Friday, November 10, 2017

Episode Review - Carpenter Street (Enterprise, Season 3)

For those who are new to my episode reviews, you can find the post where I establish my point criteria here

Overview – On Earth, Detroit, in the early 21st Century, a man is kidnapping and bringing people to an abandoned building under the orders of a mysterious unseen person. It turns out that a trio of Reptilian Xindi have traveled to the past to gather information from humans of different blood types to create a biological weapon. In the 22nd Century, Captain Archer is contacted by Daniels, who informs him of what the Xindi are up to. Archer and T’Pol travel back 150 years to find ans stop the Xindi team. As they race to stop the Xindi, they find themselves out of their element in our day.

Score: 9/10 – There have been many different Trek stories involving the characters going back to our time, and this was Enterprise’s turn. In the spirit of “Assignment: Earth”, “Future’s End”, and “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home”, the crew go back in time to save humanity. It made sense that Daniels insisted that Archer only be accompanied by T’Pol, and it helped T’Pol come to grips with the fact that her traditional Vulcan beliefs about time travel were inaccurate. There is the standard “fish-out-of-water” moments. I liked how T’Pol uses her tricorder to get money from an ATM machine, and Archer takes some time getting used to driving a vehicle. The action and pacing of the episode are great and the concept of creating a bio weapon based on human blood types is a different approach. Aside from the captain and first officer, we only see Tucker and hear Reed over the comm system. Everyone else is absent from this episode. While that is a shame, it does allow the story to be streamlined to fit as much present day Earth stuff into it. Leland Orser makes his fourth (and to date, final) appearance in Star Trek, and his character of Loomis is the right mix of loser and sleazebag. A great episode overall.  

Relevance – 2 points. Daniels is back, and this carries forward the temporal cold war story along, as well as T’Pol finally receiving evidence that time travel is possible. The Reptilians found in 2004 are used by Archer to convince Degra that something is not right with the Xindi’s plan.

Continuity - 3 points. Everything checks out here. With only three of our characters being shown, and just two of them go back in time, we only have those two to really look at. Archer and T’Pol are right on cue for how I would have expected them to act. They did very little to upset the timeline (except for maybe Loomis), so story continuity checks out. And everything is fine in the Star Trek universe, so that gets a point here as well.

Character Development – 2 points. With only T’Pol and Archer getting any real attention, and most of the rest of them not being seen, it does allow us to have some growth here. While these two seasoned officers are in unfamiliar territory in 21st Century Detroit, they are able to adapt much more quickly than others we have seen. As previously mentioned, T’Pol does get a chance to re-evaluate her views on time travel, which is big for her. Both of them are pushed to the limit, both in dealing with Loomis and the Xindi. This gives us a further glimpse into not only their psyche but in how the overarching crisis is affecting them.

Social Commentary – 2 points. The character of Loomis is very relatable, likely due to the episode being set in our own time. He is motivated by greed. He is willing to compromise his integrity to earn some good money. While he is not evil, per se, he is a bit of a jerk and clearly has no qualms about taking innocent people. His final fate is fitting as he gets carted off by the police. He represents a loser side of humanity. We all know someone like this, and sometimes we feel the temptation to be the same.

Cool Stuff – 1 point. A point for the idea of using human blood types as a basis for a bio weapon. I’m not sure if that has ever been done before (in fiction, of course). As good as this episode is, this is really the only cool thing to stand out.

Rank – Captain (19 points). This is a great episode for the third season. It is a rare episode of this season that can be enjoyed on its own without knowing much of what happened before. A good solid story that does a very good telling of the time-traveler “fish-out-of-water” scenario without getting too goofy or serious.

If you would like to check out my other episode reviews for Enterprise, simply click here.

If you would like to read an episode review from any of the Trek series, click the following link to get to the series catalog. If the episode you want reviewed has not been done yet, then feel free to request it in the comments and I will see what I can do.

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