Star Trek Voyager - A Thread for Fans

Adam Lenhardt

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Last night I watched:
  • "Someone to Watch Over Me": This episode is basically Voyager's retelling of Pygmalion, with the Doctor cast as Henry Higgins and Seven of Nine cast as Eliza Doolittle. It wasn't one of my favorites; as a general rule, I haven't enjoyed the romantic storylines on "Voyager". The one exception being Tom Paris and B'Elanna Torres, mainly because they're a little more human and a little less evolved than most of the characters, and after their initial infatuation, their relationship is most threaded in the background of episodes rather than a frequent primary focus. The episode has two saving graces: Robert Picardo's performance as the Doctor makes it play better than it has any right to, and the subplot with the Iyaaran ambassador basically embarking on Rumspringa (and Neelix trying, and failing, to keep him on the straight and narrow) was hilarious.
Today I watched:
  • "11:59": There was a lot I enjoyed about this episode: The contrasts between Janeway's recounting of events as remembered by the family through the generations and the actual events; Roy De Soto from "Emergency!" popping up as the recalcitrant bookstore owner and Janeway's other ancestor; that beautiful bookstore set; the glimpses we got of what Voyager's like during the quiet times between episodes; the boldness of telling an entirely domestic story inside a Star Trek show. My one issue with it is that telling a near-future story has its perils, primarily the fact that the episode will be dated quickly. Obviously, there was no massive self-sustaining civic environment completed in rural Indiana in 2012. There have been other things, particularly things predicted in the original series, that make it pretty clear that the Star Trek prime universe is set in an alternate timeline that likely diverged sometime around the late nineteenth century (with the birth of Edith Keeler) but closely paralleled our own through at least the early years of the twenty-first century. So it's not like they can't do things that didn't actually happen in real history. But when they do, it's a reminder that this isn't our future and it punctures my suspension of disbelief.

  • "Relativity": This one of those time travel episodes that's pretty meh. The show has some Back to the Future: Part II-esque fun weaving in and out of previous episodes going all the way back to the pilot, but otherwise there's not much to it.

  • "Equinox" (two-parter): The execution of this one wasn't perfect, but the idea behind the episode was strong: What if Voyager had made different choices? Complicating that question is the fact that the Equinox was an even smaller vessel, and much less suited to long-term travel in deep space -- and seems to have traveled a path through the Delta Quadrant that was even more hostile than the one Voyager had traversed. They didn't have luxury of some of the choices Voyager made. That in turn makes the reunion with Voyager its own moral test: Suddenly, they did have choices to make. But, shaped by their experiences in the Delta Quadrant, they made the wrong choices. The casting on this two-parter was strong, as well. John Savage was an interesting choice to play Captain Ransom. In the first half, serving as the fifth season finale, he was very much playing to type: the darker, more hardened parallel to Janeway. However, in the second half, serving as the sixth season premiere, he was very much playing against type: His character goes on a moral journey and ultimately re-embraces his morality even as it costs him his life. Titus Welliver, so good as Bosch, plays a first officer who shares many qualities with that character but has gone too far over the line. Commander Burke's refusal to re-embrace his morality ends up costing him his life. Rick Worthy, so great as Dean Fogg on "The Magicians", brings a certain gravitas to crewman Lessing. My main issue with this two-parter is that I didn't believe that Janeway would go to the extremes she went to. They clearly want to having contrasting paths, where Janeway goes dark as Ransom returns to the light, but it just didn't work. Voyager has faced much worse challenges before and Janeway remained far more level-headed. I also don't like that, after she pulls herself back from the brink and the situation is resolved, there's no lasting fallout. The actions Janeway took during this episode should have damaged her relationships with Chakotay and Tuvok, and repairing those relationships should have had to be earned.

