Star Trek 671: Canamar

671. Canamar

FORMULA: Detained + Gambit

WHY WE LIKE IT: The crew's competence.

WHY WE DON'T: The plot holes. The villains' incompetence.

REVIEW: The eponymous Canamar is a place we never reach, is never much discussed, and isn't finally dealt with. So while we haven't gotten very good titles since DS9, this one's among the worst. Even more so when you discover Canamar was indulgently named for a member of the production staff. In the episode, Archer and Trip are arrested and falsely accused of smuggling contraband and are now on a prison transport at least heading toward Canamar. Enterprise finds out, and it really looks like the situation could be over before it starts, with the authorities more than willing to free them. (So what WAS this contraband on Archer's shuttlepod? We never find out.)

And then our heroes get stuck in the middle of a prisoner escape. Archer, ever the trickster, gets in good with the criminals by acting the part of the smuggler. Everything he and Trip try doesn't automatically work, but the bad guys are at least easily manipulated. I wish Kuroda had been as smart as he claimed to be. It would have made Archer's achievements a little more worthy. But there's still plenty of physical danger, with the episode ending on a reasonably exciting fight set on a crashing ship.

Though Trip gets less of an active roll, he is once again in charge of the comedy portion of the show. He's stuck next to an annoying alien who talks his ears off. The thing about annoying characters: They're annoying for the viewer too. And there aren't many laughs to be gotten here. At least his make-up is interesting, which isn't something I can say about the Nausicaan heavy in the story. The more I see this "new look" Nausicaans, the more I hate them.

Though there are times when it feels like I'm watching Any Other Old Trek - including the first instance of a human figuring out alien controls without the benefit of a translator, and having an alien official standing around on the bridge - the final twist is worthy of Enterprise. As Kuroda's cohorts dock with the transport, we find out Reed and his men had already boarded and confiscated it. As for the quick epilogue, I fully appreciate Archer's outrage as he underlines the essential Enolian problem: How many innocent people DO they have languishing in prison? But coming in so late really sidesteps the issue. And it WAS the title, wasn't it?

LESSON: Star Trek episode titles are not a proper way to impress girls.

REWATCHABILITY - Low Medium: Though the action elements are enough to keep the viewer engaged, the episode feels like warmed up leftovers.


LiamKav said...

"it really looks like the situation could be over before it starts, with the authorities more than willing to free them."

A reasonable alien government admitting it made a mistake straight away? It's the anti-Voyager Alien Government!


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