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

77 comments on this review

Immanuel
Sat, Sep 15, 2007, 2:26pm (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
Don't get goofy now, 'Threshold' is definitely worse!
Bertie
Thu, May 21, 2009, 7:42am (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
Oh, I meant to say the first 3 seasons, not episodes. My bad.
Will
Thu, Dec 31, 2009, 8:27pm (UTC -5)
@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 (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
It was worth watching just to see Nelix get his heart broken (again)...
Michael
Tue, Jul 13, 2010, 3:43pm (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
How come all of a sudden they have the ability to project holograms in Engineering?
Procyon
Sat, Oct 9, 2010, 7:38pm (UTC -5)
"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 (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
@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 (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
"Fury" is the anti-"Yesterday's Enterprise".
KL
Fri, May 3, 2013, 3:43pm (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
@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 (UTC -5)
"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 (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
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 (UTC -5)
"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 (UTC -5)
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.
aemom
Mon, Dec 29, 2014, 10:35pm (UTC -5)
It was definetly a disappointing episode for many reasons that others have already mentioned.

Jammer notes that Lien's performance was subpar. Lien herself has gone on the record that she was unhappy with her acting choices in the episode.

Disappointing that they couldn't come up with a better reunion episode.
HolographicAndrew
Sat, May 23, 2015, 12:04am (UTC -5)
Really surprised at the negative reaction.. I liked this one a lot. Just a cool time travel plot with an nice character cameo, I found it fun.
Robert
Tue, May 26, 2015, 8:43am (UTC -5)
@Andrew - It's not so much that it was an awful episode. It was actually a decent time travel plot and I liked the cameo of the Vidiians. It was just that "The Gift" was about 1000x more of a satisfying ending for Kes. If they were going to bother I just wish they had done something other than this.
Joe H
Tue, Jun 2, 2015, 10:20pm (UTC -5)
I had felt that Voyager had made a change for the better recently. Characters introduced and return (Borg kids); continuity in an episode (infection of Borg). And then here, Kes walks into the engine room and sees Seven. The actress who replaced her. Kes is going to kill someone. Ha, she's taking out Seven! NOT! Ugh. Just that start could have made this episode in my eyes, but no, we got Fury. *sigh*
Xylar
Wed, Jun 10, 2015, 8:09pm (UTC -5)
Well, there we finally have it. The worst episode of Voyager. Yes, that includes Treshold.

This episode is painful to watch. It's like Jennifer Lien didn't even want to do this. She comes across completely uninterested and she doesn't put in any effort.
Did I want to see a 'Kes returns' episode? You better believe I did. Kes is one of my favorite Voyager characters.
Did I want to see Kes tearing Voyager to pieces with her powers? Yes, I did. A beloved character blowing stuff up with her mind and going all 'Carrie' on Voyager? Sign me up!
And then she explained why she was doing it. After having to watch her skulk around the ship and deliver unconvincing dialogue.
I won't even get into that stupid Janeway/Kes fight. Just... just no. If I had to vote for any scene of Voyager as absolute worst, this would be it.

Poor Kes. Voyager did not treat you well. Even your final goodbyes are once again gravely underplayed and underwhelming. That's twice in a row now. And also twice that the Doctor completely misses it, despite being one of her closest friends.
Where did they even send her off to? Ocampa? Isn't that like 40 years away at the highest warp? Through Borg space and everything?

Just so many stupid things in this episode. Ugh. Kes deserved better. She deserved a better send off. Both times.
Shannon
Thu, Sep 10, 2015, 2:20pm (UTC -5)
This episode wasn't as bad as you're making it out to be. Part of the problem here is that the writers and producers never gave Kes much character development in the first place, so seeing this flip side of her seemed a bit disingenuous. I liked the idea of her coming back, but would have chosen something different. Still think this is a 2, maybe 2.5 star episode... They all can't be great. But hey, Star Trek is like sex, even when it's bad, it's still pretty good.
grumpy_otter
Fri, Oct 30, 2015, 5:59am (UTC -5)
Jennifer Lien was arrested again--this time for indecent exposure involving children.

I didn't think this episode was all that bad except for the explanation of why Kes was so angry--that was stupid. But that needed to be good for the episode to work, so this just failed badly.

