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Enterprise: The Final Two Episodes

Last night, Nomi and I watched the final two episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise that had been broadcast on Friday night.

The two episodes, "Terra Prime" and "These Are the Voyages..." were only tangentially connected through the theme of human cooperation with aliens to form the beginnings of the Federation. In fact, "Terra Prime" was actually the second of a two-part story that began with "Demons" last week. It seems odd to me that UPN would broadcast two unrelated episodes on one night as a "finale event" or whatever they called it, but that's what they did.

I'm not going to give a full synopsis or review here; you can find those elsewhere on the web, if you're looking for them. What I will say is that when "Terra Prime" ended, I turned to Nomi and said, "That would be a fitting end to the series." Of course, the series still had an hour to go.

And that hour was, well, not great. The entire story is turned into a learning lesson for William Riker, a he watches a holodeck recreation of Enterprise's final mission, set six years after the end of the previous episode. So the episode is actually set during the seventh season of Next Generation, as an extended backstory to "The Pegasus." The conceit is cute, but I feel they could have given this particular cast a lot more respect by just doing the final story straight.

Two final things to mention, though. First, there was a wonderful grace note in the middle of "Terra Prime," which is set mostly on Mars. An establishing shot takes us past a rover on a platform, and the following plaque is affixed next to it:


MARS HERITAGE SITE

CARL SAGAN
MEMORIAL STATION

FIRST ROVER ON MARS
JULY 4, 1997

MARS HISTORICAL PRESERVATION SOCIETY


The rover is obviously the one from the Mars Pathfinder mission. I love the idea that a "Mars Historical Preservation Society" has been formed to preserve such sites. I know I'd join them in a second.

And finally, a tip of the hat to something that kradical said four years ago, after he watched the end of the first episode of Enterprise. I would have loved it had Archer spoken to the empty air at the very end and said, "Okay, Al, it's been ten years and I finally got the Federation member planets to sign the charter. Why haven't I leaped?"

Comments

>>"Okay, Al, it's been ten years and I finally got the Federation member planets to sign the charter. Why haven't I leaped?"<<

Al was probably too busy with his Xindi prison duties to be paying enough attention to Ziggy.

BTW, you weren't the only one who wished they'd played it straight with the final episode--nearly the entire Enterprise cast felt the same way. Scott Bakula himself was particularly angry about it, and said he thought it showed a nasty disrespect to the cast, the show itself, and the fans.
What I will say is that when "Terra Prime" ended, I turned to Nomi and said, "That would be a fitting end to the series." Of course, the series still had an hour to go.

That was my first thought too. My second was: that's why they did the double-header tonight, because otherwise people might not come back next week.

I, too, wish they'd done the final episode straight. Yeah, I see how they're trying to connect the shows together, but it didn't work, it wasn't necessary (it's not like they're setting up a new series), and it's not nice to the folks on the show.
I actually did end up watching those two after all, mostly to see Peter Weller (and I loved the nod to Odyssey 5 that they threw in). I'm still trying to figure out what was so "appalling" about the finale. It wasn't great, but it certainly wasn't "appalling."

Oh, and these made the 5th and 6th episodes I'd ever seen of Enterprise.

I also loved the Carl Sagan memorial, and...

I would have loved it had Archer spoken to the empty air at the very end and said, "Okay, Al, it's been ten years and I finally got the Federation member planets to sign the charter. Why haven't I leaped?"

Oh, but that would take imagination, and we all know that B&B didn't have any of that.
I didn't find the final episode "appalling," either, but as I said above, it wasn't that great. Perhaps I'll do a comparison with the other Trek finales at some point.

And, of course, they couldn't have gotten away with the Quantum Leap joke without hurting the, um, integrity of the show...
"I turned to Nomi and said, 'That would be a fitting end to the series.'"

I couldn't agree more. It had a fitting speech at the end, unlike the true final episode. It had the big "group hug" scene that the actors wanted.

And it was written by the Reeves-Stevens.

Compare that to the final, pointless episode. Let's skip forward 6 years. Why? Let's (no spoilers) mess with the characters. Why? Let's take one of the best ST:TNG episodes from the seventh season and "add on" a pointless extra half hour of deliberation and self doubt when that episode had all the deliberation and self doubt that episode needed. "The Pegasus" *worked as is*. It didn't need more. Also, the whole point of the episode is for Riker to use the recreation of Archer to help him resolve a problem. But how does the actions of Archer actually help him solve anything? What choice did Archer make that helped Riker make his choice. In fact what choices did Archer really have to make at all? Help a friend who he owed? Well, duh!

This would have been much better if they had Riker debating taking a promotion to Captain (say, between "ST:Insurrection" and "ST:Nemesis" or any place Riker typically waffled on such questions.

And of course it was written by Rick Berman and Brannon Braga.

"Okay, Al, it's been ten years and I finally got the Federation member planets to sign the charter. Why haven't I leaped?"

Hee. I would have loved seeing that too. It would have been very much like the end of the second Bob Newhart series.

Oh and the answer would have been obvious. Ziggy says you have to hug the Vulcan...[begin "leaping" visual and sound effects]
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