If you are seeing this paragraph, the site is not displaying correctly. You can see the content, but your current browser does not support CSS which is necessary to view our site properly. For the best visual experience, you will need to upgrade your browser to Netscape 6.0 or higher, MSIE 5.5 or higher, or Opera 3.6 or higher. If, however, you don't wish to upgrade your browser, scroll down and read the content - everything is still visible, it just doesn't look as pretty.
Terra Prime, review by persianmouse
I am very taken by the impact ‘Terra Prime’ has had on me. I actually had to watch it twice to fully get it. The first time around, I was full of so much agitation and fury at what was about to occur between the hours of 9 and 10 o’clock, that the whole of the emotional impact didn’t hit me. It came quite close, skittering right to me, stopping mere inches from my face, and then following me around for the next day, until I was able to rewatch it. This is going to be another difficult one to review, and genially mock. It was a fine line to tread, without seeming like I'm being disrespectful. Hopefully, I managed it.
Well, last time we left our Space Avengers, they were being forced to listen to Robocop blather on and on over the airways, interrupting the 163rd season of Friends. Well we return to them this week mere milliseconds later. Robocop is still blathering on “Blahblahblah humans rule blahblahblah aliens drool blahblahblah I kick puppies and eat babies blahblahblah I have serious issues with my daddy blahblahblah trying to get out of his big old moon shadow blah blah blah bla….” (Did I just make a Cat Stevens reference with out meaning to? I did!). Anyway, Archer tries to change the channel, but Hoshi can’t find the clicker. I really think he should’ve checked in-between the seat cushions of his fancy captains chair, but well, he didn’t. Archer finally gets sick of the PAX network, and tells Reed to blow up the Robocop’s ship. Unfortunately for our crew, Robocop is one smart little bigot, and tied his Warp core into the CULD (Completely Unguarded Laser of Doom), so if Archer cancels Earth’s subscription to the PAX network, he’ll take out half of Utopia Colony (ah, Trek, and it’s ‘ironic’ name titles, how I will miss thee) with it. Archer briefly considers this before deciding it’s best NOT to blow up half of an innocent colony. Good choice, old boy.
I have now faithfully recreated the reaction to Robocop’s speech on Earth, using the latest in digital imaging, sound buffering, and my own blithering subconscious. Enjoy!
ROBOCOP:…most dangerous threat Humanity has ever faced….
EARTHMAN 1: *gasp* The Borg?
EARTHMAN 2: *gasp* The Dominion?
EARTHMAN 3, A SOCIAL SCIENCE MAJOR: *gasp* Ourselves?
EARTHMAN 4: *gasp* The Gays?
EARTHMAN 5: *gasp* The Romulans?
VULCAN DELEGAT 1: Romulans, what Romulans, there aren’t any Romulans here! Nope not a one. I spy not a single one. Definitely no Romulans here. Stupid Earthman.
SOVAL: (looking with raised brow at VULCAN DELEGATE 1) What’s wrong with you?
VULCAN DELEGAT 1: Nothing! Why should there be anything wrong with me! I’m a perfectly normal, happy Vulcan.
SOVAL: Vulcans don’t do happy; it’s in the handbook (waves a copy of So, you want to be Vulcan, by Voltaire at him).
VULCAN DELEGAT 1: Just what are you accusing me of! I hope it’s not not being Vulcan, cause I most certainly am 100% Vul-
ROBOCOP: Excuse me! Trying to deliver my terrifying speech here, and you guys are ruining my moment!! Anyway, before the peanut gallery decided to speak up, I was about to introduce you to the most dangerous threat Humanity has ever faced! It’s th-
EARTHMAN 4: It’s the Gays isn’t it, it’s the Gays?! See I always told you it was the Gays!
EVERYONE BUT SOVAL: SHUT UP!!!
SOVAL: Cease your inane ramblings, so we can listen to this other guy’s inane ramblings. And Number 1, did you just tell him to ‘Shut Up’ ?!
ROBOCOP: HEY!! Everybody shut the hell up, or maybe I’ll just take my little ‘dangerous threat to humanity’ and leave!!
EVERYONE BUT SOVAL : ………..
SOVAL: .……….( but more Vulcan-like)
ROBOCOP: See, that’s better. *clearsthroat* The most dangerous threat Humanity has ever faced……. THIS ADORABLE BABY!!!!
ALL OF EARTH, EVEN THE VULCANS: Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww…..
