Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Aenar

***** (5 stars out of 5)
Welcome to Andoria at last! It's an ice moon of the gas giant Andor. Enjoy labyrinthine ice tunnels. Geothermal cities in glaciers. Leg-piercing icicles for the unwary. Swarms of acidic bore worms. Essentially the same as Canada.

The Romulans causing all the trouble turn out to be fascinating, too. The football jock-type is a former Senator, demoted to Admiral because he didn't agree with expansionism. The head scientist passionately objects to their scheme with the drugged captive pilot, but he knows if he speaks out demotion is the least consequence. Being right is not rewarded on Romulus. Essentially the same as Canada.

The dastardly telepresence drones continue to fly circles around Enterprise. But the answer lies in the frozen hearts of "The Aenar": an endangered Andorian Goth subculture. Jhamel (sister of the Romulan's victim Gareb) is a brave volunteer for the countermeasure Trip and Phlox threw together out of old iPads and cake pans. Jhamel reaches her sibling mentally with a boost from the machine.

Gareb, told he was the last Aenar, appalled by his own deadly actions, and completely out of Doritos, turns on his tormentors. Knowing they will kill him for it, Gareb crashes the drones into each other.

Unwilling to explain his reasons, Trip asks for a transfer to Columbia. Phlox knows why: "No species in the galaxy has mastered the art of mixing romance and vocation."

What a great adventure story! Testing the limits of science! Exploration! Trying to understand the other guy! Nearly 40 years since Vulcans and Andorians showed up on TV and it takes this long to get around to a season depicting their home worlds? What fun, though!

Reaching out to communicate solves problems, silence causes more. Yet everyone knows that as a best policy, honesty is risky. After all, the Remans are waiting outside, just as they were in Nemesis: the wolves who show up to drag your carcass away when you're cancelled.

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