In the nineteenth episode of the first season of Enterprise, Tucker is the sole conscious member aboard the ship as aliens try to steal everything. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Star Trek.
Trigger Warning: For nonconsensual drugging
I think my dislike of the Ferengi is well-documented at this point. (Thanks, Deep Space Nine, for most of that.) It was only in episodes where Ferengi culture was turned on its head or subverted that I found those stories meaningful, so it’s honestly surprising to me that “Acquisition” was so entertaining. The Ferengi here are portrayed as straight as ever, but IT WORKS. The difference is that this is the first time humans have ever encountered the Ferengi, so the joy comes from watching the discovery. I wouldn’t say that “Acquisition” is heavy on the character development of anyone but Krem, but that’s because this is one of those episodes that’s about the experience.
And it’s an amusing one at that. The humor is never far away in “Acquisition,” which pits a crew of bickering, uncertain, and rude Ferengi against one another as they try to ransack the Enterprise. The crew is asleep – except for Tucker – due to being drugged by the Ferengi, who then try to steal literally everything they can. Now, this isn’t necessarily a revolutionary story. This is common for the Ferengi, at least in a general sense. They had a much better relationship with humans later on in the show. (Sort of???) This is also not the first time we’ve gotten an episode about the crew of a starship scheming to gain control of their ship from an invading species. And I’m sure we’ll see another one at some point!
The joy in this episode comes purely from watching Archer, Tucker, and T’Pol figure out how the Ferengi work, and then using that knowledge against them. Archer in particular figured out that the Ferengi have a society based in greed and material possessions. He then proceeded to manipulate Krem into turning against his crew and family. And for good reason! It’s the only bit of character development here, since Krem begins this episode as a timid pushover. Archer helps Krem find the courage to stand up to the others, but it’s done in a way that benefits Archer, too. Combined with the efforts of Tucker and T’Pol, a complex manipulation unfolds, and it is a SPECTACLE to watch. Tucker led them perfectly into that trap he had set LONG AGO. T’Pol exploited Krem’s attraction to her. In short: the humans used the Ferengis’ weaknesses against them AND WON.
It’s not the smartest or most thought-provoking episode of the show, but it was fun, and I appreciate that.
The video for “Acquisition” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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