Jammer's Review

Star Trek: Voyager

"Endgame"

**1/2

Air date: 5/23/2001
Teleplay by Kenneth Biller & Robert Doherty
Story by Rick Berman & Kenneth Biller & Brannon Braga
Directed by Allan Kroeker

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"There's got to be a way to have our cake and eat it too."

— Captain Kathryn Janeway

In brief: Quite effective on some levels and very much not so on others. A fitting end for the series, and read into that statement what you wish.

For seven years Voyager has been trying to have its cake and eat it too. Now we have "Endgame," the series finale that wants, above anything ... to have its cake and eat it too.

Here's an episode that gives us the extended aftermath before the crisis resolution ... which ingeniously allows the plot to conceal whether or not Voyager will actually, really get home until literally the last minute of screen time. Meanwhile, it gives us a hint of what happens after Voyager gets home. Maybe. But then again, maybe not.

In a way, this is a clever story. That is, of course, assuming the most important question is whether or not Voyager gets home. At this stage in the game, it might very well be, although one would think what happens after the ship gets home would be of at least some importance. What happens to these people after they're home? "Endgame" is far too busy being a time-travel Borg-centered action movie to care.

Does "Endgame" work as a series finale? On its bottom line, yes ... and no. I found it engaging and with some interesting ironies. I also found it maddening because most of its fascinations exist within a time-plot loophole. Should "Endgame" have been more? Absolutely, but then the whole series should've been more. "Endgame," and season seven in general, follows the Voyager pattern to a perfect T. This series gets just the finale it deserves, which is some sort of damning praise.

The story is a curious rehashing of TNG's finale, "All Good Things...," crossed with Voyager's own "Timeless" from season five. For good measure, to up the action and FX quotient, the writers also throw in the Borg one last time. Yes, the Borg. Again.

The episode begins 26 years in the future on Earth, on the 10th anniversary of Voyager getting home. In other words, Voyager is, according to this timeline, destined to stay in the Delta Quadrant for another 16 years from our "present" perspective. Or perhaps not, since this is a time-travel story where anything is possible. We begin the story in the midst of one character's brewing plan, one of stupendous audacity. After years of heartache, Admiral Janeway has decided that her crew's fate was not the one it deserved. In this future, Seven and Chakotay are dead and Tuvok is institutionalized with a crippling Vulcan mental illness.

If it's not perhaps the rosiest of futures it could be for the Voyager crew, it's worth noting that it's also not an especially bleak future in the balance of things. Voyager made it home, even if it took awhile, and many of its crew members have gone on to lead productive lives. Harry is a captain (for better or worse), Tom and B'Elanna are still married with a daughter in Starfleet (Lisa Locicero), Barclay doesn't stammer anymore, Doc has a new wife and a new name (three decades to come up with "Joe," which is perhaps the show's most depressing joke), and the Alpha Quadrant appears to be in pretty good shape, with some impressive technical advances.

Which is why it's a little bit unsettling to find out that the plot of "Endgame" is about Admiral Janeway's secret plan to travel back in time and change the future — with little regard for the history she's going to be changing.

The show's opening passages establish, with a certain amount of interest, what the future has brought. Among the most affecting scenes is one where Admiral Janeway visits the institutionalized Tuvok. You can see a deep sadness in Janeway's eyes that Kate Mulgrew conveys with great effectiveness — a concern for a dear friend whose stranding in the Delta Quadrant prevented his treatment for an otherwise preventable condition. She blames herself.

Janeway — being the ever-controversial figure she has been through much of the series — acquires technology from some Klingons in the kind of shady transaction that in the 20th century might take place in a back alley. This technology, when incorporated into her shuttlecraft, allows the admiral to travel not only back in time 26 years, but also across tens of thousands of light-years of space to the Delta Quadrant. Once there, she intercepts the Voyager of her past in a plot to get them home immediately.

In getting to this point, the plot's structure, similar to "All Good Things...," does a certain amount of crosscutting between the present storyline of Voyager in the Delta Quadrant, and the future storyline of Admiral Janeway planning her trip through time. I'll give credit where credit is due: The script keeps us oriented, giving us just the cues and information we need when we need them in order to ensure the story is understandable. But nevertheless, being a time-manipulation story, "Endgame" is still riddled with the sort of plot holes that all but come with the territory.

The crucial juncture of the story revolves around a mysterious nebula in Voyager's present in the Delta Quadrant. Sensors indicate there's something in this nebula that "Could be a way home!", Harry excitedly announces. "Maybe it will lead right into your parents' living room," says Paris, making fun of Harry in my absence. But in trying to reach the heart of the energy source in the nebula, Voyager nearly collides with a Borg cube and is forced to retreat. A run-in with the Borg, who seem to be using the nebula as some sort of base, is not worth whatever might be inside, Janeway reasons.

It's not too long after this incident when Admiral Janeway emerges from a rift in space, having used her newly acquired technology to intercept Voyager at this precise moment and location. In what has to be one of the stranger moments for Janeway this side of "Deadlock," she comes face to face with her older self and has an urgent discussion over the viewscreen where the older Janeway pulls rank on the younger Janeway as a way to reinforce her argument. Heh. Before long, Admiral Janeway has laid the whole thing out for Captain Janeway: The nebula does indeed contain the way home, and the admiral has brought with her technical defenses to get past the Borg.

Logical gaffes abound: My first question, which apparently never occurred to Admiral Janeway: Why didn't she find a way to adapt the time-travel technology — which not only sent her through time but also all the way to the Delta Quadrant (how convenient!) — to get Voyager home? An even bigger question: If the Voyager crew, which already left the nebula behind by the time Admiral Janeway made her appearance, never found out about the mysterious object at the center of the nebula, how does Admiral Janeway of the future know about it? She may be from the future, but that doesn't mean she automatically has more information. If her past self had never learned of it, she wouldn't have either.

Then there's the whole ethical issue of time travel in order to make the future more personally desirable. I'll deal with that in a moment, but first...

The object at the center of the nebula is among the most awesome sights this series has shown. It's a Borg transwarp hub, used by the Borg to travel all through the galaxy, and depicted here as what looks like a small star surrounded by a web of tunnels. An occasional Borg cube passes through the camera frame. No matter what Voyager has passed up in terms of storytelling potential, no one will ever be able to say the series lacked the ability to bring impressively realized images to the small screen.

According to Seven, the Borg have only six hubs in the galaxy, and taking one out could be a crippling blow to them. Then again, so could the "Borg civil war" that was started in "Unimatrix Zero," but, annoyingly enough, from the looks of things here the civil war didn't amount to squat; it's not even mentioned as an afterthought. This almost makes "Unimatrix Zero" a pointless exercise, since its biggest selling point was that it seemed to be plotting the Borg's eventual downfall.

The true interest in "Endgame" arises from the fact Admiral Janeway holds this key to Voyager's immediate way home, and the question becomes whether or not the crew should take it. The admiral comes with 30 years of improved technology — technology that will make it very possible for the crew to journey to the center of the Borg's heavily protected nebula and use the transwarp hub to get home.

For those who like impressive tech gadgets, we're treated here to Voyager being outfitted with tactical improvements, including some very tough armor that covers the ship like the Batmobile and new torpedoes that can obliterate a Borg cube in a single volley. In a word: neat. It's once Captain Janeway finally becomes aware of the hub's existence and what it means that she falls into conflict with her future self.

Admiral Janeway intends to get the crew home at all costs. Captain Janeway sees this hub as an opportunity to cripple the Borg and save millions or billions of innocents who would otherwise be at the Borg's mercy. Interestingly, the dialog draws an explicit parallel all the way back to "Caretaker," in which Janeway forfeited a way for her crew to return to the Alpha Quadrant in order to save a group of strangers. Now it looks as if history will repeat itself, with Janeway sacrificing a way to get home in order to save more strangers.

And really, that's a pretty good story premise. "Endgame's" central theme is one that grows from some of this series' more important ideas. One is Captain Janeway's ongoing struggle with herself to get her crew home, as she has always promised. Another is the concept of the Voyager crew as a family that needs to survive its dangerous surroundings in the Delta Quadrant. And in "Endgame" — between Admiral Janeway's obsession to get the crew home, strangers be damned, and Captain Janeway's hope to maintain a family that lives by dignified rules and tries to make a difference in the galaxy — we get an interesting conflict between one person who has maintained many of her Starfleet ideals and another who has lived through an additional 16 years of hardship and has become more of a self-serving pragmatist. At one point, the captain says to the admiral, "I refuse to believe I'll ever become as cynical as you."

Of course, one also must ask at what point the crew became "worth" saving for Admiral Janeway. "Endgame" conveniently overlooks all those Voyager crew members who have died over the seven-year course of the series when it talks about all the crew members who will die if Captain Janeway does not decide to take the road home that lies in front of her. Indeed, the admiral uses as leverage over the captain the fact that Seven will die three years from now, Chakotay (who will be married to Seven by then) will never be the same, and Tuvok will end up with a degenerative neurological disorder. Those facts certainly get the captain's attention.

I'm frankly a little disturbed about the implications of changing the future to make it more personally desirable. Admiral Janeway flat-out scoffs at the Temporal Prime Directive and is willing to make timeline changes that affect nearly 30 years of her history. Is that a remotely responsible action on the part of a Starfleet officer? I doubt it, but the story doesn't seem to take much of an ethical stance on the matter at all, although it's a relief that Captain Janeway at least confronts her future self's cynicism.

In the middle of this time-travel Borg plot are a few personal stories that comprise the episode's humanity. The most compelling is the aforementioned Janeway vs. Janeway thread. Another is an amiable, if unoriginal, conclusion to this season's welcome Tom/B'Elanna arc, in which their child is born and they become a fully completed example of the Voyager family premise and one of the more hopeful aspects of the series. There's even a brief discussion about how the couple was getting used to the idea of raising their daughter on Voyager.

Still another element is a budding romance between Chakotay and Seven — a premise that has been panned by many fans. While I must say that this basically comes out of left field and doesn't even work as well in real life as it did in holographic theory (see "Human Error") it does at least signal that "Human Error" was leading somewhere (even if it still has an ending that makes no sense). And once information of a possible future comes spilling out, the notion of Seven fearing a relationship based on the odds of her or Chakotay dying is something that benefits from some useful dialog about living one's life. Unfortunately, there's little conviction behind the idea; the pairing of Seven and Chakotay is more or less arbitrary and serves the plot much more than it serves any sort of character truth.

