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Archer and T'pol's relationship

whyaduck

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Report this Dec. 22 2009, 3:34 pm

Quote (VAD_BAXTER @ Dec. 22 2009, 3:24 pm)
Quote (Yanks @ Dec. 22 2009, 12:11 pm)
Quote (VAD_BAXTER @ Dec. 22 2009, 2:41 pm)
What I'm wondering is who T'Pol didn't sleep with.....

I figure the only ones she wouldn't are Reed and Porthos :p :O :laugh:

Simple. Only Trip, and only once. :eyesroll:

That's on the record, there is a high probability there were others.

Why?

batouyukinawa

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Report this Dec. 22 2009, 5:36 pm

I completely agree. They really did mess things up with T'pol and Trip. It just seemed to typical to me. I always wondered why T'pol had to have this clearly defined romance, when her relationship with Archer was far more intriguing; because it never was defined. T'pol and Trip's relationship always seemed to me as typical and not inventive. We had seen many T&T type relationships on Trek before, but A&T relationship was fresh and new. That whole Archer/T'pol/Trip love triangle they tried to contrive up in the third season just makes me wanna almost gag.

grigori

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Report this Dec. 22 2009, 5:39 pm

Quote (trekbuff @ Dec. 22 2009, 4:08 pm)
Archer and T'Pol could clearly have become more like Kirk and Spock than any other relationship in Trek. T'Pol's mother even noticed it. A bond few two ever achieve, beyond sex, beyond siblings... Even calling them true friends falls short of describing such a relationship.

I find it interesting that even Spock could not come between Kirk's relationship with the Enterprise and both Spock and Bones seemed to understand this. I also believe it was one of the problems with T'Pol's relationship with Trip. Trip could not come between T'Pol and Archer although a very different relationship. Archer did not have time or the inclination to develop a similar affinity with the NX-01 that Kirk had with the NCC-1701, but there was definitely that special relationship developing between Archer and T'Pol.

There were so many possibilities for Enterprise, many only touched upon.

What I've been saying! over on the Romance thread--where this discussion started.

I have a problem with the limitations English language limiting our comprehension of deep relationships by polarizing them into friend or lover. And "friend" becomes devalued in the comparison, as in "just friends".

We had a great Archer/T'Pol friendship thread that has been lost. I believe I was the one who took the stand most strongly that relationships in Trek like this one go far to stretch our understanding of concepts which have become cliche or trite through the words we use.

Archer and T'Pol had one of those deep, dynamic friendships which of course really do occur in life, but rarely get talked about; Platonic but passionate in its quiet intensity.

I LIKE your points, Trekbuff, about how Trip couldn't come between them; their friendship outlasted Trip (necessarily, and may well do so in the books as well)--it was apples and oranges anyway, not a competition.

There's a spectrum between romance and friendship, and friendship alone no doubt has its spectrums. Very satisfying to see ideas explored in fiction for which we don't have the words.

grigori

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Report this Dec. 22 2009, 7:19 pm

Quote (trekbuff @ Dec. 22 2009, 6:20 pm)
Quote (grigori @ Dec. 22 2009, 5:39 pm)
Quote (trekbuff @ Dec. 22 2009, 4:08 pm)
...A bond few two ever achieve, beyond sex, beyond siblings... Even calling them true friends falls short of describing such a relationship.

...There were so many possibilities for Enterprise, many only touched upon.



This is where I believe folks have no or little conception of t'hy'la or try to make it something it isn't. A t'hy'la can be a friend, brother, sister, lover, etc...
Very few people ever have a t'hy'la. Someone one bonds with on a level with virtually no way to describe. I has nothing to do with sex - absolutely nothing.

Why can't a 40 year old uncle pick up his 6 year old niece at the family picnic without getting funny looks? Same thing.

Archer and T'Pol were just learning about their relationship. It could have been confusing for them and seemed to be. Trip didn't understand it.
...This is one reason why I found so much contradiction in the series. Some of it was deep, dynamic and fascinating, but just enough of it was misguided/aimless.

Exactly. Will explore this version of the concept.

