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Demons
Mission Date: January 19th, 2155
Original Airdate: May 6, 2005
Reviewed By Morbo

Summary | Review | Screen Caps | Cast | Guest Cast | Creative Staff

Summary

Two men walk down a hallway discussing the current condition of their patient, who's improving. Apparently this baby is an abomination, blah blah racism blah. The two men leave, and a shot of the baby reveals Vulcan ears. The sight of which wouldn't be too shocking had UPN promos not spoiled the whole affair. Not really shocking after either. Cue the opening.

We enter on Nathan Samuels introducing the conference that will create a coalition of planets. The crew of the Enterprise are standing on the sidelines, displeased in the downplaying of their role in making the conference a reality. They after all were the ones to get the Tellarites and Andorians to talk. Approaching the crew after his speech, Samuels thanks Hoshi for supplying the universal translators, and comments on his lofty ambition of drafting a charter in six weeks.

Elsewhere, a woman reporter approaches Travis and begins to speak with him (shockingly, Travis is able to speak back). She's obviously from his past, and tries to get an interview from him. He declines. A woman hobbles into the room and makes a beeline for T'Pol. She cries that "they're going to kill her" before dying of an apparent phase pistol wound.

Phlox runs tests on the vial the woman gave her before she died, and discovers that it's a DNA sample from a child, a product of Trip and T'Pol. Though T'Pol insists that she's never been pregnant, she knows that the child belongs to her. Archer, seeking information about where the baby came from and where it is now, goes to Samuels. Samuels however gives him the run around, forcing Archer to force Reed to try and force some information from Section 31, who directs them to look into the activities of Terra Prime, a terrorist cell non-too-pleasant towards aliens.

The lady reporter, Gannet Brooks, in the meantime butters Travis up into a tour of Enterprise, and interview, and a little lovin'. Later, in bed, Travis admits that he's been thinking of leaving space behind for a while and settling down.

After Archer wrests the case file of the dead woman from Samuels with a little subtle black-mail (ah, the high road), they discover, based on her medication, that she's recently been living in a locale similar to those conditions from on the moon. This makes sense, as the lunar colony is a hotbed for terror cells. Travis knows people on the inside, and is able to get T'Pol and Travis in to have a look around.

Hoshi discovers that someone's tampered with the universal translators to record everything the delegates are saying. The trail of evidence leads them to Gannet, whom they conclude is a spy sent by Terra Prime. They arrest her.

In the meantime, shocking, Trip and T'Pol are discovered and captured. The head of the facility, Paxton, orders the mining facility to take off, flies it to Mars at warp, and sets down, taking control of a array used to redirect asteroids. Putting out a call to everyone in the solar system, he claims the ability to fire on any ship or facility in the system, and orders any and all aliens to immediately leave. The system.

To be continued..

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Review

The Bad

Was it assumed at the beginning of the series that the final episodes would deal with the formation of the Federation? While that may have been one of the main selling points when the series first was purposed, even then it seemed sketchy. The formation was established as taking place a decade or so after the projected seven year run of the series. Perhaps it was hoped it could be dealt with in a post-series movie? This was before the blockbuster bummer that was Nemesis though, before hopes for an Enterprise-centric movie were all but nixed. So here they are, at the end of a lacklustre run, three years shy of their goal, and one of the raison d'existence is looking like it might go unfulfilled. I'd rather it have gone unfulfilled though rather than get this sort of treatment. A full season lead up to what, to many, is the one monumental landmarks of the franchise, should have been given. Half a season would have been preferable to the literally non-existent one the episode served. It's not even the focus of the episode. While I'm not a fan who particularly cares one way or the other if it was shown, I definitely think it deserved better. Do it great or don't do it at all. As seems per usual of Enterprise lat... nah, of it's entire run, half assed is better than no assed.

Other multiple problems plague this episode like a, well, plague. Not a cool one like scarlet fever or even small pox. No, a nasty one like... with oozing boils and diarrhea. Also, your head explodes (my apologies to any one with this plague and their families). Plot holes, logic errors (the kind that make robots spark), and it just being plain uninteresting. In other words, the usual problems Enterprise exhibits are in spades in this episode. And shovels. I think I saw a hoe too.

