Brainwaves, Mental games and Hoshi Sato all on the episode that originally aired on October 15, 2003. This is Exile.
Captain’s Starlog date undetermined.
Hoshi begins hearing voices but Dr Phlox seems to think she is simply hallucinating. Meanwhile, T’Pol informs Archer that a second Sphere could be nearby and Enterprise goes to search for it. The voice contacts Hoshi again but this time takes her to a planet in her mind to explain that he wants to meet here there. Hoshi informs Captain Archer who agrees to go to the planet even though he suspects it may be a trap.
They arrive and find the alien who introduces himself as Tarquin and offers to use his abilities to ‘read items’ to help the crew find the Xindi but only if Hoshi remains with him while the Enterprise crew searches for the second Sphere. Hoshi agrees and they bring him part of the weapon that attacked Earth. Hoshi begins to bond with Tarquin while Enterprise, searching for the sphere, begins being hit by anomalies that nearly destroy the ship.
Modifying one of the shuttles with Trellium, Tucker and Archer search for the sphere in the heavy anomaly laden area leaving Enterprise safely behind. Back with Tarquin, Hoshi uses a crystal to see visions of various events in their past but it all ends when she sees a Xindi-reptilian. She soon discovers that Tarquin has had other ‘companions’ who have also had special talents but they have all died. She realize that he plans to use her as he used them while in his exile. They finally make amends and, after Enterprise returns having been able to scan the second Sphere using the altered shuttle pod, Hoshi leaves Tarquin behind despite his desire for her to remain with him. After one last attempt to keep Hoshi with him, Tarquin relents and Hoshi returns with the information of where a Xindi colony is located.
With the data from the Sphere, T’Pol learns that there are fifty more spheres located within the Expanse. So, with this newfound knowledge, Enterprise heads off on it’s mission to stop the Xindi threat.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
This is a rather interesting episode as, if you pretty much ignore the entire really strange Hoshi main story, Exile all but solves the very problem they thought they had a solution to in the previous episode. Enterprise is in danger of strange anomalies popping up randomly, so…what if they weren’t all that random? What if they were made by the Spheres? Yep. That’s the case and, now that they have that data well, they don’t really need the Trellium as much as they thought they did. I swear this is probably the first time the B story line was far more important and impactful than the main story but let’s talk about that main story now…
The main story is essentially, Hoshi gets psychically attacked and even though he was trying to keep her prisoner, she forgive him and walks away. What makes this part so off is it is basically the definition of Deus Ex Machina with Hoshi just happening to have mental powers and an alien just happening to be able to use his abilities to tell Enterprise where to go next. I almost feel like this season has the plot of a video game where there is a rather convenient ‘answer’ that pushes you to the next part of the story. I get having everything plotted out but when you can actually see the plot points so obviously, it’s kinda hard to watch. I can imagine the writers room now:
‘Hey, how are Archer and the crew going to learn about where the Xindi weapon was made?’
‘How about psychic alien in love with Hoshi?’
‘Perfect. and how do we solve the anomalies?’
‘Remember that sphere? yeah…what if there were moooooor!’
I think the thing that really bothers me about all of this is that Tarquin is literally just left to his own to keep doing what he has been doing mind-raping unlucky people who he happens to notice and ask to be his ‘companions’. Even after he attacks the ship and shuts down Enterprises power to keep Hoshi with him, no problem, you can just keep doing what you want. I swear, He’s like a terrible nearly immortal Doctor Who that just uses his companions until they die horrible deaths and then he moves on to the next one…oh…yeah…
All in all, the Hoshi story should have been left out. It was just dumb and rather pointless. I love it when characters like Hoshi get a chance to shine but this just felt like such a waste of her character. The Sphere part is cool and makes sense but also sort of feels very sudden and convenient. If they were planning this season to be an ongoing narrative, maybe plant those seeds a little earlier, huh? The only things you need to know plot wise form this episode are that the Xindi Outpost where the device that attacked Earth was made has been located and we learned that there are fifty spheres. So. with that knowledge, on to the next episode!
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- So, with the discovery that the Spheres create the anomalies, this means T’Pol is safe from the whole Trellium thing right? hahahahahaha. suuuuuure.
- So now Enterprise has a Trellium-D protected shuttle.
- It is implied that Hoshi has some latent psychic abilities. Will we learn more about them? Well…maybe?
- Also….how did they repair that giant hole in the ship so quickly?
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: The Shipment
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Late To The Game 9/3/2021
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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