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Star Trek Enterprise episode review – The Forgotten

Synopsis: Archer attempts to forge an alliance with Degra while Trip and T’Pol try to hold themselves together.

Review: It’s nice to see at the beginning of “Forgotten” that all the damage Enterprise took is still present and the ship is in bad shape rather than being fully repaired, as has happened all too often on previous shows. In that, ENTERPRISE seems to be giving us what some expected VOYAGER to deliver with “Year of Hell” but didn’t. From inside to outside Enterprise is still battered, still limping along, and not magically resurrected with a few lines of technobabble.

star trek enterprise the forgottenIn some ways, she’s worse off as the crew is reaching its limits. Archer is more wolfish and desperate than ever; Trip is stumbling around without sleep for two days and T’Pol is dealing with uncontrollable emotions and brain damage. Degra, meanwhile, is coping with the consequences of the decisions he has to make and Randy Oglesby delivers another strong performance as Degra is torn between the demands of his duty, the consequences of his crime, and Archer’s alternative. When he responds to Archer’s hail after his destruction of the Reptillian ship, it is with the resigned face of a man who knows that no decision he makes will be the right one anymore.

Once again Chris Black delivers snappy and witty dialogue from Trip’s encounter with Taylor to Phlox sending him off to bed. His confrontation with Degra even manages to give Trip and T’Pol a believable scene together minus the cheap and sleazy innuendo. LeVar Burton again does a solid and smooth job directing the episode. Trip’s grieving storyline is effectively handled and very well done but should have been part of an overall grieving process going on throughout the season. Instead TPTB chose to redirect that storyline into Trip receiving erotic massages from T’Pol, which was a rather unfortunate and slimy mistake to say the least. ENTERPRISE had the chance to do an arc and instead has done a single episode while devoting far more time to the far less interesting story of T’Pol having a breakdown.

Degra and the Xindi-Arboreal finally bring up the issue of demanding actual proof from Archer and are actually skeptical about the proofs Archer provides. This is nice but of course it’s hard to buy that they’d have freed Archer and left Enterprise unmolested, if they never considered his proofs credible to begin with. Ultimately Archer doesn’t manage to provide them with a whole lot anyway. But at least “Forgotten” makes a serious effort to address this issue while previous episodes expected us to swallow the absurdity of Degra and other Xindi council members having a complete change of heart based on some wonky temporal readings on a piece of metal. It was also a good decision to have Degra regain his memory, since a credible alliance has to be built on honesty, though it’s not clear when or how this happened.

The warp plasma leak scene is a credible crisis that gives Trip and Reed a chance to bond again. Reed has been badly shortchanged this season and Trip and Reed worked great together in the past. But this season some of that relationship has been sadly allowed to fall by the wayside. It’s nice to see Reed once again prepared to suffer near suicidal abuse for the team with the old stiff upper lip. Hoshi and Mayweather are again pretty much out of a sight but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Phlox is well within his element and his scene with Trip is comedy gold and another demonstration of how underused Phlox is for anything but tedious exposition scenes.

Next week: More future shock.

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