Critics Near-Unanimous In 'Council' PraiseBy Michelle
May 17, 2004 - 7:05 PM
See Also: 'The Council' Episode Guide
The first online reviews for last Wednesday night's Enterprise episode, "The Council", were overall very positive, with particular praise singled out for Manny Coto's dialogue and Randy Oglesby's acting in what would seem to have been Degra's last appearance.
- TrekWeb's O. Deus gave the episode an overall rating of 9/10, citing excellent performances and strong writing. "'The Council' is...a compelling argument for Manny Coto being in charge of Enterprise rather than Berman and Braga," he wrote. "While Randy Oglesby does deliver another resoundingly powerful performance as Degra...Coto fleshes the Xindi out by giving the other Xindi council members depth as well and making their interplay appear more than the cartoonish stereotypes they have been up till now." He was less impressed with series regulars Bakula and Trinneer, but was glad to see Sato's character given a fuller role. The review is at TrekWeb.
- The Great Link's Michael Marek rated the episode four out of five, praising its advancement of the story arc and the balance of action sequences and character development. "The 'Enterprise' production team has proven this season that they do much better work in the story arc mode," he noted, drawing parallels between the events of the arc and those in current events. He did express the hope that the enemies would be less black and white: "I like bad guys who are complex, whose motivation we can understand, and for whom we might even feel a bit sorry. That’s why fans revere Khan as such a strong antagonist to Kirk, because of his complexity." Marek's full review is at The Great Link.
- Diesel Mickey Dolenz at Lower Decks graded the episode 8/10, praising the pacing, character moments, plot development and action sequences. He found Degra's death scene far too predictable but appreciated the dialogue between both Archer and Degra about the Guardians and T'Pol and Reed after Hawkins died. "How might T'Pol have reacted to Reed before her bout with Trellium addiction? I suspect that in the long run (if there is one) that we'll see her relating to the crew better than she did prior to her emotional experimentation," he guessed. For more, visit Lower Decks.
- Erik Dardan Ymeraga at Section 31 awarded "The Council" an A-, calling it "the best of both worlds", a character study and action story rolled into one episode. He was impressed with the pacing, the attention to detail and, like many reviewers, Oglesby's performance as Degra, whose death he found to be powerful and quite surprising. The full review is at Section 31.
- "In this pathetic attempt to make us believe we're viewing the Sphere Builders in their down dimension, the camera pans past each of them on a mist-blown set as they discuss the timeline and what needs to be done about the Earth vessel," explained Keckler in her summary at Television Without Pity, comparing the new villains to the Golden Girls. Though she still calls T'Pol a crack whore and sings "I've got a case of the farts" to the opening song, Keckler rated this episode a B+. The full review is at TWoP.
- First TV Drama's Richard Whettestone found great continuity problems with "The Council." "The needs (quality content) of the many (the fans) outweigh the needs (weekly paychecks) of the few (B&B) or the one (Manny Coto)," he complained, adding, "The show will never be accepted as Star Trek because it's just too stupid and the damage that it inflicted to the other series by throwing away the decades of history each one built onto each other can't just be accepted no matter how many times they quote Spock or name-drop other races." The story arc, he protested, seems to consist of last-minute developments that aren't integrated into the big picture. For the full review, visit First TV Drama.