  • "Survival Instinct": I can't say I enjoyed this one as much as Bryan did, but it was definitely a very strong episode. I liked how actions from years earlier had lasting consequences. I liked how Seven of Nine did something unspeakable but for very sympathetic reasons. I liked that that problem didn't have a nice pat solution at the end; instead, Seven of Nine was forced to choose between two terrible outcomes and had to decide what the least bad outcome was. The casting for the other drones was strong; even though they only pop up for the one episode, you care about them by the end of the hour. It's one of that moral dilemmas that only exists because Seven of Nine has come far enough along her journey toward individuality to understand and appreciate it. "Survival is insufficient" is a huge milestone on her journey toward becoming human again. I also like the subplot with Naomi Wildman, who helps further Seven of Nine's understanding of what it means to have a chosen family. After this episode, I hope we catch up with Naomi at some point in the second season of "Picard", get to see how that relationship has evolved since Voyager returned to the Alpha Quadrant.
 
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Adam Lenhardt

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Tonight I watched:
  • "Barge of the Dead": With a story by Ronald D. Moore (his final Star Trek writing credit) and a teleplay by Bryan Fuller, this episode had a strong pedigree behind it. It's sort of the inverse of Fuller's fourth season script "Mortal Coil"; whereas Neelix went into his near death experience a deeply religious man and came out of it an atheist, B'Elanna Torres went into her near death experience an atheist and came out it traumatized that her mother's religion might be real. The episode isn't definitive one way or the other, but it does provide an opportunity for her to grappled with issues regarding her mixed heritage and her troubled relationship with her mother. The visuals for the titular Barge of the Dead were very effective, conjuring a mood as much as a place. Still, I tend to get impatient with episodes where the bulk of the story doesn't take place in the "real" world.

  • "The Voyager Conspiracy": There is a certain formula used for a subgenre of episodes focusing on Data, the Doctor, and Seven of Nine where the technology that sustains them malfunctions and causes anomalous behavior. This episode turns that formula on its head, by making it the human component of Seven of Nine that malfunctions and causes anomalous behavior. The technology that she attempts to implement is used successfully by the Borg collective, but there are two key differences between the Borg's use of the technology and Seven of Nine's use of the technology:
    1. The Borg collective, by its very nature, has no secrets, so there is no basis for paranoid conspiracy theories.
    2. The Borg collective has many, many brains to process and evaluate the vast amounts of data being received. If there are multiple ways to interpret the data, these many brains can be used to determine which interpretation is most plausible. Seven of Nine has only one brain to process the vast amounts of data being received, and so her interpretation of the data is also limited -- and not necessarily to the interpretation that is most plausible.
    What results from those limitations is that Seven of Nine ends of pitting Janeway and Chakotay against each other, and her disparate theories take root because neither Janeway nor Chakotay knows everything that the other knows. After many episodes extolling the virtues of individuality, this episode explores the shortcomings of individuality, the pathology of individuals' need to impose order and meaning on a cascade of events that seem to have no plainly evident causal chain. To the writers' credit in this episode, even as Janeway and Chakotay begin to buy into Seven of Nine's theories, they also leave themselves maneuvering room in case Seven of Nine is wrong. In fact, I believe both of them set out to disprove Seven of Nine's theories, not prove them. The end of this episode results in Voyager being "slingshot" another thirty sectors of space, cutting another three years off their journey. By my count, the handful of large-scale jumps over the course of the series have shaved roughly four decades off of Voyager's trip home. Taken along with the five years of regular travel toward the Delta Quadrant, and they're probably now about 30 years away from home -- over the halfway point, geographically speaking.

  • "Pathfinder": This is a hugely momentous episode for the series, laying the groundwork for regular communications between Voyager and Starfleet. It feels, in many way, like it kicks off the final arc of the series. The question is no longer will Voyager get home, but how Voyager will get home. The idea to tell the story from Starfleet's point of view rather than Voyager's point of view is an interesting one. The decision to make Reginald Barclay the focal character for the episode gives us a character we already have some investment in as Voyager's contact on the other side of the line. Dwight Schultz gets to play the full range of the character in this episode: his mental and emotional instability, his engineering brilliance, his confidence, his vulnerability, his single-minded focus. This is also one of the few times we see Deanna Troi actually operating in her professional capacity as a counselor. The framing device for the first two-thirds of the episode is essentially a therapy session. This and the previous episodes feature the kind of plot points that "Voyager" should deploy: Incremental progress toward getting them home. It rewards the audience's investment in a way that a one-and-done solution would not.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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Yesterday I watched:
  • "Blink of an Eye": I really enjoyed this one. It's a classic science fiction premise, and the episode really milks it for all it's worth. My one criticism was going to be: What are the odds that Voyager arrives just as civilization began on the planet? But the episode answered it: Civilization on the planet began because Voyager arrived. The seismic instability caused by Voyager required the development of engineering solutions, required cooperation and teamwork to survive. The more they were able to learn about "the starship", the more they wanted to learn.

