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These Are The Voyages... (Star Trek: Enterprise)

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These Are The Voyages... (Star Trek: Enterprise)
These Are the Voyages title card.jpg
Enterprise deserved a better send off.
Part of Season: 4
Episode Number: 22
Air Date: May 13, 2005
Writer: Rick Berman
Brannon Braga
Director: Allan Kroeker
Previous episode: Terra Prime


These Are The Voyages is the series finale of Star Trek: Enterprise, and the last televised episode of Star Trek until the launch of Star Trek: Discovery.

Plot

Captain Archer and his crew return home for the decommissioning of the Enterprise, and the founding of the Federation. A lot of other interesting stuff probably happens as well, but we don't actually see any of it, since most of the episode is taken up with a framing device featuring Riker and Troi from The Next Generation.

Why It Sucks

  1. This was the series finale. This might have worked perfectly fine as a "tribute" episode had it been placed earlier in the season, as DS9's "Trials and Tribble-Ations" used a similar framing device and was extremely well-received, as was "Flashback" over on Voyager. As a finale, however, it's borderline insulting to the cast and writers of this show, and feels more like an episode of TNG since it mainly focuses on William Riker and Deanna Troi.
  2. The Enterprise characters are written without any of the personality they'd gained in the third and fourth seasons, making it feel like an early Season 1 episode.
  3. Trip and T'Pol's relationship, which had been slowly building up since the late second season and culminated in the tragic loss of a child created from their DNA in the previous episode, is revealed to have ended off-screen, and outside of two scenes they don't even act like they were ever in a relationship.
  4. As if the previous entry weren't bad enough, Trip is given an extremely anticlimatic death, which is barely even acknowledged by the other characters, including his ex-girlfriend, for the rest of the episode.
  5. Reed, Sato and Mayweather get only about a dozen or so lines between them in the finale of their own series.
  6. Shran gets brought back for one last outing, but is characterised as the same generic mercenary he was at the start of the series, instead of the more complex character he had developed into.
  7. The episode isn't even a double-length special as most other Trek finales were, suggesting that Paramount knew it was a stinker, and threw all their resources at the far better-received two-parter that preceded this episode.
  8. The 24th century segments are based around a late episode of TNG, "The Pegasus." People unfamiliar with that episode will likely have no idea why Riker is so worried about them finding his old ship or who Admiral Pressman is, while people who do remember the episode will likely consider it an insult to one of TNG's better episodes.
  9. Riker and Troi look visibly older than they did in TNG's run. Obviously it's hard to blame the actors for this, but it begs the question why their footage wasn't set on the Enteprise-E or the new ship they got at the end of Star Trek: Nemesis, the USS Titan.
  10. Data, in his one bit of dialogue in the episode, commits the same kind of misunderstanding (over the phrase "raincheck") that he would have made near the start of TNG.
  11. Generally very uninvolving and uninteresting for a series finale. There's no drama from the TNG segments since we already know how that story plays out, and the Enterprise segments aren't given enough time for the story to develop into anything interesting.
  12. The final words of the series are "Computer, end program," as Riker shuts off the holodeck. Not only is it incredibly disrespectful to give the final line to someone who isn't even a character from this show, people had jokingly speculated for years that Enterprise was a series of holonovels in TNG-era Trek (because of various continuity errors and the technology more resembling that of the TNG era than the TOS era), meaning the episode unwittingly makes it possible to dismiss the entire series as just a show-within-a-show.
  13. This was the last Star Trek episode for twelve years, until the launch of Discovery. Not exactly the best note for the televised franchise to go out on, to say the least.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The episode's closing moment is actually quite nice, featuring shots of the Picard's Enterprise-D, Kirk's Enterprise, and the NX-01, with their respective captains each saying parts of the "Space, the final frontier..." monologue.
  2. The Enterprise-D is recreated in very good detail, the only real fail coming from a poorly-matched stock footage shot of Ten Forward.
  3. There are arguably worse episodes of Enterprise. It likely wouldn't have felt like such an insult were it not the series finale.

Reception

Fan and critical reception was extremely negative, with the episode being voted as the worst of the entire Star Trek franchise by a landslide at the 50th Anniversary convention, and frequently appearing on lists of "worst finales" on TV-related websites and videos.

The cast were equally hostile towards the episode, with nearly the entire Enterprise cast finding it offensively bad, and even the returning TNG castmembers hating it. The writing staff responsible for the rest of the fourth season also said that they considered the preceding two-parter to be the actual series finale. Co-writer Brannon Braga later admitted that while the idea might have been well-intentioned, making it the series finale was a really bad idea.

Comments

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