What is ironic is that this kind of non-reason for being angry is like real life. In real life, we go downhill sometimes for no logical reason. And sadly, this is what seems to be happening with the real Jennifer Lien. I hope she is able to regain her life.
DLPB
Fri, Oct 30, 2015, 7:16pm (UTC -5)
She sounds like quite a character haha! Wish I'd have been there for the breasts ;)
Matrix
Wed, Nov 4, 2015, 8:42pm (UTC -5)
I tried watching this but turned it off after 10 minutes. It's biggest crime it's just so boring. Zero stars.
Spock Jr
Tue, Dec 15, 2015, 3:48pm (UTC -5)
what a poorly written episode. so many layers, it apparently got too complex for them to resolve logically so they instead tried to conceal the mess with action scenes. in the end, a disgraceful final product.

my primary issues:

- how did Tuvok foresee the future events that eventually led to their overcoming Kes' traitorous action?

- why is this the first we hear about a biological weapon against the videans?

- what happens to the crew that continues in the timeline when Torres is murdered?

- why didn't Kes just kill Janeway?

- why didn't Kes just go back in time to before leaving Ocampa?

- why didn't Kes blame Neelix for taking her from her home?

this episode could have been a great way to use the very real drama concerning loss of brain function relating to aging. but short of the grey hair and wrinkles, there's really no direct mention of it. this leaves the opening sequence as nothing more than a fit of rage from a menopausal Kes. so lame.

they should have left out the videans, and focused on rebuilding the bond between Kes and Janeway as well as Neelix. There's plenty of real drama available from the tragedy of dementia. And they could have found a way to restore our faith in the character, as well as the integrity of the primary timeline. And explained that extra weight on Kes that only Neelix noticed as she beamed out to who knows where.

lots of potential, can't believe they let this get on the air. i definitely would have done better myself.
DanW
Fri, Jan 29, 2016, 4:17pm (UTC -5)
You know what I think would have been a really good idea? If they used this episode to bring Kes back for Season 7 as a recurring guest star. Honestlynwhen I first aaw this episode that's the direction I thought they were going. It could have worked by having old Kea stay, or (and this is stretching it a bit) have older Kes' actions change the timeline so that Janeway somehow prevented Kes from leaving in 'The Gift' so she'd be around for the final season. Yeah I know it's a stretch but a guy can dream, right?
Andrew
Wed, Feb 3, 2016, 5:13pm (UTC -5)
I thought this episode was pretty good, with it being an interesting risk and mostly working to make Kes a (somewhat reluctant) villain and Tuvok's visions being interesting if pretty random (but agreed that Kes repeatedly knocking Janeway was cheap), until the ridiculous ending, for Janeway, Tuvok and young Kes to think that that message would be convincing and for it to actually be.
Andrew
Fri, Feb 5, 2016, 9:42am (UTC -5)
It would have been cool if the ending retroactively revealed that Kes had never left or even if Kes did return angry but not to a murderous level or wanted to and did rejoin/spend time with the crew, instead her suddenly changing dropping her anger but still wanting to instantly leave and go to her people and not helping Voyager more really didn't make sense.
TLW
Thu, Feb 11, 2016, 11:43pm (UTC -5)
Some thoughts.

Some have said maybe she was suffering from some kind of dementia. That does seem plausible, except for two things. If she ascended to a higher plane of existence, she wouldn't have a physical body with a physical brain to get dementia. Also if she did get her real body back, she wasn't old enough to get dementia. It was established in "Before and After", that didn't start until an Ocampa was nine years old. Kes would only have been about six. Unless there was something else going on to cause it.

Some other theories. She was from an alternate universe. Or she was the female caretaker pretending to be Kes, out to get Voyager again.

Something else. Why did she kill B'Elanna other than she was trying to stop her. The first (and maybe only time) I've watched this, my first impression was, maybe Kes thought about how saving Torres and Janeway in the alternate timeline of "Before and After", had cost her a family and a whole future and she was pissed. But that's just my opinion at the time.
Chrome
Tue, Feb 16, 2016, 4:00pm (UTC -5)
Hold onto your hats, Voyager fans, Chrome actually thinks this episode is good. Or at least it looks cool and brings an interesting enough premise to the table that it keeps you entertained.

I really liked Evil Kes (despite never caring for regular Kes), and I thought the show gave a nice thriller vibe. We saw what she was capable of, but then when she started working as a covert op, her actions became all the more ominous.

Half of me wishes Tuvok's visions and Janeway's final showdown with Kes could've been handled better. I'll just assume for the moment that Kes had some sentiment left over somewhere in her head that stopped her from seriously harming Janeway in person.