As a technical exercise, "Endgame" is every bit as good and well-executed as the best Voyager action outings. The episode is expertly paced by Allan Kroeker, always watchable, and most of the actors put in solid performances, especially Mulgrew, who must pull double duty as her present and future selves. But as a series finale, I must say I wanted more than big special effects, more Borg villainy, and such an uninformative ending. Yes, we got the parallelism with "Caretaker" and Janeway struggling with herself in figurative and literal senses — all good stuff — but too many other questions are not asked or answered, and too many opportunities seem utterly lost.

The ending is an entertaining bag-o-tricks but continues to deepen the gullibility of the Borg. We have Janeway going head to head again with the Borg Queen (with Alice Krige in the role for the first time since First Contact). The Queen — inexplicable and unnecessary to the purpose of the Borg collective — has become Janeway's arch-enemy, even though the Borg by definition really should not engage in behavior that looks like grudge matches or petty posturing. And convenient how a virus implanted in the collective can cause all of Borg space to blow up. (Is this a crippling blow to the Borg? Their civil war was not, so I don't suppose this should be either.) Yes, the plot's action works and sometimes works well, but some of the underlying ideas are suspect.

Ultimately, the overall biggest problem with "Endgame" is that no one pays a price for Voyager getting home, despite all the questionable means exploited to get there. There's a lot of talk about how getting home is not the most important thing about Voyager's existence. Indeed, one of the story's key turning points comes when Harry — yes, Harry — makes a "rousing" speech in the conference room about how Voyager's mission is the journey and not the destination. Unfortunately, coming from Harry, I found this speech laughably portentous. It's also not very true. Voyager has always been about the destination, because the journey has usually been contrived for the sake of easier entertainment value.

And then we get that line: "There's got to be a way to have our cake and eat it too." I can't stress how much that guts the real drama. After that line of dialog, there are no truly difficult or emotional choices, because fate suddenly becomes an act of random chance and clever plots that are "against all odds" but obviously destined to succeed. It's good that Captain Janeway stops and asks whether getting home is more important than destroying the transwarp hub, but that decision ultimately does not matter because the Voyager writers let themselves have their cake and eat it too.

I'm reminded of the wonderful episode of DS9, "Children of Time," where a choice forced the Defiant crew to sacrifice their lives as they knew them or erase an entire society of their would-be descendants from history. Ultimately, the Defiant crew could not escape the fact that making either choice required a costly sacrifice. It's a sacrifice that no one here has to make, because they are able to destroy the hub and get home.

Sure, Admiral Janeway dies in the Big Borg Explosion, but she exists only in a loophole, which the story escapes through, allowing no one to face any consequences. Admiral Janeway is a figment of time-paradox scripting that works okay as a technical exercise but not as an emotional resolution free of cheating. The future is changed by Voyager getting home, presumably paving the way for Captain Janeway to avoid her counterpart's actions in her own future. No real character in the story is held accountable for anything, even though the crew can reap the reward of getting home.

The irony is that I don't think the writers were in any position to deny the crew getting home, because their getting home is about all the real satisfaction we can get from a finale where that becomes the whole point. That's why I think it was a mistake to wait until the final episode to answer this question — because the more important questions are in what happens after the crew gets home. "Endgame" attempts half-heartedly to answer such questions with the future timeline device at the story's outset, but everything about that timeline is erased, so we don't have a real ending to hold onto.

Questions about how the crew will rejoin society after being gone for seven years; what the former Maquis members will do next or how they will be accepted; what people who have been trapped on a starship will decide to do next; what it will mean for the "family" to break up and go their separate ways, or if they will choose to do that at all — all are essential questions that have been left completely untouched.

Yes, a certain amount should be left to the imagination, but this ending seems unsatisfying. After the sound and fury of a fast-moving plot and a lot of action (including Voyager hiding inside a Borg ship, for the writers' purpose of manipulating suspense rather than plausibility), our crew emerges in the Alpha Quadrant. "We did it," says Janeway, with a flat, almost unemotionally disbelieving delivery of the announcement — which, by the way, is almost perfectly appropriate. It's a great initial reaction in the less-is-more school of thought, but to then leave it at that is frustrating.

Of course, we have the issue that has always been my paradox when reviewing Voyager — which is that I was entertained and sometimes even excited by the sweep of the story. Is that enough? For a final episode, I dunno. I enjoyed watching "Endgame" even as it disappointed me. I liked the ebb and flow even while I realized many of the characters were pawns in a ludicrous plot. The story is fun on its surface, but dig deeper and there's not a whole lot to grasp. The crew gets home, but we have no idea what it means that they do.

Voyager lives up to, and down to, itself to the very end.

It has its cake and eats it too.

Be on the lookout late this summer for the season seven recap and an announcement regarding my decision about Enterprise reviews.

Previous episode: Renaissance Man

End-of-season article: Seventh Season Recap

Season Index

98 comments on this review

Ospero - Thu, Feb 7, 2008 - 11:09pm (USA Central)
Is it just me, or are the season finales of the Star Trek series (excepting TOS, which didn't have a finale as such) on a steady decline?

TNG: "All Good Things...", a brilliant episode that managed to give closure to the series.
DS9: "What You Leave Behind", great but not perfect, and leaving a lot of questions unanswered (which is why I recently started on the "Relaunch" book series)
Voyager: "Endgame", a middling affair, with spectacular action and not much brainpower.
Enterprise: "These Are The Voyages...", a misguided and strangely uncompelling end to an unloved series.

Makes you shudder to think what a hypothetic Sixth Series finale might look like, doesn't it?
Jake - Fri, Mar 28, 2008 - 10:21am (USA Central)
I don't think it's you because I've noticed this as well.
I will say, though, that Marina looked as good as ever in "These are the Voyages..."(Frakes, on the other hand...).
Alex - Mon, Mar 31, 2008 - 10:40pm (USA Central)
Personally, I found this the worst of any ST series finale. No payoff at the end, silly situation with the Voyager and borg ship explosion. And the scenes with Janeway talking to future Janeway, horrid.

To think, she purposefully manipulates the timeline, with unknown future results for the federation, and gets promoted to Admiral.

I easily find this the worst of any Star Trek series. Still it produced a dozen or so great episodes.......in 7 years.
Katie - Tue, Apr 29, 2008 - 9:57pm (USA Central)
The saddest thing about this episode was the "romance" between Seven of Nine and Chakotay. It was clearly invented to pander to the fans and came off completely unnatural and even bizarre. Whatever happened to all that stuff happening off in the wings with Janeway and Chakotay?
Derek - Wed, May 7, 2008 - 10:47pm (USA Central)
Plus the hints over the years pointing towards a Doc/7 pairing, which is a character pairing I always enjoyed.
Jason K - Mon, May 19, 2008 - 12:10pm (USA Central)
Just watched this on a Spike TV rerun. I think the thing that infuriated me the most was the notion of Harry Kim leturing Admiral Janeway about going back in time to set things right, when he, himself, is guilty of the same thing and knows it ("Timeless").

That's bad scripting, not remembering where you came from....any other character but Harry might have been appropriate. For me, this is a BIG plot hole in a plot riddled with them.
Paul - Sun, Jul 6, 2008 - 5:17am (USA Central)
Yeah, I'm not sure why the writers paired up Seven with Chakotay and not Doc. Does anyone really know why?

I would have even liked a Chakotay/Janeway relationship, just as long as it wasn't rushed and forced.

All in all, it wasn't a bad episode of Voyager - as Jammer was hinting: the ending was fitting for the type of series it was. Mildly entertaining and barely joining on to the other episodes and seasons.
Dan - Tue, Jul 22, 2008 - 7:47am (USA Central)
A typical Voyager Season Finale Episode. It should have come a few episodes earlier and given us a couple of episodes back home and giving us an effective wrap up.
This would have gone against everything TBTB stood for though.
I enjoyed it though, I always enjoyed Voyager. It just never left you as satisfied as good TNG or DS9. It's the Cheap Whore of Star Trek.
Aaron - Thu, Jul 31, 2008 - 2:45pm (USA Central)
I love the Cheap Whore of Star Trek! Awesome choice and right on the money.

I will say this: to this day I find DS9 utterly horrid and unwatchable, so for me, Janeway beats Sisko.
james - Tue, Aug 19, 2008 - 5:17pm (USA Central)
watched 'endgame' for the first time recently. It was quite entertaining, however I just saw part of 'eye of the neadle' tonight, in which Chakotay tells the Romulin from 20 years in the past, that 'he' can't tell starfleet not to launch Voyager, bacause of the effects Voyager has had in the Delta quadrant. Now thats just a few years, yet both Janeway's are prepared to jetison 26 years of history to get home now! Remarkable what we're supposed to turn a blind eye to.
Lingoo - Wed, Aug 27, 2008 - 6:33pm (USA Central)
Me and my sister were both left jaw dropped, we turned to each other and said "er is that it? what happened to Seven, Harry etc..."

Don't misunderstand. I LOVE Voyager, to me it is the best Star Trek ever, by miles... It has a million plot holes, almost no continuity etc.. but that didn't matter to me.. "to the journey!" - lol

But i'm very much into special effects, make a plot holed story and throw in some neat special effects and i'm instantly won over.

I guess that makes me the Cheap Whores Bitch. lol :(
Nick - Fri, Aug 29, 2008 - 8:29am (USA Central)
When I saw this episode two years ago (I was stationed in Iraq and ordered every season of every series) I was so angry. The last shot really pissed me off. I know I was not alone, I wanted to see the real homecoming and heroes welcome, this episode let me down as much as ANY in VOY run. All bang and no brain, just action. Not good.
Christian - Mon, Sep 29, 2008 - 8:49pm (USA Central)
Absolutely brilliant end to the best start trek series ever....
Mike - Wed, Nov 12, 2008 - 7:48am (USA Central)
It's really stunning that Neelix - everyone's least favorite character - gets a highly emotional send-off in Homestead. But in the series finale the rest of the crew gets nothing except some highly questionable actions from future Janeway. Jammer puts it brilliantly - what about the rest of the dead crew? Why does future Janeway pick THIS moment, instead of a moment years earlier?

One day I hope to read what was truly going on behind the scenes on Voyager. This episode, certainly entertaining in itself, is practically a 'screw you' from the writers for those who care about the characters. What were the decisions that led to not giving us future histories of the characters, or even grand scenes of homecoming? Were they forced to end the series abruptly? Did the producers demand a SFX heavy finale with little emphasis on character? Did everyone just say "screw it, we're outta here" and decide not to do a real series closer?

Oh, and one day I'd like to understand how the Federation went from losing half their fleet to one cube at wolf 359, to destroying a cube in one shot about forty years of technology later.
Baz - Sat, Jan 3, 2009 - 4:27pm (USA Central)
Becuase I didn't watch the series religiously, I liked the final ep; because I hadn't really bought into the characters too much or trawled through pointless episodes just to get some sort of 'character development (with Voyager's writers? fat chance)' the ending of the episode worked for me: they've been trying for 7 years to get home, they got home. Job done.

