Jammer's Review

Star Trek: Voyager

"The Omega Directive"

***

Air date: 4/15/1998
Teleplay by Lisa Klink
Story by Jimmy Diggs & Steve J. Kay
Directed by Victor Lobl

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"I was wondering who was running my program. Master Da Vinci doesn't like visitors after midnight."
"He protested. I deactivated him."

— Janeway and Seven

Nutshell: Not riveting, but ambitious. Respectably original and nicely conceived.

Ah, this is just what we needed. After a depressingly excessive and pointless "Killing Game," and a totally pedestrian and plot-hole-ridden "Vis A Vis," "The Omega Directive" came as a very pleasant surprise to this viewer. This is one of the more original Voyager offerings in some time, effectively utilizing many of Voyager's strengths as well as its static story premise in somewhat unexpected yet natural ways.

This is one of the good ways of utilizing the long-standing (and unlikely-to-change) Voyager-in-a-vacuum mentality. This episode doesn't add anything to any overlapping canvases (what overlapping canvases?) the way a pivotal episode of DS9 might; rather, it's just a solid stand-alone science fiction story that is sensibly written and sensibly executed. It's entertaining and reasonably thoughtful, particularly with some of the characterizations that arise late in the story. As an episode of Voyager, it's pretty original; watching the episode, I got the feeling that I hadn't seen this story before.

The Omega Directive is an emergency classified Starfleet protocol relegated only to captains. When a certain substance—the mysterious, dangerous, and powerful molecule known as "Omega"—is detected by the sensors, the captain is alerted by the computer and must follow preplanned Starfleet procedures to destroy the molecule at all costs. As the episode progresses, we learn this molecule has great energy capabilities and, of course, great destructive power. In addition to causing destruction on a large scale, it also can cause the destruction of subspace on an even much larger scale, leaving areas of space permanently affected such that travelling through said areas faster than the speed of light becomes impossible. Get a big enough explosion from enough Omega molecules, and an entire quadrant or even galaxy could be affected, ending warp travel and therefore interstellar civilization as the Federation knows it.

The story takes a while to let us in on what's happening, which is effectively utilized for some mystery, and also brings Seven of Nine into the game earlier than the rest of the crew, since she has Borg knowledge of Omega as assimilated from Starfleet captains. It's established that the Borg had also experimented with Omega; rather than destroy it, they wanted to learn about and assimilate it. To them it represented perfection, and Seven does not want to simply destroy "perfection" based on her captain's fear. (Not that she has a choice; she may not be pleased with Janeway's desire to destroy Omega, but she does seem to have learned when to resign to authority.)

The story, through its ominous mysteries and setups, is a little uneven. It begins shrouded in secrecy, then becomes a complicated tech plot before turning into a standard alien encounter and then ultimately a small character story. It's a little strange that these parts are all part of a single episode, but, amazingly, they come together into a single story that is ambitious and intriguing. Usually when a story has so many little premises existing in one episode, the unevenness becomes a liability; here, the parts manage to work together much better than they have any right to, so instead of having a problem, we merely have a plot that is complex and engaging.

I think some of the initial secrecy was a little overplayed, though it was interesting. I was definitely intrigued by the secrecy (even the huge letter "omega" that appeared on the Voyager monitors when the computer detected the substance was strangely eerie, though somewhat corny). The idea of Janeway "locking herself in her quarters" for hours on end had my attention, though it seemed a little overly cloak-and-daggerish, especially given the story's ultimate direction.

The idea of an "Omega Directive" left me with a few questions—like, for example, what happens if the captain has been killed? And just when do promoted captains receive their training for dealing with Omega? And why are captains more qualified to deal with this information than other people, like engineers? And why does Janeway destroy the Omega files after accomplishing this mission? Couldn't she potentially encounter more Omega particles somewhere? I suppose such questions could be more easily answered in the Alpha Quadrant, where Starfleet would presumably send in special teams to destroy the molecule, leaving the role of a captain who found Omega particles to that of an afterthought. Whatever. Considering that this story was conjured for a single plot, Lisa Klink manages to do a reasonable job of making the idea seem plausible enough, so I'm not going to complain to much about some plot holes.

