Star Trek: Enterprise – Season 2, Episode 3 – “Minefield” – An Exploration of Reed as we Introduce the Romulans

Minefield (episode) | Memory Alpha | Fandom

   “Minefield” is in early season 2 of “Enterprise.” This was an enjoyable episode that is largely based around Malcolm Reed and what motivates him. This episode also introduces a classic “Star Trek” antagonist who I’ll go into further below. Overall, I enjoyed this episode and recommend it to anyone who likes “Enterprise.”

The episode was directed by James Contner and written by John Shiban.

When Enterprise is damaged in a cloaked mindfield, Malcolm must disarm a mine that has attached itself to the ship while the crew must tend for the wounded and make first contact with the forces who control the minefield.

SPOILERS ahead

The Pros:

The Crew Working Together – This is an episode where all the crew are working together. We have an injured Hoshi translating the communications from the mysterious threat, we have Reed preparing to detach the area where the mine is, Travis navigating through the minefield, Archer saving Reed when he is trapped by the mine and T’Pol commanding the ship as Phlox treats the wounded. Everyone is involved and it lends strength to the story.

Malcolm Reed – In this episode we learn that Reed was raised in a military family and because of that was always taught to keep distance in relationships on the ship. Archer is anti-thetical to this and over the course of the episode they come to understand one another. It is really well done as Reed is ready to die as one of his relatives did for the safety of the crew and ship. Dominic Keating is fantastic in this role.

First Contact With the Romulans – I really like that this mysterious threat are the Romulans who think that Archer was there to sabotage them. This fits the Romulan paranoia and how ruthless they are as they don’t get why the crew doesn’t just let Reed die as it is what they would do. We never see them on screen but their beautiful green ships show up to threaten Enterprise over the course of the episode.

The Cons:

Captain Archer – Archer is really annoying in this. He doesn’t care that Malcolm is uncomfortable when they are eating together and clearly has trouble empathizing with perspectives outside of his own. He is the weakest part of this episode as someone who came off as more understanding would have had the peace with Reed at the end feel more believable. Bakula is a good actor so my guess it is writing and direction that make him come off as so dismissive. Him also being the one to go save Reed was very stupid as he is the Captain of the ship.

This was a great introduction to the Romulans and really shows how well the crew can function together in a crisis. The weak link is really only Archer and I blame that more on the writing. “Enterprise” is my least favorite of the “Star Trek” shows but I think it still has a lot of good and enjoyable stories within it. This is one of those stories and shows what can happen when you have the crew working together to solve problems.

Final Score: 7.5 / 10 Enjoyed the story and would have rated it higher with better writing for Archer.

Star Trek: Enterprise Pilot – Broken Bow Part 1 and 2 – Missing the Point of Star Trek

Broken Bow

We end the “Star Trek Pilot Series,” with the worst of them all, “Star Trek: Enterprise.” When I first heard about “Enterprise,” back in High School I was excited…early human exploration and making contact…the Romulan War, the fallout of the Eugenics War…these stories that the “Original Series,” had suggested left so much potential for this prequel series. This of course was assuming the writers knew what they were doing after the horrible “Voyager” finale and the later “Next Generation Films,” which if I had a lot less optimism would have brought me closer to how disappointed I would be.

Without further ado, I’ll get into the reasons why:

Pros: The premise – Again the premise is exciting, the first military/exploration vessel from Starfleet going out to make contact with new life and new civilizations. We even have a Klingon as the catalyst as he was attacked by a mysterious enemy known as the Suliban. Sadly this doesn’t go anywhere.

The Special Effects – Like the later TNG films “Enterprise,” had a very sleek look and the best Special Effects since “Deep Space 9,” and later “Voyager,” this is one of the few things I have to give it, because the rest is just bad.

Cons: The Human and Vulcan Relationship Dynamic – What the Hell was Brannon Braga thinking? He starts out with Archer calling the Ambassador pointy eared as an insult when he was a child…and we see later nothing has progressed since then. T’Pol the first officer and Vulcan liaison is condescending to every human she comes in contact with (“I was told English would only be spoken on the Bridge,” (to Hoshi the communications officer)) and countless other examples. The humans aren’t much better and Archer is the worst. “You felt emotion therefore you are a hypocrite and wrong,” basically…and Trip the Engineer is the same way (and same way on Ryjal judging every alien he comes in contact with). I expected tension but not hostility between allies, it missed the entire point of First Contact and Roddenberry’s bright future.

