Jammer's Review

Star Trek: Voyager

"Fair Haven"

**

Air date: 1/12/2000
Written by Robin Burger
Directed by Allan Kroeker

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"The fight spilled out onto the street. Before long, he climbed up a tree and began shouting your name. Mr. Neelix managed to talk him down." — Doc to Janeway about a heartbroken hologram, a scene worth picturing

Nutshell: Only so-so on its given terms, and I have very mixed feelings about those terms.

The use of holograms on Voyager has at times made me very uncomfortable. "Nothing Human," in which a holographic re-creation of a real Cardassian surgeon helped save Torres' life, was a perfect example of the kind of mess the writers can create when permitting holograms to attain such limitless realism under manufactured circumstances. And who can forget the silly use of Leonardo da Vinci in "Concerning Flight," an episode that had the man's life knowledge carried around to be used as a conversation stimulator for Janeway as she tried to elude the bad guys?

As far as I'm concerned (maybe you agree, maybe you don't), holograms should not automatically be assumed as "real" people except in cases where they are long-term social participants who were created or permitted to grow as artificial lifeforms. Examples: the Doctor or Vic Fontaine. Your average holographic chump conjured on the holodeck out of "photons and force fields" (as Janeway describes it) is not an artificial lifeform; it's an elaborate computer simulation. To assume more opens a can of worms that makes me very leery, with implications that grow larger than any given story is willing to tackle. (For starters, just where/when does sentience begin?)

So now, in "Fair Haven," we have years of Janeway as the asexual captain finally dropped in order to give her a holographic love interest named Michael (Fintan McKeown). When I first heard about this premise a month or two ago, did I think it was a good idea? No, because there seemed to be too much messy unreality baggage factored into the equation. How does an emotional connection exist between a person and a simulation? What are the implications of such a relationship?

"Fair Haven" prompts in me some very mixed feelings. On one hand, I disagree with the basic premise—the idea that a holodeck character can make a good substitute for the real thing. (Hiding in the holodeck a la Barclay in "Pathfinder" has generally been seen as unhealthy and ultimately fruitless.) On the other hand, a big element of this story is about Janeway's hang-up with the fact that Michael is a hologram, resulting in some arguments that, quite frankly, needed to be said for this episode to work at all. The story, to its credit, manages to address some questions I was asking before the show even aired. It didn't resolve those questions to any real satisfaction, but it did manage to bring them up and argue them to some degree.

The Irish dwelling of Fair Haven is sixth season's take on the annual Voyager holodeck theme. My favorite hangout is still the more intimate and simple pool hall in Marseilles, but Fair Haven has a sort of idyllic context that seems to make sense for a pleasant setting the whole crew can enjoy. It's a triumph of Hollywood back-lot scene-setting, but it's not a triumph of imagination. (And is it me, or did it seem like an out-of-the-way effort was made to gratuitously insert [IRISH PUB BRAWL] into the script? Couldn't avoid that cliche.) Whether you go for this sort of thing depends on how much you appreciate these sort of setting showpieces for their novelty value. David Bell's thematically Irish score helps, I must say.

Overall, I didn't find this to be a particularly effective romance. I did, however, appreciate a few of the ideas behind it. What works are some of the implications that arise on the side, like Janeway's acknowledgement that Michael is a hologram, and the fact that she realizes her ability to change everything about him to make him more "perfect" is a big part of what makes the experience seem phony. I also sort of enjoyed McKeown as Michael, who creates an everyman persona that's sometimes likable, particularly his understated, confused vulnerability evident in the final scene.

But leading up to the (ambiguous) payoff is far too much pedestrian Standard Trek Romance material. The only real chemistry between Janeway and Michael is in the pathos of that final scene, after all the issues of real/not-real have been laid out for us; everything beforehand feels a bit forced. The romance here seems motivated more by the writers having said, "It's about time we gave Janeway a love story," than it seems like a logical outgrowth of events, character, or even spontaneous attraction.

Maybe the biggest problem is that Janeway just doesn't seem believably in character when flirting, dancing joyfully, arm wrestling, throwing rings, etc. These two characters aren't compelling enough to watch on the screen together. Part of the problem is that Mulgrew overplays the sentiment with exaggerated gestures. Mulgrew has always had a tendency to play up body language with stylized performances, but here it seems overly "playful" and too much for the audience's benefit. An early scene where a borderline-giddy Janeway gets a radiation inoculation in sickbay had me wondering just what kind of drugs she was on. (Okay, we get it—you're in an unusually good mood.)

