Star Trek: Voyager


1.5 stars

Air date: 9/18/1995
Teleplay by Kenneth Biller and Jeri Taylor
Story by Jimmy Diggs & Steve J. Kay
Directed by Winrich Kolbe

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"Who would've thought we'd be considering a generational ship when we were ordered on a three week mission?" — Janeway on the issue of intra-ship procreation

Nutshell: Quite bad. Lots of cliches involving one plot, and completely brain-dead in the other.

The Voyager finds a swarm of large space-dwelling protozoa-type lifeforms whose bizarre properties induce the beginning of Kes' "elogium"—the Ocampa's one-time period of fertility and chance for pregnancy. Light at best, another exercise in mediocrity features a less-than-urgent A-story and a totally predictable, brain-dead B-story. If "Projections" was a climb to the top, "Elogium" is a topple down the stairs.

"Elogium" works its best when it deals with the issue of procreation, which on board the Voyager may be ultimately necessary to finish the journey home. The story peaks in a scene where Janeway and Chakotay discuss the difficulties and possible necessity of raising another generation on the ship. But just like "The 37's," this is an issue that we should have seen in the first season. Now, more than ever, UPN's decision to hold Voyager's last four first-season episodes in order to jump-start the second season seems like a big mistake.

Aside from this one scene of relevancy, there's nothing really compelling about "Elogium." Most of the episode deals with Kes and Neelix's dilemma of whether or not to proceed with having a child. Some of this makes sense, but there are some real problems with how the episode pursues the issue. You see, the elogium only happens once in an Ocampa's lifetime, so if Kes does not conceive within 50 hours, she will never have a chance to have a child again.

For starters, this is totally illogical. If only Ocampa women can have children, and if they can only have one child in their lifetime, and we assume that approximately half the Ocampa population is women and half is men, what does this mean to their procreation process? It means their population would decrease by half with every generation, assuming that every female Ocampa had a child in their lifetime. Does this strike only me as a writer's blunder?

Secondly, this whole idea of Kes having to make the decision right now just forces the pressure onto Neelix, who must decide whether or not he's ready to be a father. This makes for some shamefully manipulative drama, which I don't really care for. Neelix's reaction of "I'm not sure I'm ready for this" is a bit of a cliche. Saving some grace is a scene between Tuvok and Neelix about parenting, which manages to offer further depth into Tuvok's character (but, surprisingly, does very little for Neelix's character). Also on the positive side are some weirdly humorous mating rituals Kes must undergo in her conception process, though the joke begins to tire as the episode goes on.

Meanwhile, we're given a witless and hokey B-story where the "protozoa" become sexually attracted to the Voyager because they think it's their mate. This is another obvious Misunderstood Lifeform Plot, but also proves to be an Idiot Plot which takes the Voyager crew way too long to figure out. I knew the answer almost immediately, but it takes until another big, jealous "protozoa" (who wants the mates Voyager is attracting) begins beating the hell out of the ship before Chakotay and Janeway can put two and two together.

And after the Voyager repels the lifeforms and their bizarre properties stop affecting the ship, Kes' prematurely-induced elogium goes away. Conveniently, this elogium doesn't count for some reason the Doctor explains, meaning that someday when Kes and Neelix are ready, they may still have a child together. This cheat ending basically voids everything the episode does. It's a complete cop-out with no real consequences. Since neither Kes nor Neelix has to face up to their decision, the episode is just another example of the Reset Button Plot—meaning the episode has so little effect that it's as if someone pressed the reset button at the end of the show. That's weak drama. Not good at all.

That's about all for "Elogium." It has a few isolated good moments and some decent work by the actors. Other than that, it's just a pointless exercise that doesn't do a very good job of saying what's on its mind.

Previous episode: Projections
Next episode: Non Sequitur

◄ Season Index

46 comments on this review

Tue, Jun 10, 2008, 11:32pm (UTC -6)
Maybe Ocampa women normally have twins, triplets, or more?
Tue, Sep 16, 2008, 4:23pm (UTC -6)
While this isn't a particularly good episode, I really disagree with you about the 1st vs. 2nd season thing. The 37's HAS to be a 2nd (or later) season story - there is no way anyone would consider leaving Voyager after only a few weeks. It's only after the reality really starts to set in where this would be an issue - the grind of living on a little ship for so long would eventually make people question their choices. Same thing with this episode. People would likely think about partnering up right away, but they wouldn't start thinking about children until much later.

