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Star Trek Ent - Season 4 - Episode 19

Star Trek Ent - 4x19 - In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II

Originally Aired: 2005-4-29

In the mirror universe, Archer commandeers the 23rd-century Defiant from the Tholians and uses it in a nefarious power grab. [DVD]

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 5.35

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- This episode is a candidate for my "Best Episode of Enterprise Award."
- Hoshi Sato created a "linguacode translation matrix" in her late 30s.
- Archer's mother's name is Sally Archer.
- Archer's name is among the most recognized in the Federation. Historians called him the greatest explorer of the 22nd century and two planets were named after him.
- Archer retires as an admiral and commander in chief of Starfleet and goes on to become the President of the Federation at some point!

Remarkable Scenes
- Archer and crew stealing the Defiant.
- Archer sporting a TOS style captain's uniform.
- Archer and Hoshi discussing the Federation and their alter egos' personal biographies.
- Archer defeating the Gorn.
- Phlox regarding Earth's literature: "I skimmed a few of the more celebrated narratives. The stories were similar in some respects but their characters were weak and compassionate. With the exception of Shakespeare, of course. From what I could tell his plays were equally grim in both universes."
- The Defiant crushing a rebellion.
- Archer executing Admiral Black.
- T'Pol and Soval persuading Phlox to join their rebellion.
- T'Pol to Hoshi: "I'm surprised you're not exhausted from all the beds you've jumped into recently!"
- The Avenger battling the Defiant.
- The Defiant destroying the Avenger.
- Hoshi poisoning Archer.
- Hoshi: "You're speaking with Empress Sato. Prepare to receive instructions."

My Review
Part II is every bit as good as part I. In this episode, we get to see the Defiant strut its stuff with Archer loving every minute of it. He obviously has issues with anger and paranoia, as well self doubt which manifests itself as regular-universe Archer constantly taunting him, which was a nice touch. All the characters act as you would expect them to, with the aliens forming a rebellion on the Avenger, only to be destroyed, and Archer getting rid of anyone he even remotely sees as a threat. A possible deficiency is the Gorn stuff. We got a nice mention of the Gorn in Ent: Bound, but fans have been asking to actually see another Gorn for a while now. The usage was appropriate here, but in some ways it felt more like filler. I felt that the whole Gorn sequence was obtrusive and that it should have either been elaborated more or not done at all. The CGI Gorn was extremely well done though. The updated Gorn reminded me a lot of the Skaarans from Farscape. Now, I might have struck a point for the Gorn sequence if it had really wasted time, but it didn't. The episode's pace was sufficient that the ending was still amazing. Empress Hoshi Sato schemes her way to the top! I didn't see that one coming at all, and I wholeheartedly enjoyed it. She reminded me of Persis from the Augments arc. She did the very same thing, but eventually she stood up for what was right and died because of it... not Hoshi! Immoral and corrupt all the way, and it allows her to rise to the top! How viciously nasty! It should be noted that the fan reaction to this two parter has been mixed. Yes, these two episodes waste a great deal of time that could be otherwise spent on more relevant episodes; none of the events of these two episodes actually even take place in the real universe! Yes, I too found it somewhat annoying that Enterprise is squandered what little time it had left. But Ent: In a Mirror, Darkly was just so well written and so entertaining that I simply couldn't strike points from it due to timing and circumstance. The episode probably would have made more sense in season 1 or 2, but better late than never.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Abigail on 2009-04-19 at 8:28pm:
    These two episodes were very intriguing! I loved the continuity with TOS -- the ship (of course), the Tholian web, the gorn (although he looked and acted nothing like the TOS gorn). I also loved the opening credits! It caught me completely off-guard!