Logic Error #1
The biggest... Ok, let me get this straight... You have a deranged group of scientists and mad men that stole not one but two DNA samples from your senior officers (I say DNA samples, since unlike the rest of the crew, I think it unlikely that they could have gotten a hold of T'Pol's eggs or Tuckers sperm --well, the sperm would have been easier, but let's just stick to the samples-- without either noticing). I'm Archer. I guess my IQ level just dropped significantly, as I assume the majority of the people involved in this complex scheme never bothered to look at photos of the two (and only two) people I send into infiltrate their operation. I also ASSUME they never came close to them when they got this sample. I also know that terrorists never read or watch the news, as otherwise they would recognize the global heroes wondering around their little mining front.

Side Note #1
Not one that detracts from the stupidity of going in there in the first place: you know this is a hotbed of terrorists that hate aliens. Hey T'Pol, why not cover your ears? You don't even need a hat, just stop putting your hair behind them. It's like she's flaunting them.

Side Note #2
Somewhat harder to criticize, but is there really a need to go undercover? Surely Starfleet has some authority, or the authority to send someone with authority, into checking out the facility for suspect equipment and or other... suspicious stuff. But then there's the fact that Starfleet seemed oddly reluctant to even investigate the matter...

Logic Error #2
The plan. I pray that I'm just not seeing the big picture at this time, and the writers are just waiting to surprise me with a big ta-da! But sadly, I've long ago lost faith in Trek writers to do just that. What's with the baby? I get that they're probably going to (try) and kill it, but what good is that going to do? Is it to prove a point? "Hey, look at this ugly kid, it's wrong, let's kill it!"? As if that's going to sway people. Maybe get T'Pol to inadvertently kill it? "Hey, Vulcans suck so much they kill their own children!" Again, not too convincing.
So far though, we have this mining colony, which brings us to...

Logic Error #3
A mining colony that can pick up and move. That's marginally cool and relatively clever. Bravo. A mining colony that have warp engines though? Isn't that a little... stupid? I can't see that being used more than once every 50 years (a guess, yes), but aren't warp engines, especially of this time, finicky? It'd take a lot to maintain them, and given that this is a private corporation, that's not free either. I get that this was mainly a front, but he said his dad founded it. Even if he was willing to sink money into keeping the engines up, they still had to be designed into the colony. Was this his dad's goal too?
And let me get this straight... The mine doesn't have artificial gravity in the traditional sense, but it can go to WARP?

Logic Error #4
Obviously the reason for it to go to warp was to
A) Lose Enterprise
B) Shut people like me up from pointing out that Mars is far from Earth.
That they tried to get around this is commendable. Then they shoot it to hell by firing on the moon and the beam getting there like it was next door. The beam also appears to still pack a punch when it gets there. Light takes eight minutes to get from the sun to here. And while I'm not quite geeky enough (or mathematically inclined) into calculating the time it would take for the laser (essentially light) to get from Mars to the moon, I figure it'd be much more than a few seconds. Ahhh, if only I could bend the laws of the universe to make my speeches more dramatic. Though, I don't really give speeches all that often, but that'd still be a neat trick to have.

Consultant Note #1
Karma says: Roughly, 4.4 minutes. The Earth is 8.3 light minutes from the Sun, Mars is 12.7 light minutes from the Sun. (I say roughly because neither planet has a perfectly circular orbit).

Logic Error #5
The weapon. Laughably easy to take over, to be sure. Its lack of security would make sense were it underpowered, but from his smug impression and the "To Be Continued", I assume it poses some risk. This doesn't make sense though, if it really is meant to only divert asteroids. I assume they would have ships standing by to take care of really big ones, and they could probably do it more efficiently. But anyways... Why was it on the surface? Which brings us to:

Plan Logic Error #1
This weapon, being on the surface, should have limited range (which it apparently doesn't) and an extremely limited firing arc. Since they just fired on the moon, we can assume that they are currently facing there. Even if it could fire 180 degrees in any direction (and assuming Mars is perfectly flat... maybe in Trek it IS), that's not even a fraction of the solar system. They can also only fire on targets currently facing them on Earth. Meaning having to wait up to 12 hours for the Earth to rotate back round. Methinks his "we can fire on any ship or facility in the system"' was just a bunch of macho-big talk. It would be laughably easy to avoid this gun. Such a device really should have been placed in space to be effective

Plan Logic Error #2
How are they going to know when every last alien in the entire system is gone? And... then what? Control their big gun of laughable importance for the rest of time? Anyone else think this plan was doomed from the start?

