Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Enterprise 4x8 "Awakening"


At this point I'm hesitant to add the full endorsement to the Surak Trilogy, but its borderline status means you probably ought to consider it premium material regardless.

"Awakening" sees T'Pol and Archer enter the heart of Vulcan territory, with Archer harboring Surak's katra (his soul; if you still don't know what I'm talking about, rewatch The Search for Spock).  While they're trying to accomplish the transfer of the katra into the appropriate hands, the rest of the Vulcans are immersed in still deeper political intrigue, embroiled in a crisis that is being manipulated by the Romulans (but more on that in later episodes).

Like most of the season, the Surak Trilogy comes on a little suddenly and abruptly, as if some of the creators were becoming angsty about the future of the series (with good reason, because this was the final season), perhaps even desperate.  If any one of these stories had been strung out over more episodes, or even covered in a single episode, the series might have been in better shape on the other end.  The fourth season is exactly like the first season in a lot of ways.  "Awakening" is itself like a cross between a few first season offerings, such as "Desert Crossing" and "Fusion."

While both Archer and T'Pol are indeed at the center of the story, they're busy experiencing it more than participating in it, which is something the fourth season continually did with the main characters, until the final episodes (ironically enough), with a few exceptions.  As interesting as "Awakening" is, it's emblematic of the flaws that exist in the season, even as it exemplifies what also helped make it work.

franchise * series * essential * character

Notable guest-stars:
Gary Graham
Robert Foxworth

Memory Alpha summary.

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