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Herc

Published at: Nov. 12, 2004, 3:18 a.m. CST by staff

Star Trek: Enterprise 4.6 FAQ

What’s it called?
“The Augments.”

Who’s responsible?
Teleplay is credited to “Enterprise” superstar Mike Sussman (“Twilight,” “E2,” “Home”).

What does TV Guide say?
“Malik’s rash proposal to safeguard the Augments from Starfleet interference leads to a rift with Soong as the Enterprise cautiously enters Klingon space in dogged pursuit.”

Does Archer survive last week’s sweaty-palm, impossible-to-predict-the-outcome cliffhanger?
Such a stupid cliffhanger. Eliminate the “previously” clip package, the theme song and the first handful of commercials and the cliffhanger is neatly resolved two minutes in.

Any word on how most of us missed the Eugenics Wars of the 1990s?
(bitterly) No.

Any action on the Trip/T’Pol front?
A teensy bit. About a third of the way through the episode, newlywed T’Pol accuses Trip of avoiding her. He offers no denial.

The big news?
There’s a nice chunk of continuity that goes absolutely nowhere. An invisotexted excerpt: “The ship carried many of our brethren. Including Khan Noonian Singh.” “Botany Bay is a myth. There’s no evidence it ever existed.”

What else is TV Guide not telling us?
Malik decides to reassume leadership after he discovers Soong is manipulating the Augment embryos to make them more docile. Malik also hopes to use deadly C12 germs to wipe out an entire Klingon colony and speed along a Klingon-Human bloodbath.

Besides “Space Seed,” which earlier “Star Trek” stories does “The Augments” remind one of?
The final act is so similar to “Wrath of Khan” you half expect Malik to start spewing “From Hell’s heart I stab at thee…”

What’s good?
There’s a couple extremely fleeting but eye-catching CG visuals: one depicting Archer’s escape from C12; another dealing with Malik’s final disposition.

What’s not so good?
Much like the season-launching alien-Nazi arc, the Augment storyline rattles close slowly, and with alarming predictability. It's a bit shocking to observe that the guy behind “Twilight” wrote this installment.

How does it end, spoiler-boy?
“I’ve been thinking. Perfecting humanity may not be possible. Cybernetics. Artificial lifeforms …” “Goodbye, doctor.” “… I doubt I’ll finish my work myself. Might take a generation or two …”

Herc’s rating for “Star Trek: Enterprise” 4.6?

**1/2

The Hercules T. Strong Rating System:
***** better than we deserve
**** better than most motion pictures
*** actually worth your valuable time
** as horrible as most stuff on TV
* makes you quietly pray for bulletins

8 p.m. Friday. UPN.

I am – Hercules!!





Looking for bumper stickers, plush toys and girls’ underwear covered with cute cartoon double-amputees? Visit The Herc Store!

Readers Talkback

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  • Nov. 12, 2004, 3:53 a.m. CST

    Can't wait, can't wait, can't wait.

    by Tall_Boy

    Loved the inviso-text spoiler final line. Predictable, totally, but still fun.

  • Nov. 12, 2004, 5:24 a.m. CST

    Battlestar Galactica has taken over as my fav sci-fi series righ

    by aceattorney

    F Enterprise...after a great Season 3, they end it with a dismal cliffhanger/plot twist, and a jacked up Season 4.

  • Nov. 12, 2004, 5:35 a.m. CST

    Somehow, I avoided the spoiler

    by JT Kirk

    I admit, even though I've felt both "event" multipart story arcs in this season so far have felt totally hollow to me, I didn't want the ending spoiled - does that make me a hypocrite, or a pathetic undercover optimist? DAMN YOU, SECRET HOPE!!! Anyway, I don't think these Augments are going to muster up the same amount of audience-interest that the Klingons did so long ago, not even the same amount as that other Gene Roddenberry-inspired sci-fi show on the air right now (Andromeda) has in the Nietzschians... though I'd say they're closer to what these Augments are based upon than the Eugenic supermen of the Star Trek of yore.

  • God's Death, what a stupid thing to get hung up on. That's like the time some idiot asked the writers why when the characters go back in time no one from contemporary times recognizes their Star Trek uniforms. Hello, it's FICTION.

  • Nov. 12, 2004, 9:12 a.m. CST

    Paramount! I WATCH ON SUNDAYS!

    by AxeBox

    Please don't deactivate me.