  • "Virtuoso": This episode was a good showcase for Robert Picardo, which is never a bad thing. But I found the premise too cute by half. The Qomar were obnoxious. It's not an episode that I would revisit, but Seven of Nine's fan mail to the Doctor at the end of the episode was touching.
Tonight I watched:
  • "Collective": I liked this episode quite a lot. While this episode didn't the visceral terror of the best Borg episodes, the creepy factor was definitely high. There's something even more unnerving about child drones than adult drones. In particular: Seeing the baby covered with Borg implants inside the artificial womb. The haunted house vibe on the abandoned Borg cube definitely had atmosphere, too. And I liked that four of the children went through the same process as Seven of Nine and continued on with Voyager after the episode ended. I kind of wish Voyager had picked up more new characters as it went along on its journey.

  • "Child's Play": It speaks to how much has changed so quickly that Voyager is having a science fair at the beginning of this episode, when it didn't have any children on board at all until very late in the second season. Watching this episode so soon after watching the first season of "Picard" definitely affected my experience. Having seen where the bond between Seven of Nine and Icheb ended up, the first stirrings of maternal instincts that Seven of Nine has in this episode carry a lot more weight. Also going into this episode knowing that Icheb stays on Voyager, makes it to the Alpha Quadrant, and joins Starfleet, the episode plays differently. Instead of being an episode about Seven of Nine's attachment, you spend the entire hour waiting for the other shoe to drop. And the idea that this community uses its children as blood sacrifices to kill the Borg is a really bleak proposition.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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Tonight I watched:
  • "Ashes to Ashes": I skipped back slightly to watch this one, because there was a big jump in the relationship between the Borg children and Seven of Nine between "Collective" and "Child's Play" and I wanted to see what transpired in between. Their subplot is interesting, with Mezoti in particular asserting her individuality. That subplot is about all the episode has going for it. The idea behind the main plot is intriguing, with a dead member of the crew being reanimated and reunited with Voyager after months spent living an entirely different life. The problem is that there was no setup. According to this episode, Harry Kim and Lyndsay Ballard were practically inseparable before she died. But we've never seen her before, and Harry's never even mentioned her before. Even her death happened offscreen, between episodes. It's hard to care much about a character that's being shunted into Voyager's history after the fact. On the plus side, Kim Rhodes gave Ensign Ballard a lot of personality, and made the character feel better developed than she was on the page.

  • "Good Shepard": This episode was an oddly moving meditation on the inherent dignity of all people. Seven of Nine completed an analysis of each department's operation, rated the level of efficiency, and suggested areas for improvement. As Seven of Nine summarized her findings, Janeway zeroed in on three member of the crew that were identified as particularly deficient. All three would have likely washed out of Starfleet within a year, but the unique circumstances of Voyager's situation have made that impossible. Janeway, after noticing that none of them had ever been on an away mission, brought them along on what should have been a very routine trip to study a nebula. The reasons the three of them had been underutilized quickly become apparent to Janeway: One does not have the aptitude for her assigned tasks, another is a hypochondriac ruled by his own unreasonable fears, and the third is an arrogant, anti-social schmuck whose toxic negativity infects everyone he comes into contact with. But as events spiral out of control, and the Delta FIyer finds itself in a crisis with a lot of unknowable variables, other qualities arise in each of them. The inept sensor analyst rallies her peers and keeps everybody focused on the mission. The hypochondriac is forced to confront his fears with a genuinely horrifying Alien-esque medical emergency, and the anti-social schmuck risks his own life to come to the aid of his colleagues. By the end of the episode, Janeway has a better appreciation for them, and they have a better appreciation for themselves. The way director Winrich Kolbe staged this episode is also engaging and unusual: the camera pushes in on the CG model and then transitions through portholes to characters on the interior sets. Because it focuses on low-ranking crew members, a la "Lower Decks", there is also more of a focus on following the interior geography of Voyager down hallways and through turbolifts, and we get to see parts of the ship that we never visit normally.

