In Wakanda, death is not the end.

Date: September 23, 2021

Music Video of the Day:

Interstellar News: Today was incredibly busy at work and then I totally hit a wall and took a really deep one hour nap… whoops. We had a great dinner, excellent dessert, and hung some pictures (finally).

Black Panther (2018)

Killmonger and T'Challa face off
“My pops said Wakanda was the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen. He promised he was going to show it to me some day.”

Wakanda will no longer watch from the shadows…We will work to be an example of how we, as brothers and sisters on this earth, should treat each other. Now, more than ever, the illusions of division threaten our very existence…We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another, as if we were one single tribe.

King T’Challa

“You are a good man, with a good heart. And it’s hard for a good man to be a king.”: After being introduced in Civil War, T’Challa is now heading home to become King of Wakanda. This movie does a great job telling us about Wakanda, showing us how all of the players got to where they are, and displaying the beauty of this fictional country. T’Challa is trying to be without his father and learn how to lead his country while Killmonger is solely focused on taking over the throne and then, the world. Killmonger rightly points out that people were stolen from Africa and he believes it’s Wakanda’s duty to help Black people rise up and take power. At the end, we see that Killmonger was too ruthless and didn’t consider what T’Challa eventually settles on… by sharing what resources they can in a way he feels to be safe.

from left to right: Shuri, Nakia, Okoye, and Ramonda

This movie does an excellent job at showing all of the strong women behind the throne. Nakia is devoted to her cause of helping others and eventually helps T’Challa figure out what the correct course of action is for the nation. Shuri is a genius and I’m so completely sad that she was never in the same room as Tony Stark, or Peter Parker for that matter. I would love to see the three of them, and Banner, geek out completely. Ramonda is amazing and every scene with her in it is radiant. Okoye is the breakout for me, as she has such range. Clearly she’s a bodyguard but she’s also fierce and feminine in the best ways. She doesn’t let love get in the way of her duty and she clearly has earned the love and respect of her King and war rhino. I mean who else uses a wig as a weapon?

chadwick boseman as the black panther
“I do not freeze” — spoiler alert, he totally froze

The music was on point, the fight scenes were fantastic, the technology was amazing and not too techno-babbly, and you can tell that the guys playing Klaue and Ross were having SO MUCH FUN being supportive cast. We get Bucky in the mid-credits, which is a super plus, and we see Wakanda come out to the rest of the world. There’s not much to dislike about the movie. It’s an incredible shame Chadwick Boseman is no longer with us, and I’m curious how his death changed the squeal to this … but he is with us forever. I cried a lot at the new introduction with him in the Marvel logo and it being changed to purple, it was such a wonderful tribute to the man who gave us such a fantastic performance.

TA Out!

ENT: “Sleeping Dogs”

Date: September 22, 2021

Season 1, Episode 14

Music Video of the Day:

I know I’m a day late to the party… but better late than never.

Interstellar News: Yesterday we trekked across town to deliver lasagna and brownies to our two dear friends who just adopted a newborn. After that we grabbed our own dinner and ran a few errands. I bought way too many things at Dollar Tree. Today was the official start to the busy season at work and I’m already exhausted.

TL;DR: Enterprise encounters a class-9 gas giant and a Klingon ship that’s stuck in it because the occupants drank wine laced with a netotoxin. After much convincing Bu’kah works with Archer and the crew to get the Raptor working again. They do, the Klingon Captain tries to fight them, and then he leaves realizing he won’t stand a chance. T’Pol, Reed, and Sato bond a bit… even with Reed’s head cold.

Favorite Quote:

Bu’Kah: I demand to speak to your Captain.

Tucker: You know, I read if they sense a leader’s weak, they’ll try to kill him and take command.

Archer: I’m the Captain.

Bu’Kah: I’ve never seen your kind before but you have made an enemy of the Klingon Empire.

Archer: From what I’ve noticed, that’s not hard to do

Bu’Kah being the perfect Klingon, Tucker teasing his captain, and Archer just doing the thing anyway.
female Klingon, Bu'Kah
“If we had died when the Xarantine attacked our honor would be secure, but to fall victim to some disease, to be crushed into nothing in the depths of this miserable planet.”

