Enterprise
The Xindi

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Keckler: B- | Grade It Now!
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In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Well, here we go -- jumping feet first into a third season that (as my bona fide inside sources tell me) was actually snatched from the jaws of cancellation at the very last moment. Lucky us. Okay, okay, I did promise that I would gaze upon this new season with sweetness and light and keep my beer cup overflowing with open-hearted generosity. Especially since I've got this new Quantum action figure (christened "Quantini" by The Evil Dr. Mathra) glaring at me from the windowsill. I'll admit that this episode wasn't bad, and it certainly set up a lot of potentially interesting things to follow through on. Let's just hope they do actually follow with the through, because I have to say that, after the last two seasons, hope isn't exactly floating around my living room. Based on tonight's episode and next week's previews, they've clearly turned Quantum into Bloodthirsty Captain McArrghcher, but being violent and angry is pretty easy stuff and it isn't going to clear up that furrow breakout any time soon.

So here I raise my fizzing glass of Barefoot Bubbly California "Champagne" aloft and toast the brave new season, and I ask you to search your hearts and ponder this: How poetic is it that my Text Edit spell check suggests "Hitler" as a replacement for "Keckler"?

Last year: Florida got attacked by a spiky bocce ball from outer space, Trip's sister died in the attack, Quantum discussed the Xindi with Shower Guy as possible perpetrators of said attack, a quavering T'Pol left the Vulcan High Command because of the annoying attack, Quantum took his Qrew (with the additional support from a new military force) into the mysterious Expanse and vowed a more aggressive foreign policy as a result of the attack, and the Keckler household moved to San Francisco. But not because of an attack. Just because they had to.

The five species of the Xindi -- an insectoid that speaks in chittering subtitles, a manatee type that swims in a tank and whale-sings through the glass (also in subtitles), a simian, a humanoid, and a snaky-reptilian with a bad case male-pattern baldness -- argue about Enterprise's intent. Bug House thinks it's the beginning of an invasion, and Mr. Man thinks Earth has no way of knowing that they launched the probe. Note here that Mr. Man refers only to a launching of a probe; he doesn't say anything about a devastating attack on the voting practices of Florida. Bug House wants Enterprise destroyed. "How many humans are aboard?" Snake Eyes asks. Bug House smacks him with a crook leg, stands up, and says it doesn't matter how many are aboard -- they must be obliterated "before they find the weapon." Monkey Boy asks when the weapon will be ready, and Mr. Man says they are still testing it. Snake Eyes doesn't want to wait, even though Monkey Boy urges patience. Aqua Man whale-sings that their future is at stake and the council must not be divided. Mr. Man orders Snake Eyes to learn everything he can about "this human vessel."

It's too bad that they're already showing the reptile and the insect to be more bloodthirsty and violent than the other more palatable species. It would be quite a creative reversal for them to have the creatures we fear and despise most to be the gentle ones, and write the Mr. Man and Monkey Boy as the violent ones. Quantum and Qrew would want to trust Monkey Boy and Mr. Man instantly because they would feel a cosmetic connection, yet they would be woefully misled by such superficial feelings when they were made aware of Monkey Boy and Mr. Man's true characters. I'm not working for these people…why? Oh, right, I don't live in fear of Bermaga and thus have to stifle every creative impulse so I don't lose my job. Or so my sources tell me.

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