As a series finale in general it was weak, but as a Voyager finale I felt it worked fairly well.
EP - Tue, Mar 10, 2009 - 11:59pm (USA Central)
According to Robert Beltran, who by this point was very dissatisfied with the show and his character, the writers did not even begin to write the finale until "the last minute." Whatever that means.
EP - Wed, Mar 11, 2009 - 11:10pm (USA Central)
In many ways, the theme of 'Endgame's' plot is similar to Trek II/III/IV, where Kirk and company throw regulations to the wind to save the life of just one man, Spock. Admiral Janeway here is willing to sacrifice decades of history, including her own, just so that Tuvok/Seven/Chakotay survive.

That I love II/III/IV, and find this episode to be barely palatable, I attribute to the fact that I just don't care about the VOY crew as much as the TOS one. That's too bad.
Damien - Sun, Apr 5, 2009 - 8:17am (USA Central)
I pretty much agree with Jammer's thoughts, except for one thing. I didn't have any problem at all about not seeing a post homecoming. It doesn't really matter (to me) what they end up doing - it's not really the point. I'm sure they could have come up with some extended epilogue, etc, but I reckon that would have been boringly anti-climactic. The point of the series was their journey home and whether or not they would make it. I thought it ended perfectly with a shot of Voyager heading towards Earth.

Apart from the temporal plot holes, dubious morality of altering the future (history?) and general Borg stupidity, I found the relationship pairings silly and arbitrary. Doc/Seven would have been a more natural fit (even though it seemed more of a one sided infatuation from the Doc). And Chakotay/Janeway would have been the other more believable coupling.

But still, quite entertaining nonetheless...
Seth - Sun, Apr 5, 2009 - 9:36am (USA Central)
Voyager is like the Friday the 13th series: It's can be entertaining, but is too nonsensical to be considered good.
Nick - Sun, Apr 19, 2009 - 12:09am (USA Central)
This episode is such an incredible disappointment. It doesn't deal with any consequences! I blame Voyager for helping to create our "do anything and ignore the consequences" moral quagmire that we are stuck in today. For shame!

Seriously though... watching Tom and his father meet again, this time with a part Klingon granddaughter, seeing how Starfleet reacts to gaining technology from thirty years in the future, watching Tuvok meet his family, seeing what the Maquis decide to do and how Starfleet reacts to them, seeing what the Doctor does next... bah! There are so many things that would've been nice to see but the writer's were too lazy and too afraid to take risks to make them happen. Voyager should have arrived home two thirds of the way through season seven.
gion - Wed, May 20, 2009 - 5:12am (USA Central)
Even though I detest how the borg were declawed in this series, I enjoyed the Borg Queen's look on her face when Voyager easily dealt with several cubes. Of all the 'Borg are scared' moment, this is one was by far the best. No ingenuous tricks, just a simple face to face fight and the Borg lost hands down. Pretty shallow but it worked.

And yeah, I was also disappointing the homecoming was this terse. I don't need half an hour of people hugging with loved ones, but acknowledgment of the amazing experiences Voyager has had would have been nice. Witness Seven step foot on Earth, find out how Starfleet would receive the former Maquis... I guess those things will have to be resolved in my imagination.
Jason K - Wed, May 20, 2009 - 6:25am (USA Central)
You know.....

BSG could always have ended like this!! Adama looks at the blue planet, says "We did it" with no emotion at all, Roslin drops dead in the CIC, and we fade to black.....

NOW WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN THE FALLOUT FROM THAT??
Jay - Sat, Aug 1, 2009 - 9:34am (USA Central)
I agree with the person above who said Voyager should have gotten home two-thirds of the way through the Season.

The slipstream was one of the more interesting of the "ways home" this series presented, mostly because it was an actual technology rather than a happenstance anomoly.

Voyager should have tinkered and dabled with it off and on sice they first encountered it in "Hope And Fear", and perfected it enough to get home after the events of "Author Author", the last decent episode of the series (Endgame included).
James - Sat, Aug 1, 2009 - 2:25pm (USA Central)
Shouldn't the same time-policing entities mentioned in "Relativity" have put the kibosh on the events in "Endgame". Or at the least, Janeway should have been visited by the same guys Sisko was after "Trials and Tribble-ations".
PM - Wed, Aug 19, 2009 - 9:32am (USA Central)
"I blame Voyager for helping to create our "do anything and ignore the consequences" moral quagmire that we are stuck in today. For shame!"

Nobody watched Voyager, so I doubt it had much cultural impact...

But Jammer Johnson is right. This is an entirely fitting end to Voyager in that it ignores the consequences of what they've been doing in the Delta Quadrant for 7 years, the potential consequences of messing with the timeline, etc. in favor of an action story. The worst part is it doesn't deliver enough action to work on that level anyway.

Instead they spend all this time on character moments, which a series finale should be able to do - but not Voyager. They've spent 7 years writing these characters as interchangeable ciphers, so those moments (especially the blatantly illogical ones, like Chakotay and Seven) fall flat on their face. It kills the pacing. If you're going to do an action show and forget the rest of the series, give me more action, dammit!
Jay - Sat, Sep 5, 2009 - 7:57am (USA Central)
For what it's worth, many more people watched Voyager than Deep Space Nine.
Kev - Wed, Sep 9, 2009 - 9:30am (USA Central)
If thats not proof of the lowest common denominator theory, I dont know what is.
Jeffrey - Tue, Dec 22, 2009 - 8:26am (USA Central)
Before I saw "Endgame" I had heard most of what it was about. So while I was curious to see the results, I already knew it involved time travel (which should be permanently banned from any future ST production) and the Borg (maybe not a permanent banning, but definitely a reworking).

The final shot is unforgivable. At least give the audience a chance to see Voyager enter orbit, before the credits pop up and fade to black.

The fact that the finale was prepared late, the fact that the series as a whole never respected the characters enough to keep them consistent, the fact that TPTB seemingly made few attempts to maintain continuity within VOY at the very least, etc. I can only assume that subconsciously the writing and production staff had little respect for the fans and for the show on which they worked. I just can't imagine that anyone involved in the production felt that this was the best finale they could come up with.

I own VOY on DVD, I still watch it and there are episodes and moments that I enjoy. I guess I still keep watching it hoping that magically, VOY will be the series it promised and deserved to be.
Lenny - Sat, Jan 16, 2010 - 12:02am (USA Central)
I felt it was satisfactory, not great, but not awful. Oh how I wish Voyager was so much more, but I still enjoy what it is.
Joe Ford - Tue, Feb 16, 2010 - 2:13am (USA Central)
I think three decades to think up 'Joe' is rather wonderful! But then I would...

What a lousy hacked-together-by-bits-of-other-episodes finale. Some nice character bits at the begining but it all falls to pieces as soon as we are back on Voyager. What about the rest of the cast? They are eclipsed by Mulgrew talking to herself for an hour! And the Chakotay/Seven romance makes me want to vomit. The DS9 finale felt important, this is just lazy and (considering their efforts in the past) far too easy to get home. And no consequences...we don't get to see what happens to the crew? Sheesh...
Chris H - Sat, Jun 26, 2010 - 4:01pm (USA Central)
When you look at Stargate Universe, you see just what Voyager could have been!

Absolutely decimated Star Trek.

Personally, just imagine if Voyager had of had the DS9 characters in it.

Now that would have been worth watching. Imagine Sisko crashing into the Delta Quadrant, "Jake!! Jake!!"

"Dax, where are we!?" "Oh my God Benjamin, its the Delta Quadrant"

dun dun dunnnn
navamske - Tue, Jun 29, 2010 - 10:18pm (USA Central)
The biggest plot hole, I think, pointed out or at least implied by the Borg Queen when she was dying, stemmed from the fact that Future Janeway created a "grandfather paradox" kinda thing. By getting Voyager home sixteen years earlier, she effectively erased the future she came from, including herself, meaning that she would not have existed to go back in time and get Voyager home sixteen years early.
Teroknor - Sat, Sep 25, 2010 - 1:19am (USA Central)
"For what it's worth, many more people watched Voyager than Deep Space Nine. "
huh? according to wikipedia and a bunch of references, ds9 had stronger rating than Voyager. 6% of marketshare vs 5% on average. TNG had 11%
Nick M - Thu, Sep 30, 2010 - 10:07am (USA Central)
I just rewatched "Endgame" after a few years...and the final shot STILL pisses me off. After seven years there is no emotional payoff, it just ends. F***ers for that.
And I was thinking about it, I know a lot of people were opposed to the Seven/Chakotay pairing - it didn't bother me so much as just seemed....last minute. But to me, a better pairing, and this will cause anger, harsh words and all that (maybe), would have been Seven/Harry. Hear me out.
Harry is a nice guy (if not a doof) who was all about Seven when she came on. He also was very human. A pairing of the two would have allowed seven someone to play off of for learning humanity, while Harry would FINALLY have gotten a hot babe! Ok, I know it's a strech, but at least after seven years Ensign Never Gonna Progress Because the Writers Hated Him would have had SOME positive in his life.

But that final scene...FRAK Berman & Braga!!!!!
Jeff O'Connor - Thu, Oct 14, 2010 - 2:55pm (USA Central)
The only two people I'd have been entertained by seeing Seven wind up with were The Doctor or Janeway. Either way, it would have been making a powerful statement.

I'd vastly prefer it be The Doctor, but Janeway helps Seven along on the road to reclaiming her humanity for so long that if either of them swung that way, I could see it.

Chakotay, though? Seriously? What?
Michael - Fri, Oct 15, 2010 - 8:41am (USA Central)
I guess some would have liked to watch 40 minutes of Torres having a heart-to-heart with her grandmother at the end of which they would hug to stirring music with all of Torres' childhood dramas resolved, and then another 40 minutes of Paris' introspection culminating with his finally forgiving his father... - or whatever.

Well, I for one LOVED this particular episode. It had a lot of sci, a lot of fi, a lot of tech, and a lot of action. I don't want a sci-fi show to make me cry or feel warm and fuzzy inside; I want phasers and lasers and warp and folding the spacetime continuum. And this episode had all of that galore.

A great ending, which I would go so far as to say redeemed the more execrable shows of the Voyager series (The Barge and Threshold come to mind).
Procyon - Mon, Nov 8, 2010 - 7:40pm (USA Central)
A mediocre finale at best that represented the overall impression of Voyager too well.

