Star Trek: Enterprise - Episode Guide - Season 4
Finally, Star Trek: Enterprise figures out what it’s about – if only season 4 had been season 1! – but nobody’s watching. It’s a crying shame because season 4 of Enterprise, fated to be the last original Star Trek material until 2009 and the last ST TV until ’17, is pretty decent. In fact, if you’re fairly well outside-the-know regarding Enterprise, you might simply want to take a shortcut: Check out the opening episode “Broken Bow”, followed by season 2’s “Carbon Creek” followed by season 4 all the way through.
Well, except for that conclusion. You’ll probably want to skip that.
1-2. Storm Front, parts I and II – The Xindi story arc isn’t over quite yet. The Enterprise crew is seemingly trapped in the 1950s. But this ain’t no Carbon Creek, USA, but rather a world in which alien Nazis have taken over bits of North America. Luckily, the Enterprise’s 31st-century buddy Federation time agent Daniels isn’t far off in spacetime… (Now if STG didn’t get you at “alien Nazis,” you may be a Xindi yourself.) ****
3. Home – The Enterprise’s version of TNG’s “Family” isn’t nearly as good, but a subplot with Phlox meeting some ugly racist (speciesist?) attitudes on Earth is interesting. Beyond this, it’s soap opera-style subplots include T’Pol hemming and hawing (but logically) over marrying Koss and Archer getting his flirt on with one Captain Erika Hernandez. **
4. Borderland – What’s that? An appearance by Brent Spiner? Fantastic! Here, he plays Dr. Arik Soong, ancestor of Data’s creator and genius genetic scientist. This Dr. Soong is quite the badass, easily escaping the Enterprise (though admittedly, outwitting Malcolm Reed is no great feat) and summoning forth his own genetically-manipulated children. ****
5. Cold Station 12 – Dr. Soong and his team of “Augments” attempt to liberate hundreds of genetically-enhanced embryos to create a race of superior types. The Enterprise beams an away team aboard which is rapidly captured (imagine that) by Soong’s bunch. And the auto-destruct on Cold Station 12 is set… ***
6. The Augments – Predictably, Soong’s ethics don’t exactly keep the respect of his band of young augmented folks. They abandon Soong with the Enterprise crew, who then seek to prevent the Augments from destroying a nearby Klingon colony. And Dr. Soong parts ways vowing to use his mental faculties for good – specifically, android development… ***
7. The Forge – A terrorist-like attack on Earth’s Vulcan embassy leads to Archer and T’Pol heading into “Vulcan’s Forge,” a bit of planet dominated by extreme weather. Eventually, they meet the brain trust of the extremist group blamed for the Earth attack, which includes … oh, never mind. Let’s just say “It’s a small galaxy, after all.” Also: Vulcans Are Weird. **
8. Awakening – In a Search for Spock-like riff, Archer is revealed to be carrying Surak’s katra. Naturally, the Enterprise duo manages to bring the extremists, including (sigh) the crewmember’s relative, to justice of sorts. **
9. Kir’Shara – Did we mention that- Vulcans Are Weird? After slogging through two episodes to retrieve the Kir’Shara, Archer and T’Pol seek to return the relic to Vulcan high command. (Y’know, for an unemotional people, Vulcans can sure be sentimental.) Meanwhile, Tripp captains the Enterprise through dealing with tension between Vulcan and Andoria, who are suspected of crafting weaponry based on Xindi technology. ***
10. Daedalus – Dr. Emory Erickson, inventor of the transporter and hero of Tripp Tucker, boards the Enterprise with his daughter ostensibly to do some scientific experimentation. Naturally, he has ulterior motives, which are stifled mostly by his conscience-in-tow. ***
11. Observer Effect – All right! Those literally classic disembodied dudes The Organians of the original series are back. In this one, the Organians first unleash a silicon-based virus on Tucker and Sato, then inhabit the bodies of various Enterprise members to observe their reactions to the situation. Ultimately, they decide to fast-forward a few decades and go torment Kirk and the Gang. ***
12. Babel One – More Andorians – and more proof that, again, season four should’ve been season one. The Enterprise is shuttling a Terllarite ambassador to negotiate terms of a peace treaty with the blue dudes. But when Archer’s old Andoran buddy Shran sends out a distress call, things get complex really quickly; who is trying to restart the war…? ***
13. United – Ready for some alien interaction? Archer and Shran attempt to build a coalition of humans, Andorians, Tellarites, Vulcans and Romulans in order to discover just who’s controlling a rogue Romulan drone. (Hey, remember when drones were thought to be tools of the bad guys?) ***
14. The Aenar – How about more aliens? The Aenar, a race related to the Androians, are introduced into the three-episode story arc and prove key to the mysteries of the last two episodes. ***
15. Affliction – Alternatively, “Afflictions.” Dr. Phlox is captured by Klingons suffering from a widespread disease that is … ah, you’ll find out soon enough. In a subplot, T’Pol performs a mind meld with Sato which triggers impressive nascent psychic abilities. ***
16. Divergence – The Enterprise teams with Earth’s second warp-5 starship, the Columbia (they’re still celebrated ol’ Christoph in the future? Yeesh.) to overcome a case of sabotage and rescue Dr. Phlox. Fortunately for continuity, Phlox stems the “affliction”, but Klingons won’t be back to their good ol’ bumpy-headed selves until Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. ***
17. Bound – Orion slave girls. Need we say/write more? ***
18. In a Mirror, Darkly, Part I – This Enterprise’s foray into the EEEvil mirror universe begins with the greatest ST cold open of all-time, and it’s not even close. (Okay, TNG’s “Cause and Effect” and DS9’s “Emissary” are pretty close.) This amazing retelling of a seminal moment in the ST universe is chased by the only acceptable interpretation of this show’s theme song. ****
19. In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II – One’s enjoyment of these episodes’ remaining 82 minutes will depend on one’s feelings about ST’s “mirror universe.” After all, Enterprise actually gets *darker* here, with most characters becoming incredibly unsympathetic: Archer is a coward, Phlox is a sadist, T’Pol is submissive, and Tucker is scarred out of pretty-boyhood. Plus points for upgrading Spock’s beard to Hoshi’s bare-midriff uniform, a nifty twist ending and the return of a certain “large reptilian.” ****
20. Demons – Remember all that racism/speciesism in “Home”? Turns out that stuff in the pub was just low-level stuff representing a greater xenophobic feeling threatening to swamp humanity whilst negotiations to form the fold ol’ UF of P are underway. ***
21. Terra Prime – John F. Paxton, leader of the xenophobic isolationist group Terra Prime, presents his demands and threatens to wipe out Starfleet headquarters. Also, he’s genetically manipulated a baby whose biological parents are T’Pol and Tucker. Gotta hand it to the Enterprise production team They managed to steer the franchise clear of soap operatic plot devices … until that baby. **
22. These Are the Voyages – So very much has been written about this insulting episode that all we’re left with is speculation about what might be in a kinder alternate universe. Why the Riker/Troi frame story? Why set this story six years ahead of the last if nothing has changed? (For example: None of this crew was worthy promotion within Starfleet ranks? And why, ye gods, WHY was Trip Tucker – one of the four truly outstanding characters on Enterprise – killed off? And so unceremoniously? And why wasn’t it Malcolm Reed? His legacy definitely would have been improved. Such a waste.