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Andersonh1
Tue, May 19, 2020, 9:14am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: The Killing Game

This is NOT a "holodeck malfunctions" episode. It's an "aliens abuse Voyager's unfamiliar technology" story, and I thought this was actually one of the more creative uses of the holodeck, with the Hirogen driving it well beyond what it was designed to do. The Kazon could not get a single replicator to work properly, but the Hirogen are smarter, taking the ship and making the crew do the work for them. The story fits right in with one of Voyagers ongoing themes, that of how this single ship can massively affect the region of space they're traveling through. The HIrogen leader is both extremely cruel, and yet more visionary than the others we've seen so far, seeing the potential of the holodeck to bring his wandering and increasingly scattered race back together. As an aside, I like the way he's decorated Janeway's ready room with his trophies, showing just who is now in charge on the ship and what it's purpose is.

This is an increasingly anarchic episode as the story progresses, I agree about that. The Hirogen don't quite understand what they've unleashed by turning the holodeck safeties off and running a war simulation. Unlike Jammer, I enjoy the chaos of part two as the whole situation escalates and falls apart. It works on the level that the Hirogen don't truly understand what they have with Voyager's tech, and it comes back to bite them. In the end, a negotiated settlement and Voyager's crew getting away with their lives and ship is probably the best they could have done. It's a wonder the whole crew aren't traumatized and suffering from PTSD after what the Hirogen put them through. Being forced to take near-fatal injuries over and over again only for the Doctor to heal the victims and send them back in to fight again is as sadistic as it gets.

I'd give both episodes three stars. This is a very "Voyager" episode that probably would not have worked well if at all on TNG or DS9. The spectacle is fun and helps to soften the harshness of the ideas behind the simulations. The cast all get plenty to do and allow us to see all aspects of life on the ship under HIrogen occupation.
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Andersonh1
Wed, May 13, 2020, 7:57am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Hunters

I'm not sure what people around here wanted from the Hirogen. I found the scenes with them genuinely unsettling, as these two aliens stand there and talk about butchering Tuvok in front of Seven so she can see what's going to happen to her. It doesn't get much more sadistic than that, particularly since it's clear to the Hirogen that Seven and Tuvok are sentient beings, and they just don't care. And like last week, the Hirogen scenes are setup for the next few episodes, and the amount of time we spend with them feels about right.
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Andersonh1
Tue, May 12, 2020, 7:24am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Message in a Bottle

This is a pivotal episode in Voyager's overall storyline, without a doubt, and it's interesting that so much of it is played for comedy. It's not that the whole situation isn't dramatic, because it certainly is. There is the possibility that Voyager could lose its only doctor, who the crew genuinely cannot afford to lose. There's the risk of Starfleet losing their experimental new starship to the Romulans. There is the dangerous new adversary in the form of the Hirogen, not to be taken lightly as the next few episodes will show. So there are plenty of high stakes events going on in the episode.

The comedy comes from the Doctor being out of his depth and having to think on his feet and improvise as he deals with the stolen starship and bunch of Romulans. Picardo's role doesn't feel forced, while the EMH Mark 2 does. I always have a hard time taking Andy Dick's EMH seriously as a medical program given the way he plays the character so broadly. Even so, the episode is successful as a comedy team-up between two egotistical EMHs who can barely stop competing with each other long enough to cooperate, and it's always fun to watch. It's also good to see that time has moved on back in the Alpha Quadrant with the updated Starfleet uniforms and mention of the Dominion war.

The ending scene is just so well played, particularly Picardo's earnest delivery of the line "I did it!" For once the Doctor is not puffing himself up, he's genuinely excited to convey the news that he let Starfleet know that the Voyager crew is alive and well. It's a sincere payoff for both the episode and for three and a half years of Voyager.
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Andersonh1
Mon, May 11, 2020, 1:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Concerning Flight

I appreciate the fact that Star Trek sometimes goes for whimsical concepts like "Captain Janeway goes on an adventure with a hologram of Leonardo da Vinci". Every episode can't be dead serious drama, and I enjoy both John Rhys-Davies' performance (and that amazing voice) and the conceit that Da Vinci believes that he's in America. A lesser actor might get lost in the shuffle, but Rhys-Davies has the presence to make the episode work, in my opinion. Even so, Jammer is right, Janeway ought to just turn off the holographic emitter, put it in her pocket, and things would go a lot faster because she wouldn't have to debate the nature of existence with a simulation!
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Andersonh1
Mon, May 11, 2020, 1:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Mortal Coil

What a grim episode. It always feels to me like the writer had a spiritual crisis and turned that into a story for one of the Voyager characters. I'm not sure any of the main cast would have been suitable for this story other than Neelix, with the possible exception of Chakotay, given how humanistic the standard Starfleet belief system is. It's odd how Star Trek so often has to use one of the alien characters to explore religious beliefs when religion is so typical of human experience throughout history. But maybe a fictional alien belief system is a way to get around stepping on the toes of any real world beliefs, and that's probably for the best.