Still, someone above me mentioned Stargate Universe as some sci-fi ideal. I completely disagree with that sentiment. SGU went much too far in the other direction and ended up in a ditch on the other side of the road. It was/is much too much character-centric at the expense of an interesting plot. Who needs entire episodes devoted almost exclusively to pure drama?

I guess I didn't care too much for the stargate "universe" either. Almost every "alien" culture is a cultural extension of earth, and SG1 at least plays out like USA: Galactic Diplomacy. That is more likely to induce nightmares than a steamy night between Neelix and Janeway.

Conclusion: Star Trek is superior.
Spencer - Sat, Feb 5, 2011 - 3:15pm (USA Central)
Funny how after 7 seasons + an additional 26 years we skip over, Janeway becomes just another crooked Trek admiral. :)
Cloudane - Mon, Apr 11, 2011 - 6:10pm (USA Central)
"A fitting end for the series, and read into that statement what you wish."

Indeed.

It was 100% Voyager: down to business, no consequences, no aftermath. Janeway was 100% Janeway: Badass (let's call her Admiral Genocide! Wiping out the Borg to achieve her own ends - so much for the one who was almost moved to tears by one cube being blown up a small handful of episodes back)

True, it's disappointing that it ends with a thud.. they're home, a couple of brief lines and roll credits- but that's true to itself really, for better or worse. All the talk of seeing consequences, reintegration struggles etc is something I would expect from DS9 but learned a long time ago is not something to expect from Voyager. And you know, it's fine. Voyager didn't aspire to be DS9 any more than Pinnochio aspired to be an adult and it's probably a little unfair to judge it as something that it has never been or wanted to be. (I mean the writers/producers/etc. You know what I mean.)

Yes in an ideal world I'd have liked to have seen all that other stuff, and earlier in the season I'd have quite liked to see more of the interaction between Paris and Son, some of the other crew's family etc. But well, Voyager doesn't belong to that sub-genre of sci-fi. So.. never mind! I'd like my coffee to be beer, but it's not, it's coffee. That doesn't make it less of a beverage.

Well ok I'd have loved to have seen a little more after the ending... a more epic arrangement of the theme with an extended show of Voyager flying in (the one at the start of the episode was a bit half arsed, and starting the episode with it coming home just didn't seem right), some emotional scenes as they land her on Earth and step off to a hero's welcome, maybe a flashback or two. Oh well, not the end of the world.

Accepting it on its own terms then, a fascinating and exciting action movie (good as) with a suitably epic feel, some good old time travel and, yes, a fitting end to the series. We did also get a couple of things that I was hoping to see, such as Seven's cortical node limiter thing being fixed (a major gripe I had about the depressing end a few episodes back) and a hint that Ensign Kim, bless the hapless young idiot, might actually get promoted one day... maybe all the way to captain if he can get a lock to beam himself to the admiral's office :-)

Side note - Admiral Janeway reminded me a lot of Margaret Thatcher. *shudder*

Voyager has shown its fair share of disappointments and of course a great many of them were down to lazy writing and complacency from the past success of Star Trek. But in hindsight many more of those disappointments came from expecting Voyager to be in the same league, or at least the same sci-fi subgenre, as DS9. It isn't. It never was. It was never intended to be. On its own terms, like them or not, it's kept me well enough entertained for 7 seasons (182 episodes I believe?) to care about it, and care about it enough to read every review and comment on most of the later ones. That's no mean feat.

It wasn't the best Trek series, but in a set of 5 they can't ALL be the best and one of them has to be the "worst" - in a sample that size, being the worst isn't terrible (and it could yet be Enterprise anyway... I'll see soon). Even the worst Final Fantasy is still good, and there are 13 of those excluding the MMOs. Bravo to a job well (enough) done, and RIP Star Trek original timeline 24th century TV series!
Dirge - Mon, Jul 11, 2011 - 4:35pm (USA Central)
I somehow got it into my head that when the "Marqui Situation" was brought up, that Voyager would elect to stay in the Delta Quadrant to protect the crew. It would have been a great finale with some of the characters (like Harry) returning to the Alpha Quadrant, but most deciding to stay on Voyager and stay in the Delta quadrant to continue to explore for Starfleet.

That would have been a real twist, but would have angered many of the fans, since the main goal of the series, Voyager returning home, would not have happened.
Ryan - Wed, Nov 9, 2011 - 5:56pm (USA Central)
After reading these comments it becomes apparent, that
1)Jamahl Epsicokhan is a VERY good analytical writer and
2) There is no pleasing everybody.

My wife and I came to the conclusion that no series can be made without plot holes, characters contradicting themselves, and characters making foolish decisions repeatedly.

We very much enjoyed this series, especially the moral dilemmas, but I always imagined it would end with them finally reaching earth and realizing that earth had nothing for them and just keep going.
Paul - Mon, Dec 5, 2011 - 11:58am (USA Central)
Brief assessments of each series finale usually correlates to what brief assessments of each series.

TNG: Good team ensemble, with Patrick Stewart anchoring things and just enough technobabble/problem solving/time travel at a point when we weren't worn out on such things. Also, great because of the recurrence of Q.

DS9: The most ambitious and sweeping. It took the most chances and also, occasionally, went too far and left things unfinished (Bajor's entry into the Federation, etc.).

VOY: The most episodic and least tied to logic. Rules were often tossed out the window and continuity was rarely maintained. But lots of things blew up.

ENT: A conflicting, entertaining mess where the creators clearly struggled with making a prequel and entertainment that stood on its own.
Liam - Sat, Jan 7, 2012 - 2:25pm (USA Central)
I enjoyed Voyagers Finale. It was not a good as I thought it would be. I do feel we should have gotten a glimpse of what happens to the crew when they get back to earth. They could have done a montage of each crew member and what their lives are like possibly five years down the line.

Or they could have done ENDGAME as episode 23 and 24 and then episode 25 and 26 could have been shown their lives a couple of days after they arrived and then skipped on 5 years and have to fight off the Borg one more time of something along those lines.

But overall I'm satisfied with ENDGAME. It wrapped up most stories and answered the question, Do they get home?
Iceblink - Sat, Feb 25, 2012 - 6:05pm (USA Central)
Why didn't Janeway develop a single wrinkle in 26 years? Things like that bug me immensely. Did they run out of makeup budget, did Mulgrew refuse to the indignity of old age makeup...or are we expected to believe Janeway got regular facelifts?
Iceblink - Sun, Feb 26, 2012 - 4:39am (USA Central)
And so it ends. I echo many sentiments above - as an episode it's enjoyable to watch, even if it's basically a poor man's version of All Good Things hybridised with Timeless. I couldn't believe it when we suddenly saw two characters suddenly getting together for a doomed relationship, and discovering another character had a degenerative neurological disorder. The writers clearly ran out of their own ideas years ago.

There are some very questionable ideas, such as bitter old (yet curiously unwrinkled!) janeway -- who, YES, looks and behaves freakishly like a futuristic Margaret Thatcher -- deciding that she needs to play God and rewrite history just because there are some elements that didn't pan out well. Hell - that's LIFE, b*tch! And no matter how you much try to avoid the bad stuff, it'll find you. It's the way it works, life is about taking the good with the bad. I was uncomfortable at what appeared to be a casual act of genocide. Not a very Star Trekkian message for Voyager's last gasp. Just what was the message here? Star Trek's writers used to spend time considering such things. The message is not a good one...

As for the ending....Seven years -- seven YEARS -- of build up and supposed emotional investment -- all for a cursory shot of Voyager heading toward Earth for three seconds before the end credits roll. The ending was so horrifically rushed, almost as if someone looked down at their watch and though 'sh*t, we have to get them home - NOW!'. I fully agree that Voyager should have gotten home at least a couple of episodes ago - so many unanswered questions. Endgame? More like Endshame. So much wasted potential - but that's Voyager through and through.

Totally agree with Jammer. Voyager very much died as it lived. Towards the end of the show I'd accepted it was never going to be all (or even a fraction) of what it could be, instead it was what it was. But although entertaining, action-packed, yadda yadda as an episode, this is a wholly unsatisfying finale to a seven year series. Guess it all lives or dies on the writing, and the writers for this show were really just showing up for the pay cheque.

It is what it is though. Much like life. Unlike Admiral Janeway I won't try to mess with time just so I can go back and try to encourage the writers to create a decent ending...or series...
Eric - Sat, Mar 3, 2012 - 1:39am (USA Central)
When I originally saw this way back when, I really thought the opening shot of voyager, and the golden gate bridge was a really clever twist on the last episode. We're all expecting them to get home, but right away - they're already home, and you see them living their lives.

I still think that was clever, but looking at it now, I think that future Janeway's reasons for traveling back in time were incredibly selfish. Time travel to make things "better" bothers me as a concept anyway. What's to stop the Borg from going back in time and undoing this? Or going back in time and giving themselves current technology/adaptations so that they can defeat everyone and overrun the galaxy. What's to stop anyone from changing outcomes to their advantage, (at the expense of everyone else)? If no outcome is final, everything is meaningless.

They could have perhaps given future Janeway a better reasons for going back, and also some kind of explanation for making this type of time travel not reproducible. Oh well, its just a show.
Petrus - Sat, Apr 7, 2012 - 5:05am (USA Central)
I thought Admiral Janeway's attitude in this episode was entirely consistent with the character we've seen for the rest of the series. A little more extreme, perhaps, but not much.

To me, Janeway was always the single worst thing about Voyager. She was a raving megalomaniac who made decisions according to her own whims, which affected the lives of (often several) other characters, and to hell with said other people, if they were unhappy with said decisions.

Said abuse of authority and command immaturity weren't nearly the worst of it, however. The really painful thing, was the fact that if Janeway's moral deficiency was ever brought up with female fans of the show, the gender card was immediately reached for, and as a male critic, you would consistently be labelled a misogynist.

It makes me wish that Janeway *had* been male, because then it might have demonstrated that, no; her gender doesn't have anything to do with it. Abuse of authority is abuse of authority, whether the person who commits said abuse is male or female.

For those who perhaps read this and think that I desperately need to get a life for being so adamantly upset about a fictional character eleven years after the fact, yes, you're also probably right.
Jay - Fri, Jun 22, 2012 - 1:54pm (USA Central)
It's odd that Tuvok, with this illness, would be living on Earth rather than on Vulcan, and would need to be visited by Barclay and the Doctor, rather than by his wife...
Dean Grr - Thu, Jul 12, 2012 - 8:55pm (USA Central)
Voyager did show the character's lives on Earth: 26 years later, Barclay is part of the Voyager family, toasting the crew at a reunion, Tom Paris returned to civilian life as an author, B'Elanna as Klingon Ambassador, the Doctor ("Joe") with a human wife ...