2.5 - 3 stars.
TRIP
Sun, Mar 6, 2016, 7:14pm (UTC -5)
Overall, as a story, I thought this episode was OK. This may upset some people, but I've known many women who act this way. They don't have dementia, but one minute they are nice and the next they are full of venomous rage, and I'm talking over what I would consider small stuff. It's obviously not small stuff to them. I can definitely buy the fact a woman would want vengeance and then suddenly 180 and change their mind. Sounds normal to me.

Yes, I could list a hundred ways to make a better Kes return story, and some were suggested above, so I won't.

For those who didn't understand why she kept stunning Janeway instead of killing her; I took it as Kes wanted her to suffer at the hands of the Vidiians. Janeway didn't deserve a quick death in Kes' mind.
Diamond Dave
Wed, Mar 16, 2016, 5:14pm (UTC -5)
I said on 'The Gift' that I rarely get irritated by an episode, but that I thought the way Kes was written out was a bit of a travesty. While I thought Kes offered some really strong story options, I think it's fair to say that the series benefited from Seven's introduction. But the peremptory manner of Kes' departure still rankled.

If I was irritated by that episode though, this one actually got me angry, and everyone else has hit the nail on the head. This subverts the character of Kes so badly as to almost be a "fuck you" to the audience. So we still don't know what happened to Kes after 'The Gift', only that whatever it was she got bitter and vindictive to the point of selling the crew out to the Vidiians? That's not entirely uplifting, is it? And not least of which because after making the effort to get Jennifer Lien back you'd think there would be more effort at a decent conclusion - writing wise this is such a mess as to be a write off.

Ironically there is a lot to like here. Evil Kes' entrance is a marvelous image and the first season flashback is full of nice touches and a note perfect recreation of the state of play at that time - with some seriously updated FX. But that can't overwrite the disservice we were done here. 1.5 stars.
Skeptical
Sat, Apr 2, 2016, 3:45pm (UTC -5)
I admit to being a bit conflicted on this one. I mean, yes, of course I agree with everyone that this was a horrible return for Kes. The reasoning for her craziness is completely absurd at worst and greatly hidden at best. The episode doesn't spend any time focusing on why Kes is now the way she is, nor giving her a worthy sendoff at the end (yet again, the Doctor doesn't get to say goodbye?). In short, it's a bad episode, I know that.

But I liked this potential. I can agree with the idea of turning Kes into a bad guy. I like the possibility of Ocampa being, well, fairies: creatures of exceptional power but without a normal human morality. Y'know, like we saw in Cold Fire. Also, there was potential in the reason for her anger: she was merely a child when she was taken from Ocampa.

Of course, it sounded strange to us, since she never felt like she was "taken" in the first three seasons. But let's face it, she was less than a year old when Caretaker happened. She was, by all accounts, a child. Tell me, are you the same person you were when you were 14? Would you accept that you could make a complete life-altering decision at the age of 14, such as running away from your only home? Isn't that the reason we have age of consent? "Yes honey, I'm sure you love him deeply and you'll never love another boy the same way, but you aren't marrying him before graduating from middle school." Neelix definitely came off as a creepy predator in the first season, and even though Janeway couldn't be expected to know how fast Ocampa mature, she did make sure Kes would never see her home again. Isn't it possible, when she was all alone, trying to learn her knew psychic abilities, that she got severely homesick? That she became scared of what she had become? That she, being permanently alone, began to regret her decision? That, with no one around to ground her, she began to lose sight of her previous way of life? Stopped having the same morals as we do?

Isn't it possible that, while she gained so many powers, she might have lost something too?

I think that would have been a worthwhile avenue to explore, but of course we didn't. We desperately needed more interactions with Kes and the rest of the crew. Whether it be Janeway, Neelix, young Kes, I don't know, but it would have been worthwhile to get more out of her. It could have been a race in time to allow her to regain her humanity, allow her to come to grips with what she was planning to do. Give her at least a little bit of guilt over it. Play up some inner angst over her decision, or play up the conflict between her and young Kes. Just do something with it! I know it's a bit of a cliche to say that it should have been a two-parter, but heck, this episode was clearly designed to be a ratings-grabber. Why not make it a two-parter then, so that all these issues could be thought out? I mean, on its own, the cat-and-mouse game with the Vidiians was pretty good (I especially liked that they were herding Voyager into a trap; that was quite reminiscent of their first episode and was pretty clever), as was Kes sneaking around. So I'd be a bit hesitant to say all of that should be excised. But because it took so long, it meant there was absolutely no emotional impact of Kes' fury. And not just because Lien delivered her lines with such a complete lack of emotion as to make a Vulcan burst with pride. I'd blame her for a poor performance, but given how insulting this script was, maybe she did it on purpose.

