No, No! NO! Not at all!! - A4T's Xindi Review
This is from my "TripSwears" page at the website (dated 8/30/03): >>Which will he use first? The smart money's on "son of a bitch", although "hell" has sheer numerical advantage.<< WE GOT BOTH! Can I claim TripPsychic as one of my titles?
Gripes aside first:
1) The "new" theme? Pop bubblegum crossed with the weakest of country music. Worse than before.
2) Insecty-Xindi. Nice CGI. Didn't get me. Pointy Reptilian Xindi. Didn't get me. Planet ofthe Apes Xindi? Didn't get me. Aquatics!! Yes! That got me! WOW.
"Previously on Enterprise": Trip's hallway scene with Malcolm was featured and the scene with Archer about getting tough on the bastards. Nice refresher.
Xindi Council hall: You know, they are supposed to be evil, and except for the clicking insect, I feel pity for them. They are trying to survive. They are being misled by someone, I'm sure. They are desperate.
Part One: T'Pol's different. No special mention of it. I like that. I also like the look. The hair is perfect. The suit works. (S.O.: "Did they do something with her hair?" Me: Yeah, they wanted to make it more...loose. S.O.: More Katie Couric?)
Nice new Command Center. Very very tasty.
Dressing Down Malcolm. Not a promising start. Poor Mal. Ouch. But I agree - he needs to loosen his grip a bit. Now was T'Pol looking *sadly sympathetic* at the end of that scene?
MACO uniforms look f i l t h y. Good lord. They need a good wash or some real camouflage. I can picture someone out in the backlot, maybe Jackson Pollock, flinging paint all over regular uniforms. Daniel Dae Kim - always fun - this should be good. Hoshi wows 'em (and gets men to look at her too). She's set.
Archer& Trip enter, coming down a hallway, discussing some problems with gravity in the cargo bay. Our first Delphic Anomaly: gravity is on the *side* of the cargo bay. Well, on one side, then the other. Things go flying. Trip's concerned: "Careful, sir. Stay close to the door.
Archer: Is there anything explosive in those containers?
Trip: I woulda known by now.
As they close the door, things fly back again.
TripFace #1: Trip just looks like "I'm tired of this damn anomaly already."
Trip has ONE sister? Really? Why did Archer ask "older or younger" in the Expanse? Are there only three Tucker sibs? (now two)?
Phlox (I blame him for so much) decides that what Trip needs to sleep is "Vulcan neuropressure" from T'Pol. T'Pol believes "he isn't patient enough to sit still for that long."
Priceless TripQuote #2 (about Trip this time):
T'Pol: 'Delicate' is not a word I associate with Mr. Tucker.
Interesting TripName Moment #1: Is she not going to call him Commander now?
Boy, first ANIS, now this - Phlox is a meddling perv!
Reed & Archer head down to make a deal for info. Reed: "You call this safe! I think <cough> <wheeze, choke>. Poor Malcolm.
Interesting TripName Moment #2:
Wheezy Alien: We need liquid platinum.
Reed: Trip could probably strip the relays down. Is HE now going to use "Trip" instead of Commandah Tuckah?
Trip's Nightmare: A very good scene. What was the best part? HIS YOUNGER SELF WEARS A HIDEOUSLY, MONSTROUSLY UGLY SHIRT!! I almost fell off the couch laughing. Apparently it's been a lifelong problem. Lizzie, very cute, both as a girl and a woman, dies a horrid death under the Xindi ray weapon. Trip sits up suddenly in bed (he sleeps - at the very least - topless), yelling, rubs his face (love that!). NightmareSweaty!Trip is one for the list. The poor boy really needs some comforting, and this first of two shirtless scenes really got my attention.
Trip, heading into sickbay: (to Archer) Sir? We're gonna end up strippin (wish he'd stop saying that) a hundred relays to get the platinum he asked for. (Sir? Is that new? I don't like it.) Archer heads out, Trip stays -
Archer: You okay?
Trip: (short and tight) I'm fine.
Doesn't want to admit he's not up to his normal level - nice.
Trip: I gotta have somethin' stronger to help me sleep tonight!
Phlox agrees, tells Trip to return, having hatched the "Massage Plot" with T'Pol already.
Trip & Archer head down with the liquid platinum to trade for the Xindi. They make very nice mussy-haired twins.
The Xindi is reluctant to help, and begs Archer to free him, saying he's a slave on the planet. More sympathy. More moral confusion. How daring (even talented) to make the villains multi-dimensional. If this keeps up, Season 3 shows real promise.
Archer can't be bothered. Trip even less so. Trip grabs him and chokes him. Trip is ANGRY.
Trip: (to Xindi) I'm just itchin' to kick the -->hell<-- out of you!
Trip gets quite rough and Archer watches from the background, moving slowly around the two of them, letting it play out. Then, with one word, he ends it.
Archer: Trip. (Trip subsides. Quite amazing to watch.) Take it easy. (Trip lets him go.)
Trip and Archer realize that they are now captives in the Xindi's chamber, held by the mining company as slave labor. Three warships are heading for Enterprise to seize it too and add the crew to the labor force.