  • "Live Fast and Prosper": This is one of those lighter episodes, with a few grifters impersonating the bridge crew and tarnishing Voyager's reputation in the process. Voyager, of course, turns the tables and rights all of the wrongs by the end of the hour. The highlight of the episode was Gregg Daniel as the grifter impersonating Tuvok, who gets more and more into the role as the episode goes on. I was amused but I felt like I could have skipped the episode without missing anything important.

  • "Fury": This is another timey-wimey episode that doesn't quite work. While it was nice to see Jennifer Lien back as Kes, this episode sort of reverses her transcendent departure from the show. And the time travel itself is inconsistent: Kes goes back to two months after Voyager arrived in the Delta Quadrant, but the time difference is described as three years. In the previous episode, it was explicitly stated that they've been in the Delta Quadrant for six years. The plot once they get to the past, with Kes trying to align herself with the Vidiians, revolves around the idea that you can only travel in a straight line while in warp. I've never heard that rule before or since this episode. It seemed like something the writers pulled out of their asses to serve the needs of this one episode. And the idea that Janeway would kill future Kes, make that recording, and then pretend nothing had happened for six years seems highly implausible. I just don't see how an alteration to the timeline like that doesn't have much larger ripples. The visual effects of older Kes tearing her way through Deck 11 in Carrie-esque fashion near the beginning of the episode are impactful, however.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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Tonight I watched:
  • "Life Line": This was pretty close to a flawless episode. Continuing on from the events of "Pathfinder", Lt. Barclay has found a way to utilize the regular, predictable fluctuations of a pulsar to create a window for Starfleet and Voyager to communicate for several hours once every 32 days. Due to high signal degradation over such a vast distance, the bandwidth in either direction is limited. The Doctor convinces Janeway to utilize Voyager's first window to send his program back to the Alpha Quadrant, so that he might use medical techniques he learned about in the Delta Quadrant to treat his creator, Dr. Lewis Zimmerman -- who is dying of a medical condition beyond the expertise of the Federation's physicians. Since Zimmerman modeled the EMH Mark I on his own appearance, the episode gives Robert Picardo the chance to do something that is attempted fairly often but seldom pulled off successfully: Acting opposite himself. The episode meets the high bar later set by "Orphan Black" from both a performance standpoint and a technical standpoint. The effect is pulled off flawlessly enough that I forgot about the visual effects involved and just became engrossed in the story. In some ways, Picardo's task here was even trickier than Tatiana Maslany's task on "Orphan Black"; while she had a lot more characters that she had to juggle, each of the clones was very distinct from one another. By contrast, Zimmerman put a lot of his own temperament and behavior into the EMH Mark I, so Zimmerman and the Doctor had to be distinct but not too different. Picardo does an incredible job walking this tightrope. With the exception of the establishing scenes immediately after the title sequence, the entire episode takes place in two rooms on Jupiter station, with only five real characters: Zimmerman, the Doctor, Zimmerman's hologram assistant Haley, Lt. Barclay, and Deanna Troi. The episode feels like a play in many ways because, technobabble aside, it's all about character. Because the cast is so limited, everybody involved gets some depth and some moments to shine. I continue to be amazed that Deanna Troi always seems to be better utilized in her appearances on other Star Trek programs than she was on most episodes of TNG. And I believe the brief glimpse we get behind her when Barclay is facetiming her is the only time the interior of the Enterprise-E ever appears on any of the television shows.