As an aside, I must once again commend the Voyager crew for being stupid. Now, I'd like to think that I had no advanced knowledge here. I'm honestly not sure I ever saw this episode before; after all, the time travel plot surprised me, and I'm sure I would have remembered that. But when she was walking toward Engineering, with destruction in her wake, I kept thinking "why aren't they shutting down the reactor?" Shouldn't that be obvious? You've got two options here. Either Kes can't help making everything go explody (like in The Gift), in which case it would behoove the crew to lock up the antimatter tightly; or she's purposely making everything go explodey, in which case... you lock up the antimatter! We know the reactor can be shut down fairly rapidly, so why didn't they do that as a safety precaution? I wouldn't want antimatter flowing through pipes while all the pipes behind her keep snapping...

And as an even smaller aside, so the Season 1 EMH, who wasn't supposed to be sentient, can just break his Doctor/Patient confidentiality if the captain says pretty please? Bleh... Seriously, Samantha was right there! Just ask her instead!
Bryan
Wed, Apr 6, 2016, 1:48am (UTC -5)
Despite all there is to lament and criticize about this episode, it was refreshing to revisit all those season one-isms, even the gratutious ones like Ensign Carey (it was said that Carey's appearance here contributes to the myth that he died at some point later on, but the same could be said of Ensign Wildman who also makes an appearance in this episode's past yet it would make much more sense for her to appear instead in the present for once where she actually has a daughter she is supposed to be taking care of!!)

I also think it's easier to view this episode more sympathetically now than when it was released because it's now possible to read in the chilling parallels to Jennifer Lien's tragic fall from grace, when before you could only scratch your head and wonder, "what the hell is this character's motivation for becoming a crazy bitch all of the sudden?" and then decry character assassination on the part of the writers.

Whereas Kes' excuse that her downfall was perpetrated by Voyager taking her from her home where life was simple and filled her head with overly idealistic hopes and dreams that were later crushed after she had to leave, would have rung hollow to viewers 16 years ago, it now resonates with ironic pertinence when you consider that Voyager did indeed take an impressionable young actress from humble beginnings and then instilled high hopes, seeming to assure a place among the stars before summarily casting her out. She never quite caught herself with no one to break her fall and eventually her fragility became known to all even though no one saw it coming.

Knowing what we do now, that confrontation between Kes and Janeway is especially touching, even a bit heartbreaking.
Yanks
Thu, Jun 16, 2016, 9:42am (UTC -5)
I can't even watch this episode.

Kes taken?
Kes hates?
Kes revenge?

I'm STILL trying to make sense of the time travel thingy...

It's all lunacy.

I feel sorry for Jennifer.

.5 stars for the opening... it looked very cool.
Robert
Thu, Jun 16, 2016, 10:44am (UTC -5)
@Yanks - I wish I could upvote your comment.
FlyingSquirrel
Thu, Jun 16, 2016, 10:53am (UTC -5)
Yeah, this was pretty awful. Kes's characterization isn't even consistent within the episode itself. Everything indicates that Old Kes is consumed with implacable rage and a desire for revenge, or she wouldn't be acting the way she is, and yet she's talked down pretty easily at the end. LIke Jammer says, it's a 180 on top of a 180.

And while this gets into the realm of time travel paradoxes, are we supposed to believe that Young Kes, despite knowing that she's destined to have some sort of horrible experience after leaving Voyager, lose her marbles, and embark on a plan to kill her former crewmates, manages to behave as if she doesn't know any of this for the rest of the events of S2 and S3?
Yanks
Thu, Jun 16, 2016, 11:25am (UTC -5)
Robert.

I'm honored.

and FlyingSquirrel,

"And while this gets into the realm of time travel paradoxes, are we supposed to believe that Young Kes, despite knowing that she's destined to have some sort of horrible experience after leaving Voyager, lose her marbles, and embark on a plan to kill her former crewmates, manages to behave as if she doesn't know any of this for the rest of the events of S2 and S3? "

Glad you mentioned that as I don't believe it for a second either.

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