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(1x04) Please Don't Smell the Daisies: Strange New World!

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(1x04) Please Don't Smell the Daisies: Strange New World!

Postby entkayjay » Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:31 am

This is the discussion thread for S1E4, Strange New World! All Delphic Expanse rules of engagement apply.

Written by: Rick Berman and Brannon Braga
Directed by: David Livingston (Shuttlepod One, Detained, The Seventh, Precious Cargo, Stigma, The Crossing, Regeneration, Impulse, Proving Ground, Harbinger, The Council, Borderland, Kir'Shara, United)

There is a Rewatch Chat scheduled for 12:30am GMT (February 15) in either the chat forum here if our local magicians manage to make it appear, or at Tinychat.com (instructions and live link will be posted in the Live Chat Information Thread). Or whenever anyone else wants to watch and chat!
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Re: (1x04) Please Don't Smell the Daisies: Strange New World

Postby EntAllat » Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:59 am

"Please Don't Smell the Daisies." :lol:
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Re: (1x04) Please Don't Smell the Daisies: Strange New World

Postby Honeybee » Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:44 pm

What struck me on the rewatch is just how competent Archer is at the end. I remember so much criticism of the series and the focus on the fact that he let the mission happen in the beginning, what seemed to have been lost is how well he handled the crisis at the end. He used Trip's trust in him and their personal history to diffuse the situation, he helped T'Pol handle the humans (whom she was not as equipped to deal with), he pivoted when it was clear that Trip no longer believed him and developed the play acting plan. He also depended on the advice from Phlox, Malcolm and Hoshi. He really displays leadership skills. Also, way back in the beginning, the away team is really excited and Archer is allowing them to be psyched. Yes, they learned their lesson and should have run more scans, but Archer does a lot of right here.
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Re: (1x04) Please Don't Smell the Daisies: Strange New World

Postby mareel » Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:41 am

I'm sorry to have missed most of the chat, but I made some notes when I watched SNW last night.

Very interesting reaction from Malcolm at his bridge station when T'Pol suggested that it might take 7 days to properly assess the situation. His body language with crossing his arms was priceless, and not something we typically saw from him in response to something like that. It's usually in his face and eyes that we see his reactions.

Loved Travis' campfire ghost story – he seldom got that many lines all in one place.

And interesting that Malcolm chose to deliver the news to off-duty Jon in person, in his quarters, rather than by comm. He looked pretty relaxed there, no standing at parade rest or anything. And good catch, Malcolm! A good two-meter man indeed. Jon took Malcolm's recommendations seriously, putting the shuttle on standby alert, and working closely with him when they did fly down. I'm sure aborting that landing was the last thing Jon wanted to do, but they both knew it was the right choice – those winds made it way too risky. A crashed shuttle with or without an injured captain would have made the situation much more serious than it was.

That was kind of a scary moment when they beamed up Novakovich embedded with bits of native plantlife. Apparently Phlox didn't see a need for the decon chamber for him or there's no way to beam into that area directly.

Jon was clearly very worried about the safety of those affected by the hallucinogen, but managed the situation extremely well. I really liked seeing his thought process as he and Hoshi talked to Trip and T'Pol. Try a rational appeal... try appealing to Trip though their shared history and his trust in Jon... improvise a scenario and get T'Pol to play along until she could reduce the threat level. It was also nice to hear Hoshi's fluent Vulcan, and see that T'Pol was game enough to give this a try despite her inexperience with such play-acting.

I think I'd forgotten about this early scenario, and it reminded me of the effective improvisation that Jon did with Degra in Stratagem.

And it was really good to see Cutler and Novakovich getting to go along on the mission. I think we saw too little of other crewmembers in later seasons except as security/MACO redshirts, although the shift away from exploration to more military/diplomatic missions might have been a factor.
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Re: (1x04) Please Don't Smell the Daisies: Strange New World

Postby Glory1863 » Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:02 am

I think how you feel about Archer as captain may depend on how risk adversive you are as a person. Do you prefer a captain who is cautious enough to minimize risk going in (i.e., he's smart enough most days of the week to keep from getting his ass in a sling) OR do you prefer a captain who tends to throw caution to the winds but is smart enough to successfully extract his ass from the sling his risky behavior has put it in? And there's also the question of which is more fun to watch versus who you'd prefer to have as a boss in real life.

