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Star Trek Ent - Season 4 - Episode 15

Star Trek Ent - 4x15 - Affliction

Originally Aired: 2005-2-18

Synopsis:
While Enterprise visits Earth for the launch of Columbia, Phlox is kidnapped and forced to help the Klingons deal with a grave threat toward their species. [DVD]

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 5.09

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Problems
- What do those silly pillars of light do on the bridge of the Columbia? They're just as retarded looking as those from Ent: E².

Factoids
- Enterprise sets a new speed record in this episode, warp 5.2.

Remarkable Scenes
- T'Pol performing a mind meld on Hoshi with Archer's guidance.
- T'Pol and Trip meeting in a communal daydream.
- The Klingon General shooting the patient. Awesome. :)
- The revelation that the Klingon disease was actually caused by messing around with Augment DNA.
- Hoshi describing dreaming of Trip the same way T'Pol was.
- Reed to Archer: "There are some obligations that go beyond my loyalty to you and this crew."
- Phlox suggesting the Klingons should have abducted Dr. Soong and the Klingons responding with "we tried, he was under heavy guard." :)
- The launch of the Columbia.

My Review
Ah, the infamous Klingon Forehead Problem. This is probably the most amusing continuity-centered episode ever done. Before I begin my review, let me briefly outline the Klingon Forehead Problem. In TOS, Klingons head no facial makeup, other than some interesting haircuts and a darker complexion. They had no cranial ridges. In the TOS films, Gene Roddenberry did an about face on this and made the Klingons look more alien. He claimed that's how he always wanted them to look, but TOS lacked the budget. A reasonable explanation. And it fell through with DS9 when TOS era Klingons made their cameos. They had full ridged Klingon makeup. But in DS9: Trials and Tribble-ations, the equivalent of an atomic bomb was dropped on Roddenberry's argument. Now don't get me wrong, that episode was a wonderful homage to TOS. But when Bashir et al noticed the difference between the Klingons of TOS and Worf and started speculating as to the reasons why this could have happened and Worf just cryptically responded with "we don't talk about it," it made canonical this Klingon Forehead Problem. An explanation was demanded and none was ever given. Then Enterprise as a series further aggravated the issue by depicting pre-TOS Klingons with ridges! Well, Manny Coto hates loose ends and here we are with Ent: Affliction. The solution to the Klingon Forehead Problem. The Klingons during the late Enterprise era began experimenting with human Augment DNA. The result? A ridgeless, TOS style Klingon. Now, there are still questions to be answered. How far does this plague spread? Why is every Klingon we see in TOS ridgeless? Why is every Klingon we see post TOS ridged? I have my own theories, but I'll wait to postulate them until the second part has aired. My only comment regarding this is wow, Coto has lots of bravery to attempt this. He's trying to correct the biggest continuity error in Star Trek history! That's no small feat. The episode itself was fairly by the book. Trip's emotional problems didn't interest me very much, but I was kind of glad that it gave us a chance to see the Columbia. T'Pol and Hoshi were given a decent showing as well; I loved the mind meld scene. I'm not sure Reed's conflict with Archer was such a good idea. The idea to bring Section 31 to Enterprise is acceptable from a continuity standpoint, but given the limited time left on Enterprise thanks to that asinine cancellation, introducing new complex long term plot threads seems ill advised. Probably the best part about the episode though was Phlox working with the Klingons. They were in character all throughout and I thus found the episode sufficiently convincing. I am impressed with Coto's audaciousness!

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