FORMULA: The Siege of AR-558 + Errand of Mercy
WHY WE LIKE IT: The practical location.
WHY WE DON'T: The kid.
REVIEW: Marauders looks really great thanks to a large practical location, creating a real sense of geography for the tactics employed and the idea that the mining colony is a "real" place (of course, it's obviously Southern California). We also get the return of the desert gear, T'Pol's new silver uniform (she's a clothes horse, that one), and a new Klingon ship for the marauders, which looks very raptory, with some interesting tanks under its wings.
Once the Klingon pirates appear, it's clear that Enterprise will help them fend for themselves against this threat. The dilemma is how to take action against the Klingons without having to fear retaliation once the Starfleet ship has gone. While the plan to move the town a few meters and turning the deuterium fields into a fiery trap is a nice one, I'm not sure how convincing it is as a deterrent. I suppose the colony, once armed and able to dodge weapons, was more trouble than it was worth.
Marauders introduces T'Pol's seldom used Vulcan martial arts, and while she only shows defense moves to the colonists, she herself is a one woman army corps. I'm not sure what to think about this? It's a skill we've never really seen in Star Trek, so I'm looking forward to more. At the same time, where was this skill all this time, and where does it go from here?
And then there's the kid. Ugh. While the colonists are pretty much all ciphers, the kid is truly annoying. He delivers all his lines through gnashed teeth and is kind of a jerk, which makes us care very little about his bond with Trip. The one good thing about this subplot is that it didn't fall into the tired cliché of having him run up to the battle and either get shot (cue maudlin music), force one of our heroes to go into harms way, or simply jeopardize the plan. No, surprisingly, he listens to Trip and stays out of sight. Well, thank the Great Bird of the Galaxy for small favors.
LESSON: If they're not hospitable, make them be hospitable (should I really be taking my lessons from the Klingons?).
REWATCHABILITY - Medium: Great production values elevate a rather standard plot about a colony under siege.