Season 2 starts with a rather lazy and unimaginative way of concluding part 1 of Shockwave and Enterprise continuing it’s mission of the week episodes just as Voyager and The Next Gen did. The unhealthy trend of rehashing old stories. In previous interviews with writers and producers of ‘Star Trek the Next Generation’ it seems that they were trigger happy on shooting down ideas pitched if they were already done on Star Trek and one of the reasons for ending on season 7 of TNG was partly because of running out of good stories for that particular format. Yet in Enterprise all this seems irrelevant. Rehashed stories include (Vanishing Point, Precious Cargo, Dawn and Judgement. Lets not forget the Borg (face palm). Deary me. Did the producers really expect people would keep watching the same thing over and over again?
We did get some really good Star Trek episodes with Stigma, Future Tense, The Breach and Cogenitor showing that the series can be good when it was allowed to be.
We finally get to see 22nd Century Romulans, with cloaks (face double palm). Everyone was pretty excited about the Romulans and what it could mean for the series. Even the producers had hinted at more episodes later in the season 2. Instead we got Borg and Xindi. The Romulan’s introduction was clearly a way to capitalize on the Movie Nemesis which feature Romulans also and was released in 2002.
Speaking of the Romulan episode ‘Minefield’ Reed has become a bit of a tight arse complaining about the captain fraternizing with the crew because he invited Reed to breakfast, yet in season 1 Reed had no problems having some beer and Cake with Trip and Archer.
As for the Borg, it’s continuity error free. But if Archer can check past instances of Cybernetic Zombies then why can’t Picard have done so too? Perhaps finding a log by Captain Archer about this race invading his ship. Or maybe Picard would have brushed it off as ole drunkard Johnny and his stories.
Season 2 ended with an Attack on Earth. Yes, Romulans! I thought. But no, instead it was another new kewl alien species we never heard of in the previous 600 episodes of Star Trek that take place after ‘Enterprise’. The ratings of Season 2 weren’t great and nearing the end of the season the Enterprise had to turn around towards Earth a few times to get her closer to home. The producers were obviously planning this mid way through season 2. The Xindi attack on Earth itself left me with a bad feeling. The impression a lot of people had was that the producers were trying to do the 9/11 attacks in Star Trek. 7 million people get killed in the Xindi attack and the episode poorly attempts to show the shock of the crew towards this event. Coming a little over 2 years after 9/11, this episode didn’t sit right with me. I felt it didn’t belong in Star Trek. The whole terrorist/shocking event angle was done in DS9. But here they decide to show an attack on Earth and have the crew go gun ho after the people who did it. This really was the George Bush of Star Treks. The show was in trouble and this was the producers solution, to radically change the mission of ‘Enterprise’ from one of peaceful exploration to one of revenge. You can argue that the plot is to stop a second attack on Earth but the general attitude of the characters was how big a hole they could blow in the Xindi. Unfortunately this means that Archer would start to become a bit of a dick starting here where he shouts “Go to hell!” to the klingons as if he were a grumpy old drunk man.
As problematic as season 1 and 2 was season 3 was to be the decisive season of the franchise that would radically change Star Trek and the future of the franchise.
Favorite Quote: “Do you… want to become a casualty of a war that ended 300 years ago?” – Captain Archer