Monday, July 25, 2022

Enterprise, Season 1: Sleeping Dogs

 Enterprise, Season 1
"Sleeping Dogs"
Airdate: January 30, 2002
14 of 97 produced
13 of 97 aired


Enterprise finds a Klingon vessel trapped within the atmosphere of a gas giant, and the crew must decide whether to render aid before it (and they) are crushed.

In this review, a romantic subplot is advocated - because, right?


Kevin: So this episode falls a little flat for me. I think the problem is the general lack of stakes. It never really clicks into gear. It's fine in many ways, and I like the attempt to show Hoshi adapting to the rigors of life on the Enterprise. Still, it all feels very paint by numbers. I think my main problem is they didn't give the story the focus to really make Hoshi's journey pay off. I think the stronger episode is one where Hoshi is forced to figure out a way to communicate and work with the Klingon woman. It would be suited to her unique skill set and would really give some teeth to the broader story. It's kind of like Terra Nova where they have Mayweather talk about the colony then have him largely uninvolved in the rest of the story. It feels like they broke the story as the instruction manual for a Star Trek story said they should, with an A/B plot but didn't then do the next draft to maximize the character work that will give the story some stakes, either narrative or emotional.

Matthew: For me, this episode feels like a retread of past Enterprise story beats. Hoshi is nervous. The Klingons do not have the same motivations we do.  What could have spiced this up a bit? I think (and hear me out) that having Archer develop a semi-romantic thing with the Klingon officer could have helped the story. Maybe they should have been trapped on the Klingon vessel (by some machination or other), and fought each other until she developed a grudging respect for (and perhaps romantic interest in) Archer. Heck, Reed would have done, too. That actually might be funnier. Anyway, it would have melded some new character stakes with a progression of the "humans and Klingons don't understand each other" story arc.

Kevin: I'm kind of out of additional commentary. The ship stuck in the atmosphere, the unknown pathogen, we've seen them all before and in more engaging episodes, and none of the tension between the crew or with the Klingons really pushes past it. The closest we got to a real character moment we T'Pol trying to help Sato manage her anxiety, but as nice and Bechdel Test passing as the scene was, it was still pretty much the most generic version of meditative visualizations. A calm ocean? Groundbreaking. I'm not made at the episode, but that might even be better. This episode just kind of happened in front of me and that's all I can say about it.

Matthew: I assumed that T'Pol was also doing some Vulcan Finger Magic with Hoshi (don't go there...). Because you're absolutely right, this meditation was even less involved and convincing than "plexing" was in TNG. What baffled me was the "Reed has a cold" subplot. They completely forgot that by the end of the episode when they're all basking in the glitter gel sauna. This strikes me as a "we didn't really finish a third draft of this script" situation.


Kevin: Everyone was good. Linda Park is finding the right balance of anxiety to read as credible but not such that it challenges why she's here in the first place. Blalock is really finding a grove of making her detachment not read as jerky. So, yeah, everything was fine. Michelle C. Bonilla was fine as a Ron Moore era-Klingon but the story didn't really give her anything to do.

Matthew: Under-utilizing the guest star, who cut a very attractive figure as a Klingon, strikes me as the biggest miss for this episode. And not just because she's attractive, but have her deliver some lines teaching Archer (and us) what actually motivates these people. On the rest of the cast, I agree that they all colored within the lines of their characters and gave us mildly enjoyable scenes with them.

Production Values

Kevin: I'm not trying to be dismissive, but this was also fine, but not remarkable. Everything was supposed to be soupy and cloudy, so it's fine. The Klingon ship interiors were nicely detailed but the CRT screens feel so outdated these days. It's kind of sad to imagine that must have felt like a nice upgrade from the static screens of earlier eras at the time.

Matthew: I approach it from two angles - first off, the ship interior was very consistent with the TOS movie-era ships, and that pleased me. I am so used to pointless updating and changing now with Kurtzman Trek, that just seeing a creative staff go to the effort to square a new story with past ones gets my admiration.  I did thing the targs (which were anatomically pretty accurate to Worf's childhood pet) looked like pretty hokey CGI.


Kevin: This episode was fine, but I'm torn between a 2 and 3. It just doesn't have enough ambition or interest and that makes me think 2, but the end result wasn't offensive. It was mildly entertaining, and that argues more for a 3. I think the character work we got on Hoshi is enough for a tepid 3 from me.

Matthew: I'm stuck at a 2. The story felt like a bunch of spare parts that didn't cohere into a thematic statement. Indeed, the acting was fine, but if I've learned anything from NuTrek, it's that good acting isn't enough. That makes our total a 5.


  1. To me, it feels like Reed had a cold so Phlox could talk about how pathogens still manage to get onboard starships despite all attempts to prevent them. This makes the Klingon captain seem less incompetent, I guess.

    1. That makes a certain amount of sense - it just baffled me that he was suddenly over it. He should have been sneezing all over the Klingon ship, and then Decon.