Star Trek: Voyager



Air date: 3/18/1996
Written by Brannon Braga
Directed by David Livingston

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"Mr. Kim ... we're Starfleet officers; weird is part of the job." — Janeway

Nutshell: A great technobabble show with plenty of excitement. It's too bad the extreme but ultimately inconsequential damage to the ship prompts complete incredulity.

At the end of "Deadlock" when Harry calls his experience through space, time, and subspace weird, he sure isn't joking. The situation the Voyager crew faces in this episode is substantially strange. It's yet another high concept outing from the mind of Brannon Braga, who has supplied several labyrinthine stories in the far reaches of physical, temporal, and spatial manipulation this season. From "Projections" to "Non Sequitur" to "Threshold" to "Deadlock," Braga has displayed a constant affinity for spewing new technical gobbligook and conjuring fake new scientific theories out of thin air.

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. "Projections" was absolutely riveting. "Threshold" was absolutely ludicrous. "Deadlock," ranks nearby the former rather than the latter, featuring an intriguing premise, though not quite up to par with "Projections" in story strength or plausibility (if such a term can be used), but very well done nevertheless.

The plot: Unbeknownst to the crew, the mysterious properties of a plasma cloud replicates the Voyager such that there are two ships with two crews, both exactly the same, occupying the same location in space at the same moment in time. The only thing separating the two ships is a "spatial rift," which seems to link the two Voyagers together on deck 15. Under details that I refuse to go into here, one Voyager severely damages the other with "proton bursts" in an attempt to recharge their own warp core. Even more intricate details brings one of the Voyager's crew to realize what has happened after Kes crosses through this rift—that the ship has been duplicated—and before you can say "huh?," Janeway and Torres figure out how to get a communication signal through subspace to the damaged Voyager. Now it's a race against the clock to figure out how to converge the two Voyagers before both are destroyed.

Baffled? Well, at times, this can be damned confusing—and you can bet there is an ample supply of technobabble used to explain all this. But like DS9's "Visionary" last season, this episode goes to show that tech-laden plots can be very good if done properly and supported by a cast and crew that knows what to do and how. Not to say that Braga's script isn't adeptly written for the most part—it is—but the execution is what really stands out here.

David Livingston surely had his hands full with the dual shooting of Voyager realities and overseeing the reams of technobabble. (The actors also deserve a lot of credit for making the non-stop jargon sound believable.) But Livingston does all this and makes the show an intriguing mystery with plenty of excitement. In fact, "Deadlock" opens and closes with pulse-pounding intensity that is virtually unmatched by any Voyager episode to date. It wastes no time in its early minutes, beginning with jarring urgency and breakneck pacing, featuring some chaotically impressive photography as the ship is ripped apart. Surprising events like Ensign Kim being sucked into space and the unfair death of Ensign Wildman's newborn baby demonstrates a pull-no-punches grimness that proves quite compelling. Meanwhile, the bridge catches on fire and is evacuated in a scene that borders on the apocalyptic.

Once the two Voyagers realize their nature of coexistence, the time comes to repair the damage, and the fascination level is one-upped with scenes of Captain Janeway talking to herself over a viewscreen and, later, face-to-face.

The technical solution theories are, of course, absurd, and they involve such complicated fictional science that the characters always seem on the verge of spraining their tongues as they talk about using the main deflector dish to realign divergence fields and what not. If this technobabble wasn't so well performed, I would probably be complaining about it for months.

And just when you thought the two Voyager crews had their hands full trying to fix the phase-shift variance to merge the ships into one again, the episode throws more blood-boiling thrills at us when along come the Vidiians, looking for unwilling organ donors. With the Voyager's weapons unusable, they are easily able to tractor and board one of the Voyagers. However, the Vidiians are unable to even detect the existence of the other one.

The Vidiians' assault on the one Voyager crew is almost unsettling. Again, they come across as they did in "Faces": vicious and merciless, shooting down everyone in sight and extracting their organs without so much as a second glance. Outnumbered and outgunned, Janeway does what she has always vowed to in such a circumstance—arm the auto-destruct sequence. She orders Kim to take Wildman's baby to the other Voyager (they are both alive on this Voyager, and Janeway thinks it's only fair to replace the fatalities experienced by their counterpart). Kim surprises two Vidiians in sickbay (who have already begun their harvesting experiments on Wildman) in a nicely-done scene where he phasers them both and then finds the Doctor hiding behind his desk with the baby. Kim heads off to deck 15 to travel through the spatial rift.

Meanwhile, as the Vidiians walk onto the bridge to seize the ship, Janeway stands up and has just a few choice words for them—which she says with almost a smile: "Welcome to the bridge." With that, the Voyager explodes, taking the Vidiian ship right along with it, in a spectacular pyrotechnic spectacle that had me almost cheering. It's a guilty pleasure, I'll admit—seeing the Vidiians finally put in their place—but a pleasure nonetheless that is long overdue considering how the Vidiians wantonly ignored Janeway's stern warning she issued in "Phage," the first Federation/Vidiian encounter.

The details surrounding this ending, however, bring up perhaps the most perplexing questions about the situation. How is it that both Voyagers could detect the Vidiian ship, but only one could physically interact with it? Is the other Voyager in an alternate reality? Why can't the Vidiians detect it? How is it protected from the explosion of both its counterpart and the Vidiian vessel? If somebody explained this to me, would my head blow up?

