Synopsis: Orion women in skimpy clothing invade Enterprise. Yup that’s the plot.
Review: The original STAR TREK went out with the sadly embarrassing “Turnabout Intruder” that was a nauseating display of sexism and idiocy that demonstrated how far TOS had fallen without Gene Roddenberry. “Bound” is not ENTERPRISE’s final episode, though it’s close and it is written by Manny Coto, who seemed like the show’s best hope for salvation.
I would not have been at all baffled if it had turned out that “Bound” was actually written by Brannon Braga and Rick Berman, it would have been irritating and a just cause for ranting on how Berman and Braga have lowered and ultimately destroyed STAR TREK; from the pen of Manny Coto though, it simply elicits a sad sigh of regret. We can, I suppose, blame UPN for pushing the producers to use sex to sell the series but that’s overly simplistic at best.
Supporters will probably call “Bound” a tribute to TOS but that is not the case. “Trials and Tribbelations” was a tribute because it attempted to recapture what was enjoyable about an original series episode framed in the current period. “Bound” is just sleaze packaged in a plot aimed at audiences too dumb for actual stories who would otherwise be watching AMERICAN IDOL.
TOS was a great series, it was the birth of STAR TREK; but it was also the product of its time. I asked once whether anyone really wanted to see a remake of “Mudd’s Women” and apparently Manny Coto was under the impression that indeed they did. But a tribute celebrates what is best about a TV show, not what is worst and that is exactly what “Bound” does.
It is not incomprehensibly awful like “A Night in Sickbay” or “Unexpected”; it is simply tedious, cheesy and devoid of quality while degrading the close of a series that has shown sparks of potential and brilliance but never entirely broken free of its chains of mediocrity. It also makes you wonder why STAR TREK, which was once considered revolutionary for its time now produces episodes that seem stuck on sexist cliches and exploitation of women.
Consider T’Pol and 7 of 9’s ‘modified’ uniforms, which makes no real sense whatsoever. Consider some of the gratuitously exploitative scenes featuring both characters. Consider how likely T’Pol and Seven are to lose their minds or otherwise become unstable, ‘just like women do.’ When T’Pol takes command of Enterprise it’s usually captured or beaten to pieces. Indeed Earth is even destroyed and the human race wiped out, because T’Pol rather than Archer was in command.
Fans tend to pass these things by but they might choose to ask themselves whether STAR TREK’s nosedive is not indeed tied to an inability to break free of this mentality and reclaim values that place it in the forefront of equality rather than relegating it to the worst cliches of past periods. When STAR TREK is rebuilt again, and I say ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ because I am a fan and remain eternally optimistic, this must be one of the issues addressed.
Before “Bound,” a rerun of “Twilight” aired, which indeed is arguably ENTERPRISE’s greatest episode (regardless of what the polls say.) Let us remember ENTERPRISE for the “Twilight”s and not the “Bound”s, just as we remember STAR TREK the Original Series for “City on the Edge of Forever,” not “Turnabout Intruder.”
Next Week: Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who’s the evilest Archer of them all?