And yes, it's a reset button. But why is it more of a reset button than Projections, to which you gave 4 stars? What changes permanently about anyone in 'the best episode yet' when a) only the Dr. is experiencing the story, and b) it's not real anyway?
Thu, Oct 15, 2009, 9:21am (UTC -6)
I think had it aired in the first season (as is very well should have) you would have given it an extra half-star. These four episodes are so much more relevant when viewed as the last four episodes of the first season. Especially "The 37s" which was the best way to end the first season.
Sun, Jul 25, 2010, 8:55pm (UTC -6)
Besides that - we're to believe that Samantha Wildman didn't know she was pregnant until being in the Delta Quadrant for months? Of course this should be in the first season.
Mon, Dec 6, 2010, 3:51pm (UTC -6)
Ugh! Nuts to Voyager, nuts to Kes and her stupid "'erbs", nuts to the cliches, nuts to this entire stinking mass of putrifaction they call a show! I swear, if I hear one more person say the word "'erbs", I will go ballistic!
Fri, Feb 4, 2011, 4:16pm (UTC -6)
This episode is really bad.

I like Kes, sort of, but in this episode the acting is just awful.

The rituals are really bad too. A foot massage to do something with the tongue? Really? And it has to be a parental figure? Just how crazy is this?

The whole plot is just awful - both stories. Why do they produce episodes like this?
Wed, Feb 16, 2011, 11:37am (UTC -6)
Quick math: in order to sustain the species when there's only one shot at reproducing, either both sexes would have to be able to carry children or the women would have to have a minimum of triplets every single time. They'd need twins every single time just to keep the population stable. Let's hope they never have a war or plague. Also, if she's only got a 2 day window to conceive, do Ocampans drop what they're doing and jump in the nearest bed whenever their palms get sweaty? And rubbing feet to make the tongue swell and being bonded by goo for several days? If there is a God he must really hate the Ocampans.
Mon, Apr 11, 2011, 5:11pm (UTC -6)
@Mike I completely agree about the timing. No one would think about leaving Voyager mere weeks into being stuck in te Delta Quadrant. I think it would take at least four or five months for reality to sink in, and probably closer to a year before anyone would think about just staying in the Delta Quadrant.

Anyway, this episode sucked. Everything about it is ridiculous. In fact, I can't think of anything positive to say about it. I've never wanted to punch Neelix in the face more than this episode. Also, someone should really talk to Chakotay about removing that stick from his arse. He might as well have renamed himself "commander cockblock" in this one. It's hard to believe he could ever be a Maquis "rebel".

I'll give it a half star, strictly because *sadly* I know the show can and will do worse later in the season.
Sun, Aug 14, 2011, 7:57am (UTC -6)
This episode also completely ignores the possibility that Neelix' and Kes' freaky Ocampalaxian baby will inherit at least part of the Ocampa's brief shelf-life and that it's likely Neelix will live to bury not only the woman he loves but his own child as well. Wonderful.

At least he can now describe in great detail to Lt.Paris the Ocampa mating ritual and allay his jealousy a bit. I'm fairly sure Tom wants none of that action.

Thu, Oct 27, 2011, 12:54am (UTC -6)
I can't say much in this episode's defense, particularly as it features Neelix at his most annoying. However, I was struck by the lengths to which Janeway went, including the endangerment of her ship and crew, to preserve an alien species that could have killed them. It's a noble message that recurs frequently in Trek episodes, and it reminds me why even the sub-par outings have some merit.
Fri, Feb 24, 2012, 4:36pm (UTC -6)
Janeway didn't want to harm the creature, putting in danger the ship and its crew...wth??? I guess Torres and Tuvok were the only logical people at the bridge at this time.

Kes' feet were cute (lucky Doctor giving them a massage) but this ritual was lame. Well, everything in this episode was lame, except maybe the final act between Janeway and Ensign Wildman.