Since Voyager is alone and the captain has no backup, Chakotay talks her into allowing the rest of the Voyager crew to assist in the procedure, which she reluctantly grants. She briefs the senior staff on Omega, in a scene that shows just how apt a name "Omega" (i.e., "the end") truly is.

I would, however, like to ask why B'Elanna—the chief engineer, no less—wasn't in on the briefing about Omega. Was it an episode production issue, or the writers' conscious decision of "We have Seven, so we don't need B'Elanna"? As much as I like Seven, I don't like the idea of "Seven at the expense of other characters," which seems to have been the case lately.

Overall, I would call "The Omega Directive" one of the season's better offerings, but it isn't what I would call a powerhouse. (After DS9's "In the Pale Moonlight," I don't see how anything could compare, but I'll try to keep that out of my mind.) Perhaps because we have to learn so much as the story unfolds, it takes a while before the tech story is something we can fully sink our teeth into. And once the danger is established, we realize the key difference between the effectiveness of "Moonlight" and the effectiveness of "Omega" is that "Moonlight" was a visceral experience with high stakes—whereas "Omega" also has high stakes but takes a lot of plot explanation for us to understand what those stakes are. And once we do know the stakes, another problem is that the stakes are so incredibly high ("The end of space-faring civilization as we know it") that we know from the outset they don't have the slightest chance of playing out.

But even knowing that, the story is effective, because the characterizations are dead-on. Janeway's tenacity for destroying this threat seem to make a great deal of sense given her plausibly grounded belief that it's irresponsible to play with forces that are so powerful and dangerous to so many civilizations. Meanwhile, Chakotay's appeal to the captain to bring the crew into the mission was perfectly in line with this season's "family" theme.

And, oh yes—Seven of Nine.

Just what won't the writers come up with for Seven of Nine this season? She has quickly become more interesting, complex, and subtly multifaceted than many of the other characters on this series combined. Who would've thought that Omega meant as much to Seven as we slowly learn it does in the course of this episode? Personally, I was taken by surprise. Through the story's rendition of what could've potentially been an only-average tech plot comes the notion of the Borg's belief of "perfection" in Omega, which has compelling possibilities.

As the story unfolds through Seven, there are some fascinating moments which transcend the mechanics of the plot. There are three scenes in this episode where, again, I was thoroughly impressed and even moved by the effectiveness of Jeri Ryan's performance and the writers' ability to give her such good material. The first is a moment when she appeals to Chakotay as a spiritual man. In a scene where she describes a very personal belief of Omega's "perfection," we see that the Borg's opinion of Omega borders on the deistic, and realize that the destruction of Omega, if necessary, will be a personal tragedy for her. The way Ryan delivers these lines is poignant, showing Seven vulnerable, troubled, and emotional—but it's so subtle that it's ten times more effective than histrionics could ever be, and so in-character that it's worthy of awe.

Another crucial scene is one where the conflict between Janeway and Seven concerning the fate of Omega seems to be developing along the lines of many Janeway/Seven scenes—until Seven realizes, in an moment of growth where she is able to see the other viewpoint, the sensibilities behind Janeway's need to destroy something as dangerous and unpredictable as Omega.

A third scene is the episode's coda, in which Seven opens herself to larger possibilities when she considers the unexpected and almost life-like behavior that was exhibited by Omega just moments before it was destroyed. It's a moment of clarity that she can only equate with religious experiences that the Borg had assimilated from other civilizations—experiences which, until now, she had dismissed. It's a very intriguing twist on both Seven and the Borg, showing that they are open to ideas outside the realm of simply self-serving assimilation of knowledge.

Seven aside, the plot turns aren't entirely riveting on their own merit, especially once the source of Omega is located (in an experimental alien-of-the-week laboratory), but the story clips along nicely, never threatening to be mundane or even implausible (as these things go). The technobabble is light, but just present enough to keep the science fiction aspects seeming believable. The story documents the crew as they locate, retrieve, and destroy the Omega molecules. And although I don't think it was entirely necessary to have the weekly derivation of aliens firing on Voyager when things don't go their way, the conflict for once didn't seem completely forced.

