Episode -- Fortunate Son
airdate 11-21-01

On the Next Generation episode "Samaritan Snare" Picard spins the tail about how as a young space cadet he was stabbed in the heart by a gang of Nausicaans during a bar fight. This short, but dearly touching scene with teen heart throb Wesley Crusher, inspired the later episode "Tapestry" when the omnipresent Q dramatically altered Picard's life by pulling out this very important moment. The Nausicaans reappeared a number of times on Deep Space Nine, as pain loving thugs. And now on "Fortunate Son" we learned their admirable origins, as pirates.

But these Nausicaans are the coolest pirates the galaxy has ever seen. Enterprise has been carefully shading the lines between the technology world we live in today, and the Trek Universe depicted by Gene Roddeberry in 1969. No one is really expecting Enterprise to begin justifying the cardboard bridge Kirk sat on, but if Enterprise just tossed off that era it would look more like Babylon Five. These justifications are sometimes very subtle, like this week the Nausicaans wore leather jackets that looked like they had been picked up at a 2nd hand store.

In addition to near-retro entertainment, Enterprise has been introducing some really cool villains. We've seen both the Klingons and Andorians receive a personality make-over. The Nausicans will make a fine addition to the Enterprise's foes.

And that's a much more interesting commercial than the thing they we're running this past week. Using the miracle of editing it looked like Helmsman Travis Mayweather, the resident "space boomer" (a person who grew up in on a space cargo ship) was questioning the captain's orders.

Actually it's Mayweather who saves the day, as so many have on Entprise, by standing in front of the view screen at the end of the episode and fixing everything.

The last time we saw this was in Unexpected when Commander Trip stood up to some Klingons. The only two who haven't made the view screen grade are Lt. Malcolm Reed and the most interesting character with the least screen time; Dr. Phlox. Hopefully Dr. Phlox will be featured before Malcolm Reed.

Next week we finally run into the new Suliban, the promised arch nemesis of the 22nd century. We've seen the Klingon's and Vulcan's create more problems this year than the hyper evolved Suliban. Of course, with the way commercials are re-edited to confuse fans next week's episode could really be about Captain Archer's dog getting a flea bath.

Kevin Miller

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