Category Archives: Geekery

My Top 5 Episodes of Enterprise Season Three

As my husband and I are going through our second full watch of Star Trek as a couple, I thought it would be fun to report on the highlights along the way, so I decided to copy the same format as Charlene as she posted her journey with Star Trek.

This is the Enterprise I have been waiting for. From the word go, this season really delivered episode after episode (well, minus a couple of duds). I thought it would be really hard to narrow down my top five because there was so much good, but the hard part was actually remembering the specifics of some of these episodes that served the overall story arc more than an individual episode arc. As a result, most of my picks are episodes that have strong stories that still went with this season’s arc, but stood out a little more on their own as well.

5. Doctor’s Orders

It’s a common Star Trek trope: the ship is traveling through a part of space that will interfere with most everyone’s *insert medical technobabble here*, and only one or two of the aliens aboard can stay awake and take care of the ship. Despite the fact that the episode isn’t totally unique in concept, I really appreciated the insight we got on Dr. Phlox.

4. The Forgotten

Much like the previous episode, I chose this one for its character development, this time though, for Trip as he continues to struggle with the senseless loss of his sister.We also see T’Pol continue to struggle as she weans herself from her trellium addiction. While it’s terrible she has to go through it, it really opens up a new side of her that changes her character.

3. E^2

Star Trek loves doing alternate timeline episodes, and this is one of the good ones. When Enterprise discovers another Enterprise in the Expanse, they come to find out that their ship had been flung into the past and turned into a generational ship, giving the second Enterprise decades to figure out how they can still accomplish their mission to stop the Xinidi from destroying Earth.

2. Similitude

When Trip is gravely injured in an accident, Captain Archer and Dr. Phlox are faced with some very hard decisions. This episode is kind of uncomfortable, but it’s because it really makes you think about the ethics of the situation.

1. Stratagem

I don’t know how to talk about this episode without spoilers, so let me just say that it’s a very interesting exploration on a theme that intrigues me and gets into some interesting psychology.

What are your favorite episodes from Enterprise season three?

My Top 5 Episodes of Enterprise Season Two

As my husband and I are going through our second full watch of Star Trek as a couple, I thought it would be fun to report on the highlights along the way, so I decided to copy the same format as Charlene as she posted her journey with Star Trek.

OK, I knew Enterprise really hits its stride in season three, but I expected season two to be a little more interesting. There were a lot of decent episodes, but only a couple of stand-outs for me. Here’s how it came down for me for my top five…

5. Regeneration

Another Star Trek episode, another Borg episode. This one finds a way to connect itself with First Contact (aka my personal favorite Star Trek movie).

4. Dawn

This one has some strong shades of the TNG episode Darmok, but I thought it was a well-done depiction of two people who were trying to shoot at each other and who can’t communicate coming to eventually trust one another.

3. Singularity 

Because of some space anomaly or something, everyone on board Enterprise, save T’Pol (of course), becomes utterly obsessed with a single task they feel they must complete. T’Pol has to find the answer and save the day before everyone’s obsession gets even more carried away.

2. The Expanse

The season finale sets up for the upcoming Xindi arc for season three. They tried to pack a lot in this episode so it probably could have been done in two (or leave out the Klingons), but it was still a pretty good prelude for what’s to come.

1. Carbon Creek

At dinner one evening, T’Pol entertains Trip and Archer with a story about the first time Vulcans actually visited Earth, though Trip and Archer are skeptical of it. This episode does such a good job of getting us to connect with a Vulcan character we don’t even know and root for him when he decides that he wants to make a life for himself on Earth with people he has come to care for. Definitely the strongest of the season, in my opinion!

What are your favorite episodes of Enterprise season two?

Some Thoughts on Solo + The Star Wars Anthology Films

Since The Force Awakens brought Star Wars back to us, I’ve enjoyed each theatrical viewing of the new Star Wars films, though to varying degrees.

Any time I’ve watched any of these films (or any others), there’s the initial reaction I had, and then there’s the one that comes later, after I’ve had some breathing space between me and my experience with the movie.