The use of little touches also made a difference, particularly the comic idea of Seven giving the crew new names, er, numbers as a means of organizing them to work on her project more efficiently. Harry's defiance of Seven was also amusing, as was Chakotay's we-don't-have-time-to-worry-about-trivial-nonsense way of dealing with the matter (that is, telling Harry, simply, "When in the Borg collective, adapt").

I do, however, feel I have to raise one troubling logistic issue here, which I'll pose in the form of a question: What happens if the aliens decide to ignore the dangers of creating Omega molecules (which, based on evidence presented by the story, seems very likely) and decide to continue their experiments? There doesn't seem to be anything to stop them once Voyager leaves their territory. Considering that Starfleet considers the destruction of Omega so essential that Janeway would carry it out at all costs, it seems a little silly and shortsighted that once the immediate danger is nullified that it's simply a return to Business as Usual [TM]. If there's a need to rescind the Prime Directive to destroy Omega, I think it only seems natural that Starfleet would also want to also make sure such aliens don't have the ability to continue such research and experiments.

Yet I don't see how this is remotely possible. Voyager is in no position to deny the aliens the knowledge they've obtained. After all, the only reason Omega experiments aren't conducted in the Federation is because the Federation willingly decided to destroy all such knowledge pertaining to Omega in the interests of safety. What happens if some aliens decide their needs exceed the risk and damn the consequences, no matter how large they may be? This is a big example of the can of worms that writers open when they make such huge, encompassing statements of ultimate power. If one civilization anywhere (let alone one that Voyager happens upon in the vast Delta Quadrant) indeed has the means to create a power that could destroy space travel as we know it in the entire quadrant (or even galaxy), then you'd think Starfleet's attempt to control and destroy Omega is essentially so futilely out of its hands that any pretension of said control is merely pointless arrogance. And if Starfleet finds it likely enough they would ever again encounter such "rare" Omega as to give every captain in the fleet a directive to destroy it, then it's probably a bigger problem than anyone in Starfleet could want to possibly imagine, especially given that one civilization on the other side of the galaxy can create it based merely on the life's work of a few nameless scientists. (For that matter, why didn't the Borg continue running experiments if assimilation was the goal at all costs?)

Or, I don't know—maybe Starfleet higher-ups don't live in fear any more than we in 1998 do, knowing that there are possibly untracked asteroids in our solar system that could swing around and destroy our own civilization when we least expect it. My point is, it seems a little simplistic to use such a huge issue that raises more questions than it even hopes to tackle for the sake of one plot that will never be mentioned again in the history of Trek. In that sense, it seems to me like an overlarge absurdity that lives only in a single-episode fantasy world (which is probably the entire intention anyway). Or, I don't know—maybe I'm just nitpicking (which, by the way, is occasionally fun). But I think I've gone on about this point for far too long. I've lost sight of any hope of realistic Star Trek commentary, so I'm just going to shut the hell up now. Consider this part of the review a foray into needless discussion, as this article exceeds the ludicrous boundaries of the 2,400-word mark. Ugh. (It's late, I never intended a review this long, and I've clearly gone off the deep end.)

In any case, I can live with it both ways (since the episode does); I did find the issue of an aftereffect that destroys subspace in a way that prohibits warp travel to be rather interesting. The "destruction of the galaxy" would've been hopelessly extreme and therefore corny; the destruction of warp-travel capabilities is a little (although not that much) more restrained and original.

But what we're basically talking about here is effective storytelling. I can describe the plot all I want, but I can't really convey the manner which it all falls together to make sense. In many ways the writers have a story that is much bigger than it needs to be, or probably can be, under scrutiny. But with the characterizations, dialog, and execution in place, it's a fresh hour, and works like a charm.

Next week: A love story with a sci-fi twist; the guilty parties are Chakotay and some alien woman.