  • "The Haunting of Deck Twelve": This episode is basically "Voyager" telling a ghost story. It's not an essential episode; you could skip it without missing anything important. But it is a lot of fun. The setup at the beginning of the episode, with all of the ship's system and lights being powered down and everybody switching to battery-powered lanterns and flashlights, definitely gave the episode a foreboding vibe. The framing device, with Neelix telling the Borg children the story of the events that led to Voyager taking such a drastic action, is very effective. It captures Neelix's talents as a storyteller from a culture with a strong oral tradition, and it provides an avenue to further define the Borg children. I continue to be fascinated by the ways that they act like children and the ways that they act like Borg. The "Voyager" writers have done a good job of servicing both aspects of their characters, especially Icheb and Mizoti. What would Seven of Nine have been like if she had been liberated from the Borg Collective much sooner after her assimilation, and much earlier in her development? The four Borg children provide possible answers to that question. If the show had gone on for several more years, it would have been an interesting thing to follow: What differentiates a liberated Borg drone who goes through adolescence as an individual from a Borg drone who was liberated as an adult. My only real issue with the episode is that it's another one that inserts major events into the time period covered by a past season that were never acknowledged or remarked upon in the episodes set between the occurrence and this episode.
 

Nelson Au

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I really liked Blink of An Eye. I thought it was a very well made episode and pretty well thought out. I look forward to re-viewing it. And I liked Daniel Dae Kim’s character and reaction to visiting Voyager and how he watches Voyager finally escape.
 
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Kevin Hewell

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I really liked Blink of An Eye. I thought it was a very well made episode and pretty well thought out. I look forward to re-viewing it. And I liked Daniel Dae Kim’s character and reaction to visiting Voyager and how he watches Voyager finally escape.
That was a very clever episode.
 

John*Wells

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I Did not watch Voyager DS9 Or Enterprise during First run. I Bought all of them on DVD in the 2000s. I have enjoyed them all. That said Voyager disappointed me in a few ways. One, As others have said Tuvok was boring. I also didnt Care for Neelix being written to Bug Tuvok and try to get emotion out of him.

The other thing that bugs me every time I watch "Endgame " Is you mean to tell me they get back to the Alpha Quadrant and we dont see the Reunions? Of Interest to me would have been to see how Tom and Chakotay were received Since One was in Prison when Voyager started and the other had Forsaken Star fleet because he felt it had abandoned the Maquis

I have read "Homecoming" and "The Farther Shore" And if those Are Canon regarding what actually happened Post Mission, then its Disappointing to say the least
 

Francois Caron

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I enjoy watching "Life Line" again whenever I feel like watching a decent Voyager episode. The story is so well written and the actors are actually given the opportunity to act! As far as Robert Picardo playing two parts in the same scene is concerned, it's definitely very convincing and does make you forget that it's essentially a split screen effect.

And it's very true that the character of Deanna Troi was never given a proper opportunity to be a counselor on TNG and did much better on other shows. Heck, Marina Sirtis' appearance on Picard has more proper counselling in that one episode than she's ever had in all of TNG!
 

Adam Lenhardt

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Thursday night I watched:
  • "Unimatrix Zero" (two-parter): This was clearly the writers' attempt to make the "Voyager" version of "The Best of Both Worlds". While not terrible, it isn't nearly as effective as that two-parter was. For one thing, Voyager has had a lot more interactions with the Borg than the Enterprise-D ever did. We understand them better now than we did then, and that understanding makes them less terrifying. And while the season-ending first half of both events ended with the captain being assimilated by the Borg, the cliffhanger here wasn't nearly as compelling because it was obvious that Janeway and the others getting assimilated was all part of the plan. Whereas, Picard getting assimilated was most definitely not part of the plan, and an entire armada got wiped out at the Battle of Wolf 359 before the threat could be neutralized. I continue to enjoy Susanna Thompson's take on the Borg Queen, which lacks some of the menace of Alice Krige's version but makes up for it with sheer efficiency. I do wish there was an explanation of the Borg Queens: Are they all clones of one another? Are the Borg Queens only drawn from certain species, or certain assimilated drones that meet certain genetic parameters? Are there multiple Borg Queens at any given time, or is a new one created only when the previous one had been destroyed?