T'Pol, now in the very nice blue outfit, takes charge (her role is still to command, apparently, but not explained). Reed and T'Pol, (a perfect pair) work together to save the Captain and Trip. T'Pol tells Reed to have plan ready in one hour -- and to use the MACO's. Reed grinds to a halt. This won't be easy.
Trip and Archer and the Xindi escape through, first, the sewers. Sewage, great. Poor Trip. Poor Trip's nose. The sewage is attractively lit with pool lights. Nice touch. They then crawl up the plasma ducts.
Reed: I plan to have my men back on board with the Captain and Trip (<--second time he said that). MACO's want to send their own team instead. Reed's past experience with 'military in my family' makes him suspicious and resentful.
Trip and Archer climb up the plasma tube. SPLAT Trip gets some goo on his face. Priceless TripFace #2! For some reason, the TV Batman comes to mind. Something about crawling "up" a not-really-vertical surface. :)
Evil Wheezy Mining Guy turns on the plasma vents - A, T, & X scramble for an open hatch, Archer gets through, Trip and Xindi squeeze through together, both almost losing their legs to the fire. Trip opens his mouth again:
TripQuote #3: "You *stupid* sonofabitch!! I oughta throw you back through there!
Aliens attack. MACO's attack the aliens. Marine-chick kicks alien ass. Very nice. Too bad it's her and NOT HOSHI! >:-( All the firepower is interesting - effective, but violent. Gives a feeling of security, but changes the dynamic.
Trip notices the Xindi's been shot and is in a bad way. "Cap'n!" he calls. I really really love the way that sounds when he says it.
Archer's ready room - he has the coordinates of (what he thinks is) the Xindi homeworld.
*in all fairness, I must note that at this point and for the next ten minutes, I lost all coherent thought at the site of Trip in a t-shirt, talking about showering, about going to bed, and taking said t-shirt off for T'Pol. I'll try to reconstruct my notes on this part without reviewing the tape, as I'm sure I'd overload the retinas.
Boy, he looks nice in a t-shirt. He said that he had been taking a shower for two hours <frzszzttt> trying to get all the sewage, plasma goo, and mining ore off himself. And that he'd need another few showers <zzrfffsstx> to really feel clean again. Oh, sorry, he's telling this to Malcolm, who looks glad he wasn't in the sewage. Malcolm pats him on the back as he heads off. They seem to have patched the hallway argument and are good friends again. Closer, a bit, I think. Trip is *tired.*
He hasn't been sleeping well, so he reports to Phixerupper Phlox to get his medicine. Phlox slips him a placebo, then sends him to get striped paint and a bacon stretcher from T'Pol's quarters. He falls for it.
T'Pol asks him to stay.
Trip: "I don't think I'd be very good company."
At this point, I was unable to write and watch the scene at the same time. This is a major Trip moment and it just goes on and on. Something to watch again and again - the facial expressions, the line delivery, everything is Trinneer's amazing acting on display.
Basically, she conned him into giving her a backrub, which for some UNKNOWN reason required her to take off her top and cover her breasts with her hands. Trip was, thank god, a Perfect Gentleman. Priceless faces, several of them. Surprise, disbelief, and when T'Pol started moaning, true shock. The best. She thanked him, huskily.
As he started to leave, she said she could return the favor
and press on his back. He demurred. She wasn't having any of that.
T'Pol: Please disrobe! (I'll have to try that line on someone.)
He hems and haws.
Priceless TripQuote #4:
T'Pol: Are you implying that I'm making sexual advances?
Trip: No. No! NO! Not at all! :-D So very funny. Like V'Lar, but better. If they'd given ANIS to Trip, he could have done it. Just imagine how much better it would've been. In some ways, this *was* ANIS, for both of them, just written much much better.
T'Pol tries reverse psychology, which of course works.
T'Pol: Phlox gave you a placebo. He wanted you to come here, but he knew you were intransigent.
T'Pol: That you wouldn't agree.
Trip: I know what it means!
T'Pol: Then take off your shirt.:THUD: Oh god, and he did. Second time in one show.
Screencaps only begin to do it justice. nice, nice, so very nice gah hab gab gahhhhhhh
I *actually* need to fan myself, *literally* after this scene.
She massages him for about a second and he goes "AH!" with Priceless Trip face #22. Very funny. The whole scene was not so much erotic as humorous - the tension not sexual but personal.
Trip's language is rubbing off on Archer- we get a "sonofabitch" out of him too, when he thinks the Xindi informant lied to him (before he died). They find no homeworld, only the rock-size remnants of a planet with a civilization, now destroyed. The Xindi's latest weapons test???
Again with the clicking insects. Was that insect actually shaking a fist? Too funny. Maybe it'll grow on me.
Overall, this had a strong feeling of "Broken Bow" - almost another pilot. If it can be held at this level, it has a good chance of catching on with more folks. The arcs will help, the Xindi are fascinating, the Captain is better (as is his speech pattern), and Trip is, well, a joy to watch, as always. I'd forgotten, almost, how how nice Trinneer looks, how good an actor can be, how expressive his voice and face are, how perfect his comic timing is.