Previous episode: Vis A Vis
Next episode: Unforgettable

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25 comments on this review

mlk - Sun, Jan 13, 2008 - 10:06am (USA Central)
Wow you can really tell that Roxanne Dawson is pregnant now, she looks pregnant 'phat'
Dirk Hartmann - Sat, May 3, 2008 - 4:56am (USA Central)
Strange ... with the sole exception of Seven's "private collective", I found this episode extremely boring. The suspense part just didn't work with me and I also found the dangeroussubstancemightdestroytravellingbywarp revelation extremely disapointing. Finally, I could not fathom how the Borg would conduct experiments on their own. That's not at all Borg-like. They should learn by assimilation only.
I would give this episode two stars max.
EP - Mon, Feb 23, 2009 - 8:35pm (USA Central)
The technical execution of the script is so logistically implausible that the emotional strength of the concept, lame as it is, is entirely blunted. Voyager is under threat of being "blowed up" every week, so whether the mechanism of that destruction is the alien of the week, or a goofy-looking Omega displayed on all ship systems, leaves this episode sucking wind. The episode is highly unfocused - it can't decide whether it's about the implications of experimentation with dangerous science (Janeway's reference to nuclear power) or the search for religion in a Borg context.

This episode also represents more of Janeway's inconsistent moralizing - one of her talking points for destroying Omega (as opposed to harnessing the particle per Seven's suggestion) is that she needs to protect civilizations in the Delta quadrant from the pernicious effects of the Omega, perhaps at the expense of the Voyager crew. Also, the casting aside of the Prime Directive in a single throwaway line, methinks, would have made Gene Roddenberry roll over his grave.
Bella - Sun, May 3, 2009 - 11:01am (USA Central)
Great episode- and Roxann Dawson vanished halfway through it because she went into labour during filming.
Captain Jim - Fri, Apr 22, 2011 - 10:47pm (USA Central)
Now, here's something different: Usually when I disagree with Jammer (which isn't really all that often), it's because I think an episode is better than he gives it credit. Here it's just the opposite. I agree with Dirk; I found this episode to be boring. And not just boring, but one of the most boring episodes I can remember. The initial suspense about "what's going on" was good, but it was all downhill from there.
Nic - Sun, Sep 25, 2011 - 7:54am (USA Central)
I was never a fan of this episode. There were some interesting ideas in it, but the religious aspect seemed out of place. I couldn't buy that the Borg would have a "Holy Grail", or that Seven would care so much about salvaging the molecules.
Nathan - Sat, Nov 5, 2011 - 11:31pm (USA Central)
Certainly the creation of so many omega molecules would require more energy than this species could reasonably obtain. Unless the second law of thermodynamics doesn't hold in the future...
David H - Sun, Jan 29, 2012 - 12:09am (USA Central)
This is one of my five favorite episodes of the entire Voyager series.
Justin - Tue, Apr 24, 2012 - 12:45pm (USA Central)
Based on concept alone, this is a four-star episode IMO. The idea of the Omega particle is incredibly intriguing. Add to that The Borg's (and as a result, Seven's) obsession with it and the idea that there is something so dangerous out there that it supersedes even the Prime Directive, and you have the makings of a true classic episode of Star Trek. Jeri Ryan and Kate Mulgrew both delivered powerful performances. Easily a Top 5 episode for me.
Cail Corishev - Sun, Sep 23, 2012 - 11:40am (USA Central)
So much nonsense here, it was hard to see past it to enjoy the character stuff with Seven's quasi-religious experience. And regarding that, were were we supposed to think Omega was doing in that last moment? Just coming together in order like iron filings lining up toward a magnet? Or coming to life and/or demonstrating intelligence? No idea.

So Federation starships are all constantly scanning for this molecule, but none of their engineers are aware of it. And they spot it from great distances, even when it's behind strong containment fields. One molecule was powerful enough to wipe out a station and a large area of subspace, yet the aliens had created billions? What in the world would they do with that much power? As for declaring Omega off-limits throughout the galaxy, that makes as much sense as a nation on Earth outlawing nuclear weapons world-wide -- in the year 1200. They don't even know who's out there, let alone who might be experimenting with it.