Seems like it's on these various relationship threads lately that people like me & Middleman are MOST lamenting the lost potential of the series--I sure thought that ENT, being more character-based, had a definite spark of going over and beyond, depicting dynamic, complex relationships and exploring real friendship.

I've posited over on the Evolution thread that it's precisely because Archer is defined through his relationships--he's more of a team player than other Trek Captains--rather than being defined at the outset with a few broad strokes and a "type" or two--that many label his Captaincy lame or weak. Maybe if you're looking for bold, defining moments it does look that way, vague and undefined--but the writers spent their time instead on this team-player angle.

Back in the days of the NX-01 a Captain was Captain but also parent, counselor, etc. I'm certain many officers older and wiser prepared Archer this way. If you're patient and watch how Archer inter-acts with his crew, you get a well-developed character, just not one launched with a few cliches and a few pronounced characteristics.

I think that that's true and that it's the foundation for the "spark" of potential we see in this show for exploring organic and unique friendships.

batouyukinawa

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Report this Dec. 22 2009, 7:36 pm

Trekbuff, thank you!. I have been labeled a A&T shipper, yet I have never condoned any shipper sentiments on either side. I never claimed to have a better understanding of A&T relationship dynamic. I never implied Archer and T'pol should have pursued a romantic relationship; only that T&T situation was contrived through less then legitimate means. If people actually would allow themselves to look at T&T in a objective way; they would have seen an exact relation to the Bones/Spock dynamic. Think about it. Bones and Spock were always at odds, and had love/hate relationship. Before B&B decided to toss in the ridiculously contrived T&T romance angle; both T'pol and Trip had that same love/hate relationship. It was character assassination when those two slept together. Are we supposed to assume Bones and Spock would have pursued something romantic if either was a woman? Of course not, that would have been stupid writing.  Of course I digress because it's absolutely impossible to get a T&T shipper to look at the first two seasons in an objective way. As far as they are concerned the writers were playing with the T'pol romance idea since season 1. That seems odd considering Archer never could have been a romantic choice since he's the captain. So it's even more odd if this was their plan from the get go. They spent more time on an Archer/T'pol relationship; even though they knew it was a complete waste of time? No, that doesn't compute. The only thing that would compute is to assume the A&T romance was only implied but never to be the focus of the relationship. Yeah, I think since the first season something does spark between them romantically at times, but I also think at the time the writers seemed to be more cleaver; and leave that nuance in their relationship only to implication. It was never supposed to be acted on. You have all these subtleties there but it's never defined and that's what made their relationship so interesting. Their ambiguity made you want to see them interact more and more; discovering more about what their relationship really was.

Middleman

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Report this Dec. 22 2009, 7:57 pm

Quote (batouyukinawa @ Dec. 22 2009, 7:36 pm)
I have been labeled a A&T shipper, yet I have never condoned any shipper sentiments on either side.

Who ever accused you of being an A/T shipper just doesn't get it! From Trek United:
Quote
BatouYukinawa
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Posted 07 December 2009 - 06:15 PM
Forget about TATV. The series completely started falling once T'pol and Trip started a romantic relationship. Ahhh, it was so contrived! At least if you dropped that, the whole Azti Prime Archer/T'pol scenes would make a little more sense. I liked pretty much all of season 3, but it started degrading into a desperate attempt to obtain higher ratings. Luckily it got much better towards the end. I mean what the hell happened? Trip becomes a love sick low self esteem whining wimp. Crying about T'pol when if you go back to the first 2 seasons; he spent far more time interacting with Sato. That's really not even the point though. Trip, based upon his character, is not the nice guy. He doesn't get trampled on by some beautiful woman. Then you also have this weird thing between Archer and T'pol that is ambiguous/confusing. If you were watching this since the beginning; I don't know how it couldn't have irritated you.
I mean, did the writers ever watch shows like Moonlighting? No one wants to see anyone get together. They like to see them squirm. They had it the first two seasons, but nope, then they had to sell out for higher ratings. Well good for you. Hope you feel good about yourself. You made a mockery out of the great writing in the first two seasons.

I'm done. Just IMO.