This episode strikes me as a glass half full/glass half empty proposition. If you're looking for a serious issue-driven episode (like Similitude, for example), then this isn't it. If cliches bug the living hell out of you, then this isn't an episode for you either. If, on the other hand, you can accept all the cliches as camp, then this episode is really funny and a great time! If you've seen any Trek at all, you know from the get go that Novakovitch (and maybe Cutler) are in serious trouble; you know, the anonymous guest star expendible red shirt syndrome. Next, he smells a flower on an alien world. Didn't he see any of the 1950s-1960s science fiction movies/shows where the innocent-looking milkweed-like pods blew up in your face and infected you with weirdness? Then the captain leaves them stranded on this alien world and Travis starts telling ghost stories. Now, the story was great! I particularly enjoyed the reference to a silicon-based entity (has to be the Horta!). But again, haven't they seen any horror movies/teenage slasher flicks? You know "something" is there and something bad is about to happen. Once the bad stuff hits the fan, they do what the teenagers always do - instead of sticking together for protection, they split up. Somebody always runs off into the night; somebody always goes after them; and somebody is always left behind. If more than one is left behind, then one will go off looking for the "answer." If, perchance, the survivors get back together, then the paranoia really kicks in. Who "the other" is depends on the time and place in the writer's real world. At one time, it would have been Travis for being black. At another time, it would have been T'Pol and Cutler for being female. At another time, maybe even Trip for being a good ole Southern boy. In the best TV tradition of milking trouble for all it's worth and having cliffhangers so you'll come back after the commercial, the rescue attempt fails. Then you have that whole thing between Trip and T'Pol which you just know they'll look back on and laugh at on some Valentine's day in the future when their kid wants to know how they met. "Well, pumpkin, we went to this really neat planet, but a flower made us sick. I was mean to Mommie and she finally had to stun me. When we got medicine and felt all better, we knew we were in love." Oh, by the way, I really liked the "rock people." They reminded me of the Clay People from the Buck Rogers serials from the 1930s. Yep, old idea, but the execution of the special effect was better. I suppose we could even bring in the reboot film. If the shuttlepod had crashed to begin with or crashed on the rescue attempt and the transporter hadn't worked, then I'm sure some obscure crewmen just out of Starfleet training could have risen to the occasion and managed to get the Enterprise home with virtually no senior officers. :mrgreen: Yeah, I'll cop a plea to this being a guilty pleasures episode.
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Re: (1x04) Please Don't Smell the Daisies: Strange New World

Postby EntAllat » Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:22 pm

I always enjoyed this episode. Some things are just classic situations, you know?

First things first: It was sad to see Kellie Waymire right away. This ep introduced Elizabeth Cutler and right away I liked the actress and the character. I wondered where the heck she'd disappeared to but after poking around online to find out what series had snatched her away I found out instead that she'd died of an undiagnosed heart defect. I can't imagine how that affected the cast and crew.

The episode itself is a lot of fun though, and one of the more memorable ones apparently. (Everybody seems to remember the details of this one easily.) T'Pol already seems to be adjusting - though her advice is still contrary here she obviously is attempting to go along with the Human way of doing things. Archer's awkward attempt to put a friendly arm around her for the picture taking is hilarious. The reaction to the alien bug in the tent is even funnier and then there's the line at the end, "You didn't shoot me last night did you?"