“Remind me to stop trying to help people.”: I actually quite liked this episode. T’Pol and Sato bonding was wonderful, even if it’s because they’re both the only female regulars on the cast and that’s what happens typically. I love that Bu’Kah is a bad ass Klingon but also realizes that she needs to do whatever she can to make sure her and her crew make it to Sto-Vo-Kor. Being crushed or succumbing to a disease is not honorable, Klingons have to go out fighting. It’s a perfectly good method for introducing Klingons who don’t know what Archer did for them while simultaneously demonstrating that it’s possible for Klingons and humans to work together many, many years before the Khitomer Accords go into effect. This wasn’t a “best episode ever” kind of thing, but it was one I didn’t have a whole lot of issue with. Porthos is getting some homemade dog food for this one, at least 7 days worth.

TA Out!

ENT: “Dear Doctor”

Date: September 20, 2021

Season 1, Episode 13

Music Video of the Day:

But losing the game doesn’t mean / That we’re losing the fight…

Interstellar News: Apologies for being away the last few days. I was in New York visiting with a dear friend and we were super busy every day, mostly eating of course. I had very yummy pizza, ravioli, various sauces, fresh spinach pasta, and a variety of other things that are so hard for me to find in NC. While I did get to watch a few episodes of Enterprise, I also was able to stick in some Brooklyn 99, a Batman movie, and Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang. It was a wonderful trip and I am sad it’s over. The zoo, however, is glad to have me home… and it’s nice to sleep in my own bed.

TL;DR: We learn more about Dr. Phlox via his letters to a human doctor who is on Denobula as part of the Interspecies Medical Exchange. Denobulans are polygamous and have a very intense mating season. He works with Sato on her Denobulan and takes care of various creatures in his lab. He also has some interesting exchanges with crewman Cutler and it seems they decide to be friends with some to be named later benefits.

from left to right: Sato, Phlox, Valakian, Archer, T'Pol.
“I have reconsidered. I spent the whole night reconsidering, and what I’ve decided goes against all my principles. Someday my people are going to come up with some sort of a doctrine, something that tells us what we can and can’t do out here, should and shouldn’t do. But until somebody tells me that they’ve drafted that directive I’m going to have to remind myself every day that we didn’t come out here to play God.”

At the same time, Enterprise encounters a ship with two Valakians. They are pre-warp and are suffering from a deadly disease. They co-exist with the Menk, a separate species that they treat differently, and Phlox eventually figures out it’s genetic. They want a cure and warp technology, which Archer eventually refuses and gives a speech that’s very “this is the Prime Directive in all but name”, because they didn’t go out exploring to play god.

Favorite Quote:

Dr. Phlox: It’s just a little gastrointestinal distress.

Archer: He hasn’t been himself lately.

Dr. Phlox: Well, you’ve been feeding him cheese again, haven’t you? You’ve got to learn how to say no, Captain.

Archer: No more dairy products, you hear that? Doctor’s orders.

This was the best part of the whole episode.

“You need to know that my culture is different.”: I both love and hate this episode. I love, love, love learning more about Phlox and seeing him interact with the crew. From his morning routine of feeding his lab mates to his conversations with Sato and Cutler, it’s nice to finally know more about him and how he got to Earth. He treats T’Pol, Porthos, and all the humans on board with a pleasant demeanor and he’s easily my favorite doctor so far… and we’re only 15 episodes in! I also liked that he considered holding things back from Archer but eventually had faith in his captain as it shows he’s accepting his place in the command structure.

Phlox and Cutler
“I’m not interested in becoming wife number four. I just want to be your friend.”

The parts on Valakia are all pretty awful, because you can see where it’s going as soon as the crew member is revived. They’re a desperate species, much like the Vidiians, but they are not as technologically advanced so they’re in the begging stage. The Ferengi are name dropped, which I think is the second time we’ve heard about them in this series. While Phlox does make a cure, Archer eventually decides to just give them medicine that will help them get through the next 10 years and to see what happens. While he isn’t condemning them to die, he’s not really helping them either and that’s a really grey area of ickyness. Archer’s doing his best with very little supervision, but this isn’t his finest moment. I’m super torn about the nature versus science versus ethics and such that I’m not giving Porthos any cheese!

TA Out!

ENT: “Silent Enemy”

Date: September 15, 2021

Season 1, Episode 12

Music Video of the Day:

Cause I’m in love with you in love with me…

Interstellar News: I’m not sure where today went, but it can stay there. I had an unsavory interaction with a neighbor and it just left me feeling off all day. On the plus side, the husband person and I went through all of our Munchkin cards for an idea we had for cosplay and swag. I’m super excited about it.

