Saturday, November 17, 2012

Enterprise 2x25 "Bounty"


The Klingon arc begun in "Judgment" continues in "Bounty," in which Archer's escape from the penal colony of Rura Penthe finally comes back to haunt him.  If that's not interesting enough for you, the episode also features Enterprise's first use of Tellarites, another species first seen in the original series but unused since.

Ah, and if that's not enough for you, T'Pol suffers from pon farr, the Vulcan mating drive famously depicted in "Amok Time" (and Voyager's "Blood Fever").  Like other points where the series depicts something later generations are only just supposed to be learning about, the episode leaves the topic unnamed, and since only Phlox is made aware of her condition, the secret remains pretty safe.  In fact, this whole aspect of the episode is better viewed for the sake of Phlox than T'Pol, even though it's about as uncomfortably atypical as "The Breach."  This is probably the only time the good doctor would ever be reduced (nearly) completely to comic relief, though some fans thought he reached that point (wrongly) in "A Night in Sickbay" still earlier in the season.  It's safe to say that the second season saw a lot of weird things attempted with the character.

Getting back to the main story, it's a lot like "Canamar," which as you'll remember was originally conceived as the ending of "Judgment."  This time Archer doesn't attempt to hide his identity, however.  It's Archer as he'd come to be known in the Xindi arc of the following season, actually.  Like the next (and final) episode of the season, "The Expanse," "Bounty" functions well as a preview of things to come.  Tellarites return in the fourth season, so that's another thing you might take away from this episode.  They never reach the level of Andorians in the series, but this is a fine starting point for what's done.

Don't think I've overlooked the Klingons!  The relevance Klingon element doesn't have to do with Klingons themselves, but rather another actor famous for portraying one making an appearance this season.  This time it's Robert O'Reilly, playing a rival to the Tellarite.  You know O'Reilly, right?  He played Gowron.  You'd know his eyes anywhere.

franchise * series * essential * character

Notable guest-stars:
Robert O'Reilly

Memory Alpha summary.

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