Surprise - Archer didn’t get the girl in the end - she got him
with drugs. That little development was quite nice and I am pretty
sure this gal will be showing up in either the season finale or a
future episode. The incident raised a lot of questions - how did
Keyla know Enterprise would be at Risa? How did she know Archer
would be on shore leave and know where he would be staying? And what
is she planning that she can’t have Archer interfere with? Whose
side is she on?
Good lines: “There’s definitely been a misunderstanding.”
“I appreciate the offer but it would be best to keep our
relationship professional.” “You don’t sound very relaxed,
Captain.” “As a matter of fact, I learned several new
What does this rating mean?
Copyright 2001, C. A. Voigts. All rights reserved, but feel free to
ask... This article is explicitly prohibited from being used in any
off-net compilation without due attribution and *express written
of the author*.
Laurie's No-Nonsense Review
Land of Laurie
Lynch's Enterprise Episode Review
WARNING: There are at least "Two Days and Two Nights"
of spoilers contained in this article. Beware.
In brief: Enough hits to watch once, enough misses not to want to
go back too often.
"Two Days and Two Nights"
Enterprise Season 1, Episode 24
Teleplay by Chris Black
Story by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
Directed by Michael Dorn
Brief summary: The Enterprise crew takes two days of shore leave on
the pleasure planet of Risa.
My first thought after watching "Two Days and Two
Nights" was "well, I'm glad it was better than the other
two shows we've had on Risa." Of course, since the other two
Risa shows were TNG's "Captain's Holiday," which I didn't
particularly care for, and the truly awful DS9 episode "Let He
Who is Without Sin," that statement by itself wasn't implying a
lot of praise.
The idea behind the episode is pretty simple: we finally make it
to Risa, and everybody heads out on vacation (well, except T'Pol,
who instead talks Archer into doing so). Trip and Malcolm plan to
visit a few clubs, investigate the local ... er ... scenery, and
"expand their cultural horizons." Hoshi plans to learn
some new languages, Travis wants to do some rock climbing, and
Archer just knows he'd like to relax. Naturally, no one's trip goes
quite as planned.
"Two Days and Two Nights" suffers from the same problem
a lot of other "light" Trek shows do: it's uneven. More
specifically, it's playing most of its humor so broadly that it
tends to feel more like a caricature than a comedy -- and
ironically, it's the two performers whose work I've appreciated most
this year who come off the worst.
One of those two performers would be John Billingsley. Apart from
"Dear Doctor," Phlox tends to get a scene or two per
episode, but Billingsley usually manages to invest Phlox with enough
depth in those scenes that it's difficult not to take notice. This
time, alas, it didn't work -- and I'm honestly not sure whether it's
due to the material, Billingsley's performance, or simply a mismatch
of the two.
Specifically, while the rest of the crew heads down to Risa,
Phlox enters a hibernating state in order to get some much-needed
rest. Of course, a medical emergency quickly crops up, and T'Pol and
Crewman Cutler have to revive Phlox prematurely. Is Phlox
disoriented? Yes -- but to such a degree that he quickly becomes
Stupid Half-Awake Guy, and it's simply played too much for laughs.
(Among other things, when everything about the scene is screaming
"laugh, damn you!" at the audience while all the
characters around Phlox don't seem to acknowledge any sort of humor,
it's jarring. You'd think that someone would at least say "you
know, in some other situation this could be really funny" --
other than T'Pol, I think any of the characters in the scene could
have done so without breaking character.)
This isn't to say that the Phlox scenes were utterly unbearable
-- they just veered so sharply from funny to stupid to funny that
they didn't make for good viewing. I did like a few moments here and
there, particularly Phlox ordering the ship to Regulus to pick up
Moving down to Risa, Travis's story can be discussed pretty
quickly, because he didn't *get* one. The only reason he wound up on
the shuttle in the first place was to get injured and thus drive the
Phlox plot -- for all the use to which he was put, a random crewman
would have served just as well. (Of course, that would've meant
paying another actor, so why not put Montgomery to use, right?)