  • Nov. 12, 2004, 9:15 a.m. CST

    Oh ya Darkhawke...

    by AxeBox

    B&B aren't involved with Enterprise anymore. Different writing staff, different showrunner. Also this season they are shooting in hidef as opposed to film (cutting a LOT of costs - especially with all that telecine for the effects - hidef is already in the digital format). I have noticed the cg effects aren't as impressive, but the stories, sense of adventure and fun are tooonnnnnss better. Keep at it! Don't cancel!

  • Nov. 12, 2004, 11:05 a.m. CST

    I watch on SUNDAY TOO!!

    by Russman

    If they stop the sunday run I'll miss the rest of the season

  • Nov. 12, 2004, 11:30 a.m. CST

    Simple Solution for Eugenics Wars

    by Kikstad

    Why can't they just say that the Eugenics Wars began as a "secret war" until it progressed into World War III at some vague time without giving a specific date. In other words. Government coverups/conspiracies and all that.

  • Nov. 12, 2004, 12:28 p.m. CST

    Watch Battlestar Galactica

    by Bart of Darkness

    it runs rings around this tired rubbish.

  • Nov. 12, 2004, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Galactica

    by Han Ol' Buddy

    I've been downloading the series currently playing on SKY ONE in the UK. It is awesome and blows away Enterprise, unfortunately. Better stories, better action, better everything. I'll still watch Enterprise, but it's run its course. Bummer.

  • Nov. 12, 2004, 3:43 p.m. CST

    Someone already filled in the Eugenics Wars holes ...

    by TheAFLACDuck

    It's apparently in a book series -http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0743406427/qid=1100292088/sr=2-2/ref=pd_ka_b_2_2/103-6493724-5645434 the only problem is you actually have to read it.

  • so far the show has been incredibly uninteresting. And this three episode story with Spiner has been a snooze fest. There's nothing clever about it. No deep thought to the issues it address. It just plays out like an episode of Buck Rogers from the 1980s. Would someone kindly suggest to Manny Coto go back and watch the original series and study the fact that the show was more about ideas and character with action adventure. NOT JUST ACTION AND ADVENTURE.

  • Nov. 12, 2004, 4:01 p.m. CST

    you're all ignorant lunatics - that's the worse (last) line ever

    by scrumdiddly

  • Nov. 12, 2004, 4:37 p.m. CST

    This Just In: Anonymous 14-year-old talkbacker strikes a bold bl

    by Tall_Boy

    Bravo, man. I never thought someone would be so bold to take a stance like that but you did it. Wow. They'll speak of day when someone stood up from behind the anonymity of their computer screen and called people "lunatics". We will look back in awe for it was he who was The Ulitmate Douchebag. Good show, jackass, good show.

  • Isn't an AMERICAN company (SCI-FI) producing this show? So why the hell does Europe get it first? I want my Battlestar Galactica NOW.

  • Nov. 12, 2004, 8:07 p.m. CST

    SkyOne ponied up a lot of the cost of the new Battlestar

    by Mad_Radhu

    Thus they get first dibs on the new episodes. A simulcast would be nice, but this delay is giving them time to build up some positive buzz and hopefully get a lot of people to tune in for the US premiere in January.

  • Nov. 12, 2004, 9:05 p.m. CST

    What's up with all the 2 minute references......

    by Skippy

    Each Klingon ship was 2 minutes away, and at one point the Augment's ship was 2 minutes away. Tell me the writers all didn't take cat naps at different times during the read through!

  • Nov. 13, 2004, 3:27 a.m. CST

    I'm disappointed...I was hoping for a MAJOR development to occur

    by The Ghost of Scrappy Doo

    The way I saw it the Augments would release a virus into the Klingon population that would not kill them (as planned) but instead would interact with their biology and mutate them into the "human" looking Klingons as seen in the original Trek series. Then we could have seen the Klingon civil war that would result in the dominance of the "non-bumpy heads" of Kirk's time...at least for one generation.

  • Nov. 13, 2004, 9:36 a.m. CST

    Let's face it

    by handydave

    The main reason Enterprise fails is due to Scott Bakula's poor acting as the Captain. That whole scene where he pretended to be a Klingon ship was a prime example. Almost made me puke.

  • Nov. 13, 2004, 11:59 a.m. CST

    Still like it

    by ejcarter9

    Here's my recurring post of praise for Enterprise. A solid show with a lot of promise. This episode, with its nods to continuity, is the right path to take. The only problem I have with it is that it could easily have been a two-parter.

  • Nov. 13, 2004, 2:18 p.m. CST

    wrong- the buck rogers aspect is actually consistant with the fa

    by atomheartbrother

    and i for one am glad that they are finally doing something different and in my opinion interesting with what has become a tad hackneyed over the last 17 years. if nothing else- enterprise could stand to go a little further in this area now that they are going with these three episode arcs as i agreed with herc that the cliffhanger was a tad slack, but all in all i am enjoying this season (even the wacky alternate timeline bonanza season premiere).

