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Consisting primarily of stand-alone episodes that integrate ongoing story arcs, season 2 showcases the primary cast with generally good results: Mayweather (Anthony Montgomery) visits the "boomer" cargo ship he was raised on in "Horizon"; Hoshi (Linda Park) experiences unsettling transporter symptoms in "Vanishing Point"; and Tucker (Connor Trineer) plays a pivotal role in several episodes, notably "Dawn," "Precious Cargo" and "Cogenitor." And while "Regeneration" provoked controversy among fans for introducing the yet unnamed Borg in an early Starfleet context, it's a fine episode (with echoes of The Thing) that holds up to scrutiny, while others (including "The Crossing," "The Breach" and "Cogenitor") feel somewhat recycled, indicating the challenge of finding new ideas in the Star Trek canon. Overall, however, season 2 is consistently strong, with several episodes directed by cast alumni from previous Trek series, including NextGen's LeVar Burton, and Voyager's Roxanne Dawson and Robert Duncan McNeill. They all lead up to a devastating attack on Earth (with seven million casualties, including Trip's younger sister) in "The Expanse," ending the season with high-stakes mystery as Enterprise enters a treacherous region of space in search of the Xindi, an enemy race that factors heavily in season 3.
Abundant bonus features include a generous selection of deleted scenes (non-essential, but interesting to fans); audio commentary (on "Dead Stop" and "Regeneration") by writers Mike Sussman and Phyllis Strong, who explain the challenge of writing under constantly shifting production conditions; and text commentary (on "Stigma" and "First Flight"), in which Trek veterans Michael and Denise Okuda demonstrate their encyclopedic knowledge of Star Trek fact and fiction. Six Easter eggs, known as "NX-01 Files," are hidden on the Special Features menus; they offer brief glimpses into specific aspects of production, including set recycling and art direction. "Enterprise" secrets are revealed for those who pay meticulous attention to detail; "Inside 'A Night in Sickbay'" offers a behind-the-scenes assessment of that memorable episode; and "LeVar Burton: Star Trek Director" celebrates the actor's smooth transition to directing after his stint on Next Generation. "Enterprise Profile: Jolene Blalock" is a tribute to the sexy actress by her fellow cast members and executive producers Brannon Braga and Rick Berman, including Blalock's assessment of T'Pol's pivotal role as Enterprise's resident Vulcan. Best of all, however, are the hilarious outtakes: They show the cast as a family unit, combining hard work with humor as the second season progresses. --Jeff Shannon