No 'Damage' To Reputation Of 'Enterprise'

By Michelle
April 25, 2004 - 5:00 PM

The first online reviews for last Wednesday night's Enterprise episode, "Damage", were highly laudatory of the episode's writing while expressing some concerns with the direction of the series.

  • Chris of Xenoclone's 'Enterprise' Power Rankings gave "Damage" an unqualified rave review, saying, "I doubt there are many dramas on TV that can do better...the episode is flawless. It has the exact mix of character insight, action, and exposition needed to deliver its message." Praising the writing and directing for achieving poignancy and relevance, he said he enjoyed seeing Archer become what he hates: "a bully. The good-natured, optimistic Archer from 'Cogenitor' literally dies in 'Damage.'" For more, read the Xenoclone review.

  • "The episode was outstanding, but I fear the 'damage' they're doing to the main characters is becoming irreparable," wrote Monkee, who gave the episode a 9/10, comparing Archer's actions in "Damage" to Janeway's in "Equinox" when she crossed the ethical line. "We love Star Trek because we love its take on humanity's future," she said. "We want to admire our Captains, but when that respect is lost, it's difficult to recover." She thought the darkness was well-projected, in terms of the shattered ship and the characters' crises, but was uncomfortable with the 9/11 parallels, saying, "I don't want to see Enterprise become one big commercial for the Bush administration." for the full review see Monkee's Place.

  • O. Deus of TrekWeb admired the main storyline and the visuals with which it unfolded, echoing previous episodes and turning Enterprise's crew from victims into aggressors. However, though he felt "Damage" effectively showed the price Enterprise has paid for the Xindi conflict, "the other two stories circling around the episode, namely T'Pol Gone Wild and the Xindi council debating Archer's claims, are a good deal weaker." The Xindi council's doubts seemed too facile to him, and T'Pol's explanation of her addiction made little sense in terms of prior series claims about Vulcans. Deus' full review is at TrekWeb.

  • At Section 31, Erik Dardan Ymeraga takes over reviewing and gives the episode a grade of B, saying "Damage" was "a worthy finale to 'Azati Prime', but the fit was far from perfect as an integrated whole, and it was definitely weaker than its predecessor." He found the episode reminiscent of DS9's "In the Pale Moonlight" in its confrontation of morality, though he found the shower scene and the stereotypical behaviour of the villains undermined its impact. "When did Star Trek villains completely degenerate into two-dimensional sadists portrayed as completely evil?" he asked, expressing reservations as well about T'Pol's addiction, though he was impressed with Archer's dilemma, To read Ymeraga's full write-up, visit Section 31.

  • Michael Marek of The Great Link awarded three out of five marks, anticipating mixed feelings among fans about the episode, which he also compared to "Equinox" though in this case he saw more parallels between Archer and murderous Captain Ransom than ethically torn Captain Janeway. "Kirk and Picard would never have raided a passing ship for needed supplies," he stated, adding, "the TOS and TNG writers would never have put their characters in that position." While he found the character story suitably dramatic, he thought there might have been other ways to tell a similarly interesting story about Archer's ethics "but not broken him the way they have." Yet he called the episode "well told, acted, and brought to the screen." For more, see the full review at The Great Link.

  • Ryan8bit wrote at Lower Decks thought the episode seemed better on the surface than upon deeper reflection, but was content with the character interaction and increasing complications in the storyline. "The plot was a good conclusion to the cliffhanger, but didn't really reveal that much new," he said, pleased that the shattered ship was not restored by a cliffhanger. Though he found the development of T'Pol's drug problem to be intriguing, "Part of me wants the characters to be those you can look up to, that you can admire, and identify with." And he was troubled by the Xindi discussion with the sphere builder, shocked that Degra had built a weapon that killed seven million people without some sort of proof from the sphere builders about the human threat. The full review is here.

  • Keckler of Television Without Pity was pleased to see Mayweather and Sato "have nice so-brief-if-you-breathe-you'll-miss-it moment in which they discuss piano lessons" but found it odd that the Xindi decided so easily to return Archer to his ship. T'Pol, she adds, "is playing the crack whore fairly convincingly", replying to the character's comment that Vulcans don't experience fear with, "They do when they're CRACK WHORES." The full summary is here.

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Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.