Sunday, June 16, 2013


**** (4 stars out of 5)
Colonel Grat's people of Tandar Prime are at war with the Suliban Cabal, which means they detain anyone who looks like a cantaloupe and anyone who's standing in the cantaloupe aisle.

Captain Archer and Ensign Mayweather learn the hard way that the Tandarans feed their prisoners whatever gruel is left over from the Coridan prisoners.

Enterprise must use all T'Pol's charm, Trip's diplomacy, Phlox's cosmetic surgery, and thereby Reed's Suliban face and Malaysian know-how to spring their buddies and also a bunch of innocent aliens from the desert. Tucker would rather not have to explain punch lines like "electric chair" to a Vulcan.

The Cabal began their attacks 8 years ago. All Suliban in Tandaran territory were rounded up into internment camps for their own protection, you understand. The Suliban homeworld became uninhabitable 300 years ago. Thus most Suliban are dispirited nomads who don't spend any time whatsoever turning invisible and sliding under doors to blow things up.

Still, how could you know that for sure unless you put little girls in jail?

Colonel Grat is the hero of "Detained", or rather Dean Stockwell is, tapping away on a Ziggy Box and asking Sam Beck... uh, Archer about the future. It's not much of a leap to the terrified, racist time America has been having this last decade and for quite a lot of decades before that. Whether your parallel prisoners are Apache, Japanese-Americans, or anyone brown, the story is the same, and usually didn't end in daring and visually exciting break-outs with lasers. Not terribly subtle, but still a brave effort.

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