Ex Astris Scientia
  Home  Info  Starships  Fleet Yards  Treknology  Episodes  Database  Fandom  Community    Classical Music   FAQ   Site Map 
 

Star Trek Voyager (VOY) Season 2 Guest Reviews

Season 1 - Season 2 - Season 3 - Season 4 - Season 5 - Season 6 - Season 7

 

The 37's Stardate 48975.1: Synopsis in main VOY listing

I'm not sure why the ratings are so high or why there's so much hype over this particular episode. Yep, it's a gem in the early seasons of Voyager and probably is up there with the best, but I don't think it's worthy of the high ratings. Yes, it's a very interesting story, the idea of Earhart and her crew and others abducted and taken across the galaxy for the purposes of breeding slave labour somehow by a powerful race. Their descendants rising up to revel and then forming their own human civilisation, Janeway wondering how the crew would react when given the option to stay behind. It posed questions and delivered for the most part.
I didn't like the initial reaction of the 37s, the drunkard pulling a gun and holding Janeway hostage was cliché and it's irritating when people from the past are depicted in such an ignorant and arrogant way. The human cities not being shown was also a pain, but I'm thinking the impressive sequence of Voyager 'landing' on the planet took up most of the budget. And the fact that no crew decide to stay was strange, you'd think even SOME Maquis might have decided to stay on the planet than remain onboard a Starfleet ship for potentially the rest of their lives. For all the hypotheticals brought up by Chakotay, Kim and Torres about staying, it was a bit cheesy that no one in the end decided to remain behind.
Still, great episode, if not a little flawed in my opinion.
Remarkable scene: Voyager landing on the planet's surface.
Remarkable fact: For landing on a planet, Condition 'Blue' is called.
Rating: 7 (Cameron)

Initiations Stardate 49005.3: Synopsis in main VOY listing

More simple plot recycling here, shuttle crasher Chuckles is taken captive by the Kazon after a young Kazon male attempting to earn his name attacks his ship, fails, and both are captured. Both escape given the youth is now disgraced and stranded on the same desert planet we've seen for nearly 50 years of TV Trek.
At first you'd think there maybe a little character development from Chakotay, and we do get that later on as he talks about his values and ideals to the young Kar (played by the worlds oldest young guy, Aron Eisenberg (aka Nog from DS9), but the episode opens with him taking a stupid and dangerous pilgrimage to honour his dead father. I half expected from then on once he and Kar were paired together for your typical male bonding/father son nonsense. Maybe we got that in one sense considering both don't get along, but it's another case of angry alien and pacifist Starfleet officer working to survive on the desert planet/Kazon training ground, so the usual dis-pleasantries are dished out, there's mutual distrust and in the end a sort of happy resolution. Not a great deal happens though, the pair wind up in a cave, Kar pouts about being dishonoured, Chakotay talks of how he values Starfleet and the uniform (umm, a Maquis is saying this, what?), and in the end a ruse is formulated so both can get what they want, with Kar killing Chakotay who'll then get resurrected in sickbay, but a Kazon party on the surface find the pair, and in the end Kar kills the highest ranking officer, promoting the second in command in essence, earning his name, which was a pretty brutal, but surprising twist in light of every other cliché in this episode.
Aron Eisenberg is, adequate. Nothing from this role couldn't have been done any better or worse than a million other late teen actors, but it's always nice to see the Star Trek alumni branch out into other series. I liked Robert Beltran here despite the contrived Native American stuff, I wonder if the ritual he performs in the episode in regards to his father is even real, aside from that I liked when he spoke of how he appreciates his the name bestowed upon him, countering Kar's desperation to earn his. But the episode really goes nowhere and offers nothing. And as many other's have said before, the Kazon are really just poor Klingon rip-offs. At least the Vidiians were a little more original.
In the end I didn't find the episode to be worthless, just dull and uninspired. Maybe a tiny insight in Kazon culture was glimpsed, but when it's barely different from Klingon culture, what was there point?
Shuttlecraft lost: 1, destroyed after being fired upon by a Kazon ship.
Remarkable fact: The Kazon overthrew the Trabe, a race that enslaved them 26 years prior to this episode.
Remarkable continuity: The aforementioned Trabe will reappear later in Season 2's "Alliances".
Rating: 2 (Cameron)

Projections Stardate 48892.1: Synopsis in main VOY listing

It's rather ironic that this episode was directed by Jonathan 'Number One' Frakes considering the remarkable similarity between it and the Riker episode TNG: "Frame of Mind". Both involving a main character questioning his sanity and existence while tripping between realities of sorts, and while we all know that it's REALLY the Doctor who's REALLY on board Voyager and so on, the episode did well to plant a very small few seeds of doubt and it's not till Chuckles turns up in Engineering that we're all sure of what's truly reality.
The only question I wonder is what sort of holoprogram the Doctor was running that included him having to blow up the ship basically!
A predictable episode, for all its twists and turns, good performance by Robert Picardo.
Remarkable fact: This is the first of many appearances in Voyager of Reg Barclay.
Rating: 5 (Cameron)

Elogium Stardate 48921.3: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Wow what a bad episode. Both A and B stories were clichéd and forgettable, both interwoven though, Voyager encounters space borne creatures who emit technobabble which accelerates Kes' development as she experiences Ocampan puberty (the Elogium) and must face the decision to conceive (with Neelix of all people, yuk). And the B-story involves Voyager trying to escape from the creatures who emit a magnetic field from which the ship can't escape. I'll talk about that first as on immediate reflection it doesn't make much sense.
Now we discover late in the episode a larger form of the creatures seems to engage in a mating ritual with its smaller counterparts, it literally throws its weight around, looking to destroy Voyager as it views it as a threat. Now this may be a completely alien race, but it seemed to me the larger creature was the dominant on. There is a obvious realisation that the small aliens and the larger one believe Voyager to be a rival mate given its size and energy dispersions, but what kind of mating ritual involves dragging a mate into a swarm for it to have practically complete autonomy? It seemed that way to me, the larger creature was able to move around freely and surely could've escaped on its own though Voyager was unable to escape as the smaller creatures emissions were interfering with the ships systems, the whole practice didn't make a great deal of sense to me. It's a very old Trek storyline though with space borne aliens and in the end Chuckles suggest Voyager roll over and submit to the larger creature, which ends up saving the day. As Chakotay was the one who suggests rolling over and submitting to the dominant creature, I find the irony hilarious given how he will become less and less relevant over time.
The A-story focuses on Kes' development, which only serves to give Jennifer Lien SOMETHING else to do, once again the usual plot of 'Crewman X suffers the space crazies' is brought in for an underused character to writhe around in agony and contemplate over a life changing decision only for the entire issue to be swept under the carpet at the eleventh hour. Now talking about this, I don't understand why, as I said, of all people she'd think of Neelix as a remotely good parent. In fact I've never understood this relationship at all and at almost every opportunity Neelix has been made to look worse off due to his jealousy of Tom Paris, his demeaning of Kes as a member for the crew, potential mother, friend to others and as a person in general. He does come round to the decision to accept Kes' offer after speaking with Tuvok on the subject, but Kes pretty much backflips after talking with the Doctor. However any opportunity for this to have been truly changing to both is lost as Kes talks of how the Doctor believes she may be able to conceive again when the Elogium occurs at the appropriate time in her life.
With the exception of the space borne aliens story, alot of dialogue between couples dominates this episode which I found to be a running theme, Chakotay talks with Janeway about possibly imposing a policy against fraternisation but thankfully Janeway has more forethought than he does considering the length of the journey ahead of them, and the pair later discus Kes' plight and how children could be raised on a ship and the parenting abilities of Kes and Neelix. Kes talks with Neelix, frustratingly about the EXACT SAME THINGS as Janeway and Chakotay just did in the previous scene in a pretty shameless example of script recycling in a single episode. Neelix with Tuvok about the latter's experience as a parent and the benefits, and Kes with the Doctor about if she's ready at all. And as a supplementary the teaser and Kes' behaviour following, which I'm sure was meant to be shocking (hear eating bugs and flowers that Neelix brings her), looked more comical than anything.
A pretty pointless episode though it is memorable only for the hilarious quote by Tuvok following Voyager's submission to the larger space creature: "It appears we have lost our sex appeal, captain."
Remarkable error: In the opening scene when Chakotay, Paris and Kes enter the turbolift, Chakotay calls for deck six – but they are immediately next seen entering the Mess Hall on deck two.
Remarkable fact: This is the first appearance of Ensign Samantha Wildman.
Rating: 0 (Cameron)

