Mark Watches ‘Enterprise’: S03E11 – Carpenter Street

In the eleventh episode of the third season of Enterprise, Daniels reappears and assigns Archer a demanding case: to stop three time-traveling Xindi. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Star Trek.

Trigger Warning: For kidnapping, nonconsensual drugging.

You know, this kind of falls apart once you think back on it? Well, maybe not completely apart. It’s a full circle of a narrative that’s largely closed, and there’s no reset button hit either. I had fun watching this, though, and the experience of seeing Archer and T’Pol in 2004 was incredible. But the story is… there? It happens? I don’t know why it does? Like… wait, does this mean that the Xindi are now part of the Temporal Cold War? Or was Daniels’s involvement merely an exception to that war, a chance for his organization to get involved in the bizarre timeline that’s currently unfolding for Archer and Enterprise?

I have no clue, and the complete lack of information here is stunning in hindsight, but WHO CARES WHEN T’POL GETS TO WEAR THAT LEATHER JACKET AND ARCHER HAS TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO DRIVE AND THERE IS AN HONEST-TO-GODS SEQUENCE IN WHICH THEY ORDER FOOD FROM A DRIVE-THRU. Why does that scene exist? What is the point of it? I seriously thought Loomis was trying to escape, but nope, it is there because T’Pol is vegetarian??? I DON’T KNOW.

Look, this is a ridiculous episode that Jeffrey Dean Morgan is APPARENTLY in, though I didn’t recognize him anywhere. He must have been one of the Xindi, yes? Either way, the basic idea is that three Xindi reptilians travel back to 2004 to harvest each of the human blood types so that they can add it to the bio-weapon. And on a basic level, I get the time travel aspect. If they can travel through time, why not use it to build part of this weapon so that humans can’t find them? Though now I see why T’Pol was so suspicious of all of this: if they have this ability, why not travel to an earlier time? Why choose a period in human history where it’s much, much harder to get what you need? Why not just kill everyone in 2004 instead of in 2154?

These questions aren’t answered, and “Carpenter Street” never seems willing to answer them. It’s certainly a flaw, but I wouldn’t say that this episode is worthless. Again: T’Pol in that jacket, looking like both The Matrix and Dana Scully. YOU’RE WELCOME. There’s some situational comedy that I appreciated, too! And in Loomis, played perfectly by Leland Orser, we get a truly despicable character we don’t really see in the Trek universe. In him, we get a snapshot of humanity that is revolting to someone like T’Pol. He’s selfish to the end, truly convinced that his need for money cancelled out the horrific things he did. He doesn’t even seem concerned that he’s violated people so viciously!!! And I don’t even think this is a case of someone going through cognitive dissonance; I’m certain that Loomis really didn’t think this through, nor did he care. Thus, he is never offered redemption by the story at all, despite that I expected that from the Trek universe. He doesn’t change, he doesn’t repent, he doesn’t apologize. He’s just scummy until the end, and it was strangely refreshing to have him be at the center of all of this?

Otherwise, I’m not really sure how this plays into the greater narrative for the Temporal Cold War or the Xindi weapon. Do the Xindi in the present timeline know that their efforts have failed? Will they try the same thing again? Does any of this matter? Who knows? THAT JACKET, Y’ALL.

The video for “Carpenter Street” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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