But I think the worst part is the idea that the Federation would just give up on the possibility of controlling the thing. These are people who don't back down from god-like aliens like Q who could wipe out the galaxy with a thought. Yet they run into a scary molecule and they jump up on a chair with their skirts around their knees screeching, "Kill it, kill it!" That's not the Federation (or the starship captains) we know.
stargazer - Wed, Nov 7, 2012 - 11:13am (USA Central)
I find Seven's attitude towards the Omega a bit too individualistic. Of course, she is a former Borg drone and the Borg is obsessed with it, and, understandably, each drone was imbued with such obsession, but Seven's remark regarding her personal attitude towards the Omega is rather unusual. On one occasion, while speaking with Janeway, she says something like "I've been waiting for years for this opportunity...[namely, to find and harness the molecule]. The way she says that is awkward because it implies that she has been personally harboring the wish to attain this goal. But how could this be possible if she was only a drone in the collective? She had no individuality. There was no personality, no individuality, no "I", which could have been capable of having any individual aspirations. However, if, when saying "I", she means "we", the collective, then this would make sense. Maybe she still identifies herself with the collective when referring to the molecule, therefore using the personal pronouns "we" and "I" interchangeably, in the sense 'Borg's goals are my goals'. I guess that's one way to explain it.
Arachnea - Tue, Jan 15, 2013 - 2:45am (USA Central)
I'm half/half with this one, with many things bothering me. I like the concept of a molecule destroying subspace and consequently warp-travel. A molecule that seems impossible to "tame" and too dangerous to "exist".

What bothered me:
- why all the secrecy ? Janeway gives an explanation that doesn't really make sense to me.
- how can Chakotay authorize Seven to treat the crew as she does ? Basically, it's not bad to organize and give specific tasks, but the designation is awful. Calling someone with a number is like denying one's individuality and treating one like a useful object, not a person. Ensign Kim's reaction should have been a total rejection of it, not being vexed because given a lower number...
- The spiritual side of the Borg - while interesting - doesn't strike me as consistent with what we know.

Finally, on a general sidenote, what does senior officer mean exactly (other than putting the cast together) ? Paris is a helmsman/nurse; Kim is a young ensign; the doctor has no grade. B'elanna (who wasn't there) and Tuvok are chief, therefore I understand and Chakotay is obvious. Seven, except for this story should never be there (or maybe she's considered the science officer Voyager never had).
Jay - Sun, Feb 17, 2013 - 11:49am (USA Central)
Omega can be "transported"? Can't they neutralize the problem just by using the transporter?
Jonathan Baron - Tue, Jun 11, 2013 - 11:16pm (USA Central)
Ironic that we live in a universe of Omega in that spacefaring, subspace, warp drive and all the fundamental pseudo science that powers ST is in fact impossible. Thus I was thinking that if the worst happened then the series would be reduced to reality.

The erotic tension between Seven and Janeway finally rose above a bat squeak at the conclusion of this episode. Were this series being made now, or by the BBC, it would have been developed. The chemistry in that tension would lead in sexual directions more plausibly between these two than the other featured couples in the series.
Lt. Yarko - Thu, Jul 4, 2013 - 6:29pm (USA Central)
I had a lot of the same problems with this episode as others had.

I didn't buy the whole borg religion angle at all. Further, I didn't like how seven started renaming people. That was just silly. Having her make organization choices was a good idea, but the renaming just seemed silly.

>>The erotic tension between Seven and Janeway

Huh? You are seeing things, dude.
T'Paul - Mon, Sep 16, 2013 - 10:06am (USA Central)
An interesting sci-fi idea.

As I see it, 7 of 9 retains some aspects of being Borg, which is why she retains this obsession with the particle, even though she is now disconnected from the collective.

