Critics Take 'Flight' Over 'Bounty'By Michelle
May 17, 2003 - 5:43 PM
See Also: 'First Flight' Episode Guide
Reactions to the subtle, emotional "First Flight" were much more positive than those to "Bounty", which most reviewers dismissed as a poorly-executed sweeps month stunt. Some critics noted that they had not even watched "Bounty" yet since it aired the same night as the West Wing finale and a day before the opening of The Matrix Reloaded, which several regular Enterprise critics reviewed on their pages.
- ScoopMe's C.J. Carter thought "First Flight" was a well-done episode about friendship and the hazards of early flight, but added, "Unfortunately, while the tale spins a nice yarn, it comes off as a non-story. Other than showing us how Trip and Archer met and became friends, it doesn't really engage in any plot or character development." Carter liked seeing the conviction and foibles of the astronauts but thought the theft of the second test vehicle could be predicted all the way from the Delta Quadrant.
However, "First Flight" received a rave review compared to "Bounty", of which Carter said, "Why am I not surprised that our favorite pair of B&B had a hand in giving us an episode that so shamelessly presented us (yet again) with T'Pol's own favorite pair." He wasn't overly impressed with the dishonourable Klingons or with Archer's excessively high moral fiber, either. The full analysis of "First Flight" is here while "Bounty" is here.
- Television Without Pity's Keckler wasn't terribly impressed with either of this week's Enterprise offerings, though "Bounty" received a harsher critique and a lower grade of D to the C- given to "First Flight" (note: 178 fans at TWoP gave the first episode a cumulative grade of A). During the earlier episode, in which "Quantum relives his glory days of bar fights, making off with government property, and meeting Trip for the first time", Keckler claimed to have looked in the fridge and the shower drain for some suspense or tension, but found none:
"Oh! Is A.G. going to make it out of that first flight? Of course, because he JUST DIED in the present and we are stuck viewing a flashback."As for "Bounty", Keckler noted, "T'Pol performing The Predictable Prance Of Promiscuous Pon Farr in her sweaty, gapey underthings...was a ratings stunt, they did it, and from what I've read, it didn't exactly work. 'Nuff said." Visit TWoP to read about Keckler's apathy during "First Flight" and utter boredom during "Bounty".
- O. Deus of TrekWeb appreciated the opportunity to see two different approaches to Enterprise on the same night, calling "First Flight" a "relatively subdued episode whose "entire strength rests on an evocation of the risks and emotional drives of space exploration", whereas "Bounty" returns to familiar territory "by putting Archer in peril and featuring a sexually exploitative storyline for T'Pol with Klingons and a space battle thrown in for anyone who might be losing interest."
Impressed by the psychological subtlety of "First Flight", in which T'Pol sought out Archer's conflicts while the two sought out dark matter, Deus thought "Bounty" stripped both T'Pol and Phlox of their dignity and lacked both inter- and intra-series continuity. To learn why he thought Enterprise hit both its high and low point in a single night, read Deus' combined review of "First Flight" and "Bounty" here.
- Gisele La Roche at StarfleetCom.net said that she didn't have much to say about the "nice, quiet story" of "First Flight" that she unfortunately found "somewhat dull and plodding." La Roche was one of few reviewers to appreciate "Bounty" more; she noted her appreciation that Enterprise is less prudish than Voyager was and enjoyed seeing Robert O'Reilly, DS9's Gowron, in his guest appearance as a bounty hunter. La Roche gave "Bounty" a B- grade in comparison to the C+ she awarded "First Flight". To read her full analyses, visit StarfleetCom.net's first and second reviews for the week.
- Monkee appreciated the character interaction and the glimpses of the 22nd century depicted in "First Flight", particularly the inevitable bar and the launch ramp for the NX vessels. She also enjoyed the interaction between Archer and T'Pol:
As T'Pol gets to know and understand Archer better, more of a connection between them is possible. It's nice because it's so much more subtle and realistic than having her fall with her breasts in his face, but what do I know? *I'm* not a twenty year-old male. Ahem. Sorry. Maybe I'll save that rant for my 'Bounty' review. Bottom line – I really enjoyed the Archer/T'Pol chemistry this week.To discover all the reasons she gave the episode a 9/10 rating, read the "First Flight" review here.
- "There is no typical trek metaphorical message this time around," Captain Mac of Trek5.com noted of "First Flight", acknowledging the parallels to The Right Stuff and praising Keith Carradine's performance as Robinson. Captain Mac compared the NX-Beta sled launch to the one from When Worlds Collide and wondered whether the Captain Jefferies with whom Tucker worked might have invented the Jefferies Tube. To learn why the episode received a 4 out of 5 rating, read the complete review at Trek5.com.