On the other hand, I did get something out of the other end of the spectrum, when Janeway broods in her quarters. This sentiment is played up with an equal de-emphasis on subtlety, but it works a lot better because it grows out of emotions that seem to be genuinely held. Janeway has a quiet, defeated way about her sullen state—after it fully registers that her new holographic acquaintance is not a real person and she realizes that she is in fact very lonely.

It's perhaps a telling sign that the show's most entertaining scene is an amusing Janeway/Chakotay exchange on the bridge, which reveals about 100 times the chemistry of any Janeway/Michael scene. The J/C dialog is natural, playfully jibing, and friendly. (Doesn't this seem like the real potential here?) It's an episode like this that makes me wonder just what happened back in "Resolutions."

But never mind; Janeway/Chakotay is not an option because we can't have the captain having affairs with members of her crew. (As much as J/C interests me on the curiosity level, it would almost certainly be a bad, messy idea for the writers to attempt.) But is hooking Janeway up with a hologram the answer? I'm not sure. Quite frankly, hooking her up with an alien of the week might be more satisfying; at least it might seem like a real relationship with some sort of believable potential, rather than an extended, confusing fantasy with all the holographic real/not-real baggage to go along with it.

There are scenes in "Fair Haven" that suggest the captain's destiny is one of unfortunate loneliness. Those scenes are the ones that the show gets right. But a key Doc/Janeway conversation suggests that perhaps there is a future for Janeway and her holographic love interest after all. And then the episode ends with complete ambiguity, revealing that Janeway needs to sort some things out, and hinting that she might load Michael's program into the hologrid at some point in the future.

I'm realizing that this episode perhaps has a built-in Catch-22. Like the Doctor says, the captain's options are limited (though I'm not entirely convinced they must be as limited as the writers decree). So turning to alternatives might be necessary. But is this really solving the problem? Doc says so, but I dunno. More than anything, the romance seems to be testing waters—but testing for what? This relationship can become ... what? Is this a cure for boredom, high-tech physical/emotional masturbation, or an attempt for something more? Does it even matter since the chances of these issues being revisited are close to nil? Man, what a mess this makes. If nothing else, new writer/producer Robin Burger's first script for Voyager has found a way to provoke some thought.

In the meantime, there's plenty of laid-back filler, which is forgivable for what's essentially a shore-leave episode, I guess, but I can't say I was particularly entertained by it. Nor was I excited about the bargain-basement filler "danger" plot, involving some approaching spatial turbulence that basically serves as a metaphor for a hurricane or severe thunderstorm in space (and has the crew bracing for impact and escaping into the holodeck since there's nothing else to do while they wait out the storm).

All things considered, "Fair Haven" is a mediocre romance story. There's too much filler and bizarre characterization, and not enough chemistry. What remains of value are the arguments about how "real" a holographic simulation can be. It's a halfway interesting concept to tackle, but in the end it left me just as frustrated as ever about the supposed nature of holograms. At one point Doc tells Janeway that Michael is as real as Janeway needs him to be. But is he? Or will Janeway feel as hollow about the experience in a month as she did when she first sobered to the fact it was all an illusion? Can she—should she—force herself to accept the imaginary as reality?

By the end, Janeway is hopelessly conflicted over this dilemma. So am I. Janeway is not satisfied with how things turned out. And, unfortunately, neither am I. "Fair Haven" is a nice try on some levels, but it has too much implied messiness and ultimately doesn't work. And besides—Janeway deserves better than a hologram.

Next week: Societal development goes warp speed.

Previous episode: Pathfinder
Next episode: Blink of an Eye

Season Index

47 comments on this review

Nick - Tue, Jan 1, 2008 - 5:28pm (USA Central)
Holodeck technology is clearly in need of recalibration here. Ireland just isn't that bright and sunny, by a factor of about 100 or so. (California, on the other hand...)
joe - Fri, Mar 21, 2008 - 8:46am (USA Central)
This is the only ST episode that I watched in a cinemalike sorrounding, once on a convention in cologne. There were about 100 people, only a few of them voyagerfans but people went crazy for this one.

