Apr 27, 2018
Enterprise “Two Days and Two Nights” (part 4 of 4)
Meanwhile, back at the Villa of Exciting Times, Archer is eating a salad. Keyla pops by for a date, wanting to go dog-walking on the beach. And nothing says romance like a morning spent picking up your dog’s poop.
He invites her in for a pre-date juice, and she immediately goes for The Teachings of Surak. Archer says it’s a gift from his science officer. Are they really back to talking about her again?
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Archer gives the old blurb about Vulcans thinking humans are “too controlled by their emotions”. He then says Keyla now knows a lot about him, including where he lives and what he reads—yep, one glance at his coffee table and you know Archer inside and out—but he knows nothing about her. He says he doesn’t even know her dog’s name.
Keyla says her dog’s name is Rilo (is that a joke? Like Milo, but Risan? Genius!). But this isn’t enough for Archer—he wants to know about her planet, her family, etc. He probably also wants fingerprints, a blood sample, and a complete background check before he can even consider poop-scooping with this girl! In response to his petulance, Keyla says that things have been so lovely up until now (could’ve fooled me), and it would be a shame to spoil it.
After one tiny prompt from Archer, she launches into a sob story about how her family was killed by the Suliban, which piques Archer’s interest, but sadly, not mine. [Editor’s Note: The Suliban were the big enemy of the first two seasons of Enterprise, but it’s really not important right now. Trust me. —Albert]
Now, I want you to play a little game with me. Which of these scenes do you think takes place next?
- Dr. Phlox is woken by T’Pol and Crewman Cutler without incident. He treats Travis Mayweather efficiently and competently, and our subjective viewing experience correlates almost exactly with the actual running time of the scene.
- Dr. Phlox is woken by T’Pol and Cutler. He treats Travis off-screen so we don’t even have to watch it, and we proceed directly to something much more interesting.
- Dr. Phlox is woken by T’Pol and Cutler amid a lot of excruciating “comedy” that includes a pratfall, and continues with lame disorientation gags as he treats Travis, gets names wrong, calls everybody “Captain”, fumbles with his equipment, and prescribes oh-so wacky cures. A rift in the space-time continuum makes this scene feel like it lasts a week, whereas in actual fact, it only lasts about three minutes.
If you guessed either #1 or #2, I almost envy your youthful optimism and naïveté, but I’m afraid you’ve wildly overestimated our source material here.
[Editor’s Note: I do have to admit to getting a chuckle out of the moment when T’Pol tells Phlox that “Ensign Mayweather” is sick, and a disoriented Phlox, echoing the reaction of many Enterprise viewers, goes, “Who?” —Albert]
Oh Jesus, are we really back with Archer already? He’s waving around a bottle of some Risan wine that looks like a particularly potent urine sample. He and Keyla have a conversation about the walk they just took on the beach, where she apparently tripped on a sea turtle or something. Now, see, that’s one scene I wouldn’t have minded enduring.
She sighs melodramatically, and Archer uses his incredible powers of empathy to deduce that something is bothering her. He asks what’s wrong, and amazingly, her answer doesn’t touch on the pain of being involved in this steaming turd of an episode, or even on the pain of having to wear a belly shirt, despite being the wrong side of 40. Instead, she starts bleating on about those damned Sulibans again, asking how you’re supposed to fight something you can’t even see. Like, the tremendous sense of ennui I’m experiencing right now?
Keyla keeps badgering Archer about where the Sulibans live and what they’re planning to do next, getting more hysterical and obsessive by the moment. Archer has a look on his face like he’d rather kill himself than stay on this couch, drinking Risan piss and listening to her bullshit.
But at long last, Archer figures out that all is not as it seems. He takes a sneaky bioscan reading of Keyla, then says he’ll tell her what he knows about the Suliban while they take a walk on the beach. Didn’t they just come from the beach? But he suggests she get a sweater—allegedly, because it’s chilly outside, but more likely because he doesn’t want to have to look at her exposed midriff any more.
