BLOG A Bad Trip

Blogger Laura McConnell just finished watching Star Trek: Enterprise , and she shares her thoughts about the final episode with us.

A while back, I blogged about my initial impressions of Enterprise , and I promised to get back to you when I was done with the show. Well, I’ve finished it now. I’ve watched every episode – even the series finale.

Yes, you heard me. I gave “These Are The Voyages” a shot for completeness’ sake. Wow. It earns its reputation, doesn’t it? It’s horrible. Before we get to the truly terrible stuff, though, let’s give it the benefit of the doubt. Let’s look at what it told us about Enterprise , which isn’t all bad.

One , that Enterprise continued to explore space for another six years after the events of “Terra Prime.” This told us the end wasn’t the end. I’m on board with that.

Two , that Trip and T’Pol did not get married and have babies. I understand this, as well. Even though I like this pairing, I see why the powers that be laid down the law here. Personally, I see a deep and abiding friendship lasting for eternity between these two and not a romance per se , but given the last scene of “Terra Prime”, clearing things up makes sense. Ending this romantic relationship makes Spock special, and that’s important. It needed to be clear that Trip and T’Pol didn’t produce more children, to keep Spock standing on his precious pedestal of uniqueness as a Human-Vulcan hybrid. And so it had to be done, shippers. I’m sorry. I feel your pain, but it had to be done. I might have done it differently, but I can see why they did this.

Three , that the United Federation of Planets was indeed established years later. That Archer and company did, in fact, change the Star Trek universe as we know it. I’m good with this.

Four , that Commander Charles Tucker III, my dear Trip (oh, yes, I absolutely adore him), sacrificed himself to save his captain. While I have issues with this for obvious reasons and want to go all Save Trip Tucker on it, I can’t. Why? Because frankly I can accept this. Without real, actual peril in fiction, it grows stale. And real, actual peril means that beloved characters sometimes die. I’m not happy about this, but I can mostly forgive it (when I’m feeling generous) since it was an honorable death.

So there we are. The powers that be made their points. I can live with that. I might not like it, especially since “Terra Prime” provided a breathtakingly beautiful, albeit open-ended, finale on its own, but I can accept it. However, what I don’t understand is why they did it as they did. I can’t fathom the way “These Are The Voyages” made these four important points secondary to the weird Riker plotline.

I just don’t get it. It makes no sense.

I can see “These Are The Voyages” being an episode of TNG , but Enterprise ?

What?

Now, I’ve seen TNG . I like TNG . But what about viewers who had never seen TNG when they saw this? What about those who didn’t like TNG ? They were likely either completely confused or offended by this episode, and rightfully so. Not all Trek fans like every series. And even for the TNG fans, like me, “These Are The Voyages” is still just awful. I mean, out of nowhere, we have Riker and Troi discussing some random problem Will is having. We don’t know anything about the problem and we don’t care because we’re expecting a series finale of an entirely different show. (Yes, I know this episode is a bizarre deleted scene or something from “The Pegasus,” but when it blindsides you like this, it’s just incomprehensible gibberish.) Yet Will’s problem is the focus of the episode, even in the face of Trip’s death and other Very Important Enterprise Stuff. That Stuff was reduced to a footnote. How could anyone think that was a good idea? How could anyone not understand how insulting that is to the fans, the actors, and the franchise?

I simply can’t wrap my brain around it. No matter how I try, I just can’t understand. I can’t comprehend this episode at all. I just don’t get it, and I don’t see that ever changing.

So I’m letting it go. I’m chalking “These Are The Voyages” up as Epic Fail Trek and moving on. I enjoyed Enterprise , and there are things about it that I flat-out love, like Shran, so I’m upgrading my initial assessment of “I kind of like it” to “I stand ready to defend you, Enterprise .” Yes, its finale is awful, but you can’t win them all.

There’s still plenty to enjoy without ever watching this atrocity again. I can watch the many good episodes again, and I just cracked open The Good That Men Do , an Enterprise novel specifically written to fix the psychedelic nightmare of “These Are The Voyages.” (No spoilers, please!) So for me, this story isn’t over yet.

And to borrow what I consider the last line of the series, that’s sort of comforting.