So two stars? I'd rank it higher. Its certainly an episode you can show to your girlfriend and We don't have many of those...
Brian O'Connell - Sat, Nov 8, 2008 - 10:50pm (USA Central)
Speaking as an Irishman it's great to see the old stereotypes are alive and well. American vacationers must really get a shock when they visit us and find we use light bulbs now instead of candles.
Damien - Sun, Apr 12, 2009 - 9:25am (USA Central)
Y'know, when I saw this ep when it first aired, it was one of my most despised episodes of Voyager to date. However, over the years, I've re-watched it several times and I must confess that I have completely changed my mind about it. In fact, now I love it.

I cannot agree with Jammer's criticisms about a lack of chemistry between Janeway and Michael, I think it was there in spades. In fact, I loved Janeway's girlish behaviour around Michael. It's exactly the kind of high one can get when they meet someone that literally takes their breath away.

The question of whether those feelings are appropriate from A) the captain and B) towards a hologram are valid, but I also think excusable given the R & R nature of the situation, where one is predisposed to having a good time.

Whether a hologram is 'really' sentient or not is neither here nor there IMO. If it can pass the Turin test (where you cannot tell the difference between a real person and a simulated one), which the Michael simulation clearly seems to be able to do, despite being programmable, then I think it becomes difficult to draw the line. It becomes a real, immersive environment. But of course, once out of the environment, you'd be much more analytical.

In fact, the very real tension that Janeway experiences between sober reality and embracing a perfect simulation, is what elevates this episode above standard fare.

There were also so many funny lines (such as 'delete wife' and Tuvok the barometer, to name a couple), that it simply made for a very entertaining and likable episode. I'd give it a three.
EP - Wed, Apr 15, 2009 - 3:43am (USA Central)
This episode is pure gutter trash. Its only redeeming feature is Janeway's coldly Machiavellian command to the computer, "Delete the wife." That line sustained me and my buddy through an entire semester of Differential Equations I & II/Semiconductor Physics. Just when we thought the classes couldn't get any tougher, we'd just look at each other and mutter, "Delete the wife." VOY as engineering therapy - what a concept!
Joe - Tue, Aug 11, 2009 - 5:52pm (USA Central)
I agree with Brian- my dad was once asked by an american: 'do you really have electricity in England?' American tv rarely shows anything but stereotypes when it comes to foreign countries, and the result is mass ignorance.

On a side note, Neelix constantly makes reference to helping with low morale on the ship, but the crew is never shown as anything other than blissfully happy. This strikes me as odd considering the situation- it would be nice to see at least one nervous breakdown, depression, anything.
Ken Egervari - Wed, Dec 9, 2009 - 7:16am (USA Central)
I have mixed feelings on a show like this. I can't understand why Voyager insists on resetting everything back to normal. Why couldn't Janeway have a holographic boyfriend on the ship for the rest of the series? What is wrong with that? The doctor makes a point, "It's not logical to have sex with your subordinates or wait for the chance alien passing by."

I'm not really sure what to take from the episode - not to change your loved ones? If that's the case, she dumped him for non reasons anyway, even if she can't change him anymore.

Ugh... it just makes me thing the entire endevour is pointless. The show has some really nice scenes too.
Paul - Wed, Apr 7, 2010 - 6:24pm (USA Central)
Initially poor but this episode improved as it went along. Inappropriate to see a Captain programming a holodeck character - tried to imagine Picard doing that! Still, Mulgrew carried it off and I enjoyed this episode - especially 'A stranger is just a friend you haven't met yet'. My Mum says that. She's Irish. I too thought the weather was far too good - LOL.
Chakotay's scene was hilarious - plenty of chemistry there. 'Delete the wife'.
Michael - Mon, Jul 12, 2010 - 1:46pm (USA Central)
Are you kidding me!?!?! Two thirds of a show about a team of astronauts on a starship stuck in the Delta quadrant in the 24th century is spent depicting merry scenes from the recretation of a 19th-century Irish village?!

WTF!?!

WHAT THE FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA...!!!!!?????!!!!!

This episode not only deserves MINUS FOUR stars, but it's such a load of taurine feces that it should get minus FOURTEEN stars, with the surplus ten spilling over into subsequent episodes. THAT's how crappy it is!! O.K., the episode itself wasn't stupid. Parts of it were actually funny. But the idea is so preposterous as to be beyond any critique.