While she’s gone, he transmits the results of the bioscan back to the Enterprise. She comes back, wearing a “sweater” that is sheer and floaty and still doesn’t cover her overly crunched abs. Archer gets the ball rolling with a comment about what a nice job her surgeons did. Okay, insert your own boob job joke here. Although, this would be much more fun with T’Pol in the scene.
He says that all Tandarans (isn’t that a kind of curry?) have a distinctive feature in the middle of their foreheads. So distinctive, in fact, that approximately 75% of all alien races in Star Trek have one. She tries to play dumb for a while, but he whips out his tricorder and then we take a little trip to the Department of Backstory. Archer talks about Colonel Grat, and the detention camp he was sent to, and presumably this holds some meaning for regular viewers of Enterprise, but that certainly doesn’t include me, so we’ll keep moving along at a steady pace.
It seems that Keyla was sent by someone to probe Archer for information on the Suliban, but she won’t spill the beans as to who. Eventually, she cuts him with her fingernail, and he keels over in a dead faint. [!!] Well, every man has his Achilles heel, and I guess Archer’s is his potentially fatal allergic reaction to Max Factor nail polish.
Tacky dance music alerts us to the fact that we’re back with Trip and Malcolm. It seems that they’ve broken free of their restraints and are now trying to exit the club as nonchalantly as possible. This scene is pretty nonsensical. Everyone’s staring at them as if they were strolling through the place bollock naked, but in fact, their Starfleet undies are pretty conservative, and the average Risan holiday-maker is dressed in far skimpier clothes.
And… that’s all that happens. In this entire scene. That’s it. Is this really happening? Or has my brain started automatically filtering and editing and condensing these scenes as some sort of coping mechanism?
Meanwhile, Hoshi is just waking up in pristine white sheets, bathed in sunlight, with perfect hair and make-up, next to Bulging Veins Guy. Unfortunately, no amount of romantic flutes and strings on the soundtrack can convince me that this has been a tender and loving encounter, nor can the rather perfunctory kiss she gives to wake him up. Is “she puts the ‘Ho’ in ‘Hoshi'” an appropriate joke to make here? Or just groan-inducing?
He asks, “Any thoughts on what you’d like to do today?” Well, a thorough scrub in a decontamination chamber, followed by a visit to the nearest free clinic would be fairly high up on my list, but she says she could spend the day “right here.” Unfortunately, the shuttle is coming to pick her up soon. He says this was a short vacation for her, which gives her the opportunity to say the title of the episode. I’m sure his heart is positively breaking.
Back in the chamber of horrors better known as Sickbay, Phlox informs us that Travis was given a painkiller he’s allergic to, hence the anaphylactic shock. A quick hypo of something or other soon sorts out the problem. Travis says he’s feeling a lot better, and starts to thank Phlox, but can you guess what happens next?
- Phlox says, “No problem, don’t mention it!”
- Phlox cracks under the strain of having the most annoying subplot in an episode full of nothing but annoying subplots, and starts hacking everyone up with a chainsaw.
- Phlox is shown sprawled face-down on an examination table, snoring loudly, thus tying a neat bow on this particular story thread.
You don’t really need me to give you the answer to this one, do you?
Back in Archer’s villa, Porthos is bringing him back to consciousness by licking his ear, which is a good 50% more erotic than both Malcolm Reed in his underoos and Hoshi’s post-coital bliss with Bulging Veins Guy. Archer stumbles around a bit, then deduces that Keyla must have beaten a hasty retreat while he was passed out. And again, That. Is. All. That. Happens.
I mean, even with my virtually non-existent expectations for this episode, I was hoping for something in the way of action here. Wouldn’t this Keyla chick have taken advantage of a passed-out Archer in some way? She doesn’t so much as draw a little moustache on him in permanent marker!
And now, finally, mercifully, everyone’s back on the shuttle, headed back to the Enterprise. They’re all looking a little dirty and ashamed, I must say. They all exchange oblique small talk about what an interesting time they had, because everyone’s too embarrassed to admit that they got mugged, drugged, and/or whored it up. Apparently, all the pervy behaviour has rubbed off on Porthos, because he looks like he’s about to hump Malcolm’s leg.
