Star Trek + Social Commentary (context in the captions)
As much as I love this photoset, the thing with T’Pol is one of the reasons I have to consider Enterprise to be a total AU. There’s just no way that the Vulcan culture could completely re-organize itself in less than the space of a single generation (the time between Enterprise and TOS) to the point that not only are their prejudices completely changed, but the prejudices of everyone else (who in the time of Enterprise regard Vulcans as devious bastards incapable of telling the truth, where from TOS onward even their worst enemies believe Vulcans cannot lie.)
That will forever bother me.
My and my husband’s headcannon re: Enterprise (based entirely on the last episode) is that it’s all Riker’s holodeck version of a historical fiction novel. Thus explaining everything from the inconsistencies to the way out of place themesong.
I tend to forget the Riker coda, even though it potentially makes the whole series more palatable, just because I had so completely checked out of it by that point.
I figured how all of this works, actually. It’s simple.
Remember how Enterprise is the world of the “Temporal Cold War?”
Including the Borg, thanks to Star Trek: First Contact? Which wasn’t just a world where the Enterprise-E crew had to save the vital First Contact event in history, but in so doing gave Cochrane massive amounts of future knowledge and expectation… and also so doing failed to save Cochrane’s entire engineering team except one woman, all of whom would have gone on to take their experiences and change the world in both small and huge ways?
And lots of atemporal things (like Ferengi being so far from their own space that they could appear here, without anyone on the ship typing their species or even finding out their name?)
It’s simple. Enterprise isn’t the prequel to Star Trek: The Original Series. It’s the prequel to 2009’s Star Trek. The emergence of Nero and the Narada, and later Spock and the Jellyfish, are just several more events that have occurred because of monumental accidental and intentional manipulations of the timeline.
Thus, the Romulan-influenced xenophobic Vulcans of Enterprise didn’t happen in a generation — they happened because of various factions introducing anachronistic changes in Vulcan’s past, engineering a positive Romulan outcome which Enterprise averted. Mostly. Well, a little. Look, Vulcan was still pretty much dominated by terrible people in the movie.
How did everything like this end up in this poor dump universe of a timeline? I’m going to assume it was Q. Q, whether on his own or as an act on behalf of the Continuum, decided to divide off this alternate universe and protect the timeline which led to his beloved Jean-Luc, Vash and other figures being… well, who they are, much like he helped Picard figure out the paradox and save humanity in All Good Things.
So, yeah. Don’t sweat it. It’s all alternate universe stuff.
Which is why Riker was playing around on the holodeck cooking food for a holodeck Enterprise crew in the finale, despite not having nearly enough time to do so during the events of “Pegasus.” That wasn’t our Riker. Yeah, the Enterprise-D looked more like the one we’re used to than the NCC-1701 looked like the prime version, but I assume that the further forward one goes in a history riddled with temporal patches, the more it tends to heal itself. There are still underlying changes, but cosmetically it all goes back to being the same. Eventually.
Also, as to the theme song?
Q loves himself some light rock.