Trip and Reed's journey was the other one that came off as way
too broad for words. Briefly, they visit a club, get friendly with
two aliens ("gorgeous aliens! Don't forget they were
gorgeous!", to quote Trip), only to find once alone that
they're both muggers and male. The duo is knocked unconscious, only
to wake up stripped to their skivvies and tied up. They escape, but
don't exactly get much of a vacation.
Now, the idea of the pair getting into trouble by thinking with
their hormones is all well and good, but the two of them felt so
overblown and so adolescent that I felt as though I'd stumbled into
a "Saturday Night Live" sketch that got out of hand. (I've
never seen "A Night at the Roxbury" or the skits that
inspired it, but I remember the ads well enough to see some distinct
similarities here.) We even got the apparently-obligatory leering
and speculating about Vulcan mating rituals and the seven-year
cycle: it's been mentioned so often recently that I wonder if it's
going somewhere, but frankly I'm not looking for the trip given the
way it's been used so far.
And as was true in "Shuttlepod One," Dominic Keating
actually gets more of the blame than Connor Trinneer, which given
how much I usually like Keating is a surprise. (It's consistent,
though: broad comedy just doesn't seem to work with him, or at least
with his character.) Watching the two of them scope out the local
women upon their arrival was pretty much actively annoying, and
unfortunately for the show's creators, no amount of Dabo-girl-esque
window-dressing is going to change that very much.
As with the Phlox story, however, this isn't to say there weren't
moments. Reed's "how would the Vulcans know?" when Trip
talks about how much fun the club should be, the "we rotate --
he's captain next week" dodge, even Trip's "bearing
1800" warning when the two disguised muggers slink up ... all
were good for at least momentary grins. The story as a whole was
tiresome, but some moments were there.
Hoshi's story, on the other hand, was surprisingly successful,
even sweet. While practicing her Risan (which she's known for all of
a day) with an older couple, she's approached by an alien of
indeterminate origin named Ravis (Rudolf Martin). Ravis has
overheard the conversation and wonders how many languages she
actually speaks. Upon hearing a number of nearly 40, he's impressed,
and wonders if she could manage to learn his. Hoshi's game, even
when it turns out that something as simple as his homeworld's name
is almost entirely unpronounceable. She accepts his challenge, and
apparently spends much of her first night trying to learn from him.
Eventually, the two become close, and spend her second (and final)
night together, apparently quite blissfully. (As she puts it later
on the shuttle, she "learned several new conjugations.")
I kept expecting this story to have a dark undertone to it --
there's no shortage of reasons why someone might want to use or
manipulate someone with a gift for language and a knowledge of
Starfleet. (The fact that Rudolf Martin played Dracula on "Buffy"
last year only added to that, as Dracula's nothing if not one of the
ultimate seductive manipulators.) Imagine my surprise, then, when it
turned out not to be -- Hoshi just managed to have a terrifically
relaxing vacation, and that's all. Her initial conversation with the
Risans (done entirely with subtitles) felt natural, and her romance
actually felt fairly plausible, or at least more plausible than most
Trek one-night-stands. I've no complaints here.
That leaves the good captain -- and his story is best split into
two halves, as the tone changes considerably partway through. After
settling into his villa, he meets one of his neighbors, Keyla (Dey
Young), when her dog gets onto Archer's patio and enters into a
growling competition with Porthos. The two quickly become friends,
and all seems to be going very well -- though it's somewhat
one-sided, as Archer seems to tell Keyla a lot about himself without
her returning the favor. When Archer tries to ask Keyla about her
own history (what she does, where she's from, whether she has a
family, and so on), however, Keyla gets somewhat grim. She had a
family, it turns out, but they were killed not long ago -- by
"Suliban?" Archer asks. "You know about
them?" she responds.
Now, up until then this seemed to be nothing more than
"Archer finds a friend," and was genial enough -- if it
was less than memorable (in part because I thought Scott Bakula's
and Dey Young's chemistry was sort of spotty), it was also far from
unpleasant. As soon as the Suliban enter the picture, though, Keyla
gets very interested in what Archer knows about them -- it's implied
that she wants to get some revenge for what was taken from her, but
nothing too specific. All she has to offer are questions -- about
the Suliban homeworld, their bases, their plans, and anything else
Archer might know. (She also, perhaps surprisingly, mentions that
the Cabal is getting its orders from the future, saying that said
knowledge is "no secret." Evidently not.)
