"Star Trek: Enterprise" In a Mirror, Darkly (TV Episode 2005) Poster

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A Parallel Universe of Tyranny and Betrayal
claudio_carvalho1 May 2010
On 5 April 2063, in Bozeman, Montana of a parallel universe, Zephram Cochrane kills the Vulcans in their first contact. On 13 May 2155, the humans are part of a dark Empire that uses force and torture to subdue other species and they are near to be defeated by the rebels. In Enterprise, the First Officer Archer leads a mutiny against Captain Forrest and travels to the Tholian space to take the Earth ship Defiant that has come from the future of another universe and has been captured by the Tholians that intend to use reverse engineering to research the advanced technology and weapons. In an environment of betrayal and mistrust, Captain Forrest and most of the complement of Enterprise are destroyed in an attack of several Tholian ships. Archer, T'Pol, Trip and a small group try to activate the Defiant to battle against the enemy ships.

"In a Mirror, Darkly: Part I" is a weird episode of Enterprise in a parallel universe where tyranny and betrayal rule. The characters have basically the opposite behavior of the regular ones and Hoshi surprises with a sexy performance that seems to be inspired in Mata Hari. The best part of this show is the excellent music score that replaces the annoying and out of context theme of Enterprise. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): "Reflexo Sombrio" ("Dark Reflex")
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Trek at it's very best
gritfrombray-17 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Liked this show from day one. The crew worked well together and, for the fist time in a Star Trek show since The Next Generation, we had a sense of family aboard ship. But this one dealt with another universe completely! This universe, first seen in Mirror Mirror in the original show was brilliantly thought out. In this episode now, we learn of it's origins. Watch the opening sequence for this. Amazing. The entire cast get a good slice of the action and it presented some real twists and turns on the characters we have come to know and love. Fans of Star Trek on a whole should watch this, as it is quite simply put, one of the greatest Star Trek episodes of all time.With a concluding scene to make your jaw drop!!!
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Here we go again.
brueggemanntami21 July 2018
It seems every version of Trek has to do the "evil Enterprise" thing, and I haven't liked any of them. I felt this show wasn't given enough of a chance before it was cancelled. I enjoy it very much. I wish the series had gone on longer. There was a lot more to explore with these characters.
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Love this episode
wigzynz-9184923 September 2018
Any episode where Linda Park gets all sexy is a good episode.
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Was I the only one who hated this story arc?
Kaleko15 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This theme has been done before in Star Trek. The whole alternate universe scenario where the good guys are bad guys. It was not original at all. It was so annoying to see the same situation unfold as before: Senior officers in an alternate evil universe who do not trust each other and use treachery to gain rank. And then you have the seductress who is on the inside of things whose place is in the bed of the captain. It felt so copy-cat and pointless that it was hard to even pay attention. I was waiting to see some character sporting a black goatee. I was very disappointed that I didn't see one. I'd have loved to see Archer in a black goatee. It may have helped his image as an evil man be more convincing. Is it just me or does Archer always seem like an eternal nice guy at heart, and his toughness/heartlessness feels like a charade?

Obsession with goatees aside, it was a deviation from the main plot and all the characters were actually cared about. What was the point in it? Was the original storyline that boring?

To its credit: The first scene where Cochran shot the Vulcans was actually kind of cool because they actually tried to make the world more realistic and believable. And I appreciated the surprise theme song which confused me and was a bit amusing once I figured out what was going on.

But really, overall I felt these two episodes were kind of pointless and lame, especially so near the season's climax. I'd rather be seeing some exciting storyline development, not a silly side-story with made-up characters that has no bearing on any of the other episodes. Shouldn't this play-time for the writers been done earlier on?
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Aboard the 'evil' Enterprise!
Tweekums27 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
As this episode opens we are back with the events at the end of 'Star Trek: First Contact'; this time however things end very differently when Zefram Cochrane shoots and kills the Vulcan visitors. Back to the present and the Enterprise is different too; Commander Archer has soon become captain after staging a mutiny, Hoshi is the seductive mistress of the old captain but soon moves on to Archer and while T'Pol is still a senior officer it is clear that Vulcans are looked down upon. There is no Federation but a Terran Empire instead... we are in the Mirror Universe. Archer takes the Enterprise into Tholian space where he captures a Tholian and tortures him to give the coordinates of a captured Terran ship. It is not any old ship though, it is from the 'good' universe one hundred years in the future. T'Pol helps Captain Forester retake the ship but Archer has locked the course so they have no choice but to follow his plan and find the mystery ship. Archer and an away team beam over to it and while they are away the Enterprise is attacked and as the words 'To be continue' appear on the screen it appears to explode!

