Stardate
101
792
2018
2776
1535
810
2555
1403
2453
458
2678
921
2461
2161
774
2781
705
102
692
2001
2513
1640
315
2966
594
1908
2620
1171
1996
948
120
1827
2057
1173
103
328
2021
2358
1913
979
876
2872
48
1325
687
1439
2953
1506
05
2541
2216
104
452
1995
255
1624
2168
29
2240
353
2063
2358
426
1230
2572
2291
1086
763
105
1435
1993
253
795
1947
2568
1732
2929
2123
1296
1353
938
793
1361
2326
114
106
924
2017
2983
1113
598
1690
315
2514
2488
1493
1766
2358
2147
10
2332
2447
107
165
2020
2466
469
1884
1708
2670
1592
1677
244
115
439
917
2593
1278
1437
108
670
1966
2207
678
677
1121
1896
1540
223
447
1635
2051
398
2274
862
937
03-111968
04-041969
05-1701D
06-071984
07-081940
08-47148
09-081966

The Xindi

Episode Review

In the quasi cliffhanger of last season we saw the Enterprise enter a region of space known as the Delphic Expanse chased by the Klingon Duras who is out for revenge against Captain Archer.  After waiting all summer for the conclusion of the cliffhanger.... The Klingons are nowhere to be seen, it seems the mighty and fearsome race of Klingons are terrified to death of a region of space where so far the worst that has happened is that a room has odd gravity anomalies that cause crates to fly from one side of the room to another for no apparent reason.  I must say my respect for the Klingon Empire has dwindled in late years....

Also for our wait and the tons of complaining of many viewers concerning the trendy theme song as opposed to the orchestral suites of previous shows... the producers have listened to the complaining, screaming, and obscenities and replaced the trendy Faith of the Heart theme song with... get ready for it... a trendier faster remix of Faith of the Heart!!!!  Yes now Faith of the Heart has a snappier beat and is about 15 to 20 seconds shorter!  I should point out that I'm one of those that liked Faith of the Heart, but I don't care much for this new remix, it just doesn't sound as good I don't think.

Anyway, on to the bulk of the episode, we begin with a meeting of the Jed...I mean the Xindi Council in which we first see the 5 different species of Xindi including a giant fly headed alien ("Help Me.. Help Me...") and an interesting looking aquatic alien that looks like an odd shaped squid.  We now know that the Xindi know of Enterprise's presence in the Expanse and that at least it was true that there is a super weapon being developed, but little more is learned from them.  That in my opinion is a good thing, one should not give away too much.

Meanwhile back on Enterprise... we get our first real look at the new "Command Center" that Starfleet gave the Enterprise during its refits.  Basically I guess Paramount needed a place to store their extra plasma TVs and the Enterprise set seemed like a good idea at the time.  Sadly we find out that even though they've been going to this new command center every day for 6 weeks, they have found absolutely bupkiss so far and Archer's a bit aggravated about that fact.  This scene did not seem to fit right with the details given, we are given a list of facts in a really short period of time that just seem too rehearsed to be logical in that syntax.  We find out in a short rant the name of the room they are in, how long they have been in the expanse, and the small and what they have done in the past 6 weeks.  It just seems too much like one step away from a "Since we last saw Enterprise, this has happened" monologue, which of course it was, but I thought that these first few scenes could have been written better.

Next we have a scene where Ensign Sato meets the MACOs (the new elite Military Squad on the Enterprise) in the mess hall.  Somehow this scene just doesn't seem to fit to me either, apparently not much has happened since the Enterprise entered the expanse, are we really supposed to believe that ensign Sato has not met the new crew members before now?  Again it seems like this scene was simply written to give us a large burst of information in a short amount of time, we learn the names of the MACOs, a little of their family history, and a bit about their feelings about the Expanse.

And then there's the anomalies in the cargo bay, we learn that this is not the first anomoly, we learn that all of the previous anomalies have been brief, and we learn that they have all been somewhat contained to specific areas too.

Also in these opening segments we learn that Commander Tucker has been having trouble sleeping due to images of his sister dying haunting his dreams.

All in all the first several scenes of the episode run like a pilot episode or the first chapter of a novel, way too much information given in way to short a time resulting in none of the conversations being very believable as a whole.

So let’s get on with the meat of the episode shall we?  In all of this information the only thing we learn that is central to the episode’s main plot is that they have learned that if they go to this mining facility, they may be able to barter with the manager for the opportunity to converse with a Xindi who works at the mine.  So off they go to the mine where they agree to trade some liquid platinum for the chance to have this conversation, well they have to scrape off and melt down this platinum from some manifolds so Tucker gets on that while Phlox examines the finger that the manager gave Archer and Tucker as evidence that the Xindi is real.

