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Star Trek Ent - Season 4 - Episode 18

Star Trek Ent - 4x18 - In a Mirror, Darkly, Part I

Originally Aired: 2005-4-22

In the mirror universe, Commander Archer mutinies against Captain Forrest in order to capture a future Earth ship found in Tholian space. [DVD]

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 5.04

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- This episode is a candidate for my "Best Episode of Enterprise Award".
- This is the 700th episode of Star Trek when you exclude the movies and TAS.
- Trip's facial damage is a reference to what happened to captain Pike in TOS: The Menagerie.
- Tholians require temperatures of 480 degrees kelvin.
- Tholians reproduce asexually.
- Tholians can use their crystalline exoskeleton to act as a naturally resonating transmitter.

Remarkable Scenes
- The teaser with Zefram Cochrane shooting the Vulcans who made first contact with Earth, then stealing their ship... hah!
- Oh my, the opening credits! Didn't see that coming.
- The torture scene in the beginning.
- Archer taking over Enterprise.
- Finally seeing a Tholian!
- Phlox gradually decreasing the temperature in the Tholian's airlock.
- Archer briefing the senior staff about the Earth ship from 100 years in the future from the other universe.
- Cloaked Enterprise arriving at the Defiant.
- Phlox: "Will you kindly die!" Ah, the best Phlox quote ever.
- The Tholian ships deploying their web and attacking Enterprise.
- Archer activating the Defiant.
- Enterprise being destroyed by the Tholians.

My Review
Continuity Coto writes his masterpiece. This episode is a sequel to TOS: The Tholian Web. In that episode, the USS Defiant disappeared, never to be seen again. Now we know where it went... the mirror universe, during the Enterprise era! Aside from this marvelous detail, there are numerous others to redeem it. First of all, a common complaint about DS9 was that it consistently abused the mirror universe. This episode presents the mirror universe exactly faithful to how TOS does, finally. All things from Cochrane firing on the Vulcans during first contact, to the personalities of the characters aboard the ISS Enterprise, to the command structure about the ISS Enterprise were spot on. Additionally, bringing in TOS technology from the regular universe in the form of a sequel to TOS: The Tholian Web was just brilliant. We know that the Terran Empire conquered much of the alpha quadrant by the time of TOS: Mirror, Mirror. We also know humans started off inferior to most of the species they conquered. If Archer successfully captures this TOS vessel of the future, it can explain how humanity became so powerful! Another nice touch was being able to see an actual Tholian. We got a crude drawing of one in TOS, but we never actually got see any. The Tholian presented in this episode is perfectly faithful to the TOS drawing, whilst expanding on it creatively. Another wonderful detail is the use of the Tholian Web itself. When the Tholians deployed their web on Kirk's Enterprise, it took hours to complete. In this episode it takes mere seconds. You might first assume this is a technical problem, but if you notice in this episode, the Tholians have an entire fleet deploying the web. We can infer that the more ships working on the web, the faster it gets deployed. Finally, the opening credits of this episode are a great touch as well. Long have fans complained about the opening theme, claiming it'd be better as an orchestral version. The opening theme presented in this episode is kind of making fun of all the fan criticism, whilst being totally appropriate at the same time! Coto has really outdone himself here. This episode is absolutely hilarious, the writing is wonderfully careful, the special effects are marvelous, and the acting is superb. Bravo!

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From hmad on 2010-07-17 at 4:51am:
    My God, to see this sweet and respected devotion to not only canon but TOS homage not seen since DS9's "Trials and Tribble-ations" and done in a way that would make Matt Jeffries and D.C. Fontana jealous of the Mirror Universe in true epicness.

    It was the almost flawless run of this fourth season that made me lament (a full three years after the end) that this series had finally, after shedding the burnt out Brannon Braga for Coto, found its legs and teeth. Too late, unlike TOS their would be no revival via the fans, even Trekkies were almost trekked out, or at least needed a siesta.

    But man, if only Enterprise was given the three more seasons that other franchises were with the same level of bravado that the 4th season had. In the words of a Klingon warrior, it would have been "glorious....!".
  • From Azalea Jane on 2022-01-01 at 1:34am:
    I watched The Tholian Web right before watching this one, so the continuity was cool. So far I've only seen a bit of season 1 of Enterprise, but I decided to treat myself.

    I was a little put off by the midriff-baring uniforms on the women. Don't get me wrong -- Hoshi and T'Pol are both gorgeous and fit and this is not lost on me -- it just seems like such gratuitous pandering that it takes me out of the story a little bit. (Do people less confident about their figure have to wear those too?) I also can't forget what a lot of actresses go through to maintain figures like that, just to be able to get work. Jeri Ryan "joking" that she would barely be able to eat while on the cast of Voyager comes to mind. And considering the myriad reports of Rick Berman being a horrible misogynist, it's hard to enjoy those uniforms, gay as I may be.

    I'm sure there's an in-universe rationale for the uniforms, but I think it could have been done better. I'd understand if it were in the culture to have uniforms that emphasize certain features, or for crew to have the option to wear "sexy" versions of their uniforms. But if it were me, I'd tone down the women's uniforms and tone up the men's. There is something to be said for subtlety. If "sexy uniform" is an option, I'm sure plenty of the dudes would be into it too! This is himbo erasure! LOL.

    Great episode overall, though. Really kept me interested. It's always fun seeing Trek characters out of character. Mirror Archer is unnerving. The sadistic Phlox is downright creepy! And I find the Tholians fascinating. It's always nice when Trek uses non-humanoid aliens. That's pretty rare.

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