I've long since moved past any dislike for Neelix, and so I'm often rooting for him when we get an episode focused on the character. Ethan Phillips showed how good his performance can be back in "Jetrel" and he demonstrates it again here, showing once again that Neelix's cheerful front is just that, and that there's a lot of anger and sadness beneath the surface. Any of us who have been through a crisis of faith can understand his despair in this episode, and the struggle to work through it. Chakotay makes an appropriate sounding board for Neelix since he's the only other character on the show with anything resembling spiritual beliefs, and I was glad to see him argue against Neelix abandoning his faith. The idea that a living mind might not understand what's on the other side of death is a logical argument to make under the circumstances.

I'll admit I'm not quite sure how Neelix finally resolved his dilemma at the end other than to choose to live for the sake of others. Did he lose his faith, or is he still working out exactly what he believes? I'm not sure it's ever addressed.
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Andersonh1
Mon, May 11, 2020, 9:35am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Waking Moments

This is another fun episode, with a genuinely creepy alien design. I'm glad to see Chakotay still getting to be the lead character in some of these stories, because I had the impression that he had largely faded into the background by this point, but it just goes to show how the memory cheats. The "is it real or still a dream" fakeouts are nicely done as well. The humor works well (Tuvok going to the bridge naked, Seven's "resistance is futile" when making a move on Harry, etc.) I can't say I have any complaints, this is just a solid adventure story with a creative adversary. The image with all the aliens sleeping in the cavern is very nicely done. I like this one quite a bit.
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Andersonh1
Thu, Apr 30, 2020, 3:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: The Gift

"I've got an Ocampan who wants to be something more and a Borg who's afraid of becoming something less." - Janeway sums up this episode

The last time I watched this episode I thought Kes got short shrift in favor of Seven, but in reevaluating this time around I thought the two plotlines were fairly well balanced. The two characters never speak to each other, but Kes saves Seven's life and prevents her from contacting the Borg, so the two storylines don't feel entirely disconnected.

Since this is Kes's final episode as a regular cast member, I did enjoy that she got to spend time with all the characters she had the closest relationships to over the course of the series. The final scenes with the Doctor, Tuvok, Janeway and Neelix were all appreciated, even if I could wish that a bit more time was spent on Neelix and Kes's former relationship. And it seemed very appropriate to me that the final actions Kes took were to protect her friends and cut ten years off of their trip. All in all, as much as I hate to see the character go, it's not a bad sendoff. If only they hadn't botched the character in "Fury", but we'll see how that episode looks when I get to it down the road.
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Andersonh1
Thu, Apr 30, 2020, 2:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Scientific Method

This is just a fun episode. I love Tom and B'Elanna's juvenile behavior. I love Chakotay and Neelix one-upping each other on how bad they have it. I love Janeway's crankiness and reckless course of action at the end of the episode, along with Tuvok's dry commentary. And Seven's investigation where she can see the aliens everywhere is nicely done. I honestly don't care about the plausibility (or lack of) of the science, I just enjoy watching the crew react to the situation and take on some pretty loathsome aliens.

Tuvok's "I'll share a glass of wine" moment with Janeway shows a level of empathy and caring that we don't often see from the character. It really does show what good friends they are, in a very quiet, understated way.
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Andersonh1
Fri, Apr 24, 2020, 9:59am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Distant Origin

We need a crossover where the Voth take on the Borg. I bet the Voth would win that fight. They seem like a race not to be trifled with. They don't even have to use firepower to wear Voyager down in a fight like most hostile aliens, they just capture the ship and depower it without breaking a sweat. Pretty impressive.