I'm not sure, but I don't really care either. The raw energy of this episode makes it a winner, and, by the end of the show, everything feels like it more or less adds up in its own bizarre way, even if my brain doesn't want to buy it. Braga shows the talent, I guess, for making things clear and confusing at the same time. Livingston shows the talent for turning it all into a gripping hour of science fiction.

Still, the episode really only works on its adventure level. If you consider the long-term effects of the episode, they're shoved under the carpet with painful blatancy. The biggest flaw in "Deadlock" is the fact that Voyager's severe damage will undoubtedly be repaired by the beginning of the next episode, never to be heard of again. When Tuvok delivered the lengthy damage report early in the show, there was a sense of uneasy helplessness. After all, there are no repair bays or starbases in the Delta Quadrant. Yet the closing of "Deadlock" would have us believe that Voyager is a completely self-sustaining starship and there's nothing to worry about.

If you think about it, this defeats many of the dramatic elements of the very core of the series—which is definitely not a good thing. Such damage to the ship should not be treated lightly on Star Trek: Voyager. Remember the concern expressed in "Learning Curve" over the damage to irreplaceable gel packs? It was a big deal. Yet in "Deadlock" half the ship is hanging in ruin, and by the end of the episode it's hardly an issue.

It's too bad the issue surrounding Voyager's damage is so uncertain. The rest of the episode is terrific.

Previous episode: Investigations
Next episode: Innocence

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59 comments on this review

Mon, Feb 11, 2008, 9:37pm (UTC -5)
So was that a duplicated Ensign Kim and duplicated Naomi Wildman (the baby) on the original Voyager (including the crew), or was that the original Ensign Kim and Naomi Wildman on a duplicated Voyager (including the crew)?
Dirk Hartmann
Mon, Mar 31, 2008, 2:18pm (UTC -5)
@Stefan: I think "duplicated" does not necessarily mean that one was the "original" and the other a "copy". Rather we should think that due to the "rift" Voyager "split" like an amoeba ...
Mon, Mar 31, 2008, 7:26pm (UTC -5)
Dirk: Do you believe that neither Voyager was the original Voyager? That would mean that the Voyager, including its crew, that we saw in all episodes preceding this one was destroyed and its crew killed. I have a hard time believing that the Voyager writers intended that none of the characters we saw in Caretaker survived this episode.
Dirk Hartmann
Thu, Apr 3, 2008, 11:45am (UTC -5)
@Stefan: I rather would say that both Voyagers share the same past. Seen like this, no one was destroyed during the split-up - it's just that the word "original" loses its significance within the frame of such a scenario.
Thu, Apr 3, 2008, 5:21pm (UTC -5)
Are you suggesting that Voyager and its crew were in a kind of Schroedinger's Cat type of situation?
Sun, Jun 22, 2008, 1:23am (UTC -5)
The scary part about all of this: If the Harry Kim that survived in this episode was the duplicate Harry Kim. Then the guy in "Course Oblivion" was a duplicate of the duplicate Harry Kim. Then counting all the alternate timeline Harry Kims, there must be literally dozens of Harry Kims in the 24th Century. And frankly, that scares the hell out of me :)
Fri, Oct 3, 2008, 1:59pm (UTC -5)
Wow - multiple Harry Kims The only thing worse would be multiple Neelix'. Anyway, I agree with most of the review - the reset button is in full effect here (we get to see Kim and baby Naomi killed! Voyager I almost destroyed! Voyager II destroyed! and all back to normal...). I still wonder about Jammer's love of 'Projections'; what's more of a reset button episode than that? Ah, what could have been....this show had such potential.
Sat, May 2, 2009, 10:30am (UTC -5)
My favorite scene in this episode is when Tuvok is listing off all the damage to Voyager. It's played with all the seriousness that the scene was due. I've only watched "Deadlock" twice, but each time he gives his damage report I thought "I'm surprised there's even a ship left." As usual, Voyager is back to its launch day condition by the end of the episode, but that damage report scene always gets me.
Thu, Nov 26, 2009, 2:30pm (UTC -5)
I enjoyed this a lot (after the opening scene featuring Neelix in a Silly Hat, which didn't bode well) and I thought that the frenetic terrible stuff happening in the first part (culminating in Tuvok's endless damage list) was superb. That's the sort of thing we should have seen more of. Of course as soon as Harry disappeared into space we knew that none of this was "real", since we know that's not really going to have happened. But I liked the way the episode surprised us. It turned out that all that stuff *did* really happen! It just didn't have any consequences.

The most genius part was the arrival of the Bad Guys. Until then I had assumed that the damaged Voyager would be destroyed or otherwise dealt with and the undamaged Voyager would survive and be perfectly fine. That seemed the obvious way to negate any consequences coming from all that chaos. The fact that the Bad Guys landed in the *undamaged* Voyager and started killing everyone was surprising and excellent, as was the consequence that it was *that* Voyager that was destroyed, and the other survived. Very good stuff.

