REVIEW of FORTUNATE SON by Archer4Trip
Season One, Episode 10, Aired 11/21/01
Opening: First officer Matthew Ryan (Lawrence Monoson) and his captain playing catch with a football in their low-gravity cargo bay (it goes reeeeally far). Nausicans attack. The captain is knocked unconscious.
Part 1: Archer awakens in
briefs, to answer a call from Adm. Forrest at 4 a.m. He sleepily fumbles on a t-shirt as he answers. The ship is ordered to respond to a distress
signal from the ECS Fortunate, a cargo freighter.
>situation room< Mayweather suggests there may be a larger crew than listed because of babies born; “at warp 1.8 you have a lot of time on your hands. That’s how my parents ended up with me.” TMI? T’Pol gets snarky. Reed asks about weapons. Archer squints thoughtfully. Pretty typical.
>no response from ship; they dock a shuttle pod and board< They meet Ryan and some other crewman immediately, who explain that it was the Nausicans. Mayweather remembers his parents having trouble with them. Archer offers to help, help is refused, Archer gets suspicious. Archer offers a hull and weapons upgrade. Ryan is suddenly interested. It is revealed that a Nausican hostage is being held on the Fortunate.
Part 2: Mayweather and Ryan talk boomer stuff and cargo stuff. They look at the transporter. Mayweather likes all the tech his old ship didn’t have.
>FINALLY Trip appears!< The two visit Trip in Engineering as he works on repairing some valve seals. Ryan declines a tour of the ship, but Trip interrupts with “You missed the best part – the only Warp 5 engine in the fleet.” He loves to brag about his engine. Talk turns to how faster warp speeds on freight ships will change the lives of the crews on them. Ryan observes: “Warp 1.8 works just fine for me. Any faster, and there’d be no time to enjoy the trip.” He is staring directly at Trip. Hmm.
>Mayweather and Ryan bond again over food in the mess hall.< (real food, not the ‘mystery meals’ Mayweather remembers and Ryan has been eating. Mayweather asks if Ryan has thought of joining Starfleet. Ryan gets offended: “buy me lunch – give me the recruiting pitch” is that it? M: “Starfleet needs experienced people.” R: “If Starfleet gets all the good crews, who does that leave for the freighters?” M: “You think leaving the Horizon was easy?” R: “So why did you leave it? Why did you abandon your family?” These vicious remarks leave Mayweather in turmoil. Ryan leaves and returns to his ship.
T’Pol notices a circuit bypass to feed the Fortunate’s weapons, suspicious readings and suspicious crew actions. Ryan is thankful but antsy and itchin' to get going. Ryan claims the Nausican biosign must be a stowaway, feigns ignorance, but the evidence is clear. He admits he has a prisoner, and points out that Starfleet has no jurisdiction over his ship. Archer blackmails by threatening to remove all the Starfleet assistance he’s been giving them. Ryan leads them to the Nausican, but it’s a trap! He shoots a small hole in the wall (into space) then seals them all in, jettisons the section of the freighter they are in.
Part Three: TRIP AGAIN!! FINALLY!! And he’s in command again! “What the hell’s goin’ on over there?” he asks. Trip contacts Archer and asks, “Are you all right?” Archer tells Trip to not let the Fortunate leave. It doesn’t respond to his hails, so Trip targets the engines but the Fortunate goes to warp. Archer: “Pick us up.” Trip: “On our way.”
>Travis explains why Ryan is going after the Nausicans.<
>Ryan tortures and interrogates the Nausican for “the frequencies” but gets brutal. Crewman: “You nearly killed him.” Ryan (in a tight-fitting t-shirt) says, “We need to be tough.” Crewman objects to further beatings after they get the codes. Ryan: “I’m responsible, not the captain. I need your full loyalty.”
>Enterprise chases them<
In Engineering, Trip and Mayweather work on long-range sensors and chat.
Trip: “Things are changing – Starfleet’s gonna have a bigger role.”
Mayweather: “Freighters take care of their own.”
>Mayweather goes to Archer with concerns. Archer condescendingly/wisely reminds him that starting a war with Nausicans will hurt all freighters in the long run. Mayweather agrees.
>The Fortunate finds the Nausicans. Nausican ship leads them to Nausican base, where three other ships appear and surround them. The “frequencies” were wrong and they can’t fire on the Nausicans, but sustain heavy damage themselves. Ryan insists on keeping the Nausican prisoner, even as Nausicans board the Fortunate.
Part Four: Ryan’s crewman wants to give up; Ryan arms crew for hand-to-hand phaser battle; ENT arrives and hails Ryan. Travis gets blunt with Ryan, and Archer allows it. Then Archer gets tough. Ryan is still angry: “What a relief! Starfleet’s come to save the day! What about next time? I’m dealing with this the only way they understand.” Mayweather: “What are you going to do? Ryan: “You again! What, did your captain decide a little boomer-to-boomer talk would persuade me?” Mayweather: “Just shut up and listen to me!” [NICE!] I don’t give a damn about you anymore. I’m thinking about my family.” etc.
>Ryan releases the Nausican prisoner to his shipmates, and all the Nausican ships leave.<
Fortunate’s captain reawakens from his coma, and reduces Ryan to the rank of “able crewman”. “He’s a goood man. We can take care of our own,” he says again. Archer: “There are more ships coming.” “Progress, I suppose,” he replies. ‘going it alone’ ‘prove it to ourselves’ blah blah blah.
I’m having trouble believing that the Trek audience is made up of old fogeys, stick in the muds, and non-progressives who might actually sympathize with these Fortunate crewmen. We’re much more like Mayweather on the whole. Added to that is Ryan’s nonstop negativity and complete lack of social skills. Despite the grand theme, it doesn’t seem like it achieved much except to set the sides up and make Enterprise seem right. As for the title, it has several meanings: Travis is the fortunate son who left the freighter life to helm the first great starship. Ryan is the son who will spend his life on the Fortunate, for which he feels truly fortunate. (I’m reaching here.)
Now for the score:
No Trip hair mussy, no stubble, no food, no especially cute things (although *the way he brags about his ship is cute* (10 points). Trip scarcely appears, minus 10 points. Uh-oh, back to zero. Items 10-17, zip zilch, nada. HOWEVER—I will award points for the amazingly handsome Mr. Lawrence Monoson as Ryan, for his feisty presence, and for his very very tight tee over a very nice body. Very nice. He has a shirtless pic that he’ll sign at cons. I met him at the Pasadena con. He’s quite flirty in person. He said he’d be back in Season Two, and we can only hope. +5 points for attitude, +10 points for hotness. And heck, plus +10 points for his suggestive line about not having time to enjoy the Trip/trip if his ship went too fast (while staring intensely at Trip!)
Total Score: 25 points, but not for Trip. :(