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Hatchery

Review

Series : Enterprise Rating : 1
Disc No : 3.5 Episode : 69
First Aired : 25 Feb 2004 Stardate : 8 Jan 2154
Director : Michael Grossman Year : 2154
Writers : Andre Bormanis, Mike Sussman Season : 3
Guest Cast :
Daniel Dae Kim as Corporal Chang
Dorenda Moore as S. Money
Paul Eliopoulos as Crewman #1
Sean McGowan as Corporal Hawkins
Steven Culp as Major Hayes
YATI : When they first enter the hatchery a door seals behind them and the atmosphere changes to become breathable, prompting everybody to take off their helmets. But when they call Archer he opens the door again and walks in. Everybody inside is still not wearing helmets - hasn't Archer just let a big cloud of unbreathable air into the room? Or did the atmosphere become breathable all over the ship when the door closed, in which case why did Archer keep his helmet on all this time?
Great Moment : I like the Xindi babies. They're so cute!

On a more serious note there's nice character continuity here. We see that Reed and Hayes still have their issues, but after their punch-up there is a growing respect - Reed chewing Hayes out for wasting time on his simulations and then apologising when he sees that the MACO has found a new way to blow stuff up is a nice touch, and you can bet Hayes is impressed that Reed and co. managed to out-think his soldiers and take control of the ship.

Blalock gives her usual good performance, standing up to Archer when she thinks he is in the wrong and then instituting a mutiny after being relieved. I can't quite decide if her getting into the armoury disguised with a wig is cheesy or funny...

Body Count : Several MACOs and Starfeeters are stunned in the takeover - at least one presumes the weapons are set to stun. The crew of a Xindi insectoid ship is destroyed.
Factoid : Archer's great grandfather fought during the Eugenics Wars on Earth.

Plotline

Enterprise discovers a Xindi insectoid ship crashed on a planet. Investigating, they find a hatchery full of eggs on board. Archer wants to save the unborn Xindi children, but his crew are uneasy at the delay in their mission and the resources their Captain is devoting to the task. As Archer's determination reaches obsessive levels, T'Pol must consider leading a mutiny.

Analysis

I can't help but feel that this episode is a missed opportunity. It's pretty obvious from the first moment that Archer starts acting strangely that something is up with him, and the spray-in-the-face thing with the egg is the obvious candidate for a cause. While the episode is engaging enough on the surface, having Archer act under a compulsion removes much of the interest because we know that ultimately there will be no repercussions here, that everybody will be friends again by the end - the kind of plot reset button that we often see in time travel episodes.

IMHO, this would have been a much more impressive episode if Archer had genuinely wanted to save the eggs, setting up a real conflict between the characters. You would probably have to tone down the behaviour on both sides, make the whole thing a bit more subtle than an outright mutiny, but that's no bad thing. In going for a more over-the-top storyline the writers have missed a chance to generate all sorts of consequences for future episodes.


Copyright Graham Kennedy Page views : 9,489 Last updated : 28 Jul 2005