As for the problems of "splitting" the crew, and whether any of them were identical with the originals, that is the sort of problem that lies at the heart of the philosophical discussion of personal identity. Suffice to say that many philosophers would say that, while the two Voyagers co-existed, each crew might have had equal claim to be identical to the originals, and it is possible either that they both were (which raises severe problems) or that neither was (which also raises problems). However, after the destruction of one lot, there seems no reason to say that the surviving crew isn't identical to the originals. Which is weird, but that's personal identity for you.
Fri, Dec 25, 2009, 6:14pm (UTC -5)
Okay, Harry Kim may have died in this episode and been replaced, but let's face it, it was all forgotten and it's Harry. Who cares? You forget he's a different Harry because he's the same as the last. Ditto the rest of the Voyager crew if you see it that way.
Sun, May 2, 2010, 2:56am (UTC -5)
One question when janeway tells kim to take the baby and escape, only them for whatever reason.
The senior staff just sit there and they dont help him to escape , not like they defending the bridge or anything.I was so happy when kim died and we got an extra kes but the ending ruined it :)
Wed, Dec 22, 2010, 11:57pm (UTC -5)
@Nadrac: I'd trade in a Harry Kim for an extra Kes any day!
Sun, Mar 27, 2011, 6:54pm (UTC -5)
I love this ep- it's smart and compelling from start to finish. The death of the baby and Kim -not to mention the pretty brutal Vidiian assault- all add up to a pretty dark episode. And the two Janeways scene is priceless. I'd give it maybe 3.5 stars- certainly one of the best action eps of the season.
Mon, Jul 4, 2011, 6:05pm (UTC -5)
Some of the shots during the dual Janeway conversation were a bit odd to me. They seemed a bit close when you would expect a bit more distance as a natural reaction.

Anyway I like to think the explosion didn't kill the other crew but instead re-joined the 2 ships back together. Otherwise surely the ship that survived could have spent the rest of the journey home out of phase and invisible to everyone.
Sun, Jul 10, 2011, 8:50am (UTC -5)
Didn't it give anybody else the creeps that the crew left a dead Harry Kim floating around in the Delta Quadrant? Or would it have been more macabre for them to recover the body and give it a proper funeral? Harry could have even eulogized himself!
Mon, Aug 22, 2011, 6:57am (UTC -5)
Ah but in Vidian culture a floating corpsicle is considered a most generous gift, they might very well see it as an olive branch for blowing up their ship.

I can't believe they managed to have such horrible things happen while keeping the precious status quo, especially without resorting to 'it's all a dream LOL' copouts. Very tense episode and genuinely disturbing to see a crew get organ harvested and blown up.
Janeway being so flippant about it to Kim was weeeeird though, she was ready to sacrifice her own Voyager to save the other one earlier in the episode but now she's suddenly acting like the other one going down with all hands was no big deal?
Sat, Sep 3, 2011, 2:27pm (UTC -5)
@ Mike...

I think the plural of Neelix is Neelices, kind of like vertex :)
Chris Harrison
Fri, Nov 18, 2011, 5:42am (UTC -5)
I didn't agonise too much about which was the 'real' Voyager, the 'duplicate', the 'original' blah blah blah.

Every cell in our bodies are replaced every 7 years. Are we the same people that we were at birth?

And what about the transporters?

Not a big deal.
Sat, Dec 10, 2011, 8:57pm (UTC -5)
One thing absolutely ruined this episode for me - the ease of the Vidian takeover of Voyager. The exact location of the breach is known and no one is even there to greet the attackers with phaser fire?? Tuvok turns the wrong way down a corridor and just gets merced. Without transport technology, attempting to force a boarding action would be disastrous but since the script demands this "action" occur we have to believe that the crew of Voyager is incompetent.

Well, since the script demands someone be incompetent every single episode I suppose then that the crew truly is incompetent. Guess starfleet's standards have fallen far since Kirk's day when you only got to act incompetent on away missions. (Mostly)
Thu, Aug 16, 2012, 4:45pm (UTC -5)
This episode was terrible. One Janeway agrees to kill everyone aboard (except for Harry and the baby) and then she and the rest of the crew wait for self-destruction with a smile on their faces. Nobody aboard this Voyager does anything to stop Janeway from blowing them up.
Fri, Sep 28, 2012, 4:13am (UTC -5)
This one was a 4 star to me- one of my favorite episodes! From the ship taking more damage than I ever saw to the actual main characters getting killed off the wow factor was top scale in my book. We all know, of course, that the series wouldn't kill off Harry Kim, but you'll have to admit that wanting to know how they fix this was part of the fun. Then the Vidians attack to ad to the already bad situation only to end with a self destruct! I truley believe that some people take these episodes way to serious and just need to lighten up and enjoy!
Tue, Dec 11, 2012, 9:28am (UTC -5)
I wonder why delivery by transporter isn't standard issue as it goes so easy. Why go through hours or even days of labor and especially pain?

Too bad that all that techno-babble was necessary. Simply "communicate" with the others by "phase-shifting" the communications device. It's as much bunkum as the chosen solution but leaves us with extra time to see the crew interact and to see the story develop.

For the rest I like the episode, especially because in the end the "healthy" Voyager is the one that's destroyed, not the one you expected. Solid 8 out of 10.
Sat, May 25, 2013, 5:04pm (UTC -5)
Torres: "Ensign Kim is dead and Kes just disappeared!"
Janeway: "Disappeared?"

Ha! I love Janeway's complete disregard for poor dead Harry. Her facial expression doesn't even change when she hears he died.
Lt. Yarko
Thu, Jun 13, 2013, 1:22am (UTC -5)
Those Janeways were awful close together. I thought they were gonna kiss for a second...