    I do have one pretty big complaint ... It was very odd that the crew of "our" enterprise never came into play. Despite its intrigue, it felt a bit like a waste because it has nothing at all to do with the rest of the show, plot-wise. I kept waiting for them to bring in "our" characters! Because of this, when it was over, I felt like it needed a part III.
  • From peterwolf on 2012-10-04 at 5:54am:
    Two more and mirrored heavy arguments why the 4th Enterprise season was so amazing. The first two seasons I saw only dubbed in German after watching it now on DVD, but I still liked the characters of T'Pol and Captain Archer. For example, characters like Reed you can only really appreciate in the original version. Anyway, the last two seasons of Enterprise were so much better with their continuous plots and unblievable great topics and good stories leading to TOS (like Andorian and Vulcan "history")! In fact, the decent, closer to real life characters were great then, overall much better than Voyager. Sheer madness to cancel this series!
  • From Dstyle on 2015-11-04 at 9:44am:
    I was really disappointed that the two Vulcans who helped T'Pol release Captain Forrest in Part I didn't have evil Mirror-Vulcan goatees, so I'm glad to see Soval was at least sporting one!
  • From Luke on 2016-07-27 at 4:37am:
    There is a HUGE continuity problem here - if the ship from our universe was the USS Defiant, and it was build along time before DS9s Defiant, the why wasn't the one from DS9 the -A?

    It shouldn't matter that it was the first of class - in fact I don't think they would reuse a name for the lead ship of a class in the same was the lead Sovreign wasn't the Enterprise.

    Of course, DS9 was made before ENT, but still it's another small yet irritating continuity problem.
  • From Temlakos on 2016-08-15 at 5:47am:
    The numbering of USS Defiant NX-74205 is in no way inconsistent with the numbering of USS Defiant NCC-1764. The only reason for the A, B, and C designations for the Enterprise is that Starfleet honored Captain Kirk by retaining the original NCC number of his ship, and adding A, B, C, etc. for each successive iteration. Consider the real-life naming of multiple ships named Enterprise in the United States Navy. (With another one--USS Enterprise CVN-80, the third Ford class carrier--already in the graving dock, if I am not mistaken.)
  • From McCoy on 2017-08-01 at 10:23am:
    I like everything related to TOS:) Shame that upcoming Discovery doesn't look like true retro sf (looks quite opposite, sadly). However I see one continuity problem here. If they managed to get Defiant, why they didn't improve technology over time? Kirk visited his mirror Enterprise, not some advanced vessel. So Terran Empire just keep building Defiant-era ships with no upgrades over 100 years? Unlikely:)
  • From Azalea Jane on 2022-01-06 at 5:16pm:
    Hats off to the production designers. I thought they blended TOS and ENT designs seamlessly. Reminds me a little of the Tribble episode in DS9. Though they didn't recycle footage for this one, they still had to have sets and costumes that bore close enough resemblance to TOS without clashing. For me it really helped bridge the gap between eras a bit. We all just have to collectively pretend that the Duplo-looking controls on the Defiant are more advanced than those on the NX-01!

    Hoshi's last-minute coup was quite surprising to me, too! Especially with it ending right there. Mirror Archer was much too much of an egotistical hothead to handle being an emperor! Sato, on the other hand, knows the value of patience and subtlety, and letting your enemies underestimate you while you take advantage of their weaknesses. I agree the Gorn subplot was kind of random. They catch him, then just kill him, and that's it? Oh well. I also thought that gravity trick was pretty clever - I wonder why we don't see that more often!

    One could call this two-parter irrelevant because we don't see them interacting with "our" universe characters, however I think it was pretty cool to see the aftermath of what we see in The Tholian Web. It does raise the question of why mirror Terran technology isn't more advanced, but my guess is that Mirror Sato never let the Defiant be studied or reverse-engineered and that it eventually got destroyed when enough of her enemies got wind of it and the threat it posed. It is technology from far in the future with a too-small crew. It's eventually going to be too unwieldy.

    I don't think it's an error that we've seen two ships called Defiant. The first Defiant was lost over a hundred years before the second one. There's no chance they'd be confused.

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