Non Sequitur Stardate 49011.0: Synopsis in main VOY listing

I really like this episode, there's nothing TOO remarkable about it other than the notable lack of main cast, but that's what sets it apart from any other 'reset button' episode that featured during the series. Pretty good performances from all, especially McNeill as a disillusioned Paris who never joined Voyager and thus wasn't given much purpose. I also liked the Cosimo character, Bernd questioned his relevance to the plot in his own review, but I thought he was sorely needed due to the amount of scepticism about Harry's situation that everyone displayed in spite of this being an age where spatial phenomena and temporal anomalies are near commonplace. That did frustrate me quite a bit.
But still, I liked it, it was clear what was going to happen in the end due to Harry's complete reluctance to even consider staying in this 'reality' at home in San Francisco with his fiancée, and the improbability of him being able to maintain his career considering he jerked around Starfleet brass and so on, but it didn't diminish the sincerity of the story and the dilemma presented to Kim.
Remarkable recycling: Plenty of shots from Original Series movies being used for the scenes overlooking Starfleet Command.
Rating: 7 (Cameron)

Twisted Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Yawn, Voyager's layout is altered by a spatial distortion leading the crew to round around lost for the majority of the episode. The only saving grace for the episode to NOT get a big fat zero is the performance of the cast, otherwise, meh.
Rating: 2 (Cameron)

Parturition Stardate 49068.5: Synopsis in main VOY listing

I gotta start by expressing my distaste at the Neelix/Kes relationship. Yes this is a 'buddy' episode between Tom and Neelix, with Kes being the lynchpin between the two that sees them come to blows before being ordered onto a hostile planet to collect food. But like I said, Kes and her relationship with Neelix drives the tension. Now, I think it was a mistake to pair these two up originally, whoever decided to do so already helped write themselves and future script writers into a corner by indicating Kes is only so young, adding a controversial and unsettling angle to her being with the older (and of late particularly annoying) Neelix, and I'm at least grateful that the level of intimacy of their relationship was never thoroughly dwelled upon. Nor do I think there was a great amount of chemistry between the two actors. Jennifer Lien is quite good, but I could never buy Phillips' take on the character being with Kes quite credibly. It seems like a favor was done in the end by splitting the two characters apart at a later date.
Ok, now that rants out of the way, the episode, it had it's moments of humour, but I didn't find it that interesting. The search for food and the ramifications of not finding any on the planet in the end is brushed over in the end so everyone can enjoy the warm fuzziness left due to the alien parent being reunited with one of its children, and Neelix and Paris making nice, allowing for later "Odd Couple" episodes in which the Talaxian is paired up with Tuvok.
Remarkable discrepancy: The size of the alien ship that attacked Voyager, at least from my perspective looked to have tripled in size from when it first appeared to when Voyager fights back :-o
Nitpicking: The opening scene is a shuttle simulation in which it's attacked by three Jem'Hadar attack ships, considering the lack of contact with the Dominion at the time Voyager left Deep Space Nine in the pilot, I find it unlikely they were able to garner enough information on Dominion vessel specifications for a credible attack simulation.
Remarkable indecisiveness: Janeway once more changes her hairdo, the 4th so far (bun, ponytail, Seven of Nine-like do, 'Parturition-variant'), to a similar style as seen later in the series.
Rating: 5 (Cameron)

Persistence of Vision Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Voyager is approaching Bothan space. Neelix, as always knows nothing about these people and wants to talk with Janeway about them, Janeway however is overloaded with work and after an attempt to project the Doctor into Engineering fails, the Doctor orders Janeway to take a break and attempt to relax. Janeway's idea of relaxation is taking part in a Victorian-era holonovel featuring creepy children and an equally disturbing storyline about dead mothers and locked doors whilst the master of the house wants to have an affair with the character Janeway plays.
Janeway however starts having visions of these characters outside the holodeck and one even attacks her. Kes has visions of these characters as well but no one else sees them and the Doctors scans pick up nothing. Eventually Voyager makes contact with the Bothans but the crew fall under a hypnotic spell in which they have visions of people they know and of their true desires, Tuvok sees his wife and lute, Paris sees his father and B'Elanna makes out with an imaginary Chakotay. Eventually the entire crew falls under the spell.
This is yet again another 'goes nowhere, does nothing' episode featuring the yet again clichéd mind-controlling alien plot in which everyone succumbs and one lone crewmember, in this case Kes, has the abilities to overpower said alien and he vanishes to places unknown. Or does he? Of course a needless twist is thrown in at the last moment about the alien after he makes the comment 'I'm not really here', and vanishes along with his imaginary (?) fleet of ships. Um, ok I don't know if I should even go there, I don't think I will, a silly twist which added nothing more to an already lousy story. It says nothing about the pressure Janeway is under as Captain of the ship and the only Starfleet/Federation representative in the Delta Quadrant, and I'm sure she'll be dealing with everything as well as she did in the episode before this. Regarding the visions people see, I guess it's something that we can gain a SLIGHT insight into their personal life even if they're just shallow things like partners, family members and underlying desires for members of the opposite sex.
Another pointless episode, maybe 1 point given the slithers of personal information about the crew.
Remarkable coincidence: The alien race whose territory Voyager is approaching in this episode are the Bothans. Bothans are also an alien race in the Star Wars canon.
Rating: 1 (Cameron)

Tattoo Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Another Shuttle-Crasher Chuckles spirit/vision quest episode but frankly, I didn't hate it. It was boring initially but as the A and B stories alternated in prominence it balanced well.
On an away mission to find resources Chakotay finds a marking on the ground reminiscent of one he saw as a teenage whilst venturing through the South American rainforest with his father and the same guys who were guiding Indiana Jones at the beginning of Raider of the Lost Ark (looked like it anyway). The journey was meant to find his father's ancestors whilst the young Chakotay had no interest in such things and chose Starfleet, causing friction between he and his father.
Following a warp signature from the planet on which the markings were discovered, Voyager comes across another planet rich in the minerals they require (typically, I don't believe polyferranide is mentioned again in the whole show). Transporters won't work to beam down and of course, the obvious conclusion that the inhabitants don't want people beaming down isn't reached (Tuvok instead theorises that the transporter beam is creating weather problems, causing an unstable transport link), and a shuttle is taken instead. The shuttle lands no problem for a change and the away team look for signs of the mineral and the people who occupy the planet. A storm erupts though and Chakotay has a tree fall on him while the remainder of the away team beam back to Voyager.
Chakotay discovers the occupants who reveal that they visited Earth 45,000 years previously and bestowed a genetic bond upon primitive nomadic humans, whose respect for nature touched them, but were later shocked to find humanities concerns for nature vanished shortly after, explaining their not wanting Voyager to land (which the ship tried to do, no one thought of sending another shuttle???).
Chakotay makes nice with them though and accepts the lessons his father tried to pass onto him about respecting nature and your ancestors and blah, blah, blah. It's nice that a little continuity had been established though about his beliefs and relationship with his father. So I give the episode credit for that.
The B-Story was really entertaining though, concerned that the Doctor shows no empathy to ill crew members Kes talks of how she wishes he himself could know what it's like to be ill and receive no compassion. He programs himself with the Levodian flu for 29 hours and once it passes 30 he acts like he's at deaths door. This is what I meant about the balance between A and B stories. At the start of Chakotay's perils this story about the Doctor was a refreshing change of pace which eventually came to an end when Chakotay's side of the story got a little stronger.
I liked it, not great, but one of the better Chakotay episodes.
Rating: 5 (Cameron)