Personally, I don't think I'd want to be that close to me.
Sun, Jul 7, 2013, 12:34am (UTC -5)
LOL, there's a Harry Kim corpse floating around in space. Could've been a wonderfully macabre moment if Voyager starts heading home again and then Kim's dead body smashes into the viewscreen.
Tue, Aug 6, 2013, 1:43am (UTC -5)
why is there pain in a 24th century pregnancy?
We do not need to have it in the 20th century.
Epidural anyone???
Tue, Nov 5, 2013, 2:47pm (UTC -5)
This was the first full VOY episode I watched. I liked it, and I'm now really looking forward to watching the whole series. I want to finish TNG first though. But this was good. (Yeah there was the usual technobabble explanation for the phenomenon but I don't let that bother me anymore, otherwise I wouldn't be able to enjoy ST. It's just like the 60s special effects and the sometimes laughable aliens. The story is what matters most and if technobabble is required for it to work, so be it, as far as I'm concerned.)
Mon, Nov 18, 2013, 3:23pm (UTC -5)
@ Shane,

yeah, with their technology the reptilians from "Distant Origin" should have been able to find him...A Kimsicle would be even more revealing than Hoganbones.
Tue, Nov 19, 2013, 2:35am (UTC -5)
Poor Harry.
First, he dies.
Then his Captain tells him to go from the bridge on Deck 1 to the rift on Deck 15 by himself with one phaser and 347 bad guys in between. Plus he has to make a detour to Sickbay on Deck 5 (where the bad guys are also pouring out of a boarding ramp) and carry a delicate newborn the last 10 decks. Oh and he only has 5 minutes to do it all!
Finally he arrives in some other place where his own dead body is floating around in space and as the Ops guy, will spend the next week repairing a battered ship to pilot show condition.
I think the hero of this story is Harry! Let's hope he also tossed a bunch of gel packs through the rift too!
Mon, Feb 10, 2014, 2:13pm (UTC -5)
This episode would have received a five star from had they done two things: kept Ensign Kim dead because when I thought he died I felt real danger of the DC. Second: dragged ship repairs to show continuity and inconvenience to voyager crew.

If surfing the Delta quadrant was so campy and fun who gives an f about Earth? I certainly didn't. Going back to what? Having Janeway drop what little casualness we got back to stick up the butt- bun of steel admiral and unbending SF regulation? No thanks. I am with Paris, Seven, and Naomi. I choose the more casual, impervious ship of vast exploration :-)
Tue, Feb 25, 2014, 5:56pm (UTC -5)
Great episode. But as Amanda said above, it would have been much better if the damage inflicted to VOyager during this episode carried on to subsequent episodes. It's gritty outtings like this that make you wish Voyager's reset button were a lot less often used.
Mon, Mar 3, 2014, 5:48pm (UTC -5)
3 stars? No. This episode is a mess. The science doesn't even try to be believable, and the reset switch swings into motion yet again. Worse, they are supposed to be a crew with limited resources and yet at end of the episode the damaged ship is fine and dandy.

Splitting in two. Please. Lazy, desperate writing.
Wed, Mar 5, 2014, 8:02pm (UTC -5)
I watched it again and what still bothers me is what happens to bodies in space? Wouldn't be'lanna be dead right along with him once the breech happened? It's not like they were on a commercial air plane, it was space. The vacuum would suck them both out and death instantly that's why we wear space suits and not a snorkel. *shrugs*

Speaking of dead Ensign Kim forgotten, wouldn't episode Ashes to Ashes have been WAY cooler if they came across Harry Kim back from the dead as the reanimated alien? Ha...Continuity is too much to ask :-)
Chris Harrison
Wed, Mar 5, 2014, 8:41pm (UTC -5)
@Amanda You wouldn't immediately explode on exposure to the vacuum of space. If you're lucky you've got at least a few minutes before you run out of air or suffer injuries from swelling/burst blood vessels etc.

As for the decompression, I guess it wouldn't seem more or less explosive than in a jet liner at high altitude (which is dramatic but not instantly fatal).
Sat, Mar 8, 2014, 11:57pm (UTC -5)
Thank you for the clarification, Chris.
Tue, Mar 11, 2014, 9:21am (UTC -5)
Both ships are the original. Consider an Amoeba: it reproduces by splitting in two. Where you had one organism, you now have two. Which is the original? Both. You don't have an original and a copy, you have two amoeba, each of which, if they could talk, would be able to claim to be the original.

The episode does surprise us by having the more-damaged Voyager survive, but it does seem to be good as new by the next episode. Shouldn't the Vidiians be going after easier targets than Voyager? They risk an awful lot of damage to get a small number of organs. Predators don't attack the most ferocious prey, they attack the sick, slow, old and weak. Perhaps the Vidiians would make good allies with the Kazon. They could aid the Kazon in their raids; the Kazon gets the equipment while the Vidiians get the organs of the people on the raided ships.
Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 1:32am (UTC -5)
Funny episode, but a little disturbing if you take it seriously. Because there's a universe where Harry Kim is dead and no one even mourned his death, because his duplicate stepped in to replace him. Since the show plays it off as an upbeat moment it kind of creeps me out. Yeah, I'm going to try to pretend that didn't happen.
Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 8:08am (UTC -5)
@Andrew - Sort of? Who mourned for the other crew that died? Why is Harry special?

They all got duplicated. In the SAME universe. Harry died exactly the same as literally everyone else. Everyone got split in two and EVERYONE had 1 duplicate die.

Considering there are theories that the transporter is doing this (killing you and beaming a duplicate somewhere else) the only thing that was really "lost" is Harry's memories between the split and the death. So like 10 minutes tops.