  • "Imperfection": This is the episode that really cemented the parent-child bond between Seven of Nine and Icheb. Watching it made it easier for me to accept some of the drastic actions that Seven of Nine took in "Picard" (after the events of that crucial scene with Icheb). It also explored the factors that go into reversing a Borg assimilation. The younger you are, the more Borg implants you can survive losing. The further along in the assimilation process you are when you are liberated from the Collective, the fewer Borg implants you can survive losing. It also featured a softening in the combative relationship between Seven of Nine and Lt. Torres. While I understood why it was necessary for the plot of this episode for Icheb to be the only Borg child left onboard Voyager, I was sorry to see the others go. While the Borg twins were basically just background filler from the beginning, and it makes sense to have a happy reunion as a counterpoint to the horror show with Icheb's parents, Mezoti was an interesting contrast to Icheb, as they handled the reacquisition of their individuality in very different ways. I would have liked to see her stick around for the rest of the journey back to the Alpha Quadrant.

  • "Drive": This is a big episode, because it includes Paris's proposal to Torres as well as the immediate aftermath of their wedding. I liked that that this episode finally gave Tom Paris a chance to be the hot rod racer he'd always, on some level, dreamed of being, and I liked that it involved him and Torres working through an issue in their relationship as adults. It's a rare accomplishment in Star Trek to see a relationship go from first meeting to marriage in real time over the course of a series. TNG had that potential, but derailed things with the ill-fated decision to pair up Worf and Troi -- a decision that it fell upon the feature films to correct. Sometimes, I think the writers of these shows are so focused on keeping their options open, that they don't end up doing anything impactful with the characters. It's nice to see that once "Voyager" paired up Paris and Torres, it committed to the relationship and stayed the course through the various milestones. It's particularly impactful to see life moving forward on "Voyager", because there's a danger that all of their lives could be seen as being on hold until they make it back to Earth. The birth of Naomi Wildman, the evolution of Seven of Nine and the Borg children, the marriage of Paris and Torres... all of these sorts of things help combat that perception.
Today I watched:
  • "Inside Man": My main frustration with this episode is that the conflict driving the plot was basically just another Ferengi get-rich-quick scheme. Their scheming ways can be fun when some property is at stake. But when their scheming would result in roughly 150 people getting cooked from the inside out, it's a lot less fun. There is also some handwaving involved in the writing: That the Voyager engineers wouldn't be able to detect the Ferengi alterations to the Reg hologram program, and that Janeway would take Voyager into a dangerous spatial anomaly without independently verifying that the actions taken would be sufficient to ensure a high probability of the crew's safety. Another big issue is that the show's developed a bit too rigid of a formula when it comes to the Earth-set stories with the real Reginald Barclay at the Pathfinder project:
    1. Barclay is right, but nobody takes him seriously because of his eccentricities.
    2. Commander Pete Harkins, while kind and patient with Barclay, sidelines him and pursues the wrong course of action.
    3. Barclay calls in Deanna Troi for moral support.
    4. Admiral Paris overrules Commander Harkins and Barclay's plan is implemented successfully.
    When Deanna Troi showed up in "Pathfinder" and "Life Line", it made sense given the plot requirements. Here, it felt like she showed up because she'd shown up in the two previous episodes like this. Her role felt significantly less organic this time around. And given how often Commander Harkins gets it wrong, I'm beginning to wonder why he was placed in charge of such an important project.

  • "Shattered": This episode was a lot of fun, mainly because of pre-"Caretaker" Janeway's reactions as Chakotay brought her up to speed on the things that had happened over the past seven years. Seeing them all condensed and overlapping with one another, it really drove home just how batshit crazy this show could be at times. Chakotay was the right choice to be the central character for the episode; the mission driving the episode was well-suited to his competence and level-headedness, and pairing him with a Janeway who hadn't yet met him gave him (and the audience) a chance to reflect on just how far the two of them have come over the course of the series. For that reason, it was a perfect final season episode, taking stock of where the show had been as it prepares to move into its final chapter. It was also neat getting a glimpse of the grownup Naomi Wildman and Icheb from the future as it existed at that point. Both are Starfleet officers by this point; Wildman is a lieutenant while Icheb is a lieutenant commander. Both have proper rank pips, rather than the provisional rank indicators worn by crew who were formerly Marquis. That would imply that they both were formally commissioned by Starfleet proper. However, the fact that they're still on Voyager, and the fact that they're wearing the late 2360s uniforms, implies that Voyager still hasn't made it back to the Alpha Quadrant in their future.