Cold Fire Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Gotta say Gary Graham kicks arse. He later went on to play Soval in many episode of Enterprise, but was especially cunning and at the same time charming in his role as Tanis here, an Ocampa, one of many on a station far from their home world, who with the help of the female Caretaker had been instructed to enhance their abilities. In Kes, he sees another with potential, but I don't understand his eagerness for her to join, I doubt there was anything romantic about it (despite how adorable Jennifer Lien is in the role), but it's not like she would've given the Ocampa on the station anything they went without, right? Hmm, it wasn't that well expanded upon which I didn't like.
Still, it was a pretty good continuation on the Caretaker story, little did they know at the time it was also the conclusion of the Caretaker story funnily enough, Suspiria vanishing back into subspace at the end of the episode, never to be seen again. The story though is mainly focused on Kes and Tanis, and the emergence of her powers which would play a greater role later in the next season and a half.
Remarkable fact: According to Trek novelist Steven Edward Poe, ratings were already declining early in the series, and the introduction of Suspiria was a means to allow the ship to return home possibly if the series was cancelled.
Remarkable fact #2: According to the opening segment recapping Caretaker and the role of the alien of the same moniker, it had been 10 months since the events of the pilot.
Rating: 6 (Cameron)

Maneuvers Stardate 49208.5: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Suppose it was an exciting enough episode though I didn't appreciate being beaten over the head with obvious plot points when it was plain to see, the Kazon Raider is able to continually counter the shield harmonics on board Voyager and questions are being asked as to how? A group of Kazon ships congregate and Janeway needs Neelix to tell them perhaps they're co-operating? They find 2 Kazon beamed into space and it didn't cross their minds it was murder? The suspenseful music and horrified looks on the crews faces said it all to me that it was a homicide, yet the Voyager crew again looked like idiots. Ugh!
Anyway, more insight into how Kazon society works is shown with the differing 'clans' coming together, but it's pretty clear that Culluh is just being manipulated by Seska who has her own agenda. Ah well. Lots of action, the opening fight sequence in which a Raider repeatedly targets a point in Voyagers shields long enough for a small craft to pierce the hull was impressive, and there's a few good scenes with the firefight on board Voyager which preceded said attack, to Seska's chat with Chakotay on board the Raider, and Chakotay's interrogation in which he tries to point out that Culluh's being duped.
I didn't like the final revelation though, it was pretty clear that Seska obviously has some screws lose, but to impregnate herself with Chakotay's baby just to mess with him I thought was a bit pointless. With Voyager on a continuous run from Kazon space, with the distractions of other clans challenging the Nistrim, it's a wonder she bothered (and it's all later revealed to have been a lie anyway).
I also found the all too apologetic Chakotay to be, not so credible. It was clear the two leaders shared a respect with each other, but he really lacked a lot of spine in the scene where he's dressed down by Janeway: "Boo, hoo Captain, I didn't want to let you down, wah-wah!". For a seasoned Maquis officer, I really expected the character to have well, more balls to put it simply. I wouldn't expect nor would appreciate his character to be a macho oaf like others we'd seen, but this was a personal matter to him, and he at least destroyed the Federation technology, he shouldn't have been so apologetic in my opinion.
Good episode by the way.
Remarkable error: Cargo Bay 2 is apparently located on Deck 4, however later in the series when it becomes home to Seven of Nine's alcoves, it's located on the secondary hull.
Remarkable quote: "You know what I liked the most? The mole on her stomach... Guess you've seen it." -Chakotay, while being interrogated by Culluh
Remarkable ship: The small Kazon ship that pierced the hull of Voyager.
Rating: 7 (Cameron)

Resistance Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

For what it's worth I found myself enjoying this episode despite the low rating and rehashed story. I liked the desperation of the crew to have something to power the warp drive which reflected the reality of the situation, I liked the supporting roles of Caylem and the Mokra and I especially liked Kate Mulgrew. Janeway could've easily been harsh on the old man and just told him to bugger off and that she wasn't his daughter like you'd expect Picard to have done, and even if I think her compassion was a bit of a conflict of interest, it allowed for some touching moments, especially Caylem's death.
The scenes with Tuvok and B'Elanna were kind of dark, but I'm already fed up with the criticism constantly unleashed upon Tuvok for his Vulcan heritage, the guy doesn't crack under a torture that Torres doesn't experience, and the most motivational thing she can do is berate him for his composure under the circumstances. And once again Chakotay shows more restraint than what you'd expect from a former terrorist, 'diplomacy or bust' seemed to have been his mantra throughout the episode, and that was before the extent of the Mokra's defensive capabilities were made more explicit, not impressed.
Rating: 3 (Cameron)

Prototype Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

The moment I saw the robot/android, I knew what the plot was about long before it came to pass. Subtle clues in the repairing of this mechanism emphasised my suspicions.
The plot is very very obvious but played like with "suspense" - sorry, it did not work for me - it's like being told the butler did it in a crime novel but no one is bothered to show how it was found out (like in Columbo) but made to try and spend belief. The heavy clues that their makers are extinct, that they have limited power and need a more longer lasting source of energy....have a wild guess! Maybe the enlightened era of Trek or Data's existence may have made the crew less cautious, but to such levels? Utterly stupid.
Although fast paced, this does not cover a rather very weak and VERY obvious story. We have seen this before in Bladerunner, The Forbin Project, and countless other sci fi dramas. Yawn.
4/10 - for the ships and pace only.
Remarkable ship: the Pralor and Cravic ships - WOW! Neat dramatic vessels.
Remarkable fact 1: This is the last Star Trek episode directed by Jonathan Frakes. Jonathan Frakes considered the design of the Pralor and the Cravic to be "corny."
Remarkable fact 2: The plot of this episode was inspired by I, Robot by Isaac Asimov, a friend of Gene Roddenberry and science consultant for "Star Trek: The Motion Picture". His robots, like androids in the Trek universe, had a "positronic brain." It is likely that Asimov gave his blessing to the use of the term "positronic" in TNG and hence, after thereby establishing it in Star Trek canon, to later Star Trek such as "Prototype."
Remarkable fact 3: The plot of this episode may also be loosely based upon the story The War to End All Wars written by Arthur Bernard Lewis for Star Trek: Phase II.
Rating: 4 (Chris S)

Prototype Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

I'm caught in two minds here, this episode is very good in some respects but poor in others. First off the poor points, probably the pacing, it's not till about 25 minutes into the episode does the story really take off. Till then it's just padding to get to the real crux here. Voyager finds a robot adrift in space and beams it aboard, B'Elanna eventually reactivates it (the majority of said 25 minutes is taken up of this process, involving lots of technobabble), and a vessel containing the same robots is found and the robot is returned. However it takes with it B'Elanna to help construct more units due to the decaying nature of their kind, which Janeway insists is not their concern or responsibility due to the Prime Directive despite B'Elanna wanting to help.
B'Elanna is blackmailed into building a new unit, another race of robots arrives and engages the Pralor robots and B'Elanna is rescued.
As I said, the first 25 minutes is pretty much disposable, the remainder though is very impressive. I liked Rick Worthy's performance as the chief robot 3947, the soothing, artificial voice is such a contrast to the horrible ramifications later discovered in the episode, that the Robots of the Pralor civilisation, and their enemies, the Cravic, both destroyed their own makers and continue the fight in their name. The opening sequence from which we see events played out from the robots point of view of being beamed from space to Voyager was a treat too.
And despite it being your standard hostage plot, it's a bit reminiscent of a TOS episode of sorts. Roxann Dawson is very good and believable in conveying B'Elanna's sincerity towards the machines and her having to destroy the prototype she creates and apologising to 3947 is carried well.
Reading Bernd's review I see he mentions the scene in which Janeway and Torres debate whether it's right or wrong to be involved in helping to repair the Robotic societies functions despite the design flaw inherit in all robots to prevent them from reproducing. The argument actually reminds me of my review of "The Phage" where I mentioned my lack of sympathy for the Vidiians. It's a very similar situation, both races are slowly dying out due to a flaw in their genetic/mechanical structure and both require outside assistance to continue to survive. I initially would have sided with B'Elanna in that they help but she mentions 'what if a race were sterile?' I actually thought alluding to the Vidiians would've have been more appropriate and I doubt B'Elanna would have felt so strongly about helping the Robots in that case. Nevertheless she is still an engineer and feels strongly about assisting them.
In Chris S' review he tells of not liking the obvious nature of the story, and for that I slightly agree. But I think that in spite of the nature of the story that we've seen alot in regards to a Starfleet officer being kidnapped and forced to help a people s/he would otherwise be forbidden to do, the episode still rises above that.
However I will dock points for the very long introduction to the episode. Once B'Elanna was on the Pralor ship the pacing was great, but prior to that it WAS filler IMO.
Remarkable scene: The opening teaser in which we see the Robotic unit being beamed to Voyager from it's point of view.
Remarkable fact: 3947 describes himself as being in service for 1,314,807 hours, 33 minutes. This translates to 150 years, 1 month, 3 days, 5 hours and 33 minutes. (Courtesy of memoryalpha.org)
Rating: 7 (Cameron)