What WOULD have been interesting is to revisit this (briefly) in Basics when Naomi is sick. I always felt Samantha should have had PTSD from losing her baby the first time.

Yes, technically the Naomi she has is the same one she carried inside her for (what is it, like 15 months?) but she still watched one of the Naomi's die after childbirth. Would screw with anyone.
Fri, Aug 22, 2014, 10:11am (UTC -5)
Definitely an enjoyable hardware show with an interesting take on one of many quantum theories. Very nice pacing with a few well-realized "omg" moments thrown in for good measure.

This is one of those times, though, that makes me wonder if the repair teams are manned by miracle workers. My hunch is that the newer Starfleet vessels, like the Intrepid class, are built to be more self-sustainable. Still, the damage here seems to be quite extreme.

Neither here nor there, this is an impressive episode on a technical level and everything else is above average to good with only a few quibbles. I'd rather have Tribbles than quibbles, but, as a famous philosopher once said: "You can't always get what you want."

3 stars.
Mon, Sep 1, 2014, 7:42pm (UTC -5)
"Without transport technology, attempting to force a boarding action would be disastrous but since the script demands this 'action' occur we have to believe that the crew of Voyager is incompetent."

I wonder why no one thought of "Computer: Have the transporter lock onto all Vidiian lifesigns and beam them into space" (or back to their ship, or to the brig, or hold them in the buffer for 75 years like Scotty).
Wed, Dec 31, 2014, 10:06pm (UTC -5)
I know complaining that Voyager is not a serial, continuity-heavy show like DS9 is quite popular here. Personally, I don't mind at all that Voyager is mostly episodic. So was TNG, and that's the show that defines Trek for me. If the Powers That Be want to make a sequel to TNG, that's perfectly fine.

Yet TNG was, in fact, subtly a serial show while being mostly episodic. One of the smartest things they ever did was put Family where it was. While having Picard deal with the fallout from being assimilated was a large part of that episode, most of it could have been placed anywhere in the series without a problem. But by having a quiet episode like this, where the Enterprise isn't doing anything and it's just the crew taking some personal time, made the impact of BoBW seem more real. Of course it was a reset button at the end of BoBW: Picard came back, Riker went back to being the XO, Shelby disappeared, and the Enterprise was ready for new adventures. But with Family, we saw that it took time for the Enterprise to be ready. It gave us time for the reality of BoBW to sink in.

Why do I bring that up? To show that there is a possible middle ground between The Reset Button and having a grim, dark show where Voyager is constantly falling apart and dealing with the repurcussions of getting a beating like in this episode. It seems obvious TPTB did not want the latter problems to happen, and so resorted to the reset button.

And yet, everything was perfectly teed up for them here! The next episode (Investigations) takes place mostly on a planet after the monthly Shuttle Crash Event, and the rest involves Janeway talking to the xenophobic alien race of the week. It would have taken 10 minutes to retool this episode to be the "breather" episode after Deadlock. Just have a captain's log that they are grateful for being the guests of these non-xenophobic aliens who are assisting them in repairs, and that a few shuttles were dispatched to search for specific supplies. Keep a couple damaged sets around for one more week of shooting. Voila! No reset button, and no need to constrain future episodes either. Yeah, it would be cheesy if used every time, but it would allow the emotional impact of an episode like this to linger a bit.

And I spent so much time writing all that because it is important, because the emotional impact was huge in this episode. This is really the first episode that makes it clear how dangerous their trip really is. Sure, they're in mortal danger all the time, but usually that means Shaky-Cams and Harry shouting "Shields down to 20%!" Here, we see the crew beaten down, exhausted, and at their wits end for the first time since Caretaker. We see real consequences with the death of Harry and the baby (reversed, yes, but pretty shocking to see). Two scenes stand out: Tuvok's laundry list of damage to the dejected crew members, and the frantic scene in sickbay with the Doctor performing triage while Kes desperately tries to keep the baby alive. Likewise, Janeway's iron will determination to keep from falling to despair and keeping her cool was a great character defining moment for her.

And then to switch from that to the clean Voyager was jarring enough to make the clean Voyager seem alien, despite the fact that this is what we are used to seeing. It took a while to accept that this, too, was the real Voyager, because of the emotional attachment with what happened on the other ship. To have the reason for one ship getting so damaged be the other ship accidentally doing it was a nice touch too.

The Powers That Be seem intent on making Voyager entertaining first and logical/philosophical/anything else second. This episode shows that, sometimes, that works. The science or whatever was ridiculous, of course, and nothing stands up to any sort of scrutiny. Par for the course for Voyager. But for this episode, I was too engrossed in what was going on to care. Many episodes of Voyager so far have been, to put it mildly, boring. Perhaps interesting enough to see once, but instantly forgettable afterwards. This one, at least, made me sit up and take notice. It was exciting and novel and well directed and downright intense. So for one brief moment, I'm going to ignore the plot silliness and ignore the reset button and ignore the lack of meatiness and just enjoy what was a very enjoyable hour of television.