This episode was a lot of fun, it was great seeing our favourite characters as the bad guys. Having a completely different opening featuring a series of military vehicles though history and scenes of the Enterprise engaged in combat was inspired. Even the uniforms were changed with the female officers showing far more flesh, sure it was pure fan-service but what does one expect in the evil Mirror Universe. In the past when we've visited the Mirror Universe it has always featured at least one regular person from the 'Good' Universe but here only the evil counterparts are seen and as much as I like the regular characters I must admit their evil counterparts are more fun.
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Readily skippable
jrarichards10 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Presumably "Enterprise" felt it couldn't really go out with getting into that more aggressive alternative universe first aired in The Original Series and traded on ever since in the various later incarnations of Trek. But this pair of episodes does not really know where it is going, and so squanders several possible messages about how all empires must fall, abut how noble memes leaking in from our universe into theirs might prove powerful enough to change something, and so on. Perhaps these are things we need to know, but it should scarcely take two episodes to achieve that (even if a pretty pointless gorn-hunt is padded out to about 20 minutes!); and there is a tangible sense here that the actors are having more fun with this than we are.

Indeed, since there is no contact with any of the characters we know (only their counterpart versions), we have almost no real emotional investment in this one.

On the plus side we do get to see an interestingly "naughty" version of Hoshi, which offers certain rewards, while there is a flavour of "Mirror, Mirror" in that T'Pol and Soval are seen to be somehow worthwhile characters in both universes, thanks to being Vulcan - in just the same way as "aggressive" Spock proved a kind of reliable ally in the TOS episode from 1967, which was nevertheless far more nuanced, interesting and "worth it" than this 2005 effort.

Regrettably, the two "In a Mirror, Darkly" episodes seem rather to have been "killing time" and - given how precious the last few hours of "Enterprise" might have been (especially for fans such as myself), this is a bit of a frustration.
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Deliciously evil!
MartinHafer31 May 2015
Back during the runs of "Star Trek: Deep Space 9" and "Star Trek: Voyager", the "Mirror, Mirror" plot from the original "Star Trek" was resurrected again and again. While I loved the original "Mirror, Mirror", the great evil parallel universe idea was bled dry--with way too many revisitations of the idea. Fortunately, this idea was only used in this and the following episode...plus the style and look of these shows is amazing. What do I mean by this? The normal, wimpy intro to "Star Trek: Enterprise" has instead been replaced with a militaristic intro--complete with the symbol of the evil parallel Federation!

When the show begins, the Zefram Cochran first contact scene from "Star Trek: First Contact" is shown and things seem just fine. However, this has been re-edited--and you realize it when Cochran (James Cromwell) opens fire--killing the Vulcan visitors!!

The scene now cuts to the evil Enterprise--complete with most of the same crew from "Star Trek: Enterprise". But, like in "Mirror, Mirror", these folks are evil, conniving and rotten. How rotten??!! See the show and see for yourself!!

The show that follows involves Commander Archer taking control of the ship from his captain! And, he then sets the ship on a secret mission into Tholian space. Why? What's all this about anyway?!

