When Earth is attacked by a mysterious alien probe, the death toll numbers in the millions. Enterprise is recalled, and along the way Archer finds out some valuable intelligence about the nature of this new enemy. Now, he must take his ship on a new mission – to strike back before humanity is attacked again.
By the end of season two, everyone knew that Enterprise was struggling. With only a handful of decent episodes amidst swathes of mediocrity, the series was on the rocks. And so it was that the writers decided it was time for a revamp, starting with this season finale.
The Expanse lays the groundwork for the year-long Xindi arc that would take us through season three. At the time, it sounded fresh and exciting, but ultimately the seeds of disappointment are sown here. The attack on Earth feels like a September 11th allegory, with the result being that the Enterprise leads its own gung-ho “USA is number one!” war on terror.
But enough of the season to come – what of The Expanse itself? Well, in all honesty, it’s a bit overstuffed with plot elements. There’s the attack on Earth and the kick-off of the Xindi arc. The Suliban show up show that Future Guy can impart some important plot developments, in a lazy move designed to both explain the Xindi and remind us that the Temporal Cold War still exists. And, to top things off, Duras decides he absolutely must attack Enterprise and kill Archer. Ultimately, it all feels like a bit too much.
I don’t often bother with the deleted scenes (or even notice whether they are present), but I thought the two included on the DVD were worth mentioning. The first sees Archer going to dinner with his previously unmentioned long term girlfriend. This felt like it came out of nowhere and added nothing to the character, so I’m glad it was cut.
The second scene takes place in Hoshi’s quarters. Archer sees her packing and assumes she is leaving Enterprise, only for her to explain she’s just sending some personal effects back to her mother. I would have approved of this scene being included in the final episode, as it shows just how far Hoshi has come since her hypochondriac and space-phobic days at the start of the series.
- Soval is willing to accept that the laws of physics don’t apply in the Expanse, but not that time travel is possible.
- Trip and Archer have been friends for years, but Archer somehow didn’t know about Trip’s younger sister.
- Trip was the typical overprotective older male relative, keeping boys away from his sister. Maybe she, you know, actually wanted to date some of them?
- Enterprise finally gets a complement of ‘photonic’ torpedoes.
Summary – The Expanse: The Xindi arc begins.