Sometimes Voyager sucks big time, but still it's my favourite SCI-FI series.
Wed, Jul 25, 2012, 11:00am (UTC -6)
I totally disagree with Jammer's remarks regarding the timing and agree with Mike and Carbetarian. This is the perfect time to consider such topics - it would have been totally out of place for the crew to consider having children on board just after they flew into the Delta quadrant. It's not something you start thinking about from one day to the next.
Kes and Neelix are as gross as ever, at least Neelix is. Kes is so graceful and composed (except for this episode), whereas he looks and behaves in a very annoying way. What are we to think about their relationship - she is in human terms underaged, is still growing - are they supposed to have consumed their relationship before this at all? Neelix is a pedophile then.
So many mating subplots - too much of this for one episode. I was so relieved when they didn't have a child after all.
And, yes, Jammer did rightly notice the impossibility of the mating with the Ocampa. Kes keeps refering to "a child" all the time, and if the Ocampa are supposed to have triplets it would have been mentioned, as this is one of significant cons to having children on board a starship.
Mon, Dec 17, 2012, 12:22pm (UTC -6)
These episodes were intended (by the writers, I mean) to air at the END of the first season. At which point the crew would have been in the Delta Quadrant for 6-8 months, more than enough time to have the reality sink in and start thinking about issues like procreation.

Perhaps the Ocampa always have triplets. But repeatedly during the episode Kes talks about "having A child" (she even argues with Neelix about the gender of that child), it never seems to occur to her that she might have more than one.
Tue, Dec 18, 2012, 2:09am (UTC -6)
Up until now, I didn't have the "hate" of Neelix that many commenters seemed to have. He was annoying at times, but he also had good and useful moments.

But I wonder if the writers wanted the viewers to dislike Neelix. His character is so over the top on so many levels, the writers gave him every wrong cliché there is: his outbursts of jealousy, his condescension or patronizing towards Kes, his belief that he's the most useful and underused on the ship or that the captain must be at his service each time he's got a complaint (he should have been included in Tuvok's boot camp :p), his less than subtle kind of racism with his "Mr. Vulcan", etc etc. Well... What I mean is I really don't understand where the writers were going with his character.

As for Kes, I really like her but I think it would have been wiser to make her a close friend of Neelix rather than her lover: this couple is creepy because of Kes's age, apparently still considered a child (as said in this episode, females enter adulthood when it's time to conceive). Plus, there are a lot of inconsistencies about her race. In addition to the babies problem, she's not even two but has the wisdom of an experienced 30 years old human. It's just too unbelievable.
Lt. Yarko
Tue, Jun 11, 2013, 1:03am (UTC -6)
This is one of the episodes that made me really annoyed with the whole Neelix/Kes thing and wished they had just stayed back in their own little universes. Kes may be "underaged," but Nelix acts like a spoiled teenager anyway. Not a great episode.
Fri, Oct 11, 2013, 4:47pm (UTC -6)
I wasn't really impressed in any way by this episode, but regarding the fecundity of the Ocampas:

Maybe 75-80 % of the children born by an Ocampan female are female offspring?

What I'm saying is that it IS possible to keep a sustainable population even if the females only bear children once.

It's an unstable aquation, sure - but it's possible. We don't know how olsd the species is, how high the infant mortality rate is and so forth ... but we can't rule out the possibility that it COULD actually be a viable species given the information we have.

Just saying.
Fri, Oct 18, 2013, 9:14am (UTC -6)
Please just forget what I wrote in the previous post - of course 75-80 % of the offspring being female wouldn't make the species viable for log-term survival (my brain wasn't working properly when I wrote that).

It WOULD be possible if Ocampa mothers had many children at once the one time they gave birth - but in this episode Kes keeps talking about having "a child", not several children, so ...
Mon, Dec 2, 2013, 5:28am (UTC -6)
I can't remember the name of the episode, but in a later episode Kes suggests her father's name to Ensign WIldman for her child. The doctor gets offended that she never suggested that name to him and she starts rattling off other names - including that of her uncle. So obviously Ocampa women can have more than one child in their life. (Whether it's due to separate pregnancies or occasional multiple births, I don't know).