I'm not quite sure why this episode appeals to me so much. I think Jammer hits on at least one of the reasons: Gegen is a sympathetic character who is pretty much the protagonist of this episode, and I enjoy following his investigation and sympathize with his dilemmas all through the episode. His enthusiasm for his investigation is well played by the actor. In the end he's just a fundamentally decent person put in an impossible position.

I enjoy the look back through this season, with poor Hogan's bones and part of his uniform discovered in the teaser, and then the trading station by the Nekrit expanse revisited. It's a nice bit of continuity and it shows that Voyager has made an impression at some of their ports of call. Chakotay gets another good outing as the representative for humanity in front of the Voth, and he acquits himself well, even if he can't break through Voth dogmatic thinking any more than Gegen can.

In the end, this feels like our crew of explorers encountering "new life and new civilizations" in the best Star Trek traditions, and the Voth feel like a suitably powerful and mysterious race of the type we needed to see in this unexplored part of the galaxy. I think it's one of my favorites from the season.
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Andersonh1
Thu, Apr 23, 2020, 1:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Coda

Rahul, that to me is one of the values of having multiple Star Trek shows, that each one can approach the same basic concept from a different angle and give us different results. Voyager does have the misfortune of being the third series of the 90s, so a lot of the best ideas had perhaps already been done by TNG and DS9, but Voyager could still produce some good episodes and the occasional great. Everyone's mileage will vary, of course!

And Neelix doesn't bother me either. Like so many, I found him very annoying at first, but I've since learned to appreciate the character and Ethan Phillips' performance. Episodes like Jetrel and Fair Trade showed us that a lot of his annoying cheerfulness and exuberence is a front covering a pretty insecure and angry person with a selfish streak, but beneath it all he has a good heart and a lot of loyalty. Yeah, he makes some dumb mistakes, but what Trek character doesn't?
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Andersonh1
Thu, Apr 23, 2020, 9:09am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Real Life

I had a hard time really sympathizing with the Doctor here, because the holodeck characters aren't real. Neither is the Doctor of course, despite his more complex program. But I guess there are two ways to approach the story:

- They're fellow holograms, just like the Doctor, so from his point of view they're as real as he is. It's like "Heroes and Demons" from season one, where Doc mourns the death of Freya, another holodeck character, so there's some character consistency here. And the Doctor's difficulty in dealing with the death of someone he cares about will be revisited in "Latent Image" to good effect.
- How many of us get caught up in the drama of a story to the point we're cheering with the characters, or shedding a tear when they do? Imagine being immersed in a scenario the way the holodeck depicts 24th century entertainment? It would probably be even more affecting than watching a movie or reading a book.

I like the idea of the Doctor attempting to learn more about what it means to have a life and a family so he can understand his crewmates, while at the same time having a complete lack of understanding. At the same time, given B'Elanna's rough childhood, perhaps she wasn't the best one to reprogram the simulation! The b-plot with the "space tornado" is also interesting, thanks in part to the nicely done visual effects, but also because it's nice to see the crew genuinely interested in investigating a new phenomenon. They are explorers after all, and they act like it.

I am glad the Doctor's family was a one-off. I think Janeway's holonovel convinced me that having an ongoing fictional plotline running alongside Voyager's "real" adventures can be more of a distraction than a benefit.
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Andersonh1
Thu, Apr 23, 2020, 8:56am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Coda

Thanks, wolfstar. This my third time watching Voyager. There was the attempt on the original airing, during which I gave up partway through the third season because I just didn't like the show or the characters. Then I rediscovered it on DVD about the time the Star Trek reboot movie came out, and found that I had done a 180 and now enjoyed Voyager. And this time through, I am really enjoying the characters and the vast majority of episodes. Obviously it's me that's changed, because the episodes haven't! I like the characters, I enjoy watching them interrelate, and good character moments can salvage a weak plot. This is just a fun adventure show. I'm glad I gave it a second chance.
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Andersonh1
Wed, Apr 22, 2020, 2:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Coda

If nothing else, this episode should end the notion that Robert Beltran can't act. He gives it his all during several scenes, and indeed I've been evaluating him all through my rewatch of the early seasons of Voyager to see if his acting is as "wooden" as a segment of fandom claims. Definitely not, Beltran brings the goods most of the time, and the character of Chakotay is reasonably well-served by the writing in these early seasons. "Coda" gives him a chance to portray grief over the death of his friend and captain. And Kate Mulgrew gets to act out a couple of gruesome death scenes, so we can't see her short in the acting department either. Though I've noticed a trend lately of giving her a "catchphrase" for the episode, presumably to be used during the trailers, which are thankfully absent on DVD and thus not a part of my viewing experience. "Go back to hell, coward." is just such a phrase, if better than most.
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Andersonh1
Wed, Apr 22, 2020, 8:26am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Darkling

Some of the discussion earlier in the comments, particularly from Elliott, has helped me realize why I'm enjoying Voyager more on my current re-watch than I have in the past. It's because I appreciate the characters more this time around, and even when we get a weak plot, if a character has a good outing, it makes up for a lot.