  • Nov. 13, 2004, 3:18 p.m. CST

    My beloved Entperprise is finally dead.....BRING ON GALACTICA!!!

    by zillabeast

    Im so sorry to say this....but after a three-parter with all the potential in the world gone to shit, I have to finally close the book on Enterprise. Battlestar Galactica is just so fucking good right now it blows my mind. Let it reign in a new era for sci-fi TV.

  • Nov. 13, 2004, 5:07 p.m. CST

    okay... what in tarnation?

    by BurlIvesLeftNut

    I enjoyed the entire episode until Malik jumped down through a vent in Enterprise to attack Soong. What. The. Fuck? HOW? But the episode was great except for that. The scene where Malik fought the Augment chick and killed her was particularly compelling. The music and primal-ness of it reminded me a little of classic Trek.

  • Nov. 13, 2004, 8:29 p.m. CST

    Villians

    by Electric_Monk

    The biggest problem with this arc -and Trek of late, in general -has been its villians. Oh sure, the episodes look nice, it's well produced and the CGI effects are...well, CGI effects. Still, better than I can do. Anyhoo, the villians of Trek -VOY and ENT -are cardboard. Malik is a prime example. Here was a chance to make him a smart villian, one with Khan. Instead, he became a mustache twirling creep with no charisma, and no true understanding of who he is. Now that blame can be pushed onto the writers, who have made this series so black and white. Even Soong comes off as nothing more than a crazy Dr. Brown like character from the Back to the Future movies. Like the Vidiians from VOY and Annorax (from the VOY episodes Year of Hell), they are not truly evil. They just do horrible things in pursuiant of their goals. Even the Borg are not evil, if you think about it. They're super bad, not doubt about that, but evil? But even while the Vidiians were mishandled, they were an effective enemy, but even they became cardboard. Only Annorax was VOY best bad guy, and sadly, never came around again. Star Trek -and TV in general -like the conservative movement, see's only in black and white. In current Trek, the implications of Eugenics Wars cannot be debated. It was simply wrong. I long for a debate like Kirk, Spock and McCoy would've had. Spock's logic, McCoy's passion and Kirk's ability to see both sides. This Trek has nothing like that. It seems afraid to point out anything good or bad about what happened during those later years of the 1990's (Trek timeline, of course). Archer's comment about his dad's illness, and Phlox's statements about how his people were able to prevent crossing the line are supposed to come across as deep philosophical statements. I would've loved to see more, but that would've taken away from the predicatble action and staleness of Malik's villiany. I long for a bad guy who is not painted in such narrow strokes. I long for a bad guy who might be smarter than the hero and who does not fall for the conventional trap. Trek of this era has lost, replaced or just decided that intellectual story telling was not going to be it's prime goal. Action over content. I mean, its certainly a lot easier to write: Archer punches Malik, Malik kick'a Archer's ass, than to come up with a thought provoking debate on eugenics (especially in this highly charged time of stem cell research). Malik and Soong just come off as 70's TV vilians, no substance. And like I said, Soong in no more evil than a door knob. And Malik, well Malik is a dumb as a box of rocks. Superior intellect he is not. And that, my friends, is what made TOS bad guys more fun.

  • Nov. 13, 2004, 9:01 p.m. CST

    ENTERPRISE was taped in front of a live studio audience

    by RaulMonkey

    Yeah, there is a lot of backstory in the Eugenics Wars series of books, but the books aren't part of the official canon. The TV and movie writers can contradict the books as much as they want. I don't have a problem with not remembering the Eugenics Wars of 1992-1996--I've accepted long ago that Star Trek takes place in an alternate universe. Kind of sucks that the great future that awaits us doesn't necessarily await US, but them's the breaks. I am glad that ENTERPRISE isn't fucking up the history, this time. When the Voyager crew went back to 1996 Earth there was no sign of the Eugenics Wars and they never mentioned them--it seemed like that time traveling dickhead who had been living in California since the '60's had changed history so the Wars never happened, but it was unclear. I'm glad we got that sorted out. And thanks for the ENTERPRISE articles, Herc--I never seem to remember to watch the show, so they're a help.