Logic Error #6
A known terrorist with a fatal gunshot wound waltzes into arguably the most important thing to happen on Earth with no security pass? No patting down? My high school had better security. My local LIBRARY has better security. What happened to whoever shot her anyways? "Meh, she's still walking, but it's my break"

Logic Error #7
The whole "Trip doubting T'Pol" thing. Haven't these people ever heard of surrogate mothers? Contrary to what Tucker thinks, she CAN have a baby if she's never been pregnant. There are thousands of families out there in that exact situation (not the 'crazed psychopath wants to make a baby against my knowledge only to kill it' situation though). Artificial wombs are on the horizon today, they wouldn't need someone to even carry the child. As I said above, they needn't even have sperm or eggs to produce this child. DNA samples from both would do. Phlox should have said as much.

The (More) Bad

The top of every list of an episode I review: Bakula. A petri-dish can act better than him. It'd probably make Archer more likeable as well. "Clap louder, that's an order" indeed. Apparently 22nd century medicine hasn't come up with a cure to 'stickupthebum-itis' yet.

Archer gets off his moral high horse about Section 31. If his horse is even that high anymore. Personally I think the horse wondered off and he's been sitting on the ground ever since. They're the first avenue Archer explores. Actually their advise was hilarious, if you rewatch the scene, it goes something like this:

Reed: Do you know anything about the baby? Where is it?
S31: Terra Prime! Terra Prime! Terra Prime!
Reed: What? Who? Are they up to something?
S31: Find the baby and you'll find your answers
Reed: Uh... thanks. Big help...

It's applaudable that their finally giving something to Travis to do, but man alive that was pretty uninteresting. And unsurprisingly out of place. Which I guess in this episode was IN place. His acting was, understandably, a little rusty though.

We get it. It's ironic that minorities are involved in the movement. There's no need to hit me over the head with it. If I recall correctly, the only people who spoke to Paxton (that didn't die) were black. In fact, this movement had very little in way of white people, if that faux meeting was any indication. What exactly is this bit of casting hinting at? With those guys, and Travis' role exploding 100234% as compared to the rest of the season, it makes me think the NAACP were getting on their case.

Samuels says "the Vulcan's can't watch our backs anymore..." Isn't that the entire point of the conference? Where are the Vulcans going? Grey Haven?

The Few, The Good, The... Passable

The alien makeup at the conference was quite possibly the best of the series. The one guy in the mask's voice was waaay out of place, but it was so out of place it was almost IN place. For a second I thought I was watching Angel.

Speaking of Angel, it was nice to see some of the Mayor's offspring doing so well for themselves.

Phlox mentions a Klingon procedure he tried while analysing the DNA, a nice carry over from his time in their custody in that one episode I'd really rather forget.

Unanswered Questions

What was Paxton injecting himself with?
Is Gannet really a spy? I hope not, as that would be classic Trek formula, the conclusion involving her atonement and/or death. I sincerely hope she's being set up.
What's the whole deal with the baby?
Why didn't the Xindi ever apologize?

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Grade: 6/10

Screen Caps

     

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Cast:
Scott Bakula as Jonathan Archer
John Billingsley as Dr. Phlox
Jolene Blalock as T'Pol
Dominic Keating as Malcolm Reed
Anthony Montgomery as Travis Mayweather
Linda Park as Hoshi Sato
Connor Trinneer as Charles "Trip" Tucker III

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Guest Cast:
Peter Weller as John Frederick Paxton
Harry Groener
as Nathan Samuels
Eric Pierpoint
as Harris
Peter Mensah
as Greaves
Patrick Fischler
as Mercer
Adam Clark
as Josiah
Steven Rankin
as Colonel Green
Johanna Watts
as Gannet Brooks
Tom Bergeron
as Coridan Ambassador
Christine Romeo
as Khouri

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Creative Staff:
Director: LeVar Burton
Written By: Manny Coto

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