Jammer's Review

Star Trek: Voyager

"Fury"

*1/2

Air date: 5/3/2000
Teleplay by Bryan Fuller & Michael Taylor
Story by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
Directed by John Bruno

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"It was a fire hazard." — Tuvok on elaborate special effects

Nutshell: A pointless mess of a story punctuated by nice-looking, pervasive, pointless special effects.

The best shot in "Fury" is the one right before the opening titles, where an aged Kes walks down a Voyager corridor with a calm look on her face, as the walls behind her explode and crumble. It's the sort of shot that a storyboard artist might be excited about—comic-book cover art that gets its hook into you.

Alas, the shallowest aspect of "Fury" is the titular fury. For most of the hour we're thirsting to know why Kes is going berserk, and when we finally get the answer, it's ... well, pretty lame. The wrath of Khan was sold on a deliciously believable, obsessive conflict. The wrath of Kes is arbitrary. The character, whom we haven't seen in two-and-a-half years, is reduced to a cardboard villain with dubious motivation. And for what?

The episode delivers, I guess, on its promise to be full of apocalyptic action, mayhem, and special effects. But it fails as a story with characters we can care about. Yet again we have the characters, especially Kes, reduced to the mechanics of the plot, one that doesn't make a whole lot of sense. The key questions I figured might be important for a return-of-Kes show would be what she had evolved into in "The Gift" and why, and what returning to revisit the Voyager crew might mean for her (and the crew).

Welp, might as well just throw those questions out the nearest window, because they're the least of this story's worries, which instead is built upon paradoxical time travel, mistaken identity, deception, and a big showdown with the Vidiians—in other words, "action," the hallmark of Voyager.

The episode's action requires that we accept Kes as a villain. I suppose it's slightly easier to do that when upon beaming aboard Voyager she immediately knocks down walls, buries security officers under tons of rubble, kills Torres, absorbs energy from the warp core, and then vanishes without a trace to travel back in time with an Evil Plan. She travels back to "season one," at a point when Voyager had been in the Delta Quadrant for eight weeks. She renders the Kes of this time frame unconscious and assumes her place.

Why? Sorry—won't find that out until the big Janeway/Kes showdown in act four, although we get the general idea when Kes contacts a Vidiian ship that is tracking Voyager and agrees to help them capture and "harvest" the crew in exchange for safe passage to Ocampa for her younger counterpart. (I always liked those Vidiians, probably the series' best original alien bad guys.) She explains to the Vidiians that her crew "abandoned me a long time ago."

"Fury" is mostly interested in the mechanics of Kes' plan and the crew's investigation of the oddities that arise as a result of it (and action, of course). Some of the procedural aspects of the story are actually fairly well constructed. The plot utilizes Tuvok's telepathic abilities, giving him premonitions of things to come, in a way that probably makes little logical sense but is believable on its terms nonetheless. Janeway and Tuvok begin an investigation that follows the clues competently.

But other moments aren't so skillfully handled, like when bad Kes, pretending to be good Kes, walks into sickbay and steals a hypospray, duping the Doctor by hiding it all too obviously behind her back. Doc's degree of lacking observation is the sort typically reserved for sitcom characters and played for laughs. ("Is that a hypospray behind your back or are you just glad to see me?" Cue canned laughter.)

Kes undermines the crew by giving the Vidiians information that will help them capture Voyager, which is traveling through some sort of anomaly that will permit the upcoming battle to take place in front of a more interesting-looking background than a black starfield. When the Vidiians board the ship, we get lots of phasers in the corridors and big mechanical Vidiian clamps that attach themselves to Voyager.

The real confrontation is of course between Janeway and Kes, where we finally get our explanation about why Kes is doing all this (confusion, loneliness), at which point my reaction was, "That's it?" The story makes Kes come across as an unreasonable ingrate.

As for Kes' powers, it would seem they are controlled solely by the Plot Gods. At the beginning of the show she can crush walls. By the time of her big showdown, she knocks down Janeway, and Janeway gets back up. Repeat. Repeat again. Why is it Kes can't knock the phaser out of Janeway's hand? How do these powers work? Are all Ocampa like this in some way? Why can Kes absorb a warp core but not a phaser beam? How is it sometimes she can control computers? Why didn't she simply travel back in time and prevent herself from leaving her homeworld rather than messing with Voyager? The answer to all these questions: Her powers constitute the perfect flexible plot device which is limited or unlimited at the writers' will.

And can somebody please tell me why Lieutenant Carey (Josh Clark), that guy who vanished in the first season, vanished in the first season and now only shows up in time-travel episodes that take place during or before the first season (this episode and "Relativity")? And no, we never saw him die; you're probably thinking of Ensign Hogan if you say he was eaten in "Basics II."

There's of course a time paradox in "Fury" that beggars logical analysis, so I'll resist trying. Okay, I won't. Where does the circle of events start (or end), and if Kes never goes back in time to ruin the Voyager crew, how can information of her plan be remembered in order to prevent her from going back in time in the first place (last place, no place, etc.)? Usually somewhere in the dialog is a joke about the time paradox, but here it's ignored completely, hoping we'll do the same. I dunno. Somehow—and I'm not sure why—that approach seems wrong. In any case, this is one of the least convincing time paradoxes in a long time. It turns the story into a mess.

This episode also furthers the series' crusade of reducing any possible trace of Voyager's long-term credibility to zero. There's a sequence here where a section of the hull on one side of Voyager is literally ripped off by the Vidiian clamp, and twisted metal goes spinning off into space and a fireball shoots out the side of the ship. Presumably, significant areas on several decks are destroyed. It's an elaborate CG effect, yes, but is it believable in the slightest? No, because it's the usual FX Sans Consequences [TM], destruction brushed off as a non-issue when it should mean hell to pay. (Ironically, these events happen during what was season one, when matters of supply and damage were actually taken halfway seriously; remember the bio-gel packs in "Learning Curve"?) Maybe I should just let it all go and assume the Voyager crew can fix anything—but by this point, I'm guessing the crew could self-destruct the ship, and then build another one during four or five rerun weeks.