EARTHMAN 4: I still think it’s the Gays! That must be a Gay baby, that is! That’s a Gay, hybrid baby who want to go and get married to other Gay, hybrid babies, and take our jobs and make all our kids little Gay, hybrid kids who frost their hair and listen to Abba and want to open yogurt sta-*thunk*
(SOVAL has just nerve-pinched him. EVERYONE applauds)
So after a few commercials about back injuries and Gatorade, we return to the council chambers. There is no longer any genial milling about; it’s now more like a distressed pacing about. Soval, tasty as ever, sweeps majestically down the stairs, proving that even in this universe, the Vulcan billowing robe technology is still superior to your billowing robe technology. Soval, still tasty, and Nameless Andorian Ambassador guy, wearing water-proof robes (my, my, just what kind of interspecial exchanges go on at these conferences), relate to the Mayor of Sunnydale that there are protests going on in front of their embassies and that they are using ‘words not in the universal translators’. It’s good to know that the word ‘fuck’ still exists in the future. The Mayor of Sunnydale tries to placate them, but, well, an angry mob always gets the final word over a meek politician. We can hear in the background Robocop saying something about “We believe in the protection of life and all it’s diversity”. Looks like he’s been reading Not Ever Definitively Saying Something About That Other Thing That Was Once That Other Thing, That Which We Are Trying To Try Something New With, Make It Dynamic And Dramatic, All In Keeping With The Traditions Of That Thing Which Once Was Not The Thing It Was Once Not Was; How To Talk Out Of Both Sides Of Your Ass In Forty-two Easy Steps, by The Bermaga. He got it for Valentines Day.
Anyway, the basic demand is all aliens gotta go, and how, or Star Fleet Headquarters go boom. Damn, looks like that bridge just might blow up after all. Soval glares his most superior glare at the Mayor of Sunnydale, the following exchange occurs:
MAYOR OF SUNNYDALE: Hey! Your daughter’s banging one!
CROWD OF MISCILLENIOUS ALIENS: Burn!
SOVAL: That’s because Humans are very good at sucking, if your mother is any indication.
CROWD OF MISCILLENIOUS ALIENS: OOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHH, no he didn’t, he didn’t just say that!
We now enter the smoky, drizzling nightscape streets of San Francisco, straight out of a Dashiell Hammett novel. It’s our pal Mal, off for a jaunty little jaunt on this fine evening. Oh no, wait, that big ho is out to see his old Section 31 boyfriend! Section 31 actually says, “Twice in one week, people will talk.” They trade more thinly veiled, vaguely gay double-entandra. And they shake hands. Of course, they only did this so they could plant microscopic listening bugs on each other, but it’s the thought that counts. We go back up to Enterprise where Mal, Travis, and Archer tell the Mayor their plan, which involves a comet somehow. Oh, we get Mommy T’pol! She’s rocking the baby, a little awkwardly. Robocop comes in, and they have a little chat:
ROBOCOP: All the rocking in the world won’t make that baby Vulcan.
T’POL: Yeah, no shit, Sherlock. Have you been watching ‘Threshold’ again? Let me tell you, forward momentum does not alter DNA; there will be no lizard babies. NO lizard babies, okay?
ROBOCOP: Your baby is a crossbred freak. I hate it. Oh, have you seen my new Pitchfork and flaming stick? Aren’t they pretty…so shiny….so flamey…
T’POL: If you try to hurt my baby, I will rip out your intestines and put them in a bowl!
ROBOCOP: Oh, don’t worry, I won’t have to hurt her.
T’POL: What the hell do you mean by that?!
ROBOCOP:…………………. It’s mysterious silence, you get that, right?
ROBOCOP: I was being mysteriously silent. This doesn’t count, I didn’t want you to think I didn’t hear you or something.
T’POL: Would you please go twitch foreshadows somewhere else please?
(Good writers borrow from other writers, great writers outright steal)
….anyway, back to business. We see Kelby, peeing himself with glee that Trip’s life is in danger, so he can be Overlord and Overmaster and Overseer of the land of Oversight. We get a close-up and a name of a red shirt (red stripe?) we’ve never seen before. Oh, he’s so gonna die. Or not. Depends really on if he’s Scottish or not. Oh look, the teaser! Oh, look it’s a weepy Red Shirt with a phaser pointed at Archer, guess he wasn’t Scottish after all.
There’s another scene with Lindsey Lohan and Travis, but I don’t care, neither do you, so let’s forget about it, m’kay. Not like this post isn’t already long enough.
We get to see Enterprises Thermalwear. They are just those grey turtlenecks from the first couple seasons of DS9. HEY!!! Wardrobe! They cancelled your show! No seriously, they did, ask Props!! You don’t have to try and save money by reusing old costumes with Colm Meaneys’ pit stains. Go to Jo-Ann Fabrics, and buy some new stuff.
