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Borderland
Date: May 17th, 2154
Original Airdate: October 29, 2004
By Morbo

The Story
A Klingon ship detects a pod with two human life signs. The captain orders the pod be tractored in and the humans brought on board. The two are soon being escorted to the bridge, when suddenly they make a move, using flying kicks and clotheslining to knock out their guards. Disarming them, they use the Klingons firearms to kill the bridge crew.

Back on Earth, word reaches Starfleet that the Klingons are planning to retaliate for the loss of their ship and the slaughtering of their crew. Archer pays a visit to Arik Soong, to seek out their help. Earth has learned that the perpetrators of the crime were two augmented humans, augments cultivated from embryos Arik stole 20 years ago from deep freeze storage. The Enterprise is being sent to retrieve the Augments and bring them back to Earth. Their destination is a region of space refered to as ‘the borderland’, an area between the Orion Syndicate and the Klingon Empire, which attracts the most dangerous elements of both. As Arik spent time there, Archer’s taking him with him.

Back on the Klingon vessel, Malak, one of the men to take the vessel, is clocked by his brother, Raakin. He’s their leader, and he didn’t sanction the attack. He feels Malak put their entire group at risk. Tired of being under his brother thumb, Malak begins to plot a revolt, starting with Raakin’s girlfriend. On Enterprise, Arik meets the crew and immediately begins to annoy them. T’Pol meets Archer in his ready room, and informs him that the Vulcans are sending diplomats to the Klingons to try and find a peaceful solution. Archer takes the opportunity to congratulate her on her first official day as a commander, and presents her with a compass, so she will always be pointed in the right direction.

Soon after, Enterprise is attacked by a pair of Orion ships, and in the scuffle, beam nine crew members off the ship before retreating. Arik tells Archer that they’ll most likely sent to the nearest processing station to be sold as slaves. As he’s had dealings with the Orions previously, he gives Archer the correct codes to make it into the facility. Inside the slave shop, T’Pol calms a freaking out ensign down, and assures him that Enterprise will be there to rescue them. Then she’s sold. For three million somethings. Apparently, that’s a lot.

Archer quickly finds her, but is stopped by a guard. No conversing with sold property. The freaked out Ensign’s the next on the block, so Archer snaps him up, bribing the guard to leave the restraint on him. As T’Pol’s already sold, and with Enterprise running out of time, Archer decides that they can’t buy all their people back, they’re going to have to break them out. With the restraint still on the Ensign, the crew is able to figure out a way to disable all the slaves restraints.

On the Klingon ship, Raakin is told by Persis, his girfriend, that Malak is planning to move against him. Raakin decides to move first, and vows to kill his brother. He confronts Malak, who surprises him by surrounding him with armed pals. Malak tells his brother how the day he rejected their father’s teachings was the day that he stopped being his brother. With that, he plants a knife in his brother’s gut.

Back at the processing facility, Archer and Arik beam down to the planet, Arik marked with a transponder in case he tries to escape. They transmit the codes to disable the restraints, and in the commotion, Arik makes a break for it, disabling his transponder. Archer’s able to re-apprehend him, but not before Arik manages to signal the Augments. Archer confronts Arik, accusing him of knowing the Orions would attack them, and maybe even hoping he himself would be taken. Arik doesn’t deny it, and tries to convince Archer to turn around and go home.

The Orions however pursue, and begin attacking Enterprise, demanding that their property be returned. The Augments arrive in the Klingon ship and easily beat them back, and then request permission to dock. After a brief conversation in the ready room, Malak decides that they won’t turn over Arik, and decides to take Archer hostage. He and his people manage to make their way to the brig, freeing Arik easily. As Arik leaves the ship, he offers Archer some last words of advice: go home, and start learning Klingon.

On the bird of prey, Arik proclaims his plan to create a new world for himself and his augments. But first, they have thousands of their brothers and sisters waiting to be born...


The Good
The opening fight scene just plain rocked. Hopefully that’s just a taste of things to come... Actually, it’s too bad they went the ol’ ‘knife in the gut’ route for the murder scene. Seeing two augments square off would have been too cool.

Vulcans sending diplomats on Earth’s behalf? Hmm, interesting turn of events. They must feel bad for their lack of helpfulness over the past year. Or else, they just really like hanging out with Klingons.

Thank goodness, finally someone on Earth who plainly didn’t like Archer! Arkin’s my hero!

I’m glad ‘space politics’ is being expanded on, as well as geography. Er... spacegraphy. Although I’m not the biggest fan of Klingons, at least it’s better than nothing. Hopefully the politics will continue to deepen.

The Bad
When did the transporter become the preferred method of transportation? I miss the complications that the wariness to use it brought, short lived as they turned out to be.

Isn’t it a bit stupid to set up Arkin in sickbay, given what he was able to do in a high security prison using just a datapad?

What was the point of the transponder? Arkin was away from Archer long before he was able to disable it (with a cattle prod no less). What happened to ‘if you take so much as a step in the wrong direction we’re beaming you up’?

Unanswered Questions
Why were so many of the embryos stored from the eugenics war? From the dialogue, it certainly didn’t sound like they were experimenting with them, indeed doing so would have been a crime. So what were they being kept for?

How did Malak and his pal get off they planet, and end up drifting in space in a pod?

How did the Augments come to be stranded on that planet, and why did Arik leave them?

Malak tells Raakin that the moment he rejected their father’s wishes was the day he stopped being his brother. Just what *were* his father’s wishes?

The Agreement
‘Your crew could really use a sense of humour’
Um... YES! God, these people are like drones or zombies. You’d think they were all stuck in loveless marriages in dead end jobs, broke and dying of cancer. Would it kill any of them to crack a smile once in a while? Or, God forbid, maybe even crack the occasional joke? Maybe quip?


Grade: 7/10

Click on the below thumbnails for the full image.

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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 Tucker

Guest Cast:
Brent Spiner as Dr. Arik Soong
Alec Newman as Malik
Abby Brammell as Persis
Joel West as Raakin
Big Show as Orion Slaver #1
Dave Power as Pierce
J.G. Hertzler as Klingon Captain
Dayo Ade as Klingon Tactical Officer
Gary Kasper as Orion Slaver #2
Bobbi Sue Luther as Orion Slave Woman
Thom Williams as Klingon Soldier #1

Creative Staff:
Director: David Livingston
Written By: Ken LaZebnik

 

 

 

 

 

 

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