Episode Report Card
Keckler: B+ | Grade It Now!
The Vulcansnatchers
Right off I'm going to take a stand to say that I could have really, really liked this episode. COULD HAVE. If only the Poor, Stifled Writers hadn't blown their Emotional Vulcan loads in "The Seventh," "Stigma," "Fusion," "Fallen Hero," and a little in "The Expanse." It would have been much more compelling and meaningful if they could've held off on Tremulous T'Pol until now. Maybe that's Jolene's fault, or maybe it's the director's fault for allowing it to be Jolene's fault, but if only. If only. However, all that aside, I did sorta like this episode for many other reasons. In fact, I'm willing to go waaaaay out on my Bitch Limb and say that it's my favorite episode of this season. Yet I'm still Keckler, and I'm still going to drink gallons and I'm still going to complain throughout this viewing. You wouldn't want it any other way, would you?

"It's Wednesday and it's time for [me]"? What the hell is that all about anyway, UPN?

Quantum carries a frothy-mouthed T'Pol and shouts, "She's coming to!" to Phlox. They get her on an examination table and strap her in as she thrashes and sounds primal scream after primal scream. This puts me in mind of a Keckler Family story. As a teenager, my older sister used to get so irritated by my mother that she told her she "just wanted to scream." My mother, being the scientific woman she is, told her to go ahead -- just don't do it in the house. After that, every so often, my mother and sister would be engaged in a "discussion" and eventually something would set my sister off. Without another word, she would stomp away from my mother, throw open the door, and treat our neighbors to her pent-up issues. T'Pol reaches up and tries to choke Quantum, shrieking that she's going to kill him. You go, girl!

Here's an alternative song: It's very clear my hate is here to stay. Not for a year forever and four more seasons.

Phlox scans T'Pol -- togged as the Viagra (tm Geo Gal) Veloured Vulcan tonight -- and says he's not sure if he can reverse the damage. He starts to hypospray her, but T'Pol thrashes around some more, insisting that he's trying to kill her. "Murderers! Get away! Noooooooo!" T'Pol screams, thrashing her head from side to side on that last syllable. Quantum grasps T'Pol by the forehead, forcing her to stop wriggling, and Phlox successfully hyposprays her. She continues to freak out. "What's interesting is that's exactly what I have to do to you every Wednesday night," the Evil Dr. Mathra notes. Finally, T'Pol calms down and Phlox slides her into the SCAT, while I start to labor under the impression that we've stepped into a bird sanctuary. Seriously, did anyone else notice that the sound guys and gals picked that precise moment to pump up the volume on all of Phlox's creatures? Maybe they're experiencing sympathy crazies.

A line on the screen tells us that it is now "one day earlier." In the newfangled situation room or "command center," Trip tells Quantum that Chef is worried about the crew. A lot of people seem to be off their feed these days, and Chef thinks it's because of stress. "I haven't had much of an appetite myself," Quantum says. Fine, but this isn't about you right now, Quantum, it's about YOUR CREW! Trip suggests starting movie night up again as a source of relaxation. Quantum nixes this idea, saying that "there'll be plenty of time for movies after we've dealt with the Xindi." Not if you're all dead. Seriously, the whole idea that Quantum should recognize that a more relaxed and less overworked, over-worried crew will actually function better when it's needed aside, think about those who won't survive this mission. I say give them their Milk Duds and sticky seats now. "No one hates the Xindi more'n I dew, Cap'n," Trip says. I give him a lot of credit for not saying that pointedly, as I would have done. Trip really thinks the crew needs R&R. "Unless you want Phlox to start medicating people [don't want anyone horning in on your stash?] we've gotta find a way to boost morale," Trip persists, in his role as cruise director. Quantum relents and asks what he had in mind, Trip thinks the comedy stylings of Bob Hope and Bing Crosby might do the trick. Did I ever mention that my grandfather was a writer for Bing's radio show back when he did it with Jack Benny? Well, he was. Bing also invited my mother and her parents to stay at his ranch in Elko, Nevada after my uncle was killed and they needed to get out of L.A. for awhile. That was uncharacteristically nice, considering that my grandmother used to say that Bing had "the coldest blue eyes." But back to the show that's never going to have writing like my grandfather's. T'Pol enters, and Quantum explains that they've been reviewing the Xindi starcharts, hoping they can figure out a way around the anomalies. T'Pol tells him she would have helped him out, but Quantum says he didn't want to wake her. "Besides," he continues, "our resident insomniac was looking for something to do." Quantum walks off. Trip asks if T'Pol has plans on Tuesday night, and tells her to meet him in the mess hall at seven o'clock. "Movie night?" T'Pol divines with a touch, just a touch, of weariness. Or wariness. Hoshi comms Quantum that she's picking up a Vulcan distress call and they aren't responding to hails.

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