Phlox tells Archer that yes the finger is Xindi but not the same type of Xindi as the one that attacked earth.  The Xindi in the probe that attacked earth was reptilian and had scales, the finger was more human like and had skin, the genetic makeup was nearly identical, but they were different species.  Course we as viewers already got the picture that Xindi are quite diverse from the opening Xindi council scene where we saw a bunch of Xindi gathered together.

So Archer and Tucker go back to the surface (probably wasn’t a good idea to bring Tucker there Captain, he’s out for Xindi blood) and meet with the Xindi, but oh my gosh, now they are prisoners.  Anybody who did NOT see a trap coming raise their hands, nobody?  Good, let’s go on.  Yes it was apparently a trap to capture the crew of the Enterprise and make them miners as well.  The Xindi prisoner says he knows a way out and will agree to lead them out as long as they take him with them, they reluctantly agree.

Meanwhile… back on Enterprise, T’Pol and the rest of the bridge crew notice some ships approaching and at the same time lose contact with Archer, they see the trap for what it obviously is and begin planning a rescue, and here’s the next wrinkle… Malcolm apparently doesn’t get along very well with the MACOs because he himself came from a military family and he thought the MACOs considered themselves superior to him.

So Malcolm and the MACOs head to the surface while Archer, Tucker, and the Xindi climb through the sewers to get out.  The manager guy discovers the attempted escape and floods the shaft they are escaping with with super hot plasma causing them to dive through an escape hatch to find themselves surrounded by, security.  And here come the MACOs!  Big phaser… erm Phase Pistol fight later and the 2 shuttlecraft escape the surface with a wounded Xindi in tow, unfortunately the Xindi dies in Sickbay but not before giving the doctor a set of coordinates on how to get to the Xindi home world.

So now the Enterprise heads to the Xindi home world only to find that… it’s not there.  There’s a great deal of debris in the area which is shown to be the remains of a planet, but this of course arises questions in the crew, Mysterious Future Guy told Archer back at the end of Season 2 that the Xindi attacked Earth because the Xindi found out that Humans would destroy their home planet 400 years in the future, but here it is the present and the planet is already destroyed, well this didn’t surprise me all that much although it was an interesting wrinkle.  We already knew the temporal cold war was involved in this whole Xindi plot, we weren’t sure about the extent of it however.  It will be interesting to find out who really destroyed the Xindi home world, when they did it, and when they came from.

Enterprise left us with another shot of the Xindi council where we find out that the Insectoid Xindi is less patient then the other Xindi when he says that if the others don’t finish the super weapon soon, he will destroy the Enterprise himself, END OF EPISODE.

Ok so what did I think as a whole?  Well it was ok, as I said previously I didn’t care for the highly summarized version of events that took up the first several minutes of the episode, I would much rather have not been given this information and had to deduce it over time, but this quick "here’s the new characters, here’s what has happened since the last episode" overview was a bit distracting.

The episode’s plot as a whole was interesting and I enjoyed it, however I found myself disappointed compared to the way season 2 ended, Season 2 was really hyped up much like a Cliffhanger style, and even though it didn’t end with "to be continued" it did end on a cliffhanger note, and I don’t think that The Xindi properly tied up the cliffhanger, it seemed to run too slow and was too much of a filler episode to be the end of a cliffhanger.  Now there’s nothing wrong with a filler episode in general, but when it comes on the heels of an episode like The Expanse it leaves you feeling empty, also I don’t think filler episodes should be season openers, they just aren’t exciting enough.  Overall I say the Xindi didn’t start the season on a very high note and so I was a little disappointed in the episode.

By now those of you who have seen the episode are probably wondering if I forgot about the T’Pol/Tucker subplot, no I didn’t forget about it, although I wish I could.  I found this particular subplot (which sadly it appears is going to continue throughout the season) to be absolutely horrible!  For those of you who haven’t seen it, remember earlier I mentioned that Tucker was having trouble sleeping?  Well apparently the Doc is tired of giving him sedatives (or perhaps he is simply running out of stronger sedatives to give him) and asked T’Pol to give Tucker "Vulcan Neuropressure" to help him relax and put the nightmares out of his mind.  T’Pol is against this act because it is "highly intimate" but Phlox is very persistent, apparently he had already asked Tucker and Tucker was against it too, so Phlox lures Tucker to T’Pol’s quarters under false pretenses so that T’Pol could convince him to undergo the procedure.  Still highly reluctant, Tripp concedes but I still find the whole procedure completely unnecessary.

Apparently "Vulcan Neuropressure" consists of a massage given to someone who is sitting up, topless.  The whole scene seemed contrived to give teenage male viewers a chance to see T’Pol topless and to create unnecessary sexual tension between T’Pol and Trip.  The whole concept should have been scrapped.  I have nothing against T’Pol helping Trip with his nightmares, but it would have been done much better by T’Pol teaching Trip Vulcan meditations or perhaps a Mind Meld (although given the history of the Mind Meld on Enterprise, I find that one highly unlikely).

Anyway I give the episode as a whole a C, I hope to see better from Season 3 as we go along.