I thought this was an interesting exploration into the Borg, making them a little deeper than just locusts, giving them a motivation. The Borg seek perfection, Omega is perfection, totally plausible that it could represent a religious experience

As for the renaming, why wouldn't 7 put in practice the organizational system she is most familiar with, if she feels its more efficient? Frankly I agreed with Kim's demotion.

For me the Federation's reaction to Omega makes sense: it could eliminate their ability to travel by warp, it could be a terrible weapon, and the more who know about it, the greater the chance it could fall into the wrong hands.

As for Janeway's reaction, she's been indoctrinated by Starfleet to react to Omega in a certain way, so she does.
NIck - Tue, Oct 29, 2013 - 7:34am (USA Central)
Several observations:

- the ongoing synthesis of Seven's new human emotions with the Borg philosophy continues to be intriguing. The Borg are still a benevolent force of destruction, yet their search for perfection is admirable given the state of chaos present in the universe.

- Seven can do no wrong, even during the quiet moments in this episode with no dialogue, the camera ever so subtly frames Seven's glorious figure in that cat suit with just the right interplay of shadows, no words needed. ;)

- Seven organizing her team into an efficient collective was hilarious.
Eli - Fri, Feb 21, 2014 - 7:46pm (USA Central)
I loved this episode! I think that the conflict presented in the episode is fascinating. Our aspirations to realize our highest ideals often provide meaning to our lives. But these same aspirations also provide us with the greatest disappointments. The ultimate clarity of mind is something both religious people and materialists seek. Yet, this desire for perfection is something that is downright dangerous and has fueled many historical injustices.

Here Omega encapsulated the joy and terror of trying to control our environments. Ultimately the problem is not in whether or not we accomplish a higher level of control, but instead that we live for that control. Ultimately one must somehow strive to achieve the greatest accomplishments while also accepting that one can never control his or her own destiny. This omega represents ultimate control of our natural environment. It is something that is elusive and momentarily possible, but that will ultimately always elude us. Is a goal that arises not merely from ambition, but also from the very fact of survival in and of itself. To survive we must engage in seemingly unnatural acts of control.

The lesson here is that life satisfaction and even survival itself depend on an understanding that it is the journey that matters above all else. Achieving goals is only a means to an end - the real end is the journey.

The ultimate power and danger lies in not being able to let go... something our Utopian future counterparts (ironically) appear to understand. In embodying this struggle, Seven of Nine here represents not merely the Borg, but also all of modern society.

Some have protested the ambiguity in the episode. Others have protested the mixed nature of the protagonists' intentions. This ambiguity and confusion defines our existence. But the episode does not wallow in ambiguity for the sake of ambiguity, it offers a humble light to guide us forward.

The episodes abstract nature makes it hard to pin down. But, if you are willing to accept the ambiguity you will be rewarded with a true poem to the struggle of human existence - and to the existence of life itself... perhaps even to existence itself and to nonexistence.
Ospero - Mon, Mar 3, 2014 - 5:54pm (USA Central)
Huh. I'm watching that episode right now, and the issue as to why the Borg never continued their experiments with Omega actually is addressed in the first scene between Janeway and Seven - they couldn't find any other sources of the basic material (boronite ore, I think). Of course, that raises the issue as to how incredibly freaking rare that stuff must be, when the Borg can't find it.

Also, this episode is one of the "pillars" of the novel trilogy "Star Trek: Destiny", in which the Borg do have an excellent reason to want to get Omega. It involves the most isolationist alien species ever, four different Starfleet captains and an Austrian engineer who didn't want to become a cyborg.
Ric - Wed, Apr 16, 2014 - 11:00pm (USA Central)
Really Strong episode. Very good all along.

From the captain finally listening the suggestion given by other (jn this case, Chakotay), to Seven's personal quest. And mostly, the way the episode dealt with "spiritual experience" - compare that with how DS9 deals with that and you give this episode some twenty stars.

The plot was pretty engaging and, as Jammer has pointed, it used the Voyager features naturally. Fully good, and Seven is a joy to watch. When I think we had to pay one Kes in exchange for Seven of Nine, I smile.