This episode kind of grosses me out, I don't want to hear the details of all her bodily processes. There sure isn't anything sexy about Ocampa mating, she's a sweaty mess the whole time! (I'm a women with three kids, and I'm pretty sure no one wants to hear all the details of my bodily changes during puberty or pregnancy). As someone else also mentioned, theres also no discussion about whether she and Neelix are even physically able to have a child or if there would be interspecies complications. Very irritating episode altogether.
Mon, Feb 24, 2014, 7:09pm (UTC -6)
Not Spock's Brain level bad, but almost....
Thu, Feb 27, 2014, 8:06am (UTC -6)
I agree that the end was a reset button, Kes decides to pass up her once in a lifetime opportunity to have a child, but it turns out it really wasn't a once in a lifetime chance after all. The Ocampa would have to have litters if they can only reproduce once. Squid reproduce once and die, and they lay thousands of eggs. There wouldn't need to be that many Ocampa, perhaps up to a dozen. In any case, having only one child is not an option: extinction would result in just a few generations. But the children would grow up quickly. One thing about the Ocampa is that they seem so sedate for a people who live such short lives. I would think they would be rather hyperactive, the clock is ticking the moment they are born.
Sat, Mar 8, 2014, 7:20am (UTC -6)
I was 14 when this aired. It was icky, brainless, and awkward then and still is now. One scene was memorable when I realized Janeway doesn't have a star fleet stick up her butt that I mistook her for in the first two eps. (I missed a lot of episodes when show started) She can be warm and surprisingly maternal. (A little two maternal in late seasons ) but...that s me analyzing everything.
Sat, Mar 8, 2014, 7:30am (UTC -6)
Arghgh. "too" I would love an edit button. Trying to figure out why my tablet keeps garbling my words. I am hitting the keys but maybe it's so quick it isn't registering and I get missing commas and strange auto corrects. I need a real keyboard. I bet Janeway doesn't have to backspace constantly on her PADD.

One more thing about this episode, I don't buy genetic compatibility between Neelix and Kes. Just because every alien they encounter is humanoid doesn't determine compatible mate. This bugs me. I would have preferred the stress of her freaking out then coming to terms then the relief as the bugs moved on, without the B plot of the gross idea of neelix getting laid.

I do buy him as a father when he has character growth in the last seasons but now? eww no.
Tue, Aug 19, 2014, 9:26pm (UTC -6)
Pros involve a few really good character moments and effective dialogue. Cons include everything else. The issue of childbirth with the crews situation is admirable. The execution of the idea is atrocious. And unless the Ocampa have twins, triplets, or the occasional litter - the one chance at conception in nine years or so is evolutionary implausible.

A few good moments is all this episode has.

1.5 stars.
Mon, Jul 13, 2015, 7:28pm (UTC -6)
While I agree that "The 37's" could have been a more impactful episode later in Voyager's run, I don't have a problem with the writers bringing up procreation here.

But other than that, I'm pretty much in lock step with Jammer here. I did think Jennifier's performance in this one was pretty good. She really doesn't get under my skin until later in the series.

While I applaud trying to come up with a new race that is very different than the "human" mold, I just shake my head at the lack of thought put into the Ocampa. eeesh....

1.5 stars is about right.
Sun, Dec 20, 2015, 1:57pm (UTC -6)
Yeh the Ocampa are a terrible species on every level. Barring any genetic manipulation by the Caretaker, there's no way they could survive. They live only 9 years, have this long stupid process of conceiving a child, can have said child only once and as we see in "Before and After" Kes does indeed only have one baby (although that is with a human, not a Talaxian or a fellow Ocampa so we don't if she would have had multiple babes otherwise), but to add to the stupid she gives birth through her back, so if she was alone the baby would have dropped 5 feet to the floor! The Ocampa are a mess and its incredible they could have evolved, much less survived that way.

And Neelix, as always, was an arse.
Diamond Dave
Sat, Jan 9, 2016, 11:38am (UTC -6)
A bit of a clunker on all levels. A veritable grab bag of procreation and parenting ideas thrown together in an attempt to produce a coherent whole, with a nice dash of Neelix at his most irritating to boot. Interesting also to compare with the proceeding episode, it's clear that Kes' character isn't strong enough to carry a story yet.

