At the end of my reviews for each of the individual episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise, I find myself contemplating the entire series. That brings me to the usual Bottom Ten List. The series, which almost instantly mortgaged its potential as a prequel to Star Trek had some real low points and the Worst Ten Episodes Of Star Trek: Enterprise are almost entirely episodes that are bad on their own (save the #10, which is horrible in the context of the Star Trek franchise).
Without pretense, the bottom ten episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise are:
10. “The Andorian Incident” (reviewed here!) – Not, technically, a bad episode of television, “The Andorian Incident” was the first, big “fuck you!” episode for fans of the Star Trek franchise. The episode is all about how Vulcans are lying to both the humans and the Andorians . . . which comes out over the course of an agonizing hostage situation in a Vulcan monastary. Completely undermining one of the key cultural conceits of the greatest allies to humans in the Star Trek Universe is utterly ridiculous for the prequel and showed fans of the Star Trek franchise that the executive producers and writers of the series could not give a damn about precedent, continuity, or what made Star Trek wonderful. That makes “The Andorian Incident” fine television, but utterly lousy Star Trek,
9. “Singularity” (reviewed here!) – When the Enterprise approaches a Trinary Star System, everyone starts acting utterly obsessed with mundane tasks. This is an episode that seems like a possession episode, but never develops into something so smart. Are there really no other Trinary Star Systems in the Star Trek universe and since when does radiation make people focused on very small details in their lives?! This episode is just ridiculous,
8. “Horizon” (reviewed here!) – It’s always nice when Star Trek shows try to give a decent role to the secondary characters in their series. “Horizon” tries to focus on Ensign Mayweather and the plot – which has Mayweather returning to his family’s ship only to have his brother treat him like a jerk – is canned and boring. The episode also is one of the worst-performed episodes of the entire series,
7. “Shockwave, Part II” (reviewed here!) – Opening the second season with one of the least satisfying episodes of the entire series, “Shockwave, Part II” finds Archer in the distant future with no usable technology of his own (or support from StarFleet). And yet, he somehow magically manages to contact his adversary and time travel?! And the Suliban prove to be tools who aren’t all that compelling in the way of villains. Yeah, it’s just a sucky action-adventure episode,
6. “Terra Nova” (reviewed here!) – The prequel show sets up a whole ton of episodes of Star Trek that focus on lost human colonies. Arriving at Terra Nova, the Enterprise crew finds humans who have regressed and devolve a bit. This an episode that is supposed to be scary, but flops entirely on the mood front. More than that, the acting is horrible and there is no real character development. “Terra Nova” is just bad television,
5. “Anomaly” (reviewed here!) – Despite being essential to understanding the third season of Star Trek: Enterprise, Anomaly is just ridiculous. This is a space anomaly of the week episode and the sheer number of wonky physics moments in the episode should have torn the ship to pieces. The next time – in context – that Star Trek tried to do something like this episode was in Star Trek: Voyager when the technology was vastly more advanced. This episode is paced and has a soundtrack as if it was an action episode, but it is just boring,
4. “Canamar” (reviewed here!) – How exciting can an episode of television be when one plot is guys waiting for the legal system to set them free and the other plot having the crew trying to convince aliens that Tucker and Archer are not the criminals they are accused of being. This is a prison break style episode where Archer and Tucker are stuck with hardened criminals and T’Pol has to deal with an irate planetary administrator and who the hell cares?! This type episode always sucks because there’s no real menace. Is a Star Trek captain ever going to be killed in a random act of violence? No. This isn’t “Joss Whedon’s Enterprise,” so “Canamar” fails largely because it is impossible to suspend one’s disbelief for it,
3. “Extinction” (reviewed here!) - The only thing worse than Star Trek: Enterprise making episodes that are a mockery of other episodes in the Star Trek franchise is when the show blandly recreates the worst episodes of other Star Trek episodes. “Extinction” is the worst of that type episode: remaking “Genesis” (reviewed here!) and “Threshold” (reviewed here!), Archer and other crewmembers devolve and the result is no better than when Star Trek: The Next Generation or Star Trek: Voyager did mutation episodes,
2. “Regeneration” (reviewed here!) – The only thing worse than time-traveling Borg in Star Trek: First Contact (reviewed here!) is believing that 22nd Century humans could defeat 24th Century Borg . . . and that they didn’t keep adequate notes on the Borg to be able to thwart them when they encountered them later on. Some people like “Regeneration;” I see it for what it is, an action-packed mess that makes no sense on its own or in the larger Star Trek storyline,
And . . .
. . . the worst of the series is . . .
1.“Fusion” (reviewed here!)! When the Enterprise encounters a ship full of emotional Vulcans, the writers take a big, steaming dump on all Star Trek continuity. “Fusion” has rational adults succumbing to the most banal form of peer pressure and a situation that is entirely blasé when it could be revolutionary. “Fusion” is an episode that undermines main characters in Enterprise (T’Pol is weak-willed and Tucker is essentially a hillbilly) and that is no way for any Enterprise crew to be staffed. I suppose the only redeeming aspect of “Fusion” is that it got the worst of Star Trek: Enterprise out of the way fairly early.
For other “Worst Of” lists, please check out my lists of:
The Worst Ten Episodes Of Star Trek
The Worst Ten Episodes Of Star Trek: The Next Generation
The Worst Ten Episodes Of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
The Worst Ten Episodes Of Star Trek: Voyager
What Is So Bad About Star Trek Into Darkness
For other Star Trek reviews, please be sure to check out my Star Trek Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2014 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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