Reviews Exorcise 'Demons'By Michelle
May 14, 2005 - 6:59 PM
See Also: 'Demons' Episode Guide
"Demons" received some of the most mixed reviews of the series, with some Enterprise fans appreciating the relevant plot and continuity while others deplored the poor acting and scientific absurdity.
- At Section 31, Erik Dardan Ymeraga wrote, "In its final episodes, Enterprise is at last exploring its unique opportunities as an Original Series prequel, and the result is so magnificent I only wish the trend had been begun sooner." He gave "Demons" an A-, saying that xenophobia, while not in conjunction with Star Trek's vision, "is sadly believable, and adds depth and profundity to 22nd century Earth." He liked the fact that the episode wasn't black and white, that Tucker paid attention to the Terra Prime members from the perspective of someone who lost a relative in the Xindi attack, and that Weller's Paxton was calm and logical, almost quiet. "I will be the first to admit that Season Four of Enterprise has brought the series to new heights, fomenting admirable advances in creativity and dramatic presentation," he noted, despite being aggravated about the magical array, as were so many other reviewers.
- By contrast, TailSlate's Michael Sheridan gave "Demons" only one popcorn, calling "Demons" a sad stumble toward the finish line for Enterprise. Though a fan of Weller, he said that the actor was given "lousy material to work with" and noted, "Every time he showed up and delivered another over-the-top, melodramatic monologue I thought I was going to get sick." He liked the concept of the episode but found the execution dreadful, calling the drama between Trip and T'Pol "forced" and objecting to the contrivance of a mystery baby.
- "Star Trek has always been at its best when it presented stories that were allegories or metaphors for contemporary social issues," wrote The Great Link's Michael Marek, who gave the episode four out of five stars. He took issue with some of the scientific elements of "Demons" but praised the parallels with contemporary anxieties:
Terra Prime reflects a dichotomy in today’s American culture – at the same time many voices champion diversity and celebrate differences in ethnic heritage, many people feel deep concern for the changes they perceive happening in American society as the result of the same ethnic backgrounds.Marek appreciated the continuity with the original series, though he found much of the technobabble concerning the vertiron array to be troubling.
- The Great Link's Ian J. Slater also gave the episode four out of five marks. "I have always felt that the idea of holding up a fictional future as a mirror on contemporary social mores was hit and miss," he wrote, adding, "If every episode had a strong moral message, the show would get too preachy." Even so, he found "Demons" thoughtful and "classy", saying that if Enterprise was going to tackle an issue out of the headlines he's glad it was this one. "Paxton comes across as confident and capable, in much the same way that Soong did in the Augments arc. I like complex, confident and capable villains," he noted. He also liked the more subtle action sequences.
- For Chris of Xenoclone, the pros of the episode were that "the characters are interesting enough" and "the theme is relevant", but the con was that it fails the 30 second rule: "That is, if you think about it for 30 seconds, suddenly it all looks pretty stupid." He felt that "Demons" offered "lots of filler in a framework that, honestly, makes little sense" and found flaws in the science, though he appreciated seeing Peter Weller and didn't mind the Mayweather romance.
- "It's an interesting happenstance that an episode such as 'Demons' would be aired during the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Hitler's Death camps, commonly referred to as the Holocaust Remembrance Day," wrote The Star Trek LCARS Episode Database's John Patuto. "The parallels of Paxton to Hitler are disturbing to witness which makes 'Demons' a difficult episode to enjoy from an entertainment point of view, but the message this episode begins to send in its first of two parts is unquestionably classic Trek." Though he was underwhelmed by the Mayweather love story, he enjoyed the T'Pol/Tucker developments and the connection to the original series' values via the introduction of Colonel Green's philosophy.
- Entil of Entil'zha gave "Demons" a 6/10 score, saying, "Overall, this episode has many interesting philosophical and social elements spread across the script, but the execution leaves much to be desired. The main plan of the terrorists is a bit too convenient, and the guest performance by Peter Weller is oddly wooden and uninspiring." He also found Montgomery's performance as Mayweather to be a hindrance and didn't appreciate the "James Bond villainy."
- Lower Decks' Morbo also gave the episode a 6/10, citing a list of logical errors and saying he would rather not have seen the foundation of the Federation dealt with than watch it unfold in this slipshod manner. He found it ridiculous that Tucker and T'Pol were allowed to attempt to retrieve their own baby "undercover" and preposterous that a mining colony would have warp capability. As for Scott Bakula, "A petri-dish can act better than him," and "It's applaudable that their finally giving something to Travis to do, but man alive that was pretty uninteresting."
- "I was not impressed with Coto’s latest offering," wrote Dr. Phlox at TrekFansUnited, yet another who rated the episode 6/10. "The episode is...marred by a fairly large amount of cliches and horribly contrived plot twists [and] it seems that the entire cast lost their acting ability." He found the plot stretches and corny revelations too much to believe.
- "It hit a little too close to home for me to enjoy it much. And it started getting implausible towards the end," wrote Monkee of Monkee's Place. She rated the episode 8.5 out of 10, saying Weller probably deserved better but she couldn't get around the mining colony that was really a spaceship. She liked the baby, and added, "Hey, what do you know? Anthony Montgomery can act!"
- Ex Astris Scientia's Bernd Schneider felt it might have made more sense to explore the themes of "Demons" earlier in the series, rather than just before the end, saying that the episode was realistic but perhaps depressingly so at a time when one would expect Enterprise to be progressing toward the future Federation. He also found Paxton less than impressive, relying on technology rather than rhetoric to make his points.
- Television Without Pity's Keckler explained in her recap that Trip and T'Pol are "kidnapped by Terryan Nation and TOTALLY transported to Mars with the rest of the mining operation, which also has a Giant Frickin' Laser beam which can shoot at any planet or ship in the vicinity!" which led her to add, "It was SOOOOO GOOOOD! I LOVE THIS SHOW!"