And it is a big irritant, after making out the magnitude of Kes' decision, to hit the reset button and make it all go away. Feels like a cheap shot. 1.5 stars.
Jason R.
Wed, Jan 13, 2016, 12:09pm (UTC -6)
The idea of Kes and Neelix being romantically involved was always a clunker of an idea. You watched the show and every time it was mentioned (fortunately not too often) you just shuddered at the thought. To say that those two lacked chemistry is the understatement of the century. It's almost like the writers realized after the first episode how ludicrous the proposition of Neelix and Kes was, but had written themselves into a corner and were unable to just Retconn it out of existence.

One of the high points of the series is in the episode Warlord where Kes basically dumps Neelix (albeit while under the thrall of an alien being). It's the one moment in their entire relationship I actually swallowed.
Mon, Mar 14, 2016, 8:40pm (UTC -6)
So... "sexually attracted to our subspace emissions" might top "get the cheese to sickbay".

We have people making out on turbolifts, Kes turning into a horny crack-elf with sticky hands (while Neelix debates, shall we say, releasing power from his impulse capacitance cells straight into her under-age driver coils), a bunch of space worms have a crush on the ship, and... I can't even continue because the last 8 minutes just turned into one hilarious innuendo for me (I just about lost it when Janeway emphatically declared "*we* ram *him*" - all hands brace for impact indeed). I think there was supposed to be a lesson about parenting in here somewhere.

I also seem recall some sort of weird sexual tension between Janeway and Chakotay just after Kim ... vented plasma residue all over space, or something, but I can't be sure, it was all a haze at that point.

Wtf did I just watch?
Mon, Mar 14, 2016, 8:57pm (UTC -6)
@Jammer By the way, fwiw I actually didn't see the mating thing coming. I was actually pretty convinced that the space worms were going to try and *eat* Voyager (there was all that talk about eating at the beginning), and that they had the ability to pull it objects in with magnetic fields to help them consume space junk or something. I thought the big one was the mother and that she was either going to hell the little ones have snack time with the Voyager or scold them for trying to eat a space ship.
Mon, Mar 14, 2016, 9:14pm (UTC -6)
I award you today's Robert Award for "Review that is more entertaining than the episode". Congrats!
Wed, Mar 16, 2016, 8:37am (UTC -6)
@ JC....

Thank you for that!!! Funny stuff right there. :-)
Wed, May 18, 2016, 5:55am (UTC -6)
in the episode directly before, the doctor says voyager has been in the delta quadrant for 6 months. let's assume wildman fell pregnant on the very last night before leaving DS9. are the writers seriously asking us to believe a human female would be unable to notice a pregnancy for 6 months? granted, it happens, but with all that technology? come on...
Sat, May 21, 2016, 3:04pm (UTC -6)
Did anyone else hate the scene where Kes gets brought out of her quarters on Neelixs' back while devouring flowers. The writers evidently tried to achieve a comedic shot but I found it embarrasing to say the least.
david g
Mon, May 23, 2016, 1:08pm (UTC -6)
Jennifer Lien's acting in this was embarrassing at times.
david g
Mon, May 23, 2016, 1:14pm (UTC -6)
Although it's sad she's having such problems in her personal life. Hope she gets help and gets better soon.
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 3:17am (UTC -6)
Just a note for everyone saying the Ocampans would die out if they couldn't have multiple children - you are of course correct. They never talk about twins or triplets.

But, another way to solve this problem, is that Ocampans could potentially have serial pregnancies. That is, after the first child is born, they may have another period of fertility, allowing conception of a second child, etc. But once they miss the first conception period, that's it forever. Such a system would likely ensure that most females would have at least 1 child.

None of this is remotely backed up by the dialog in the episode (I'm typing this as the episode ends), but it's another solution for the "only have one child at a time, only have one "period" of fertility, but species doesn't go extinct" problem.
Just a viewer
Mon, Aug 1, 2016, 11:46am (UTC -6)
I block the entire nonsense of Kes' possible childbirth by reminding myself that Kes is a baby/toddler in Ocampa speak. Basically, she only knows what her parents and/or friends/family have told her. It's possible she *thinks* she can only get pregnant once and have only one child simply because no one sat her down and tell her what's going on exactly. I think it's something her parents would do when she would in fact reach puberty.