Archer surreptitiously scans her, then agrees to talk, but shoos
her out of the villa long enough to have Enterprise analyze the
scan. When Keyla returns, he confronts her with some newfound
knowledge of his own: she's a Tandaran, the same race we saw in
"Detained" just weeks ago. He figures that Colonel Grat
must have sent her to get the same information he wanted via a
different approach. Keyla tells him he's wrong, but when pressed she
drugs him and quickly checks out, saying that she can't allow him to
For the most part, this worked, though I'm of two minds about a
few bits here. Part of me wonders if making her a Tandaran was
really necessary, since the idea of someone hurt by the Suliban
wanting to strike back is perfectly meaty in and of itself. On the
other hand, her story and her species are far from incompatible,
there's a strong implication that we'll see her again, and it's
becoming very clear to me that the events of "Detained"
are going to be resonating for a while. I like the general sense
that things are going somewhere.
(Since I mentioned the Bakula/Young chemistry, let me also say
that Dey Young's facial reaction when Archer mentions the word
"camouflaged" was really excellent -- he's talking about
something else entirely, but you can immediately tell that Keyla's
mind has gone elsewhere and why.)
Other minor highlights, good and bad:
-- This is the second time Michael Dorn's directed a light
episode with a dark subplot just before the end of a season, the
first being the far superior "In the Cards" back in DS9's
fifth season. One more and it's a tradition, right? :-)
-- The discussion about Archer having schools named for him was
cute, particularly because there *is* an Archer School in Los
Angeles -- it was founded a few years ago not far from where I used
to work. I wonder if someone on staff has a connection.
-- Old-time MST3000 fans probably had the same reaction to the
first shuttle scene that I did, namely something like this:
"Travis?" "Rock climbing, sir." "AIEEE!"
(If you don't know, please don't ask -- it would take far too long
to explain ... )
-- T'Pol sending along a copy of Surak's teachings to Archer is
fine, but did she have to reference it as "to help you
relax?" Given the conversation that initiated the trip to Risa
in the first place, my first thought was "oh, hell, she sent
him a woman? Great -- T'Pol, science officer and general procurement
-- For anyone keeping score, Enterprise is now 90 light-years
from home -- far by human standards, but a drop in the bucket
compared to the size of the galaxy. Sounds reasonable to me.
-- Did anyone else find it odd that Keyla hopped up all set for a
second walk on the beach when apparently nursing a turned ankle from
the *last* such walk?
-- If anyone found the Hoshi/Ravis dialogue insufferably
saccharine, let me just advise you *not* to go see "Star Wars
Episode II: Attack of the Clones" without heavy-duty earplugs.
No spoilers ... just trust me on this.
All in all, then, there are certainly worse ways to spend an hour
than "Two Days and Two Nights," and there are some
interesting hints for the future -- but it also veers into enough
"let's be stupid" humor to grate on occasion. A mixed bag.
So, to wrap up:
Writing: Decent on character, uneven on comedy. Directing: I have
to wonder if some of the Phlox material might have been handled
better with a different touch, but no real complaints overall.
Acting: Surprisingly weak work from Billingsley and Keating, really
solid work from Linda Park.
Overall: 6.5; mixed, but with more good than bad.
Silik returns, and everything comes to a head.
Tim Lynch (Castilleja School, Science Department)
database says no one leaves this club unhappy."
"How would the *Vulcans* know?"
-- Trip and Reed
-- Copyright 2002,
Timothy W. Lynch. All rights reserved, but feel free to ask...
This article is explicitly prohibited from being used in any off-net
compilation without due attribution and *express written consent of
the author*. Walnut Creek and other CD-ROM distributors, take note.
Where to Watch - Local channels
VHS, Laserdisc and DVD availability.
Scott Bakula as Captain
Connor Trinneer as
Chief Engineer Charles
Jolene Blalock as Sub-commander
Dominic Keating as
Lt. Malcolm Reed
as Ensign Travis
Linda Park as Ensign
as Dr. Phlox