It’s Brainwashed Papa Archer! Originally Broadcast on February 25, 2004 this is Hatchery.

The Episode:

Captain’s Starlog January 8, 2154

Enterprise finds a derelict Xindi ship and, while exploring it happen across some eggs.  Well, having never watched any of the films from the Alien franchise, Archer checks out the eggs and is squirted with some….uh…stuff.  Taken back to the ship it seems that it was a fairly ineffective neurotoxin but they soon learn that the eggs are in danger as the life support is failing.  Surprisingly, Archer comes to the defense of the unborn Xindi insisting that they save their lives.

As time runs out on the Xindi ship it becomes more and more apparent that something is wrong with Archer as he continues to do all he can to protect the eggs.  This soon devolves into Archer using the MACO forces to take over the ship forcing Reed, Trip and the rest of the crew to fight back.   Returning to the Xindi ship, Trip finds Archer covered in baby Xindi but still refusing to return to Enterprise. Trip stuns the Captain and they soon discover that Archer had been imprinted by the Xindi eggs to do all he can to save them.   After Phlox reverses the effects, they continue on toward their destination. 

Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:

You know how when you really get into a movie and the characters make really dumb mistakes and you yell at the screen how dumb they are for doing what they are doing?  Yeah, this episode is the personification of that feeling.   After two plus years in space you would think that MAYBE this crew would not make so many dumb mistakes on an away mission.  I mean, taking off their helmets in an alien enemies ship is one thing but, seriously, if one of the members of your crew is sprayed with an unknown substance by some rando alien egg, maybe, just maybe you should keep that person under quarantine for at least 24 hours.  The biggest problem here is that Archer didn’t go into decontamination for even ten min, nope, they literally just took him and the rest of the away team to the ship without so much as a ‘hey maybe we brought something back with us’ crossing their minds. To add insult to injury,  Archer literally walks around the ship in a filthy uniform covered in the alien egg goo which makes even less sense seeing how filthy he was walking around.  I mean, the smell alone had to be terrible.   I imagine, had Archer been placed in Decontamination as protocol demands, well, this entire episode would have been avoided completely.  Remind you of another story?  Yeah, like I mentioned above, if anyone, ANYONE aboard Enterprise had watched the ‘classic’ film Alien, well, maybe they would have thought twice about checking out some alien eggs.  

Not only that, but this episode attempts to finally bring the MACO situation to a head with the MACO commander blindly following the compromised Captain’s orders no matter what.  This, of course, pits the two separate ‘crews’ against each other with one faction just doing as ordered and the others genuinely concerned about the Captain’s situation.  Not one of the MACO members bothers to consider that, maybe…MAYBE the people who had been working with Archer would know him better than they would and just MAYBE they could tell if he had been compromised.  Hell, just the short time they had worked with him should have told them that.  Frankly, nothing in this episode makes any sense at all.

Overall, this is probably the most easily avoided story this season and also one that is so tropey it hurts. Now don’t get me wrong, I would applaud Archer’s attempt to save these insectoid Xindi if he weren’t compromised by their pheromones but the episode itself really doesn’t work.  In fact this is one of the worst loose adaptations of the Alien movie that I have ever encountered.  I mean, really?  Crashed alien ship full of alien eggs?  Yeah…ok…moving on.  

Gleanings and Cool Bits:

  • We get to see a baby insectoid Xindi.  So there is that.

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:  Azati Prime

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 9/29/2021

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.

Star Trek and all related marks, logos and characters are solely owned by CBS Studios Inc. This fan production is not endorsed by, sponsored by, nor affiliated with CBS, Paramount Pictures, or any other Star Trek franchise, and is a non-commercial fan-made production intended for recreational use.  No commercial exhibition or distribution is permitted. No alleged independent rights will be asserted against CBS or Paramount Pictures.”

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