Also, as a random comment, I distinctly remember the preview for this episode back when it first aired. The narration included some line like "you will never believe the shocking ending!" So, of course, I saw the ending coming as soon as it became clear there were two ships. Stupid preview...
Fri, Aug 7, 2015, 1:45pm (UTC -5)
OK, my cut on the "Voyager is perfect" next episode, blah, blah... the next episode isn't the next day folks. The number of episodes don't add up to the number of days they spent in the DQ. We have MONTHS between episodes. I'm sure the same folks that continually complain about Voyager's condition, completely ignored the condition of DS9 at the end of 'Emissary' followed by a pristine DS9 the very next episode or when a complete upper pylon gets completely blown off and magically appears the very next episode. This is the 24th century folks. Everything on the ship can be replicated except dilithium and the gel packs (I think). Could they have shown some fix-it up shots or mentioned it more? Sure, but it's no big deal.

I like the "Amoeba" analogy K'Elvis, and Robert correctly points out why the "mourning" of dead Harry isn't that big a deal. Everyone of them was duplicated and moreover, Janeway, more than anyone else, had to come to grips with that because she ordered the death of everyone to save one crew. It's kind of like Tuvix, he's not really just one guy.

Skeptical, I'm with you on previews etc. DS9's 'Duet' identified the actor Harris Yulin as Marritza at the beginning of the episode!! If one paid attention, how much of an episode killer is that!!

I too like the episodic nature of Voyager. We don't need long drawn out story arcs. It was fine in TOS and TNG, it's fine here. As much as we trumpet that DS9 was not TNG, this isn't DS9 either.

It's too bad that the birth of Naomi couldn't have the emotional impact like when President Roslin changed the number of humans on the vap board at the end of BSG's '33'.

I'm not saying that I want my Star Trek to be BSG (far from it), but Voyager might have missed an opportunity here. They had already mentioned a generational ship earlier. I got all choked up Roslin's aid told her that there was a birth on the Rising Star (very powerful).

This was very good action packed emotional ride.

3.5 star from me.
Fri, Aug 7, 2015, 3:07pm (UTC -5)
@Yanks - While I agree with you that battle damage doesn't need to be permanent Bajor is likely riddled with a billion spare Cardassian parts and the Enterprise itself could have left a spare maintenance team to help O'Brien out.... Voyager has jack compared to that. I guess they could replicate more parts, but they don't even have enough replicator power to make Janeway coffee on a consistent basis.

See the problem? It's not the lack of battle damage, it's the lack of DIRECTION. The writer's cannot decide if they want the show to be "Survivor in Space" or "TNG the Next Generation". They eventually settle on the latter (a mistake IMHO) but at this particular point in the series the frustration is not WHICH direction they selected, but their incessant yo-yoing.

The episode could be months later? Sure, I'll grant that. But if they are still having problems replicating COFFEE there should still be battle damage. Especially since they spend all of their coffee power replicating the shuttles that Chakotay keeps crashing. %^&$ing Chuckles....

Rant aside... I liked this episode and pretty much agree with your rating (though I might go with a 3)
Fri, Aug 7, 2015, 3:09pm (UTC -5)
As an amendment to my previous rant, the episodes probably can't be too far later since they are stardate tagged and we know when Seska gives birth. Although honestly at this point I'm more frustrated that we're still in Kazon space... which seems to be larger than the Federation.
Fri, Aug 7, 2015, 4:37pm (UTC -5)
Yeah, I get it Robert, but it just doesn't bother me. ... and I promise you there were no extra upper pylons on Bajor :-)

I don't think it's yo-yoing, They intially had trouble and worked through it. Janeway said "enough! I need my Joe!" :-)

They should have captured part of that Amoeba to make extra shuttles and gel packs! :-)
Fri, Aug 7, 2015, 6:43pm (UTC -5)

I certainly agree that the episode teasers were too revealing but I don't think your example qualifies as a spoiler. If someone were watching for the first time and noticed the character's name was Marritza in the opening credits it would only reinforce the Cardassian prisoner's assertion in the first two acts of the story that he is, in fact, a filing clerk named Marritza. Only in the second half of the episode does he openly masquerade as Gul Darheel until his breakdown at the end of the show. Now if this were TNG's "The Defector" and James Sloyan were identified as "Admiral Jarok" at the top of the show then I'd agree with you...

Still it would have been simpler all around to just list the actor without specifying the character's name.
45 RPM
Mon, Dec 7, 2015, 3:09am (UTC -5)
An excellent S2 outing. We get an anomaly that doesn't completely strain scientific credibility. We certainly don't have to stretch that credibility as thin as the usual technobabble we are accustomed to on ST.

The theory behind that quantum mechanics discourse that Janeway mentioned to explain both the ships' situation was somewhat sound. Enough to where I didn't dig too deep into the quantum mechanics books myself for specific answers.

As for the the anomaly that caused it I suppose you could call the writing either ingenius or BS, depending on how you feel about cloud anomalies I guess. Cloud anomalies I believe have happened on all the ST incarnations. Not sure about DS9 since I haven't watched the series yet. I don't know how this particular one caused a replication on the atomic level but in all fairness there wasn't a whole lot of time to study it in detail.

Which leads us to the Vidiians. In truth they were far more interesting (not to mention scarier) than the Ka-zon. The Ka-zon stuggled with just basic things like acquiring water. The Vidiians didn't have any issues with that. It was the phage disease that consumed their days as much as their bodies. It's what made them deadly. And scary. In this ep they were as cold and efficient as any borg. In their case their very survival depended on it.

Yet we also known the Vidiians were more than just that, though. I keep remembering the kind, gentle Denara Pel. And she was very much humane. So in some ways it seemed like the Vidiians could not blame the phage completely on their heartless ways. Practicality and survival are paramount, yes, but we know the Vidiians were not just a totally reactionary species like, say, the Klingons and the Ka-zon. Denara and the first Vidiian we met in S1's Phage were clearly not the generic monsters-of-the-week.

