually trying to return to the golden days of Trek it isn't much of a shock to see Archer kissing an alien woman. He was swapping spit with the defected Suliban in the pilot episode.

But the relationship between Archer and his alien girlie isn't what we saw with Kirk and his green-skin of the week. Riann (Diane DiLascio) is a skilled detective. Her calculated approach to solving problems provides a great contrast to Archer's cowboy mentality of "push buttons first - figure out what they do later." Their team up is intriguingly unexpected.

However, this provokes another huge plot hole - bigger than that bad science thing. Could a Star Fleet captain (granted the very first) allow himself to become involved with an alien who lives on a pre-industrial world? We saw how much trouble Commander Trip received after getting frisky with an alien engineer (Unexpected) And in this time line Dr. Pulaski isn't around to remove the memories from the aliens who have "seen too much." Hopefully we won't see many more moments where the writers sacrifice realistic stories for kissing scenes.

Besides, if you want to see aliens getting it on, there are plenty of websites.

Kevin Miller

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