Highlight of the show: Paris telling Tuvok "You'd make a good barometer, Tuvok: Every time you get queasy we go to red alert." hahahahahahahah!!!!!
navamske - Sun, Aug 22, 2010 - 7:17pm (USA Central)
Janeway was never "asexual," or portrayed as such. She was chaste. There's a difference.

What a coincidence that the Irish town resembles so closely the French town in "The Killing Game."
Tim - Sun, Nov 28, 2010 - 1:22pm (USA Central)
Another pointless filler episode. I think the holodeck should have been banned in Voyager. It's like Stargate Universe. Just get rid of the "stones" and all contact with earth, and any aliens that induce hallucinations which allow the writers to take a detour into pointless tat, and then it can move on with decent stories.
Mac - Sat, Jan 22, 2011 - 5:47am (USA Central)
What none of the reviewers mention is that this episode is an homage to Kate Mulgrew and her career. Her most famous role pre Voyager, and the one that launched her career, was as Mary Ryan on Ryan's Hope, the daughter of Irish bar owners. Any review of this episode has to keep that in mind.
jon - Fri, Feb 4, 2011 - 4:08pm (USA Central)
Bllody hell talk about sterotypes I mean do yanks actuallh think this is how people in Ireland live or lived well they don't or didn't

It would have been fun if one of the characters had been called Father Ted that would have been funny
Jay - Sun, Feb 6, 2011 - 12:57pm (USA Central)
Star Trek keeps topping itself in insulting the viewer's intelligence as far as the spacial realities of a holodeck are concerned. Take Me Out To The Holosuite reached a new high in low, placing an entire baseball stadium in the holodeck, with people in the simulation spaced out throughout. In that episode's comment section, some people spewed gibberish about magnetic fields and running in place and whatnot.

Now we have a whole damned town in the holodeck, with countless members of the crew throughout...dialogue in the episode even has Kim declaring crewmembers in various areas of town simultaneously.

It's a flaw I just can't get past even if the episode is otherwise good, which this one most certainly is not.

Even the earlier seasons' Sandrines, when full of Voyager patrons, came close to pushing the limits of spacial respresentation.
Cloudane - Tue, Mar 22, 2011 - 6:19pm (USA Central)
Argh, holodecks. The bane of Star Trek. I can think of one good holodeck episode (that Sherlock Holmes one in TNG) and it's as if they've been trying to recapture that kind of success again. It didn't work in TNG, it didn't work in DS9, it didn't work in the 6 seasons of Voyager thus far. I'd like to travel back in time and tell them to give it up!!

Anyway, the crew has to suffer Neelix's "cooking" because they need to conserve energy by not using replicators, yet they're essentially walking around in one giant replicator using masses of energy all the time. Hmm. (And what happened to non-volatile memory in the future? A power drain erases data... wow)

Logic aside then..
It had promise - a romance story for Janeway after all these years and a chance to have a good shot at tackling the hologram reality and sentience issues. But as usual the writers didn't have the guts to make a decision, so unfortunately it was left half baked, with most of the questions raised but none of them answered or even tackled in any meaningful way. (Janeway also gets to say "he's only a hologram" in front of the poor Doctor for about the 5th time in the series. Classy.)

It just left me wondering why they could never just FACE the hologram issue and sort it out.. clearly at some point with some kind of social triggers they become sentient. I don't think it happened with this Michael character, but certainly the Doctor and Vic and I'd say with enough interaction perhaps they all do - so hang on, Starfleet are creating and destroying life here, playing God. That has HUGE implications. Let's see them!! Oh wait, it's just Voyager :(

I do have to give the episode some credit, "delete the wife" was an absolute scream and the scene in general was amusing (I couldn't help but wonder if she'd ask to access the er "pleasuring parameters" and check the dimensions there. Dirty girl, Kathryn, dirty.)

All in all classic Voyager: something that could've been a lot more in the right hands, but which misses out due to a lack of guts on the part of its creators and ends up being a half story as the Starship ADHD drops the subject like a lead balloon and whizzes off towards something completely different.
Kieran - Mon, Apr 4, 2011 - 4:30am (USA Central)
What was with Tuvok feeling ill in one scene? Nothing ever came of that.
jacob teetertotter 7 - Tue, Aug 9, 2011 - 12:30am (USA Central)
So the problem is that Janeway fell in love with a fake person. I thoughtt the real problem was that she was wasting all that power on holo decks instead of saving the ship from the storm so big they couldnt go around it.

