The Great Star Trek Enterprise Rewatch: Twilight

Twelve years have passed since Enterprise’s mission in the Expanse, but to Archer, it might as well have been yesterday. An encounter with an anomaly left him unable to form any new memories. Now his caretaker, T’Pol has little choice but to spend every day telling Archer about how the mission failed, leading to the loss of Earth and the near destruction of humanity.

Released many years before the word ‘Twilight’ became bound up with sparkly vampires and bad teen romance, this episode of Enterprise is Star Trek’s take on Fifty First Dates. I remember really looking forward to this episode before it aired, and despite some obvious tropes, I still rather enjoy it. Alternate futures are almost always fun, since they give the writers the freedom to kill people off and create worst case scenarios. Twilight is no exception, taking place in a future where only six thousand humans are left – and even they are under threat from the Xindi. It’s a tragic future, and what’s worse is that Archer cannot even remember it.

But whilst I enjoy this episode overall, it would be a dereliction of duty if I didn’t also list my criticisms. First off is the fact that we go into this knowing that there will be a magical reset button – in this case, parasites that exist outside of normal time and space, such that their removal completely erases this future. Of course there had to be such a reset, but this one feels about as lazy as it gets.

Secondly, I feel bad for T’Pol here. She’s basically trapped in a gender stereotypical 1950s marriage, in which she has sacrificed her life and her career to become the full time carer of an oblivious man who is physically incapable of changing. Worse yet, Earth was destroyed under T’Pol’s command – because how could she and Trip possibly be as awesome at saving the Earth as Archer will be? Vulcans may be physically and mentally superior, but they just lack those main character special powers.

Franchise Nods

  • The human survivors settle on Ceti Alpha V, the same planet where Kirk exiled Khan.
  • Another human convoy tried to make it to the Mutara sector. The Mutara nebula is where Kirk had his epic showdown with Khan.
  • Enterprise captures an Yridian spy. The Yridians were introduced in TNG and DS9 as information traders.

Points of Note

  • Poor Travis is the only main character not to even survive to the future.
  • Future Enterprise has received shield enhancements from none other than Shran, who is now a general.

Summary – Twilight: Fifty First Dates in space.

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