Star Trek 712: Awakening

712. Awakening

FORMULA: The Search for Spock + The Undiscovered Country + The Circle + Gambit Part II

WHY WE LIKE IT: Even more Vulcan background.

WHY WE DON'T: T'Pau's accent. V'Las' logic.

REVIEW: Continuing directly from The Forge, Awakening keeps up the pace while also giving us more background information on the Vulcans. Archer, struggling with Surak's katra, has visions of Vulcan's past, back before it found logic and peace. There we meet Surak himself, or what appears to be his living consciousness, self-aware and able to make decisions, have opinions, etc. no matter who acts as its repository. This ties in with The Search for Spock in an intriguing way. Some of Surak's information is suspect, incredible even if he shared Syrran's mind, but otherwise, an interesting way to get Archer to the next step.

While Archer and the always skeptical T'Pol are with the Syrranites, we meet the famous T'Pau, who sadly doesn't have the same accent featured in Amok Time, but a lot can change in 100 years. She's a little spitfire, and believably the same person who would later refuse a seat on the Federation Council. She tries to take Surak's katra, but it won't budge. It even gives Archer a mission - to find the Kir'Shara (or true Vulcan bible), which he readily does.

Meanwhile, Soval faces the High Command, but is shut down by an increasingly emotional V'Las. This witch trial and the following plans to bomb the Syrranite stronghold is enough to worry the rest of the High Command, but they're slow to act. V'Las has been planning an attack on Andoria, and it seems a sect of pacifists would have caused problems for him. The logic of this is fuzzy (and Archer's new knowledge of it the suspect information I mentioned earlier), but given V'Las' emotional state, it still seems in character. Enterprise is ordered off, but sticks around to retrieve Archer and T'Pol with Soval's help.

The rescue doesn't work, but Archer, T'Pol, T'Pau and many Syrranites make it out before the bombing starts. Unfortunately, T'Pol's mother becomes a casualty. A recent convert, she had to go underground when the witch hunt began, and seems to have quickly become a trusted adviser to T'Pau. Her death in her daughter's arms is emotional to underscore the Vulcans' present temperament, but also gives T'Pol the impetus to look into this Syrranite business more carefully and let go of her skepticism.

LESSON: If you want to wage war, first get the peaceniks out of the way.

REWATCHABILITY - High: We're clearly on the "Road to the Federation" which makes this another exciting episode for fans.


De said...

One item I found interesting was that the Vulcans used nuclear weapons in the war before the Awakening.

Siskoid said...

As we're ramping up for the last of these (television) reviews, I just wanted to thank you for commenting so frequently on these pieces. I wouldn't be surprised if you were my most frequent responder overall, and I thank you for that care and attention.

hiikeeba said...

I wonder if Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens being on staff had anything to do with the way Vulcan was portrayed. The showed tied in very nicely to the history of the Romulans being published about the time. Season four was pretty good, and we were getting a nicely healthy dose of continuity. Except for the train wreck to come. . .

De said...

Siskoid - The pleasure is mine, sir. I look forward to seeing your thoughts about Trek each morning. The Blog of Geekery is the first site visited after the first cup of coffee is poured.

Jeffrey - Most definitely. Judith and Gar wrote the initial episode of this story arc. It wouldn't surprise me if they referred to Josepha Sherman and Susan Shwartz's first Vulcan's Soul novel published that summer.


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