Maybe she should really be fired as captain for not being able to avoid a cloud when she is in a ship that is warp capable. I couldnt understand that.

Anyway assuming there was no way around the storm cloud, I dont understand why anyone cares who she humps on the holodeck. Shes got to be an adult and realize that hes not real. The whole episode is childish and the point lesson of the episode is what....you can't change people. Ok learned that one a long time ago. All in all a little below average, but fun to see Janeway smile. Since she finally got laid. :)
Iceblink - Thu, Aug 25, 2011 - 3:54am (USA Central)
Not content with one episode of Irish stereotypes (TNG's Up the Long Ladder), Trek takes another swipe. There's actually a little bit charm at work here, but it calls on too much suspension of disbelief regarding the capabilities of the holodeck - for Voyager depicts it as almost magical.

I also think it damages Janeway's character having her in a relationship with a hologram (and not a sentient, self-aware hologram like the Doc, either). There was actually something borderline sleazy about the way she was programming in her preferred specifications...how is this much different from some saddo blowing up an inflatable sex doll? It just doesn't sit well. It makes janeway look a bit stupid (and extremely desperate) and it highlights the general stupidity of Voyager's writers when it came to their (over)use of the holodecks.
Jack - Sat, Sep 17, 2011 - 10:45pm (USA Central)
When Janeway cleared the bar of everyone except for her and Sullivan, my first thought was...what if someone else from Voyager was in there at the time...awk-ward.
Jay - Sat, Sep 17, 2011 - 10:50pm (USA Central)
ROFLMAO at "pleasuring parameters"
Carbetarian - Sat, Sep 24, 2011 - 1:21pm (USA Central)
@Jack YES! I was thinking the same thing! Take it a step further though. Let's say Janeway actually decides to take those "pleasuring parameters" (lol) for a test run, and then the ship is hit hard by that ion storm (or whatever this week's anomaly was). The holodeck shorts out while everyone is at the bar, and Janeway is *ahem* with the bar keep. Now, THAT would be awkward.

Or even worse, imagine the embarrassing potential accidents that could arise from a power drain while hooking up with a hologram. Janeway and and Michael are on a bed, when the bed suddenly disappears. CRASH. Janeway and Michael are having a kinky afternoon in the upper loft of a friend's barn. BOOM. You get the idea.

Imagine this scene:

Doctor: Please state the nature of the medical emergency.

Janeway: It's none of your business. Just treat my back.

Doctor: But captain, if I know how you received the injury I'll be better able to treat it.

Janeway: Computer; disengage the doctor's vocal subroutines!

*end scene*

As for the episode, eh... I didn'f hate it as much as I expected to. In fact, I kind of enjoyed some of it. It was kind of nice to see a softer side of Janeway, and the questions raised about the viablity of having a relationship with a hologram were interesting. The Irish stereotyping was pretty cringe worthy though, and I don't think I ever needed to see Tuvok get space sick like that.

I think two stars is about right, actually.
tobe - Wed, Jan 18, 2012 - 7:50am (USA Central)
If I had a holodeck, I would not hang out in a crappy simulation of an Irish village, especially if I wasn't allowed to get drucking funk on real alcohol in the pub. I's just so incredibly lame.
V - Sun, Feb 5, 2012 - 2:12am (USA Central)
Jammer, I take it that if a woman or anyone who isn't Vulcan, doesn't have sex they are asexual? As a woman I take exception to that. There is a difference between being asexual, chaste, and being a slut. Kirk is a slut. Janeway and Sisko believes in being faithful to your mate. Janeway because he was far away and sisko's wife is dead and both can't get over it -both heart-broken.

Janeway is being true to her fiancee for couple of seasons and others she's oozing big time chemistry with chakotay. Damn if Chakotay would just take charge and shake her, this would be a show I think my girl friends would watch.

Oh and someone here said something about sci-fi should be more space, etc. as an engineer I love that stuff. However, I'm also human and a woman who loves good entertainment. So a sci-fi series doing some episodes out of that context is a good thing. I see that complaint all the time and it's starting to sound like the whining I hear from the male engineers at my work who can't seem to just focus and just do their job instead of drama about their wives or too much work that have become too much because they were whining the entire day at work instead of working. Sorry if I offended anyone I'm just venting at this point and projecting.
Jay - Mon, Jun 4, 2012 - 2:00pm (USA Central)
Since Tobe brings up synthehol here, I have to say that I've never understood it's concept. IIRC, TNG established it as "having the intoxicating effects of alcohol, but the effect can be easily dismissed".

