'Detained' Fails To Impress Critics

By Caillan
April 27, 2002 - 5:59 PM

See Also: 'Detained' Episode Guide

'Detained' failed to live up to the pre-air hype, according to online reviewers, who judged the episode as overly simplistic in its allegorical approach.

A round-up of the latest analyses can be found below:

  • In his review entitled 'Quantum Sleep,' Trek5's Matt D. outlined why he found 'Detained' disappointing. "My 17 year old son once again beat me to the punch with his on-the-fly review of Detained: 'Not exciting,' he quipped, 'but nothing stupid happened.' Remind me to raise his allowance. It all came off so safe, which is fine if you're talking sex or stealing bases, but not so good when discussing sci-fi." The episode was awarded a score of 3 out of 5 in the complete review.

  • Jacqueline Bundy at the Trekker Newsletter didn't think highly of the episode's not-so-subtle approach. "Where 'Detained' failed was in the way the writers made the point," she wrote. "The sledge hammer approach didn't work. Yes, Archer knows in his heart that what the Tandarans are doing to the Suliban is wrong. He's determined to set things right, so let's spring the Suliban. Hooray for Archer." 'Detained' scored 6 out of 10 in the full analysis.

  • Over at Trek47, Brad also had problems with the portrayal of Captain Archer:

    Wouldn't it have been much more satisfying to see Archer lead the escape? Instead, the audience must endure yet another scene where Archer gets captured and must be rescued by his crew. Admittedly, it is a great crisis to have a rescue attempt during the prison escape scenes. This builds the tension quite well. But why does Archer need to be rescued?

    Nevertheless, Brad found the episode to be entertaining, awarding it a B minus in his complete review.

  • Reviewer monkee of monkee's place would like to have seen some shades of grey in the portrayal of the Suliban and the Tandarans. "I suppose that it is nearly impossible to do justice to the complexity of an issue like this in forty-three minutes, but I wish they could have," she wrote. "It certainly would have complicated things, for example, if some of the detained Suliban had been from the Cabal." Go here to read the full analysis, in which 'Detained' was given a score of 8.5 out of 10.

  • Although he didn't rate 'Detained' highly, TrekWeb's O.Deus enjoyed the performance of Dean Stockwell (Colonel Grat), especially in comparison to his former Quantum Leap co-star Scott Bakula:

    Archer is a weak character whose attitude comes off as pettiness, rather than principle. Often it's because Bakula is simply a weaker actor. Consider 'Detained,' in which Dean Stockwell playing the villain not only turns in a much better performance with little material and an underplayed character, but in his character's worst moments still manages to maintain more dignity and stature than Bakula manages to retain in his best.

    To read more, head over to TrekWeb.

  • "The allegory is laid on pretty thick; this sort of thing was handled with a lot more care, wit and finesse on The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine," wrote 'Hercules' at Ain't It Cool News. "It doesn't help that this installment focuses on the series' two least interesting characters. Oh, and? How many episodes this season are going to center around Archer escaping from alien captors?" In the complete analysis, the episode was awarded 2.5 out of 5.

  • In contrast to these opinions, 'Shadowfyre' at Section 31 found the episode "engaging," and praised both Stockwell and Bakula. "Reunited with his former Quantum Leap co-star, Bakula seems particularly energized (pardon the pun) in his scenes with Grat," he wrote. "The adversarial nature of Archer and Grat's relationship was a welcomed change from the friendly banter enjoyed by Sam and Al on Quantum Leap." 'Detained' scored 8.5 out of 10 in the full review.

Further information on 'Detained' can be found in the Trek Nation episode guide.

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Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.