Earlier today, I read the Coax on this episode, and I didn't want to believe what I read. So, of course, I had to actually watch it for myself. And, on many points, Herc was right, although this episode had no Hoshi in a short dress, it was better than anything this series has put out this season.
(Oh, and I'd like to say how nice it is to see the words "Star Trek" in the title of this show. Those two words should have been there from the very beginning.)
Why, oh why, are some of the best episodes of any Star Trek episodes with much great action that is meaningless to the actual momentum of the show? Let me give you some of the rundown of the ones that I really like:
TOS-"City on the Edge of Forever"
DS9-"The Visitor" (The best reset episode by Star Trek.)
Voyager-"Before and After"
Unfortunately, all of these great episodes had very little to do with the future of the series (maybe not "Yesterday's Enterprise," but that whole thing was more weird than good).
Anyway, this episode mostly takes place twelve years in the future with Archer hearing about what's happened in the past. See, twelve years ago, one of those visual distortions hits the ship and hurts Archer, causing him to lose the ability to transfer his short term memory to long term. In the time after the goofy distortion the weapon of mass destruction (the one Bush can't find) is built and used to destroy Earth. Humans are down to about 6000 people, and no alien species (i.e. Vulcans) won't help. All the people are now on one planet hoping that the Xindi won't attack with several ships and wipe out humankind forever. (Which high-up asshole in the galaxy thought up that?) One of the things that makes this a stand-out episode is the greatness that resets back to the status-quo. I liked the trick.
The lady who plays T'Pol was wonderful this week. She almost out Vulcaned Nimoy. In this episode, she was playing an extremely emotional being who was suppressing them. Watch her when grey haired Archer comes out of the bedroom and she knows she has to explain the past, and the moment that Ambassador Soval even mentions Archer. Maybe I haven't been paying much attention to her acting in the past, but I think this was her best episode since the one with the mind meld.
As for the captain, Scott Bakula isn't a very good actor. He's always stiff and uncomfortable looking. He's like a little kid who doesn't know if he should keep his hands in his pockets or just at his side. He bothers me. All the captains from the previous shows can out act him and the cast Bakky works with are all better actors.
So, I enjoyed this episode. Best one of the season, so far, even if it doesn't really count in the rest of the Xindi "story-line."
By the way, I think this show should be called "Star Trek: Dr. Phlox." He's the best reason to watch the show. Every scene Phlox is in, he's the one that shines. John Billingsley is easily the best actor on the show. Check out his book club, now that's fun.