What would have made the ending, though, is to see Seven of Nine walk into the reunion as an epilogue, with a contented Admiral Janeway looking on.

...

On the Borg ...

Having the last couple seasons witness the Borg expand exponentially, like their power and drive to assimilate would allow, would have been frightening and lent awesome suspense leading up the finale. The Borg were a virus multiplying, and with their transwarp conduits could easily catch up to Voyager. Even though it wasn't perfect, the story "Hope and Fear", where an advanced race is finally conquered by the Borg and you see the despair and rage of the survivors, could have lead up to a final confrontation. A race like the Borg had to be stopped, not annihilated, but have the drones freed and the Collective disbanded.

....

Gotta love that scene, though, of Voyager ripping through a Borg cube with a single shot, ;)!
Tiarfe - Sun, Oct 7, 2012 - 8:53pm (USA Central)
Just finished watching series Finale. I enjoyed the final episode and thought the Borg Queen limbs detaching was funny.

I am glad B'Elanna gave birth on Voyager but wished Tom had gotten back to Sick Bay in time.

Chakotay came across as the creepy older man pursuing the younger beautiful female employee.

I know there have been many jibes at Harry Kim's character but he was needed to make the crew work. How boring if all the crew members were the same. I enjoyed his character much more so than Chakotay or Tuvok.

I believe this was a great ending to the series because additional scenes would have just been a lot of repetitive drama that was seen when the crew were talking to families on the ship.
Chris - Sun, Oct 21, 2012 - 10:02pm (USA Central)
If Janeway could open a rift to go back in time with future weapons, surely the Borg would have assimilated a way to do the same, so it's rather absurd that the Borg are outclassed by "future" weapons. They could do just what they tried in First Contact...go back in time and assimilate the galaxy, and keep trying until they succeed.
Rosario - Sat, Nov 3, 2012 - 1:03pm (USA Central)
"The biggest plot hole, I think, pointed out or at least implied by the Borg Queen when she was dying, stemmed from the fact that Future Janeway created a "grandfather paradox" kinda thing. By getting Voyager home sixteen years earlier, she effectively erased the future she came from, including herself, meaning that she would not have existed to go back in time and get Voyager home sixteen years early."

Not necessarily. The episode, as given, without any later events shown would imply an infinity loop where history cannot progress beyond the point when Admiral Janeway made her "time-jump." Time will progress to the point where Admiral Janeway would have made her jump but at the moment she would have left, instead a sawtooth snap would occur in which time would lurch back to Voyager passing the Nebula - without Admiral Janeway showing up. This Voyager is destined to travel another 16 years before Janeway will Jump again - starting it all over. Infinity Loop. But perhaps we can make an N-Jump instead, so that way time can progress.

Let's imagine an epilogue where an older, tired but satisfied (and unwrinkled!) Admiral Janeway has a quiet evening with her crew - Seven and Chakotay smilingly in attendance - recieves a package from the Doc with a kind word as they all bid her farewell. For she has to go back to the past again, to ensure that this future will happen.

How's that for consequences? Janeway, forever doomed to repeat her trip through time and face her death at the hands of the Borg Queen in order that her crew, her family can all survive and live out their lives.

Kind of a twisted ending but I like it better than what the writers presented me with as a closer.
FS - Tue, Nov 13, 2012 - 10:44pm (USA Central)
It would have been better if the time travel wasn't the main explanation for the return. After all, why go back exactly to that time after the Borg nebula was found and that Voyager was already afraid of it? Future Janeway could have gone to almost any time, even back to Caretaker time and beat up the Kazon to buy time to return home using that technology (and then destroying the array anyway). It would have saved everybody, but killed the series. And using the time travel also diminish the "I will get you home" promise from Janeway... sure she did it (even twice!) but the one we saw was cheating!

But at least the time travel made it possible to kind of explore what happens after the return of Voyager (even if it's deleted) while keeping the getting back home with the end credits that the authors favored.
Jack - Wed, Dec 5, 2012 - 1:28pm (USA Central)
If the Borg have this ability to dispatch ships instantly to anywhere in the galaxy, its hard to imagine that the Borg Collective and the Dominion haven't come into direct and savage conflict...surely the Jem'Hadar would be highly prized as drones, and the Borg are certainly "solids". Dialogue in various episodes indicates both entities have been around for centuries.
milica - Thu, Dec 27, 2012 - 3:39pm (USA Central)
I loved Voyager (it's the best ST after Enterprise to me). To the journey!
Too bad we won't have any more of the ST series...
Latex Zebra - Fri, Dec 28, 2012 - 6:18am (USA Central)
OK, so Arcturus in Hopes and Fears said that a swarm of Borg turned up and took over his planet.
The Borg are intent on assimilating humanity.
They have a Transwarp conduit that opens up right on Earth's doorstep.
Why have the Borg continued to send one ship time after time rather than a dozen and do the job properly.

Now I can suspend disbelief to a degree for a Sci Fi program but Voyager continually put things in that just open huge cans of worms. Timeships from the future are another example.

People may slag off DS9 for being anti Trek but Voyagers problem was it was anti intelligence.
I still love it (just got 3 series on DVD for Xmas) but, as I said under my old name on here Dan, this really is just cheap whorish entertainment. The more you think about certain episodes the more others unravel.
Obviously there are some classics, some of the best Trek ever in fact. As a series overall though, a missed opportunity.
Oh and not giving us anything but 'What If' in the future rather than an real coming home resolution is frankly just as insulting as setting the last Enterptise episode on the Holodeck of the Enterprise D.
Jay - Mon, Jan 14, 2013 - 10:48am (USA Central)
Yeah, Jack, it would be interesting to see the effect of nanoprobes introduced into the Great Link.
Aaron - Thu, Feb 28, 2013 - 1:30am (USA Central)
The episode had lots of action, but no closure. It seems to me the natural way to end the series would have been for Voyager to have a fateful encounter with the female Caretaker who sends them hope with ten minutes left to spare to let us see the crew reunite with their loved ones. It was an important and unresolved plot line. The female Caretaker would have had the power to travel to their location no matter how far they had gone, making it plausible. They could have thrown in the Borg somehow and even Kes. "The female Caretaker sics the Borg on Voyager, but has a change of heart when Voyager rescues her from being assimilated. She throws them back to the Alpha Quadrant, putting a nice bookend to the series."
William B - Thu, Mar 28, 2013 - 2:47am (USA Central)
For interest, the breakdown of star ratings for each season of Voyager (listed in the form number of 4* episodes / number of 3.5 * episodes / ... so on down to 0* episodes), along with average rating, is the following.

Note that I count Caretaker, Dark Frontier, Flesh and Blood and Endgame to be 2 episodes apiece, since they are 2-hour shows.

S1: 0/3/ 7/2/3/1/0/0/0, av. 2.66 stars
S2: 1/3/ 8/6/5/1/1/0/1, av. 2.54 stars
S3: 1/4/ 8/4/4/4/1/0/0, av. 2.58 stars
S4: 1/1/12/5/4/2/0/1/0, av. 2.60 stars
S5: 2/1/11/4/5/2/1/0/0, av. 2.63 stars
S6: 2/4/ 7/4/6/2/1/0/0, av. 2.65 stars
S7: 1/4/ 7/6/6/2/0/0/0, av. 2.65 stars

Series: 8/20/60/31/33/14/4/1/1, av. 2.62 stars

Average star rating, the seasons in descending quality order are 1, (6,7--tie), 5, 4, 3, 2.
Sintek - Wed, May 22, 2013 - 11:41am (USA Central)
I used to dislike Voyager because it could have been so much more, but after watching some episodes I discovered its true purpose: it's the comfort food of all the Star Trek series. Consequences of character actions are rare, and and it requires from the viewer very little thought. It's easy to watch and comprehend; just sit back and let the simplicity wash over you. Some people enjoying not having to use their brain and more power to them
Sintek - Wed, May 22, 2013 - 11:43am (USA Central)
Ok, that's the last time I post from my phone using speech to text. That is horrendous.
Jay - Fri, May 31, 2013 - 12:27pm (USA Central)
I agree with most others that Voyager, in sum, is inferior to TNG and DS9 (though not nearly as woefully inferior as most here assert). I attribute some of that, however, to its burden of being not only a network show (asopposed to the syndicated nature of TNG and DS9), but the flagship of that network. It was subjected, therefore to hokey gimmicks and ridiculous promos. Surely it still would have had some of the same factors anyways (weiters, directors, etc.), but I think if it had gotten to be syndicated it might not have gone off on such tangents and would have been more able to be the series that its premise really should have been.
Jonathan Baron - Sun, Jun 16, 2013 - 1:59pm (USA Central)
My sincere thanks, Jammer, for providing these reviews. I grew to trust them and thus managed to skip most of the worst of the Star Trek spinoff series episodes. Once they appeared on streaming Netflix and I could finally summon the will to watch them. The only Star Trek I'd known was the series I saw on television when I was a teenager in the late '60s.

Although I was not impressed by these latter day takes on an interesting television series I found myself with a lot of unwanted time on my hands. There was no Theodore Sturgeon, Harlan Ellison, or Jerome Bixby - actual science fiction writers - writing for these.

Perhaps it's a reflection of my age but television or film science fiction could never approach its written form where it has the freedom to fully engage your imagination unlimited by video technology, production budgets, the FCC, focus groups or entertainment executives.

That said, I believe that writers of any era would have appreciated the pure space opera of the Borg, the notion of a lifetime lived in minutes (Inner Light?), the able retelling of Phillip K. Dick's The Imposter (Whispers), along with meditations on life and sentience created by Data and the Doctor.

Plus we had some wonderful actors along the way. Kate Mulgrew with the captivating voice of '40s film star Patricia Neil - if not Neil's sheer seductive beauty - the smoldering power of Avery Brooks and the pitch perfect Dwight Shultz and Colm Meaney, the vivid and dependable Robert Picardo. The franchise also kept a host of able character actors, such as Vaughn Armstrong, employed.

In the end, though, this series, more than even Enterprise, proved that the franchise is spent. Time for something new to serve the need for hope and awe among people who fail to find it in conventional tales and tired spiritual institutions.

Again, Jammer, my heartfelt thanks.
ProgHead777 - Wed, Jul 3, 2013 - 2:04am (USA Central)
I feel that Voyager's grand finale was a terrible missed opportunity. In the end, I felt cheated, even on the less-than-great terms the series had established up to this point. I would expound on all of that, but I just simply don't have the energy. Voyager had a great premise, the potential of which was abandoned almost immediately by the writers and showrunners, probably out of fear of alienating the Trek demographic. It's swan song felt shallow and abrupt and deeply insincere, to an extent that I feel is completely unforgivable.

