Enterprise: Regeneration (S02E23)

Here’s the long and short of it: this episode was really, really good.  It’s the kind of episode this show has needed for a while, following a string of technically impressive but overall unremarkable stories.  And while the fudging of canonical issues like phaser output and Borg nanotechnology was present, all is forgiven in the face of such a cool episode.

Things begin back on earth where a team of scientists unearths the remnants of a Borg vessel–the same spheroid, we soon discover, that came back in time during First Contact to prevent Zephram Cochran from making his initial warp-drive test.  Soon the crew of the Enterprise is battling it out with some nasty Borg deep in space, and it’s not long before crewmen are assimilated, shields are adapting, and ensigns expendable get killed off in the most classic of Trek fashions.  This episode was thrilling and engaging, and I was honest-to-goodness cheering out loud when Archer jettisoned two Borg out into deep space–the kind of thing I was hoping a starship captain would have done years ago in the face of such ruthless enemies.  In fact, I have to say that the Jonathan Archer as of late who is more aggressive, decisive, and, well, commanding, is a welcome change from the wishy-washy Captain who once spent the night in sickbay with his puppy.

However, despite the sheer entertainment factor of this episode, it’s important to note that a somewhat disconcerting trend is beginning to take shape.

Voyager was a show with an interesting concept, somewhat compelling characters, and a whole new perspective on the Star Trek universe.  But for a few seasons it struggled to find its footing, and embarrassing enemies like the Kazon and Species 8472 eventually gave way to the old Trek standby enemy, the Borg.  And while I can forgive Voyager for falling back on the Borg, it’s hard to grant the same degree of leniency to Enterprise.

After nearly two seasons of solid-to-mediocre episodes, it’s almost as if Berman and Braga are throwing their hands up and going back to the same old playbook.  “The Souliban are really dumb…let’s see what else we have here.  Oh, I’ve got it!  Let’s toss in some Borg!  That’ll get the fans back quicker than you can say Jeri Ryan!”

However, I’m willing to give them a pass if they can really pull it off.  As I mentioned earlier, I’m not as concerned with canonical issues so long as the shows stay entertaining.  And so far, so good…

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