Darkling is not a particularly original episode. It's another "main character turns evil" variation. We had "evil Tuvok" back in "Meld", "evil Kes" in "Warlord" and now "evil Doctor" in Darkling. Picardo really goes for it as evil Doc, changing his whole physical performance as well as his voice and persona, and it's a fun performance, if admittedly uncomfortable to watch given that his victims are mainly female members of the crew.

But it's Kes who benefits the most from this episode. She's definitely being allowed to grow up a bit here, both in how she dresses (I feel like Seven of Nine would raid her closet for those form fitting outfits!) and in the way she considers other options beyond Voyager for her life. He friends, her almost parental figures, all offer advice and look out for her (I particularly enjoy the scene where Tuvok questions her love interest about his intentions) but in the end have to admit that the decision is hers. She seems to be about the equivalent of someone college age here, rapidly growing up and looking at the real world and trying to decide how to proceed. It's a good episode for the character, better than I realized, and given that we know she would leave the series soon, it's good to see that Lien got a few strong episodes for Kes before she was gone.
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Andersonh1
Tue, Apr 21, 2020, 7:00am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Rise

Harsh review for a pretty enjoyable episode, Jammer. Apart from the complaint about the shuttle crash, which I would agree had at this point in Voyager's run become vastly overused as a means of getting characters into trouble.

Otherwise, I enjoyed "Rise" quite a bit. Interesting story and definitely an interesting setting. I don't think we've ever seen an orbital tether/space elevator in another Star Trek episode, and it makes a nice claustrophobic setting for the action to play out, with the danger of falling from the ever-increasing height used to good effect. There's some good character work here with Neelix and Tuvok. The guest actors are not the best, but they get the job done. There is a lot of plot jammed into the episode, agreed, but it generally all works in the end. I'd go two and a half stars at least. Good episode.
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Andersonh1
Thu, Apr 16, 2020, 1:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Sacred Ground

DS9 treats religion with a good deal of respect and uses the different worldview of the Bajorans and the humanistic Federation to good effect. Voyager rarely ventures into that same territory, but I always enjoy an episode where our humanistic, so certain of themselves protagonists are challenged in their beliefs. I agree that portions of this episode were slow, but I think ultimately it's worth the journey to see Janeway's almost smug confidence break down and to see her ultimately willing to trust in something she can't be sure of, and to take that proverbial leap of faith.

I took the final scene to mean that even with the Doctor's explanation about how Kes's life was saved, Janeway still believed there was more to it. He was so sure of his science the first time, but it failed. Why should his second explanation be automatically accepted? It shouldn't, and I think Janeway didn't buy it any more than I did.

This isn't one of my favorite episodes, but I got more out of it on this viewing (a pattern I'm seeing all through my current Voyager rewatch) than I did before.
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Andersonh1
Tue, Apr 14, 2020, 3:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Before and After

Interesting episode with some nice "future that never comes to pass" touches. I'm not quite sure how the time travel is supposed to work though, and I'm not sure the writer thought it out either. Is Kes physically vanishing as shown in the one scene, or is she mentally traveling back and appearing at different points in her life (which is how most of the episode appears to treat what is happening to her, i.e. appearing during her party or when she's giving birth). That people are aware of what she's been doing a few minutes earlier would seem to indicate that she's been there all along even if she's not aware of it, and the fact that it's the purging of the radiation from her cells in the "present day" that stops the travel would seem to indicate she's not physically hopping from one time to another.

But then shouldn't every future version of the characters be well aware of what's happening to Kes since she's told them in the past (from their point of view)?

