Star Trek Enterprise season finale

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I made it through the first season of Enterprise because yes, I am a Star Trek fan, and I understand that it sometimes takes a new series some time to get it's "legs". Call it a weird dedication to the memory of Gene Roddenberry. I love classic Trek (TOS for those in the know), I loved Next Generation when it was on (although now some of it looks a bit too "squeaky clean" for my taste), got into DS9 late in the game (didn't like the series ender, can't even remember how it ended), and abso-freaking-lutely hated Voyager.

Second season of Enterprise: Pure dedication to Roddenberry. I thought the characters were flat, Bakula was too "nice", I don't know... just can't put my finger on it.

Third season: This was going to be it's last chance for me. New ideas, additional fresh writer(s), and a season-long arc. Hmmm.

Relatively speaking, this has been a good season for Enterprise, consistently improving as the year went on, although I still couldn't tell you the names of the characters on the show.

Until now.

This season's Xindi arc has been building to the final episode's conclusion, and it was a satisfying ending. Some of the minor characters had a chance to show their stuff, especially Hoshi who had been tortured and was now physically ill and suffering guilt over not being able to stand up to her captors. Nice job there.

Archer's "final solution" for the reptilian captain was unexpected and I especially liked our captain's expression before and after the deed.

I don't usually pay much attention to this, but the editing was very well done on this episode. The back and forth between the Enterprise and what was going on just beyond Earth really moved the story along and kept up the suspense.

I have to mention T'Pol: I think it was an excellent decision to have her lose control of her emotions somewhat. It adds a depth to the character that previously suffered from "Tuvok-itis". She is softening nicely and it can only help the show. I think someone finally smartened up as to why Spock is one of the best known and beloved characters in television history.

Now for what bugged me...

Don't get me wrong, I love Jeffrey Combs and his portrayal of Shran, but it just struck me as a coincidental plot device when he showed up to help save the day. Out of nowhere, plus he assumes that Archer is going to need help. Based upon what?

And then there was the cliffhanger ending. Where the heck did THAT come from? How did Archer end up in Nazi Germany? Who the heck is that alien who looks amazingly similar to the Remans from the abysmal Star Trek Nemesis?

I love time travel stories, but that really seemed to be a cliffhanger just for the sake of having one. I suppose I should have confidence in the writers, who have managed to improve the show quite a bit over this season... but I'll withhold judgement for a few more episodes.

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