There's plenty of plot to nitpick, but I wouldn't bother if there was enough actual story underneath to keep me interested. I should probably point out that "Fury" possesses some technical skill. Stylistically, under John Bruno's direction, the episode looks good (except for the corny bouncing off the walls in the Janeway/Kes encounter). But if you scratch the surface, there's nothing underneath. I'll go back to the central problem with "Fury"—Kes' wrath. I simply don't buy her pulling this 180. This is the same Kes who gave 10,000 light-years to the crew she so much loved in "The Gift." Why is she now so hell-bent on vengeance? I might buy it if the story had bothered to supply the depth necessary for her anger, but it doesn't. The explanation of her loneliness isn't nearly enough; it gives the character the stature of any crazed random alien.

The show tries to bribe us with visuals and chaos when what we really want to care about is Kes. In the end, we're saying goodbye to Kes again, after time paradoxes and heartfelt understanding have given her a second chance to reach peace with her former crew (pulling an arbitrary 180 on top of a 180, making it a hopelessly dubious 360). She decides she is now strong enough to return home. But so what? We said goodbye to her once already, nearly three years ago. Now we do it all over again, having learned no more about her. (Y'think she'll make it back to Ocampa in her remaining few years of life? After all, she's only got 40,000 light-years to cover in that little shuttle of hers. Maybe it can go warp 57. Maybe her powers can make it go warp 57. Maybe she could've made Voyager go warp 57 and helped gotten her friends-turned-enemies-turned-friends home. Or maybe she doesn't forgive them that much.)

Another problem, which I actually found very surprising, was that Jennifer Lien's performance was sub-par. The scene where she (sort of barely) tears up her quarters is almost laughably phony. And in other scenes, Lien seems to be underacting when going over the top like she did in "Warlord" might actually have been better. (As played by Lien, a better title for this show might've been "Mildly Miffed, But Everyone's Gonna Die Anyway.") Lien seemed approximately as convinced of her character's motivation as I was.

Ultimately, "Fury" is an expensive-looking episode that's missing the center it needs—an actual story about Kes. When Lien was written off the show when Jeri Ryan was written in, there was much speculation as to why. I never found out the real story, though I've seen enough traffic on the Internet to conclude she was probably forced out more than she wanted out. I always felt the writing had been what failed her character. In "Fury," when Kes accuses Voyager of abandoning her, one almost begins looking for the ironic self-allegorical subtext. But never mind—that was "Muse."

Next week: In the trailer, Jeri Ryan says "sexual activity," so that's probably all UPN really needs you to know.

Previous episode: Muse
Next episode: Life Line

Season Index

54 comments on this review

Immanuel - Sat, Sep 15, 2007 - 2:26pm (USA Central)
I've always loved Kes. Which is precisely why "Fury" is *this* close to being unwatchable. Kes returning? Great idea. Coming dangerously close to character assassination? Not so much.

Seriously, how did this script even make it to production? Here we have the return of an original cast member who's character left to experience a higher form of existence, and never got a chance to say goodbye to many of her friends, but sorry...we simply won't have time to follow-up any of that, with the Vidiians and all. What a wasted opportunity.

"Fury" is unbelievable. And I mean that in the literal sense. I'd like to know how Kes managed to forget (in *both* timelines, no less) that she was the one who felt compelled to leave the ship...and that Janeway was the one who practically pleaded with her to stay.

Continuity quibbles: It mildly annoys me when they get most of the little details right in these time travel shows, but overlook others. In this case, they got Janeway & Torres' old hairdos right, but didn't give Chakotay an appropriate haircut. Also, the fluid in the warp core was colored differently during the first season.
Jakob M. Mokoru - Wed, Feb 20, 2008 - 5:15am (USA Central)
I have to agree! What a mess of an episode! I never got a clue why Kes would react that way, but never mind.
Shouldn't Voyager at least look like the Enterprise in "The Search for Spock"? With scars on her outer hull and burns on the walls? This would be expected of repairs done in space!
This episode also reminded me, how much I'd liked to see more "Other-Senior-Officers-command-the-bridge-during-a-crisis"-episodes. I mean, here we see Chakotay doing so and it really works for him. When I think of TNG, EVERY charakter there got to command the ship at one time or another - even TROI!!! And I always liked those shows.
David Forrest - Tue, Feb 26, 2008 - 9:48pm (USA Central)
This episode was a plain mess. I can't believe it made it into production. I can understand where the writers were coming from---what if Kes's transformation didn't work out and she tries to protect her younger self? Would she blame the crew for encouraging her? Fine-go from there, but the entire story of going into the past and screwing everything up doesn't make a good episode. If they wanted to go that route then the entire Action Sequence (which was really exciting) should have been wrapped up during Act Three, maybe even Act Two. More scenes in the present would have been real interesting to watch. Kes was a great character who didn't get a lot to do and the writers admitted this. Granted, I was not a fan of this decision to get rid of her over Kim, but like the Cynic said in his review, this episode is the opposite of "Yesterday's Enterprise" where we got a good-bye to Tasha Yar after a terrible one, whereas in this we get a crummy second goodbye after terrific goodbye in "The Gift" (one of Voyager's best).
Alex - Fri, Apr 25, 2008 - 3:30pm (USA Central)
This series was such a disaster. What an awful show. Just caught most of it on a re-run on Spike just now. Terrible. I really liked the Kes character, like Jammer said the writing failed the character. Very apparent here.
Tim - Thu, Jun 5, 2008 - 9:35pm (USA Central)
Forget "Threshold". THIS is the worst episode in Voyager history. The Kes I remember would never do such a thing in a million years. If she has decided to have all of her former friends and shipmates murdered, she better have a damn good reason. Something so horrible that you might make you think she had a right to be so angry. Something a little better than "I couldn't understand or control what I discovered, it frightened me...And its Voyager's fault". Ugh, this episode was BAD!
Straha - Fri, Aug 1, 2008 - 4:48am (USA Central)
I have to agree with everyone. This show practically raped the *character* Kes just for the sake of a few gratuitous action scenes. I so hate it when writers produce utterly uncaring scripts like this one.
Bill T - Sat, Dec 13, 2008 - 9:53pm (USA Central)
Don't get goofy now, 'Threshold' is definitely worse!
Bertie - Thu, May 21, 2009 - 7:42am (USA Central)
In the annals of Bad Trek, I find, oh, four different levels of Bad:

