Star Trek: Voyager

"Relativity"

***

Air date: 5/12/1999
Teleplay by Bryan Fuller & Nick Sagan & Michael Taylor
Story by Nick Sagan
Directed by Allan Eastman

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"I don't care if history itself comes unraveled; I want to know why you're on my ship!" — Janeway, putting Voyager first (as usual)

Nutshell: Weird, labyrinthine, goofy, bordering on nonsense ... and quite fun.

The plot of "Relativity" is like some sort of comic maze. By the end, the madness has grown so absurd that the characters can barely restrain their grins of bemusement. This is Star Trek sci-fi on crack.

I liked it. It's fun.

"Relativity" begins with some suspense and intrigue; then it proceeds into an explanatory plot-revealing mode with dialog-based story advancement and manageable action; and finally it just turns into sheer lunacy, as the timeline leaping exists for the sake of itself, having little rhyme or reason.

As time-travel shows go, the attitude in "Relativity" probably most resembles TNG's "Timescape." The movement through timelines isn't used to put characters at points in history where they must save the world, Federation, etc.; it's more like an elaborate means for jumping around on the stage known as the starship Voyager. The goal: prevent Voyager from being destroyed.

You see, a saboteur of unknown identity has planted a device on the ship. But it exists in a different temporal phase that only Seven of Nine, with her special Borg ocular capabilities, can see. This leads the crew of a 29th-century time ship to recruit Seven for the mission to find the device before it causes a "temporal explosion" that will destroy Voyager. (Why not just a regular explosion? I suppose because a temporal explosion sounds more complex and interesting.)

The 29th-century time ship, the Relativity, is captained by the same man who set the events of "Future's End" in motion—one Captain Braxton (now played by Bruce McGill), who had found himself trapped in the 20th century for 30 years because of his encounter with Voyager. Perhaps to say Braxton set those events in motion is not accurate. If I've learned anything from "Relativity," it's that one cannot utilize traditional logic when it comes to timeline manipulation. This episode deals a lot with that reliable sci-fi chestnut: the time paradox, which renders obsolete our sense of cause and effect.

Do I really need to explain all of this? In a nutshell, Seven jumps back to a point where Voyager was in dry-dock and looks for the hidden bomb. It's not there, so she is retrieved through time again and sent to a point later in Voyager's time frame. While on this mission through time, Seven also must contend with what Braxton calls "the Janeway factor," which is Janeway's tendency to interact with events that are taking place across the fourth dimension, and thus causing annoying "temporal incursions" that 29th-century time ship captains like Braxton must set right.

The story's central twist is that the saboteur turns out to be a future version of Captain Braxton himself. Apparently, he's gone quite mad in the future and has decided he must destroy Voyager—thereby stopping Janeway from ever again infecting the timeline. (The subtext within the idea of Voyager damaging the timeline so often strikes me as the writers taking a jab at themselves for using so many time-travel storylines.)

A story like this depends on execution more than anything else. "Relativity" executes well. It's nothing particularly brilliant, but it's a fun yarn to watch unfold. If you have a short attention span, "Relativity" will not try your patience. The story moves along swiftly and, dare I say, confidently. There's a cavalier attitude here concerning time travel, but the writers approach the material with a light tough that seems to keep the focus on fun rather than making the story a plodding mess. That's a good thing, since any attempt to use common sense in approaching the plot is virtually useless.

Honestly, by the end of the hour's mania, there's not really much motivation behind the timeline jumping. The writers resign the game to a fairly standard chase, where the playground is simply the various timelines utilizing the standing Voyager sets. Braxton goes back to Voyager of season two; Seven follows. Braxton jumps into Voyager of season five; Seven follows. And once Seven stops Braxton, the games still aren't over. Now the damage to the timeline must be repaired as best possible, which means the time ship crew must recruit Janeway (because Seven has already jumped through time too many times and her health may be threatened) to go back in time and stop Braxton from ever having done anything in Voyager's past in the first place. (First place, last place—do these terms mean anything?) Upon Janeway accomplishing this goal, this means Seven will never have a need for visiting Voyager several times in the past and altering the timeline. That means, I suppose, that the whole episode never really happened—or it sort of did, but not really, but ... does any of this make sense?