About Samantha Wildman's pregnancy, I can only think that Katarians have a very different pregnancies than humans. Otherwise it is a blunter that should have been placed about halfway in the first season (assuming that one season = one year in show timeline of course).

Dunno about anyone else but I found the whole "alien protozoa wanting to mate with the ship" amusing. Sure, it was stupid but it was also fairly different that the generic "enemy of the week wants to kill us" episodes.
Tue, Aug 16, 2016, 6:06pm (UTC -6)
Something about magnetic space sperm and a pregnant alien. No seriously.
I fell asleep and won't be going back there
Peter G.
Mon, Sep 26, 2016, 11:41am (UTC -6)
I was just reading the review of "Bride of Chaotica(!)" and some comments about the UPN trailors gave me a flashback to the original trailor for "Elogium." I distinctly remember seeing the trailor for this the week before it first aired, with the voiceover claiming something to the effect that (in all caps, to reflect how it was said) "VOYAGER ENCOUNTERS THE MOST POWERFUL FORCE IN THE UNIVERSE". I remember seeing this and thinking "Is it the Q? Something else?" I can't say I was necessarily enthused, as I wasn't liking the show particularly, but at any rate I was curious.

When "Elogium" aired my sustained reaction was 45 minutes of "w. t. f." Unlike the promo, my reaction was not in caps but in lower case tedium. Jammer is right to have railed against the promos as much as he has, but in this case it went beyond merely being cheesy or overblown. This one was a flat-out blatant lie, and because of it what should have been a humdrum mediocre hour was instead an hour of serious disappointment. If the morons working for UPN thought they were doing their network a favor by putting one over on the audience then they were even dumber and more dishonest than the promos they were putting out. I wonder in hindsight whether audience members could have successfully filed a class-action suit against UPN for false advertising.
Tue, Nov 8, 2016, 11:10pm (UTC -6)
Hello Everyone!

Boy. Back when this first aired, my best friend and I were discussing it at the bar, and we agreed it was simply horrible. While we enjoyed characters based on their character and development, we also agreed that Kes was a cutie. Until now. They turned her into a sweating, dirt eating, bug eating insanity on wheels. *shudder*. You just cannot unsee that... And then at the end said "Just Kidding!". Ugh.

Short of the later *possible minor spoiler* episode where they warp themselves into de-evolution, this was the crummiest episode of the series. The only, only saving grace was Tuvok talking about his kids. That was it. That Wildman didn't know she was pregnant was impossible for me. Not for six months plus. I don't care what race the father is, completely off the rails for me.

Also, the other plot. They said they had the shields up. Even if something penetrates the shields, there is a blue electrical type discharge with a handy *zapping* sound in an area away from the ship. They showed the larger creature bumping into the ship, and vice-versa, without that. And it kept reminding me of the horrible TNG episode "The Lost", where Troi lost her abilities when trapped by a two-dimensional set of creatures.

It's a shame this episode was made the way it was. I believe they were just trying to come up with a way to talk about having babies on board, and picked the under-utilized Kes as their focal point. They made her having a baby, then not, but had Wildman actually with child (which felt thrown in, as if they knew they'd made a big mistake, and this was the fix).

Half a star at best for me, if only for Tuvok talking about his kids, which was almost touching for me...

I watched it again because it was next, but if I ever watch the series through a third time, nevernevernevernevernever...

Sat, Dec 24, 2016, 11:14pm (UTC -6)
I agree with much of the above. TPTB just plain screwed up with Ensign Wildman. It would have been much simpler and more believable to write it as a dalliance with one of her crewmates that was recently killed offscreen, rather than the 6 mo w/o knowing BS. The Ocampa single pregnancy period is simply shameful to have gotten past so many sets of eyes and ears -story by, produced by, written by, teleplay by, acted by - every single one of them should have caught that very serious illogic, and should share the embarrassment.