* 4th worse: Bad, but has some smidge of redeeming value as an inadvertent self-parody. Stuff like TOS:"Spock's Brain" and VOY:"Threshold" goes here.

* 3rd worse: Just flat out bad TV without even inadvertent parody to redeem it, but at least mostly harmless to the Trek lore as a whole. Examples: Much of TOS Season 3; that low-budget flashback ep at the end of TNG Season 2.

* 2nd worse: Bad, and screws over some beloved part of Trek in the process. Here's where our VOY:"Fury" goes.

* Worst of the worst. Anything episode centered on the moral obscenity that is the Prime Directive, at least in its full "let other people die without lifting a finger to help them form." The TNG episode with Worf's step-brother goes here, but at least a few of those natives survive. No, to win the true "Worst Episode in all of Trek" award, you gotta do like TNG:"Pen Pals" and just let 'em all die.
Will - Thu, Dec 3, 2009 - 5:21pm (USA Central)
I watched this episode, but all I saw was Rick Berman and Brannon Braga raping Kes. It was traumatising.
Ken Egervari - Mon, Dec 14, 2009 - 11:27pm (USA Central)
OMG... if this isn't one of Voyager's worst episodes.

Did the writers actually watch the first 3 episodes of voyager before writing this episode? If you wanted to make an episode about Kes in Season 6... this is what your brilliant minds came up with? Yuck.

The thing with time travel episodes is that they often filled with holes. Going to the future to the present can work logically, but never in the past. There is thing called the butterfly effect... having all that crap happen with the Vidians will most certainly impact how their trip plays out.

Or if you prescribe to alternately created universes when people go back in time to change something... then there is still the matter of the one universe where B'Elanna is still in fact dead. But I guess we aren't following that universe anymore.

But let's ignore that... are we ready to believe that Kes forgot about her childhood on Voyager, which by and large, was positive? I can understand bad childhoods being suppressed... but people with good childhoods often remember way more details than those who had shitty upbringings. Not really buying it, even if you say that Okampa psychology is different than humans... I don't buy it. She's demonstrated the same emotional capacity and similarities as humans and other species.

Lastly, I don't know how Kes plans on getting back home. Isn't she 40,000 light years away? I mean, holy crap... unless she gets a warp-core to drain power from, I don't know how she's going to make it. She seems pretty weak.

And if she can get back to planet Okampa... why not send Voyager home then if she's ever so powerful? Hell... why do you even need a shuttle for?

Minor quibble: Kes is using the same shuttle used by the first timeship in season 3 - the one that got them trapped in the very late 20th century for 2 episodes. They've used this ship in other episodes as well. Those 3 blinking lights on either side of the pilot's face are a real give-away. It's just not believable if they keep using the same shuttle for everyone's ship!

Ugh, the episode was just bad. This isn't the way to remember Kes on this series. It has plot holes galore.
Ken Egervari - Mon, Dec 14, 2009 - 11:28pm (USA Central)
Oh, I meant to say the first 3 seasons, not episodes. My bad.
Will - Thu, Dec 31, 2009 - 8:27pm (USA Central)
@Alex aha, so you watch Spike? Well then, you probably watched Blade the series. And we all know how "good" that was. HOW DARE YOU FLAGRATE VOYAGER AS A BAD SERIES WHEN YOU WATCH WORSE CRAP LIKE THAT! Okay, so this episode was BAD, bust geez, just shut up already. We know you hate Voyager, so just shut it.
Jeff - Mon, Jan 25, 2010 - 5:58am (USA Central)
Most of what I would've said regarding "Fury" has been said already, so I'll keep it brief. Over the years a lot of flak has been thrown regarding Berman and Braga's alleged ruining of the ST franchise. For a long time I believed it, because certain criticisms and the general lack of originality in plotting in VOY and ENT seemed to prove it. However, upon further reading, I've started to change my mind a bit. I've begun to feel that it is simply too easy to place all of the franchise's failures and shortcomings onto their shoulders.

Then there are episodes like "Fury." Character assassination, for the point of what? Ruining a beloved character who was never properly utilized on the show in the first place?

I just don't understand how the show's co-creator and Braga, whose been there from the beginning as well as writer/producer, could bring back an original character and think that this was the best Kes story to tell? I want to talk to Berman, Braga, Lien, Mulgrew and co. I want to ask them what they thought of when they were planning Kes's return. Why this was the best story to tell, rather than explore what Kes's transformation had meant. Why we couldn't get a scene between Kes and Neelix which gave a legitimate and definitive reason for their breakup in Season 3. I want to ask Lien what she felt when she read the script. Did she really feel this was a quality story for her or was she so anxious to return to VOY that she agreed to film whatever was given her. I want to ask the rest of the crew if they thought this was good stuff.

