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Enterprise episode – The Crossing

That during the course of one hour I changed my mind about this outing so many times…often so violently…that I have an honest-to-god crick in my neck from it allr Nah…I didn’t think so.

The story starts typically enough – Jonathan Archer and crew encounter a ship that not even the Vulcans have seen before and are immediately captured. This is not difficult for their new adversary, as the Captain does nothing to avoid it! True, they may not be able to out-run them but what about an evasive maneuver…something…anythingr At this point I’m already hating this episode and it isn’t even time to hit the mute for the opening credits yet!

Since his ship has been swallowed whole by another vessel, Archer decides to get out and look around. Even though the warp drive is down and the weapons aren’t working, he brings Trip and Reed along on his little excursion (not like they would be needed back on the ship). Trip is immediately “joined” by one of the life forms on this alien ship.

However, as Archer talks to the being who inhabits Trip and then when Trip returns, instead of “Crossing of the Body Snatchers” cliches there is a real feeling of a first encounter between two very different species. It was a promising scene and a nice job done by Connor Trinneer.

But just when you think it’s safe to think this episode might have something new to say, the aliens start switching life forces with the crew without their permission. This results in one particularly embarrassing scene in which an alien in Reed’s body invites himself into T’Pol’s quarters and starts telling her that she is the most beautiful woman on board the ship (since when the alien took over Reed would be completely gone how does he know this since he’s just arrived). He then tells T’Pol that she should undress so they can “mate”. This is also a ridiculous statement as she’s barely dressed to begin with. Poor T’Pol…for some reason she just can’t seem to find clothes that fit her. She’s wearing sweatpants in this scene that are so small – when she tried unsuccessfully to pull them up over her hips – she gave herself a wedgie.

Another jolt comes when it’s discovered that the aliens can’t reach the unaffected crew members in the catwalk area. Not that this safe haven is such a unique plot development – but that Mayweather discovers it is such a welcome change! He takes a leadership role while in the catwalk area. Trip punches him out. This is the most action Mayweather’s had in all the episodes so far, I think!

The third act involves T’Pol letting an alien try to “replace” her and then fending it off, but not before learning what they’ve been lying all along. They weren’t just “crossing” with the crew of Enterprise out of curiosity but to survive the inevitable destruction of their own vessel. With the clever assistance of Dr. Phlox, a plan is devised to “gas” the possessed crewmembers because the aliens can’t live in a dead body. These crewmen are then revived once their own essences returned. How it’s known that their own spirits would definitely return to the corpses is never said. Once this is accomplished, Enterprise starts to leave but not before hitting the alien ship with two photon torpedoes, destroying it and the last of members of an advanced race.

And this is what ultimately burns my ass about this episode. Through Archer’s first conversation with whoever it is that inhabits Trip, the writers start to show the aliens as amicable and non-threatening. Then, at the end we’re to just believe that they’re all just like those who take over Reed and Hoshi – cold and self-servingr Somehow to the authors of this story the fact that these aliens have no bodies means they couldn’t have their own personalitiesr When T’Pol makes contact with the alien was there even an offer to try to repair their shipr Any attempt made to find them another method of surviving the breakdown of the vesselr I guess this is a long time from when Kirk, Spock and a character played by Diana Muldaur will offer to change places with noncorporeal beings to allow them to build android bodies in which to live.

At the end of the broadcast, next week’s Enterprise is shown to involve Archer being put on trial by the Klingon High Counsel.

Wonder if one of the charges involves “Genocide”r

Rating: C-