Again, I'm watching for little details I've missed before or plot opportunities for fics. (Say what you like about the quality of the first two seasons and Berman and Braga's take on Enterprise, but the first two seasons are filled so many details on the character's pasts, habits and personalities. I think I read somewhere that they'd wanted to focus on people working in space - i.e. the kinds of interpersonal interactions you'd have in a working environment of any kind and there's a lot there that fan fic draws from.) This one just reinforced one that's stuck with me for some time now: It always surprised and intrigues me how Travis - Space Boomer that he is - is so adept at planet-based sports and outdoors. Later on it's rock climbing, but here he seems to have camping and the art of telling ghost stories around a camp fire down pretty well. I'd also completely forgotten that this was the mention of Mr. Velic - and that made me wonder why each person saw what they did in the hallucinations.

Other stuff:
Porthos! That's all I have to say about that.
I have to laugh every time Novacavich smells the 'alien flower' since I recognize it as lantata - stuff that grows wild nearby.
"Of course it was cold. It'd been floatin' in space ..." Trip gets the Vulcan straight-man line.
Loved the reflection by Cutler and then Trip on Sol and the distance from Earth
Bug! "Can we squash and alien life form??"
Nice assist by Hoshi when Archer's winging it to try to get Trip to put the weapon down
Also, Malcolm once again is really good in this episode, even he stays in the background of thing. There's an easy confidence and concern through the whole episode and he does come across as experienced.

I do wish the explanation for the psychotropic compound had been a little more detailed. It really looked like it had a lot more than a hallucinogenic affect since every Human became paranoid in addition to seeing things, then combative, then several started drifting off. On the other hand, Phlox's reaction when he thinks he missed something that will cost a crewman's life is just heartbreaking.

Lastly, my reaction was "Ah. Okay, so Ethan Novacovich is Yeoman Smith." when that crewman ran off into the night and then later with the transporter. But unlike most designated red shirts, he gets to live, which was a nice departure from classic Trek even while the whole episode seemed like a nod to its origins.
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Re: (1x04) Please Don't Smell the Daisies: Strange New World

Postby Honeybee » Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:41 pm

Somewhere, I remember hearing that in the original script Novacavich does get red-shirted and dies, but the decision was made that such a huge thing as a crew death would risk them being recalled and should not be "routine" the way they were in TOS.

Cutler was, I understand, conceived to be reoccurring like Chief O'Brien was in TNG. It was a shame what happened to Kellie Waymire. If you are interested, her last tv guest spot was a starring turn in an episode of the canceled series Wonderfalls (created by Brian Fueller). I think the episode is called "The Lonely Zookeeper" and Kellie plays the zookeeper and is terrific.
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Re: (1x04) Please Don't Smell the Daisies: Strange New World

Postby Brandyjane » Wed Feb 16, 2011 8:54 pm

This is one of my favorite episodes of Enterprise, and it's the one where I really had to take notice of Connor Trineer's acting abilities. Here are my random thoughts:

- I find it hilarious how T'Pol actually seems to be trying to obey Archer's order to enjoy the fresh air on the planet when he tells her to put down her scanner. Her body language says, "I am now attempting to relax and enjoy myself. I am not succeeding. What is the point of this endeavor?"
- I also like T'Pol's little sarcastic comment about meeting up at a certain time if the captain doesn't ask them to pose for any more pictures. She can deny it all she wants, but T'Pol definitely has a sense of humor, even way back at the beginning of season one.
- Like EntAllat, I always giggle when I see the fields of lantana. I have several varieties, including the yellow one that Ethan sniffs, in my front yard.
- I wonder if Travis's ghost story was partially responsible for setting off Ethan. He looked slightly creaped out by the story, and I think he was the first one to think he saw or heard someone out there.
- Travis was interesting in this episode! I didn't really enjoy the "Travis Mayweather Episodes" like "Terra Nova," but when the story featured him a lot without focusing on him too much, he's a decent character. I wish they'd given him more to do.
- Was the bug in Trip's sleeping bag real or was it a hallucination? I tend to think it was real, but I've never been sure.
- I love it when T'Pol calls the two men: "Do you require assistance?" I think it would have been pretty funny to have T'Pol go over there to squash the bug.
- I like how they have T'Pol sitting apart from the rest of them during the campfire scene, working. She's trying not to be part of the group, yet she makes it clear she's been listening to the story, after all, when she speaks up afterward.
- In the past it always bugged me a little that T'Pol is relatively unaffected compared to the humans. However, this time around I paid more attention to the way Jolene played her, and I think T'Pol was more affected than I previously realized. She might not be experiencing hallucinations, but I think she was having more trouble controlling her emotions than she let on. When I watched this episode in the past, I always got too caught up in watching Trineer's amazing acting to notice much of anything else, but this time I noticed the subtle facial expressions, vocal inflections, etc. that all seemed to say that T'Pol was really struggling, too.
- I like how when the other humans start passing out, Trip just seems to get more energetic, almost manic at times. Not everyone reacts the same way to medicines and drugs, so that made sense to me, and it just seemed to fit that Trip would have this reaction.
- Is it just me or does it sound kind of like a come-on when T'Pol says, "Join me if you'd like" to Trip regarding going to the back of the cave for more water.
- Travis is funny the next morning when he says he thinks he must have hurt his shoulder the night before. Little does he know that he just experienced the first nerve pinch in our series!
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Re: (1x04) Please Don't Smell the Daisies: Strange New World