Nevertheless, I must admit that Voyager's best episodes, relatively few and far between though they may be, were truly excellent. "The Year of Hell" in particular stands out as one of the best stories Star Trek as whole has ever told.

Aside from that, the nicest thing I can say about Voyager is that it had, in my opinion, far and away the best opening credits sequence and main musical theme of any Star Trek series. Relatively faint praise, but it's the best I can do.

I'm going to start re-watching DS9 now. I've watched TOS and TNG in their entirety more times than I'm willing to admit and I've never managed to get through the first two seasons of Enterprise because I just can't quite convince myself that I'm actually watching Star Trek.

After DS9, perhaps I will watch all of the feature films in sequence... excluding Nemesis, which is, in fact, worse than "Threshold". ;)

Thanks for the reviews, Jammer. They have enhanced my 3rd and (possibly) final re-watching of Voyager IMMENSELY. I look forward to reading all of your DS9 reviews.
skadoo - Mon, Jul 15, 2013 - 9:46am (USA Central)
This was like having a pound of bacon at a sitting. Tastes good and satisfying in the short term but when you think about it you realize that it's not very nutritious.

99% of what I thought has already been covered. But I would have liked to have seen a scene like this:

Captain Janeway: "Why now? Why not earlier? I needn't have had to lose so many. Maybe we could have got everyone on BOTH crews home"

Admiral Janeway: "This has the most probable chance of success. I couldn't exactly run simulations, could I Kathryn?"

CJ: "So you want to interfere with the timeline just for your, er, our personal gain? That idea is repugnant to me Admiral."

AJ: "I know how much you've agonized over the Caretaker. Should I have done it differently? Mined the array and hopped it was destroyed before the Kazon took advantage? Or...? This was the best way I could come up with to try to undue the consequences of that decision. The best way to try and save this family."

A little soapy? Yea probably but it would have gotten a little more into the motivation of the Admiral. Also it would have been interesting to see some of the survivors blame her for the deaths of those that didn't make it.

Also it would have been nice to see Icheb for a few secs as well as Naomi. Especially since we see an adult version of both in Shattered.
Paul - Tue, Jul 16, 2013 - 11:04am (USA Central)
@skadoo: That would have been a great scene and it would have answered a lot of questions. I think Voyager punted on a lot of situations like this that could have added to the series.

The "best chance of success" could have revolved around Voyager's encounter of the transwarp hub (which Janeway presumably determined was a hub sometime after the events in this episode originally unfolded). It's pretty clear that Adm. Janeway doesn't think the Klingon device will work for a return trip (she says as much to Harry) so she needed a way to get Voyager home.

I suppose Adm. Janeway could have returned to the events leading up the Maquis ship being sent to the Delta Quadrant and prevented that. But the "best chance of success" thing might come into play again.
Leah - Tue, Jul 23, 2013 - 11:43pm (USA Central)
The positives:

• Production value!!! Holy crap, the production value!
• Alice Krige returning as the Borg queen. Don't get me wrong, the other woman was great and even kind of looked like her, but Alice just has this...graceful creepiness. She's smooth and soft-spoken but the slow and deliberate way she carries herself and the way she uses her facial expressions makes her feel very intimidating, despite the tragic neutering that the Borg suffered at the hands of the Voyager writers.
• The old-age make-up. I know a lot of people griped about Janeway not having any, but it was there and it was fairly subtle, blended so well that it was hard to pick out. Her neck looked aged, with more loose skin and some wrinkles, and her face looked a bit more sunken and tired. She did look older, at least to me. (Finally, an appearance to match her voice.) In any case, Doc did make a comment about her having aged exceptionally well and I have seen older women that look that good so it's not implausible, especially that far in the future. But overall, all of the age makeup was pretty well done. It's one of the hardest things to do because the person has to look natural and still like themselves, and it's VERY easy to screw up. There was one shot of "Captain" Harry from the back over his shoulder where the line was a little too obvious but that's nitpicking.


The negatives:

• Every freaking thing else! It's pretty much all been said and said well in the review and by the other commenters, so there's no need for me to just reiterate the same sentiments of disappointment and frustration. I would like to put forth a way it could have ended that really wouldn't have taken much more time and would have felt SOOOOOO much more satisfying.


Last scene:

We see the reunion again, just like from the beginning, but everyone is there this time. Admiral Paris and B'Elanna's dad are both there with Tom and B'Elanna and their daughter/kids(if multiple), Tuvok is there with some of his family, we see Naomi Wildman and Icheb grown up as they were in "Shattered," with whatever families they may have started, Harry and Doc and Barclay and, heck, maybe even Neelix with his new family! Maybe by then they've found a way to get to the Delta quadrant and back faster. Since Voyager got back early, I'm sure there would be a TON of stuff Starfleet could adapt, like Slipstream travel.

So, everyone is talking and sharing bits of dialogue about how things played out once they got back. It wouldn't have to be much, just enough to answer some questions that the show just left hanging. So then someone asks about Chakotay and Seven and about that time, they walk in. Seven is implant-less and natural, and maybe they have a kid of their own. Janeway looks emotional and proud. They join the conversation and after talking about where they've all gone in life from the time they got back, make a final toast, "To the journey!"

Cut out to a view of the Earth from space and then pull out, accelerating as the camera flies through stars and planets and nebulae and such as the music swells. Do that for a few seconds or however long it takes for the spectacle then fade to black as the music resolves with a sense of wonderment and satisfaction.

End scene (and leave me smiling, despite the shortcomings!)
Paul - Wed, Jul 24, 2013 - 4:17pm (USA Central)
@Leah: Very, very well said.
Ian - Fri, Aug 2, 2013 - 3:12am (USA Central)
Actually, As already mentioned before,a real shock ending would be for admiral Janeway to go back to the Caretaker and prevent the entire series from happening...
That would be the reset of ALL resets...
Nancy - Wed, Aug 21, 2013 - 9:22pm (USA Central)
I was entertained, but not satisfied. As many have pointed out, there was no emotional impact to the return home. I find Voyager more enjoyable than DS9 overall because I like its variety and optimism, but DS9's finale and its heartfelt farewells had me in tears. I care more about Voyager's characters, but the abrupt - "oh we did it" credits roll - ending didn't give me time to be emotional. Heck, Admiral Paris and Tom didn't even interact while he was on the view screen and Paris was sitting right there!

As a result, I remained unaffected as well when I'd expected to have my heart filled to bursting with the joy of their homecoming. After seven years, that's it? So anticlimactic.

I know I like this series more than most who post here (strangely). For me, this finale is not a "fitting end" for characters I've come to care about. It's a very disappointing one.

Oh well. At least it didn't pull a Quantum Leap and have them never get home. I've never been so angered by a finale as I was at that one.
Tom - Wed, Aug 28, 2013 - 3:44am (USA Central)
I enjoyed it immensely when it aired but over the ensuing decade and a few years I've come to realize what a cop-out it is.

It was lazy plotting, period. And Chakotey and Seven? It should have been Seven and Kim. Seven wouldn't need the "big strong man" stereotype to make her feel secure, and Kim is a scientist, just like she is.
azcats - Wed, Sep 4, 2013 - 9:12am (USA Central)
As much as i like TNG and DS9, i still believe Voyager is my favorite series. I loved all the anamolies and time travel. like Michael, i love the sci in sci-fi. i enjoyed the last episode and i was thoroughly entertained.

however, i like leah's ending. I think they needed to show WHAT IMPACE Janeway had on changing history. i think it would have only taken 5 mins or less. which they could have tossed 5 mins of the Seven/Chakotay scenes.

I have no problem with the Seven/Chakotay match, as they had multiple episodes preceding this. The doctor had a oneway infatuation.

great series. fun last episode which could ahve been tweeked.

3.5 stars .5 if they had added a final scene.
Niall - Fri, Sep 20, 2013 - 11:37am (USA Central)
The notion of a Borg transwarp aperture with an exit a light year from Earth is indeed a huge, irresponsible can of worms for this episode to open, one which completely flies in the face of existing continuity. It's worth remembering, as others have commented, that transwarp conduits weren't presented as fixed infrastructure until season 6's Child's Play (a great episode but not without certain flaws). Before that, transwarp was presented a capability of ships, like a faster version of warp - ships opened conduits themselves. Introducing the concept of a fixed network of Borg transwarp conduits spanning the galaxy and controlled by various hubs, as this episode does, is highly problematic. But so are a lot of other elements of this episode.
SpiceRak2 - Thu, Oct 3, 2013 - 12:10pm (USA Central)
@Leah - you would have been a better writer for Voyager! :-)

To add to that final scene:

We learn that Dr. Zimmerman has been working with Barclay and the Doctor to liberate the EMHs from servitude and their programs are enhanced to naturally move beyond their original programming. The Doctor has created a movement for the rights of Holospecies and even a Choral Society for several of his EMH colleagues.

We learn that the Maquis members of Voyager have been exhonerated of all adverse actions and that the Federation has formally acknowledged their role in forcing the Maquis to be founded in the first place.

Harry receives a double pip promotion and a Star Fleet commendation for his creation of the Astrometrics department on Voyager, his work with Holograms, engineering and the Delta Flyer. He seems unable to avoid the attention of women everywhere.

B'Elanna develops an appreciation for blood wine.

Chakotay and Janeway fully submit to their underlying attraction and love for each other.

Seven realizes that the one person that has truly loved her all along is the Doctor.

Just before the scene of Earth and the pull back to the expanding universe, the EMH Choral Society favors the Reunion with a vocal rendition of the Voyager theme song which becomes the closing credits background score.

Run credits.

FADE TO BLACK.
Niall - Wed, Oct 9, 2013 - 4:25pm (USA Central)
I'll stake my colours to the mast: I am and always will be a fan of DS9 much more than any other Star Trek series. But what I think's missing in a lot of comparisons of DS9 and Voyager is an acknowledgement/understanding that the shows shows served different functions and quite deliberately had different tones, different target audiences etc. Voyager was never supposed to be a second DS9, and as such, it can't and shouldn't be judged for failing to be a serious character show that it never intended to be. For better or worse, despite the potential of the premise, I think it's very clear that Voyager was never intended to be a serious character show with arc storytelling etc. The DS9 character are characters, the Voyager characters are figures - and in both cases, they're supposed to be. They're expressly designed to be.

Voyager was designed to be fun first and foremost, and to pull in casual viewers - and to retain them by not expecting them to remember what happened last week. It was a "weekly adventures on a ship" show - hence the lack of continuity, the Voyager Action Insert, and the inconsistency regarding Voyager's actual position (by this I'm referring to the Hirogen turning up in S7 and the Borg in S5-7, when the ship was supposedly tens of thousands of light years beyond their space).

