[ENT] Silent Enemy

[ENT] Season 1, Episode 12 (Netflix: S1 E11): Silent Enemy

Rating: 4
In a lot of ways this episode has the opposite strengths and weaknesses as the previous Enterprise episode, Cold Front. While Cold Front had very interesting concepts, but fell short plot-wise, Silent Enemy doesn’t have any particularly creative concepts, but very effectively tells a story. In fact, this episode may be a great example for the basics of storytelling.
1: Stakes
The most common error when a writer creates the stakes for an episode is to make them so high that they are unbelievable. Far more important than high stakes is believable stakes (although the very best episodes manage to make high stakes believable). In this episode mysterious bully aliens are toying with Enterprise. We never fear that the aliens will destroy Enterprise, but they are humiliating them. This really makes you want to root for the Enterprise crew.
2: Character sympathy
The crew must return to Jupiter station for repairs and upgrades. The threat of returning to Jupiter is again, mild stakes, but believable. Most importantly you really connect with the characters not wanting to go back, their difficulties in completing the upgrades on their own, and the struggles they overcome to accomplish it. It’s such a simple plot, but you really want the crew to prove themselves.
3: Make sense
(I’m only referring to the main plot in this section) Many cool character traits and themes for the show are demonstrated through the plot. It never seems like things are happening just so the writers can tell us something they think is important. Trip and Malcolm’s relationship grows naturally from the situation they are in. Nothing demonstrates the crew’s eagerness to be out exploring than the crew working all through the night to prevent returning home.
By making the struggles believable, logical, and sympathetic, even a simple plot can be very exciting. This episode (in contradiction to its cheesy theme) doesn’t take many risks, yet is still very well crafted. This puts it a notch above most good episodes, barely bringing it to a 4.
Read more at Memory Alpha
Notes:

I like that they are deploying sub-space relays to communicate with Earth. Thats a nice detail to include

The subplot of this episode is Hoshi trying to find out Malcolm’s favorite food. Having all the people from Reed’s past basically describe his character is not very subtle, and seems like cheating when developing a character. This plot-line should bother me more than it does, but ultimately the scenes came off as natural, and they didn’t get in the way too much of the far better main plot.

I like when Trip and Reed rally the engineering crew together. Go team!

“I think he hates fish.” Hey that was kind of funny

Why does T’Pol always sit like this? It looks like her torso is eager to get work done, but her limbs are asleep.

Cool idea for the look of the aliens, but the CG couldn’t quite follow through

There are some good moments with Reed and Trip. I prefer it to the over-the-top relationship they have in Shuttlepod One

I like the message the aliens send to Enterprise using the clips of Archer

“I have that ‘component’ you asked for”. Very clever Hoshi. Due to your word choice, and putting the cake in that box, you successfully prolonged keeping the secret from Reed for another 11 seconds!

Cake! I love cake

File under: Cake!

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  • yogonaf

    What is great about the second image is that there is a lamp sitting on a table and there is a painting hanging on a wall.

    The text “but ultimately the scenes came off as natural,” shows that the technological time frame of “Enterprise” (yonagonaf is not using the title “Star Trek: Enterprise” because in season one the ratings were not in peril) is very close to the year 2016 and has not reached the technological time frame of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”.