Alliances Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

This episode let me down, for the first half or so I felt like it was bordering on greatness, I was thankful that FINALLY the issue of Janeway holding onto Federation principles regarding not sharing technology with the Kazon with a religious fervour was addressed with the crew starting to grow impatient with her. I would have to agree as well. Considering replicators can't be programmed to make weapons, and with surely some ability to alter them further as to what they can and cannot create, distributing the technology equally might not have done as much harm as Janeway is obviously convinced it would do, as in front of crew members, Starfleet and Maquis alike, she boasts about her intentions of destroying the ship before pawning off technology to the Kazon. Ouch. But I really like Chakotay once more, he brings up the credible point that Voyager is a long way from home, and as such Janeway should not feel so compelled to cling to 'Federation Principles' at the expense of her crew. The consequences of doing so made all to clear in the exciting opening teaser with the ship under a Kazon attack, suffering at least one death with a lot of system damage as a result (Though I found it baffling why the ship was left alone after reaching 'sitting duck' status!).
So the compromise is reached that Voyager could form an alliance with a Kazon sect or sects and agree to offer aid and defense from other 'tribes', but wont offer technology. It's only through the miraculous happenings during Neelix's B-story that they discover a potentially more powerful ally in the Trabe, a species who once enslaved the Kazon and as such are hunted relentless by any Sect. When a meeting is called by Janeway to unite the Kazon clans in an effort to bring peace, the leader of the Trabe Mabus attempts a mass assassination of the Sect leaders in an effort to weaken all Kazon. Janeway throws a hissy and beams him off the ship, doing a fantastic job of ensuring that the Starfleet crew has potentially another enemy to worry about (though they never appear again). This is pretty much why I was so let down, the opportunity is presented to take this show in a direction with long term consequences and further potential for story development, but without fail, a way is found to ensure that Voyager, on its own warps off into the distance without having to worry about any of the characters they had to deal with that episode before (excl. Culluh and Seska).
And the final gut-churning scene has Janeway giving some disturbing propaganda speech to the senior staff on why, in a lawless area as the one they're in, they MUST adhere to those almighty FEDERATION PRINCIPLES, as they are the best ally they can have. Try telling that to those crewmen who have died cause YOU wouldn't give the Kazon a means to provide their people with water, decent clothing or hair products Starfleet Stepford-Captain Janeway!
Remarkable scene: The attempted assassination of the Kazon leaders on Sobras.
Remarkable shout-out: Tuvok, in his assessment of an alliance with the Kazon, mentions a visionary called Spock who also suggested peace with the Klingons in the 23rd century.
Rating: 5 (Cameron)

Threshold Stardate 49373.4: Tom Paris develops a way to travel at Warp 10.

I just had to add my little tidbit about this episode. The other reviews cover it pretty well. Although I don't think this is a bad episode. Even though this episode is filled with inconsistencies (in which every single Star Trek episode made has at least 1 inconsistency in it) it shows yet again what Warp 10 is like. After reading the Voyager Inconsistencies page on this website I needed to say something. Does anyone realize that the Enterprise-D went past Warp 10? So why not get on that as well and complain about Warp 10. In the first season the episode "Where No One Has Gone Before" the Enterprise-D was taken to another galaxy and back again. If you remember Geordi said something along the lines of "We are going past Warp 10!" You have to realize this IS science fiction. FICTION therefore it is not real. Overall this is a good episode. Don't listen to the critics, they are just mad they didn't write an episode this good.
Rating: 8 (Adam)

Threshold Stardate 49373.4: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Oof. If I were to rate the three worst Star Trek episodes, I would probably do it as follows: 1st is ENT: "Harbinger", 2nd would be "Threshold", and 3rd would be TOS: "The Alternative Factor". From what I understand, TPTB admit that this episode stinks and that it might not even be considered canon, and even Brannon Braga himself admits it was the worst episode he ever wrote. Okay Brannon, then really what where you thinking when you wrote this piece of garbage?
This episode really angers me. Are the writers really stupid, or do they simply think we, the viewers, are really stupid? I know this is science fiction and that it should not be taken too seriously, but "Threshold" crosses the line and even more. How can a small group of officers on a small ship figure out something so amazing when oodles of scientists back at the Federation could not? Also, couldn't Voyager get some valuable information on getting home faster from the 900 thousand zillion teraquads the shuttle supposedly logged from all over the universe?
The writers also seem to not have a clue as to how evolution works. A species does not have a predetermined path in evolution, unless you factor god in, but let's not have that debate here. Evolution is an incredibly slow process that involves countless generations of minor mutations and natural selection. You don't just turn into a lizard/salamander thingy overnight.
Bogus molecule: Acid Dichloride -- Someone with more chemistry background may know better than me, but this nomenclature is screwed up. I never heard of a compound name that starts with "acid". If this is supposed to be two chlorines bonded with hydrogen, wouldn't it simply break down into HCl, hydrochloric acid? Brannon Braga obviously pulled this one from his ass probably because the name sounds cool and "technical". Give me two minutes and I could look up something else that is both cool sounding AND is an actual, real poisonous gas.
More nitpicking: It was bad enough is previous Trek episodes to see humans morph into something completely different and then somehow be able to come back to their normal state. TNG: "Identity Crisis" and TNG: "Genesis" come to mind. One curious question pops in my mind any time I watch one of this episodes: Would an old scar, mole, or freckle reappear as it was before the radical transformation? Also, would these people really be able to retain all their memory?
Rating: 0 (Chris)

Threshold Stardate not given: Brannon Braga makes an even bigger fool of himself.

