Star Trek 710: The Augments

710. The Augments

FORMULA: The Wrath of Khan + Insurrection + Defiant

WHY WE LIKE IT: Saving the previous cliffhanger.

WHY WE DON'T: Continuity porn.

REVIEW: That cliffhanger could have sucked. It could have been Archer punching a few buttons, etc. Boring. But they went another way, with Archer blowing the hatches and getting blasted into space along with the viruses, beaming safely to Enterprise halfway to be turned into a human popsicle. We're back into it! Action hero Archer goes on to bluff his way past a Klingon cruiser, and later use the grappler to disable another's warp nacelle. Cool stuff.

Meanwhile, Malik is having even more trouble with his dear old dad. Soong has 1800 new embryos and wants to run and hide while they mature. Reasonable enough. What surely isn't (to Malik) is Soong's attempt to remove the aggression from these new babies, something he hadn't figured out how to do two decades earlier. Kinda dangerous to tell the Augments they're defective, don't you think? Indeed, Malik throws Soong in a cell and heads to a Klingon colony to start a war between the Klingons and Earth. Biological weapons will do that. Persis, ever the swing vote, flips on Malik and helps Soong escape, and she'll die upon a knife's point for it. With the only sympathetic character out of the way, everything is set for Enterprise to blow Malik out of the sky.

Soong is picked up by Enterprise, but it's a case of the boy who cried wolf. Can Archer now trust him, or is it a ploy to save his children? Eventually, Archer must, and they save the day thanks to Soong's insider information. If the last scene with Malik suicidally activating his doomsday weapon while the bridge burns doesn't remind you of Wrath of Khan... Except that Malik makes it out, jumps Enterprise for one last scare, only to be killed. The "Death Becomes Her" phaser hole in his stomach is a bit much though, isn't it? For Soong, of course, it's like losing his entire world, not just his grown children, but 1800 unborn Augments as well. No wonder he switches fields.

You know, I'm fine with the heavy use of continuity as long as it isn't gratuitous. With Soong's switch to cybernetics, I think it does fall into the category of "continuity porn". We all understood the connection between this Soong and Data, we didn't need to have it spelled out with this episode's coda. The episode struggles with this throughout, with specific referencing of the Botany Bay to tie it to Space Seed (again, unnecessary, WE GET IT!). The Briar Patch from Star Trek: Insurrection becomes Soong's perfect hiding place, but never even shows up, and they tie it to the Battle of Klach D'Kel Brakt mentioned by Kor in Blood Oath. These aren't so bad, helping to tie the Star Trek universe together, but the cumulative effect is crass.

LESSON: The reason why they lost the Eugenics Wars - they turned on each other.

REWATCHABILITY - High Medium: The weakest chapter, but nonetheless extremely watchable. Good action, etc., but it tries a little too hard to connect the dots.


Anonymous said...

Man, how did you resist not making an "Augment" joke with that screencap?

Siskoid said...

1) I'm bigger than that (if infrequently).

2) I think she's all natural.


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