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 "Shockwave part 2"

Vital Information
Series: Enterprise
Episode: S02E01
Air Date: September 18, 2002
Written by: Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
Directed by: Alan Kroeker

With Archer stuck in the 31st century, the Suliban take the Enterprise hostage (which was, evidently, the logical course of action?) and Redshirt Daniels works tirelessly to restore the timeline.

So Archer is having some "alone" time with Redshirt Daniels in the 31st century, which means that T'Pol, in order to prove to the attacking Suliban that he is not on board, decides to let the Suliban on board to investigate her claims. She feels there is nothing more she can do since they are surrounded. When that happens, the Suliban take over and confine everyone to their quarters. The Enterprise now belongs to the bad guys. Also Ambasador Soval, cranky Vulcan guy, decides it would be prudent to send a ship out to retrieve T'Pol since the Enterprise is so unfashionably late. Basically, everything is screwed up.

While Redshirt Daniels and Archer take a stroll through the demolished version of the 31st century, they come upon a library full of books instead of what Daniels expects to be electronic memory banks. It's full of information about Archer's future, for example, the Romulan Star Empire, so Daniels suggests that Archer keep to himself. Despite walking through a devastated war zone, however, things start to look up when Daniels takes Archer's communicator and scanner and reveals that he's actually MacGyver in disguise. He can apparently make a device that will send an image back in time using these completely unrelated and relatively primitive machines.
It's like building a Stargate out of a toaster.
Back in the 22nd century, the Suliban have taken the Enterprise to a nearby Helix. And T'Pol gets a first-hand look at Suliban hospitality. While they torture her, she repeats that the Vulcan science consulate has concluded that time travel is impossible. Which tells Silik that T'Pol obviously knows nothing. Meanwhile, master engineer that he is, Trip gets the communications working between the senior officers who get to work on planning an escape.. The plan is bolstered when THE GHOST OF ARCHER YET TO COME HAUNTS T'POL. No, actually, it's just a holographic image that has been sent back through time. No big deal. Anyway, he tells T'Pol some vital information about how to bring him back.

So everyone's door is locked, but they can talk to each other. They need to get out, so what do they do? Have the smallest person, Hoshi, climb through the air vents. She crawls through, despite having claustrophobia, and picks up some needles to knock out the guards from Phlox's quarters. She then heads through the air vents again to Reed's quarters and gets her shirt stuck. While she tries to unstick it, she falls through the air vent and slips out out of the shirt.
Care to visit the decon chamber? ;D
Through T'Pol's fabulous acting prowess, two Suliban guards are knocked out while they're distracted by T'Pol looking quite delirious. And things are looking up. Then Reed goes to Redshirt Daniel's locked up quarters and picks up a device and gets caught by Suliban. And things are looking down. But that's actually exactly what Reed wanted? It seems that way, because he doesn't seem too choked up about the fact that Silik takes whatever device he just picked up. In the meantime, the rest of the crew fakes a warp core breach and all the Suliban are "forced" to jump ship. When ever last Suliban is gone, the Enterprise quickly recovers and warps away.

Back on the Helix, Silik takes his device to the funky time chamber and tries to make it work. He succeeds. And the device brings Archer back in time and restores the timeline! Archer destroys Redshirt Daniels' device and escapes to the Enterprise just in time for them to meet with the Vulcan ship and present their evidence that they did not, in fact, destroy that matriarchal colony back in Part 1.

What follows is a lovely little wrap-up of the first season that really must be read in its entirety to be truly appreciated...
"When I was in my early twenties on a trip to East Africa, I saw a gazelle giving birth. It was truly amazing. Within minutes, the baby was standing up–standing up on its own. A few more minutes, and it was walking. And before I knew it it was running alongside its mother, moving away with the herd. Humans aren't like that, Ambassador. We may come from the same planet as those gazelles, but we're pretty much helpless when we're born. It takes us months before we're able to crawl–almost a full year before we can walk. Our deep space mission isn't much different. We're going to stumble, make mistakes – I'm sure more than a few before we find our footing. But we're going to learn from those mistakes. That's what being human is all about. I'm sorry you can't see that." 
"Your analogy is very colorful, Captain, but I question whether it addresses the consequences of your actions." 
(T'Pol dramatically moves to her captain's side, close to the viewscreen.) "The concept of learning from one's mistakes shouldn't be difficult for a Vulcan of your wisdom to understand, Ambassador. Our ancestors discovered how to suppress their volatile emotions only after centuries of savage conflict. You spoke of the destruction of the monastery. What about the Vulcan listening post that Captain Archer found there? I would hope that our people have learned from those events–that using a sacred sanctuary to spy on others was a dishonorable practice to say the least. I don't wish to contradict Captain Archer, but learning from one's mistakes is hardly exclusive to humans. Their mission should be allowed to continue."
And everyone lived happily ever after and learned a valuable lesson about learning from their mistakes.

Overall Thoughts
I love a good taking-back-the-ship story. And this is a lovely ending to the Shockwave storyline. I think it's rather poignant that, in the end, it's a Redshirt that saves the universe. Here's to Redshirt Daniels!