Yes. The dreaded "Threshold". I had been, funnily enough 'dreading' this episode as I knew it was in Season 2 but wasn't sure when it would make it's unwanted presence known. Only took me the opening shot of Paris sitting in the shuttle to know what I was in for. So I didn't even watch it. It's on right now as a matter of fact, and my back is rightly turned. We all know the problems regarding evolution, science and logic plaguing this episode there's no need for me to go into it. Just a shame this episode could've been put to better use on a more worthy subject, like watching Neelix trim his sideburns for 45 minutes.
Rating: 0 (Cameron)

Threshold Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

I like to know what the thought was at the time when THIS grand atrocity came to pass and was given the green light. Maybe it went something like this...
"I know! let's do a plot about them getting Warp 10 speed!"
"But hey - if they can do Warp 10, that means they will be back home way too fast!!"
"Okay! Let's come up with a flaw to this. What?!!?!??! What can be the flaw?!"
"HMM! Structural failure?"
"No - too obvious!"
"Okay - damages the engines?"
"NO - engines can be repaired - and sounds too easy."
"Maybe it does something to the crew! Like mutates them!"
"Hmm you have an idea.."
"Like turns them to energy"
"No no! That's like they evolve into something wonderful!"
"How about into something vile, like, say Lizards?"
"YEAH! THAT'S COOL! WE HAVE IT!!"
"But if that is the case, how does the crew go back to normal?"
"Story will write itself!"
Maybe this is or not the case - but there is no other plausible reason why this dreadful episode came to pass.
The Warp Ten idea I have never liked - it's crap - I prefered the old scale because it gave scope to improve the drive, gave a sense of achievement, and allow the coming of new ideas - but as we have seen and will continue to see, it appears that Warp 9.9 whatever will be it for the Federation - after all if anything better is made, all those cool ships will become obsolete.
I can buy some sort of effect to the crew, maybe cellular breakdown, fatigue, or something fatal, and since its a first time I can understand that there would be new syndromes - but to transform people into LIZARDS!?!?!??!?!? WTF is that about!!?!??!?
Worse still, the transformed lizards of Paris and Janeway get it on, fertilise a planet, and when they are (always) cured, there seems to be no sense of regret, revulsion, or trauma. I mean they maybe professional but PURLEASE!! Surely the relationship aboard would change but no...they carry on like before.
Reminiscing it, seeing it - it's vile vile vile - it makes "Spock's Brain", and "Star Trek V" look like "Lord of the Rings". It's a horror episode and all involved should be taken out and be brutally murdered in the first seconds of the Revolution - I hate this with a vengance, and Bernd's reference to it as Trashold (Well thought of sir :D) is being too kind - there is not enough VOMIT in the world to match the hate I have for this episode, nor a scale to mark it with.
Remarkable fact 1: Some Paramount staff, including Rick Sternbach and Brannon Braga, discount the events of "Threshold", due to its severe scientific flaws. In an interview included as an "easter egg" on the VOY Season 2 DVD release, Braga admits it was the single worst episode he has ever written, stating: "I wrote the episode, or at least the teleplay. It's a terrible episode. People are very unforgiving about that episode. I've written well over a hundred episodes of Star Trek, yet it seems to be the only episode anyone brings up, you know? 'Brannon Braga, who wrote Threshold!' Out of a hundred and some episodes, you're gonna have some stinkers! Unfortunately, that was a royal, steaming stinker. And... it had some good intentions behind it. It had a good premise, breaking the warp 10 barrier. I don't know where this whole 'de-evolving into a lizard' thing came from. I may have blocked it out. I think I was trying to make a statement about evolution not necessarily being evolving toward higher organisms, that evolution may also be a de-evolution. You know, we kind of take it for granted that evolution means bigger brains, more technology, you know, more refined civilization. When in fact, for all we know, we're evolving back toward a more primordial state. Ultimately, who can predict? Unfortunately, none of this came across in the episode. And all we were left with were some lizard... things crawling around in the mud. So. It was not my shining moment." No shit Sherlock!!
Remarkable fact 2: This episode won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Makeup for a Series! It beat out DS9: "The Visitor", which was nominated in the same category. What for I can only fear...
Remarkable missed opportunity: If the Doctor can regene the pair after their warp ten flight, surely the crew can be put in some sort of stasis or have bio dampeners to null the effects? Moreover, even if they cannot do Warp 10 at all, surely they can push the ship to Warp 9.999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 getting them home sooner, right? Obviously not.
Rating: 0 (Chris S)

Threshold Stardate not given: Tom travels in a shuttle at Warp 10, turns into a lizard and fucks Janeway who is now also a reptile. (Don't ask about the children)

Threshold. Boy, oh boy.
Okay, so let's start. I've seen it twice. First time was about 6 years ago and at that time it was one of the first Star Trek episodes I'd seen. I always remembered it as one of the best episodes as it was different and involved a lizard so hey, I loved it. A few years later when I had really got into Star Trek I went on this website and was shocked to learn that not only Bernd but most Trekkies hate this episode. I was puzzled. So about 8 months ago I watched it again and thought now that I'm not a child, this is shit. But not quite and I'll explain why (but bear in mind, I watched it 8 months ago).
First of all, the concept is excellent. Imagine this, ignore the execution cos I'll get to that later hut listen to this idea - "Tom Paris travels at a record speed and for some bizarre reason turns into a lizard and kidnaps Janeway who also becomes a lizard." Now I don't know about you but I think that's a great concept. The details sucked but that original idea could have worked perfectly.
Okay, so the execution. The Warp 10 idea was a bit too extreme. Especially as it's not Torres or Kim or anyone else genius, instead it's Neelix - the retarded hedgehog thing who sounds like William Shatner on helium. He only did a basic engineering course, that's like me building the Large Hadron Collider because I've learn a bit of science when I was 5. Now, next of all - it's over dramatic. Tom loses his tongue - what the fuck? I don't care about this dribble. Then the escape is a bit lame considering Tom now has a spastic reptile mind. He kidnaps Janeway too easily and suddenly there's about 2 minutes left. And it suddenly rushes through 72 hours of Voyager's life whilst they look for Janeway and Tom. Then they end it so quickly whilst the two lovebirds discuss their little fuck. The execution sucked and was utter filth despite a good concept.
The science if lame and I won't go on about it. The Warp 10 crap has been done to death so let's look at evolution. Evolution depends on your environment and since he's on Voyager - how the fuck does it make him a lizard. Come to that - how does the human body know what its going to be in 3,000,000 years anyway. It's not as if Warp 10 allows time travel or something (doesn't it?). Then the Doctor works out its evolution. How? He only has the knowledge of other people and I'm sure no else has had similar experience.
Now for the characters. Janeway was interesting for a change, for one of the first time she actually sounded sincere and there was some good acting by Mulgrew. That's worth some points. The Doctor, Tuvok etc did nothing so they were average but Tom! Tom! Tom is a bad guy who suddenly turns good, what was the point? Then he goes bad for a bit in Series 2 but it turns out to be he's good all along. Why did he suddenly turn good at the start of Voyager? Who cares? Tom sucks. I find his personality pointless and either after evolution you still have a mind. Use it! Janeway doesn't hold him responsible. I would. God, she's a bitch. One minutes its "Tom, you tried to do the right thing for some water people, I punish you harshly", the next its "you kjdnap me, turn me into a lizard and rape me, I'll let you off." Maybe she enjoyed her night with Tom. Must be hormones.
Now for ratings.
Concept: 6
Characters: 4
Execution: 2
Science: 0
Rating: 3 (Darren Carver-Balsiger)

Meld Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Wow, this is an amazingly acted episode. They got Brad 'freakin' Dourif in for his first appearance as Lon Suder, psychotic Betazoid who murders a crewman. And his performance does not disappoint one bit, but after Tuvok, in an effort to understand Suder's crime mind melds with him, Tim Russ takes over with a great performance of a Vulcan, whose buried his emotions for so long, begins to slowly lose control. I loved the cinematography in this episode, the scenes with Suder and Tuvok are done in this dramatic darkness which is prevalent through the episode, even in the non-consequential B-story scenes on the holodeck where Paris is swindling crew out of rations in a gambling ring, where Chakotay pulls the plug. Paris gets narky at him but Chakotay does nothing. While I think this was a bit disappointing, I guess it was just to contrast what was going on concurrently with the relationship between Suder and Tuvok.
Great scene in sickbay where an emotionally non-repressed Tuvok let's fly, and what a dark moment for the show where the Vulcan, in an effort to relinquish his inner rage, kills a holographic Neelix. In a way it, and the dialogue about violence with Tuvok and Suder, is reminiscent of "Descent", where Data is attempting to 'feel' violence on the holodeck, and discusses it with Borg drone Crosis in the brig.
I was tempted to give this 10/10, but I'm happy to settle for a 9. Either way, a great episode and one not to be missed.
Remarkable quote: "All of us have violent instincts; we have evolved from predators... well, not me, of course. I've just been programmed by you predators." -The Doctor
Remarkable quote #2: "You are not invulnerable, hologram. A few well chosen commands to the computer, and you will cease to exist." -Tuvok to The Doctor
Remarkable scene: Janeway walking into Tuvok's ransacked quarters, which had been totalled by Tuvok in a rage.
Rating: 9 (Cameron)

