Critics Launch Modest Praise At 'Impulse'

By Michelle
October 12, 2003 - 4:19 PM

See Also: 'Impulse' Episode Guide

Reviews for last Wednesday night's Enterprise episode, "Impulse", reflect great enthusiasm for Jolene Blalock's performance, though not all the writers enjoyed either the zombie formula or the direction of the action sequences.

  • Matt D. at Trek5.com entitled his review "Night of the Living Vulcans", drawing comparisons with both George Romero's horror classic Night of the Living Dead and with Star Trek: First Contact, in which the Borg took on the roles of the zombies. Stating that "well done creep shows work in any generation", he praised T'Pol's and Archer's interaction, though he said he is distressed at Reed's lack of screen time this season. The episode earned a four out of five, docked one point "for gnawing on the flesh of such a chewed over genre corpse." Visit Trek5 for the full review.

  • "Not bad, but a few too many Vulcan zombies and action shots in corridors for my taste," agreed Monkee, who said the teaser got her attention but "Dear God did we really need ANOTHER shot of [T'Pol] writhing against restraints!" She said she loved the scenes in which the MACO came to understand the difference between a rescue mission and an assault, and she thought Blalock's performance saved the "killer, mutant Vombies" from becoming too campy. She wished there had been a bit more angst from Archer and T'Pol over the destruction of the Seleya and enjoyed the 'shipper fodder between the science officer and both Tucker and the captain. To learn why she awarded the episode 8/10, visit Monkee's Place.

  • SpiderMonkee of Lower Decks called the tension in the early scenes "spot on" and had strong praise for the directing, which "really seemed to elevate what was an episode without a tremendous amount of plot behind it." The plot, however, could be reduced to finding and fighting Vulcan zombies while T'Pol became one of them, without explaining how the Vulcans on the stranded ship had survived for so long or why Trellium-D affects them so badly. The episode earned a grade of B, because the reviewer "enjoyed 'Impulse', though I have yet to really understand the connection between the episode and its name." For more details, visit Lower Decks.

  • By contrast, Michael Marek at The Great Link found the direction distracting, particularly the use of strobe lights and noticeable digital speeding-up of action sequences. Rating "Impulse" a three out of five, he said that enjoyed the merger of the horror storyline with Enterprise's ongoing arc stories from this season like the search for Trellium-D, though he thought the episode "could just as well have been entitled 'Zombie Vulcans from Outer Space.'" To read the full review, visit The Great Link.

  • Over at Xenoclone's 'Enterprise' Power Rankings, Chris gave this week's show its most enthusiastic response, stating that "'Impulse' sets a new standard in overall quality of writing, acting, and special effects in television science fiction." He praised the short, vivid teaser, the development of Archer and T'Pol's relationship and the episode's pacing. "If it were up to me, Id pretend the dull and awful Deep Space 9 and Voyager series didnt exist when comes the time to produce the next Star Trek movie. Enterprise is it," he concluded. For the full review, visit Xenoclone.

  • TrekWeb's O. Deus compared "Impulse" to Event Horizon, calling the plot "a predictably formulaic series of zombie chase scenes not significantly different from most horror movies...except that the Vulcan zombies are never scary." Because we know the series regulars will survive, he argued, horror doesn't work well on Star Trek, and viewers have already seen T'Pol lose control in previous episodes, though in this case the insanity allowed for character development. In addition to arc continuity, Deus praised the return of movie night and the look at how the crew copes with The Expanse. To read the full, mixed review, visit TrekWeb.

  • Mike Dunham of Section 31 found "Impulse" a great improvement over "Rajiin", praising Blalock's performance and the superlative special effects: "The asteroid field was beautiful, the shots of the shuttlepods flying through the field were impressive, and an excellent job was done making the interior of the Vulcan ship feel like an eerie place." Awarding the episode a B+, he mentioned plot annoyances like Phlox's quick assumption that the Vulcans could not be saved but complained in more detail about the inconsistency in the writing of Archer's character. For the full review, visit Section 31.

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Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.