One point I do disagree with is the idea of Kes being some kind of immature preteen just because she is less than 2 earth years of age. I think a lot of people seem to forget that the Ocampa are telepathic. They don't need to learn to read or speak to acquire information, particularly when around other Ocampa. I always imagined all the Ocampa pretty much learned everything they needed to learn very quickly from their parents and the other Ocampa just by being with them and sharing their thoughts. Maybe call it "mental osmosis".

I liked Kes and really wish the producers had given the boot to Kim, Neelix, or Chakotay instead. There was definitely room for both Kes and Seven.
Wed, Feb 15, 2017, 12:44am (UTC -6)
Am I the only one who thought this was a fairly well-done episode, with relevant dialog scenes like the ones between Janeway and Chakotay, the scene with Kes and the Doctor rubbing her feet also had decent dialog. And the twist at the end of Wildman being pregnant was good, I thought. And the subplot was at least trying to be relevant. I thought it deserved at least 2.5 to 3 stars. Anyone else agree?
Fri, Mar 10, 2017, 2:12am (UTC -6)
The one (and only) scene I enjoyed was Doctor scolding Neelix and kicking him out of sick bay. He might have done just what many of us wished the producers would do ---> get rid of him.
If I had any doubts that Neelix was the most annoying character in Voyager, this episode confirmed it.. What a miss by the showrunners to cast such a dismal character.
Terrible episode!
William B
Tue, Sep 5, 2017, 10:42am (UTC -6)
What did I watch? Anyway, I don't object in principle to a sex-themed episode, but the goofiness of the tech plot (which ends with the very weird idea of a kind of space harem with thousands of tiny females and one giant male???), the smirking bemusement we see from various characters about sex, and Chakotay's (to me out of character) gruff disapproval of "fraternization" all reflect a kind of immaturity about the subject. Sex can be goofy and funny and heavy so it's not totally bad, but the episode does end up mostly being painful. And then there's the Kes plot. It's again mostly meant to be jokey a lot of the time -- the episode does seem to get into some body horror about pregnancy and childbirth while also playing it for laughs, but it's neither sufficiently scary nor sufficiently funny to see Kes eating mashed potatoes or dirt nor pacing crazily nor having weird pustules on her hand that will apparently keep her and Neelix sealed together for six days. I do appreciate the idea behind it -- the physical realities of sex, pregnancy, fertility, childbirth, and child care actually *can* be gross and weird and funny at times, and it's a topic that is sometimes shied away from in favour of a sanitized What Beauty Of The Universe! take (which is also accurate, just incomplete). Still, I don't think "crazy pregnant ladies eat lots of weird stuff!" is actually that revolutionary, and making her eat dirt instead of cookie dough ice cream doesn't really elevate the episode. (David Lynch's Eraserhead is a great example of how to do body-horror of child care very well.) The episode makes a mistake of making the already kind of disturbing Neelix/Kes relationship worse by having Janeway identify the elogium as puberty (which, fortunately, it's not puberty in every way -- Kes does seem to be an adult -- but imagine thinking it was a good idea to suggest for a second that Kes is pre-pubescent?), and the mechanics of the elogium are totally illogical for series reproduction as indicated above, where it really was pretty strongly implied Kes will have either zero or one children, so that the population will necessarily decrease by *at least* 50% every generation. (At best, we can maybe assume that *some* Ocampa females "know" they will have a larger litter of children, or will go through elogium more than once per lifetime, or something?)

Still, the absolute urgency of "we have to decide now!" and the metaphorical idea that the window between puberty and menopause is far too short -- that you're either too young to be able to take care of a baby or you're too old to have one -- kind of works; it can't be literally true for this species, but I think for a lot of individuals it really does feel like the biological clock window is far too small. The handling of this in practice is still mostly cliches, especially Neelix's "I'd love to have a boy! but what could I do with a girl? no I want a girl!" bit and, well, everything with Neelix (who comes off terribly throughout the episode, from his over-the-top jealousy to his playing the "flesh and blood person over hologram" card *to the captain*) but at least some of Kes' mixed feelings come through all right in the episode proper, in the second half when it stopped being "Kes is acting so crazy!" and started being about her thinking through her desires -- though even then we're mostly not allowed the scene where Kes actually decides (and tells Neelix) that she won't have a child. It's not a wholly wasted episode, even if I wouldn't call it a successful one at all. Of course we could say this gets reset at the episode's end, but besides the prospect of going through the wacky elogium hijinks again in a future season, I don't really mind that we don't have to take *this episode* as the moment where Kes made a life-changing decision; I'd frankly rather just forget the whole thing, and resetting the impact on Kes from "arguable tragedy" to "mild, confused disappointment" really makes the episode less hard to deal with -- just more pointless.

