First 'Shockwave, Part II' Review OnlineBy Caillan
September 17, 2002 - 7:49 AM
See Also: 'Shockwave, Part II' Episode Guide
'Shockwave, Part II' suffers from a failing common to Trek two-part episodes - the conclusion doesn't live up to the setup, according to the first online review of Enterprise's season premiere.
Kathie Huddleston at Sci-Fi Weekly awarded the season opener a B minus, writing that the method used for retrieving the stranded Captain Archer from the 31st-century "is far too simplistic." Although the B-story involving the Suliban taking over the NX-01 is "played out better with more originality and humor, in the end 'Shockwave, Part 2' solves the situation too easily, giving it the feel that it's a by-the-numbers resolution to the cliffhanger. No doubt 'Shockwave' would have been better served if it had been expanded to another hour, rather than trying to squeeze this big story into two hours."
Despite her qualms about the plot, Huddleston stressed that she still found 'Shockwave, Part II' an enjoyable hour of television. "At the heart of it, Enterprise is entertaining, and the moments of humor come naturally out of the situation. 'Shockwave, Part 2' is a prime example. No, it doesn't always make sense, and it certainly relies on too much technobabble. But it is Star Trek, and not making sense and technobabble are just par for the course. We accept the ease the characters manage while saving the universe, because there's so much other stuff to like about the show."
The review concluded with the statement that "the episode has some very nice moments - and when Enterprise is good, it's very good. It's taken a year, and while this Trek isn't perfect, it's worthy of the franchise."
Enterprise's new lead-out show, a revival of the cult classic The Twilight Zone, was also awarded a B minus for its series premiere, which is actually two half-hour stories, 'Evergreen' and 'One Night At Mercy.'
Reviewer Adam-Troy Castro described 'Evergreen' as "disappointing from the start, with an unlikable protagonist, a simple-minded and unbelievable premise and a denouement so obvious from about five minutes in that the viewer is left waiting in vain for a clever twist capable of justifying it. None comes."
'One Night At Mercy,' guest-starring Jason Alexander (Kurros in 'Think Tank') as Death, was described as "considerably better, mostly because of the reaper's effective characterization as a more cosmic version of George Costanza." Despite the predictability of the final twist, Castro said "that doesn't matter nearly as much, next to the effective tone and the confirmation that the folks behind this version of Zone understand the mix of fantasy and philosophical resonance that rendered the best installments so memorable."