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Kir'Shara

Review

Series : Enterprise Rating : 3
Disc No : 4.3 Episode : 85
First Aired : 3 Dec 2004 Stardate : Unknown
Director : David Livingston Year : 2154
Writers : Michael Sussman Season : 4
Guest Cast :
Gary Graham as Ambassador Soval
Jack Donner as Vulcan Priest
Jeffrey Combs as Shran
John Rubinstein as Kuvak
Kara Zediker as T'Pau
Melodee M. Spevack as Andorian Com Voice
Michael Reilly Burke as Koss
Robert Foxworth as V'Las
Todd Stashwick as Talok
YATI : How come the Romulan agent was wearing one of the uniforms from "Star Trek : Nemesis"? Are we meant to believe that the Nemesis Romulans were all in some kind of ancient ceremonial garb or something?

I've complained that Archer is way too wimpy when it comes to fighting before, but here I think the writers went a little over the top in making him the hero. Vulcans are meant to be three times stronger than Humans - just look at the occasions when Spock fought against a Human in TOS. Archer should have been toast in that fight, but he did better than either T'Pol or T'Pau.

Great Moment : Enterprise standing between the Vulcan and Andorian fleets. Okay so it didn't work, but it was an impressive gesture nontheless.
Body Count : None seen.
Factoid : T'Pol took part in a mission at Tomed many years ago.

T'Pol has now been cured of Pa'nar syndorme by T'Pau.

The Vulcan High Command has been dissolved.

Quote : "You may be witnessing the start of a new era. Not only for Vulcan, but for Earth as well." - T'Pau to Archer

"You'll no longer have us looking over your shoulder. It's time for Earth to stand on it's own." - T'Pau to Archer

"This is simply a minor delay. The reunificiation of our people is only a matter of time." - Talok to V'Las

Plotline

Enterprise locates Shran and Trip and Soval inform him of the impending Vulcan attack on Andoria. Hesitant to believe the information, Shran abducts Soval and tortures him for information. With the attack ultimately confirmed, the Andorian fleet heads into battle against the Vulcans - with Enterprise leading the way.

Meanwhile, back on Vulcan, Archer, T'Pol and T'Pau make their way towards the capital bearing the Kir'Shara, a repository of Surak's original teachings in his own words. They hope to use the relic to force the High Council to back down from the attack - but can they make it before Enterprise is destroyed?

Analysis

If Awakening was half a step down from The Forge, then Kir'Shara is half a step down from awakening. There's nothing particularly wrong with the episode as such, but it's really a pretty by-the-numbers affair. The Vulcan part of the arc played out pretty much as expected, with Archer making his way to the capital with the Kir'Shara and using it to depose V'Las. I had to smile at Archer's sudden knowledge of the Vulcan attack on Andoria, explained as some of Syrann's memories leaking into Surak's Katra - having used the technology-defeating aspects of the Forge to isolate Archer from the outside world, it seems the writers found themselves painted into a corner and needed a quick way to update him on current events! It was a bit surprising to see the episode skip over the infiltration of the High Command, showing T'Pau and Archer just turning up there to confront V'Las, when this would surely be the hardest part of the whole mission - think of how hard it would be for a notorious criminal to wander into the Oval Office and confront the President. A simple reference to knowing somebody with the access codes wasn't very satisfactory, and I'd rather have seen more time expended on this than the ten minutes of messing about with the Vulcans in the Forge.

The inter-series continuity continues, albeit at a slightly reduced rate, with mention of Tomed, known for the disasterous "Tomed Incident" mentioned in TNG. the Vulcan soldiers carrying Lirpas as used by Spock and Kirk in "Amok Time". You have to wonder why the Vulcans don't have simple projectile weapons for use in this area though - hell, even a small crossbow would do!

The Andorian end of things wasn't really telegraphed in advance given that it was only introduced at the very end of Awakening, but it too was played out in a pretty straightforward way - Trip warns the Andorians, they intercept the Vulcans and spoil the surprise attack. It was good to see Reed questioning Trip's actions, but I would have liked to see a bit more wrestling with his conscience on that front. As Soval said, he was doing what Archer probably would have - but when Trip did that in "Cogenitor" he messed up badly. It would have been nice to see some more uncertainty in Trip.

The only unexpected element here was Shran's torturing of Soval. It was a shame to see Shran take a step back towards his previous hatred of the Vulcans, though it was a logical enough action given what was at stake and given that he was obviously acting under the direct orders of his superiors. Thankfully he was shown as being very hesitant in what he was doing, which does reflect the evolution of his character.

The resolution was satisfying; T'Pol's quickie divorce was a bit sudden and abrupt, but it made sense and it's nice that her husband is now out of the way; I also liked the talk of the new philosophy spreading slowly on Vulcan, taking root over a decade or more - it must have been tempting to show an instant transformation with all Vulcans bowing down to the original teachings, but that wouldn't have been terribly realistic.

The final scene was, of course, the one that generates the most interest. We're finally seeing the Romulans face to face! Apparently the powers that be have decided to go with the idea that nobody on our side will ever see a Romulan, which is perhaps the most gratifying bit of continuity in the trilogy. I've been dreading how this might be handled, and it's highly pleasing to see them respecting TOS. Now if only they could find a way to erase those cloaking devices from history...


Copyright Graham Kennedy Page views : 3,987 Last updated : 12 Jun 2014