You ever wonder how Klingons went from bumpy foreheads to smooth and back again…well…thats what we learn here.  Originally broadcast on February 18, 2005 this is Affliction. 

The Episode:

Captain’s Starlog November 27, 2154

Phlox is kidnapped by Klingons to help them get a viral contagion under control that was actually caused by their scientists trying to make super soldiers.  Meanwhile Reed begins working for a secret group called ‘The Section’ and Tucker is now serving on the NX-02 Columbia.  Reed comes clean to Archer after an attack on Enterprise resulting in the Lieutenant being placed in the brig.  Soon however, when Enterprise encounters another Klingon ship, with strange looking smooth foreheaded Klingons, Enterprise’s engines are compromised causing the warp matrix to become unstable.  Unable to repair the damage, Archer tries to increase the ships velocity to stave off destruction…but it may not be enough.

Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:

Again, much like the previous multipart episode, this really should have been a longer more drawn out storyline.  They pack A LOT into this episode, not only ‘explaining’ the missing Klingon cranial ridges in the original series but adding in the early days of Section 31 as well as introducing the ‘investigatory’ mind meld in the timeline. Oh yeah,  also Tripp moving to another ship because of, reasons and running into some serious issues…yeah ok.  I swear, how complicated do we need to make these episodes?  

Anyhow, the main story with the abduction of Phlox is actually a really solid one.  While we really didn’t need an explanation for why the Klingons didn’t have ridges in the original series (uhm, makeup technology) it does make sense that the Klingons would want to have something to combat what they saw as a threat when they encountered the Augments.  Now, this story still has more to it so we can wait until next episode for that but what is the deal with Reed?  I mean, we havent known about his service with the Section this whole time and he, conveniently, is revealed to be an agent?  okay. sure.  This is really just out of left field and I have a hard time believing that Reed would leave Archer in the dark like this.  I mean, sure, he is a loyal ‘soldier’ but I just dont buy Reed being a double agent for Section 31.  Then there is the whole ‘Tripp/T’Pol’ thing.  Come on. Just admit it already and be together.  Leaving a ship for the sake of not dealing with your feelings is a horrible motive and not one I can see Tripp actually committing to.  This guy is SUPER loyal to Archer and would never have just left like that.

Honestly, this is an episode with TONS of potential but waaaaay too much story packed in to really work.  Had they just made it about the whole Klingons messing with DNA and causing issues it would have been so much better but nope, they needed layers that were really not necessary or could have even been layered on throughout the season instead of being packed into this episode.  It’s just too dense. 

Overall, good concept, poor execution…or rather too complicated execution. 

Gleanings and Cool Bits:

  • We get to see a targ again! 
  • apparently Tucker and T’Pol are mentally linked somehow….so….thats a thing.
  • We also get a really great cameo in this episode….a certain Ensign you may recognize who is a ‘family guy’.
  • and what is the deal with EVERY section 31 operative wearing black? I mean…seriously. this is supposed to be a clandestine operation but they are always seen in black leather uniforms. Yeah….that’s secretive.

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:  Divergence

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 11/17/2021

What a day for a daydream…

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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