Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Enterprise - Episode Guide - Season 2

With a few exceptions here and there wherein the production team was willing to expand the blueprint a bit, Star Trek: Enterprise season 2 comes off as colorlessly blah as season 1. “Carbon Creek”, the season’s second episode is a Top 20 Star Trek all-timer, to be sure, but the quality drops precipitously for most of this year’s worth of shows.

Amidst a squall of abandoned spacecraft, Archer kidnappings and superficial examination of Vulcan culture are the notables “Regeneration” (though this episode seriously messes with ST continuity) and “An Night in Sickbay” – though the latter is mostly noted for its divisiveness among fandom.

1. Shockwave, Part II – Enterprise’s season 1 finale concluded in satisfying fashion, albeit with the mighty convenient invention of a time-travel device by Archer and Daniels. This will mark the first time the intrepid Enterprise crew restores the timeline all the way to the 31st century. ***

2. Carbon Creek – Perhaps the most beloved by fandom of all Star Trek episodes, and a bit ironically so, as the only regular cast members featured are T’Pol, Archer and Tucker, and the latter only briefly. “Carbon Creek” goes outside Enterprise continuity as the Enterprise trio serves as frame story for T’Pol’s tale of a Vulcan starship which crashes on Earth in 1957.

3. Minefield – Dude, first contact with the Romulans! Also one of the last chronologically until the original series episode “Balance of Terror”, apparently… **

4. Dead Stop – The pretty neat concept of a self-automated and -directed starship repair station and a badass ending are marring by obvious padding. This rating is based not on said padding but the originality: ***

5. A Night In Sickbay – Perhaps the single most divisive episode of any ST series. Archer hangs out in sickbay while his doggie Porthos undergoes treatment (Spoiler: The dog lives until Scotty kills him while experimenting with teleportation, per Star Trek: The Reboot movie). While admittedly Archer in very unseemly fashion whinges about wanting T’Pol too much, everything else going on keeps the interest and Phlox is always worth a viewing. ****

6. Marauders – Archer et al attempt to work a trade at a deuterium mine, only to find that the colony is already being shaken down for all their output by Klingons. ***

7. The Seventh – a.k.a. The Art of T’Pol Remembering and Forgetting. T’Pol is contacted by her former intelligence agency employer and is assigned to track down an agent who has disappeared. Archer and Mayweather (the latter probably because he hasn’t done anything useful in a few episodes). **

8. The Communicator – The Enterprise version of the TNG episode “First Contact” would be greatly improved were it not for the inciting incident, i.e. stupid f***ing Malcolm Tucker leaving his communicator on a paranoid pre-warp drive planet, and the idgit’s mealy-mouthed whining as he and Archer await dissection. ***

9. Singularity -- A real low point (for now) for Enterprise. As the ship passes through a trinary star system, each of the crewmembers turns anal retentive and obsessive-compulsive. Yeah, because that’s what would happen. Really stupid stuff. 0

10. Vanishing Point – Head trip for Hoshi Sato: Though reassured by all involved, Sato’s first trip through a newfangled transporter went perfectly fine. But then why is she becoming immaterial while the world around her makes less and less sense…? A lame resolution destroys what we thought was a compelling mystery. ***

11. Precious Cargo – Two alien dudes show up, asking the Enterprise for assistance; their cargo consists of a sexy female. Unlike the days of, likesay, “Mudd’s Women,” this woman was kidnapping not of her own free will. (Also, she’s wearing more.) **

12. The Catwalk – The entire crew of the Enterprise is forced to move into the close quarters of the catwalk within the warp nacelles for eight days. A lot more character moments might have resulted had the first one-third of the script now been loaded with red herrings. ***

13. Dawn – Enterprise does Enemy Mine! In “Dawn,” Tucker is shot down, then stranded along with his counterpart on the planet below. Just because there’s only two of them doesn’t mean that one can’t be taken captive – and just because there’s not a universal translator among them doesn’t mean that Tucker gets lots of good dialogue for that charming Southern accent to wrap around. ***

14. Stigma – Because of a mind-meld she undertook 22 episodes ago – you know, in the “Vulcans without logic” one – T’Pol faces ostracization from greater Vulcan society. This doesn’t exactly seem logical, but hey, Vulcans Are Weird™! **

15. Cease Fire – When Archer is ordered to assist in negotiations between Vulcans and Andorians, he finds the former haughty and unwilling to bargain while the latter are beset by violent in-fighting. ***

16. Future Tense – The Suliban/Time War story line inches forward incrementally. In this episode, the Enterprise bridge crew is presented with the mystery of a centuries-old corpse found aboard a derelict ship that appears to be human. Soon, the Suliban attack, followed by the Tholains, each claiming rights to the ship – though Archer suspects it’s from Daniels’s era. ***

17. Canamar – Enterprise does Con Air! Archer and Tucker are busted on suspicion of smuggling but together with some other prisoners (including a Nausicaan, always good to have on one’s side) take over the prison transport starship and escape. ***

18. The Crossing – Well, Enterprise has to have one about the Disembodied Alien! taking over the ship, Star Trek Guide supposes… **

19. Judgment – Archer is imprisoned yet again (I know, right?), this time by the Klingons. In a foreshadowing of Star Trek VI (and perhaps revealing a secret agreement that all Enterprise captains get a trial, whereas most offenders of the law are lucky not to become instantaneously decapitated by Bat’leth), Archer’s case is heard and non-lethal sentencing passed. Naturally, his crew springs Archer easily enough. ***

20. Horizon – When he receives news that his father has died, Mayweather revisits his family and wonders about the probability of his life aboard the Enterprise. An excellent family expansion of sorts for Mayweather, however it was one of the lowest turnouts when it first aired on tv...**

21. The Breach – A Doctor-centric episode in which poor Phlox again has to deal with racist BS, this time from an Antaran, who are the Romulans to the Denobulans’ Vulcans. In a subplot, the Enterprise attempts to locate three Denobulan geologists who have been barred from the planet on which they’re working. ***

22. Cogenitor – And from racism to sexism we go: The Enterprise is visited by Vissians, a species for whom reproduction requires three sexes. The third sex, known as progenitors, is treated in a third-class manner, with barely any, ahem, “human” rights to speak of. You bet that chaps some liberal human hides… **

23. Regeneration – From the go, Enterprise has been strongly tied in with Star Trek: First Contact. Here, that relationship is exhumed again, as are two Borg drones who survived the events of Zefram Cochrane’s day while frozen in Arctic ice. And the assimilation begins. Suffice to say, it’s creepy and intense stuff all the way, with the Enterprise offering resistance that has never seemed more futile. ****

24. First Flight – Perhaps to pay T’Pol back for the awesomeness of “Carbon Creek”, Archer relates a story of his and Tucker’s days working with early warp engines. Star Trek Guide gets the feeling that this is some of the stuff that was left on the editing-room floor back when season 1 was to be entirely Earth-bound… ***

25. Bounty – Archer is – get this – captured *again* (Seriously, security chief Malcolm Tucker really needs a performance review at this point) in another Berman & Braga story. The imminently kidnappable captain is then offered to the Klingons for reward money. At least Tucker and T’Pol get to kick a little butt… ***

26. The Expanse – Aaaaaand here’s where Enterprise enters into darkness. We’re not talking just the literal darkness of the unexplored space the crew gets set to enter, but also thematically. Ol’ Mister Roddenberry would certainly not approve of the massive attack on Earth (Did they rip that off from Starship Troopers?), the post-9/11 militarism and even killing off Tripp’s sister for absolutely not reason. As for the fans, this and the season that follow, are simply mostly tedious. **