This is a mega-cool episode. Sadly, however, it's also one that was filmed AFTER the crew learned that the show was being canceled. Clearly a case of too little too late and this marks one of the better shows...yet only a few episodes later, the series sadly ended.
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The full Back story (Damned The Defiant!) Not the DS9 one
Ed_Jones_XLIX16 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This two part episode does take its idea from the T.O.S. episode Mirror, Mirror (Sea2 Ep4). But that's all it does. It is more about the explanation of what happened to a missing Federation ship in Tholian space in the distant future. Now this episode totally takes place in the Mirror Universe. AKA Fringe. No transporter accident here sending the good officers to the bad universe, and vice versa, as in the T.O.S. episode. Just a 2 parter in the bad uni. And a lot of fun with all the cast playing different roles. But what ties this to the future Federation is that In a Mirror Darkly, a future Constitution Class Star Ship the Defiant has somehow just appeared in the present, or its past, and has been captured by the Tholians. For those that remember, you now know what happened to the doomed Defiant that Kirk was trapped on for a while during a phase shift. For those not versed watch the Star Trek episode The Tholian Web (Sea3 Ep9). That explains how the Defiant got here. This future Starship has Warp 9 capability superior weapons and shielding. And The Empire (Federation in the good universe) must have "It" to tip the scales in their war against Good. Remember, here....... Evil must triumph over Good!! Anyway lots of fun watching everyone depart from their original roles. Except T'Pol, who like Spok, is "The same in both Uni's. Logic always wins out. Maybe J.J. Abrams will have one of his sequels of the New Star Trek in the Mirror Uni????
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Hamming it up
bitomurder11 April 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Every show since The Next Generation has given us their homage to the original series. TNG had "Relics", DS9 had "Trials and Tribble-ations" , VOY gave us "Flashback" and for the 700th episode of live action Star Trek ever aired Enterprise gives us "In A Mirror, Darkly". This tale is a cleverly written continuity barrage that gives fans a high quality and thoroughly enjoyable mirror episode.

"In A Mirror, Darkly" is widely credited as one of the best episodes of Enterprise, and it is easy to see why. There are so many interesting homages to the original series and seeing our 22nd century crew hamming it up makes this two-parter a worthy investment of your time. Star Trek fans will be delighted to see a myriad of references to TOS. Whether it is seeing a Constitution class ship getting a CGI upgrade and strutting its stuff or Soval sporting his "evil Vulcan goatee" there is something here for everyone to enjoy. The story is a little heavy handed with the evil versions of our characters, but that does not detract from the overall enjoyment of it. Despite being set in the mirror universe, this episode gives us a reflection on our prime universe in the way of presenting the xenophobia of the humans which becomes a major plot point in the two episodes that follow this one. From the opening teaser to the rise of newly crowned Empress Sato, "In A Mirror, Darkly" is a superb episode that is a fun and entertaining ride that leaves fans wishing Enterprise had stuck around for a few more seasons.
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Why o why???
watzlaf11 February 2019
Terrible. Running out of ideas or what? Just bad on so many levels. Just as i thought that Enterprise is not all that bad - then this....
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Entertaining, mirror universe overdone though
bakchu21 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Both parts of "In a Mirror, Darkly" are entertaining, well paced, and of course it's a joy for Star Trek fans to learn what happened to the "Defiant" from Kirk's era. Most actors are doing a good job at portraying the corrupted, evil counterparts of their characters - especially John Billinglsey (Dr. Phlox), I think. Also, the music is decidedly more interesting than the usual Enterprise fare. However, the whole "evil mirror universe" thing is extremely overdone: In a society that permeated by universal mistrust, treachery and series of usurpations, where any kind of teamwork is overshadowed by force and fear of backstabbing, I can't really envision people being able to get a spaceship into orbit, even less building an empire that lasts for hundreds of years.
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Mirror Universe - Archer Edition
Samuel-Shovel23 July 2018
Warning: Spoilers
"In a Mirror, Darkly" takes place in the mirror universe where members of Star Fleet appear to be evil versions of themselves for the Terran Empire. In this version of events, Admiral Forrest is actually captain of the Enterprise, with Archer being his first officer. The rest of the gang's all there in different shapes and forms: Phlox is still the doctor but gets enjoyment out of torturing victims, Hoshi is Captain Forrest's concubine, Trip is still Chief Engineer but has a gnarled face due to radiation, T'Pol is third in command and wearing a skimpy outfit for the fanboys, Reed is leader of the MACOs, and Travis is a MACO sergeant.

Archer has heard rumblings about a parallel universe and how the Tholians have extracted a Star Fleet ship from that universe from its future and are going to reverse engineer it in a war with the humans. Forrest has no interest in investigating this so Archer stages a coup to take over command and lead them to where the ship is reported to be. They have some sort of cloaking device allowing them to get close.

