'The Xindi' Fails To Wow Online CriticsBy Michelle
September 13, 2003 - 4:09 PM
The first reviews for Wednesday night's Enterprise third season premiere, "The Xindi", have been posted online. Reviewers were largely unimpressed with the supposed revamping of the show, finding too many repeated elements from previous seasons and too little use of what could have been exciting innovations.
- TrekWeb's O. Deus called "The Xindi" a "pedestrian episode in which the only major effect of the Expanse appears to be some flying cargo crates." The kidnapping of Archer and Tucker with rescue by T'Pol and Reed "hasn't just done to death but actually resurrected and done to death all over again", he said, while the hunt for unknown assailants in a new part of space rehashes themes from the pilot episode of the series. Deus found the Xindi council scenes intriguing, but said the MACOs "have no particular function except to upstage Trip's red shirts" and added that the show "manages to hit a new level of absurdity with the Vulcan topless back massages that also relieve stress over the death of loved ones." The full review, which dissects flaws in the series as a whole, may be found here.
- Over at Trek5.com, Matt D. drew parallels between the events of September 11, 2001 and the Xindi story arc. Complaining that the show "is all conspiracy superseded by base 'human' practices like jailbreaks, bullies, and ogling female goods", Matt D. objected to the formulaic rescue story, Phlox's strong-arming of T'Pol into rubbing Tucker's muscles and the predictable us-vs.-them human-alien relations. "Based on the lumbering, inconsistent season premiere, I think I'll be spending Wednesday nights with my Deep Space Nine DVDs from Netflix," he stated. More of the review may be found here.
- Mike Dunham, who reviewed "The Xindi" for Section 31, wrote that "there may be justification for...optimism in the third season." The visuals impressed him, such as the Xindi ruling council: "You really couldn’t even tell that some of them were computer-generated. Those scenes are some of the best special effects I have ever seen on television." He also enjoyed the budding conflict between Reed and the MACOs and the chemistry between T'Pol and Tucker. Archer's new toughness seemed forced to him, and he was disturbed by how little Sato and Mayweather were given to do. All in all he gave the episode a grade of "B" in the full review at Section 31.
- "I was too busy looking at the unimaginative CGI character of the Xindi cricket than reading what the hell they were saying," wrote Michael Hinman at SyFy Portal of the opening scene of "The Xindi." Though he appreciated the MACOs and praised the direction, particularly Allan Kroeker's use of handheld cameras and the hard cuts going into commercial breaks, but he found the exposure of Jolene Blalock's breasts gratuitous and said, "...there is a lot of work to do, and I hope it doesn't take a whole season to do it." More of Hinman's detailed analysis is at SyFy Portal.
- Gisele La Roche of Starfleetcom.net labeled the episode "well-paced and well-directed", praising the action sequences, the "edgier Archer", the addition of the MACOs and the chemistry between Tucker and T'Pol. "Unfortunately," she adds, "this episode is nothing more than a standard, action-oriented sci-fi show however as nothing really original happens here." The full summary and analysis can be found here.