In the twentieth episode of the fourth season of Enterprise, THIS IS A PAINFUL EPISODE BUT IT WAS ALSO SO GOOD. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Star Trek.
Trigger Warning: For discussion of consent, xenophobia, and racism.
MY GODS, THIS WAS?????? Y’all, what if that was my entire review? Just nothing but question marks? Because holy shit, I was not ready for the consistent escalation of “Demons,” especially not that ending. As messy as this fourth season has been at times, this is an episode that deals with the ramifications of the whole show. We’ve seen just how much space travel affects Earth society, and in the wake of ALL OF SEASON THREE, a new wave of xenophobic terror has washed over certain parts of the populace.
And this episode is just barely a metaphor, which is why it’s so effective and creepy. I haven’t always been a fan of how Enterprise has dealt with post-9/11 politics – their views on torture are still uncomfortable to me – but WOW, THIS WAS SO REAL. It’s an amalgamation of much of what we saw unfold in the early 2000s, and which has made a new resurgence in the last couple of years. Well, it’s never really went away, of course; it just changed form. The targets might be different, but the goal is the same: the preservation of some mystical “proper” race, or “proper” form of an American.
Of course, because this is a metaphor, all the pieces don’t fit in precisely the same way to its real-world counterpart, but I appreciated that this episode tackled just how extreme people like this can get. I admit that I still don’t see how that child factors into all of this, and more than anything else, that’s the mystery that hangs over “Demons.” The cold open introduces us to the first Vulcan-human child, which is something that we know won’t be stigmatized as much in the future. But that child represents something terrible to the people who are in Terra Prime, who believe that Earth belongs to humans and humans only.
So why? Why did these people ostensibly steal DNA from both T’Pol and Tucker to create this child if they hate the idea of human hybrids so much? It makes no sense to me! Everything else at least has some basis in their prejudicial framework. They believe that non-humans should be banished from Earth, so as not to “tarnish” the legacy of humanity, because… that is something that happens? Apparently? I suppose this is where I also have a problem with white supremacy or xenophobia on a purely logical level. Obviously, I have a much more personal issue with this as a non-white person, but how is allowing aliens on Earth diluting humanity? Humans are still humans, and just because they’re interacting with people unlike them doesn’t make them less human. But there’s little value gained in dissecting this sort of logic or belief because in the end, many of these people could never be convinced otherwise. It’s interesting to note that none of these characters really try to argue with the Terra Prime members. Instead, they’re mostly in shock! And who can blame them? After spending four years galavanting the universe, expanding their knowledge of existence, and making close friends with non-humans, this type of ideology is completely bewildering to them. It’s non-sensical!
I’m interested, then, to see what Travis is going to say to Gannet. There’s a chance she really wasn’t a spy, but I don’t really believe her all that much anymore. Plus, I need to know what truly transpired because it will influence how I feel about her behavior. Was her pursuit of Travis genuine, or was it all a ruse so she could get him to let his guard down? The latter would be… yeah, that would be super gross, and it would change how I thought of her! The same goes for Travis, who looks suitably pissed and confused once Archer levels the accusation at Gannet. UGH, IS SHE A GIANT BIGOT OR NOT? Was she set up? I can’t quite tell, but my gut tells me she was working for Terra Prime.
And if that’s the case, this is going to be a nightmare. This episode begins with the greatest hope for the Federation we’ve seen since Enterprise began. Indeed, we are really close to its formation, and I’m wondering if the series finale will end on that point. It seems like a logical conclusion, right? This is probably a three-parter that’ll give us the bridge between this show and The Original Series, but y’all. I still need to know one thing:
WHY THAT BABY??? I still don’t even have a theory???? Why would you create something you 100% believe is an abomination??? Oh my god, but also: look how excited Tucker was to know he had a daughter. So, I need the show to answer this for me, but I am requesting that he get to raise her regardless because I HAVE FEELINGS FOR T’POL AND TUCKER BEING PARENTS.
The video for “Demons” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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