The Enterprise shows up and discovers the Defiant being scrapped by the Tholians. Archer and a crew sneak aboard. The Enterprise is discovered and gets itself caught in a Tholian web. Unable to escape or use its weapons, the Enterprise is destroyed with Forrest at the helm.

Poor Admiral Forrest, now he's been killed off in both universes, got to feel for the man. I'm always a big fan of these mirror universe episodes. They allow the actors to take on roles and characteristics that we don't typically get to see out of them on the show.

I'm not really sure why the Defiant goes back in time when it crosses over after "The Tholian Web" episode. It goes back over a century in the mirror universe. I suppose I can by this though. The spacial interphase is a curious thing, so I suppose it's possible that when two parallel universes overlap it causes time to go a bit berserk.

I also need to acknowledge just how much better this theme song is compared to the normal one for this series. It's 1,000 times better and I wish someone would just edit out the old one and replace it with this one for all ST:E episodes.

I'm curious to see if they incorporated Captain Kirk at all in Part II. I know he was trapped in some type of void, but we shall see if they decide to throw his ghostly specter on the screen at all.
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STAR TREK "Punked" #6
joker-scar13 August 2018
I grew up watching Star Trek TOS reruns on TV in the 1970's and I caught every original cast flick that came out in the theatre. To be honest I was always a bigger (original) Star Wars fan than Trek. "What???!!! How dare a SW fan have the audacity to criticize Star Trek! But I will... *Disclaimer: this is done with the utmost fun/love so any of you Trekkies out there that feel the need to zip off a hasty/indignant reply with headings like: "How dare you nit-pick a cherished franchise!"... "Such-and-such was done because of the limited TV budgets back then..." " It was made 50 years ago and was cutting edge stuff against the ordinary pabulum that was out back then and it changed the face of sci-fi forever so cut it some slack you sacrilegious bastard!!" ... blah, blah, blah. Reel in your indignation. *FYI - I know that most of you Trekkies have a sense of humour (I'm Canadian, "that's" how we spell it here! We love "U's" and use them whenever we can) and those that don't have one... are called Trekkers. If that is the case then as William "the Shat" Shatner once stated on Saturday Night Live..."Get a life!" My first 5 installments focused on TOS but this one starts to "attack" Enterprise. I watched the pilot episode when it first aired and thought Scott Bakula didn't have that "command authority" to play the Captain. After watching the complete series 17 years later, my opinion has not changed. Today's Punked episode..."In A Mirror Darkly"
  • It seems the "Alternate universe" episodes are a favorite among everyone, especially myself and they also managed to fit in TOS sets and starship to boot. First off, I get the poking fun at the Shat's acting but in reality he's a fine actor that had his unique emphasized "trademarks" shall we say, but no one can deny he was born to play Kirk. In contrast Scott Bakula crosses the hammy acting line so many times in this series but especially this episode the line just disappears from fatigue. Even when he's playing the "normal" Archer he crosses that line at least a few times every episode but when playing his evil counterpart the director must have been off sick to keep him in check. I myself would get whiplash the amount of times Bakula whips his head around trying to make angry point after angry point. He practically spits/growls half his dialogue. The only one who comes off as a better actor playing his negative counterpart is Anthony Montgomery who usually comes off not so much as bad but as just plain weak. Jolene Blalock and Linda Park play very subtle and believable counterparts amongst the Testosterone fueled male cast members.

Well, that was more than enough for this particular episode... until next time.
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Galactic Jekyll and Hyde!
Hitchcoc31 March 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I started out with the reaction, "Oh no. Not another parallel universe." But soon the quality of the presentation and the fine acting came into play. It must have been fun for the regular cast to portray villainous copies of themselves. In the similar version of this on the first Star Trek, the same ploy was taking place. Everyone is consumed with ambition. A weakness in that is that it is too pat, too simple. It assumes that all these folks are either good or bad. Phlox, for instance, becomes utterly psychotic, enjoying the inflicting of pain and death. I never thought of him as good or bad. He is principled. Archer is only a leader when it comes to feathering his own nest. Anyway, the alternate Enterprise is destroyed by the Tholians (surrounded by their web) and now the away team is in command of a death ship. Looks really promising.
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Into The Mirror, Enterprise Style
timdalton0073 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
In its final season on air, the Star Trek prequel series Enterprise finally found its feet. Under a new show runner, the series finally became the prequel series it was originally pitched as being. It explored and tied-in with many aspects of Trek's lore. One of the most exciting moments of that came as the show was beginning to wind down prematurely. In A Mirror, Darkly brought Enterprise into the Mirror Universe made famous by the Original Series episode Mirror, Mirror and explored throughout Deep Space Nine's run. As it turned out, the two-parter was to be among Enterprise's finest hours.