Aw, hell—Seven's next stop might as well have been November 12, 1955. I doubt it would/would've/will made/make much a difference to this craziness. (Of course, it might matter if that date is actually the key to the space-time continuum the way Emmett Brown theorized.)

I have a question, though. If the people of the 29th century have so much control over time, why does any of this plot even matter? Why couldn't Braxton be retrieved through time before he spent those 30 years in the 20th century? (For that matter, it was my understanding, based on the concluding scene of "Future's End, Part II," that Braxton's fate had somehow been reset such that he never really got trapped in the 20th century at all—of course, I didn't really understand it then, so I suppose I shouldn't try to make sense of it now.)

For that matter, what exactly is the motivation for Braxton blowing up Voyager? To see an end to Janeway's interference with the timeline? If that's the case, why doesn't he blow up Voyager in the past (from our perspective, that is), before Voyager corrupted the timeline in the first place—rather than waiting until the point we call "late season five"? That would presumably prevent him from ever having been trapped three decades in the 20th century. You know, I could go on, but your head would explode.

I think the point of all this madness, if there is one, is that the time paradox has no discernible cause or effect, and that trying to establish cause/effect is simply pointless. Rather, what characters must do in such situations is go with the flow and hope the game plays out the way it "should." I don't know who plays God in alleging to know what the "correct" timeline is, but I would hope those people are well trained and less prone to manic treachery than Braxton. Or, at the very least, I hope they're arrested in advance for crimes they're going to commit. (Heh.)

It's probably a good thing the characters can barely keep all the paradoxes straight, so that at least we as viewers are on the same level as some of the people in the story, like Janeway, who simply wants to be done with the ordeal before it all gives her a headache.

Beyond playing with paradoxes, "Relativity" is sold on its whimsical attitude. It knows better than to take itself seriously, and has some neat scenes involving "shattered" time. My favorite has to be the ping pong tournament, where Paris slams the ball and it freezes in midair for a few seconds before continuing on its way. What does Official Scorekeeper Neelix do after this bizarre event? Why, he scores the point, natch. Hee.

This episode also brings back that long-forgotten Lt. Joe Carey (Josh Clark), unseen for four years. Where has this guy been? It's interesting to note that he appears only in scenes involving Voyager's past, and not in the present. I, for one, would like to know where this guy has vanished to. Maybe the space-time continuum simply swallowed him up.

What the space-time continuum does not swallow up in "Relativity" is the enjoyment factor. This is an episode that's fairly loony, but it embraces its illogic and moves forward with no fear of the future—or the past, or the present.

Next week: "Darkling" meets "Dreadnought." (Sure, Doc's a cool guy, but next week he's truly the bomb.)

Previous episode: 11:59
Next episode: Warhead

◄ Season Index

49 comments on this review

Ospero
Thu, Feb 7, 2008, 10:42pm (UTC -6)
I really enjoyed this episode. I don't have the first clue as to why I did, but there you are - this has to be the most ridiculously overblown time travel plot ever seen on Trek (which has to be some kind of distinction). And besides, Jeri Ryan looks cool in a Starfleet uniform (better than those ridiculous catsuits, anyway...)
Jhoh
Mon, Mar 31, 2008, 1:00am (UTC -6)
My favorite scene is near the end when Janeway blows off the time travel technobabble, "before my headache gets worse." I think this is the first time in Star Trek history that they've actually cut off the technobabble.
Stefan
Wed, Apr 2, 2008, 10:46pm (UTC -6)
This episode is a parody of all Star Trek time travel episodes. If you try to take this episode seriously, you will end up with a migraine.

One interesting thing to ponder is whether these guys are good at their job. What happened during all of those incidents where the timeline was changed? For example, where was the Relativity crew when Kim and Chakotay were trying to keep the Voyager from ending up in the deep freeze (Timeless)?

