How Social Media Saved the World

It cannot be understated that we are living through a history-making difficult time. Hundreds of thousands of people are falling victim to a global pandemic and everyone is else either staying home or acting brazenly stupid. It shouldn't be surprising, though, that one of the upshots of all of this is that there has been a rise in meme-making.

First defined by Richard Dawkins in 1976 as a cultural idea that takes on a life of its own and is passed down through generations much the same way that genes are, the word "meme" has itself taken on a life of its own to define pictures made and passed around on the Internet that often lampoon various aspects of life. I don't think I've seen any new memes in the past few days that weren't about the COVID-19 epidemic. But this isn't the first time a global catastrophe has been made fun of in what could be described as a "childish" fashion. In fact, one of the memes I've seen compared the uptick in Cor…

Star Trek: Asterisk "Unexpected"

Vital Information
Series: Enterprise
Episode: S01E05
Air Date: October 17, 2001
Written by: Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
Directed by: Mark Vejar

Trip Tucker, engineer extraordinaire, helps out an alien race with repairs and ends up coming home with an unexpected bundle.

We open with Captain Archer taking a shower. That's right ladies. Scott Bacula is naked. Watch out. If that wasn't enough, there's some weird malfunction that turns off the artificial gravity and our intrepid captain is floating in the air along with a dozen droplets of water. This is probably the best opening to a Star Trek episode ever. Granted, I haven't seen all of them, but I almost died laughing to see Captain Archer floating around in quite an awkward position.

Watch out, Enterprise haters, we have a pretty great episode to deal with today. If this hilarious opening sequence wasn't enough, we go from there to figuring out the source of the problem: a ship trailing behind the Enterprise with cloaking technology picking up plasma exhaust to recharge their teraphasic coils.  Basically, this new alien race is picking up the Enterprise's trash to charge their engines.
No, no, no, no this thing is electrical!
Well, this Xyrillian race has a broken ship and Trip Tucker feels like he knows how to fix it, so archer sends him over, and what does he find? Drugs and alien sex.

Adapting to the alien atmosphere takes about three hours and during that time Trip feels like he's tripping. He tries to get acclimated to the air and it feels like he's choking, he gets out and into the ship proper and everything just goes all trippy, sluggish and weird. He feels nauseated and sickly, so, logically, the next thing to happen is that he gets pregnant.

Alright, alright, I'll track back. He's advised by the Xyrillian captain to take a bit of a nap before he gets to work, and after that nap everything is perfectly fine. He's able to work on their engine and a cute Xyrillian chick shows him around the rest of the ship. Turns out, not only do they have a cloaking device, they have a holodeck! Trip loves it, of course. But the real good stuff comes when he plays this "game" with the Xyrillian chick involving some magic pebbles that make you telepathic.

So, the engines get fixed and Tucker goes back to the Enterprise having thoroughly enjoyed his trip, just not knowing exactly how much. A growth appears on his arm that he believes to be an allergic reaction, so he gets it checked out. Turns out, this allergic reaction is a nipple.
Yo, dawg, I heard you like boobs...
Well, a lot of the rest of the episode deals with Trip going through hilarious hormonal difficulties. He gets irritated easily, grows more nipples and eats a ton of food. Basically, he turns into a pregnant female. Which is almost exactly what Flox discovers: he's got an alien baby growing inside of him. Ladies and gentlemen, this is one of the best sci-fi comedy premises, and Star Trek caries it out beautifully. Tucker complains about safety measures in engineering and is convinced that everyone knows about his pregnancy by T'Pol telling everyone. A particularly hilarious moment occurs when an officer who is serving them food overhears the end of a conversation about Trip's pregnancy and makes the best face.

So, as you can imagin, the Enterprise is racing back to find the Xyrillians to get this all straightened out. And where do they find them? Surfing on the exhaust of a Klingon battle cruiser. Klingons! This episode just keeps getting better and better! When the Klingons discover the Xyrillians, obviously they want to destroy them. But Archer convinces them to hold back until they get Trip straightened out. The Klingons agree only because they get to take a ride in the Xyrillian holodeck. But not before they have a hardy guffaw at Tucker's predicament.

With the Klingon situation sorted out, Trip finds the Xyrillian chick who says she didn't know it was possible (yeah, right) and concludes that the embryo could be transferred to another host safely. The episode ends with Trip recognizing that being the only human male to get pregnant is exactly how he wanted to go down in the history books.

Overall Thoughts
This is the most hilarious episode of Star Trek: Enterprise I have ever seen. Granted, that's not saying much, but I'm coming from the point of view that Enterprise is the worst series of the franchise. If we can get more episodes like this, I just might change my tune.