JT - Sat, Jun 14, 2014 - 9:59pm (USA Central)
Pretty good overall, the secrecy thing in the beginning was a bit too much. Especially when Chakotay finally manages to convince Janeway what we knew all along: They're alone out here, maybe involve the rest. Which goes from 'senior officers, need to know etc', to seemingly involve all of the Blueshirts on board. And if by the end of the episode there was a single person aboard (maybe apart from Neelix) that didn't know what the Omega particle was, colour me surprised...
dlpb - Sun, Jul 27, 2014 - 5:47pm (USA Central)
This whole episode was designed to stoke up some sort of intrigue in the series. Like Speckies 8472 was... Lazy attempts at garnering interest. "My dad is bigger than your dad."
Chris Hurt - Wed, Aug 27, 2014 - 6:13pm (USA Central)
@Ospero Yes, the ore was so rare thank you for pointing that out.
Most overused line this episode? "That's close enough." Janeway uses this or slight variations of it several times regarding technicawl details. Seems a bit fishy to me and I am no tech head by any means.
Diplomacy - Sat, Nov 1, 2014 - 6:20am (USA Central)
I feel a little silly commenting in 2014, but It's 5am and I'm a little drunk...

so Re the article:
why can't the borg continue their experiments in Omega? Because the molecule, like most radio-isotopes can only be synthesized by taking another rare element, and bombarding it with radiation/energy. Seven actually said in the episode that the borg exhausted their supply of the ore necessary to make it.

Why can't the Aliens-of-the-week just synthesize more? Well, again, this was mentioned in-script. basically it's the opposite of the borg dillema. they apparently have the ore(maybe not) but they don't have the power generation technology to attempt the experiment again. which of course means it is perfectly plausible that they might be able to start over after 10 years, but what you gonna do. the Federation going to declare war on yet another interquadrent alien species in absentia? Imagine if vulcans landed tomorrow and dropped a nuke on CERN. Also, and this is kindof not in the script, but, the captain blew up the molocule prematurely. It's entirely possible that voyager left this alien species a parting gift to ponder over the next 10 years in the form of their own collapsed-subspace-wasteland.

starfleet and the directive. Starfleet destroyed ALL knowledge about omega. The only training the captain had was a short briefing about what omega is and how to destroy it. In fact, it is likely that that is what she was doing while she was locked in the ready-room for 'hours on end.' reading up on info that she wasn't cleared for until the omega directive was triggered. So if janeway were dead, and chakotay were in command, he would have gotten the same files to read. Also on the subject, it mentions in the show that Janeway modified the directive. the whole "I'm a lone wolf and I'm going to destroy omega by myself" plan was hers, and hers alone. Starfleet had no hand in that.

My biggest problem with the plot was that the borg and the federation were only able to synthesize a "handful" of particles combined, while generic aliens-of-the-week managed to synthesize hundreds of millions... that and the fact that each one of these particles should probably contain more energy than a supermassive black hole... synthesizing a "handful" seems like a much more reasonable(not to mention practical) challenge.

as for the comment section controversy,
Seven was in charge of the design of the maintanance chamber. She was the only person aboard the ship with any real knowledge of omega. Omega directive > Prime directive. Ergo in some senses, she outranks even the captain, just like the doctor outranks the captain in medical situations. It is perfectly reasonable that chakotay would give her all the latitude she needed to accomplish her goal. It is also reasonable that she would be a micromanaging perfectionist egomaniac and that she would use borg designations and minimize conversation to improve efficiency.

As for the borg-human religious experience thing... I never had a problem with that. I am moderately surprised that Seven went along with the "destroy god" idea that was planted in our heads (she doesn't even really fight it really) but all in all, I can see why the borg queen would be willing to devote large scale resources to getting her hands on omega, I can even see her getting a little obsessive about it.
Moegreen - Thu, Nov 27, 2014 - 1:05am (USA Central)
This was one of the most repetitive, pompous and badly acted episodes I've ever seen. High on its own weak concept. If I hear the term Omega again, there will be red shirt casualties.

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