I don't know how much input Berman had in creating Kes, but it's obvious that Kes was the one main character no one really knew what to do with. All the other crewmembers had their assigned posts and their personality quirks: Paris was flippant, Torres was surly, Chakotay was spiritual, etc. But Kes defied the parameters. I guess it shouldn't surprise me that if no one could get a handle on the character during her time as a main character on the show, that her one shot guest appearance would also be mishandled.

It's a shame. Kes was such an intriguing character. And this is all we have with which to say good-bye to her. I like to think that Kes did make it back home and lived the rest of her life in peace and happiness. Which is a more dignified exit, than what was given to her in "Fury."
Jason - Fri, Apr 16, 2010 - 3:34am (USA Central)
It was worth watching just to see Nelix get his heart broken (again)...
Michael - Tue, Jul 13, 2010 - 3:43pm (USA Central)
1.5 stars?? I don't get it: You mark down episodes replete with action and saturated with TRUE GENUINE SCI-FI content, and then you award almost perfect scores to boring shows such as the preceding one that drag on ad nauseam and are about some personal drama that wouldn't be out of place in some juvenile fantasy animation tale.

I LOVED this episode because it's science fiction at its best. How I wish more of Voyager was like this: Plenty of action, use of technology, conflict, lasers and phasers, special effects, etc. Even Kes - whom I couldn't stand - didn't spoil it. She, with her serene monotone faux-condescending voice and no personality, managed to be really interesting here. BTW, is it me or did she put on some weight since Season 3?

I have one objection: The "fight" between Janeway and Kes in the airponics bay. The psycho-Kes obviously has the ability to kill people with the power of her mind (q.v. what she did to Torres at the beginning of the show), yet she chooses to just stun Janeway, and reluctantly so, no fewer than three times when it's obvious that Janeway would not stop. And for her part, Janeway is hesitant to even take the phaser out of the holster, let alone use it, even though it's evident Kes was bent on causing huge damage. What the hell kind of confrontation is that: A tickle-fight with feather-dusters??

The ending was kinda lame but other than that, 3.5 stars minimum.
navamske - Fri, Jul 16, 2010 - 7:37pm (USA Central)
How come all of a sudden they have the ability to project holograms in Engineering?
Procyon - Sat, Oct 9, 2010 - 7:38pm (USA Central)
"Mildly Miffed, But Everyone's Gonna Die Anyway."

Well, at least the review was good. Otherwise I share the others "fury" on behalf of Kes (excluding Michael).
Elliott - Thu, Dec 2, 2010 - 12:32am (USA Central)
I'll admit the episode had some problems, but my favourite part was the way this fit into the show's premise so well. With the final season approaching, every character who began in the pilot (or Scorpion) displaced from his home, will find it again through the help of a new family. Kes is sort of the Wesley Crusher of Voyager for better or worse and she could easily have been totally dropped, exploring the outer limits of existence or something, but no, the call to return home, a battle-cry which has allowed this lonely little ship to survive and accomplish so much, is much too great. Kes felt it, but only through the love and compassion of her old crew does she achieve it. With this, "Homestead" and "Endgame", the premise finds a sold fulfilment.
Alessandro - Tue, Jan 4, 2011 - 9:49pm (USA Central)
I watched Voyager one episode after another, after buying the DVDs.
I enjoyed, but I had never seen all TNG episodes, only a few.
Now I am watching TNG's every episode, and I am becoming aware of all Voyager shortcomings.
What annoyed me most was this episode, "Fury".
I felt that it almost managed to destroy the credibility of the entire series by its own. As it has been noticed here very well, it is the exact opposite of what we saw in "The Gift", a beautiful and "daring" episodes. This one is sheer lunacy.
There are so many contradictions I have later noticed about Voyager: Janeway can be "maternal" but she can also become unreasonable and neurotic, almost hysterical all of a sudden, without any apparent reason. What a difference with Picard!
Overthinker - Mon, Mar 21, 2011 - 1:31pm (USA Central)
Science fiction at its best??? You gotta be a troll or something. This goes beyond differences of opinion and into differences of fact.

This is one of those eps that I refuse to rewatch. I agree with the poster who rated it worse than Threshold. That was acceptable for the first half, and then went batshit insane. But this was just evil.
Cloudane - Sat, Apr 2, 2011 - 9:56am (USA Central)
I have no problem with the basic plot, the mechanics, the time travel or anything like that. *In principle* it was excellent - but unfortunately it's let down massively by the horrible things to do to the character of Kes.

I can understand her potentially being angry that she'd been encouraged to develop before she was ready, although it's a little unreasonable since the Voyager crew certainly didn't do it through malice. But to turn to mass murdering her old friends? Excuse me? Even with the all-too-easy 180 on her 180 (It happened in another recent episode and I call it Pancake Syndrome after that episode where Torres 180s after eating some pancakes), it's still unforgivable.

Why would she think that? Why would she do that?
The only way I can accept this is by assuming that Kes in her old age is suffering from some exaggerated Ocampan form of dementia. Anything else is just ruining a previously lovely character.

Yeah it's made pretty obvious I thought that she can travel very quickly so will be home very soon. Why she didn't give them another nice 10000 light year kick or just escort them home though I don't know (aside from the fact this is only season 6). Guess she forgot.

Speaking of old characters only appearing in flashback episodes, nice to see Ensign Wildman back but where the heck is she in the present?? She's got a frickin' *daughter* to look after. I'm sure she didn't die? I remember her nearly dying (and recording a goodbye to Naomi) in a shuttle crash way back when, but I'm sure she came out of that one alive. Weird.