TL;DR: A ship no one recognizes keeps showing up and pissing off the Enterprise (not responding, leaving a monitoring device, boarding the ship, and doing some damage). Archer has doubts about having left Earth without being really ready while Tucker and Reed want to do the work themselves without having to return to Earth. Sato, all the while, was ordered to find out Reed’s favorite food for his surprise birthday treat. Spoiler alert: it’s pineapple.

Favorite Quote:

Larelle: I had sea bass.

Sato: Great! And Malcolm?

Larelle: I don’t remember.

Sato: Try, please.

Larelle: Maureen.

Sato: Is that a fish?

Larelle: No, she was the waitress. That’s why Malcolm wanted to go there. He had a thing for her. I think he hates fish.

Sato is trying so hard to find out Reed’s favorite food, and this exchange was so delightful.

“By the time we reach Jupiter Station, I don’t want their engineers to have a thing to do but give us a wash and a wax.”: What an absolutely ridiculous episode. I actually enjoyed Sato and Archer trying to figure out Reed’s favorite food, because it was so damn ludicrous. All of the discussions with Reed’s parents, sister, and some guy he trained with at the Academy just kept getting funnier. The conversation he has with Sato is so awful because they’re both incredibly inept at conversation, which is ironic for the comm officer. I’m also slightly horrified, but only slightly, that Phlox would invade medical privacy for a damn cake… but I’ve also never lived on a starship before, nor do I know if Denobulans take a Hippocratic Oath of some sorts.

The ship of the aliens that are never named and do not speak
Look like the Green Goblin has arrived, right?

The main plot of the ship that keeps returning was okay, but the aliens are never named and there’s never a reason given for what they were doing. One interesting thing, however, is we’re 11 episodes in and no one has died. Archer is compelled to think about how dangerous this mission really is and has he acted poorly as a captain, and no one had to die for him to come to this realization. This one gets 3 species for Porthos to play with: humans, Vulcans, and Denobulans.

TA Out!

ENT: “Cold Front”

Date: September 14, 2021

Season 1, Episode 11

Music Video of the Day:

I always tried so hard just to be that man who could make you forget him.

Interstellar News: Another strange day at work, an excellent session with my chiropractor, and my toes got some much needed love from the nail place down the street. Tonight we’ll be watching Doctor Strange in our Marvel movie marathon, and I’m sure I’ll write about it here one of these days.

TL;DR: Silik the Suliban is back and he’s on a mission. We’re introduced to a crewman named Daniels who turns out to be “from the future” or something. Enterprise changes course to visit a stellar nursery and say “hello” to some other species, including some holy men on a pilgrimage. Silik turns into one of these men and helps stop Enterprise from getting blown up, while Daniels is adamant that Silik and his handler must be stopped. Silik kills Daniels, Archer destroys a device from the future, Silik escapes, and they seal Daniels’s room.

Favorite Quote:

Tucker: I always knew we’d be meeting people from other planets, but other centuries? You’re not buying any of this, are you?

T’Pol: If Daniels could travel through time why not simply go back one more day into the past and prevent Silik from boarding this ship in the first place?

Tucker: Maybe that’s plan B.

T’Pol: Or maybe he’s really not from the future.

Tucker: Then why make up such a crazy story?

T’Pol: He could be trying to conceal his true intentions.

Tucker: I thought you scientists were supposed to keep an open mind.

T’Pol: There’s a difference between keeping an open mind and believing something because you want it to be true.

Tucker: What the hell’s that supposed to mean?

T’Pol confusing the hell out of Tucker.
Daniels shows Archer a bunch of stuff from his device

“Looks like we could be having guests. Tell Chef to prepare… something.”: Time travel makes my head hurt, usually, and this episode does it in a very strange way. They bring back the strange future man who is controlling the Suliban, but now they’re maybe the good guys? The guy rooming with Daniels gets reassigned and the cabin gets sealed, but you’re telling me there won’t be any rumors about it? Especially with a crew in the 80s? I do love that Phlox is well versed in many religions and is genuinely excited to learn about another. I hated that Porthos was relegated to a barking intruder alert and he didn’t try to bite Silik or anything. I truly enjoyed Fraddock, the captain of the other ship, because he was just a guy doing his job. It was a strange episode with a weird ending and it’s getting 4 training lessons for Porthos… bite his ankles!

TA Out!