I like The Force Awakens. I don’t really dislike The Last Jedi, but I can’t say I really like it either because it didn’t really do much for the story or the franchise, so like Infinity War I’m just gonna have to see what comes next and how in the world everything gets followed up to really judge it.

But these standalone “A Star Wars Story” films have been different for me.

For reasons I will probably never fully understand as one who is definitely a sucker for the happily ever after, I am a big fan of Rogue One. And while I enjoyed it a lot while watching it the first time, the thing with that movie is that more than any other movie in the whole SW franchise, it sticks with me in ways the others don’t. I can’t even tell you what it is that’s sticking with me. Literally, I can be doing anything else and suddenly I’ll just be like, Man, Rogue One was such a powerful movie. I don’t even consider it my favorite of the franchise (yet – I’ll get back to you the next time I rewatch all the films). I think the pacing and structure of the beginning of the film is not great. Maybe it’s the themes – of found family, of faith, of hope, of sacrifice, of fighting for something bigger than yourself – that just get to me.

I had some trepidation about Solo because the trailers didn’t do much for me, but right before I went to see it I started hearing good things from other people who had seen it. So I went in with tempered expectations but cautiously optimistic.

I enjoyed it from beginning to end. The pacing was great. The characters were nuanced. And it was just fun.

I’ve sat with it for a little while now, and I feel a stronger urge to go watch it again than I certainly did with The Last Jedi (which I still haven’t watched again despite it coming out on Blu Ray). And while I don’t think Solo is a perfect movie by any means, it added so much more dimension to the universe than either of the new official trilogy installment films did. The writing was probably the best part of the film, helping Alden Ehrenreich’s Solo seem familiar without being copycat or a bad imitation. And don’t even get me started on Donald Glover as Lando. All I’ll say for the sake of time was he nailed it.

What is it about these anthology films that say so much more to me than the new episodes? Is it because there’s less pressure?

If you’ve seen the movie, I’d love to know your thoughts! How do you feel about the two anthology films that we’ve seen versus the new episodes? And what are hoping to see next in the Star Wars universe?

Double Mini Movie Review: Candy Jar and Avengers: Infinity War

I wanted to talk briefly about two very different movies I watched over the weekend, the new Netflix movie Candy Jar, and this little indie project you probably haven’t heard of called Avengers: Infinity War. 😉

Candy Jar

I got an email from Netflix alerting me they just added a movie I might like. I usually look at these emails but don’t take stalk in them, but this one caught my eye with the premise of two teen rivals. As some of you know, I am currently writing a story about two teens who are rivals in their school band, so I was excited to see a movie with a similar concept! And thankfully, I really enjoyed it! It wasn’t perfect… For starters, the name is sort of lame and doesn’t feel indicative of the whole film. It comes from the guidance counselor our two main characters, Lona and Bennett, are always coming to for advice, who has well over a dozen candy jars scattered throughout her office. (Yet somehow neither the guidance counselor nor our main characters seem to gain any weight…) While the counselor plays a small but fairly important role, the candy really doesn’t at all. There were also a couple of moments and characters that I felt could have been developed and fleshed out a little more fully, but it was a well-paced 92-minute-long movie, so that’s not really a big complaint.

I really enjoyed seeing how Lona and Bennett’s relationship blossomed from rivals to friends to the possibility of something more, but without diving deep into a romance. Their interactions feel realistic and mostly organic. I enjoyed all the production aspects of the movie as well. If you’re in need of a quick, fun watch, particularly if you’re a fan of young adult contemporary, I’d recommend Candy Jar!

Avengers: Infinity War

It’s basically impossible to talk about this movie without diving into spoilers, so here’s what I will say first: this movie is well-crafted and unlike anything else you’ve seen from Marvel. I don’t think I can say anything else at all without getting into spoilers, so be warned, SPOILERS BELOW!

