True Detective Season 4 Ending Explained: How Does Night Country End?

This article contains spoilers for True Detective: Night Country episode 6. Coming in at a full two episodes shorter than previous seasons, True Detective: Night Country has a lot to accomplish in its sixth and final episode. Going into “Part 6,” viewers still don’t know who killed Annie Kowtok (Nivi Pedersen), what happened to the […]

The post True Detective Season 4 Ending Explained: How Does Night Country End? appeared first on Den of Geek.

Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2001. The night Enterprise, later to be named Star Trek: Enterprise, premiered with “Broken Bow.” I didn’t get to see it that night, probably since it was a school night and I was 10. I taped it on VHS and watched it with my mom a day or so later. We both enjoyed it well enough.

Until we got to a certain scene. 

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The crew was just attacked on an alien planet. The plot was ramping up. But first? Trip (Connor Trinneer) and T’Pol (Jolene Blalock) strip down to their underwear and lather each other up with gel. I never get to know why because my mom made me fast forward through the scene, feeling it was, “inappropriate.” We got to the next scene and resumed watching, never speaking of the “inappropriate” scene again. I didn’t rewatch “Broken Bow” until earlier this year and finally got to watch the forbidden scene. A piece of Star Trek that was still all new to me! This should have been exciting.

But wow. That scene was the least sexy thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

The scene in question ostensibly exists because Trip and T’Pol need to use the Decontamination Chamber (aka Decon), which prevents anything dangerous slipping past the ships sensors. This involved the crew needing to rub gel on each other’s skin to make it work. The scene tries to set up some character conflict between Trip and T’Pol but you’d be forgiven for not taking any of that in. What with long lingering shots of T’Pol’s belly, Trip rubbing her ears, and some fairly prominent nipple outlines. 

This wasn’t the first time Star Trek had tried to be sexy. The Original Series didn’t feature all those mini skirts for nothing, after all. Who can forget the leeringly uncomfortable workout Troi and Crusher did in front of a mirror in The Next Generation? But this Enterprise scene was different. It was beyond blatant. This was going for steamy, something UPN clearly liked since it made it into an early promo for Enterprise.

The scene was met with heavy controversy. One fan at the time wrote an email to Star Trek: The Magazine, printed in their January 2002 edition which said, “the writers seem to have sacrificed credibility for sex. Whatever happened to the renowned Vulcan abhorrence to touching anyone?” 

This scene not only was offensive to good taste, it was an offense to continuity! 

Enterprise continued to utilize the Decon chamber throughout the first two seasons, including in the infamous season 2 episode, “A Night in Sickbay.” It begins with another “sexy” sequence of the crew members rubbing gel all over each other… along with Archer’s (Scott Bakula) dog, Porthos. If there was any hope of the Decon chamber being legit sexy, this made it go out the window. There is nothing sexy about rubbing a dog with gel. 

In the 2005 DVD commentary on “Broken Bow” with show creators and episode writers Rick Berman and Brannon Braga, the two try to justify the “sexiness” of the Decon chamber. Braga explains that they wanted Enterprise to, “feel a little saucier. A little sexier,” than previous Star Trek shows. He also acknowledges that the scene, “has gotta be the most controversial scene in the entire pilot, if not the series.”

Berman however was more ready to defend it, explaining where it all came from.

“The whole idea was we didn’t have the biofilters that exist in later Star Trek series. We wanted them to have to go through a strange ritual, having to cleanse themselves of alien bacteria before they could (go back) into the ship. That gave us the opportunity to do a very sexy scene. You have two characters talking about some very unsexy stuff that deals with our plot. Simultaneously they’re getting involved in something that obviously people would find… Rather hot.”

He creepily adds, “Jolene’s figure didn’t hurt (the scene) either.”

Time though has brought out more reflection on the Decon scenes, at least with Braga. In the 2013 Blu-ray commentary on “Broken Bow” he calls the scene “infamous” and explains, “this was meant to be sexy.” 

Meant to be but clearly wasn’t.

He acknowledges the controversy around the scene, pointing out, “there’s a LOT of nipple here. A lot of penis. It’s pretty racy even by today’s standards.”

Despite Entertainment Weekly in 2002, as reported by Trek Today, hyping up the Decon scenes as Enterprise, “cranking up the sex factor” they were phased out of the show. As Braga admitted in the 2013 commentary, the Decon chamber “felt gratuitous after a while.”

Next time I watch the episode I’ll just fast forward through it. My mom had the right idea.

The post Star Trek Enterprise Once Tried to Be Sexy and the Result Was Just Awful appeared first on Den of Geek.

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