The Klingons return but this time, they might be more of a threat… Originally broadcast on January 30, 2002, this is Sleeping Dogs.
Captain’s Log date unknown
Enterprise encounters a damaged Klingon vessel sinking into a gas giant, but when the human crew go to save the Klingons, they are attacked by a female Klingon who escapes by stealing the away teams ship, stranding Hoshi, Reed and T’Pol on the vessel. However, before leaving, the Klingon manages to send a signal to her people instructing them to come and destroy Enterprise.
After recapturing the Klingon woman, Bu’kraH, Archer and crew discover that the Klingon crew had been exposed to a dangerous toxin that could end up killing them, however Bu’kraH is reluctant to provide any information.
In the end, Enterprise is able to save the Klingon vessel once it is revealed that the Klingons raided a Xarantine outpost and became ill on the Xarantine Ale. Archer is able to convince Bu’kraH to assist in saving her crew so that they avoid a dishonorable death. After handing the Klingon Vessel over to Bu’krah, Archer is forced to talk it’s Captain down from attacking convincing him that to do so would be fatal. Soon the Enterprise continues on its way with the away team taking some down time in the decontamination chamber.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
It seems that Enterprise is finally getting it’s stride this season with a strong Doctor focused episode and now a Klingon-centric episode that focuses on none other than coms expert Hoshi Sato. So far this series we have seen Hoshi grow significantly as a character, starting off as a rather frightened unsure crewmember, but in no time at all she has really begun to show herself as a very capable and willing officer. If anything, this episode really marks a turning point for this character giving the indication that she is going to be a much bigger character down the road.
The story itself is a good one, Enterprise finding a Klingon vessel that needs help only to inadvertently insult and offend the Klingons involved. It is a classic story of cultural misunderstanding that mildly establishes more of the centuries of distrust between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. Unfortunately, there is a massive problem with the plot of this particular episode. Particularly in the character of Bu’kraH, the female Klingon who steals the away teams shuttle. We all know that Klingons are all about honor and defending their ships to the death, however, Bu’kraH’s first instinct is to steal the away teams shuttle in order to call for backup. Later T’Pol mentions that Klingon ships do not have escape pods as it would be considered an act of cowardice to abandon ship….well…isn’t that exactly what Bu’kraH did? In fact, she should not have not stolen the shuttle, she should have spent the episode hunting the away team picking them off one by one as they attempted to rescue the crew. We could have added a few red shirts to be taken out making the episode more of a ‘most dangerous game’ story than just a ‘lets save our people’ episode. Imagine the stakes involved and the intensity of the story we could have had…but no….not only do the writers ‘play it safe’ they also manage to get Klingon culture wrong in the worst way possible, by making the one we see a coward who chose to abandon ship.
While the story is left wanting, the character development and pacing is actually quite impressive. Seeing Hoshi really step into her character while also showing Starfleet officers encounter a Klingon vessel for the first time is very interesting, I just wish it could have been a better story. This is one that is worth watching for Hoshi’s story, but otherwise, it doesn’t have much more going for it.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- We get the first mention of Photon Torpedoes….indicating that maybe the Federation stole this technology from the Klingons?
- The Common Cold is still an issue in the 22nd century….in fact Reed has to face it himself. Luckily, it allowed him to not smell the Klingon ship.
- We meet some Targ….so there’s that! I mean, this might be Starfleet’s first encounter with the pet/food/hunting animal/guards.
Thanks for reading the Retro TV Review, I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you, one episode at a time every Monday, Wednesday and Friday! Next Review: Shadows of P’Jem
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Late To The Game 5/24/2021
Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available. Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.
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