Another commercial break with the Brittany Spears promo on. Wow, I can actually hear America get dumber, and it sounds like gum being smacked…..
So we come back to Our Man Trip being forced to become all greasy and dirty and floor-bound……..sorry, went away there for a minute. Anyway, he’s talking to Pop Star Seal about Vulcans.
TRIP: You know, I didn’t like Vulcans at first either, but that’s just because it furthered the plot. And back then, *some* people thought I was a catfish-eating, harmonica-playing, bigoted, ignorant, redneck Southern stereotype, who never got him no book-learning, yet somehow got a job a Chief Engineer on the first ever warp 5 starship, and all them fancy city-folk just had to patronize this shoeless, ignorant, backwater hick. Haha! Can you believe that! Its sooooo ridiculous right? No education, and yet somehow I end up a Chief Engineer! I still eat the catfish, but I traded the harmonica to go bareback riding with T’pol.
SEAL: Shut up! The Vulcans caused WWIII!
TRIP: ………What? Vulcans didn’t even make first contact until ten years later? Didn’t you see the movie? It was the last good one. They showed it in the Mess Hall for movie night once, heheeh, and me and T’pol did this trick with the popcorn b-
SEAL: Shut up! Don’t talk to me about your Vulcan ‘friend’; all that ever got you was that adorably cute abomination. It should be destroyed!
TRIP: (gets all up in Seals grill) Shut up! She’s not an it!
SEAL: Hit me, then!
TRIP: (considers it for a second, then goes all Hans Solo)…….okay! (punch!) And if you don’t mind, I’ll just sabotage the CULD while your not looking, m’kay?
SEAL: Grrrr, you traitor…Kung fu kick!!! (Trip falls to the ground). I HATE YOU!! (kicks Trip some more) You, and your traitorous kidneys!! (Trip lays on the ground, and realizes just why there is a whole website called Trip!Hammered)
Archer, Phlox, Reed, and Travis are all on a shuttlepod, up the comet’s ass, and the shuttlepods’ a-rockin’, but not for the good reason. Reed gets a tummy-ache, so Phlox hands him a barf bag. He had a whole bunch with him, to help everyone get through the next episode.
Back to Trip. Robocop comes in with a thermos full of juice his mom packed him for lunch. He was hoping to trade it with Trip for some of his Polly-O string cheese, but Trip’s not in a sharing mood. Trip demands to see the wife and kid, and Robocop tells him he’ll *eat* when he’s done repairing the CULD. Hmmmm, Trip asks about T’pol, Robocop talks about eating……ah, perversion! Robocop says that he knows that Trip sabotaged the CULD, that he knew he was going to sabotage the CULD, that he’s happy he sabotaged the CULD, because this means Trip is an honorable man, and will now help Robocop repair the CULD. Yes, Robocop also got another book for Valentines Day. It was called Un-connected Logic: The Les Moonves Story. Robocop says if Trip doesn’t help him, he won’t be able to refine the CULD enough, so thousands in San Francisco will die, but if he helps him, only Star Fleet Headquarters will go boom. Trip tells him to fuck off, and Robocop has him locked in a cell, with the TV on one of those all news channels so he can watch the bodies being pulled from the rubble. Unfortunately, they put it on Fox News, so all Trip is going to have to sit through is Bill O’Reilly IV talking about how T’Baby is a gay hybrid baby who wants to raise gas prices, then starts rubbing falafel all over himself.
We then get, what has to be, not only one of the best ENT scenes ever, but one of the best Trek scenes ever (Yep, better than Abe Lincoln in Space, even). T’pol is talking to T’Baby, and it’s very obvious T’pol wants to convey something, but doesn’t know how. T’pol looks incredibly young and vulnerable in this scene, like the stairs scene with T’Les in Home. This is what she says:
T’POL: I am your Mother.
T’POL: You will need a name.
T’POL: We should discuss this with your father.
I really can’t comment on this, I don’t need to, it was beautiful, heartbreakingly earnest, and full of love.
Wait…what’s that I hear… is it, could it be… MacGyver music! It is!! And we get TripGyver, breaking out of his cell with a belt buckle! *swoon* Oh, how I love thee, Trip (the real Trip)! *sigggghhhhhh*
Back to the shuttlepod. It swings by the Carl Sagan memorial hair emporium and waffle house, and parks. They step onto the planet all Duneified-out. (the spice must flow).
T’POL: I want to speak to you alone.
ROBOCOP: This isn’t an episode of Robocop!secrets, you can talk to me with my men here, my big, sweaty men.
