Saturday, January 24, 2004

Star Trek: Enterprise - Proving Ground 

That had to be the longest previously I've seen on an episode that wasn't a season opener or a series finale. It was longer than all the combined previouslies and flashbacks from an episode of Tru Calling!

Two things stood out for me on this episode. First, the Andorian bridge. It's so clean and retro. And kind of pink, which is ironic given that Enterprise's bridge is mostly blue. Speaking of pink and blue, why do the Andorians refer to humans as pink skins? The humans they've interacted with are of all different hues, none of which really looks pink to me. Maybe Andorians have a limited color palate available in their vision, and everything is either blue or pink. What color would they have interpreted as the Xindi command room being? To me the Xindi are always cast in shades of green and brown, except for the good Xindi-Sloth on the science planet - they had a full range, with an emphasis on nice neutral beiges. And what impact would this color analysis have on T'Pol's new fashion palette? Hmm.

Mentioning T'Pol brings me to the main thing that stayed with me throughout the episode. It's all about the antennae. Oh my god are those things cool! I was watching them more than I was watching any of the characters. I love that when Shran is talking to most people, his antennae also face that person, but when he's talking with T'Pol, they're focused straight down her jumpsuit. As he was walking through a room with beams projecting from the ceiling, the antennae would duck under them and then straighten themselves out. Actually, the way they move reminds me of The Game on The Next Generation. Do they have production crew with remote controls maneuvering them off camera? The early shot of the back of Archer's head in front of the viewscreen with the antennae appearing to come from his own head was classic!! I don't care if it was cheesy, it was fun. And they coordinated very well with his uniform.

When Talas was bonding with Reed, her antennae sort of lowered and spread out. I thought it was a flirtatious response kind of thing, but then Shran did the same thing when he was trying to slick his way out of being caught in his deception by Archer. Oh well, I guess flirtation and deception can go hand in hand, and either would have worked in either of these situations.

Back in the mess hall before Talas entered the picture, I thought it was great that Reed was foregoing tea (and crumpets) for coffee, as he felt he needed all the caffeine he could get. I immediately thought of the episode of Buffy where for once Giles turned down tea in favor of coffee. "Tea is soothing. I wish to be tense." I'm wondering if that was the same episode on which Dominic Keating appeared as a Watcher's Council flunky soon to be vamped? I just looked it up - nope, that was Graduation Day, Part 2. I hope caffeine doesn't make Reed more tense than he usually is. You could bounce a quarter off that guy.

I had a law school moment during Shran's chat with Tucker. Apparently Trip has moved past a retributive approach to punishment and is leaning toward a more utilitarian philosophy, while Shran although he later posited the utilitarian position that having The Weapon would prevent the Vulcans from crossing the border, I get the feeling that he would much rather have The Weapon to avenge his brother's death on the front lines.

In the end, we can rest easy knowing that Archer continues to rely on the kindness of strangers. First The Weapon defect, then the surreptitious scan data transfer. I guess he's just so darned good, righteous and wholesome that a brief exposure to him can sway others to defy orders and betray their governments, because "it's the right thing to do." Because, you know, we've seen how efficiently that works in our own timeframe.

Posted by Beth Henderson at 12:26 PM