How does that work? If you're intoxicated by it (because you "allow" it?), then how do you have the clearmindedness to know when it needs to be "dismissed"?
J. Devlin - Mon, Jun 4, 2012 - 10:44pm (USA Central)
Someone should tell Father Doctor that they don't really celebrate St. Patty's Day in Ireland. It's mostly an Irish American holiday. Ah well.

@Brian O'Connell, Fair Haven was a 19th Century representation of "sunny" Ireland. Hence, the candles.

Now, if Harry REALLY wanted Tommy Boy to create an accurate simulation of 19th Century Ireland he would have insisted on a potato famine to go along with the fog. And maybe an epidemic of "The Galloping Consumption" (TB) for good measure.

Ah well. Sláinte and...

Delete The Wife.
Destructor - Tue, Jun 19, 2012 - 1:18am (USA Central)
This is actually one of two Voyager episodes that I specifically avoided on the original run (the other being the sequel episode) because it sounded so dire.

So I recently watched it for the first time (the first time I have watched a 'new' episode of Star Trek since the Enterprise finale aired!) and was... pleasantly surprised. It was fun. I thought the ending was ridiculous (The Doctor saying Michael was 'as real as he was' was offensive and dumb), but overall I had a lot of fun with the episode. I think 2 stars is about right, but I still liked it.
Alvez - Tue, Aug 28, 2012 - 2:41am (USA Central)
The quote at the top of the top of the page should have been Janeway changing Michael's familiar parameters: "delete the wife." haha
Madson - Sun, Dec 23, 2012 - 2:31am (USA Central)
Everyone's wrong, Chakotay is probably the most senior ranking and best looking guy in the crew. Thus, he's probably already the object of affection by many of the single female members of the crew. In contrast, Janeway is most likely avoided by many of the men on the ship, even if they feel any attraction towards her. Thus, she's in a quandary and having a holodeck companion, probably beats dating by a long shot.
Sybok - Thu, Jan 31, 2013 - 2:08pm (USA Central)
What happens if the power goes off and you are banging a hologram.....you end up taking a cold sonic shower I suppose.
Rerun - Thu, Jan 31, 2013 - 2:45pm (USA Central)
And Harry sure got a lock on that Irish arm wrestler dude!
Adara - Mon, Apr 22, 2013 - 10:52pm (USA Central)
I was thinking the same thing about the awkwardness of having sex with a hologram. Imagine if someone else walks in and says "Computer, end program." Then not only are you the only one there, but you're stark naked. Not a captain's proudest moment.
skadoo - Thu, Jul 11, 2013 - 11:14pm (USA Central)
Did anyone else think that the Doctor's line about --Michael being as real as he is --sound like the Doc was hitting on the Captain?

Also the simulation was open to the whole ship so if they did do the nasty anyone could have walked on in AND all of the walls and such are made of electrons, probably not much that would muffle noise...ahem.
ian - Sun, Jul 28, 2013 - 2:08am (USA Central)
Stupid, lame and embarrasing...
One of the worst, and that is saying a lot.
The idea that this is what the crew likes? The whole crew? No one rather have the planet Risa, which has been established it is already a virtual paradise, or even a version of Vegas? Hawaii? etc...
Jo Jo Meastro - Wed, Jul 31, 2013 - 7:59am (USA Central)
Voyager sometimes does holodeck themes and stories that rank as my favourites in all of Trekdom (Captain Proton, the French bar, season 2s' 'Projections', the Doctor in general etc), however they sometimes get it very wrong (Neelixes' stupid tropical bar in season 3, Janeways' Victorian nanny exploits, Leonardi, the awful 'Nothing Human' etc).

I'd say Fair Haven gets it wrong, mostly by not having enough humour or fun even when trying its hardest to be charming. And I didn't buy the romance as presented, expect for Janeways' torn expression as she kisses a man who isn't Mark and of course "delete the wife" made me laugh!

I think it should have stuck at the physical level and just explored her loneliness and mixed feelings in what she's doing to satisfy some of that longing. It would remove a lot of the baggage and made for a more believable, braver story.

