[ENT] Season 1, Episode 16 (Netflix: S1 E15): Shuttlepod One
This episode is painful to watch, but typically that only means a score of 1. What brings this down to a 0 is that I actually regret watching it, and think people would be better off if they hadn’t seen it. It’s a character analysis episode that lowers my opinion of the characters. Trip seems like a jerk for most of the episode but retains some dignity by the end. This is the one episode that makes me hesitate before saying that I like Malcolm. In fact I would love Malcolm if I could somehow forget about this episode.
Read more at Memory Alpha
Trip and Reed find what they think is the wreckage of Enterprise
As far as the audience knows there isn’t any mystery as to what happened to Enterprise. We just have to watch Trip and Reed be clueless for the whole episode.
There also aren’t any stakes. No one believes Trip and Reed will die. This episode really isn’t about plot, it’s about how Trip and Reed deal with the deaths of their friends and the apparent inevitability of their own deaths. A lot of people decide they like this episode once its premise is established. Good writing could really dig into these themes.
Trip is really annoyed that Reed has given up and won’t help with the work. I don’t particularly enjoy watching people hysterically (and frivolously) bicker for 30 minutes.
Reed has completely given up hope for survival and is focusing on documenting what has happened and leaving messages for people he knew. He has a totally sympathetic position, and yet he still manages to sound whiney. That’s a good trick.
We learn from Reed’s dream that he has sad weird fantasies about T’Pol, and he’d like to think of himself as brave, despite completely giving up in reality.
There is a brief moment where they work together to find hull breaches. Then they block the holes with mashed potatoes.
In the following scene they’re getting along, talking about some girl named Ruby. Could their animosity be behind them?
Nope. They get back to yelling at each other a few minutes later.
We also get to see the actors pretend to be drunk and talk about T’Pol’s “bum”. I suppose some people like this episode because they think it’s funny. It’s hard to argue over humor, and we might just have to agree to disagree. But seriously, it’s not funny.
Then they learn Enterprise is still okay, but is two days away, and there is only a little more than 1 day of air left in shuttlepod one. It seems like the writers expect us to be disappointed every time something new is discovered that makes their situation look worse. We never believed they were going to die. We never will.
Trip and Reed become buddies by the end, and Reed learns to be optimistic. Fake character arcs bother me. Reed and Trip seemed to get along more in previous episodes than they do in the following episodes, generally speaking. And Reed seemed more optimistic in prior episodes than in later episodes. In the end it just seems like the episode was made because it wouldn’t cost much money.
<Previous Episode——————————————————– Next Episode>