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Suliban? These are questions that are not well answered so it leaves us with only the behaviour of Tandarans at this prison to base our judgement on and the unjust imprisonment of innocent people. Hence the good vs the bad storyline is way too simple.

Someone on a mailing list I am on mentioned something interesting. What if this prison had been a set up by the Suliban to find out more about what Archer knows about the Cabal? What if Colonel Grat had really been Silik? What if they had shapeshifted to appear as Tandaran or any other species and used the prison setting and seemingly victimized Suliban to get information from Archer? That would have tied in to previous episodes about the Suliban and would have made them appear as even more dangerous and unpredictable adversaries. But then I suppose the message would have been lost but I would have found this storyline far more interesting. Trek has always had good moralistic stories to tell but sometimes too much of a good thing can get boring.

The episode is well paced and the action at the end does add a bit of life to the show but otherwise it is rather bland. It does leave us with something to think about and this gives it some worth but frankly I was bored. I guess we've had the 9/11 tragedy so milked by the media that more of the same topic just didn't do it for me. I'm just glad they didn't play up the child in the show.

It was nice to see Dean Stockwell (Colonel Grat) again. He was splendid as the beleaguered warden. His scenes with Archer were good and Bakula "seemed" to deliver his lines more smoothly and with more conviction than usual when interacting with Stockwell or maybe it's just my imagination.

One thing I found annoying was that the music at times reminded me of Voyager again and I don't like this one bit. Moreover I can't help but feel there is something missing in this show again as well. I can't shake that feeling but it leaves me dissatisfied with the show. I guess it's too early to tell what it is exactly that is lacking but somehow the show seems like it is begging for some focus and this might be because we don't know who or what Archer is all about yet. Maybe the stories are too simple and predictable; maybe there's not enough mystery? I really don't know.

I give this episode a C+. The + for the message.

Gisele La Roche, About

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