An elaborate plot…for what exactly?  Originally broadcast on February 4, 2004 this is Stratagem.

The Episode:

Captain’s Starlog Date December 12, 2153.

After capturing Degra, the Xindi Scientist who created the Super Weapon, Archer and the crew use simulation technology to try and fool the scientist into revealing information about the weapon itself.  T’Pol is not convinced that this deception is the best course of action, but Archer, who clearly hasn’t been making rational choices for the better part of the year, disagrees.  However, after several layers of elaborate hoaxes and tricks, they manage to trick Degra into revealing the location of the base where the weapon is being developed, Azati Prime.  Wiping his and the other Xindi captives memories, Archer leaves them at the test site and heads toward their destination. 

Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:

I am with T’Pol on this one, why didn’t they just go about this like rational people and ask Degra for help.  I mean, he seems to be a rather rational person overall and seems to be being forced to work on this weapon under duress. Heck,  I imagine that, if they had shown him the damaged that was done and how Humans were not the threat that the Xindi believed them to be, he probably would have come around in time.  Then again, I guess they didn’t have the ‘time’ to be rational huh?

That aside, So we are led to believe that Enterprise is able to easily capture a high ranking Xindi scientist and Council Member who is only traveling with two other Xindi?  Not only that, to add insult to injury they erased his memory? Then, at the end, they just….let him go like they did with the Suliban Leader and that really turned out well.  Not to mention the brain washing thing is not exactly ethical….then again, we are following the ‘Archer is being ‘forced’ to make some rather hard decisions while he searches for a way to save Earth from the Xindi’ story…only…he really isn’t when you think about it.  NOTHING that has happened in the series so far should have driven this guy to become the vengeance driven Captain he has become.  Sure, Earth was attacked but, the Captain we saw from seasons one and two would have went on a mission to save Earth but would never have slipped this far into being a bad and vengeful person.  I really don’t like this Archer and who he has become making me less and less interested in his success as this mission.  Heck, if this is how the Federation is started, humanity is actually not the good guys….then again, were we ever?

The story itself is well written and cleverly plotted albeit one that seems a little overly planned just to get some information from a prisoner.  The planning alone would have taken longer than just sitting him down and talking to him and, this heavily implies, that Archer himself is a good actor which is just strange.  Needless to say, this episode is very much a key part of the story as it conveniently leads our intrepid crew to their next point in the video game story. It’s a wonder that Degra didn’t have a glowing light around him indicating that he was important to the plot.  It’s not great but, it’s not the worst in the series, just very contrived in just about every way.

Gleanings and Cool Bits:

  • Although Synthohol has yet to be invented, there are apparently anti-intoxicants as the Doctor used one on Archer so he could share a drink with Degra in order to gain his trust.
  • We learn that Degra has children and they are the reason that he is willing to attack Humanity because of the thread to his people. 
  • There is a little mistake as well. When it is shown that the outside starfields in the sim ship are being made by television screens, the screens are clearly several feet from the ships porthole which would allow the occupants to see everything else if they ever bothered to look to the sides. Why didn’t they just attach these screens…i don’t know…TO THE SHIP ITSELF!?
  • We learn that the Insectoid and Primate Xindi have the same synaptic pathways which makes sense seeing that they are all from the same people. 
  • It will take approx three weeks to reach Azati Prime, plenty of time to get into some interesting situations…

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:  Harbinger

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.

As always, please feel free to comment below and share your experiences with these episodes as well. If you just happened by, tell me what you think! Don’t Forget To Follow me if you like the blog!

Late To The Game 9/22/2021

Join Starfleet they said, use the most advanced tech possible they said….and here I am playing with hydraulics….

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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