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BatouYukinawa
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Posted 09 December 2009 - 01:59 AM
I can't believe how delusional people can be. First of all I just finished watching the 1st,2nd, and 3rd season again. It's pretty much aiming towards an Archer/T'pol romance. Furthermore, season two even further cements this notion. Now lets talk about the characters. T'pol is a 63 year old Vulcan. She's most likely gonna have the emotional complexities of someone of that age. Trip is somewhere in his early 30s. So guess what? Yeah, he's most likely lacking the emotional complexities of someone that age. You're trying to pair a 63 year old woman with a man young enough to be her son. How does this make any sense? I realize T'pol is young in Vulcan years. However, she has still lived for 63 years regardless of her aesthetics. She still would have retained the wisdom of such a long life. Archer is far closer to her age. His complexity and wisdom is much more on par with hers. Thus a more natural relationship would obviously spur from these two characters. if no one could see what should have been in Twilight, then wow guy. You totally missed the boat. Were you even watching the same episodes I was?

Now I don't believe they should have disregarded the rules and had a steamy sex scene. I believe they should have continued their relation as it had continually developed throughout the whole series. It was the Trip contrived romance thing that really broke it for me. It wasn't true to the characters. It seemed almost like they were keeping the T'pol Archer romance alive, yet at the same time they wanted to show off Blalocks bare behind. Naturally, a romance with Trip was the only direction they had left. Didn't appear to matter if the previous seasons backed up the latter narrative. People are talking about T'pol confiding in Trip?! Really? Are you kidding? She confided in him once! Because he read the letter! She even said he was far from her first choice. T'pol confided in Archer many times. She brought him into all of her personal matters.

I will close with this. Archer and T'pol definitely felt very strongly towards each other. However, it was their duty, equal respect, and admiration for one another that forced them to bury their feeling towards each other. Trip and T'pol were like a one-night-stand. It's sensual, misguided, and ultimately doomed to fail. There wasn't enough foundation to build anything. On the other hand, Archer and T'pol were like a relationship. One that starts from mutual trust and respect, and ultimately sparks into something that cannot be extinguished.

You're no A/T Shipper.

batouyukinawa

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Report this Dec. 22 2009, 8:02 pm

Yeah, and? How does that make me an A&T shipper? I believe A&T shippers wanted a romance. I never did.

Middleman

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Report this Dec. 22 2009, 8:04 pm

I never called you crazy.

grigori

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Report this Dec. 22 2009, 8:04 pm

Quote (trekbuff @ Dec. 22 2009, 6:20 pm)
This is where I believe folks have no or little conception of t'hy'la or try to make it something it isn't. A t'hy'la can be a friend, brother, sister, lover, etc... This is why I've stayed away from the slash discussions as I believe it's a vivid exageration and misconception of the meaning of t'hy'la.


(I went to your link.)

I always say, more power to those who do like slash--that is, homosexual relationships aren't necessarily lightweight caricatures, either. That stuff's fine with me.

But I agree with your point that the whole slash movement can possibly serve to devalue and distort a VERY GOOD concept out there, and one worth discussing in its own right. There's room for our discussion without people jumping to conclusions! The same paranoia--or over-excitement--behind your uncle/niece example tends to limit our discussion.

Which is why it's interesting--and is at least part of Batou.'s point, part of the time--that Archer and T'Pol never have a sexual relationship. That's the whole point. TV might be scared of showing a male/male physical relationship (say, if there were supposed to BE one on TOS), but TV certainly WOULD show a sexual relationship between a man and a woman--if there WERE one!

But with Archer and T'Pol there isn't. THAT'S the point. It frees us up to have these cool friendship discussions.

batouyukinawa

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Report this Dec. 22 2009, 8:08 pm

Hey, I only implied there's a romantic nuance to their relationship. I never said they should quit their jobs and live happily ever after.

grigori

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Report this Dec. 22 2009, 8:14 pm

Quote (batouyukinawa @ Dec. 22 2009, 8:08 pm)
Hey, I only implied there's a romantic nuance to their relationship. I never said they should quit their jobs and live happily ever after.

It's just that, some of us think that calling it "romantic" at ALL plays to the lowest common denominator of viewers, the ones incapable of getting beyond the simplistic friend/lover paradigm.

