It’s back to that temporal cold war story thing on the episode that originally aired on May 22, 2002. This is Shockwave.
Captain’s Log Date well, kinda all over the place…
After a shocking destruction of a colony that might have been caused by one of Enterprise’s shuttles, Archer and team begin to investigate the situation. After it appears Enterprise wasn’t responsible, Archer contacts Admiral Forrest who supports this theory and reminds Archer that he needs to be a good example for his crew despite the fact that Archer feels responsible for the deaths of the colonists.
Soon the ship learns that Enterprise’s mission has been cancelled and T’Pol and Phlox are to be reassigned, breaking the crew even further. T’Pol volunteers to defend Archer against the Vulcan High Command and Starfleet indicating that he has done quite a bit of good. Soon Archer finds himself in the past before the events of Broken Bow and meets up with Daniels, the temporal agent who died earlier in the season. Daniels explains that someone has tampered with the timeline and is trying to get Enterprise out of action. The two concoct a plan and Archer returns to the present to inform his crew what they are to do, but leaves out the time travel bits.
Reed soon discovers that the explosion was caused by a cloaked ship which made it look like Enterprise was responsible, and Archer orders the ship to prepare for what appears to be a battle. Presenting Trip with futuristic specs, Archer informs him and T’Pol about Daniels and that they are to expect some Suliban information soon. After locating a Suliban ship, Archer and team board it and steal the needed data proving that the Suliban were involved with the colonies destruction. Sending this information to Forrest, Enterprise continues on it’s way expecting more danger.
Silik contacts the mysterious future guy (MFG) and the MFG instructs Silik to kidnap Archer so that he is not a threat any longer. Soon the ship comes under attack again and Silik demands that Archer be relinquished to them. Archer agrees leaving T’Pol in command but before he can make it to the shuttle, Archer finds himself in the ruins of a city. Daniels informs him that this is the 31st century and that everything was destroyed because of what had occurred but this was the only way to save Archer’s life. With no way back home, Archer is stuck in the future.
To be continued…
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
It’s always hard to judge only one part of a two part episode because, well, you don’t have the full story and many of the issues could just be setup for later. That being said, this was a pretty solid season finale that, unfortunately, the season really didn’t earn.
What I mean by this is that, while the series starts off with the promise of an ongoing temporal cold war with the Enterprise being in the center of it all, we barely got touches on this story and, when we did get moments, they were fleeting at best. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate a ‘good’ Alien Adventure Of The Week, but when you promise an ongoing story at least try to weave that story in through the one off tales. This isn’t an easy thing to do, sure, but if X-files can pull it off for the most part, surely a series with the pedigree of Star Trek could as well. Especially seeing that DS9 was able to do this with relative ease after a few seasons. Yes, I know, Trek in general usually has a rough 1st season on any series but by this point, there really was no excuse.
Now, the episode itself is actually a fairly solid one. Not only do we get a chance to continue the Temporal Cold War story and some significant action packed moments, we also get a really great chance to see a Captain suffering from the grief of a catastrophic mission failure, which is not something you see very often with Starfleet Captains. Even when Archer learns that this was not their fault, he is emotionally distraught and clearly suffering due to this event. The fact that the Suliban were responsible for these deaths in an attempt to discredit Enterprise, makes him even more upset at the situation giving him every reason to want to destroy the Suliban Cabal once and for all. This is also where the biggest flaw in the episode comes in. You see, the writers seemed to want to use the grief as a major plot point which inevitably caused Archer to act a little out of character. So far, Archer has been the epitome of a Starfleet Captain. He has been determined, brave, insistent, honorable and quite heartfelt in his reactions to his various missions. So, even if he felt guilt for the deaths of the colonists, the Archer we have gotten to know would never have wallowed in his own grief and guilt but would have tried to get to the bottom of the problem no matter what. By this time he had come to trust his crew and, when Reed insisted that they could not have caused the explosion, well, the Archer we have gotten to know would have done all he could to explore that possibility. The fact that it takes T’Pol to convince him to even consider this is touching but kind of frustrating to be honest.
All that aside, I do love the concept of a temporal cold war and how it was recently referenced on Discovery. Seeing Daniels again and the MFG was pretty rad as well. I remember wondering how this would all play out and how Archer would get back to his own time frame, heck, I even wondered if they would try to explore that time line for a while. While we get some of the answers in the season two premiere, I hate to tell you that the Temporal Cold War is never really resolved because Enterprise was cancelled before it got a chance to really get there (it only lasts four seasons). That being said, with all the Trek going on right now, well, maybe we will see more of this story in the future?
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- Reed makes note that the data device Daniels had contains information about Klingon ships however, Archer insists they do not look at them.
- Enterprise seems to have been destroyed at the end of this episode indicating that only Archer survived as he got swept into the 31st century.
- For some reason, despite the evidence presented, T’Pol still refuses to believe in time-travel.
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: Season 2 Premiere Shockwave Part II
more reviews I have a weekly series called Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday and for more retro TV goodness check out the rest of the Retro TV Reviews here.
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Late To The Game 6/21/2021
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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