The Great Star Trek Enterprise Rewatch: The Xindi

After six weeks in the Expanse, Enterprise is no closer to finding the Xindi than before. Desperate for information, they follow a dubious lead to a mining planet. But the foreman is less interested in helping them find his resident Xindi miner than he is in conscripting the crew to work in the mines.

Enterprise season three opens deep in the Expanse, with the Xindi arc about to get properly underway. This is a new, darker, Enterprise, with many changes made in order to reinvigorate our interest in the show. But does it actually work?

On plot alone, the A-story of this episode isn’t actually too bad. I actually quite it enjoyed up until the MACOs showed up at the end, especially the part where Kessik is leading Archer and Trip around the abandoned tunnel.

What ruins it for me, however, is how angry everyone is now. On this rewatch, I’ve already been finding Archer to be a bit of an arsehole, and he’s only got worse now that there’s an enemy to be tracked down. Trip is also a lot angrier, of course, on account of losing his sister – but more on that in a moment. And Malcolm is uptight because now he has to share responsibility for security with the new MACO unit. Remember when exploring space was optimistic and happy?

The B-story of the episode seems to be a continuation of Bounty’s cringe-worthy attempt to make the most of T’Pol’s sex appeal. Here, Dr Phlox completely breaks doctor-patient confidentiality to tell T’Pol that he has been prescribing sedatives to Trip. The good doctor is worried that Trip might become overly dependent on them, and wants T’Pol to try Vulcan massage instead. Except Vulcan massage is an intimate act that includes participants taking their clothes off in order to perform it. Phlox might as well have asked T’Pol to give Trip a nice relaxing blowjob to help him sleep.

Season three changes

  • A new, even cheesier, remix of the opening theme. Even if you didn’t like the original theme, you’ll be pining for it now.
  • The show’s name was changed from “Enterprise” to “Star Trek Enterprise” from here onwards during the original airing.
  • Enterprise now has a squad of MACOs – Military Assault Command Operations – on board. This actually seems like a sensible thing to do – surely in a less idealistic military organisation than Starfleet, you would have specially trained people to visit potentially hostile new planets, instead of sending the captain and senior bridge officers straight into danger.
  • Now that T’Pol has resigned from the Vulcan High Command, she has a new set of more brightly coloured catsuits, and a slightly softer hairstyle.
  • Enterprise has a new command centre.

Points of note

  • There are five distinct sentient Xindi species – primates, fuzzy arboreals, aquatics, outdated CGI insectoids and reptilians. Their leaders will spend a lot of time sitting around a table and arguing, which is of course classic villain behaviour.
  • The Expanse is full of spatial distortions – as mentioned in the previous episode, these are where the laws of physics don’t work.
  • Trip once mentioned having a brother – said brother has now been completely erased from reality.

Summary – The Xindi: I’ve got faith, of the heart.

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