Dreadnought Stardate 49447.0: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Don't have time for anything too in depth but I don't think this episode is so 'deep' to warrant a long rant. Yep, thrilling episode, I didn't like trigger happy Janeway's enthusiasm towards destroying the ship, she made that threat only a couple of episodes beforehand. Surely she needed to have had a bit more foresight considering the ramifications. If they wanted a sufficient explosion to render Dreadnought useless, why not drop the Core in it's path and fire a phaser at it? May not be 100% full proof a plan, but at least they would've had the ship intact! I liked the scene as well with the 2 computers, reprogrammed Dreadnoughts and the original Cardassian warring with each other's programming. There's also the foreshadowing of Ensign Wildman's pregnancy, she'll later name the kid Naomi, who'll make a frustratingly numerous amount of appearances later in the series. An ok episode, not bad, but I didn't find it so great to be honest. Another scene with Jonas collaborating with a Kazon trying to talk to Seska felt utterly useless, as if they recycled the same scenes with him covertly talking with a nameless Kazon type attempting to gain Seska's confidence every odd episode just to remind viewers there's a traitor on board who seemed intent on letting Seska know near all activity on the ship, no matter how inconsequential it turns out to be.
Remarkable fact: One name put forth for Ensign Wildman's baby is 'Cameron', my name! ...Ok, so that isn't so remarkable.
Rating: 7 (Cameron)

Death Wish Stardate 49301.2: Synopsis in main VOY listing

After discovering a comet-like object Voyager beams a sample aboard but that sample happens to be a rogue Q (who I'll refer to as 'Q' in this review) imprisoned due to his philosophy on suicide which is outlawed by the Continuum. The Q we all know and love (John de Lancie) shows up to lock 'Q' back up but after a request for asylum by 'Q' (and subsequently the opportunity to die) to Janeway, Janeway agrees to hear both arguments.
I'll first reiterate what I've said in a latter review about my opinion on the character of Q and how his impact lessens through his later appearances. I've loved this character through The Next Generation and his actions taken to irritate Picard always had ramifications and a deeper message about either Human nature or the nature of the Q, so I was happy this theme continued in this episode and the crazy hijinks were kept to a minimum despite the first few minutes of the episode in which the two Q use their powers to hide from one an! other in the Big Bang and using Voyager as a Christmas tree ornament. Following that however and proceeding into the trial the episode gains greater depth and credibly presents both sides of the argument from the point of view of 'Q' and of the Continuum, referencing 'Q's' involvement in human history for the betterment of mankind (the discovery of gravity, avoiding a power outage at Woodstock, and saving the life of William Riker's ancestor), and of the ramifications of such an action as suicide in the Q Continuum.
Q of course bribes Janeway with the opportunity to get home and whilst I'd normally criticise her for not considering it, upon watching this episode a little (ok quite a bit) older than when I first viewed it, I back her and 'Q's' point of view over that of the Continuum. 'Q' shows Janeway and Tuvok the conditions in the Continuum as best as a human and Vulcan can interpret them and the idea of being a society which has done everything, been everywhere, discussed, seen, heard and known all there is to know convinces Janeway to rule in favor of 'Q' and make the point that the Continuum will have to deal with the consequences of 'Q's' actions and the actions will actually give the Continuum something new to consider for the first time in a long time.
Of course, as this episode involves Q there's plenty of references to Picard and the Enterprise, and it's funny to see Q start to forge that same kind of antagonistic relationship with Janeway but with plenty of sexual connotations to it. The appearance of Jonathan Frakes as Riker is a welcome one considering we had only seen Quark as any kind of reference to a previous Star Trek series up till now on Voyager and it wasn't cheap and meaningless a cameo. Lots of great quotes as well.
In the end, 'Q' does die though, assisted by Q who agrees that the 'Q' was correct in his thinking.
A very good episode with lots to think about.
Remarkable quote #1: "Facial art. Ooh, how very wilderness of you." -Q, to Chakotay
Remarkable quote #2: "You mustn't think of us as omnipotent, no matter what The Continuum would like you to believe. You and your ship seem incredibly powerful to lifeforms without your technological expertise! It's no different with us; we may appear omnipotent to you, but believe me, we're not!" -Quinn
Remarkable scene: Q, cross examining himself during the hearing.
Remarkable quote #3: "Ugh, Vulcans." -Q and his copy in unison, covering their eyes and shaking their heads at the hearing
Remarkable quote #4: "Yes...without Q, there would've been no William T. Riker at all, and I would have lost at least a dozen really good opportunities to insult him over the years – and lest I forget, without Q, the Borg would've assimiliated The Federation." -Q
Remarkable dialogue: "By demanding to end his life, he taught me a little something about my own. He was right when he said the Continuum scared me back in line. I didn't have his courage or his convictions. He called me irrepressible. This was a man who was truly irrepressible. I only hope I make a worthy student." - "I imagine the Continuum won't be very happy with you, Q." - "I certainly hope not. Au revoir, Madame Captain. We will meet again." -Q and Janeway
Rating: 8 (Cameron)

Lifesigns Stardate 49504.3: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Great episode here, not chock full of action or major plot revelations or threats of doom and gloom, but a closer character study of The Doctor, and the Vidiian he falls in love with, Denara Pel. We see the two characters, who have thus far spent their lives in isolation dedicated to the treatment of others, act with such discomfort when presented with the opportunity to finally make themselves happy. I thought the ending was a bit of a shame though, not that the Doc was able to look paste the 'real' Denara's appearance, but that we know they'll be no more reference to another major development in his character (her very brief appearance later in "Resolutions" notwithstanding), so I wasn't happy again to see those accursed credits so abruptly appear in the fadeout once more. Anyway, I liked how the relationship was played out, Susan Diol did well with her role as Denara, and there's some good scenes, like the aforementioned final moments in the episode in which the Doc dances with Denara (how she became a pro in the waltz so quickly I have no idea), and the pair on a 'date' on the holodeck, in a '57 Chevy overlooking Mars.
Found it interesting to see the appearance of a Vidiian not affected with the Phage, an attractive race of people surely did their former reputations mentioned in "The Phage" as scholars and artists justice.
The tension between Chakotay and Paris is touched upon in the supporting story, with Paris under the impression that Chakotay is being to restrictive of Paris' duties, while Chakotay tries to explain that part of his role means ensuring the welfare of the crew and putting it above the 'inventiveness' of the ship's pilot. In the end Paris pushes Chakotay down and gets sent to the brig for his trouble.
Again though, great, somewhat touching episode revolving around the Doctor and his gradual evolution towards further sentience. Though I was bothered by the first shades of arrogance of The Doctor, a lot of his pompous comments about how sophisticated a program he his and slapping himself on the back for his improvisation didn't rub off too well.
Remarkable quote: "Mr. Paris, I assume you've had a great deal of experience being rejected by women." - "Thanks a lot, Doc." -The Doctor, asking Tom Paris for relationship advice
Rating: 7 (Cameron)

Investigations Stardate 49485.2: Synopsis in main VOY listing

This is an exciting episode which culminates in ending the arcs of Paris' insubordination, and Jonas' traitor ism. Gotta say I was a BIT disappointed with Paris' antagonism towards Chakotay was entirely a ruse, it's not enough for him to have just said at the end he had fun doing it, but I thought his character would've eventually dabbled in stuff like gambling for the sheer hell of it considering his reputation. But all the same, it's really good continuity, a continuity also shared in the Jonas side of the story. His transmission with Seska seen in the previous episode is played on the Kazon vessel Paris is imprisoned on, which mentions the planned ambush on Voyager on Hemikek IV, where Voyager must go to retrieve minerals needed to help repair damage to the ship, so it was well done how it was all set up. It was also good to see Hogan again, I like the use of the recurring Maquis crewmen for purposes OTHER than bitching about Starfleet or collaborating with the enemy.
Nothing wrong with this episode at all.
Remarkable nitpick: When attempting to beam Jonas out of Engineering all that's beamed away is his combadge, come on! Starfleet had been beaming for centuries without combadge probably due to a lock on the persons bio-sign, they could've at least have had Jonas set up an incredulous forcefield around Engineering to prevent a beam out...
Unremarkable ship: The Kazon shuttle, much like the ongoing problems with the Klingon Bird of Prey, it can't be so simple that their shuttles are just scaled down versions of their regular cruisers. Even their heavy vessel seen in Caretaker was much different in design, and of course there was the modified ship designed to pierce Voyager's hull in 'Maneuvers', some originality please!
Remarkable appearance: The then Crown Prince of Jordan, now King Abdullah ibn al-Hussein, appears in the opening segment as the blue-shirt talking to Kim.
Rating: 8 (Cameron)

