Few Online Critics Happy With 'These Are the Voyages...'By Michelle
May 21, 2005 - 9:25 PM
See Also: 'These Are The Voyages' Episode Guide
Most of the regular online critics of Star Trek: Enterprise reacted to the series finale, "These Are the Voyages...", with disappointment. Though some were happy to see Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis reprise their roles as Riker and Troi for nostalgic reasons, most felt that having the Next Generation characters detracted from the Enterprise characters and their relationships, and there was a great deal of anger at Archer's speech not being shown at the founding of the Federation but rather Riker's shutting off the holoprogram, leaving the voiceovers to viewers as the only legacy.
- "A lazily written episode that actually manages to hurt the overall quality of the series rather than help it," was the assessment of Chris at Xenoclone. "It's just sort of a dumb script. If this were a mid-season episode, I would have praised the concept but lamented the lazy writing. Here, however, I cannot be even that forgiving. For a finale, it's a terrible concept." He felt the references to other series felt forced, and worst, "it robs the viewer of Archer's federation speech, which essentially is the focus of the buildup for the hour. (Undoubtedly, Braga thought Riker's decision was the key element when he wrote it. Wrong.)"
- The Great Link's Ian J. Slater gave the episode three out of five marks, giving it "kudos for a neat concept" but feeling alternately disturbed that a future crew would have access to such intimate records in the future and bothered that the series didn't address the implications of using a holodeck in such a matter, such as whether Riker would have to be in character for his participation in the scenario to work. He felt cheated by Tucker's death, the overuse of Next Gen characters and the weakness of Blalock's performance.
- Slater's fellow reviewer at The Great Link, Michael Marek, gave the episode four out of five stars, one of its highest grades. He felt that "These Are the Voyages..." was "a strong, enjoyable story" which made him happy by taking him back to the Enterprise-D. Despite his inability to understand the decision to kill Tucker, he enjoyed the continuity among the Star Trek shows and appreciated the efforts at consistency within Enterprise's timeline.
- Entil of Entil'zha rated "These Are the Voyages..." a 4/10, with a zero for the writing and only one star out of four for style. "The death of a main character comes as the result of events that wouldn’t have passed muster as a regular episode, let alone the series finale," he noted:
Overall, this episode was not the satisfying series finale that the audience deserved. In fact, it serves none of the functions that the writers were clearly hoping it would fulfill. It wouldn’t have taken much to create a finale with true resonance, focused on the characters of 'Enterprise', even retaining the perspective of characters from a future time....in the end, modern Trek ends not with pride, but instead, with a sense of profound disappointment.
- Monkee of Monkee's Place described the episode as "appalling", quoting Jolene Blalock, but rating it a 7/10 anyway for good intentions. "I'm most disappointed about Trip and T'Pol. I find it difficult to believe that they could care about each other as much as they clearly do, yet remain in a holding pattern for six whole years," she noted. "Part of the fun of a series finale is envisioning how the characters are going to go on...when I try to envision how the Enterprise characters will move on, I first have the nagging suspicion that they won't move on at all, having just seen a completely stagnant six years. And then I have to envision them moving on without Trip! And I hate that." Still, she appreciated the montage at the end, and had a long list of "best lines" from the episode.
- Ex Astris Scientia's Bernd Schneider gave the episode a score of 0. "I don't know why it was deemed necessary to kill off Trip," he wrote. "Because it was supposed to be realistic considering the ship's dangerous mission? Because it would give the characters in the otherwise straightforward plot some emotional involvement? Because the crew's only visible progress in the years between 2155 and 2161 was getting new patches on their uniforms...because it was a way to say that Enterprise is dead and buried?" He was equally repelled by Riker "resurrecting" Tucker right after his death scene and then shutting off the holodeck before Archer gave his speech, feeling that "the episode does anything but pay respect to Enterprise...an episode that was hard to endure because of its artificiality and overall irrelevance of dialogues and interaction. I was glad when it was over."
- "'These Are The Voyages' had no heart," declared Sci Fi Pulse's Bill Gordon. "I would have given anything for even one scene that began to approach the emotional impact of the final scene of 'Terra Prime.' Any one scene that communicated the end of the bond that had supposedly bound these characters together for a decade...I don't have the words to adequately convey the utter uselessness of Trip's death." He felt that even the final montage lost its impact because it came after "a rather uninspired yawnfest, propagated by one disappointment after another."
- Although The Star Trek LCARS Episode Database's John Patuto liked the tribute to Star Trek as a whole and the inclusion of Riker in the storyline, he found Tucker's death "truly senseless" and thought it was a puzzling choice to have Riker talk to the character only after his onscreen demise. But "despite some of the poor judgment calls made on this episode, it was still a nice homage to a fine series; one that ended well before its time."
- One popcorn was the most TailSlate's Michael Sheridan would toss at "These Are the Voyages..." of which he said, "the show deserved much better." Like several other reviewers, he found it insulting that Riker turned off the holodeck rather than watching Archer's final speech, and he was unimpressed by many of the performances, even the usually strong Trinneer and Blalock. "It wasn’t an Enterprise episode at all. It was Berman and Braga striving to relive the days of The Next Generation, when they still had some originality left in them. Scott Bakula and the others were just making cameos in their own show’s finale," he complained.
- Dr. Phlox of TrekFansUnited graded the series finale a 6.5/10 for wrapping up Enterprise in "a somewhat lackluster fashion." He did not feel that the episode was a valentine for the fans so much as a choppy episode that paid too little attention to the regular characters in order to showcase a Riker crisis "that no one cares about." Despite appreciating the final sequence, he was not impressed by Riker's conversations with the crew and felt that the holodeck device cheapened character interaction.
- At Section 31, Erik Dardan Ymeraga found himself unable to rate the episode, for though he had many criticisms, he did not want to bring down the last episode of Star Trek for what may be several years. "If nothing has proved it yet, 'These are the Voyages' makes clear that Enterprise's remarkably talented cast can make something powerful out of nearly whatever they are given; here, they bring out the best of a Braga script that lacks much of anything remotely worthy," he stated. "His script does include some fitting tributes, but given the insipidity and indifference of nearly all of his script, I must give the credit not to a sudden change of heart on his part but to the distinctive talents of the actors who brought those scenes to life." The emotional scenes after Tucker's death, he noted, were "the only good that came of that gratuitous plot device."
- "The big goodbye for Captain Archer’s show isn’t merely lacking in emotional kick; it’s also a conceptually flawed and poorly written affair," wrote Now Playing Magazine's Scott Collura. "There’s more afoot that causes the segment to fail than just the lazy cramming-in of so-called popular Next Generation characters...Trip actor Connor Trinneer is ill served as well, reduced to googly-eyed over-acting in what in any other episode would have been viewed as a non-crisis." Collura graded the episode a D+.
- "I feel a bit weird and a little empty," wrote Television Without Pity's Keckler of her last recap. "In bringing back Riker, Troi, a holodeck, and Data's voice, Bermaga hoped to give the fans a 'valentine.' Nice idea. Awful execution," she said. "The worst part of it is, Quantum still didn't shed a single tear - real or glycerined."