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I’m not going to do a deep dive into all the nuances of the film; I’ll leave that to other folks. But at the end, when we see Thanos sit down to watch his sunset and the credits started rolling, I was in actual shock all through the credits and for a little while afterward. Wait, so they just killed off half the Avengers? I knew deep down there this meant there would be a reset down the line (which is not my favorite plot device, but I have allowed it on Star Trek and Fringe), but there is no hope of that in this film, other than Dr. Strange telling Tony, “This was the only way,” and the scene we got at the very, very end of the credits. As one article I read summed it up, this film does not have all the typical beats found in storytelling, in fact, it is acting as the falling action of the overall Marvel Cinematic Universe arc. Which, I’ve got to say, is one heck of a way to make a franchise of movies.

I’m still processing how much I like the film. I mean, it can’t stand alone at all. While it’s well-crafted, entertaining, and not overtly dark and gritty, it carries much less levity than other Marvel fare, which was important for the nature of this film. And Thanos means business, unlike nearly every other Marvel villain we’ve dealt with. I think I will have to wait it out and see how everything ultimately comes together before I can properly judge this movie.

How did Infinity War make you feel? I’d love to hear your thoughts about either of these movies!

My Top 5 Episodes of Enterprise Season One

As my husband and I are going through our second full watch of Star Trek as a couple, I thought it would be fun to report on the highlights along the way, so I decided to copy the same format as Charlene as she posted her journey with Star Trek.

I’ve got faith, of the heart… Oh, Enterprise theme song. How turn-of-the-century you are.

I was really excited about starting Enterprise again, because since my first watch of it, I’ve said it’s my second favorite Trek series (after DS9). I remembered not loving the pilot though, nor really most of the first season, but I thought: well, I know the characters now, it’ll be different.

Guys, the first season is still rough, even when you know it gets better. I can see why it might be hard for someone to get into. (Also, after watching the first few episodes of Discovery and being thoroughly unimpressed, I can better appreciate why people were super dubious of Enterprise when it debuted.) However, when looking for my top 5, I actually did have a hard time narrowing it down. While Enterprise did struggle with execution in their first season, they were definitely trying to tell good stories, and I can see it so many times in this first season.

So first, some honorable mentions: Silent Enemy, in which the B plot of Hoshi trying to discover Macolm’s favorite food outshines the main conflict (this was the first time I felt I connected with the characters when I watched the show the first time) and Shadows of P’Jem, in which we see the aftermath of the episode The Andorian Incident (also a decent episode). Now for my top 5…

5. Breaking the Ice

A lot of this episode is forgettable, but there are two things about it that really stand out to me. One is that it’s the first time we see T’pol trust Trip with something personal. She doesn’t do it willingly, as Trip reads a personal letter of hers that was encoded and flagged as suspicious, but we see this play out later on (including in another episode this season, Fusion, which I also considered for this list, but that Vulcan dude seriously gives me the heebie-jeebies). The second is Enterprise accepting the Vulcan ship’s help at the end of the episode. Archer really has a chip on his shoulder for the Vulcans holding them back from going out into space sooner, but here is a moment where he has to admit that they can’t do everything on their own. I think for a show that is about the beginnings of mankind’s deep space exploration, that is a very important moment.

4. Dear Doctor

So the doctor’s attitude at the end really kind of bothers me, which is why this is lower on the list rather than higher, but I am definitely a sucker for epistolary episodes. I like the insight it provides of the doctor’s life, ethics, and culture.

3. Acquisition

I can’t believe I’m putting a Ferengi episode at number three on my list. I can’t stand Ferengi episodes. But really, it’s fun to watch Trip first, then Archer, and then T’pol, outsmart the Ferengi (not hard to do) and get Enterprise back.

2. Shuttlepod One

I remember this one being a favorite for me during my first watch, but I have to admit that Trip and Malcolm both annoyed me in this one this time, plus they seem to jump to the conclusion that Enterprise was destroyed a little too quickly for me to really buy into it. But I chose this one as one of my favorites despite these things because it is good development for both Trip and Malcolm.

1. Detained

Captain Archer and Travis Mayweather are imprisoned alien race who believe they have purposely encroached their space. When the leader of the internment camp where they are staying at realizes the misunderstanding, he says they will be free to go on the next transport ship out, but as Archer gets to know the Suliban that are in the camp with them, he stages a revolt. This episode of course makes you think of internment camps in American history and how misguided they are.

What are your thoughts on Enterprise? Which episodes form season one stand out to you?