Anyway, I have to go get a couple of aspirins now.
Aaron
Thu, Jul 31, 2008, 2:16pm (UTC -6)
Why did they repeat the inclusion of 'Endgame' twice in the DVD series "Collective" and not include this gem? Such a trippy episode, and one of the rare times that Trek did funny well.
Ken Egervari
Sat, Dec 5, 2009, 6:07pm (UTC -6)
I really liked this episode. I would say it's 3.5 stars.

Of course there's logical problems. Like you mentioned... why not just get braxton earlier, and wasn't it reset? You could even argue that arresting him on the ship before he committed the crime should have reversed the timeline... but I guess since he already went into the past... it already happened. LOL.

I don't really care. I love the plot. I love the look of the timeship. I like the new uniforms. I like how they arrested braxton for crimes he's going to commit. I liked how it went back to the start of the series. This is just a different kind of time travel episode that the usual affair, and one of the top 10 voyager episodes for me.
Nic
Mon, Jun 14, 2010, 1:47pm (UTC -6)
You'd think that before they wrote the scenes in the past, they would actually have watched the beginning of the pilot! Tom Paris was not recruited for his piloting skills (nor did he even take the helm during Voyager's trip to the badlands), he was recruited for his knowledge of Maquis hiding places.
Tim
Fri, Jul 2, 2010, 8:59pm (UTC -6)
This is such a fun episode. I would have loved to see a follow up to it. Captain Braxton returns. Seven of Nine begins suffering temporal psychosis from her time traveling. Woulda been fun
Michael
Mon, Jul 5, 2010, 9:33am (UTC -6)
A superior episode!! THIS is what Star Trek, as a sci-fi show, should be all about. Four stars!
Niall
Tue, Jul 13, 2010, 3:02pm (UTC -6)
Just saw this for the first time. Definitely one of the Top 10 Voyager episodes. The first half is engaging and thrilling, the second takes an unexpected twist into parody and totally pulls it off. Brilliantly paced and played, laugh-out-loud funny, and the last word on Trek time travel.

To think all that corny "Temporal Cold War" BS on Enterprise came AFTER this...
tedren
Wed, Aug 11, 2010, 1:22am (UTC -6)
am i the only one that noticed that seven kept entering deck 4 through engineering?... which happens to be on deck 11?

Seriously tell me you noticed that.
Jay
Mon, Mar 7, 2011, 12:33pm (UTC -6)
@ Stefan...indeed on "Timeless", to say nothing of "Endgame".
Iceblink
Mon, Aug 15, 2011, 8:57am (UTC -6)
This is just a fun, goofy time travel extravaganza. It has zero depth, but it's engaging, fun and entertaining with some neat twists. Voyager did this kind of stuff very well.
Jack
Sun, Sep 4, 2011, 1:29pm (UTC -6)
If this Braxton experienced the three decades stranded in the 20th century after all (the end of FE made it seem he did not), and the rehab that followed, shouldn't he be much older than he's presented here? This Braxton looks no older than the other one.
Juergen
Fri, Sep 16, 2011, 8:46am (UTC -6)
I think after Braxton's mission in Future's End II, he would have been "re-integrated" with his alternate timeline, and so he would still have memories of those 30 years in the 20th century.
TDexter
Sun, Feb 12, 2012, 5:33pm (UTC -6)
I also really enjoyed this episode. It was silly, but self-consciously silly, but not too self-conscious to take away from the plot. There probably is something of a time-travel parody going on -- and if so, it's done well. I actually laughed out loud at Janeway's "headache" line, especially because the quick cut to Voyager being fired upon was perfect comedic timing.

I also agree that I prefer Sevon-of-Nine in actual Starfleet uniform. I hate all how the good-looking Star Trek women are forced to wear tight-fitting catsuits and bounce T&A around as fanservice.
TDexter
Sun, Feb 12, 2012, 5:34pm (UTC -6)
*Seven -- I must be experiencing temporal psychosis.

