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Episode 24 - First Aired May 8, 2002, 9 pm UPN (follows Fallen Hero)

Desert Crossings
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Explores the impact of some of Archerís previous dealings with certain alien cultures. There were a few days of location shooting in the desert. Three real-life crewman of the US Navy ship USS Enterprise appear in this episode. When Archer and Trip are invited to a desert-like planet by an alien leader after they help fix his ship, they discover he is a terrorist who has lured them onto his planet under false pretenses. Meanwhile, TíPol, while in command, faces a tough decision when she cannot locate Archer and Trip in the desert.

Guest Cast:

  • Clancy Brown as Zobral
  • Charles Dennis as Trelit
  • Brandon Karrer as Alien Man
  • Aviation Electronic Technician First Class Robert Pickering (US Navy) as ??
  • Aviation Electricianís Mate Second Class Timothy Whittington (US Navy) as ??
  • Personnelman Third Class Sara Elizabeth Pizzo (US Navy) as ??

Writers: Rick Berman & Brannon Braga and Andre Bormanis (story), Andre Bormanis (teleplay)
Director: David Straiton

Review: This was a fairly good episode - though it ended up being nothing like the first half indicated. The first half dealt with the Enterprise answering a distress call and repairing Zobralís ship. Things turned interesting when he invited Archer and Tucker down to his planet for dinner and they found out his planetís government considered him a terrorist. When this came to light, I was expecting some commentary or current relevance to terrorism - instead, it turned into a survival episode as Archer and Tucker fled into the desert when Zobralís camp was attacked. I feel they blew a good chance for some current politcal parrallels that could have raised some thought-provoking issues. It was almost like the terrorist angle was just a plot device to strand someone in a desert. The interaction between Archer and Tucker kept the second half interesting, but overall it was not as good as it could have been. Only an average episode.

 

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Episode 25 - First Aired May 15, 2002, 8 pm UPN

Two Days & Two Nights
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Archer and Porthos spend time relaxing on RisaThis is the episode the Enterprise finally makes it to Risa marking Earthís first encounter with the pleasure planet. Half the crew (except TíPol) takes Captain Archer up on his offer to use some dilithium reserves to buy the crew some vacation time on the planet. Various cast members will have individual episodes on the planet: Archer gets romantic with an alien woman named Keyla who he takes stargazing and reminisces about Earth; Trip and Reed take the advice of the Vulcan database and visit a Risan night club where they encounter two exotic women and entertain them with tales of courage during "Shuttlepod One" and "Acquisition". The women invite them into the back of the bar before shapeshifting into large male thieves, who when realizes the pair has little to steal, decides they should kill them; Hoshi also experiences some romance with an alien man named 'Ravis', who shares her love of multilingualism and enjoys the varied dialects found on Risa. Sato teaches him English and Ravis teaches her his language; Mayweather ends up mysteriously in a Risan hospital and Ensign Cutler (Kelly Waymire) makes another appearance, fearing for the young ensign's medical welfare.

Guest Cast:

  • Dey Young as Keyla
  • Rudolf Martin as Ravis
  • Jennifer Williams as Alien woman/shapeshifter
  • Kellie Waymire as Elizabeth Cutler
  • Dennis Cockrum as Frebus
  • Geoff Meed as DeeíAhn Male
  • DonnaMarie Reco as DeeíAhn Female
  • Stephen Wozniak as Latia Male
  • Joseph Will as Rostov
  • James Ingersoll as Risan Man

Writers: Rick Berman & Brannon Braga (story), Chris Black (screenplay)
Director: Michael Dorn (Worf of TNG)

Review: Iíve been trying to figure out what I thought about this episode, and I keep having mixed feelings. On one hand, I liked it - it was nice seeing the crew away from the ship and on shore leave for the first time - gave us a bit of an insight into their characters we havenít seen before (especially Phlox). On the other, it seemed the whole spy sublot was an attempt to make an otherwise light/funny episode fit into the Suliban story arc. Keyla and Archer didnít seem to have any chemistry and the whole storyline with her seemed forced - kind of like shoving a square peg into a round hole. Not sure if this was just me or not. Removing the Keyla thing, I would give it a 4 rating...but it drops down to 3 with it.

 

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Episode 26 - First Aired May 22, 2002, 8 pm UPN

Shockwave
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Archer in ShockwaveFirst season finale. Will deal with the temporal cold war and the Suliban and will lead into next seasonís premiere episode as the first of a two-part story (I hate cliffhangers!). Starfleet orders Enterprise to return home after the crew seemingly causes the destruction of an alien planet they were exploring. The time-traveler Daniels (last seen in Cold Front) returns with he and Archer traveling through time to try to thwart the Sulibanís plans.

Guest Cast:

  • Matt Winston as Daniels
  • John Fleck as Silik
  • Vaughn Armstrong as Admiral Forest
  • James Horan as Humanoid Figure
  • Stephanie Erb as Receptionist
  • David Lewis Hays as Tactical Crewman

Writers: Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
Director: Allan Kroeker

Review: If this is an indication of the direction and writing next season will have, it is going to blow us all away! Easily the best episode of the season with a perfect blend of action, drama and character bits. Didnít even end too badly for a cliffhanger, either...at least it was at a logical place instead of in the middle of a fight or some other stupidity often done.  Looking forward to the conclusion next season!

 

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