  • "Lineage": This was a strong character-driven episode, exploring B'Elanna Torres's long-simmering insecurities about her Klingon side and the lingering emotional trauma that resulted from her father abandoning her. The episode has a lot to say about racism and the unique strains of a bicultural upbringing, but it never feels like a polemic because it's speaking so specifically to Torres's particular situation. My one issue with the episode was the lack of acknowledgement of humanity's significant missteps with genetic engineering in the past. Altering a single gene to correct a genetic disorder, as the Doctor did, is one thing. But the drastic alterations that Torres wanted to suppress her daughter's Klingon traits surely would have run afoul of the Federation's restrictions on genetic enhancement.
 
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Jason_V

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Adam Lenhardt

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Tonight I watched:
  • "Prophecy": When the D7-class cruiser de-cloaked at the beginning of the episode, I figured I was in for yet another standard-issue Klingon story, with some contrivance that would allow the "Voyager" writers to play in an area of Star Trek that's usually off limits to the show because of Voyager's unique circumstances. What I got instead was much richer. These Klingons weren't trying to get back home like all of the other ships from the Alpha Quadrant that Voyager had encountered. They had come from the Alpha Quadrant and deliberately ventured this far out into the Delta Quadrant very slowly, over multiple generations. And because they've been cut off from the Klingon Empire for so long, and because they're descended from religious fanatics who refused to conform to the customs of the rest of the Empire, they aren't the same as the Klingons were used to. Captain Kohlar, in particular, is an interesting character. He is the leader of this pilgrimage, but he's first and foremost a pragmatist. He doesn't know whether the sacred scrolls are genuine prophecy or the ravings of a lunatic. He just knows that it's long past time for his people's Forty Years in the Wilderness to come to an end, and presenting the unborn child of Tom and B'Elanna as the prophesied messiah is a means to accomplish that. But then, perhaps by coincidence or perhaps by divine providence, the specifics of the prophecy start coming true. In astrometrics, Seven of Nine identifies a nearby uninhabitated Class-M planet ideally suited for Klingon colonization. Tom Paris triumphs in noble battle on Voyager's bridge. And the baby's unique physiology provides a mechanism for the Doctor to cure a virus that has plagued the religious pilgrims for generations. This episode was an interesting counterpoint to "Lineage" a couple episodes before; that episode dealt with all of the negativity that B'Elanna associated with her Klingon heritage. This episode, by contrast, gave her a really positive experience with her Klingon heritage. As a side note: The subplot with Neelix having rough, kinky Klingon sex in Tuvok's quarter really tickled me. It was naughtier than this show usually is.
 

DaveF

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They might as well found a comfy, pleasure planet and sipped Klingon Ale, until Future-Janeway showed up to take them home.

The writers betrayed their drama, their characters' travails, with the deus ex machina resolution
Wow! I’d forgotten how I’d felt about the latter season and the series finale. In my minds eye, this had settled into a somewhat halcyon view of the fun I’d had settling in to watch the final. But the edges of my disappointment in the actual story was lost.
 
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bmasters9

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The actions Janeway took during this episode should have damaged her relationships with Chakotay and Tuvok, and repairing those relationships should have had to be earned.
Very much the same thing she said to the five disgraced Equinox crew who were transferred to Voyager:

Janeway: "The last time we welcomed you on board, you took advantage of our trust. You betrayed this crew; I won't make that mistake again. Noah Lessing, Marla Gilmore, James Morrow, Brian Sofin, Angelo Tassoni-- you are hereby stripped of rank. You'll be expected to serve as crewmen on this vessel. Your privileges will be limited, and you'll serve under close supervision for as long as I deem fit. This time, you'll have to earn our trust. Dismissed."