  • This ep was so hollow and sad, shooting down torpedoes with more torpedoes, the cheap "run, shoot, run, shoot" formula, and I've got to admit, Bakula as Archer just isn't cutting it - he's too limp as a captain and just seems out of his element here. There were indeed a few touches of Nietzchians from "Andromeda" and some riffs from Wrath of Khan, but ultimately it was all just "run, shoot, run", no Spock/McCoy arguments about how facism might work in theory or how perhaps genetic modification is simply another tool in humanity's arsenal and should be used as such, just flat and boring. That ending was the worst too, were they trying to spice up the dull blandness of the end of the story? Why would Malik waste his time killing Soong when this guy the whole ep has talked about biding his time and letting others distract the problems that affect his people?

  • Nov. 15, 2004, 3:56 a.m. CST

    waiting for something

    by RedScab

    I keep waiting for this series to do something. I mean it just seems like something is missing. And just when I think I'm going to get it, the show falls flat. But I'll give it another season, since I'm a hopeless trek fan.

  • Nov. 15, 2004, 9:14 a.m. CST

    I Think it's the Main Characters Who Need Work

    by Drath

    I agree that the villains in this arc were ultimately worthless. I liked that Soong wasn't evil, but then that just meant he got to survive the arc and be funny along the way. Malick was predictable and flat, we knew where they were going with him after he killed his brother in part one (and before that even). I assume the "monster comes back to life" twist at the end was to set up The Wrath of Malick later on? He's got a silver dollar-sized hole in his spine now, so he'll want revenge upon Archer and Soong for crippling him. I assume he's still alive, or else WHY bother with that last scene at all? There was nothing gained by having that last "surprise," Archer and Soong did not come to any greater understanding of each other because of it. Archer had already grown a soft spot for old Dr. Soong--which was the extent of his development for the whole three episodes. That's where Enterprise is suffering from Voyager Syndrome. The main characters are like tour guides for action TV formula plots, there is nothing unique about any of them. You could replace Archer with Janeway and change NOTHING about this three episode arc. The most he got to do was look determined and annoyed. Trip and T'Pol got to spit out soap opera dialogue and the actors are obviously hating it (I swear they both look fed up with their love story), which I have to say is a shame since they used to have chemistry. Trek is bad at Romance, and fans have been saying it for a while, but apparently no one knows how to fix it (assuming they even know it's not working). The roles of Travis, Reed, and Hoshi were played by plastic dolls for the last three episodes, but at least the actors are getting paid. Dr. Phlox almost got the best twist to act off of with him and Dr. Lucas, but then that went absolutely nowhere. They don't seem to be approaching this as "what can we do with our characters this week" so much as "what can our next Super Sci-Fi Trekkie Event be?" I don't mind event storylines, but I think they need to give each character a strong likable and memorable voice before they waste anymore of their event ideas. I fear the Vulcan arc will be wasted on more action cliches.

  • Nov. 15, 2004, 10:58 a.m. CST

    Still a boring cast. Where's the Dog?

    by cookylamoo

    After 3 years, Archer is still the most boring of all the ST captains and at this point the crew could be replaced by cutouts of themselves. Over three years, Travis has been featured in maybe three tepid episodes. Malcom's personality still centers around him bring dull. Hottie Hoshi seems to have retreated into her console and flox is interesting only in the weird things he can do with his body. Originally, I think they set up Trip and T'Pol to be philisopical adversaries. But now that they're a couple it's as if Spock and McCoy had buried the hatchet and formed a civil union. Since everyone is probably working under a five year contract I can't see anything better coming out way soon. But maybe they could bring in at least one new character vis a vis 7 of 9? P.S. Can you imagine how disapointing it would have been at the end of Space Seed of Kirk had just shot Kahn?

  • Nov. 15, 2004, 5:18 p.m. CST

    THE DOG - that's the answer!

    by lycanthrope

    I used to like Scott Bakula - then he got this series and proved to be the least charismatic of all ST Captains - I'd rather see Rom of DS9 or freakin' Neelix of VOY as a captain (shudder) - so here's what we do - Archer, Porthos and Phlox are cut off from the rest of the ship in Sick Bay - Archer develops a flesh-eating virus - Phlox has no choice but to put his brain into the body of the beagle - he tinkers with the dog so it can talk, only with a slightly deeper (more masculine) voice - then they make it a nice uniform - A TALKING DOG COMMANDS THE SHIP! Imagine that first awkward meeting with the Vulcans! The Klingons! Anyone else! Woohoo! Then, just when Phlox has perfected a host android for the brain of Archer, the dog gets caught in a plasma explosion - and they trick him out with one of those wheelchairs like Captain Pike had - a dog head sticking out of a tiny, motorized steam cabinet! Now we're talkin'!

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