The Great Star Trek Enterprise Rewatch: Terra Prime

Terra Prime have taken over the verteron array and Mars, and they have issued an ultimatum. Unless every alien leaves Earth within the next twenty-four hours, they will use the array to destroy Starfleet Command. Can the Enterprise crew take back the array whilst saving T’Pol, Trip and their daughter from Terra Prime’s clutches?

This episode is meant to be the dramatic conclusion to the Terra Prime story, but since I don’t care much for the arc as a whole, I can’t say it particularly grabs me. Yes, there are some flashy effects and dramatic moments, but as with so much of Enterprise, I find myself hard pressed to care. The race against time to stop the array firing is straight out of the book of clichés, including the “oh, thank god the array targeting is a bit off” denouement.

And then there’s the “there’s a traitor aboard Enterprise” plot, where said traitor turns out to be a random ensign that we’ve never heard of before. It feels like this could have more of an ongoing thread, perhaps with a semi-regular character introduced at the start of the season, someone we grew to know and like. As it is, who really cares that Ensign Whatshisname turned out to be the traitor? I don’t even care enough to look up his name, and I already have the Memory Alpha page for this episode open in my browser.

One thing I do like is seeing Hoshi get to take command of Enterprise. Not only is it nice to see a female bridge officer taking command when the seniors are away (in the way Uhura never did), but as Archer comments, it shows us how far she’s come from her timid early days.

Notes and Observations

  • Despite saying he was done with Section 31 mere episodes ago, Malcolm has to go crawling back to them in this two-parter.
  • Travis’s ex isn’t evil after all – she’s working undercover for Starfleet Intelligence. Maybe.
  • Phlox acts like it’s a big revelation that Vulcan and human DNA could combine to form a healthy offspring, but the crew should already know that – they met T’Pol and Trip’s future son Lorien in E2.
  • Presumably the array firing into San Francisco Bay would still have some consequences – the amount of spray thrown up, superheated air and vaporised water in the region would have climatic effects at the very least.
  • Apparently Baby Elizabeth would have survived if Enterprise had been renewed for a fifth season, which reads to me a bit like “renew the show or the baby dies”.
  • On reflection, I think I sort of get why Terra Prime made the clone baby – it was for shock value, and a warning of what kind of ‘impure abominations’ might result in future. Except, as I said before, she was just a harmless baby and the world didn’t end because of her existence.

Summary – Terra Prime: The evil racists are defeated.

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