The Search for Xindi begins as Archer and his crew begin to learn about this strange species. Originally broadcast on September 10, 2003 this is The Xindi.
It’s been six weeks since their arrival in the Delphic Expanse and, although no one has gone insane yet, they still haven’t found the Xindi. This really upsets Archer who is determined that playing it safe isn’t an option anymore. Soon Enterprise encounters a freighter captain who indicates that he knows where a Xindi is! Enterprise goes to the mine that was indicated only for Archer to discover that the Xindi in question may or may not actually be Xindi. Soon Archer and Tucker are captured to be used as labor and are forced to find a way out of the mining facility with Kessick, the maybe-Xindi. Working their way through the sewage system, they are ultimately rescued by the MACO team that Archer had brought on board to act as their military muscle. Back on the ship Kessick dies of his wounds but relays the coordinates to the possible Xindi homeworld to Archer before he does. Heading to the location of the Xindi home planet, Enterprise discovers what appears to be the remains of a planet which is strange as the Xindi homeworld was apparently destroyed 400 years in the future. After scanning the area, Enterprise continues their search through the expanse. Back at the Xindi base, the Xindi council debate whether Enterprise is the first in an invasion force and demand that their scientist, an insectoid-Xindi, finish the superweapon as soon as possible.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
We finally actually meet the Xindi and, well, they are not at all what we would have expected. At first glace it seems The Xindi are an organization not unlike the Federation with multiple species working together. However, we will learn this isn’t nessissaritly the case as we learn from Kessick, it seems that the Xindi are a multi-special species broken up among five distinct variations.
This premiere feels a lot more like Voyager than any of the other series with Enterprise literally on their own travelling through unknown space determined to reach their destination. From the onset, Archer makes it clear that all of the old rules have been suspended, there will be no consideration for ‘non-interference’ or ‘playing it safe’ as they have too much to lose if they play be the rules they have been loosely following from the getgo. Basically, all bets are off and it is very clear that this is going to be a significant part of the story going forward. I mean, if BSG can have some dark moments, why not Star Trek right?
One major part of this episode is that we see the pain and anguish that Trip Tucker is suffering from the loss of his sister and destruction of much of his home in Florida. There is significant anger and frustration in his demeanor and tone even showing through when he finally encounters his first Xindi. This struggle is helped with a the beginning of a rather intimate series of sessions with T’Pol as she helps him at the Doctor’s request using her Vulcan Neuro-pressure techniques. This is the start to a longer relationship that has only been hinted at before now.
We also see the beginnings of a conflict between the MACO group and Reed’s own security team. From the start Reed has been uncertain about the inclusion of a MACO team on board Enterprise but understood Archer’s need for them in a potentially hostile region of space. While this group does show it’s value in rescuing Archer and Trip, there is clearly a significant point of contention that is sure to come to a head at some point. One interesting and cool note, you might recognize one of the MACO team as none other than Daniel Dae Kim playing Corporal Chang. This is not the last we will see of the Corporal.
Overall, this is a pretty strong start to this new season. Taking Enterprise to a darker spot with a specific mission for the story to follow is certainly a massive change of pace for this series. While I don’t remember this season very fondly, I hope watching it again this time around proved my memories to be a bit jaded. I guess we will find out together!
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- The series gets a theme song update that is somehow worse than the original version.
- The series is officially retitled Star Trek Enterprise rather than Enterprise.
- This is one of the first times since DS9 that we have seen a military group aboard a Starfleet vessel.
- It is worth noting that, since T’Pol resigned her commission, both her outfit and her hair have drastically changed from previous seasons. I guess both the ships barber and tailor opted to come along into the expanse.
- We finally meet Trip’s sister via a terrible nightmare, however it seems the brother he mentioned earlier in the series has all but vanished.
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: Anomaly
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Late To The Game 8/23/2021
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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