Good to see attention to detail like making sure Paris is a Lieutenant. It's the sort of thing I'd half expect them to forget about. I almost opened my mouth to shout when Tuvok mentioned the Delta Flyer until they were all "Delta what?" - fooled me. Cheeky :)

This should be up there in the 3+ star region but for those of us who care about the characters it drags it wayyy down. I almost envy Michael's inability to give a flying fork about the characters :P
Kieran - Thu, Apr 14, 2011 - 3:28am (USA Central)
If the writers had come up with a better last ten minutes (a more credible reason for old Kes being evil and a better solution than the 180) I think this would have been a great episode. As it was, I feel it was a good self-contained episode, but poor in the context of the show.

Good seeing Kes back again - probably my favourite character after the Doc. Wish they hadn't got rid of her. I also kinda miss the Vidiians and the Kazon. Recent villains have been pretty uninteresting (8472, The Hirogen, The Borg over and over and over again, whatever those smelly guys who pollute everywhere were called).
enniofan - Thu, May 12, 2011 - 6:15pm (USA Central)
yeah, I agree with Kieran...the Vidiians were a pretty interesting enemy....never liked the Kazon though. lol

Kieran - Fri, May 13, 2011 - 3:48am (USA Central)
I think the Kazon were mishandled, but in concept they were a good idea. They were forced to eke out an existence in an area of space that had few natural resources then suddenly this starship appears on the scene that can replicate whatever it wants any time it wants. You can see where they were coming from when they were angry that Janeway would not share her technology with them.
Iceblink - Fri, Sep 9, 2011 - 3:27am (USA Central)
I totally agree that this episode totally raped the character of Kes, all for a second-rate, cartoony action-adventure plot. This is where Michael is completely wrong about the lack of need for focus on characterisation. A story lives or dies on its characters - if the motivations and believabilty aren't credible, the rest of the story falls down like a house of cards. Here Kes's actions are totally incompatible with the character we know and her motivations are cringe-inducingly flimsy. There's no solid foundation to this story. Extremely poor writing.

It makes me really sad that this is our farewell to the character. I actually wish Jennifer Lien had refused to do it and prevented this travesty from being produced. As it is, she seems deeply disenchanted with the script, if her performance is anything to go by. As someone above commented, the ONLY way they could have salvaged this pile of dreck would have been to make it clear that Kes was suffering senility or Ocampan alzheimers...that might actually have been quite powerful if handled well enough. But not this drivel :( farewell Kes...
Brock - Wed, Mar 14, 2012 - 12:17pm (USA Central)
Michael "I LOVED this episode because it's science fiction at its best. How I wish more of Voyager was like this: Plenty of action, use of technology, conflict, lasers and phasers, special effects, etc"

You have to be a fucking troll, that is the dumbest thing I've ever read on this site. I didn't realize morons like you even watched Trek.

ANYWAY, the reason "Fury" was terrible was about twenty-fold but the main reason is just the stupidity of the writing. Everything from Tuvok's age being COMPLETELY wrong to the dumb "can't maneuver" at warp bullshit they pulled. The storyline was dumb and ill-suited considering Jennifer Lien's post-baby weight and the execution was even worse and frankly just upsetting. People wanted to see what Kes had been up to and reconnect with old friends/talk to Seven, not that contrived time-travel bullcrap.
David H - Sat, Apr 14, 2012 - 11:58pm (USA Central)
Just about everything has been said, but I'll add two comments:

1. "Michael" has now clearly identified himself as a troll, and a good one at that. He pushed all our buttons and got the reactions he wanted, but praising this episode is inconceivable for anyone with any affection for Star Trek.

2. I really like 'Voyager' as a series. I like the characters, I like the situations, and I've enjoyed many of the episodes that have been nitpicked to death by others on their comments pages. But I cannot defend 'Fury.' Those who have said it is worse than 'Threahold' are right on the money.
Michael - Sun, Apr 15, 2012 - 4:54am (USA Central)
Hey, David H., I got two words for you: Bite me!

I'm a troll because I refuse to subscribe to the Oprahesque latter-day schmaltzy sentimentality??! Well, you and your pathetic argumentum ad populum are cordially invited to kiss my six. If I want drama or the Chronicles of freaking Narnia, then that's what I watch. I have certain expectations of a sci-fi show -- particularly one whose Next Generation series I used to watch religiously and skip school for as a kid -- and Voyager by and large ain't fulfilling them.

I'm not a Trekkie fan(atic) who dresses up in silly costumes and attends "conventions," but I DO have fond memories (affection, even?) of what I would go as far as to label a genre of its own. I don't care about the characters though, no: They're too one-dimensional and cliched, too sanctimonious, too predictable. And they serve the purpose of conveying and trying to inculcate moralistic messages, which don't jive with my worldview, and which are very often not how real people (military or civilian, whichever the century) behave.

There's this fantastically awesomely incredibly talented yet rebellious pilot who has unresolved issues with his father, and that issue pops up intermittently to interfere with his duties and require a resolution. Or a hot-tempered, obstinate floozie, a loose cannon, with childhood traumas that pop up intermittently to interfere with her duties and require a resolution. Or a nondescript nebesh, completely forgettable, with self-confidence problems that pop up intermittently to interfere with his duties and require a resolution (that’s Harry “Can’t-Get-a-Lock” Kim I’m referring to here, in case it’s not obvious). Gee, how novel, how intriguing, how captivating. THAT's certainly never been done to death and back before!!

So, if I don't care about the characters, I'd better care about the story, because there's not much else that can be cared about! Now, the story itself is lackadaisical: You're stuck in an inhospitable environment, far away from home, wading your way back through a path riddled with deadly perils. Revolutionary. NOT! So, for me, to make this show interesting in the least bit, they need to add some shizzle. Give me lasers, give me phasers, give me action, give me science, even pseudoscience. Many episodes of Voyager don't, which is why I find them stale, tedious, disengaging, unimaginative... - you get the picture.

