'Kir'Shara' Earns Mixed Notice From Online Critics

By Michelle
December 10, 2004 - 10:33 PM

See Also: 'Kir'Shara' Episode Guide

Most online reviewers found "Kir'Shara", the conclusion to the Vulcan trilogy, enjoyable to watch but less than successful at wrapping up all the storylines left hanging from the previous episodes and from the previous seasons. Guest stars Jeffrey Combs and Gary Graham earned kudos, as, for the most part, did Scott Bakula, while the abrupt end of the Vulcan High Command and T'Pol's marriage and the revelation of Romulan meddling left several reviewers feeling a little cheated.

  • The Star Trek LCARS Episode Database's John Patuto said that despite a rushed ending, "'Kir'Shara' is a clear sign that the improvement of Enterprise through its intrepid fourth season is continuing to gain steam." He was delighted with the twist ending, calling V'Las' Romulan connection "delicious", and saying that as Shran, Combs has never been better.

  • Entil of Entil'zha rated the episode 8/10, saying that "Kir'Shara" seems to be filled with foregone conclusions, though he praised the interplay between Soval and Shran and noted with curiosity the amount of time given to Reed's objections to Tucker's plan of action, which reaffirmed Reed's isolationism and Tucker's tendency of "sticking his nose into alien situations" without warrant. "'Enterprise' is now better than much of the latter half of the 'Voyager' series, and probably on par with much of 'The Next Generation'", he wrote.

  • Ryan8bit of Lower Decks gave the episode an 8/10, between the 7 for "Awakening" and the 8.5 for "The Forge", praising the character interaction but protesting that the series is leaving too many plot threads hanging:
    There was way too much to address and they didn't quite cover this one yet. The ride was fun, but there needs to be more payoff. The Xindi arc, the temporal cold war, the augments...resolution is still important.

  • Michael Sheridan of Tail Slate rated "Kir'Shara" a 4.9, the highest score he gave any of the Vulcan arc episodes. "If this episode is as good as Enterprise gets, then thatís just fine with me," he wrote. "I thought it was, quite simply, excellent...the action was great, the torture scenes between Shran and Soval were great, and the final battle with Enterprise caught in the middle was terrific. Of course, I knew this episode was going to be outstanding, and thatís because Jeffrey Combs was back as my favorite recurring character, Shran. It just seems that every time he pops up on the series, itís great."

  • Save Enterprise's Dr. Phlox rated "Kir'Shara" a 9.5, as he did with "The Forge". He called the episode "a more than worthy conclusion to Enterprise's Vulcan Arc" and was particularly interested to see the developments in T'Pol's character. Not only has she been cured of P'Nar Syndrome, but her marriage has been dissolved and she has discovered Surak's teachings. He was less impressed with the scene where Shran tortures Soval, finding it unenlightening and reminiscent of a scene from Voyager's "Meld" also written by Mike Sussman.

  • "The final third part of the Vulcan arc is the most action packed of the three paying off on much of the material that had been set up by the far slower and often more turgid previous two episodes," wrote TrekWeb's O. Deus. However, he was unimpressed with the writing overall, protesting that continuity isn't much of a consolation when the villains are one-dimensional and we never learn why Archer was chosen as the repository of Surak's katra. In direct contrast to Phlox, he found that Shran's scenes with Soval were "the most compelling moments that 'Kir'Shara' or any episode in the three part arc or for that matter this season have to offer and are highly reminiscent of Garak's interrogations of Odo."

  • The Great Link's Michael Marek gave the episode a four out of five, midway between his perfect score for "The Forge" and 3/5 for "Awakening." While he liked the story, he was displeased with the characterization of Shran, believing that he changed his beliefs too often and too quickly, whereas he was puzzled why T'Pol remained so rigid in resisting the Syrannites even after a mind-meld that should have revealed much more about them to her. Despite finding the ending too pat, with T'Pol's marriage and the High Command all dissolved at once, Marek thought the cinematography was exceptional.

  • Ian J. Slater, also of The Great Link, concurred with Marek's rating, saying that he enjoyed the episode immensely though he found V'Las' behavior outrageous and didn't particularly like the use of the Kir'Shara as a "reset button" for Vulcan society, after the sophisticated discussion a few episodes back of the wide range of interpretation that may be applied to religious texts. Slater enjoyed Archer's character development during the arc and praised the continuity with other Star Trek series.

  • "'Kir'Shara' does a nice job of carrying over the best dramatic aspects of 'The Forge,' while offering a very satisfying infusion of action (that was sorely missing from 'The Awakening')," wrote Sci Fi Pulse's Bill Gordon. He said he is optimistic about the rest of the season, though the presence of the Romulans makes him wonder what the producers have in store. He considered the conclusion to be the strongest episode of the Vulcan arc.

  • SyFy Portal's Michael Hinman has reviewed the entire Vulcan arc, raising the grade each week from a C for "The Forge" to an A- for "Kir'Shara", calling it an exciting trilogy to watch and offering praise for Robert Foxworth's performance which many other critics found rather over the top.

  • Television Without Pity's Keckler has recapped "Kir'Shara", calling V'Las "Dub'ya" and describing Archer's quest as "Emerald Blood City", where he wishes to "plunk down the Kir'Shara, and let it do its Map Room thing."

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Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.