If they were to work harder to earn her trust (as she said there), then shouldn't she have had to work just as hard to earn theirs? Apparently, the writers didn't seem to think so (unless I'm mistaken).
 

Adam Lenhardt

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Tonight I watched:
  • "The Void": It was interesting watching this episode now, at time of great disillusionment with regard to globalization and a severe fraying of international cooperation, because it is basically an encapsulation of the Clinton-era optimism about a global economy that maximizes opportunity for all by allowing each country to maximize what it has to offer through more efficient utilization of expertise and resources -- an optimism that would begin to crumble in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, several months after this episode originally aired. So the episode feels a bit dated, and out of step. But it still works pretty well -- mainly because the principles that guided Janeway's alliance are a reflection of the ethos that drives the Federation. And there is something satisfying about seeing a group accomplish together what none of them could have accomplished individually.
If they were to work harder to earn her trust (as she said there), then shouldn't she have had to work just as hard to earn theirs? Apparently, the writers didn't seem to think so (unless I'm mistaken).
In fairness to Janeway, the survivors from Equinox were mass murderers. Janeway, despite acting out of character for much of the second half of that two-parter, didn't go nearly as far the Equinox crew did.
 
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Adam Lenhardt

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Tonight I watched:
  • "Human Error": I found most of this episode uncomfortable to watch; there is something vaguely unethical about creating facsimiles of real people from your life to play out your fantasies with. However, it does two things that are rare for this show, and it does them well:
    1.




    It deals with the consequences of the events of a previous episode. Seven of Nine's longing for intimacy is a direct result of her experiences in Unimatrix Zero, and the trauma of being suddenly ripped away from someone she'd been in a relationship with for several years. Because TNG-era Star Trek was designed primarily for syndication, there is a certain interchangeability that was baked into the production model. As UPN's flagship show, "Voyager" shouldn't have been as limited in that area as TNG and DS9 were. But while DS9 by all accounts actively worked to outmaneuver those limitations, "Voyager" was largely content to maintain the status quo. It was refreshing to see a small break from that practice with this episode.
    2.




    It has a tragic, rather than triumphant, ending. Aside from the pilot, which stranded Voyager halfway across the galaxy, nearly every episode ends with Voyager overcoming the obstacle in its path or the character being focused on experiencing emotional growth. This episode ends with Seven of Nine feeling trapped by the limitations imposed upon her by the Borg, and retreating into her self rather than attempt an experimental treatment that might impair her utility to Voyager. The ending is quietly devastating, with the real Chakotay extending a social invitation, and Seven of Nine -- though she longs for it -- left feeling that even such a small, casual bit of cameraderie is outside the realm of possibility for her
    It really is a shame that Seven of Nine's role was to be the sex object for the show. The form-fitting catsuits distract from just how good Jeri Ryan is in the role. She conveys a whole lot with barely perceptable changes in expression, intonation, and body language. Another really strong performance in this episode: Robert Picardo as the Doctor in the scene where Seven of Nine comes clean about what she was doing in the holodeck. He has had an unrequited crush on her for a while now, and you can tell that it kills him that Chakotay was the object of her fantasy. But he is gentle and kind, and never loses sight of her needs at such a vulnerable moment.
 

The Obsolete Man

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  • It really is a shame that Seven of Nine's role was to be the sex object for the show. The form-fitting catsuits distract from just how good Jeri Ryan is in the role. She conveys a whole lot with barely perceptable changes in expression, intonation, and body language. Another really strong performance in this episode: Robert Picardo as the Doctor in the scene where Seven of Nine comes clean about what she was doing in the holodeck. He has had an unrequited crush on her for a while now, and you can tell that it kills him that Chakotay was the object of her fantasy. But he is gentle and kind, and never loses sight of her needs at such a vulnerable moment.
I believe you skipped over one of her best performances, which was S7's Body and Soul.

She does a spot-on impression of Robert Picardo as The Doctor for about half the episode that leaves you thinking "...and they used her as basically tits and ass all these years? WHY?!?"
 
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