And I hated the way a storm was used as a easy way out of the storys' implications and renders everything meek and meaningless. Half a star.
Jo Jo Meastro - Wed, Jul 31, 2013 - 8:28am (USA Central)
I think the inclusion of the whole romantic angle was because the writers felt the need to make Janeway super respectable and above such behaviour as harmlessly indulging in sexual fantasy and satisfaction, no emotions attached to the act (i.e a 24th Centuary metaphor for masturbation).

They should have ran with the analogy and used it as a means to explore the emotional implications as well as challenging the supposed shame built up around the act by so-called social standards. The truth is everybody masterbates wether they're a man or a woman, 15 or 50 and even being single or not makes little difference. So why not explore this part of the human condition?

This isn't even something I care about. It just annoys me how fruitless and pointless the whole episode is, when a little bravery and maturity could have made for something much more. I'd rather they never bothered at all.

While I'm still here, allow me to correct a few mistakes in my last post! *Leonardo, *except and hopefully that's it!
azcats - Tue, Aug 13, 2013 - 3:15pm (USA Central)
the whole concept of the holodeck is flawed. you should only have one room in a holodeck. multiple rooms doesnt even make sense. but..we all know they exist in star trek, so time to get over it

not my favorite episode because of the lack of action and mystery. but i liked the questions about "to love or not to love a hologram."

2 star for being mildly entertaining.
Nic - Sun, Oct 27, 2013 - 11:17am (USA Central)
There are so many scenes in this episode (the brawl scene in particular) where I wondered why they don't just freeze the program or shut it off. That's a sign of how uninteresting this stereotypical Irish village is (just a shade above "Up the Long Ladder"). The best thing about the episode is Mulgrew's performance. She did her best even though she (reportedly) was unhappy with the script.
Jons - Sat, Dec 14, 2013 - 9:11am (USA Central)
"Everything is authentic!" - except, you know, everything. Apparently in Ireland, everybody speaks with an American fake English accent.

Just like the "French" bar was populated with Italians.

Also, I love how everyone on Star Trek is fascinated by the early 20th century! And they know so much about it, too! They never go vintage with late 23d century. No, ALWAYS the first half of the 20th. How strange. You know, just like today everyone's an absolute expert on 17th century music and customs and history, and everytime we want to go vintage that's where we go.

Anyway, terrible episode, the first of season 6 I couldn't finish.
Jack - Fri, Jan 10, 2014 - 9:44am (USA Central)
@ Jons...

The exception, of course, is for retro music. Then they zip right past the 20th century and it's as if all music ceased after the era of Beethoven. Would've been cool if Riker went to his quarters after work and turned on some Eagles or some Jefferson Starship.

JJ Abrams remedies this in the reboot, but of course for the worse.
Cloudane - Tue, Jan 21, 2014 - 7:18am (USA Central)
Regarding the comments about the Holodeck failing while "in the act", I have just the image link for that!

b3ta.com/board/10806514
Usulnet - Sat, Jan 25, 2014 - 1:17am (USA Central)
Doing a viewing of all the treks and this is the first time seeing most of Voyager as I didn't particularly care for it while it was on. When this holodeck episode came up I groaned because I never met a holodeck episode I liked. However it got into more adult aspects which was interesting, they always glaze over sexual relationships or things like bathrooms etc. in the show and when they put traces here and there it adds realism. Although Janeway turning a fully open holodeck into a holosuite was odd it showed a different side of her that seems to be missing mostly through out the seasons, even Commander Chipotle was interesting in his banter with Janeway. Not the greatest episode ever for sure but for a holodeck episode it carried itself well enough.
DLPB - Sat, Feb 22, 2014 - 7:59pm (USA Central)
Another huge flaw (surprise surprise) in this episode. Look... we have Commander Data, a sentient life form created by man. It took a genius his entire life to perfect him. Then, we have the holodeck... and characters that are now indistinguishable from life. That means they are basically sentient.

Not only is that ridiculous, it opens up a massive ethical dilemma. But this episode, and almost all Trek's from TNG have shirked this.
Amanda - Thu, Mar 6, 2014 - 8:56pm (USA Central)
Mac> Not sure what the odds you'll see this years later after your OP, but I thought that too, that it was homage to Kate but she says so many negative things about the Fair Haven arc. So my question for her would be did she play a part in fair haven and the writers didn't mention Michel until the script was done? Or did she get zero wind of it. The writers were inspired by her background and decided to do an ep? She jokes they punished her for not pursuing a love interest and frowns at the very idea of a holo- lover especially the short statured actor.



