Online Reviewers Hope 'Enterprise' Is Finally 'Home'By Michelle
October 29, 2004 - 3:22 PM
See Also: 'Home' Episode Guide
Online reviews for last Friday night's episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, "Home", were generally much more positive than those of "Storm Front", expressing optimism about Manny Coto's plans as executive producer and approving of the closure for the Xindi arc, though there were some frustrations expressed about the overly packed plots and some silliness in the Archer and Phlox storylines.
- The Great Link's Michael Marek gave "Home" a rare five out of five rating, comparing the episode's function to that of TNG's "Family" - another intimate story after a crisis of galactic proportions. He compared one of the major subplots to original series episodes as well - Archer's relationship with Captain Erika Hernandez and its theme of "let me help", reminiscent of Kirk's discussion of those words in "The City on the Edge of Forever". T'Pol and Tucker's conflicted relationship allowed a presentation of Vulcan family life not yet presented, moving inside a Vulcan home. Marek's biggest criticism was of the fact that we were given no understanding of why the events of the Xindi conflict and everything that led up to the launch of the NX-01 had not reset when the timeline was repaired at the end of the last episode:
Temporal agent Daniels said last week that the timeline had reset and there never was a temporal cold war. When I attempt to think through the reset of the timeline, here is what I get – even the events of the 'Enterprise' series premier were part of the temporal cold war. The Suliban kidnapped the Klingon who was carrying proof that the Suliban were inciting strife in the Klingon Empire as part of the temporal cold war. So if the war never happened, Klaang should never have crashed on Earth, and the Enterprise departure from Earth would have been under different circumstances.Though he had quibbles, Marek was overall impressed in his review at The Great Link.
- "I could have watched this episode for another hour. In fact, I SHOULD have watched this episode for another hour. There was definitely enough potential material here to fill a two-parter," wrote Monkee. She was a little frustrated that we did not get to hear Archer's answers to tough questions about his behaviour in the Expanse and thought fresh air (and maybe the sex) "cured" him toom quickly, but she loved Hernandez, enjoyed the Sato-Phlox discussion of human prejudices and was impressed with the handling of the Vulcan storyline - both T'Pol's sense of obligation and Trip's growing awareness of his feelings. "I found the planet beautiful, the society intriguing, and the love story poignant," she wrote, giving the episode a 9/10 rating. "T'Pol is making a mistake, but she's a woman torn right now between two cultures, and I think she's doing the best she can." The full review is at Monkee's Place.
- Star Trek: Hypertext's Jammer gave the episode three stars, up half a notch from the previous week, explaining the episode's function: "If 'Zero Hour' was season three blowing its wad, then "Home" is the pillow talk that follows." He felt that the introduction of Hernandez was the episode's most important point, saying it was essential that viewers develop a sense of Starfleet expanding beyond Archer and his mission, and appreciating the fact that she could be a sounding board for Archer though he found some of their dialogue heavy-handed. Jammer was less impressed with the prejudice storyline, saying the conflict leading to the bar brawl seemed forced, while he was mystified about why Koss wanted to marry an obviously reluctant T'Pol and confused about when Tucker actually fell in love with her. Because the episode focused on characters, however, he was largely pleased with it in his full review at Star Trek: Hypertext.
- TrekWeb's O. Deus rated "Home" only a 5.5. He was most impressed by the storyline about Archer trying to come to terms with the cynicism and self-hatred he has been experiencing after the events of the Xindi conflict, praising the acting of Scott Bakula and the presence of a strong female captain in the character of Hernandez. Though he liked T'Les and the scenes on Vulcan, Deus found the "non-existent chemistry" between T'Pol and Tucker more difficult to watch and labeled the subplot in which Phlox encounters prejudice "the afterschool special section." The full review is at TrekWeb.
- Lower Decks'Ryan8bit gave "Home" a grade of C- and a rating of 6/10, the same number given the second part of "Storm Front" on the site. He wrote,
"Home" seems like a roundabout answer to Voyager's "Endgame." You have all of the things that fans were wanting when the ship returned: A hero's welcome, a debriefing, Earth's reactions, relations with family members, etc. All of this was jammed into one episode and may have fallen a bit short because of that.Ryan8bit felt that Archer's coming to terms with the Xindi and the temporal cold war alone could have filled an episode and that we saw too little of the briefing. Because of the multiple plots there was also very little time spent explaining when Tucker and T'Pol grew so close that they would be talking about having a relationship, and he was doubtful about the level of vitriol in xenophobic humans of Archer's century. The full review is at Lower Decks.
- Chris at Xenoclone's Enterprise Power Rankings felt the episode was rather soporific, but enjoyed the Original Series feel to "Home" in everything from the tension music during the debriefing to "the captain needin' a woman to get his mind offa' shootin' bad-guys." Chris was also rather surprised at the criticisms leveled by others at the Phlox prejudice storyline, calling it timely and relevant: "I don't understand why there are those who think of Spock as a holy teacher of equality, yet we're all too mature and smart now to hear it from Hoshi." The full review is here.
- Erik Dardan Ymeraga of Section 31 gave "Home" a B+, calling it a change for the better but admitting that it would have been a stronger two-parter than "Storm Front": "Cutting it down to one hour to rush right into the coming Eugenics arc, as well as the inflation of the Archer-Hernandez storyline, took a lot away from the episode." He was frustrated by the violence and pessimism of the barfight, by the fact that we saw nothing of Reed, Sato and Mayweather's contacts on Earth and by the need to rush through Archer's soul-searching in favor of tepid romance. But he had high praise for the T'Pol and Tucker developments, saying, "The dialogue between them was almost perfectly written for the two characters, and Blalock and Trinneer were at the top of their game here." For more, read the review at Section 31.
- Holodeck 3's Admiral Regnum graded "Home" an A-. "All in all I thought it was a great episode that not only had a lot going on in the episode, but it reminded me of hours and hours of my favorite trek of all time," he wrote. He was surprised and disappointed that T'Pol did not call off the wedding, but pleased that even T'Pol's own mother thinks she's too emotional for a Vulcan and impressed with the development of Tucker's feelings for T'Pol since "Breaking the Ice." He was also one of the few reviewers with strong praise for the Reed-Mayweather-Phlox storyline, saying he was glad to see them "kick some ass." The full review is at Holodeck 3.
- Matt Springer of Entertainment Geekly found it frustrating that instead of Archer dealing with the serious repercussions of war, death and cynicism, "what he really needs is to get LAID." As emotional closure, he felt that both this and the kal-if-fee free Vulcan wedding left much to be desired, and that the storylines tripped over one another, piling on too much plot at the expense of character.
The Phlox storyline...isn't really about Phlox so much as it's about how shitty us humans can be when seven million of our fellow carbon-based life forms are offed by an alien superpower. Really, there's little to report except that we get to see Phlox's face inflate, there's a pretty decent bar fight, and the whole shebang gives Mayweather, Reed and Hoshi something to do.The full review is at Entertainment Geekly.
- Television Without Pity has recapped the episode, calling the episode "My Big Fat *Crack Whore* Wedding" and revealing Phlox's new secret weapon: his face.