But there’s time left for a few puns, however. Like when Hoshi mentions learning “several new conjugations” and Archer says he slept well and “went out like a light”.
And… that’s the end.
Are you kidding me? That’s it?! I just… I can’t wrap my head around it, guys. That wasn’t so much an ending as a collective loss of the will to live. Did the people responsible for this actually congratulate themselves on a job well done, a rip-roaring, jam-packed rollercoaster of an episode crammed with tears and laughter and lessons well learned? Or did they just think, like me, “thank Christ that’s over”?
You know what? I was going to provide you with my own summary of the Enterprise experience, to pronounce judgment on whether or not the show lives up to its reputation as the very worst of Trek. But not only is my opinion probably as obvious to you as the various “surprise twists” in the episode itself, I’m also thinking that a flaccid, half-hearted conclusion is really the only appropriate or deserved way to end a recap of “Two Days and Two Nights”. So I’ll just sit here in my underwear and smirk and say that it’s been a very “enlightening” experience. The End.
But wait, what’s this on the DVD menu? There’s a deleted scene? Are you kidding me? I’m not sure I really believe this.
Typically in television, scenes are dropped from an episode because they turned out to be superfluous to the narrative in some way, or because there was a noticeable dip in quality. Given that “Two Days and Two Nights” is one long exercise in poor-quality superfluousness, it’s downright laughable to think that somebody identified any part of it as being extraneous or detrimental to the episode as a whole. It’s like having a great big pile of dog shit, and thinking to yourself, “You know, I’m just not happy with that particular piece of dog shit in the upper left-hand corner. I think I’ll remove it—the overall presentation will be much more cohesive.”
Another possible reason for deleting a scene would be if it was deemed inappropriate for the Enterprise audience in some way. So, either we’re about to explore a controversial moral issue, or there’s boobies involved. Which one are you rooting for?
The scene opens with a shot of the Enterprise sweeping over Risa, and cuts to Archer smiling wistfully at a green screen, which a helpful caption tells us would have been Risa.
A Risan guy approaches Archer and tells him it would be a shame to “deprive” any of his people, but Archer says that a limited number of crew need to stay on the ship at all times. The Risan guy counters with a scheme that would allow all the crew to enjoy themselves, for a small additional charge.
Archer refuses the offer, saying that they need all their dilithium. (Dilithium is a form of currency now?) Risan Guy responds, “Don’t be so sure—after two days and nights on Risa, you may never want to leave!” Is he serious with this? Perhaps what he means is that after two days and two nights on Risa, a tremendous depression will descend upon you and reduce you to a catatonic state, rendering you physically incapable of leaving.
And I can’t help but notice that had this scene been left intact, it would have been the second time a character says the title of the episode. So, maybe someone on the production team had a rare moment of clarity, and realised that even they couldn’t be that ham-fisted.
Risan Guy then notes that T’Pol won’t be joining them. The camera pans over to T’Pol, arms folded sulkily, and I have to admit, I feel a rare surge of affection for her at this point. She says, in a voice dripping with sarcasm, that she’s already visited Risa, and it only seemed fair to give someone else a chance. She seems to be the only member of the crew with an accurate impression of Risa, and a realistic attitude towards its, uh, delights, and now I have a grudging respect for her and her decision to wriggle out of ever going there again.
Trip then pipes up, asking the Risan guy to confirm that the package covers “everything.” He quickly clarifies that he means things like food and souvenirs. Oh, ha ha! Cos, like, he’s really talking about sex! But he doesn’t want to admit to it, so he says food and stuff instead! That’s really funny!
Risan Guy assures him that no one goes away from Risa disappointed. Evidently, he’s never watched a Risa episode. Archer just shakes his head and chuckles and goes back to staring at the green screen.
Guess I must’ve missed the boobs, huh? Unless you count Trip and Archer. Hey, d’you think I could sell that joke to the producers? I’ve got a lot more obvious, groan-inducing double entendres that’d be right up their alley. Call me, guys! I’m cheap! See? There’s another! I can keep this up all day. And that was yet another! I’m telling you, I could run franchises into the ground with the best of them.