Apart from that, Batou., you provide the most excellent examples for this thread!

I just don't think that the whole Trip/T'Pol relationship is in any way a threat to our Archer/T'Pol discussions. (Maybe it would be if we think that T'Pol is already harboring "romantic" feelings for Archer.) AND even the Trip/T'Pol "shippers" agree with you that the writers handled the whole thing awkwardly.

But having acknowledged that, we deal with what we got. We have separate discussions on what went on with the evolving Trip/T'Pol story. Separate, but equal--BECAUSE it was actually on screen. Can't ignore it! :D

But that WOULD be another thread. I'm glad we have this thread, too.

batouyukinawa

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Report this Dec. 22 2009, 10:34 pm

It was handled awkwardly because it was an awkward scenario. Lets face it, they basically disregarded the building relationship between those two characters in the first two seasons when they went that route. This is only what troubled me. I have many times made it clear I had no problem with T&T pursuing a romantic relationship; only that the continuity of the characters warranted that. Furthermore, I have always urged the notion of A&T as the better choice. However, this is also through the event that prospective relation were to persist. I believe this stance may have confused T&T shippers because it may come of as A&T shipper sentiment. This is not the case though. It is only a hypothetical stand point I am taking. I merely appeal towards the concept of continuity; not the way in which I personally feel towards any such character. My opinion is based off objective reasoning, not a subjective viewpoint.

whyaduck

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Report this Dec. 22 2009, 11:03 pm

Quote (trekbuff @ Dec. 22 2009, 7:50 pm)
I'm guessing a shipper is one who adheres to a particular belief or concept?

Shipping, derived from the word "relationship", is a general term for fans' emotional and/or intellectual involvement with the ongoing development of romance in a work of fiction. Though technically applicable to any such involvement, it refers chiefly to various related social dynamics observable on the Internet, and is seldom used outside of that context.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shipping_%28fandom%29

Middleman

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Report this Dec. 23 2009, 3:57 pm

TB:
You know that I'm a man of few words. Your last post has to be one of the clearest and most concise explanations of the major issues surrounding Enterprise and the poor character development in the series that I have read to date. Grigori, Honeybee and I were discussing some of these same points in another thread and lamenting Enterprise's squandered potential.

Quote (trekbuff @ Dec. 23 2009, 1:27 pm)
There was a confusion between Archer and T'Pol about their feelings and their relationship. It was further confusing for them because they were male and female. They didn't understand their relationship and this is what caused problems for Trip. After a full seven seasons, just maybe Archer and T'Pol could have been t'hy'la, Trip and T'Pol could have been lovers and wedded and the three of them close friends just as Kirk, Spock and Bones.

Another brilliant observation! Frankly, this is actually how I saw it going down in the first place. Piss poor writing and planing lead to confusion for something that should have been so simple. And, this all could have been pulled off in far less than seven season, if planned correctly. 20/20 hind sight is a wonderful thing.

Regarding your point of T'Pol having Archer as a friend and colleague and Trip as a husband (a direction they are taking in the books, by the way); isn't this what JJ Abrams is doing in the Pseudo-Trek? Spock and Uhura as lovers and a deep friendship with Kirk. The audience seems to like it. All is possible if written correctly.

batouyukinawa

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Report this Dec. 24 2009, 12:07 am

I believe he said t'hy'la, not a mere friend or colleague. I'm glad this word was brought forth. I finally have a least somewhat come to grasp with what exactly A&T were potentially. As for the T&T getting married; I cannot agree. I think it's too obvious in regards to what is popular in narrative today. Did anyone see the second X-file movie where Mulder and Skully suddenly became lovers? Was that necessary to their characters? ?So in respect to Enterprise I don't see why there had to be a romance between any of them. On the contrary, I think if they would have kept the A&T t'hy'la dynamic; it would have been way more interesting. Why must it always be two of the main characters who start a romance? I think it would have been far more interesting to do that with the smaller characters. It wouldn't insist upon itself, and therefore remain in the background were it should be. I didn't like the Spock romance in the new Star Trek either. Just blatant, and obvious if you ask me. It's basically just caving in to present narrative constructs.

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