To add to my last comment, there really must be an unwritten rule in sci-fi TV where "The Hot One" isn't allowed to wear uniforms or clothes like anybody else. Bugs me to bits.
Captain Jim
Sun, Apr 1, 2012, 10:31pm (UTC -6)
Jammer said, "Aw, hell—Seven's next stop might as well have been November 12, 1955."

What? Why would she have traveled to my fifth birthday? Don't go trying to recruit ME into this temporal excursion! ;)

As far as the episode is concerned, I agree with everybody else: it was crazy fun.
Nic
Sat, Apr 27, 2013, 9:13pm (UTC -6)
Another weird goof is that the 29th century agents first say they'll retrieve Seven of Nine "a microsecond before the explosion", and then they just beam into the past and have a short conversation before beaming her out (almost a full minute before Voyager explodes).

So yes, this episode makes absolutely no sense, but it was fun, and that's never a bad thing.
Leah
Fri, Jun 21, 2013, 2:43pm (UTC -6)
Ok, so...The Relativity can't communicate with Seven when Voyager erects a forcefield. A 29th-century TIME ship can't penetrate a 24th-century forcefield, even if only to communicate? The borg in Voyager's present can walk right through them. Yeeeeah. A picky complaint I know, especially for an episode that has tongue firmly in cheek, but it really stood out to me as lame. Still enjoyed the episode immensely, though. :)
azcats
Thu, Aug 8, 2013, 1:05pm (UTC -6)
Seven: You are the database.
Doc: with 2 legs a splendid bedside manner.

I know people have to nitpick about the plot holes and continuity. i hope they do it just to show their superior ST and analytical skills. Otherwise, you just need to ignore those things and just enjoy the story.
everyone has a Voyager that they remember the most or most fondly. this is the one for me. and i cant believe it only has 20 comments after this post.

4 stars! much fun! i love the "headache" lines!
Lt. Yarko
Sun, Aug 18, 2013, 8:08am (UTC -6)
Terrible. They might as well have had a severely cognitively-challenged person write an episode for them. What's the difference? Throw ALL logic out the window? Not if I am going to even partially enjoy what is supposed to be a story.

I honestly don't see what anyone enjoyed about this disaster. In-jokes about how annoying and stupid time travels stories can be? Sorry. I didn't need such things to remind me.

I am really surprised at Jammer having enjoyed it. It had none of what he usually appreciates in an episode. No character development. No effect to any possible overall show arc. Talk about major reset button. The other time copies of characters will be "reintegrated?" What the hell does that even mean? Oh. The credits. I guess it didn't matter. Any word could have been used for "reintegrated." How about "barbequed?" The other time copies will be barbequed. Huh? Oh. Credits. I guess I'm not supposed to care. Another crappy time travel "story" in the can.
Tedren
Tue, Aug 27, 2013, 9:23pm (UTC -6)
I'd still like to know why the Jeffries tube in engineering was on deck 4. "Patterson to security seal off deck four!" ... Uhm you're in engineering - deck 11. Yes it's petty but, really?
Tom
Mon, Sep 2, 2013, 7:42pm (UTC -6)
Interesting episode, but I hate it when they blatantly throw around cliches.

"Don't kill the messenger."

It's such lazy writing. Good writing is especially important when the story doesn't even make sense.
Scott D
Fri, Dec 13, 2013, 11:31pm (UTC -6)
One interesting, and perhaps "realistic" aspect of time travel is illustrated: the timeship may be able to *go* anywhere in time; however, there is no exhaustive *record* of time to guide them, at least not to the level of detail required to just beam to X moment to stop Y event. This would explain the messiness in Relativity as they had to cast 7 of 9 about to zero in on the correct moment. It is consistent with Year of Hell, where the Krenim timeship had to tinker, and tinker again, to get the desired result.
Corey
Mon, Feb 24, 2014, 7:15pm (UTC -6)
Is it just me, or is the first act of this episode better than Voyager's similarly intentioned pilot episode? Watching Janeway first introduced to her ship was great. Agree with Jammer's comments though; the final act knocks a full star off this episode.
Amanda
Wed, Mar 5, 2014, 1:16am (UTC -6)
I scanned the comments so pardon if this was spoken.

