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Star Trek Ent - Season 4 - Episode 22

Star Trek Ent - 4x22 - These Are the Voyages...

Originally Aired: 2005-5-13

Synopsis:
Six years in the future, an emotional Captain Archer and the crew return to Earth to face the decommission of Enterprise and signing of the Federation charter. [DVD]

My Rating - 1

Fan Rating Average - 2.95

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Problems
- There are two Rikers in the opening scene just after the teaser due to oversights in the stock footage.

Factoids
- This episode is the winner of my "Worst Episode of Enterprise Award" and is therefore a candidate for my "Worst Episode Ever Award".
- The TNG stuff in this episode is a connection, or rather an expansion, to TNG: The Pegasus.
- Jhamel, from Ent: The Aenar, and Shran had a child 5 years prior to this episode.
- It's something of a sick joke that we never once get to see Chef on Enterprise, and now that we finally do, it's Commander Riker playing his part. :)
- Much of the crew of the Pegasus on the screen Riker read were people involved in the production of Star Trek.
- The NX-01 was made into a museum ship after it was decommissioned.
- Trip never graduated from college.
- The admiral behind Reed during the signing ceremony is Manny Coto.
- Enterprise is the only Star Trek series which never added or removed a main character throughout its entire run.
- Thanks to this episode, Commander Riker has appeared in all the Star Trek series at least once, except for TOS and TAS.

Remarkable Scenes
- The CG Enterprise-D. Wow!
- Troi: "How could Archer survive without a fish tank?"
- Trip: "Been a hell of a run, Malcolm. I never thought it would come to an end." Reed: "All good things..."
- Talla: "Thanks, pinkskin."
- CG Enterprise entering CG asteroid field.
- The (pure voice) Data cameo.
- Phlox discussing with Riker-Chef the time during Ent: The Forgotten when he had to haggle with Trip regarding the hours of sleep he was being forced to "endure."
- Archer: "Here's to the next generation."
- Trip just before he sacrificed himself to save Archer and the ship: "There's just one other thing I need to tell you. You can all go straight to hell."
- Phlox doing another super smile.
- With images of the 3 Enterprises... Picard: "Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. It's continuing mission--" Kirk: "To explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations." Archer: "To boldly go where no man has gone before."

My Review
In interviews before this episode was aired, Rick Berman said, "One of the reasons we did it is we wanted to say kind of a 'thank you' to people who watched not only Enterprise but some of the other shows." Brannon Braga was also interviewed about the episode and referred to it as a "valentine to all of Star Trek." This is not a valentine, it's an insult. Even Jolene Blalock (T'Pol) referred to the episode as "appalling" before it aired; I couldn't agree more. First of all, this episode spends about one third of its time focusing directly on Riker and/or Troi in an episode that's supposed to send off Enterprise. As if that weren't bad enough, the whole justification for the TNG cameo was shoddy. TNG: The Pegasus wasn't the most spectacular episode ever written, but it was solid, and didn't need a coda. Aside from that, even the Enterprise-specific writing was annoying. Take Trip and T'Pol's relationship for example. In Ent: Terra Prime, there was hinting that their relationship would finally go somewhere. But here we are 6 years later. Did it? Nope! Sorry! And if that weren't bad enough, proverbially they kick a man when he's down by abruptly killing Trip for absolutely no reason. He gets a shamefully unceremonious death all so Riker can learn some half assed lesson about not keeping secrets from Picard, which annoyingly stole the focus from the show so much so that we don't even get to hear Archer's speech during the signing of the Federation charter. Now, I don't know about you, but I found the whole idea of Enterprise being decommissioned and the Federation being founded a lot more interesting than Riker's edutainment. Troi even says Federation citizens must memorize the speech. But it's not important enough for us to hear it here? Then there's that space the final frontier line... why exclude Sisko and Janeway? Because their ships weren't named Enterprise? Why not just let Archer do the line himself? The line tried to be touching, but came off as just as offensive as the rest of the episode. And there you have it... the worst finale a Star Trek series has ever had. Now, don't get me wrong. The basic idea of the episode wasn't too bad. I think the idea of bringing the TNG crew into a holographic NX-01 was a pretty damn good idea. It would have made a really great stand alone episode, perhaps even set on Riker's new ship the Titan! But not as the finale. And I dare say, my biggest disappointment with Enterprise's cancellation and rushed finale is that we never, ever got a sufficient prequel regarding the Earth-Romulan war and the start of the war with the Klingons, which, I dare say, was the whole goddamn point of this show. The Earth-Romulan war did supposedly occur in the interim 6 years, but there's not even a single mention of it in this episode. A glaring omission. In the end, Enterprise was a great series with a great deal of potential (especially after Manny Coto took over as showrunner) that was killed off prematurely. And the sad thing is, thanks to this episode, it'll never be revived and ended properly like TOS was. It's an enormous shame that the last episode of Star Trek after an amazing 18 year uninterrupted run closes the incredible series on such a lackluster note.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Steve Mohns on 2011-08-10 at 1:48pm:
    Awfully tough on this episode, Eric! I saw it again last night, a number of years after seeing it live, and liked it as much, if not more.

    I did think that it was a nice tie-in of Star Trek series for the fans, both with surprise roles for Riker and Deanna, whom we'd not have seen for about 9 years, and the fine connection of all three Enterprises and captains saying the opening monologue at the end. (And yes, no Sisko and Janeway because it's the Enterprise) That you didn't like the absence of Romulans or a romance between Tripp and T'Pol, or hearing Archer's speech are all legitimate personal reasons for you to not like the episode, but all three are reasonable choices to have been made and don't make it a bad episode. I'm glad actually, that we didn't see the speech. (They didn't do that great a job of writing the one he gave in the previous episode). This way we can imagine that it was epic. At least this way there was still an opening for an Enterprise movie with the Romulan war. And unrequited love is ultimately more satisfying artistically than a happy ending romance.
    The episode itself had plenty of emotion, as one would hope for in a finale, certainly from T'Pol and Tripp, and though we don't like to see Tripp die, he did so with glory, and it made for a memorable episode.
    Personally, having just watched the finale of Enterprise, TNG, and Voyageur, I rank them Enterprise, Voayeur, and TNG. The latter was way longer than needed for the material in the story (should have been tellable in one episode easily), had a lot of mumbo-jumbo contrivances to make the plot work, featured the Farpoint storyline, a very poor premier episode, and though I hate to say it as a fan of both Stewart and Picard, sub-standard acting by him.
    It is a shame that Enterprise couldn't be kept going more than the 4 seasons. I think it had easily the strongest start of any series since TOS, hitting the ground in full stride unlike all the other series, and had better acting, music, writing than them as well. The only place that it didn't get top marks for me is in the magic of several of the characters in TOS and TNG.
  • From Jem5x5 on 2014-01-26 at 3:35am:
    Well, I finally got here, and whilst this episode wasn't as bad as I feared after everything i'd read about it, it was undoubtedly a shockingly poor way to send off Enterprise - what should have been a poignant final story about the ships retirement and mothballing became a cheap backstory for a couple of cameo appearances. Tuckers death seemed really cheap and pointless - in all the previous situations where him and the captain had faced peril, why had his first thought never been "i'll blow myself up!" before? And why did the main protagonists seem to be totally over it 5 minutes later when Archer was waiting to do his speech? I think i'm also going to regard Demons/Terra Prime as the real series finale - the crew and the ship were able to perform heroically one last time, and it paved the way for the foundation of The Federation, so it means an end at an important moment in Trek history. And now, as i'm watching Trek in a rather wonky order, on to DS9!

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