[ENT] Season 2, Episode 22 (Netflix: S2 E22): Cogenitor
For creating a morally interesting and legitimately difficult situation, this episode gets a 4/5. More on this at the bottom of the review.
Read more at Memory Alpha
The dialogue at the end of the episode gives me the feeling that this episode is better than the writers intended. So much time in this episode is very effectively dedicated to the audience gaining sympathy for Trip’s position and actions. They also did a decent job of showing why Archer made the decisions he made, although it seems pretty clear we’re supposed to side with the cogenitor. Trip fighting for the rights of the cogenitor is an easy position to get behind, but the surrounding circumstances made the goals tragically difficult. Usually we see the hero swoop in and teach everyone a lesson, rescue all those in danger, and fly away with no consequences. I liked how this episode illustrated how it’s much more complicated than that, and that life is full of compromises, but some compromises (like giving up the cogenitor) lead to tragedy. I interpreted this episode to show how difficult some situations can be, not to mean that we shouldn’t try to fight for what’s right. The writers clearly don’t believe such a thing because there are plenty of episodes showing that we need to stand up for what’s right.
But then Archer says it’s all Trip’s fault, and the lesson is to not interfere. Archer does blame himself…in that he didn’t set a good enough example for Trip. It’s a little outrageous that he doesn’t think maybe he shares some blame, and that he shouldn’t have let the Vissians have the cogenitor. Aside from some dumb lines from Archer, and him generally looking like a jerk, this is still an interesting take on the ongoing theme in Star Trek of non-interference. It shows how particularly painful it can be, but one can’t reform an entire society from one encounter.