Didn't anyone pick up on the out of character Janeway and how Paris was introduced? meaning, Janeway is depicted here to have compassion and a con job. No, a woman had it first and he only drove because she croaked. Janeway coldly stated in Caretaker that he was only going as an observer. She had him on a tight leash the first day.

A minor curiosity moment hit me while I rewatched this. When Janeway went into the past and shook her head in disapproval as her younger self walked by I couldn't help but ponder what it was about; Her command choice or the bad wig ;-)
Jack
Sun, Mar 9, 2014, 11:42am (UTC -6)
Should have brought back the original chief medical officer and chief engineer from "Caretaker". Here they seemed to have Carey be the chief engineer.
Ric
Thu, Apr 24, 2014, 3:28am (UTC -6)
Really good episode. It proves that even this often used card of time travel, the whole tired concept, can be put to new use. Even bold use, I should say, as it meta-plays with the very series more than parodies with the franchise.

Pretty good. Certainly not exactly deep in philosophical issues and had its fair share of plot holes. But it certainly pushed forward the time travel stuff, gave a good scifi hour and smart entertainment.
Horan
Sat, May 3, 2014, 3:40pm (UTC -6)
Ignoring the paradox and plot holes, which I would gladly do because of the fun story, I but have one problem with this episode - I do not think it is ethical at all to arrest someone because of the crime he is "about" to commit.
Nesendrea
Fri, Jun 13, 2014, 9:19am (UTC -6)
This episode is hilarious. More than once, I just shut my eyes and shook with laughter while I was watching it. I nearly busted a gut during the scene in which Braxton is arrested on his own bridge for crimes he "is going to commit", by his first officer (who had a facial expression that looked like he'd just found out Braxton was sleeping with his wife), to a furtive plea of "I haven't done anything!" Comedy gold.

The plot, of course, is utter nonsense. We all know that. Viewed from outside the story, it's simply a chaotic mess that can't hope to fit together, while even the "logic" of the narrative itself often relies on the absurd notion that the past is somehow happening right now, just because you've got a man (or a woman) on the ground there. But we know better than to expect plots involving time travel to stand up to scrutiny. This one doesn't even try, which is to its benefit. It's just a ton of fun and that's all it strives to be.

A quick thought on Janeway: Something that has always been consistent about her character is her impatience with "temporal paradox", usually right down to her specifically claiming that it gives her a headache. It's as if the character is intelligent enough to realize how loony the concept of time travel is, and is exasperated by the fact that she has to live in a universe where it happens regularly. I see the hand of the writers in that, pointing out the insanity of their own cherished plot device (just as Jammer remarks on this episode being a self-criticism concerning how often the idea is used). It's good to know the writers are aware of these things.

Something else that's interesting to note, as Horan indicated, is that this story raises a morally challenging science fiction question, sometimes seen (and usually treated more seriously) elsewhere in the genre: If you could know for certain, based on scientifically provable methodology, that someone was going to commit a crime in the future, would it be right to preemptively arrest that person? It's a difficult dilemma that can tie you in knots, but the context in which it's brought up here is so hysterical that I didn't waste time grappling with it.

3.5 stars for being so funny.
NCC-1701-Z
Sat, Oct 25, 2014, 10:51pm (UTC -6)
"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it's more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey ... stuff."

