"Shadows of P'Jem"
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Which brings me to Jeffrey Combs who plays Shran, the Andorian commando leader. Combs has an undeniably great ability as an actor. His characters of Weyoun and Brunt in DS9 were fantastic in themselves and here, as Shran, he excels in portraying another very interesting and unique characterization. I do hope we see him and the Andorians again.
In addition, the fact that the Andorians are involved with the Coridan rebels also adds another dimension to the Vulcan/Andorian storyline. They see the Coridan government as corrupt also and we do see some things on the planet that suggest this may be so. As the Vulcan's have an mining agreement with the Coridan government, we might wonder just how virtuous the Vulcan's are as they must be aware of this. While some Trek purists might argue that the Vulcans are not as they should be, I think that not being this way is a plus. After all, these are pre-TOS Vulcans; they should be different and not being so perfect is very refreshing and makes them extremely engaging. It's not like we don't know how they will become, is it?
It's a given of course that T'Pol wouldn't be leaving the Enterprise. Still, I enjoyed the exploration of this idea nonetheless as I think we saw some growth in the character. Her talk with Dr. Phlox was revealing as well. She is not the first Vulcan to serve on an Earth ship but she is the first to stay on as long as she has. Most of the other Vulcans who served left after a short time because they couldn't tolerate the humans' ways. The end scene was superb. While Dr. Phlox and Archer know that T'Pol is not completely encapacitated, they don't let on. As such, T'Pol is able to indirectly refuse the reassignment while still maintaining her Vulcan persona and gives Sopek a way out. I do hope however that they don't humanize her completely as I'd like her to retain her Vulcan nature.
And then there was that scene which stuck out like a sore thumb. As I was taping and busy at the time, I just happened to glance at the screen to see Archer with a face full of T'Pol's breasts. My first reaction was one of aversion and I really couldn't believe what I saw. After I re-watched the episode in its entirety and saw the whole scene, I couldn't help but laugh at the situation they were in. Still, I would imagine it was embarrassing for the actors and admit I felt a twinge of discomfiture myself at seeing this.
It's a little early for that kind of scene. We don't know these characters well enough for it to have had the effect that I think was intended and while I like the show to have some sexy and humorous scenes, I hope they go in for more subtlety in the future. We don't need to have it pushed in our faces, so to speak. Ok, I know, ::groan::....heh.
I give this fun episode a B+. The + for the cool continuity!
Gisele La Roche,