T’POL: I think you know why I need to talk to you alone. *coughcoughViksVaporubcoughcoughbarnyardfoulcoughcough*
ROBOCOP: Klansman, out! (FNK leaves, in full glare mode) Okay, out with it, you she-witch, what do you want; I have many important cities to be destroying.
T’POL: You will let me, my daughter, and my man leave here unharmed, in a new car, with a car seat, all your AbbaZabba bars, and your Boba Fett figurine. My mans got this Star Wars thing, you see. It’s not for me.
ROBOCOP: What! No not Boba Fett! Never Boba! Why would I give you Boba! And why should I let you leave?!
T’POL: Because Mars aien’t the kind of place to raise your kids. You will let me leave or I tell your men where they can find those poor, poor ducks. Oh, yeah, and I’ll them about your little Rigelian gene therapy thing, you hypocrite.
ROBOCOP: Oh, please. They won’t believe you, I had them brainwashed years ago. What’s the use of having minions if they won’t submissively obey your every whim. Get out of here, I have to polish my Boba. Oh, and DOOMITY-DOOM-DOOM-DOOM!!!
There’s some stuff with the shuttle, some Hoshi in command, and she rocks!
Back to the Mooninites. Apparently, the Vulcans won’t leave. Hells yeah, cause they’re just that badass. They fire up the CULD and target SFHQ. Oh, but fhew! Our heroes do the hero thing, and come to save the day at the last second, as heroes are wont to do. There’s a lot of shooting, Mal and Trip get shot, some Mooninites, and the window. Oh no, they’re all gonna die Total Recall style! Unless Archer can save the day at the last minute, again. It’s just him and Robocop now. Robocop starts saying how his dad can beat up Archer’s dad, and Archer goes and shuts down the CULD like Semiconscience!Trip told him to. But then Robocop turns it back on, and Archer tries to turn it off, but can’t, as Robocop locked it. Archer despairs. We see the CULD shoot for Earth, and miss SFHQ completely, and instead, hits San Francisco Bay (inadvertently killing the last two humpback whales on Earth). Wha? How did this happen? We were watching Archer, and he didn’t save the day, and we all know he’s the only one who can save the day. No it’s Trip! He saved the day! I really can’t tell you how happy I am that somebody else, for once, saved the day! It made me actually like Archer in this episode. Meanwhile, Robocop collapses, saying “Abbazabba, you my only friend” or something like that.
Turns out the shuttle was sabotaged, and by the red-shirt no less. He ends up shooting himself in front of Archer. Great. The Mayor is in the Mess hall with Hoshi, and says, for all intents and purposes, the conference is dead.
Okay, from this point on, it’s really not going to be funny anymore, but the subject matter becomes far too serious. You really can’t make fun of dead babies (boy, did I learn that the hard way).
It turns out that method of cloning Robocop’s doctors used was flawed, and T’baby will most likely not survive. I’m guessing they did this deliberately, they wanted T’baby to have a short life, they had no interest in her survival. Watching Trip and T’pol with their baby was heart breaking, Trip was looking at her with nothing but the wonder of a new father. T’pol hangs her IDIC on the incubator. She decides to name the baby Elizabeth. Unfortunately, this universe is not kind to those unfortunate few named Elizabeth Tucker. Phlox is distraught at his inability to save Elizabeth, he sees the crew as his family, and this is like losing his own daughter. Phlox tells Archer to make this maddening sacrifice count. You can see the sorrow in Archer as well. I don’t know how these actors got through this episode without crying every five minutes.
We go back down to Earth, in the council chambers, all the alien delegates there, along with the crew. It seems that the death of a baby has united the coalition, at least for the moment. Archer gets to make his speech, and its not half-bad. He paces around, and we see the faces of the whole crew. I believe at this point that Elizabeth has died; I don’t think Trip or T’pol would leave her side while she was alive. And you can see it on the faces of the crew, the mourning, the brokenness. Even without words, you can see their reaction to this…unnaturalness of their friend’s baby dying. Trip is vacant, and looks like he may fall over at any point. Archer stops in front of Trip and T’pol, and talks about how the most profound discoveries are not always over the next star, but within us, and they bind us all together. I like, that finally, some serious importance is put on the relationship between Trip and T’pol, and what it means for humanity as a whole.