That Doctor Who quote pretty much sums up this episode perfectly. I don't think I need to say any more.
Logan
Mon, Nov 24, 2014, 4:12pm (UTC -6)
One of the worst Voyager episodes. Begins with promise, a flaming, pile of wreckage by the end.
Joe H
Sun, May 10, 2015, 12:40am (UTC -6)
Loved this episode, but especially as it got more and more crazy! I had forgotten about Braxton from season 3,so that was an interesting twist. I am especially glad that we have gotten past those pathetic episodes a few back.
Xylar
Fri, May 15, 2015, 7:59pm (UTC -6)
Well, after the last 2 slowmoving low on sci-fi episodes, this is a nice refresher. Finally some action and an actual sci-fi related plot.
Sure, it's hopelessly convoluted and nonsensical, but it doesn't seem to care and just swiftly plows through the episode. There's action, there's goofiness, there's a twist. Pretty much everything I like about Star Trek in one episode. I'm not even going to bother nitpicking this time around, even though there's plenty to pick. As far as I'm concerned, this is what Trek should be all about.
Mark
Thu, Jun 11, 2015, 12:10am (UTC -6)
It's hilarious to see comments from a certain someone who complained about all the plot-driven episodes lauding this shallow and mindless (if fun) episode as what Voyager should be.
Metcaffeine
Sun, Jun 28, 2015, 1:27pm (UTC -6)
I totally agree with this review. I love the whimsical attitude towards time travel in this episode. It's so fun... but in the end it doesn't have much meat on it's bones.

But it brushes over some interesting philosophical issues. For instance, what about this whole temporal reintegration thing? Do three versions of a person, from three different time periods, really count as all the same person? Is temporal reintegration murder?

And who does get to decide how the time-line "should" be? Presumably, Starfleet Command or the 29th century equivalent. It seems as if the purpose of the 29th century's Starfleet is to impose the will of High Command on the past. What's it like serving in such an organization? How did Starfleet become something so militaristic, paternalistic, and dark?

The ideas that this episode brings up are begging to be further explored. A series based on this episode could be a fresh and different take on Trek, even while preserving the ideals that Trek has espoused from the beginning.

Here's a post I wrote up that goes into more depth about what this series could look like:
www.sciencefictionalist.com/?p=95

I think it could work really well.
Shannon
Tue, Aug 25, 2015, 11:11pm (UTC -6)
Loved it, 3.5 stars for me! Yes, totally agree, the plot is ludicrous IF you try to take it seriously. The story does not, so neither should any of us. It's just plain fun. Sit back, crack open a cold one, and enjoy an hour of pure Star Trek bliss!
JC
Sun, Nov 15, 2015, 2:49pm (UTC -6)
Interesting points bought up about this episode. And like most movies and tv shows anything and everything that deals with time travel is so open to interpretation may as well go with whatever they put out there (usually).

The point about Captain Braxton being merged into one individual for trial due his trying to change time and the question about whether anyone has the right to is also insightful. Keep in mind that Janeway didn't hesitate to break those rules when they got in the way of what she wanted either. I believe Braxton was merely trying to undo the damage she was causing to the timelines.

Maybe the season ender Equinox was like looking into a mirror for Janeway. Seeing Ransom's actions for what they were and how she flung that same Prime Directive to the side far too often like in this ep was probably why she was so adamant to catch him. Guilt. Quite a motive.

The way they handled Braxton's plight was almost akin to shooting the shaggy dog. From his insanity induced in Future's End to his situation in this ep. All the versions of him! And to think that Janeway was at the crux every last one of them. Not that they would remember the events of S3...but Braxton sure would, seeing as how as he pointed out he had to fix those 'incursions'.

Sometimes I think the writers allowed her too much leeway with how fast and loose she was with the rules. It just made her look even more like a hypocrite with Ransom's situation. Braxton lost his career - not to mention his sanity - because of her. When I think back to Equinox when Ransom asked how often she broke the Prime Directive her response was 'never'. I remembered this ep...and the final ep, Endgame. Remember her response in regards to the Temporal Prime directive? "The hell with it!" Hell, her future self had already taken it upon herself to change the timeline in the first place. And being a 3 star admiral probably galvanized her to the extreme, to say the least.

In this one alone she could have very well obliterated all time and space just because she needed to know. Not saying Ransom's actions weren't deplorable but he never went so far as to nearly let entropy encompass all of time and existence just to assuage his curiosity.

