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Star Trek Ent - Season 3 - Episode 17

Star Trek Ent - 3x17 - Hatchery

Originally Aired: 2004-2-25

Archer goes to extreme lengths to save an abandoned nest of Xindi-Insectoid eggs ready to hatch. [DVD]

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 4.72

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- Archer's great grandfather fought in the Eugenics wars.
- Xindi insectoids are genderless and they reproduce asexually. Their usual life span is 12 years.

Remarkable Scenes
- The crew exploring the insectoid ship.
- Reed and Hayes hauling the insectoid shuttle back to Enterprise.
- Trip and Travis trying to figure out the insectoid shuttle.
- T'Pol disobeying Archer's orders.
- Enterprise destroying the Xindi insectoid ship.
- Archer relieving Reed.
- The mutiny.
- Archer letting baby insectoids crawl around on him.
- Trip shooting Archer.

My Review
This episode is a missed opportunity to show something really profound. Instead of having Archer take a general interest in the welfare of these infant insectoids, a mind control story is fed to us instead, as if caring for these infant Xindi is unquestionably stupid. I found that notion offensive, and slightly disturbing. My only comfort is that Trip begins to see Archer's point even if he doesn't agree with it. He only starts to get a little nervous when Archer starts doing truly irrational things. The mutiny was well presented, but again, it would have carried more weight if Archer wasn't under the weather. Instead, the personal conflicts that could have arose were extinguished before they began. Even Reed and Hayes began to settle their differences in this episode. I guess the writers just didn't want to repeat Ent: Harbinger. Maybe they thank keeping the crew unified in their struggle against the Xindi makes for better episodes or something... I don't agree. The episode was otherwise successful though. Enterprise stole an insectoid shuttle! And the space battle was quite something, even if short. Not bad.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From JRPoole on 2011-12-22 at 12:09pm:
    I agree with most of this review. There are a lot of good things here--we finally get a close look at the Insectoids, the MACO/Starfleet tension comes to head, etc. But the ethics of this episode bother me.

    After Gene Roddenberry's death, the franchise began to get away from its philosophical roots a little. DS9 got uncomfortably religious-y toward the end, Enterprise seems to reflect the neo-con mindset of the times that spawned it, often in direct opposition to earlier incarnations of the franchise. Though his actions are eventually irrational, he is absolutely morally right in the beginning. And though he acted to protect the ship, Malcolm was out of line in destroying the Insectoid ship without at least alerting the captain. At this point in the series, I'm in uncharted territory in that I have only the vaguest notions of what's going to happen. Episodes like this one make forging ahead seem less inviting.
  • From Ryan on 2012-01-31 at 2:04am:
    Two things. First, I believe that the morals of this episode are spot on. Sacrificing critical resources and time should be a numbers game. Say getting rid of the supplies reduces their mission success percentage by X%. X is going to be multiplied by the however many humans are in existence which is at least 11 figures. If that number is greater than the number of little guys to be saved then dont do it. The calculations above obviously do not even need to be spelled out because intuitively, the risk clearly outweighs the reward.

    Secondly, to the above poster, yes, trek was originally liberal but it came out of predominantly liberal times. It does not follow to say that the show is not staying true to its roots because it is evolving into a more conservative mindset. This is a common misconception. Just because one looked for change and progression at one point does not mean they need to do so perpetually to be consistent. The change and progression originally sought may have been largely accomplished to the point that the actual consistent viewpoint would become conservatism.
  • From OmicronThetaDeltaPhi on 2015-11-16 at 6:01am:
    To be honest, Enterprise is the one series were some deviation from the Roddenberry ideals would make perfect sense. You shouldn't expect the 22nd century crew to be as enlightened as Picard or even Kirk.

    Doubly so, when they are at war.

    This is, actually, one of the things I like best about Enterprise: It shows as a realistic transitionary phase between present day humanity and the "perfect" 23rd/24th century.

    I think they did this remarkably well, especially during the Xindi Arc. Sure, Archer and company did some questionable things. But they still seem far more moral (and more competent) than any present-day leader on earth.

  • From Zorak on 2016-10-11 at 4:55am:
    I'm not sure how to feel about this episode.

    I'm often left feeling like the crew is incompetent, and this one is a bit of a shining example. Archer was right at the beginning when he considered the impact this could have on diplomatic relations.

    I didn't quite understand the technobabble of what it was they were trying to do, but it does seem it would have cost Enterprise some precious needed resource (anti-matter fuel?) in order to power the hatchery.

    In the end, the hatchery was just fine for some reason (??) even though they took back all the anti-matter... so, what was the point?

    The aforementioned incompetence though, comes from what they talked about, but seemingly did not do. Regardless of the morality of the situation, this was a huge diplomatic opportunity to gain a more favorable reputation with the Xindi. Did they not at least leave the Xindi a note letting them know they helped the hatchlings survive?

    I don't know.. I think this episode just left me conflicted. Everything about it. I especially dislike that it became Starfleet vs Marines and that no attempt was made to reason with Hayes.

    But as a side thought, it was also a good episode....... sort of.
  • From QuasiGiani on 2020-04-10 at 7:07am:
    Archer was correct. It is a terribly sad betrayal of the ethics that the best of Trek should uphold.

    Progressives -- true progressives -- don't upon progressing stop and become fucking conservatives; this is the act of faux-progressive opportunists or simple-minded bandwagoneers.

    Archer was correct in wanting to save the sentient beings. Archer was correct in wanting to save the sentient beings FIRST AND FOREMOST because they are -- FFS! how many more times; another truth not actually ever understood by simple-minded bandwagoneers -- worthy of being beings.

    Secondly -- way-down-the-line, but if another reason is necessary to convince some folks... Archer was correct in wanting to save the hatchery, yes, as "PR".

    Archer was correct in wanting to save the sentient beings. The implementation of the cop-out "he was out-of-his mind" is a disgrace. Weak disgrace. Weak and cheap "writing".

    Cogenitor was almost enough to turn me off. But I just decided to go forth with the understanding that Archer is a confused, conflicted ass quite often...

    Hatchery could have redeemed The Cap'n quite a bit. He said and did all the right things! ...And then they scuttled it...

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