I don't think it's a problem to start talking about having children now -- as people said above, it wouldn't have made sense when they were first stranded in the DQ (since people wouldn't really be thinking about it), but makes sense now as something to *start* thinking about. The ending with Samantha is a bit of a weird development considering how long it's surely been since they've been in the DQ, but whatever, episodes held back from season 1, Ktarian magic baby, etc. etc., whatever. But it is a good reveal and on-theme. Still, doesn't really help the episode overall. 1 star I suppose.
Thu, Sep 21, 2017, 12:52am (UTC -6)
The last episode showed what Voyager could be, and this episode shows what no show should be ever.

I don't even know where to begin tbh. There are so many horrible things in this episode. And I won't even mention all of it, because some of it has been explained by other posters already.

I guess I'll start with the 'coincidences'. Chakotay finds a couple making out, thus discussing reproducing with Janeway. Ok fine. Then Kes starts her reproductive cycle. Then they find out the alien beings are also trying to reproduce, and are in some mating ritual. Then Wildman shows up saying she is pregnant, which is, you know, reproducing. I could buy one of those in a show, or maybe even two, but all four? Come on.

And this is the episode that finally cements Neelix as the worst character in all of Star Trek. He is literally insanely jealous. Jealous of Paris saying 'I'll see you later'! Jealous of a doctor touching Kes's feet! His again insane behaviour in sickbay, when the Doc finally has to kick him out. Then of course the flesh and blood person being banned by a hologram comment to Janeway. And also the fact that he is now obviously a pedo instead of just a suspected one. Dating someone who hasn't even gone through puberty yet. Neelix is a terrible person and a terrible character, and I don't understand why someone so sweet and understanding as Kes would be with him in the first place. Or why anyone would have thought he was likeable in any way.

And wouldn't the doctor be able to figure out if they were genetically compatible enough to have a baby? I would think so, considering some of the medical miracles he's performed so far. But I can overlook that I suppose. Being unknown aliens and all, but it still bugged me a bit.

Chakotay says that the space sperm are moving around at 3000Km per second. That's 6 1/2 million miles an hour!! As if they could even see them. And when they are shown, they are moving around very slowly. Looks more like about 3 miles an hour to me. Also they absorb nutrients from space, because of their 'extremely porous outer covering'. We all know how many nutrients there are in space. Lots of course! And the best shell to have in the vacuum of space is an extremely porous one.

Later they say that Voyager is being pulled into the swarm of space sperm at 6,000Km per second. That's nearly 13 million miles an hour! How far away are they? And then to try and escape the swarm, they set their speed at 200Kph/120mph. lol. They will certainly escape a swarm of creatures that move at 6.5 million miles an hour by going 120 miles an hour.

They finally decide that they need to act 'submissive'. So they vent plasma to make it blue, and then flip the ship over. Here's the exact dialogue.

JANEWAY: Mister Paris, do we have enough power to take Voyager into a roll?
PARIS: I think so.
JANEWAY: All right. Let's give this a try. Mister Kim, start venting plasma residue. Mister Paris, roll the ship.
PARIS: Full power to inertial dampers.

Wut? That is probably the most ridiculous dialogue I've ever heard in Star Trek ever. They need full power to inertial dampers to flip the ship? They might not have enough power to flip the ship over? wut? This is outer space!! Not to mention the whole 3d nature of space, so who's to say what is upside down or not?

I won't even get into the more personal/social aspects of the show, but that is all totally ridiculous as well.

Worst episode so far.

Zero stars. Just awful. Worse than awful, in so many ways.
Peter G.
Thu, Sep 21, 2017, 9:45am (UTC -6)
You tell 'em, Skuntle.

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