Captain’s log: 22 January, 2155
The penultimate episode of Star Trek: Enterprise brings the Terra Prime two-parter to a close in this story written by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens and Manny Coto, from a story developed by the Reeves-Stevens and Andre Bormanis. It debuted on 13 May, 2005.
Paxton (Peter Weller) is holding the solar system hostage until all non-human life leaves it, and Archer (Scott Bakula) needs to find a way to stop him.
Everybody gets their moment in this episode, and it comes to a solid conclusion, and honestly, with a little tweaking, this could have been a great series finale, instead of the next episode.
We see the foundations of the Federation being laid, the continued dedication of those who serve in Starfleet, as well as tying in the bigger universe with those who work in Section 31, and the ongoing sense of discovery and exploration that fill the universe (and includes a nice nod to Carl Sagan).
The story’s subject matter still resonates as the hateful, xenophobic behaviour is recognisable, and can serve as an analogy for what we see going on in the world around us today.
The episode ends with a poignant, bittersweet moment that shows us how much we’ve come to care for these characters and the universe they inhabit, as well as making a promise for what will happen in the future.
Every character gets a moment to shine, and they all get a little bit of that last moment kind of dialogue that shows us how much they’ve grown and changed over the course of the series.
It could be argued we should just leave the series here, and forget what follows next, but sadly, it counts as canon.
Captain’s log: 47457.1
We jump two centuries into the future aboard the Enterprise-D, where Commander William Riker (Jonathan Frakes) is ruminating a decision (see The Next Generation episode, The Pegasus) and seeks some solace and inspiration by going to the holodeck. Written by Rick Berman and Brannon Braga, Star Trek: Enterprise came to its conclusion on 13 May, 2005.
There he involves himself in the final mission of the NX-01 Enterprise under command of Jonathan Archer, culminating in the formation of the Federation. The events take place six years after the previous episode, and marks the end of ten years of Enterprise exploration.
Unfortunately, in giving the series characters time to shine and make their farewells, they all get shortchanged for the appearance of Frakes and Marina Sirtis as their Next Gen characters. Consequently nothing in the story is served well, neither the Riker or Troi, or more specifically, considering its there show, Archer and his crew.
And it also does not serve justice to a number of the crew, specifically Trip (Connor Trinneer), and what happens with his character. The series creators were adamant that this was all going to happen in the season finale even if they got picked up for another season, but honestly, it feels like a bit of a cheat, and more importantly, a huge letdown.
Which isn’t to say there aren’t some nice moments in the episode, but it just feels like a very underdone finale. Check out The Complete Series, now available on blu-ray from Paramount Canada.
The Human Adventure continues next week, as we leap into the Kelvin timeline, and from there back to a modified(?) Prime Universe. Boldly go…