It's important to remember that while continuity is the norm on US/UK TV these days, this a relatively recent development and the opposite was the case in the 90s and earlier. By being almost entirely episodic, Voyager was far from the exception in the 90s - it was the norm. The only shows attempting arc storytelling at the time were a small number of crime series like Murder One, plus The X Files and DS9/B5. Of the latter two, B5 was episodic for the first two and a half seasons and only turned into an arc show from "Severed Dreams" onwards, while DS9 was largely episodic but with strong character/plot/situational continuity, plus a small number of actual arcs (The Circle, the S6 war arc and the closing stretch). Voyager was absolutely typical of 90s US TV and very much a product of its time.

If DS9 had ever been the "main" Trek show on air at the time, the writers would never have the huge amount of freedom that they did to create such a brilliant show (one that stands up superbly 15 years on and in many ways is better and more pertinent than ever). It's thanks to TNG/VOY carrying the franchise's torch and rolling out the standard Trek format of "fun but more-or-less inconsequential adventures on a ship, with strange-foreheaded aliens and a fight at the end" week after week throughout DS9's run that DS0 was able to be what it was.

What I'm saying is that while DS9 was on air, it was Voyager's job to be a counterpoint to it - the lightness to DS9's heaviness. It was designed to give casual Trek viewers people their weekly dose of ship-based adventures. And after DS9 went off the air, Voyager took on an additional purpose, which was to give people their dose of Trek. Hence the greatly increased use of TNG-era tropes - the communication link with the Alpha Quadrant and the addition of Barclay, Troi, Admiral Paris and Doc Zimmerman as recurring characters, the in many cases gratuitous use of Klingons in Barge Of The Dead, UMZ, Prophecy and Endgame, Bajorans in Survival Instinct, Good Shepherd and Flesh And Blood, and the appearance of ancient Earth tech in One Small Step and Friendship One.

Voyager is what it is. It do what it do. I vastly prefer DS9 and find a lot of Voyager disposable - and I think it's aged far less well than DS9 - but I do enjoy Voyager for what it is. It was a fun, watchable show and still is.
Jo Jo Meastro - Thu, Oct 24, 2013 - 5:53pm (USA Central)
I would say as a finale, this is perhaps slightly below DS9s' "What You Leave Behind" but still very much an effective end to an enjoyable series. I'll try to keep my comment spoiler-free for anybody skimming over this on the Comment Browser.

Maybe I'm a big softie, but I had a lump in my throat and it made me feel both happily nostalgic yet sad to see Voyager come to a natural end. The very last moments of the show were a little abrupt and I would have liked just a bit less focus on the admittedly impressive action in order to get a better chance to soak in all of the crew in their wonderful, ultimate bookends; so it is fair to say there was a respectable margin for improvement. This is much like Voyager as a whole wrapped up in one neat, pleasant little farewell parcel which makes you smile whilst hoping for more.

With all that said, it was still very effective and I was sad to see it end. I found season 7 was actually the most strongest season the show has ever had and I am both sad and glad to see it go on such a high (unlike its' older brother TNG!). For all of its' faults and frustrations, it was often fantastic entertainment and I will miss spending time with the Voyager 'family'.

3 stars for an effective put slightly lacking finale, and 3 stars for Voyager as a whole.

I'm pleased I took the time and the effort to comment on the whole of the season, Jammer makes it look easy! It might be a while before I'm back commenting since I've ran out of Trek to watch except TOS, for which I have to wait for Christmas to get on DVD (I've already seen about 60 % of TOS in the past and I'm a big fan). Until then, I'll finish by saying thank you for the marvellous reviews! :)
Jos10 - Thu, Nov 14, 2013 - 9:25am (USA Central)
We were thinking that a good ending would have the only change in the timeline be that "Joe" gets an ugly wife at the reunion party.
Latex Zebra - Sun, Dec 29, 2013 - 11:12am (USA Central)
Another year and another viewing.

Actually warmed to this a little. I still stand by a lot of my old comments but I did enjoy this. A couple of plot holes aren't plot holes. Future Janeway mentions something about better technolgy in the future. I think in the scene with future Harry. This explains how she knows about the Transwarp hub.
I also liked the Seven and Chakotay romance if only because it is played well and not the likliest of parings.
Still think the end is a cop out but I suppose the writers justify it by giving us the true ending for Voyager first and then erasing it.
Which is as Trekien as Trek itself.
Paul - Mon, Dec 30, 2013 - 9:32am (USA Central)
@Latex Zebra:

Sorry, but no -- the VOY ending is not as "Trekien as Trek itself". It was simply classic Voyager -- i.e. a poor man's version of TNG filled with cheats and missed opportunities.

When TNG had a similar ending -- a fake look into the future, a time travel finale, etc. -- it was far more meaningful because it brought Picard closer to his crew leading into the movies. In other words, "All Good Things ... " wasn't the final chapter.

For Voyager, "Endgame" was it -- and we never see interesting things like how the Maquis crew members were initially handled or how Seven of Nine would adapt. Even the more interesting things that we did see, like Paris being a writer, Kim being a captain, the Doctor being in Starfleet as more than a hologram, Tuvok's illness, etc., were all wiped away by the cheat ending.

What's most frustrating is that if the events of "Endgame" had occurred two or three episodes sooner, it would have been impactful. Instead of just seeing the fake future, we could have seen how Admiral Janeway's actions changed things. Wouldn't it have been interesting if, in saving Seven, Chakotay and Tuvok that Admiral Janeway's actions had other negative effects? Maybe the series would have ended with Janeway pondering whether she made the right decision.

Sadly, this was the kind of miss that was classic Voyager. When it asked the tough questions -- "Timeless," "Year of Hell", "Living Witness", it almost ALWAYS had a reset button.

Maybe put another way, "Endgame" is best compared with the much-reviled "Star Trek: Nemesis". That film, despite its many flaws, did serve as a better end to the TNG saga, because we saw or understood how things had changed (Data's death, Riker, Troi and Crusher leaving the ship, etc.) with Picard, Worf and Geordi continuing on -- and with B4 as a sort of interesting "what if".

The action and Shinzon story of "Nemesis" were pretty lame and not as good as "Endgame", but it was a better finale.
William B - Mon, Dec 30, 2013 - 9:49am (USA Central)
@Paul, I am not a fan of "Endgame" for many similar reasons, though I have not watched it since the day it aired (and I was fourteen) and so don't want to speak about it too strongly. And I think the idea of showing change in "Nemesis" was generally good, though I'm, uh, not wild about the execution (or the specific choices made even on a conceptual level). That said, having recently rewatched "All Good Things," I really think that it stands on its own as a series finale very well. I think maybe partly because we really do see the way Picard has been transformed by the experience in the last few minutes; not just his joining the crew, but also Picard's last conversation with Q. I think Picard joining the poker game is sufficiently powerful even with nothing else following it. Among (lots and lots of) other things, Picard has had a chance to see the fragility of life, to recognize that every moment matters, and then to choose to spend the precious time he has on a new "adventure" of becoming closer to his crew. In a way, this moment itself shows what's important: the future will come no matter what, and some of it will be good and some bad, but we control what we do in the present, and Picard chooses to be with these people. It's a great ending whether we take the films into account or not.
Rae - Mon, Dec 30, 2013 - 2:33pm (USA Central)
My biggest issue with the ending is that providing Seven, Chakotay, and Tuvok the fate she felt they deserved, Admiral Janeway stole the future of the rest of her crew, a future that was shown as being very happy, fulfilling, and productive. That show of favouritism doesn't seem right.

I also suspect that she stole from Chakotay and Seven the chance to be together (I think they would end up separating on Earth). Never mind how random the pairing was, it's one that makes sense to me and I feel that they got cheated.

You review is pitch perfect. This is an ending that is pure Voyager. What a disappointing series.
Caine - Thu, Jan 30, 2014 - 5:07pm (USA Central)
After watching sevn seasons of this series ... THIS is ho it ends? Really?!

To be honest, I didn't care all that much about the first 90 % of the episode - all I wanted was the emotional release of these characters finally getting home to Earth!

Somehow I feel swindled! Where's the REAL ending to this series?

BOO!
Patrick D - Thu, Jan 30, 2014 - 5:45pm (USA Central)
@Caine

I consider season 4's "Living Witness" the *true* series finale as it's *not* a fake-out alternate future. So chronologically, it works.
Nick - Thu, Feb 6, 2014 - 7:57pm (USA Central)
I'll say this, Harry had it right - it's all about the journey, not the destination. We hardcore Trekies are quite capable of using our imagination to figure out how each crew member ends up...Hey maybe Seven figures out Chakotay is a complete flake and rebounds with the Doc (that's my story and I'm sticking to it! ;)

Like returning from a long and incredible journey, the arrival back at your front door with your luggage in hand is inexorably an emotionally deflating experience.

To the Journey!
Nick - Thu, Feb 6, 2014 - 8:07pm (USA Central)
@SpiceRak2 You read my mind. =)
RJC - Sun, Feb 16, 2014 - 9:59am (USA Central)
I have similar problems to Jammer with the whole of Voyager: it's entertaining, but it's just that. There seems to be a real lack of a through-line in Voyager which is seriously disappointing, because out of all the Trek series (except perhaps DS9 which I'm re-watching at the moment) has the most clear and single-minded premise or project. That project is, here, the journey - or the destination. I'm inclined to think that these things are not separable, because a journey after-all is the thing between a beginning and an end. Which is why this end just doesn't function well.

Voyager had several (largely) superfluous two-parters throughout ("Killing Game", "Unimatrix Zero"). While DS9 got bogged down in the (highly moving and groundbreaking) Dominion War, away from its original focus:
- on Bajor (in a sense, this enacted Bajor's integration into Federation interstellar politics - the first two seasons were all about the local, and from then on we saw the microscope zoom out, a change in tone detracted from the originality of the series in exploring postcolonial politics in the Star Trek setting)

- and the exploration of the Gamma Quadrant (this was rather left to a few choice episodes, and the notion it was other crews , organisations and individuals taht were doing just that - that DS9 existed as a station, not an excuse to go off into the Gamma Quadrant every single week to see a new token-race - which is how a lot of Voyager felt like).


I realise I've spent nearly all of this comments talking about shows other than Voyager. But this is because it really feels like a wasted opportunity. The finale is all action, very little ethics, and actually compromises a lot of the sense of adventure and loneliness that the series built into its premise. As a narrative it feels lazy, although the debate between Admiral/Captain Janeway does make a good argument for this episode's integrity. The all-action finale is arguably down to First Contact, and Voyager's, relegating of the Borg into an action film threat, rather than a truly cool sci-fi villain ("Q Who?") or opportunity to explore notions of freedom and sentience ("I, Borg"). To shift the tone back (assuming we're still including the Borg in a revised ending) to their earlier appearance would be both a blessing in terms of gravitas and concept, but one which might alienate audiences that have got used to the Borg in this form.

