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Storm Front - Part 2
4-02 Storm Front, Part 2
reviewed by Kevin Thomas Riley
It was a good episode, slightly better than part one, which I gave a 6 on my patented 1-10 scale. This would mean a grade of 7 but I think that's a stretch so I'll settle for 6+ (or maybe downgrade part one to a grade 5 - meaning average). Still, I think Manny Coto did a good job in getting us out of the whole Alien Nazi mess.
It still left an awful lot of plot holes and unanswered questions though, but let's face it, time travel stories almost never makes much sense anyway. No matter how they were going to wrap it up it was bound to be at least a bit unsatisfactory. I'm just glad they got out of it because I've really had it up to here with those kinds of stories.
I didn't think Vosk's motivations were that hard to grasp. They were stranded in Earth's past, hiding from Daniels's faction, and wanted to get back home and in so doing start events that lead to their eventual victory in the Temporal War. Preventing that and, voilą, timeline restored. It was nowhere stated that the Temporal Cold War in itself would be erased from the timeline and thus the Enterprise was brought back (or should I say forward) to when the Xindi weapon had been defeated. If we are to believe Daniels (and Coto) the TCW will now focus on other centuries than the 22nd and I'm more than perfectly OK with that.
Initially the Temporal Cold War held some promises but those were squandered early on. It raised more questions than it answered and became a huge mess. As for the conclusion in this episode, as unsatisfactory as it might seem to some, I'm happy it's over and we can concentrate on other things. Yay!
This second part was even more plot driven than the first but that was to be expected. It still had some nice character moments. I especially liked the real reunion between Trip and Archer. You could really tell they were buddies. The dialogue in that scene was also excellent, with Trip at first mistrusting Archer's identity.
I still found myself liking Archer in this episode and I'm very pleasantly surprised. It seems Coto can make him a nice and strong character without having him seem petulant. I hope this bodes well for how he's going to be portrayed in the rest of the season. His interrogation scene with Silik was good. "You've changed", "Not for the better!". I'm sorry to disagree here but I think he has changed for the better. Despite the flaws of Dark Archer from season 3 (the aloofness and inconsiderateness), that was a huge improvement for his character. Now if they can manage to incorporate that with the new Archer I might actually grew to genuinely like him and that would indeed surprise me - in a very pleasant way. I want to like my Trek Captains!
I also liked Silik, but then I usually have. His character has always been one redeeming quality of TCW stories. Nice to see his "Human" face too. Too bad he died, but then again he might not have. If Daniels was resurrected when the timeline resetted itself, why not Silik? Now here's an idea for an upcoming episode - deal with the Suliban after the TCW has shifted away from the 22nd century. No time travel stuff but just recognize the Sulibans for what they are - a tragic and victimized species.
Alicia's missing sense-of-wonder from part one was shown here in a nice moment with Archer in a dead crewmember's quarters. I liked those two interacting.
Reed had a nice geeky moment when he got caught up in 20th century aero technology until corrected by T'Pol. And T'Pol looked a lot better this time. Maybe she's had some well- deserved sleep? Or was it just that Jolene didn't have the flu that has been rumoured that she suffered from while filming part one? Even the Vulcan wig looked like it should.
As for the plot it was rather predictable, given what we knew from the last episode. The action scenes were ranging from good but of the kind seen before (the gunfight with the Germans) to the spectacular (the dogfight over the New York City skyline). Seeing the Enterprise cruising between skyscrapers was awesome, and it didn't look faked. Too bad those scenes were so short.
The Hitler newsreel in the teaser was great, albeit quite shocking, but it was done very believably. Wonder if Hitler ever met Vosk?
Now, as a history buff, my main gripes with the story is, well, history. So Lenin was killed back in 1916 (good riddance by the way), thus preventing the creation of a Bolshevik Russia! Now how would that help the Nazis? This opens up a whole can of worms. How would Imperial Germany be defeated in World War One? In the same manner as it was in the real timeline? The harsh conditions of the Versailles peace accords were a contributing factor in the rise of Nazism. And before Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa he was allied with the Soviet Union (the Treaty of Rapallo). Without that alliance there was no way Germany could've rearmed and retrained. An Imperial Russia or a democratic Russian Republic - presumably formed after the "bourgeoisie" February Revolution in 1917 - would never have allied itself with Germany. They would've been securely with France and Great Britain from the beginning. And Hitler never had that much intention westward anyway. He wanted Lebensraum in the east. This action doesn't make much sense from an historical perspective.
Oh, and when the timeline reset after the defeat of Vosk we are still left wondering why since the changed events began in 1916 when Lenin was killed. It would've been nice to say that that event never took place either because some faction precipitated that after Vosk's people had gotten back home to the 29th century. That's my belief anyway.
And it seemed that Vosk's people (did they ever get an name on screen?) hadn't given the Germans that much anyway. Slow and vulnerable Stukas? And how did the Germans capture Britain and then land on the US east coast? Their Kriegsmarine was no match for the Royal and the US Navies and I doubt that Vosk could've helped them much with that since they hadn't yet given the Germans any heavier stuff to fight of the Americans.
One last thought, I never expected this to happen while watching this episode but I really got misty eyed in the last scene when the Enterprise was welcomed back by that armada of ships, including a Vulcan ringship.
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