For one thing, the two-parter holds a particular claim to fame within Trek. Unlike previous Mirror Universe encounters, this tale wouldn't see one of the regular cast members crossing over to meet his counterparts in another universe. Instead it would take the viewer full stop into it without any regular characters being our "in". It was a bold move and one that could only have happened in a show that established itself and its characters well enough to really not worry about alienating viewers. Given Enterprise's ratings by this point in production, it might have even mattered by the choice was a bold one and highly successful.

The first episode opens with a choice just as bold: reprising a sequence not from the series but from the feature film Star Trek: First Contact. The scene wonderful melds together newly shot material with what was then almost a decade old material. It's hard to tell where the melds are except for a couple of shots towards the end which speaks to the effort put into it by the show's makers. The choice of reprising the particular scene, a crucial one from that film's climax, also gives the viewer a big, visceral moment of knowing that they are in for something very different indeed.

As if that wasn't enough, the title sequence represents a marked change. Beign set entirely in the Mirror Universe gave the production team a chance to play around with the title sequence and its oft-ridiculed opening song. Reedited and with a different piece of music behind it, the title sequence mixes in familiar elements from the title sequence with footage culled from Paramount war films (I recognized shots from The Hunt For Red October and The Sum Of All Fears) along with action shots taken from throughout Enterprise's run. It's another big, bold move that changes the stakes for the 40 minutes or so that follows.

Like with previous Mirror Universe episodes in Trek, the fun of these episodes is watching the cast members play different versions of familiar characters. Part one is set largely on Enterprise itself and features the return of Vaughan Armstrong as Forest whom isn't an admiral but is instead captain of the Terran Empire's flagship. Having Armstrong back is fun because it allows us to see two characters in particular in a very different light. The first is Scott Bakula's Archer whom one senses has been passed over one time too many and has finally found his chance to climb up the ranks. Given the goodhearted, sometimes too keen to do the right thing nature of the Archer we normally see in the series, the Mirror Universe Archer comes as a revelation as a man who is almost ruthless at times in a performance one might not have expected out of Bakula. The other big surprise comes out of one of the series' most underutilized cast members as Linda Park's Hoshi gets recast into the Captain's Woman role that we saw Barbara Luna's Marlena play back in Mirror, Mirror but with an updated 21st century edge. They're surprise performances to say the least.

They aren't alone though. All of the Enterprise regulars get some interesting moments in this episode though some get more than others. John Billinsley's normally jovial Dr. Phlox is a perfect example of what these Mirror Universe episodes can do as his jovial attitude gets filtered into a performance that is almost repulsive at times in its deviousness. Dominic Keating's Malcolm Reed also gets some interesting moments as well, especially with Bakula's Archer, as does Jolene Blalock's T'Pol in a role that is quite different from what we normally see her play. While Anthony Montgomery and Conner Trinneer end up being shuffled to the back proverbially speaking, they get some screen- time that shows enough of their Mirror counterparts to wet appetites.

The other great thing is the episode's tie-ins to larger Trek mythos, as was the case with the entirety of Enterprise's final season. The episode not only ties into the Mirror Universe but also sees a return appearance in Enterprise of the Tholians, including a full-on version of one of them accomplished by some neat CGI work. The Tholians appearance also allows a tie-in with another Original Series episode which debuted them leading to the episode's McGuffin and eventual finale. Mike Sussman ties all of these elements together into a fast paced story that, under the direction of James L. Conway never lets up all the way to its cliffhanger ending.

The end result is one of Enterprise's best episodes. From its opening right down to its cliffhanger ending, the first episode throws the viewer full on into the Mirror Universe and never lets them come up for air. Along the way we're given some of the regular cast's best performances playing very different versions of themselves as well as a solid tale that ties into larger Trek lore both within and outside the Mirror Universe. This was only the beginning though...
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