The last scene is…hard to talk about. When you loose a baby, when a parent must bury a child, it is as if the air itself around is mourning. You become vacant; there is this quiet choking suffocation of weight and gravity. You forget your own name. You forget where the cupboards are. You forget what shoes are for. Every second that goes by you think is the worst second of your life, that’s it’s as bad as it could possibly be, until the next second comes by, and it’s even worse. The only thing that you can remember, the one fact that keeps pounding it’s impossibility in your head is that your child is dead, and there is nothing, not one thing, you can do about it. You are helpless. You can’t believe that you keep on living, that you draw a next breath. All you want is your baby back, for your child to be alive again, and there is nothing you can do to make that happen. And you know this, logically you know this, but you keep feeling this slight nudge of doubt that there is, in fact, a way to bring your baby back, there must be a way, but you are too stupid to figure it out. If you could just see what the answer is, then everything will be okay, your baby will be back in your arms, you will be able to smell her head, watch her tottle around in the backyard, watch her face as she sees frogs for the first time. But you can’t. Your baby is gone. You will never get her back. You will go around the rest of your life with your dead child following you everywhere. You may be happy again, have other children, but forever, just on the edge of periphery, will be your dead child. And it will hit you sometimes, in lines at the grocery store, or brushing your hair in the morning, all that weight, all that helplessness, all that raw sorrow, and you will feel what the drowning man feels. But you go on, nonetheless, but you never, ever forget. This is what the last scene was about. It was short, but all this is there, an invisible extra. It is hard to think about, hard to talk about, harder to type about. Trip can’t control himself, nor should he; this is not a time for control. T’pols line “She was important” is not just a reference to the fact that Elizabeth’s’ death led the council members to agree to meet, therefore form a coalition, therefore forming the Federation. “She was important.” It was because Elizabeth was her daughter. Her daughter. It did not matter what Elizabeth chose to do in life, if she any influence in history at all, she was important because she was her child, their child, and therefore as important as the universe entire.
If the show must end early, let it end here. This is an ending worthy of being an ending. It is a testament to humanity, to life, to the crew. It shows life, in the way that it insists on being sometimes. No one was trying to save the universe, or win a war; they were trying to save one baby’s life. I can think of no greater compliment to the Enterprise crew then to leave them with this, if we must leave them so early. Archer gets to make his speech while the music swells. The whole crew participated in Elizabeth’s rescue, and you could see them mourning her loss. Death affects people; you don’t just walk on, bitching about seating. It stops you in tracks, forces you down, and sits on your chest. Humanity is shown in it’s darkest light, and in it’s brightest. The truth in the emotion that was shown here, the beauty and the tragedy of it all, is what should be remembered. What came next looked all the more a farce because of it. Made it look all the more garish and foolish. ‘Terra Prime’ shows a truth. Let that be Enterprises legacy.
Return to Miscellany
Half a dozen of you have made comments
You mean I get to be first to post comments?!! Such a small yet satisfying feeling!!!
This piece had me giggling so hysterically that my cat stalked out of the room in a huff (I could hear her grumbling something about "stupid humans" but that's all I got).
And then of course came kleenex time. You put it so well: "The truth in the emotion that was shown here, the beauty and the tragedy of it all, is what should be remembered." You have voiced what we are all feeling and thinking. Thank you for that!
I loved the first rant you've ever posted to the BBS, persianmouse; I loved the second rant you've posted; and, as a matter of fact, I've loved EVERY rant you ever posted to the BBS after that too. Much to my surprise, this one is no exception.
Now you are in trouble, because ... see this cute little puppy? Oh, sorry, that was the meat grinder. Here ... see this cute little puppy? Very cute, isn't it? Can you guess what happens in case I don't get a NEW rant within the next couple of days? That's right. ;-)
Peter, I'm away from home right now so can't post persianmouse's reviews. I'll do it when I get back. So don't blame her!
Oh no! Not the puppies! The only man who can kill puppies and get away with it is Kirk!
Thank you for your generous comments, it means a lot coming from you (your Deconstructeds always make me laugh.)I'm working on reveiws for some of the other episodes right now. I was working on one for That-episode-which-shant-be-named, but I realized that I just don't care about it enough to mock it. It's not deserving of my mockery, that little tumour of a 'finale'.
However, I am working on two MST3K-type parodies of it, one with the Beebs, the other with the cast. Good times, man, good times.
I just discovered your reviews... This one was great, I both laughed and cried. Well done!
Only made me miss ENT more. Will you be reviewing the earlier seasons once they come out on DVD?
My....my....I just don't have the words. Your writing is simply profound. The humor had me tickled and rolling on the floor but your eulogy had me weeping. I have not seen the finale and now will never see it, I will not do that to my heart. My DVD's of season 4 (I have never seen season 4)will be coming in any day now and I will happily consider this episode the season finale. Thank you for this beautiful synopsis of Enterprise's "last" show. Gotta go cry now.