This episode, however, did catch my attention, and kept me riveted from start to finish. Voyager accomplished that with very few and far between shows.

If the above makes me a troll, then I wear that badge with honor and pride (insofar as any of this matters).
Captain Jim - Thu, Apr 26, 2012 - 10:06pm (USA Central)
Interestingly, when I watched this episode when it first aired, I hated it with a passion. My reasoning was pretty much the same as Jammer's ("I simply don't buy her pulling this 180.") Now, many years later, as I'm working my way through the DVD set for the first time, I was dreading even watching it again.

But to my own great surprise, I had a much different reaction this time around. There's really a lot here to like. For one thing, this was a pretty good time travel episode and it was a lot of fun seeing the crew reprising their Season One roles. The inclusion of Carey and a pregnant Ensign Wildman was especially nice. Tuvok's premonitions, which included visions of Naomi, Seven and the Borg children was a lot of fun. And it was really nice to see the Vidians again, in a scene that put Voyager in real danger.

Since I went into this knowing the basic premise, I guess I had a lot less of a negative emotional reaction than the first time around. Yes, we're still left with an initially wrathful Kes, but one who quickly comes to her senses and leaves on good terms. Now that my emotions aren't so engaged, I'm seeing this elderly Kes as someone who's suffering from dementia or something similar. It's tragic, but not unbelievable given what we know about Ocapan aging.

I liked it; Ithink I'd give it three stars now.
Rosario - Sun, Jun 10, 2012 - 1:32pm (USA Central)
A few things:

1) The Time Travel premise is completely laughable. Think of an N-Jump, where point A is the point at which the time traveller returns from the future. Point B, is the point where the time traveller leaves for the past. This original A - B timeline is pure - but the moment the time traveller leaves B and arrives at A, the A - B timeline is destroyed, contaminated by the traveller's very presence and point A, now becomes a new point C. A new, alternate, C - D timeline will now progress with point D replacing point B (A-B, C-D forming and N as you write it out, thus, an "N-Jump"). If at point D, the time traveller can and does return to point C with the same intentions, the timeline can progress. In this episode, Kes does not return to the past. The moment when she would have dissapeared into the past - as she was smiling and remembering - she would have ceased to exist. Everything would have ceased to exist. The new, alternate C-D timeline would have been restored to the original A-B timeline, which in turn would progress towards the C-D timeline once again. This is what is known as an infinity loop where time flow from A-B, to C-D, to A-B in a perpetual loop where there is no future beyond the points represented by B and D. This episode would have been the C-D timeline and I'll just cozily let myself imagine that right after the cameras went off, everything went back to A-B.

2) I think the ending pretty firmly established that Kes' 180 was, indeed from Dementia. I would have liked for the writers to have told me so straight out a little earlier. It makes me think of "Muse" where the poor guy who plays Tuvok worries that the audience will think he's a bad actor because they can't understand. I thought Lien's performance was wretched so I guess I didn't understand. Her performance is more palatable when reflected upon with "dementia" in mind but I still just spent 39 minutes of a 44 minute show thinking she was a bad actress.

3) Everything else aside, Micheal would have loved THIS episode - Imagine if Kes travelled back to the episode where the Viidians actually took Voyager and the parellel universe Voyager crew replaced them! It would have been Kes who had fed all that information to the Viidians and finally we would have explained the utter incompetence of the ship's response to that attack. Maybe young Kes could have reasoned with Emperor Palpatine, ER I mean, Old Kes and Old Kes could have caused the other universe Voyager to be there as well. I dunno how it would have worked but for the first 10 minutes I was hoping the plot would be that. Dissapointed it wasn't and instead we got this. Solid D from me.
Alessandro - Sun, Jun 10, 2012 - 1:56pm (USA Central)
Rosario, do you watch every science fiction episode or movie as you did with this one?
Sit back, relax and enjoy, bro :)
Rosario - Sun, Jun 10, 2012 - 2:36pm (USA Central)
No, only the bad time travel ones. Seriously. A scenario as presented in this episode would result in no future. Somehow, someway we'll discover the secret and find the key to time travel and when we do, it will be after being fed generation after generation of disastrous time travel scenarios that are spun as being plausible. The thought of us poor, flawed human beings with that power in our hands scares the hell out of me. That's a science fiction we should take care to keep a fiction. It's not even safe to dream about. Gah, just thinking about it makes me turn into a prophet of doom so I'm going to stop before I get going and start yelling "Great Scott!"
Justin - Fri, Jun 15, 2012 - 11:51pm (USA Central)
@Michael: "If the above makes me a troll, then I wear that badge with honor and pride"

Dr. Phil? Oprah? Seriously, WTF is wrong with you? Which law firm do you work for, anyway? Zuckerkorn and Loblaw?

You're not a troll, Skeezix, you're just an ass.

Oh, and you say you're a TNG fan?? Well, no Trek series was more "feel-good" or moralizing than TNG. By your own firmly established lo-brow standards it should be your least favorite Trek series.

