**** (4 stars out of 5)
Trip invites reluctant T'Pol to see the entire Frankenstein film canon. Not including (for some crazy reason) Young Frankenstein. She would rather hear a dramatic reading of Mary Shelley's book, but Mr. Tucker isn't one for paper DVDs. Captain Archer makes movie night mandatory, then he makes it "a date", and finally a bet. If she doesn't like it she doesn't have to go anymore. I have the same deal with my wife, but then again, we both LIKE Young Frankenstein.
Pressed for her opinion, T'Pol overlooks the many medical inaccuracies, declares Frankenstein's creation "interesting", and says she's looking forward to Bride of Frankenstein. Hard to believe, I know, but making T'Pol a film critic finally made it possible for me to start to like her. She's even eating popcorn with her hands, something she previously claimed Vulcans do not do. Either this is a symptom of her meld-gone-wrong, or she's degenerating into some sort of slovenly human.
Meanwhile, Travis gets the worst news of his life. His dad has died. His brother Paul inherited the captaincy of the Horizon. The creaking old ship was built back in 2103, autographed by Zefram Cochrane himself, and it hauls 30,000 tonnes at a top speed of warp 2. Hauls what? Cube-shaped genetically engineered pigs, if the movie Space Truckers is any indication. So at least Mr. Mayweather Sr. went to heaven with a mouthful of bacon!
Enterprise has travelled 150 light years, seen 22 inhabited worlds, and done its best to fulfill all of Travis' childhood dreams... but he had to leave his family behind.
Every starship has a gravity-free "Sweet Spot" and even the slumpy-est of TV seasons has one, too. We're floating towards the sweet spot now, I think. Those few, lonely stories that keep me from giving up on this troubled series. I like the way the crew hangs out together, growing closer in little ways, but mainly getting on each other's nerves. Like a family! The fatherly support Archer offers Travis is actually rather touching. Travis is still a blank slate, but maybe that sometimes makes it easier to put yourself in his shoes. Sometimes.
"Horizon" even has a cameo appearance by the book on Chicago Gangs that mangled the culture on Sigma Iota II. And, hey, I don't often comment on music, but this score was pretty great. I also enjoyed Mark McKenzie's tunes in Star Trek Generations, Lilo and Stitch, and Spider-Man 2, among other things.