Here we are, the beginning of the second season of Star Trek Enterprise and boy are we off to a massive start. Not only did the last season end in a crazy time travel cliff hanger, but the Enterprise itself faced immediate destruction. Now we know that this ship was never mentioned on the Original series, so….maybe it never existed to begin with? Lets find out shall we?
Originally broadcast on September 18, 2002 this is Shockwave Part II.
Captain’s Log date: still all over the place!
Archer has vanished and, knowing that the Suliban will not take no for an answer, T’Pol allows the enemy combatants to board Enterprise to see that he is not there for themselves. They board and, after finding that the Captain has been pulled out of time, Silik confines the crew to their quarters and takes command of the ship. Taking Enterprise to a helix facility, Silik refuses to destroy the ship, instead opting to operate on T’Pol instead. On Earth, Admiral Forrest and Soval note that Enterprise has gone missing and Soval sends the D’kyr to track down the ship and bring it back no matter what.
In the future Daniels and Archer find that the Federation has been erased from history and it seems that Earth was destroyed well before it had a chance to even get started. Daniels soon comes up with a plan to contact the past and Archer is able to make limited contact with T’Pol who begins acting on Archers plan. Silik returns to T’Pol where she explains that a device in Daniels quarters will help Silik reconnect to the Mysterious Future Guy (MFG) who has been out of contact from some reason. Silik takes the device to his lab and activates it allowing Archer to jump back into the past taking Silik hostage. Enterprise and the crew is freed but finds itself under attack by the Suliban ships. Just when things look bleak, the ships stop firing and they find that Archer has captured Silik and has returned to Enterprise via a Suliban ship.
Enterprise finally meets up with the D’kyr and clears their name of any wrongdoing. The Vulcans are still adamant that the Enterprise mission be scrubbed but, in the end, Archer wins out stating that humanity can not learn without making a few mistakes. Enterprise is allowed to continue their mission and, despite Archer’s first hand experiences T’Pol still refuses to believe in time travel.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
Not a bad way to start a season, not just the universe but practically all of time in jeopardy and, the Enterprise crew must save it. So with the stakes set this high, you know that this is bound to be an intense and insane story that could go pretty much anywhere…and anywhen for that matter. Boy does it.
This episode is honestly one of the best second season premieres in a while and also happens to be the first ‘two parter’ to bridge first and second seasons of any Star Trek series. That being said, every minute of this episode really ratchets up the tension through and through making it seem like this season will really be the one where Enterprise shines. Not only do we get a chance to ‘see’ the 31st century, albeit destroyed a bit, we also see how T’Pol really takes command in a crisis and how much the Vulcan High Command really doesn’t want humans galivanting around in space. (I mean, who can blame them really on that last one.)
Speaking of T’Pol, the Science Officer really shines in every moment in this episode. From her willingness to allow Enterprise to be boarded in order to save the crew as well as her intense torture she endures to keep her crew alive she really shines but, it is when she stands up to the Vulcan High Command themselves that shows just how dedicated to her ship and crew she really is. If anything, this episode cements the fact that T’Pol is clearly the best choice for Archer’s ‘number one’ and was certainly an inspiration for another certain Vulcan on another certain Enterprise.
While the episode is a fantastic one, I do have a few quibbles about it, because of course I do. First off, Crewman Daniels makes it clear that he doesnt want to pollute the timeline but basically tells Archer that Archer is a key person in history. Now, if someone showed you proof that your actions would significantly influence history itself, how would that affect you? I would think that you would likely second guess every division from that point forward wondering if that choice led to the destruction of the future. Or, even worse, you could get more reckless with your choices seeing that your choices well, they affect the future and so they cant be wrong. Either way Daniels put into motion a very dangerous idea in Archer’s head, that Archer is the lynchpin of the future and will do or influence something that changes literally everything.
The other MASSIVE issue is the fact that they caught Silik only to let him go. I mean, the freaking leader of the Suliban Cabal has been taken hostage and Archer casually notes that ‘they will be long gone when he wakes up’ indicating that he has no plans to incarcerate and interrogate this hostage. Everyone knows just how dangerous these folks are and he literally has their leader in his clutches but it doesn’t even cross his mind that maybe, just maybe they should take him back to Starfleet command for a debriefing and help stop further attacks from the Cabal. Nope, they just let him go drifting off in his helix ship like it’s no big deal.
Those two massive plot holes aside, I really had a good time with this one and liked how it sets this season up to be quite the ride. Let’s just hope they don’t miss their chance to ride this ‘shockwave’.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- Archer learns about the Romulan Star Empire…but only that they exist.
- Archer also learns about something called the Federation and how he was instrumental in it’s development.
- We also find out that the NX-01 Enterprise was built well before Jefferies Tubes existed.
- Oh, and Vulcans dont believe in Time Travel. Nope, can’t happen. At All.
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: Carbon Creek
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 6/23/2021
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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