The Characters: The characters are either inept and useless or condescending jerks. There aren’t any characters who are in the middle. “Voyager,” was average and way too focused on proving Janeway right, but it at least had SOME interesting character dynamics and characters.

Captain Archer – Who thought it was a good idea to put this guy in charge? He doesn’t think things through, he condescends to those who don’t agree with him and is more prejudice against his Vulcan allies than Kirk ever was towards the Klingons. It’s a shame there is on one on the ship who could replace him…this is a ship of imbeciles. Also he keeps putting Trip in charge of things just because Trip is his friend. No way that isn’t corrupt.

T’Pol – From going on her high horse towards those who eat meat, to saying humans are irrational and unready to travel…Braga missed the point of the Vulcans. It isn’t logical to alienate your allies and that is exactly what she does…and she is supposed to be a diplomatic liaison. I don’t think that’s why she was created though. She was made to sexualize Vulcans (see the picture above). Blalock is a model and Braga and Co. fully embraced that rather than creating a well rounded character.

Trip Tucker – Once again, how did this guy become an engineer? He crashes the shuttle in dry-dock into Enterprise and has no idea what is going on in the entire episode. It’s like he hasn’t even been in space yet is expected to be an engineer of a space ship. He is purposefully ignorant and just doesn’t care (when he’s learning to fly a Suliban vessel just says it can’t be too hard (he crashed a Federation Shuttle) and acts like it is easy when Mayweather is trying to teach him to pilot).

Malcolm Reed – Is the least bad but still bad. He doesn’t do anything.

Mayweather – The pilot does nothing but talk about being in space. This would be his character for the entire series.

Hoshi Sato – The communications officer who is afraid of everything. This is a shame too since she gave up her University position to join the ship. The writers never use her though or deal with what she gave up. It is only a factor at the beginning and never again. She is there to be the damsel in distress.

Phlox – Up there with Reed as being the least bad at this point in the series, he just doesn’t do much. He is there to be an alien.

The Villains: The Temporal Cold War was a wasted idea…as were the Suliban (who are only in this series). These issues never get resolved and the big bad jokingly known as “Future Guy,” is just that in the end. He isn’t a character or even all that competent of a villain (even this inept crew could stop his plans throughout the series). A War through time and space yet we see none of that in this episode… not in relation to the Vulcans or Klingons (who you think the Time Agents would be using since their tech. is already the most advanced). It goes nowhere, same with contact with the Klingons…we don’t see any of their advanced Imperial Culture that we did from the Original Series…they’re just space barbarians. Suliban, Temporal Cold War, Klingons, Future Guy…wasted antagonists on a waste of a show.

The sexualization of T’Pol/When Star Trek went Soft Core Porn – See the picture up at the start. This decontamination chamber will be used in this way all through the show. Characters will strip and lather each other down. What is this, a Michael Bay show? We see T’Pol’s erect nipples and other characters junk in this chamber…it was here that I stopped watching originally. Star Trek has had problems like this before, but never this blatant…it was like this was what was being sold, not the exploration…certainly not the characters. Just special effects, sex and violence. Things that when taken all together…miss the point of Star Trek.

It is for these reasons I did not accept this show as Canon. It has moments where it feels like it could be tied to Star Trek Canon but so much of it misses the point. From sexy Vulcans to a useless crew…to a species/racist Captain and Engineer. I couldn’t get past the other stuff because the crew was so useless or unlikable. There are some okay episodes I’ll review in the future, but this where Star Trek died. “Star Trek: Enterprise” and “Star Trek: Nemesis” were the two things that killed Star Trek, and they deserve that responsibility. They had turned Star Trek into the worst kind of action movie where sex and violence were more important than substance. It is for this reason as much problems as the Abrams reboot has…it never gets this bad to this degree. So glad “Enterprise,” got cancelled, it’s just a shame it didn’t happen sooner. There was never enough good to keep it going since it started things out missing the entire point of what made Star Trek, Star Trek.

1 / 10. I’m only giving it a point for Special Effects…and it isn’t the worst episode. That will be reviewed later in this blog.