Deadlock Stardate not given: Subspace anomalies inside a nebula cause a quantum duplication of Voyager and crew. One version is heavily damaged by the Vidiians, Ensign Wildman loses her baby and Harry is blown off the ship through a hull breach, while an undamaged version of Voyager occupies the same space at the same time. In order to save the intact ship, Capt. Janeway of the damaged ship decides to activate the self-destruct. However, as the Vidiians enter the undamaged Voyager, this ship has to be destroyed, after Kim and Naomi Wildman have been transferred to the other ship.

This episode was a little confusing at first, but made more sense as we find out about the duplicate Voyager. I like the fact that Naomi was born in this episode and was taken to the other ship in the end with the other Harry. It was a good episode that I could never get tired of.
Remarkable quote: "Mr. Kim. We're Starfleet officers, weird is part of the job." (Janeway)
Remarkable scene: When the Janeways are talking in engineering. When the two voyagers try to merge and pass through each other.
Rating: 8 (Kyle)

Deadlock Stardate 49548.7: Synopsis in main VOY listing

What an amazing episode, so far without a doubt the best so far in the series. An exciting an unexpected start to the episode, the opening 20 minutes in which Voyager is blown to hell and it looks like there won't be anything to save them for a change, Kim being sucked into space, Naomi dying (not that that's GOOD, but not something seen on Trek often), the revelation there's another Voyager, the conversations between the two Janeway's in an attempt to save both ships. The overall look of the 'first' Voyager we see being a wreck, the Vidiians boarding and harvesting crew, it's so action packed and so dark and the price to pay for the lives of 'our' Voyager come at the cost of the other ship. Not really sure I can put it into words, the ensemble cast didn't make the episode work well cause they didn't have much to do, but Mulgrew was pretty good playing the biggest dual role in the episode. Just a well written, greatly acted and well staged episode. And while it may be premature and I'm riding the high only recently after watching, I'm still confident giving it 10/10. Exciting, somewhat moving, it doesn't ask you to think deep nor does it boggle you down in needless technobabble, great episode.
My only nitpick: After the numerous hull breaches and massive damage taken to the ship, how quickly cleaned up and 100% operational it will no doubt be by the time the next episode comes around. And yes, there are undoubtedly similarities to DS9's 'Visionary' in which the station is saved from destruction by an O'Brien from the future at the cost of 'Present' O'Brien exactly like Harry here. But for the quality in this episode in its execution, I'm more than willing to overlook the resemblance. Oh, and why did it take them so long to detect multiple Vidiian ships and a system populated by Vidiians??? Normally any other starship could detect ships and populated planets from light years away but Voyager clumsily happens upon one at random?
And in regards to Bernd questioning the validity of one Voyager's self-destruct not harming the other, well I guess it's the same reason why neither ship was affected by the damage caused by the initial distortions, or the Vidiian weapons. Maybe trying to divide the power between the ships makes them inextricably linked, while what happens to one ship and one ship alone limits the extent of the damage to only that ship.
Remarkable similarity: Doesn't Ensign Wildman look like Laura Dern?
Remarkable scene: The opening 20 minutes of the episode, in which the ship is nearly destroyed. The bridge is evacuated, corridors are strewn with rubble, Engineering becomes a makeshift bridge à la DS9 episode 'Starship Down'.
Remarkable scene #2: The Vidiians storming the ship and killing the crew, and Harry's last mission to save Naomi and get her to the other ship.
Rating: 10 (Cameron)

Deadlock Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

What makes a great Movie? TV? Song or Episode? To me is when you can enjoy them again, and it gets better doing so.
Deadlock is one such rarity in Voyager, and when the powers that be can do it, it's brilliant.
In a nutshell, Ensign Wildman is about to give birth and the crew are anxious - they are more so when they discover they are entering Vidiian space. As they evade they start to lose antimatter, and have no idea - so to solve the problem, proton bursts are used.
What happens next are a series of events that are tough, moving, clever, and powerful. The devastation inflicted on Voyager is phenomenal, the loss of Harry Kim is a shock and the death of the baby moves them all - then the surprising twist comes partly in discovering a second Voyager that is intact. A reasonable cause is explained and actions that come to pass. The two Janeways meet to try and solve the problem whilst clashing with each other's pride. Then just when they think there is a solution to the problem, the Vidiians turn up in a very impressive ship, and prove they are a real threat by literally defeating the crew. Heck they take out Tuvok and Paris in the initial attack, and they are utterly merciless.
Watching it again is a joy - why? It shows loss, courage, emotion, professionalism, thought, reason, the human spirit, overwhelming adversity yet the determination despite failure. The scene with the clean Janeway realising her position is utterly hopeless and the music accompanying it is stirring, and the decision to order Harry to take their Wildman baby is perfect. When clean Janeway knows the only course left to her is the destruct and she tells the other Janeway to "get her crew home", brings a lump to my throat.
It's the stuff I feel that drained away from Voyager and Star Trek as a whole - the courage against the powerful, the fight for your friends, the reality of one's limits - and its dark - you know, not pseudo dark, this is dark - death of a baby, the crew being killed, Voyager about to be taken, and there is not a time reset switch in sight.
If there are niggles, they are few - the repairs are unbelievable considering the damage Voyager got, including over 600 micro fractures to the hull, and the warp coils being fused. The bridge on the verge of takeover could have had a more courageous stand than sitting, and the niggles of the clean Voyager's destruction not harming the battered one. However, I overlook them because everything else was done with very huge effort and execution.
In short very good story telling with excellent acting and score. If they had carried on like this, Voyager would be a masterpiece.
What a shame.
I am with Cameron on this one - 10/10
Horrid thought: What happened to the dead baby?
Remarkable ship: The Vidiian cruiser - twice the size of Voyager and a formidable craft.
Remarkable fact : The original plot was going to be used in The Next Generation but the problem was making the crew face each other and chat - as Jeri Taylor pointed out "what would Troi say to herself". Approaching that idea to Voyager was a grim prospect until they figured out that less crew to crew contact (basically just Janeway) made a better result. In short, they worked on it - and it shows - hence the 10 points.
Remarkable scenes: The crew being picked off by the Vidiians with merciless speed and regard. The hopelessness of the situation, and the destruct - reminiscent of the Enterprise in "Star Trek III"!
Rating: 10 (Chris S)

