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While they are CGI creations and excellent ones at that, Coto gives them dialogue that makes them integral to the proceedings.
I was a little doubtful that the writers could pull off Archer's addressing the Council without it being too predictable but it turned out well. I also worried that Bakula would revert to his stiff acting style of the first season given that he seemed then not to do well when giving speeches but again it worked. It was nice to see Sato being featured in the episode and doing something logical for her character and something worthwhile to boot. Mayweather was also used well. On a side note, I liked that details such as the bruises on Travis' face and Archer's were still there. It's great to see such attention being given to continuity.
I liked how Trip resolved yet another emotional hurdle (the other being his grief over his sister's death ("Forgotten")), which ties up quite nicely with how he felt at the beginning of the arc. He wanted revenge and now he's able to confront the man who was responsible for his sister's death. At the beginning of the episode, he *hates* Degra and resents having to work with him but at the end regrets that Degra was killed. Again, it's a nice piece of writing that develops the situation logically and gives us a satisfying end.
The subplot was as engaging as the main one. The visual f/x of the interior of the Sphere are noteworthy but then the f/x on this show have always been excellent. I liked that we got some reaction to Hawkins death. Reed feels responsible for losing the MACO and can't accept his death. Dominic Keating does a nice job depicting Reed's guilt and helplessness. T'Pol tries to comfort him by telling him it was an honorable death and by stating one of the most famous lines in Trek: "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few."
Another interesting line was that of Dolim's: "Either you stand with us or you stand against us." I liked the reaction of the other Xindi and how they tell Dolim that he can't *intimidate* them much like the reaction of certain countries around the world to a certain president's similar line.
I give this one an A+. The + for Randy Oglesby's death scene.
Gisele La Roche,