Postby Honeybee » Wed Feb 16, 2011 9:19 pm

I love the "I am attempting to relax and have fun. It's not working. What is the point of this?" moment with T'Pol. And I agree, JB does quite well playing T'Pol as agitated and not in her usual control. It's far more subtle that what Trip is going through, so sometimes it's easy not to notice.

Btw, I wrote this short missing scene for this episode. :mrgreen:
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Re: (1x04) Please Don't Smell the Daisies: Strange New World

Postby Kathy Rose » Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:45 pm

Whew! RL has been hectic, but I finally got to watch the episode this morning. I'll try not to repeat what others have said.

Once again, I'm impressed by what an ensemble cast can do. There were even added minor characters this time, with Cutler and Novakavich. Everybody got something to say, and Travis and his ghost stories! Very funny! I liked that the ghost stories were current to their era, that is, they involved space.

It was interesting that it was the minor characters (except for Trip) being impressed and awed, looking up at the night sky when they're camping. Then the scene shifts to the bridge, and for Archer and the crew there, it's business as usual.

I felt for Cutler at the beginning. She's trying to make small talk with T'Pol, who cuts her off. I think Cutler in this instance embodied some of the spirit of humans as they started moving out among the stars. She's trying hard to be friends.

Archer is reckless in sending down a party without checking out the planet first, but some of that, I think, comes from the feeling of being held back so long in their effort to explore space. This episode shows that there are consequences in not being properly prepared or cautious, and hopefully, it becomes a lesson learned.

The calmer and more logical T'Pol was, the more it seemed to drive the others, particularly Trip, to disagree or become angry. That may have been the effects of the hallucinogens already working.

I did wonder, though, why T'Pol didn't realize that something was wrong with the humans in the landing party sooner. She had been around humans enough to know that this was extreme behavior even for humans.

In reference to some of the other comments about the spores/flowers, I was wondering if the reason Trip seemed to hang on so long (unlike Cutler and Travis who were falling asleep or were unconscious) is that he had more adrenaline to work with, having gotten angry at T'Pol. It did seem that the humans were affected according to their biases. Trip distrusted T'Pol, and there was more than the usual hint of T'Pol's disdain for the irrational behavior of humans. Travis seemed the least affected; that might be because he grew up in space and had more contact with unusual things. Novakavich, cussing out his captain, leads me to believe he might have a problem with authority. :lol:

Best line -- "And I have a phase pistol pointed at my head." Jolene delivered that line with such matter-of-factness that it made me laugh.

I never noticed this the other times I watched this episode, but T'Pol uses a Vulcan nerve pinch to subdue Travis to give him the innoculation. Then he complains that his neck is stiff or sore. I don't remember, but did T'Pol ever use the nerve pinch again in the series?

I loved the little lightning bug-type bugs flitting around during the camp scene.
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