Innocence Stardate 49578.2: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Yay, Tuvok and the annoying brats...yawn. 3/10, that's being generous just cause I like Tim Russ' portrayal so damn much, but it's still so boring and the final revelation of the Drayans' ageing in reverse is brushed over so casually, but it certainly wasn't the time to go into the biological development of their species.
There was some nice scenes in the episode, I liked Tuvok singing the kids to sleep and being annoyed at their playing with all the equipment on the shuttle when in the previous cut he made it explicit they not do so, and his attempts to train them in logic. And also the opening moments with the dead gold-shirt of the week dying, though Tuvok reassuring him one other crew member will miss him.
But yeah, like I said, poor episode. Whatever substance on the Drayan planet the crew were chasing had only been mentioned once before and never was said to have been a critical component since. And the kids were so damned annoying in their conjoined performance, spouting out the same clichéd 'scared child' lines over and over nearly in unison, argh!
Remarkable quote: "My attachment to my children cannot be described as an emotion. They are a part of my identity, and I am... incomplete without them." -Tuvok
Remarkable fact: In an outtake from the episode, Tuvok is seen approaching the cave for the final time with Tressa, then turning around, saying "I ain't going in there!" and bolting for the forest.
Nitpicking: Tuvok postulates a dielectric field is necessary to counter the turbulence of the atmospheric currents. Ok, how in hell could he work that out? It was a simple procedure but it took till the Drayans had used the technology that Paris was able to offer up that they could use it as well. And even then, why weren't any of the crews able to figure this out to begin with when scanning the planet?
Remarkable scene: Tuvok singing to the kids around the campfire.
Remarkably contradictory ship: The Drayan ship, about as big as Voyager, funny. For a species that looked to have shunned a lot of technology they didn't think of junking a powerful ship like that!
Rating: 3 (Cameron)

The Thaw Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

Another difficult episode to judge given its flaws and pros but I'll try anyway. I didn't like the plot, your standard 'alien takes the Starfleet crew hostage' fair, and despite showing a few glimpses of internal character it ultimately comes to little.
Voyager comes across a planet wrecked by a solar flair. Its scans trigger a hail which alerts them to people being in stasis whose awakening has been long overdue. The stasis pods are beamed to Voyager where it's learnt the occupants have been trapped in dreams created by a computer to keep their minds active, but two of them have been killed by heart attacks.
Harry and Torres are sent in to investigate and it turns out the manifestation of the collective fear of the group has been keeping them captive and killed two for his own amusement. He demands to be left to exist and for the hostages to stay to allow just that. Eventually after a few back and forths with the Clown/Fear and the Doctor, Janeway offers to take the place of the hostages which the Clown/fear can't help but accept. Turns out though that the Janeway sent in is a holographic projection, and the Clown is left to vanish having no real minds to feed off.
I liked the direction, though a carnival/circus is all too human and nothing alien at all given the environment created by the minds of the Kohl occupants, but it's still a bit surreal and the music was creepy also. Michael McKean was fantastic as the Clown/Fear (I hate it though when they apply human descriptions to these sorts of beings).
But he's the real only thing worth watching, there's no B-Plot to give a distraction to the episode and like I said, the A-story is, as I keep saying, clichéd. There's a tiny bit revealed about Harry's fears being growing old and feeling like the baby on the ship, but neither concern is really addressed in this episode and again in the future of the series.
I was going to give it a 4 initially, but I don't think it's worth that, it gets 3 pretty much for McKean's performance.
Rating: 3 (Cameron)

Tuvix Stardate 49655.2: Synopsis in main VOY listing

'The needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few'. It's funny, for all the traits of Tuvok inside him, Tuvix never espoused this sacred Vulcan proverb once. Does it make him a hypocrite, or an individual? Do Janeway's actions amount to murder, or liberation? Gratefully, this isn't an episode which tries to make excuses for such a decision, and we see clearly that this is a decision not reached easily by Janeway, and not endorsed by the crew (it's just a shame the situation will be forgotten next episode). Tom Wright gives a great performance combining the nuances of Ethan Phillips and Tim Russ' characterisations of their respective characters and, of course, in the oh so dark scenes where he's attempting to justify his existing to Janeway and the crew; a speech I don't believe was falling on deaf ears. However Janeway makes the point that is clearest of all, the ship has lost 2 valuable crewmen (though I'm sure plenty will agree that Neelix isn't so valuable ;D) and they were not given the choice to become this new lifeform, and that must be taken into consideration.
It isn't black and white, far from it. But again, it's refreshing to note that Janeway clearly regrets taking an action which ended a life, and she doesn't try to use some speech about that same Vulcan principle (the needs of the many...) to justify what she had done.
I also liked how the story followed the loss experienced by Kes and Janeway, so far in the series Kes has had very little to do but play nurse, and Janeway certainly hadn't had her personality explored this deeply thus far, so we find both characters vulnerable, both in mourning, and both fearing what might have to be done to have their friends returned to them.
There's no easy rationalisation, no happy resolution, it only leaves the viewer with deeper questions, and I think that's the hallmark of a great Star Trek episode (unless those questions are of 'Threshold' proportions :-O).
Nitpicking: Janeway remarks that the situation presented hadn't been recorded in Starfleet before, but I'd think the events of 'Second Chances' cuts it pretty close in which Riker is separated into two people.
Rating: 8 (Cameron)

Resolutions Stardate 49690.1 : Synopsis in main VOY listing

Well everyone could see where this episode could go but wrote itself out of having to answer any real questions or have many heavy handed implications.
Chuckles and Janeway are bitten by a bug on an away mission which leaves them with a virus which will kill them if they leave the planet. The decision is made then to send Voyager on its way whilst the two stay on the planet and make a new life for themselves.
Tensions rise on both 'New Earth' and on Voyager, for we see a possible burgeoning romance between Janeway and Chakotay, and the crews resentment towards Tuvok for not exploring the option of attempting to retrieve a cure for the disease being suffered by Captain and XO from the Vidiians. Tuvok eventually relents though and agrees to contact the Vidiians which turns out to be an ambush, but the cure is retrieved all the same and Voyager returns to 'New Earth'.
On the planet though it's left ambiguous to the extent to which Janeway and Chakotay explore their relationship, or even if they do at all, which, as was noted on memoryalpha.org, was a decent way to please those in favour of the pair going all the way or not (I think they did).
The pair though are cured and return to the ship and everything is business as normal, which is a little sad in effect but considering what may/did/would have happened on the planet during their stay or had they stayed and their positions on the ship, the relationship never would have gone anywhere on the ship and ANY lingering desires before their stay on 'New Earth' could've been explored and put to rest.
Both A and B plots are satisfactory and the acting all round is pretty solid, Mulgrew and Beltran on the planet do well to convey their characters feelings about being on this planet, with Janeway at first not relenting at discovering a cure despite the unlikelihood of it happening, and Chakotay happy to make the stay as homely as possible given it could be for the rest! of their lives. Tim Russ is great again and I can never give him enough credit for what is a tough role and I always enjoy seeing Tuvok used in a greater capacity than firing torpedo's and being exacerbated at Neelix.
I liked it, I thought it was a strong character episode for most of the people involved, Harry showed a rare bit of dissent but that's his bit done for the season.
Nitpicking: Tuvok remains in his Gold uniform with Lieutenant rank pips despite being promoted to Captain and given command of Voyager for presumably the remainder of the ships journey, why did he not change into a Red uniform with 4 pips?
Remarkable fact:: This episode marks the final appearance of the Vidiians as primary villains on Voyager, they will only later appear as illusions in "Coda", as Borg victims in "Infinite Regress" and in a flashback in "Fury".
Rating: 6 (Cameron)

Basics, Part I Stardate not given: Synopsis in main VOY listing

What an exciting season finale. But I do object to the suicidal journey undertaken by the crew at Chakotay's behest to recover his son. Call me cold, but Seska had deceived the crew and Chakotay time after time by now, there was nothing I found trustworthy about the warning buoy with her telling of Culluh wanting to kill his son, and even Chakotay later wasn't convinced the Kazon Tierna was telling the truth about anything let alone Seska's murder.
Never the less, those actions still spurred on the plot of what develops into a well constructed, action packed episode, ending with a great cliffhanger. It was a good idea to bring Suder back, one thing I've appreciated so far while watching these earlier episodes is the use of recurring characters such as Ayala, Hogan and now Suder gets a reappearance which will play a bigger part in the next episode, as does his idea of a hydroponics bay which we'll later see in Season 3.
Don't have much more to say, can't wait till part 2 ;)
Rating: 8 (Cameron)

 


Proceed to VOY Season 3 Guest Reviews

  Share 
  Home   Top    View as gallery 
Last modified: 29.09.13  
http://www.ex-astris-scientia.org/episodes/voy2g.htm