Now please...go take your only redeeming quality - your moderate ability to turn a phrase - and bugger off to some dark corner of the internet where mouth-breathers like yourself talk all day and night about T&A, guns, and stuff gettin' blowed up. You'll probably feel better...
Elliott - Sat, Jun 16, 2012 - 1:35am (USA Central)
Aww, but then how would we know which episodes to watch? Whenever Michael hates an episode it's invariably a wonderful character outing....
Al - Thu, Aug 2, 2012 - 4:02pm (USA Central)
I find it very amusing that everyone's hatred of this episode stems primarily from their apparently total ignorance of the ravages of old age. Here, we see Kes is clearly a very old woman, which is normal for an Ocampan, yet everyone expects her brain to have not degraded at all? What's her motivation? Her flawed memories, brought on by old age! Seriously, how many of you know a senior citizen with a perfect memory of what their life was like a few years ago? And I'm talking about those in their 80s or 90s, like Kes is (as far as the Ocampan equivalent age is concerned). Unless there's some unspoken rule that Ocampans don't have memory degradation when they get older and do not suffer from diseases (like Alzheimer’s) that would affect their brain (and therefore memory). Why do people have such a problem even considering this most obvious of explanations?
Seriously people, she's old, her memory's degraded (as is inevitable for someone her age, or the Ocampan equivalent) and therefore she's remembering things wrong. They didn't "explain" her motivations because it's blindingly obvious.
Destructor - Mon, Aug 20, 2012 - 10:06pm (USA Central)
Awful. Just... awful. A child could have written a better return for Kes. This episode could have been awesome, but at least 2/3rds of it was just watching Kes sneak around the ship. Couldn't all of that have been done offscreen to give us more time with Kes?

I think it would have been interesting if Kes HAD returned to Ocompa and found that, without the Caretaker looking after them, they had all died in darkness. That would have been a pretty excellent reason for her fury.
LaughOutLoud - Wed, Oct 17, 2012 - 2:20am (USA Central)
Hahahahahahaha. I actually liked this episode. What really cracks me up are the goofs that are so into Trek they think it's real ( at least that's how they act ). Then you have the bigger GOOFS that want to analyze it and say how much better they could have wrote the story ( that's why they hang out in review forums ). Then you have the MUCH BIGGER GOOFS that constantly announce how much they hate this series yet watch every episode so that they can come here and troll their hearts out. Too funny!
Patrick - Mon, Mar 25, 2013 - 7:27pm (USA Central)
"Fury" is the anti-"Yesterday's Enterprise".
KL - Fri, May 3, 2013 - 3:43pm (USA Central)
Ever since Kes left the show at the beginning of season 4, the crew was afflicted with a case of mass amnesia...like she never existed at all.

When Tasha Yar was killed of in TNG, her ghost and presence sort of hang over the show. You see her mentioned, you see her likeness. With Kes, even shows that involves flashback (Latent Image) or a hallucinatory one (Barge of the Dead), not a reference...and she is barely mentioned by the other cast members, even Neelix and the Doctor.

At the end of The Gift, we are lead to believe she have evolved into a higher state of being and I guess that was not what happened.

"Fury" was just character assassination.
Sintek - Mon, May 27, 2013 - 5:00pm (USA Central)
Poor Jennifer Lien has fallen so far. She was arrested last July for domestic violence, and has gained about 60 pounds. Her face looks like that of crack head but that can't be unless she's the fattest crack head in existence.

Eh, I'd still hit it so long as her voice hasn't changed.
ProgHead777 - Thu, Jun 27, 2013 - 3:29am (USA Central)
I'll tell you what this episode was about. It was a final %#$* YOU to Jennifer Lien from TPTB. The fact is, Jennifer Lien is the only established regular cast member of a Star Trek series ever to be FIRED. To add insult to injury, she was fired ONLY to make room for a large pair of cybernetic breasts. I like Jeri Ryan and I like the character of Seven of Nine, but the fact is that she was brought on the show PRIMARILY to add sex-appeal to Voyager and improve the abysmal ratings, end of story. That the character quickly went on to be much more than merely something for mouth-breathers to ogle doesn't change the fact that that was the primary motivation behind her addition to the show.
Leah - Wed, Jul 10, 2013 - 7:05pm (USA Central)
Ok, not even going to get into the obscene character rape that this episode is guilty of because it's all been said. Just a couple of observations:

1) Doc FINALLY confirmed that Ensign Wildman's almost 2-year pregnancy was because of the baby being half Ktarian. We all pretty much guessed at it, but at long last something conclusive!

2) Chakotay got a chance to be all bad-ass during an attack on the ship while Janeway was getting psychically bitch-slapped around (insert Nelson-esque "HAHA!"). I felt it really suited him. The poor guy almost never gets anything cool to do, wasting Robert Beltran's talent in the role, so this was great to see. Yeah, I actually like Chakotay, and I think he could have been a freaking awesome character if given the proper development.
Nancy - Sun, Aug 18, 2013 - 1:26pm (USA Central)
Oh my gosh, this episode was awful. I had great affection for Kes and while I missed her, I thought, "at least they gave her a good send-off." Now, we don't even have that. Even if you attribute all of this to dementia (which is a fanwank,@Al, not an "obvious" fact), why do that to the character?

I could go on, but it's all been sad.

Worse than Threshold? I don't know about that, but at least Threshold made me laugh at how ridiculous it got. This one just made me angry on behalf of both Kes and Lien.
azcats - Mon, Aug 19, 2013 - 12:04pm (USA Central)
I agree with LaughOutLoud and Michael. This was a fun episode. I was not really fond of Kes as here character was usually pretty boring. the stories around 7 are much better.

I, along with LaughOutloud, am amused when i see people say how much they hate voyager but they are posting in a commments section of a voyager website.

as for michael, i cant wait for his comments. i usually know when he is going to like an episode nor not. however, unlike him i like the character develpment and interactions.

Tuvok's line about about blowing out the candles was way too funny..

i was fully entertained and i dont know why people harp on the time travel episodes. they are the BEST episodes!
strejda - Sat, Oct 5, 2013 - 11:06am (USA Central)
@Leah "Doc FINALLY confirmed that Ensign Wildman's almost 2-year pregnancy was because of the baby being half Ktarian. We all pretty much guessed at it, but at long last something conclusive!"

Wasn't that the same reason she's supposed to grow so fast?

