De-evolution or, what would Cave-Man Archer look like? Originally broadcast on September 24, 2003 this is Extinction.
Captain’s Starlog Date Undetermined:
Using the Xindi database recently obtained, Enterprise visits an alien planet where it appears the Primate-Xindi were last seen. Taking a shuttle down they soon find a ship with burned non-xindi bodies but, it is too late as they have all been infected by a virus that has turned all but T’Pol into what appears to be alien Neanderthals. With Archer, Hoshi and Malcolm infected, T’Pol soon finds herself captured by these new lifeforms who, after some coaxing, finally allow T’Pol to use the universal translator to communicate with them.
After managing to capture Reed, Enterprise is visited by another set of aliens who insist that Enterprise might be infected. It turns out that the now extinct Lorue’eque people created a virus that would alter the DNA of any other humanoids allowing their race to continue forever. With T’Pol seemingly immune to the virus, Phlox needs her DNA in order to synthesize a cure, but with her captured this poses a problem. Trip remembers he shared a Peach with her earlier and she never finished it providing Phlox with the needed DNA thus saving the day. They are soon able to save the mutated away team, provide a vaccine for the alien containment ship that had arrived earlier and are even able to purge the planet of the Virus. In the end, Phlox wants to destroy the last sample of the virus but Archer stops him citing that this might be the last of an entire species and is worth holding on to.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
Remember that episode of Star Trek the Next Generation where the entire crew devolve into monsters? You know, Troi becomes a fish, Barclay becomes a spider and Worf turns into some kind of crab thing? Yeah, this is basically that same episode only it’s another virus that was made to help keep a species alive and got out of control.
At this point it is clear that the writers of this series intend for this season to be an ongoing storyline focusing on Archer’s search for The Xindi Who Attacked The Earth. However, they just can’t seem to find a good balance between an overarching story and the classic episodic format so, of couse, we end up with strange episodes like this one.
What would have been a one off episode in any other series, tries its hardest to tie into the ongoing story where Archer accidentally infects his away team with a virus because he is on a quest of vengeance against those pesky Xindi. Nevertheless, this episode has nothing to do with the overarching storyline and only manages to provide us with a very strange and disturbing story where we see Archer, Reed and Hoshi mutate into alien cave-men almost instantaneously due to a ‘Virus’. Let’s be frank with this one, it’s dumb and really should have been a rejected storyline, I feel bad that this happened to be one LeVar Burton was asked to direct, he is way too good for this kind of junk.
Overall, just skip this one unless you want to hear three of the main actors try to speak some kind of strange language while wearing prosthetics. They had to be so embarrassed being forced to act like deranged lizard gorillas. I mean, sure they might have had fun with it but it did not look like they enjoyed themselves. My advice, just skip this one, it’s really not worth your time and has no baring on the season as a whole. Absolutely forgettable in every way.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- Apparently Trip brings a case of peaches with him whenever he visits Earth. Specifically Georgia Peaches.
- For a species who created a virus to keep themselves alive by altering others, why the hell did they make them so primal? I mean, if they could alter genetics then this seems like it was a massive oversight.
- Archer also learns about the Primate Xindi from the database they obtained. For some reason I thought he already knew about them .
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: Rajiin
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Late To The Game 8/27/2021
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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