So seeing the Vidiians in this taking organs as they needed puts them in a different light. It was horrific, yet we knew it wasn't about harvesting for some sick black market. They weren't the cardboard cutouts the Ka-zon were. Their very survival depended on it. I wish we had seen more stories with them. The episodes are most fascinating to watch.

I still fail to understand why they didn't just take B'elanna and do exactly what was done in S1's Faces. That would have been the end of the phage right then and there. It's like the writers completely forgot about that when they wrote S5's Think Tank. Either way it was sloppy and lazy the way it was handled. Especially after all these episodes where we witnessed the Vidiians' struggle. This episode alone also showcased the levels of cold efficiency they were capable of in their harvesting. All to stay ahead of the phage.

I agree with Tuvok in the end when he and Janeway were discussing the paradox both Janeways were facing. Can you imagine trying to convince yourself of an outlook you both know will avail none but still trying to preserve the other? That kind of paradox I sure wouldn't want to deal with. Could most people? Trying to outmaneuver yourself? Whilst being both the doubter and the doubtee? Maybe this is one of those rare moments where I am thankful for lack of spatial as well as temporal anomalies.

I give this one a 3.5 to 4 star rating. Thought about knocking that star off when Janeway offered to send cant-get-a-lock kim over to the other ship. But I guess someone had to carry little Naomi.
Tue, Dec 22, 2015, 5:11pm (UTC -5)
I loved this episode and its a lot of fun, but as others have said there's a lot of head scratching with it.

Why is the rift on Deck 15 of all places? What's down there that could cause that?

Why is the damaged Voyager invisible to the Viidians here, but in future episodes it fully visible from the outside as normal?

Why does Janeway argue with herself? She should know what she'd say so there really shouldn't be any need for an conversation at all.

Tuvok again proves just how shite Starfleet security is and how people can betray the ship and not be caught, steal stuff and take shuttles without anyone noticing. He takes one goldshirt with him to fight off over 300 Viidians!? And he looks the wrong way coming out of lift even though he knows where they'd be coming from! And phaser rifles anyone?

How did the Doctor manage to hide from the Viidians in sickbay? Ok he wouldn't have any lifesigns to detect but Naomi would. And other than the morgue compartments, there's not really anywhere in sickbay he could go where he wouldn't be visible from different parts of the room.

The Viidians clearly detect that Voyager has been split/duplicated (their scans show it and they even talk about it) yet, having over run the undamaged Voyager, none of them discover the rift? And shouldn't the duplication have reminded them of Sulan's work in duplicating organ donors so they don't need to go round harvesting?

Why does it take six weeks to repair the Enterprise-D's moderate damage in a fully equipped drydock, but the ruined Voyager is repaired in apparently less time just by the battered and injured crew while in flight with no outside support? I don't buy the "months between episodes" bit as as soon as Kim and Janeway leave sickbay at the end, the corridor is brightly lit and the crew working there seem to be finishing off already not conducting major structural repairs.

Why do proton bursts affect the other Voyager, but nothing else?

How can Kim and Naomi pass through the rift at the end without wearing magic armbands and not pass out on the other side as Kes did?

Why can Janeway initiate the self destruct by herself, when every other captain needs another officer to do it? Is it due to the "real" first officer, Cavit, being dead and Janeway not wanting to give that authorization to former Maquis Chakotay as unlikely as it would seem (she wanted the crews to work together and not not trusting Chakotay would be counter to that, although from what we see in "Worst Case Scenario", maybe Tuvok advised her against it? But then, Tuvok as next highest ranking officer should assume that duty.

Shame Kim didn't stay dead, then they could have replaced him with someone interesting. Like a stuffed toy. Or Hogan, then when Neelix gets him killed on Hanon IV, they'd still have another and he could carry on arguing with Janeway as the only Maquis left with any balls...

Regarding using the transporter during deliveries; the Doctor said something about the transport causing something or other. That may be why although he didn't seem too concerned until all the power started going off. Why transporting a baby would be more dangerous that transporting anyone else I don't get, its not like a featus is in "genetic flux" or whatever that would mess up a signal lock.
Sat, Jan 2, 2016, 12:03am (UTC -5)
An attempt to emulate "Yesterday's Enterprise" that really works, it even works almost as well as the original episode.
Diamond Dave
Wed, Jan 13, 2016, 2:44pm (UTC -5)
An actioner that proves to be more than big dumb fun and actually offers a remarkably dark outlook - it's not every Trek that offers a dead baby, a key character ejected into space, and the crew killed and having their organs harvested.

Of course we get a reset button, but at least this time it's genuinely inventive - as others have noted, the fact that it's the damaged Voyager that survives comes right out of left field and cleverly subverts our expectations. There's a hell of a lot to like in here. 3.5 stars.
Sun, Mar 20, 2016, 12:16am (UTC -5)
I *really* liked this episode.

The "splitting" plots, for some reasons always affect me very deeply. I find them highly disturbing and unsettlong (and I love being disturbed and unsettled), thought provoking and intense. I won't attempt to explain why I love this particular plot element so much, I don't even think I can. Episodes like DS9's "Whispers" (my favorite DS9 episode) and Miles' fate in "Visionary", TNG's "Second Chances", Farscape's "Eat Me" (the scene where chiana watched herself die was particularly intense for me), etc.