Enuff ranting. All that being said, this was a fun ep to watch. Reminds me a bit of the first two Back to the Future films. Those were fun and inventive (tho the first one was damn near flawless even in the storytelling). And seeing Seven in a Starfleet uniform without any borg implants was something different :) Too bad chuckles couldn't have just disappeared into that temporal distortion in the ready room. And along with him the memories.

All we were really missing from this one was the doctor and his quips. A solid three stars.
navamske
Sat, Nov 21, 2015, 12:57pm (UTC -6)
As others have noted or implied, why didn't the Temporal Integrity Commission figure out that the first Captain Braxton was on Earth in 1967 and rescue him (or "correct that anomaly")? Why wasn't the TIC involved with the events of "Timeless" or "Shattered" or "Endgame"? I enjoyed this episode, but these kinds of questions do tend to be bothersome.

Also, it strains credulity that TWENTY-NINTH-CENTURY people would need the assistance of a twenty-fourth-century Borg because she's got some ocular capability that apparently they don't have.
Chrome
Fri, Feb 5, 2016, 12:19pm (UTC -6)
Call me a sucker for time travel plots, but I liked this a lot. Seven plays an interesting time cop, and it's nice to see some of the scenes of "Caretaker" from another perspective.

I also think it was a smart choice to use Seven, because other members of Voyager might have tried to alter Voyager's fate in the Delta quadrant. Seven doesn't really care about being stuck in the Delta quadrant at this point, so it makes sense that she'd help just to save her new home in the established timeline.

I'm not going to try and make sense of the time travel shenanigans (and you shouldn't either!), I'll just let myself be entertained by the idea of the challenge in stopping temporal threats and leave it at that.

3 stars.
Skeptical
Thu, Feb 18, 2016, 4:33pm (UTC -6)
You know what the worst part of the Trek movie reboot was? If I was in charge and wanted to recreate the Trek universe from the ground up, the first thing I'd do is kill all time travel. Instead, the reboot was created through time travel. Sigh... It's not that time travel is bad. After all, it gave us City on the Edge of Forever, The Voyage Home, Yesterday's Enterprise, First Contact, etc. The individual stories themselves are often great. It's just that, well, it opens up a massive can of worms every time, because every single time it's treated differently. Sometimes time travel changes the future, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it was always that way. Sometimes there's stable time loops, sometimes predestination paradoxes, sometimes not. It's enough to make your head hurt.

So leave it to Voyager, the king of ignoring continuity, to create the craziest, most messed up time travel plot yet. Fortunately it's fun, as long as you turn your brain off.

I mean, can someone explain to me how Seven can die, and so the timeship has to grab a new Seven, but takes her from a time after she died? Shouldn't she have disappeared from the timeline when they grabbed her the first time? And shouldn't that mean they have to grab her from a time before the last time they grabbed her? And shouldn't that mean that if they did do that, then the Seven who died would never have existed? Or something? Nah, whatever. We just want the drama of saying Seven is dead, and then grabbing another one. And if it was the other Seven who did all the time jumps and got bad enough time lag to die, why is the second Seven also affected?

If EvilBraxton planted the bomb in the second season, why did Seven see the bomb before Voyager launched? For that matter, why did the timeship not know where the bomb was located? They could have grabbed Seven from a second before the bomb exploded the first time and known exactly what they were dealing with. Heck, for that matter, why did Braxton set the bomb in the second season, but it didn't go off until the fifth season? Because... the episode wouldn't have been as cool otherwise. I guess. Not for any in-universe reason, that's for sure.

Also, just how many Braxtons did they have to capture before they could be sure he didn't do it any more? They had, like, three of them! Did all the Braxtons hang out and talk to each other on the timeship? That must be weird...

And naturally, the big one. If timecops exist in the 29th century, just where were they when Kirk was flying back to the past for fun? Or Picard had to deal with the Devidians? Or how do they deal with the Prophets having an Orb that can send anyone back in time for any reason? I guess timecops think any excursion before Voyager appeared is ok.