I hated the storm. Frankly, I hated this episode except the friendship of janeway and chakotay on the bridge. I liked seeing some deep continuity that they aren't superficial but loyal friends.
K'Elvis - Tue, May 27, 2014 - 5:19pm (USA Central)
@Carbetarian Good point. This was a public simulation, multiple people would use it at the same time. They implied that Janeway and Micheal had sex. That's fine in a private simulation, but if the holodeck failed... it could be embarrassing. I have no problem with the captain getting some holodeck action, but it might be best to use a private simulation.

Trek hasn't been consistent with the holodeck characters. The Doctor and Vic are clearly "people" with experiences of their own, while other characters are just simulations. The Doctor has no reason to think that Micheal is as real as he is. If they are people, it's wrong to turn them off.

The idea of large numbers of people on a holodeck makes little sense. Take for example "Take me out to the holosuite." You're the batter, and you see the pitcher 90 feet away, and you also see the outfielders a couple hundred feet away. The holosuite is only a few dozen feet away, so you can't really be seeing these people. What you are seeing is holographic projections of the people to simulate distance. That means each person is in their own holographic "bubble", a projection centered on themselves. Why not have a large number of "holo-cubicles"?
Robert - Wed, May 28, 2014 - 10:08am (USA Central)
@K'Elvis - The holocubicles would be a little strange because then it'd have to render you for me and me for you if I got close enough to and wanted to touch you. I always imagined dividers, if Troi/Worf went left and Picard/Crusher went right eventually the holodeck would split and they'd each be in their own separate half-sized holodeck.

As for Voyager's holodecks... didn't the Hirogen make them bigger and link them? Maybe they didn't undo all of that and so they could make an Irish Village?

"if the holodeck failed... it could be embarrassing"

LOL.... that would have been hilarious.

And yes, I found the whole "sentient hologram" thing to be annoying. I mean, Data was supposed to be unique in that nobody could replicate his electronic sentience but then the Enterprise D made Moriarty with little trouble, Bashir's friend designed Vic and Voyager's Doctor became sentient.

I always felt Voyager's doctor became sentient due to years and years of constant on-time + a huge computer system + lots of experience doing things he wasn't programmed to do... forcing him to learn/adapt and by doing so evolve the ability to learn/adapt. I guess I just imagine Michael not being sentient because I just imagine him being a floppy to Doctor's terrabyte hard drive or a toaster to his iPad. The doctor's program is always said to be huge, I can't imagine they have the storage space for every hologram to have a program the size of the Doctor.

The other intriguing thing about the Doctor is that Voyager uses BIO gel packs, so actually the processors making the Doctor's decisions are not even all electronic. That gives him an even larger claim to be able to be "accidentally sentient" than Vic/Moriarty.

::shrug:: I'll stop now, this conversation is far too interesting for such a disappointing episode :P
navamske - Tue, Nov 11, 2014 - 7:26pm (USA Central)
@Damien

"In fact, I loved Janeway's girlish behaviour around Michael. It's exactly the kind of high one can get when they meet someone that literally takes their breath away."

I just watched this again, and I agree. I have never had any feelings one way or the other about Mulgrew's acting ability -- didn't think she was a good actress, didn't think she was a bad actress. But here, she really impressed me with only gestures, facial expressions, and body language -- I *believed* Janeway was majorly attracted to Michael.
Moegreen - Sun, Nov 30, 2014 - 10:26am (USA Central)
@Brian O'Connell

Agreed, on the one hand we have reality (Chief O'Brien) and then they smash us in the mouth with this lephrachronic tripe. The worst vandalism was when Colm Meaney had to personally endure this racial torture during Up The Long Ladder.

Submit a comment

Above, type the last name of the captain on Star Trek: TNG
Notify me about new comments on this page
Hide my e-mail on my post

Season Index

Copyright © 1994-2014, Jamahl Epsicokhan. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction or distribution of any review or article on this site is prohibited. Star Trek (in all its myriad forms), Battlestar Galactica, and Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc., NBC Universal, and Tribune Entertainment, respectively. This site is in no way affiliated with or authorized by any of those companies. | Copyright & Disclaimer