I also find the Vidiians ruthlessness and tactics extremely disturbing. They are fast becoming one of my favorite sci fi species of all time. I hope they don't get nerfed like the Borg, Jem'Hadar, and so many other species in the Trek universe.

So these two things combined - duplication plots and Vidiians - make this my favorite episode yet. I didn't mind the technobabble or plot holes or continuity problems, none of that is what this episode is really about. I found the problems easy to overlook.

So yeah, this one gets 3.5 stars from me (4, minus a half just to spite braga).

On the other hand I wonder if this was really just part of Tuvok and Janeways plan to catch Jonas. I'm sure they intentionally went into the plasma cloud knowing they would be duplicated. Of course, the entire crew was in on it except Chakotay (to make it feel authentic).
Sun, Mar 20, 2016, 12:32am (UTC -5)
Oh I guess there was one thing that I think this episode could've done better (in all fairness I should mention it instead of just vomiting praise a over this comment page). I think it could have had certain characters be a bit more affected by what they experienced. In particular:

- Wildman saw her baby die.
- Torres watched Harry slip from her fingertips and die.
- Harry watched pretty much the entire crew have their organs snatched.
- Janeway empathized with her other self facing death by self destruction.
- Kes visited the other ship and at least had direct personal contact with an entire crew that died minutes later.

But the only one who seemed even mildly traumatized by all this was Harry, and he was still rather chipper about it.
Tue, Jun 14, 2016, 5:06am (UTC -5)
This was a very good episode.

Mulgrew did a very good job. Especially the scene where she meets her counterpart was nice as well as where she tells harry to get a move on. When Janeway says "enable" for the self destruct you can feel the emotions behind that. It really conveys that its not a light decision and that shes sacrificing ship and crew and that shes angry for not getting the crew back to Earth.

Thu, Aug 4, 2016, 12:34pm (UTC -5)
This episode only gets 2 stars from me. The episode is one endless crisis that is riddled in technobabble after a while it gets tedious. The story never settles down long enough for us to really understand what is going on or what the characters are going through.

Voyager Fan
Sat, Aug 13, 2016, 4:54pm (UTC -5)
I really like this episode. The only thing I found curious was that the ship at one point is falling apart around her and Janeway is planning to go talk to Ensign Wildman who just lost her baby. I mean, it's a nice thought but what about the ship and the rest of the crew? Wasn't there anything else Janeway could have been doing at that moment that would be more productive for everyone overall? Of course something else happens before she can leave the bridge but I thought that scene was still a little odd.

A very entertaining episode overall however.
George Monet
Wed, Aug 17, 2016, 8:12pm (UTC -5)
This episode was riddled with huge plot problems.

Such as how blowing up one Voyager instantly solved the problem on the other Voyager and magically popped it back into existence even though blowing up one Voyager would not in any way solve the problem of the shared resources nor pop the other Voyager back into existence. All you are doing in moving some atoms around.

The biggest problem was the fact that all the crew seemed to be half Kryptonians who preferred dying with the ship over heading to the other Voyager and taking all their dilithium and other supplies with them. On the other hand that would mean that two Neelixes existed in the world, and that's just two too many.

Finally we have the whole baby problem. There is absolutely no way that a bipedal species would evolve to have spines on their nose like that, especially if they grow while still in the womb. There is a reason why our noses and the noses of primates are all smooth, because spines that could get stuck on the mother's vagina during birth would cause the death of the mother and baby and thus those genes would not be passed on to later generations. Furthermore, those nose spines fulfill no useful purposes and are in constant danger of being broken or causing further damage to the person who has them in the event they trip or get hit on the nose spines. And why didn't the doctor just perform a Caeserian? He knew right from the getgo that the nose spines usually cause a problem during birth, so he wouldn't have ever opted to try a vaginal birth. Thus this was a problem that could never happen because Naomi would not have nose spines, and even if she did, the Doctor would know how to safely deliver her.
Sat, Aug 20, 2016, 10:51am (UTC -5)
Hmm... when a major character is offed right at the start of the episode it's a dead giveaway that all is not what it seems. Aha there he is, alive and well. Never trust space clouds. Clearly I will like this episode.
Nice! (****)
Some Guy
Tue, Aug 23, 2016, 2:13pm (UTC -5)
Why isn't everyone freaked out that they all just died? Why is Harry so nonchalant at the end of the episode that his own dead body is floating outside the ship? Why isn't the Wildman mother not totally weirded out that someone just handed her an identical copy of the baby that just died in front of her? Why isn't Janeway affected by the fact that her whole crew just died, and ot could have been her "her" crew just as easily.

This episode shows the crew as cold hearted, and indifferent to the suffering and deaths of themselves. It's seriously freaky, yet the crew handles it with a kind of inhuman shrug of the shoulders.
Sun, Sep 11, 2016, 2:00am (UTC -5)
As a viewer, I was stunned that 'our' Voyager crew died. Our Harry, our baby, our entire crew when our Janeway decided to sacrifice our ship to save the other ship. This is a pretty big deal considering how convincingly they conveyed the other crew as real people with real histories. I liked the episode, and I liked that I was left feeling unsettled by the way it was resolved. Though I'd love for it to be brought up again, I fear that it probably won't; at least in my mind I know that the surviving Voyager crew knows what happened and it wasn't a literal reset.

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