Saturday, August 24, 2013


**** (4 stars out of 5)
Trip and Reed are shaken like a Polaroid picture aboard the Romulan Remote-Control Drone ship. The nefarious nemesis continue to sow rage and confusion by destroying hapless Rigelians while disguised as Enterprise. Elsewhere, a Romulan agent takes shots at Extreme Cougar Wives while disguised as Honey Boo-Boo.

Archer's plan to catch the wily raptor with a sensor blockade requires the cooperation of a large fleet. Earth doesn't have enough ships, and the Vulcans are disarming to read the scriptures and lie in deck chairs. Still, Andorian ships are plentiful, and Tellarites have some second-hand Xindi Sloth barges whose stench can likely be detected across a vacuum...

However, the Andorian Aphrodite, Talas, was shot while surrendering to the cowardly Tellarite Naarg. Talas' lover Shran pours her blood on the killer's hands, demanding a duel to the death. Captain Archer stands in for the snivelling pig, since to do otherwise would ruin any chance at alliance. Interstellar peace and politics come down to knife-fights rather often in this dimension! And it's a stab-fest between friends, too, so it's pretty intense. Especially the "handcuffed together wielding ceremonial pizza-cutters" part.

Still, we need honour satisfied and Shran and Archer alive, so it turns out that by "Death Match" Andorians mean: "Or Whatever".

Like Buster Bluth piloting a bomber from a mall kiosk, the hand on the tiller is nobody very important. The Romulans won't let any trace of their involvement be proven, so they captured a Pasty Patsy, an Andorian Mole-Man who looks like he's spent the better part of his life in a basement playing video games hopped up on sugar.

"United" offers a sense of the fledgling Federation as a brittle community struggling to respect each other's values. It's a treat!

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