@azcats I'm more amussed by people who think that not liking something means completely ignoring it or not teling their opinion in a place where there are people that have a different one.
Jack - Fri, Jan 10, 2014 - 10:18am (USA Central)
"At the end of The Gift, we are lead to believe she have evolved into a higher state of being and I guess that was not what happened."

Same thing with Wesley Crusher.

Star Trek must consider ascendance a bait and switch scam that two main characters have now fallen for.
Caine - Tue, Jan 21, 2014 - 6:05pm (USA Central)
Did I like the character Kess and Jennifer Lien's way of portraying her in season 1-3? Yes, I did.

Did I like the idea of Kess returning with a huge chip on her shoulder, wreaking havok on Voyager in the proces in visuals that kind of makes youe think of the Terminator movies? You bet I did!

Did I agree with the motivation they gave Kess in order for her to return and wreak havok? Not in the least! There was NO part of it that I bought, even in the slightest. The words "character assassination" have been thrown around quite a bit here ... and I think that is very appropriate!

An otherwise pretty exciting episode ruined by the writers presenting us with faeces - as it was the rule rather than the exception on Voyager.

Boo hiss!
Mike - Wed, Jan 29, 2014 - 9:57am (USA Central)
Running through select episodes on Netflix and reading these reviews...well, I'm not surprised certain commenters turned out to be trolls.

Anyway. I'm with the majority here. A complete rape of a controversial but--for some--beloved character. For no discernible reason other than to provide a villain-of-the-week combined with a time travel story. They wrecked our memories of her Seaon 4 send off and managed to give her no motivation here at all. Terrible to the point of maliciousness; it had to be purposeful.

This episode convinces me that the producers were hellbent on shutting up the few still concerned with Lien's departure.
Chris P - Fri, Feb 7, 2014 - 4:35pm (USA Central)
Michael may have different priorities for finding entertainment in this show but I don't think that makes him a troll. I wish people on the internet weren't so quick to label dissent against a popular opinion as trolling. In fact, to his credit, he realized early on what many of us took a long time or never realized: attention to detail and character growth on this show is a path to great frustration. That said, I get the impression that he gets a bit of a thrill from playing the odd-man-out role and overplays the role sometimes.

Regarding the episode: the reason I disagree with the people citing dementia is that there was no effort to indicate dementia. She had a clear plan that involved some fairly intricate steps and seemed fully in control of her abilities. She recognized everybody. She was simply evil because the script said she was evil. Arbitrary character traits for the sake of the story are cheap devices and were outdated even in the late 90s when this was made.
Yanks - Wed, Mar 5, 2014 - 9:39am (USA Central)
This episode is the worst "let's give a struggling friend an episode" in the history of television.

Just horrible.
Nathan - Tue, Apr 1, 2014 - 1:11pm (USA Central)
After revisiting the show all these years later, I am reminded why Voyager is so lost as a series with episodes like this one. So much gets established for a series, the science and characters and then thrown out the proverbial airlock for the sake of boosting ratings.
I love Trek, but abandoning temporal mechanics and Kes' evolution/ascension for the sake of character assassination makes no sense. She left her body behind to evolve. At least a higher state of being and this message of revenge contradicts 'the gift'. Voyager shows promise every so often, but the writers abandon the science and history of previous eps and Star Trek as a whole that at times I wonder why the powers that be didn't just drop Star Trek off the title and call it Voyager. A shame that the actors couldn't stop the writers by saying, 'my character would never do that.'
Ric - Tue, May 27, 2014 - 1:24am (USA Central)
If we had Lord Sith video-gamely super powered Dukat in more than a whole season of DS9, why not a Lord Sith video-gamely super powered Kes to haunt Voyager once more as well? At least here this crap lasted just for one episode and a bit of other couple in the past seasons, so Voyager beats DS9 on this one.

It is incredible how almost all dramatic decisions regarding this character were wrong, poor or underdeveloped since ever. Not to mention that all attempts to add layers to Kes were always forced, sudden, felling really bizarre. Not an horrendous episode, but still quite a bad hour of Trek.
Sean - Sat, Jun 7, 2014 - 3:26am (USA Central)
"There's of course a time paradox in "Fury" that beggars logical analysis, so I'll resist trying. Okay, I won't. Where does the circle of events start (or end), and if Kes never goes back in time to ruin the Voyager crew, how can information of her plan be remembered in order to prevent her from going back in time in the first place (last place, no place, etc.)? Usually somewhere in the dialog is a joke about the time paradox, but here it's ignored completely, hoping we'll do the same. I dunno. Somehow—and I'm not sure why—that approach seems wrong. In any case, this is one of the least convincing time paradoxes in a long time. It turns the story into a mess."

Jammer this is the paradox of the DS9 episode Children of Time. In the same episode you have the problem that if they're able to get out of the atmosphere of the planet, they would crash land on it the next time as there's no settlement and no Odo to get them out of the atmosphere. But then if they crash on it, they don't escape. It's a double time loop as is the case with this episode. In one universe, the crew has been trapped on the planet and builds a society, in another universe, the crew has escaped that situation entirely.

When Kes arrives, she goes back in time and gets killed. But her doing that causes younger Kes and Janeway to use their foreknowledge to stop her. But because they stopped her, the next time it happens, she goes back in time again. Hence double time loop. In one universe Kes dies in the past. In another, the situation is avoided entirely.

While this episode is infinitely worse, obviously, then Children of Time (given its lack of motivation, or flimsiest of motivations, and its mindless action and Children of Time's much more interesting and heartfelt story and dialogue), it's the same time loop going on as that episode. Hopefully that clarifies it.
Moegreen - Sun, Nov 30, 2014 - 10:23pm (USA Central)
Don't think I've ever heard the term 'rape' tossed around in reference to male characters, or so casually in a discussion. There's a little too much relish in its use by people here towards JL and it comes across as more than conceptual expression.

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