OK, wait, there's an even bigger plot hole. If Tom and B'Elanna are so much in love, why aren't they partners for the ping pong tournament?

But forget all of that, turn off your brain, and have some fun! Because it was a fun episode, even if it made no sense whatsoever. By far the best part of it was Janeway's reaction to seeing the timeship and hearing about all of this. Pretty much a "don't talk to me, don't explain it to me, just tell me what needs to be done so I can go back to forgetting all of this ever happened." Not only is it perfectly in character for Janeway, not only does it mirror the audience's reactions, but it also was darn funny.
Dave
Tue, Mar 1, 2016, 3:34am (UTC -6)
I never liked the idea of 29th century time police. First, they are trying to maintain "their" timeline. Which really, could be anything. We know people's memories and life histories change when time changes... so a time change in the past could change their whole existence . So, are they protecting their known time frame (which could change consistently) or perhaps implementing what they want history to be? That would have been more interesting.

The new trek did one time travel in order to justify whey they are a different continuity and be able to do anything they want. They didn't do any in Trek 2, and i hope they stay away from it in Trek 3. Honestly, Trek fans must be tired of time travel storylines especially when most of them have reset buttins.

This is a great episode if you check all of that at the door and just enjoy the romp through time. 2 stars if you want to apply logic and continuity to it, 3.5 stars if you don't take it seriosly and just have fun.
Del_Duio
Tue, Mar 1, 2016, 10:05am (UTC -6)
"Trek fans must be tired of time travel storylines especially when most of them have reset buttins. "

Dave- I know I am. It's cool once in a while but there's just too much of it, especially in the movies it seems. Honestly I don't think Trek did time travel any better than TNG's Yesterday's Enterprise, but VOY's Timeless is pretty close.

After the Klingon run-in in Into Darkness I was really hoping to see this new movie explore in that direction. Like the Klingons could have come back looking for their warriors at the battle site and found a federation phaser and declared war or something. Who knows what we're going to get now, but it's going to have the friggin' Beastie Boys in it at least (blech).
Diamond Dave
Sat, Mar 5, 2016, 2:07pm (UTC -6)
A highly entertaining time travel romp that smiles at its own labyrinthine plotting and contains a number of enjoyable callbacks. It's the sense of fun that prevents this becoming too complicated, and yes, you have to turn your brain off a bit, but so what? When you're having this much fun it's easy to put aside the critical faculties a little.

"Don't get started" indeed. 3.5 stars.
Yanks
Fri, May 27, 2016, 12:03pm (UTC -6)
azcats, "...and i cant believe it only has 20 comments after this post."

HAHAHA!!

Fun episode. Normally time travel is nostalgic for us, not the travelers. The episode revolves around them figuring things out in something that's familiar to us, this one is a nice twist, the nostalgic effect is in the Voyager universe.

Quite fun, 7 is fantastic.

So, has Janeway always known Seven?

Chuckle...

3.5 stars for me. ... and we get 7 in a Star Fleet uniform.
Robert
Fri, May 27, 2016, 1:27pm (UTC -6)
@Yanks - S5 VOY/S6 were actually pretty good eh? We had a lot of standouts, it started to have some continuity again and everybody seemed to be having a good time. I critique VOY (as a whole product) a lot, and it didn't do what I wanted out of it, but it did have a creative uptick around here.
Yanks
Tue, May 31, 2016, 8:00am (UTC -6)
Getting ready to start S6 Robert.

I actually think I ranked S4 higher than 5. I'll post numbers soon.

So while I don't dislike S1-3, Voyager really hit her stride in season 4 IMO.
mephyve
Wed, Sep 7, 2016, 6:31am (UTC -6)
oh the bliss of time travel! yummy (****)
Mikey
Sat, Nov 12, 2016, 12:02pm (UTC -6)
Packed with timey goodness. 3.5 stars

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