'Azati Prime' Draws Mixed ReactionsBy Michelle
March 7, 2004 - 5:29 AM
See Also: 'Azati Prime' Episode Guide
The first online reviews for last Wednesday night's Enterprise episode, "Azati Prime", were extremely varied, with some critics praising the very elements that others found problematic. Was T'Pol's emotionalism touching or troubling? Did Archer have a moral crisis or a moment of command weakness? There is no consensus.
- In his final review for Section 31, regular reviewer Mike Dunham gave the episode an A-. "On so many levels 'Azati Prime' was one of the best episodes of this season," he wrote, expressing his admiration for the Xindi torture scene and the well-shot battle at the end, though T'Pol's emotionalism confused Dunham and Archer's unwillingness to listen to Daniels reinforced the reviewer's opinion "that he does not belong in command of a starship." To read Dunham's last Enterprise write-up, visit Section 31.
- O. Deus of TrekWeb found the episode cluttered, saying it was "unbalanced like an old woman carrying a heavy load on her back" and awarding it only a rating of 7 overall. Worse than all the plot crammed in, he said, was that "the competence and decisiveness and intelligence Archer and his crew have begun showing...goes completely out the window in this key episode." Despite some stirring emotional moments and superb effects, he found the emotional tenor more revolted than grieved at the battle damage "because of T'Pol's incompetence and indecisiveness and Archer's abandonment and desertion that led up to the moment." The full review is at TrekWeb.
- In a four-out-of-five-rated review, Michael Marek of The Great Link complained that Archer's actions were not very believable but hoped that his behaviour was part of a character arc leading to his becoming the sort of leader who would found the Federation. "I am hoping that I am not reading too much into the events of this episode," he added. Impressed with subtle character moments like Archer telling Phlox to feed Porthos cheese, he was somewhat moved as well by T'Pol's attachment to the captain. The full review is at The Great Link.
- The Apostle of God wrote at The Synopsis Project that "Azati Prime" had all the elements of a great episode, particularly where character development was concerned:
When T'Pol leaves the bridge to enter her ready room, we see her vent emotion and suffer physically. In my opinion, this is the clearest indication we have seen yet that the treatement of her disease is showing less and less fruit. She clearly isn't acting 'in the Vulcan way,' but her struggle is so genuine and has really been written well.The episode earned a 10/10 with praise for the music, dramatic urgency and successful cliffhanger. The full review is here.
- Michael Hinman of SyFy Portal called the episode one of the most powerful he's seen in a long time, saying that the directing was like that of a feature film and praising the moral dilemmas on Enterprise that now make it comparable to previous Trek series. The full review, awarding the episode a B+, is here.
- Richard Whettestone at First TV Drama expressed contempt for the writing, calling the episode "a big 'F*ck You' to the already alienated Star Trek audience" because it indicates that "incompetant emotionally unstable 12-year-old Archer is single handedly responsible for the creation of the Federation." As for continuity, he was irked about the retroactive insertion of the Xindi into Trek history and numerous other changes in the previously established timeline. But his biggest complaint, like many reviewers this week, was with Archer:
Archer knew that the Xindi would need the humans alive if they're going to survive the Sphere Builders, but yet he doesn't tell the rest of the crew and he doesn't even order them to try to talk to the Xindi even after he dies on his suicide mission? Archer himself admits that the Xindi would probably just build another super weapon. The guy's about to die and he doesn't even give any thought as to what happens NEXT. Except for his dog of course. He tells Phlox that his dog can have some cheese every now and then.The full review is here.