So in typical sci-fi fan form I have some ideas for how they could have done this plot but in a better way:

1) Make this a 6-part arc, or even a whole season, something akin to the end of DS9 or Series 3 of Enterprise. This was a series all about the long-term premise, and while we can include "Homestead" and others in helping to wrap up the series/send characters off on their way, it just doesn't make sense in long-term and strategic ways for it to be as it is: a series of one-off episodes leading to a 2-hour finale...that consists of its own one-off plot with very little consequences. Which is why the Janeway plot in "Endgame" is so puzzling, as the review demonstrates. Every episode leading to the finale should have been an opportunity.

2) Have the final episode as being similar in tone to TNG's "Family", which served brilliantly after a The Best of Both Worlds, in allowing the characters to do character drama after the all-action and suspense. We need to see how these characters go about reintegrating themselves. And I want to see that, not just be told about it.

3) To keep the Admiral Janeway plot, have her not physically time travel, but send some messages back through time. Thinking about it there's a DS9 episode based around this premise - "The Sound of Her Voice", whereas here it would be deliberate. This device would fit a premise in a lot of episodes of Voyager - that they receive important information from afar, but must do something about it themselves, or just have the information in hand. The Admiral could confirm that the transwarp hub is in the nebula, and then the Voyager crew plot to get there. This would give the crew a real scientific challenge (one of the supposed premises of the series being this was a science-oriented series, ship and crew), as Best of Both Worlds did for the TNG crew. The Admiral at this point has done enough to change history - she could perhaps enclose some documents or information that tells the Captain of the terrible fate of some of her friends and crew. In the end of course we know Voyager will succeed, and the timeline will alter (so no back-and-forth talking - this should be about the present Janeway deciding herself whether destroying the hub is more important than getting through it. While in 'Caretaker' her decision was questionnable (e.g. why not just leave loads of bombs to automatically detonate which are really hard to disarm?), here it's based on the familiar backstory of the Borg (she doesn't want there to be more people like the El Aurians or the other people we see whose planets have been devasted and assimilated) and the Starfleet objective to cripple them. In the end they come up with a risky but well-reasoned strategy that gets them through, perhaps after a few attempts. Janeway has a debt to her crew to get them home, and that's the conclusion the show (for me) should take all along. There should be plenty of ethical decisions on the way, but getting the crew home was the televisiual and narrative raison d'etre.

4) Have an arc set in the future depicted here in Endgame, where the future-Admiral Janeway has to decide whether and how to send the message, if you really want that. Then you could have the pathos that this finale does do well. We don't want a rehash of the All Good Things future Picard plot, because here Janeway's trauma and wounds would be from the memories of her decisions, rather than a Syndrome like with Picard. Unfortunately (as it was a very fine episode in a barrel full of bad ones) this would make "Timeless" a bit redundant (then, arguably, so does Endgame).
Steinway - Fri, Apr 11, 2014 - 9:06pm (USA Central)
I have to agree with the consensus (and Jammer) on this farewell episode. The first time I saw it (in college—I had a Voyager finale party at my apartment), I liked it—it had action, the Borg, Klingons, time travel, and...they got home!

But watching it again so many years later, it was frustrating for all the reasons people have already said—the ethics of Admiral Janeway's quest, the split-second shot of Voyager approaching home, and all the rest in between. Interestingly, my husband liked it (much like I did the first time around) but he did notice the ending was a bit abrupt!

Voyager is our favorite series and this finale is just okay. It works, for what it is, but I wouldn't call it "special". The big asset Voyager had to offer was the characters—the good acting, the sense of "family", and the quest for home. And it seemed it was the characters who got shortchanged in the final saga.

I liked the idea someone had above: what if the Borg weren't annihilated (were they, even?) but rather their queen crippled and they somehow became liberated? It would have been a fascinating premise. "Endgame" (with its flaws, I suppose) could have been aired as a mid-season two-parter/mini-movie, and then the second half of the seventh series could be Voyager trying to help all these Borg who are lost and confused, maybe the Borg and Voyager working together to get Voyager back home (or in contact with Earth) to pull in the resources of the rest of the Federation, to help with his massive and unprecedented effort. Starfleet could launch a plan to send a buch of ships to the Delta Quatrant to help out, and voila, you have a neat set of episodes where you're seeing more of the Federation, maybe Earth, maybe homecomings, and some interesting Borg moral dilemmas (some of them die, some of them go crazy, some try to take over Starfleet, etc.).

Could've been fun!
dlpb - Sun, Jul 27, 2014 - 10:08am (USA Central)
An entertaining, but completely lazy ending. Like much of Voyager, it is devoid of logic and continuity. They did exactly as Beltran said... tried to wrap up 7 years in little more than an hour. Pathetic.
Tommy - Tue, Aug 5, 2014 - 7:37am (USA Central)
I think your star rating is right on. As an episode, I would give this 3 stars. As a series finale? 2 stars.

It's like they couldn't think of anything, so they said, "I know! Let's destroy the borg!"

Considering what the borg were for most of TNG, this is pretty sad.

Maybe they already knew that the next Star Trek series was to be a prequel, so they wouldn't need the blog anymore anyway. Not until Enterprise got desperate for ideas, that is.

I think this—and Voyager as a whole—was the beginning of the end of Trek. They started something really great in Pathfinder. Why couldn't they build on that? I'm not saying they just get to fly through a wormhole and cross to the alpha quadrant, but come on...give me anything but another weak as water time travel story.

Even old Janeway remarks about how tiresome time travel is.

I did enjoy seeing the crew in their older years, but that doesn't make up for the steaming mess of improbabilities that was End Game.
Sean - Sat, Aug 16, 2014 - 12:26am (USA Central)
Oh Voyager. Mindless to the end eh? This show was so bad, but I finally finished it and my god am I relieved. No more disappointing mediocre action plots. No more massive missed opportunities. No more aggressively being average. No more caricatures that refuse to change. Am I glad I watched through this entire show? Well... probably not. It was really bad. If this wasn't a Star Trek show, I wouldn't have bothered. But at least it's done right? I breathed a major sigh of relief when it was over, let me tell you.

I didn't expect it to be satisfying. Voyager has never been satisfying. They never used their full potential. So the fact that they waited until the very last second of screen time to get Voyager home really wasn't surprising.

You know, it took me four years to watch through all of Voyager, but in that time I watched DS9 three times because of how good it is.

Also, Elliott is nowhere to be found? This is Voyager's finale and he loves to defend Voyager. I'd actually be curious to hear what he thinks of this one.
Elliott - Sat, Aug 16, 2014 - 12:52am (USA Central)
@Sean :


www.jammersreviews.com/st-voy/s6/equinox2.php
Jack - Thu, Aug 28, 2014 - 5:28pm (USA Central)
After all the distance they travelled in 7 years (by my reckoning by the events of "Renaissance Man" they had to be virtually to the Beta Quadrant border, and even nearing the outermost fringes of the Klingon Empire), it's hard to believe it took another 16 years to get the rest of the way.
Jack - Thu, Aug 28, 2014 - 6:07pm (USA Central)
And they went a bit overboard on aging some of the characters, particularly Harry Kim. He'd only be 55 here, they made him pretty shriveled for 55. B'ehlanna, Tom, and Harry all look older than Janeway does. They all got wrinkly, rubbery faces, all Janeway got is gray hair.
Robert - Fri, Aug 29, 2014 - 8:50am (USA Central)
They had roughly 30k light years to go. That could have taken nearly 30 years. I DO agree that at the speed they were going it probably wouldn't have, but there's no reason to assume they kept pace. It easily could have taken another 9 or 10. 16 is probably a bit much.
John TY - Wed, Sep 3, 2014 - 11:10am (USA Central)
I agree that it was an apt end for the show. And I don't mean that quite as cynically as Jammer.

Couple of points:

- I like how the Doc's future wife was basically Seven 2.0

- Harry's "It's all about the journey" speech had me in stitches. I mean my god, how cornball can you get..
navamske - Tue, Sep 30, 2014 - 7:53pm (USA Central)
This would have been appropriate.

TUVOK: "There's a vessel coming through the [temporal] rift."
CHAKOTAY: "Klingon?"
TUVOK: "No. Federation."
JANEWAY: "Geez, I hope it's not Captain Braxton again."
Tricia - Thu, Oct 2, 2014 - 7:44am (USA Central)
I think the thing that bothered me most, and this might seem trivial, but it was the first scene with Naomi Wildman's daughter. Harry talked to her, and Janeway patted her on the head... But they basically decided that her life was inconsequential. Yes maybe Naomi's life would have followed the same path, and she would have met the same guy and gotten pregnant at the same time - but what are the odds? Janeway took it upon herself to change the course of history, and wipe Naomi's daughter out of existence

I would have thought this episode was okay, if it wasn't for the extreme selfishness of Janeway. If she had been going back in time to prevent some horrible tragedy that affected all of humanity (like Picard in the TNG finale), that would have been one thing. But to go back in time, just to save three friends... Not that three friends aren't important, but it doesn't make sense. I have loved ones that I'd like to bring back, but I wouldn't put all of humanity at risk for it. And why not go back farther, and just destroy the array? Sure they wouldn't save (or even meet) 7 of 9,... but they would save countless others who died throughout the years.

Also, it reduced Janeway to the pathetic sadness of the captain in 'Year of Hell', who just kept trying over and over to restore his wife. Consequences be damned! It would have made more sense if there was some kind of consequence... For example, if Tuvok or Seven had died on the way home.

It didn't bother me that they didn't show what happened after the crew got home. I'd rather leave that up to my imagination, anyway.
Trident - Sat, Oct 4, 2014 - 8:12am (USA Central)
Watching this as an adult, with my kids and wife next to me (and seeing how hooked they were), really made me appreciate this episode. When I was younger, I found it derivative and hokey, but seeing it through less jaded, less cynical eyes, I now think it's a great episode.

You get a real sense of family, camraderie and of Janeway's sacrifices and sadness. Yes, the ending is a kind of philosophical cop-out, but it nevertheless allows the episode to tap into themes of altruism and sacrifice. Above all, the episode embodies what I like best about the Trek ethos. Its "the needs of the many" ideology is pretty radical in our age of rampant, capitalistic "individualism" (which we're told benefits all).

I liked the way Endgame also tied in with the first episode of Voyager. Overall, I'd say the final season of Voyager was Trek's best final season.

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