It's a fun episode, and I enjoy the alternate version of the Year of Hell that we'll get to watch for real in the next season, but the storytelling logic of the episode doesn't quite work. I still really enjoy this episode and find that it's best just to settle down and enjoy the time travel and fun alternate history scenarios. It's too bad Linnis and Andrew will never exist in the actual timeline. I liked both of them.
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Andersonh1
Fri, Apr 3, 2020, 7:41am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Resolutions

I find this to be a charming episode that shows us just how much a number of these people have come to care for each other in the year and a half that they've been on this ship together. The crew don't want to leave Janeway and Chakotay behind, even a number of the former Maquis. Despite an apparent lack of empathy, even Tuvok is not unaffected by the loss of his friend and he is eventually forced to bow to the wishes of the men and women under his command. I love his step by step battle plan that works exactly as intended. The inclusion of Dr. Denara Pel is a nice callback to earlier in the season, and again shows the value of friendship, as well as reminding us that not all Vidiians are enemies.

I think the treatment of the Janeway/Chakotay relationship is just about exactly right here. They don't cross the line into romance, though the potential is there and it appears that more time on the planet alone together could well have led to that. At the same time, they do form a closer friendship that will continue through the rest of the series. They both seem to genuinely enjoy the enforced "vacation" and almost sorry to return to professionalism at the end of the episode.
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Andersonh1
Thu, Apr 2, 2020, 8:03am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Tuvix

This is one of those episodes where the concept (merging Tuvok and Neelix into a single individual) is just so impossible to accept that it's hard to take everything that follows at face value. I found myself waiting the whole episode for Tuvok and Neelix to be restored rather than being engaged with Tuvix's plight. He's just this guy that shouldn't be there, and the sooner things get back to normal, the better. And he's honestly somewhat creepy, even though they're trying to play him as this friendly, likable guy.

This is one of my least favorite episodes, simply because it's so out-there. Sometimes the high concept works and I can buy into it, sometimes I can't.
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Andersonh1
Wed, Apr 1, 2020, 10:58am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: The Thaw

It's Michael McKean that makes this episode work so well for me. His character is just a nicely realized and performed villain, and this is one of those stories where the villain makes or breaks the plot, which is otherwise not all that different than a holodeck malfunction episode mixed with a hostage situation. The stagey environment works because it's all meant to be artificial anyway. The episode really does manage to generate some creepy tension out of the weird characters and circumstances. When Harry and B'Elanna first arrived I was rolling my eyes a bit at the circus imagery, but it didn't take long before they sold the idea that this whole situation is a real nightmare. I can believe that the characters trapped there are exhausted and hopeless. It's surprising that they've retained any degree of sanity, given what they have to cope with.

The whole thing works far better than it probably should. This episode was a pleasant surprise.
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Andersonh1
Mon, Mar 30, 2020, 9:30am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Innocence

Even though it's apparent from early on in the episode that the plot is going to be built around "Tuvok babysits annoying emotional children", the whole thing works well. The children are not annoying and their fears are reasonable. Tuvok has the rare chance to act as a father, and it's clear he misses his own children. I think this is a standout episode for the character.

As for the plot, once again it's a "standard" Voyager episode. It's not stellar, it's not bad, it's a reasonably engaging plot with a twist ending that uses the last five minutes to make sense out of everyone's actions. I don't know that I'd go three stars, but two and a half at least, for slightly above average.
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Andersonh1
Fri, Mar 27, 2020, 10:50am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

I get tired of how often someone throws "F***ing" into the dialogue. Can the producers not show some class and clean up the language?
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Andersonh1
Tue, Mar 24, 2020, 7:15am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Investigations

Voyager isn't always kid-friendly (nor should it be), but my daughters enjoy the show when episodes are suitable for them to watch. My 10 year old decided "this was a good Neelix episode." I have to agree, his role in the story is pretty much what it always is: he goes around the ship, poking his nose cheerfully into things that aren't really any of his business, but this time it was significant to the plot. And the running gag with the Doctor's terrible ideas for show segments made me laugh every time.

I also like the fact that Tuvok and Janeway have been aware that there is s spy on board for some time now. Security on Voyager is like swiss cheese when the plot needs it to be, so it's good to see the opposite here. Allowing Tom to leave the ship and act on his own is a very risky plan, and honestly far more likely to fail than succeed, so it seems very much like a desperation move on Janeway's part. It does give us a chance to see Seska again, and I always enjoy her appearances on the show, so that's a plus.

I'd like to have seen more Voyager like this, with ongoing plotlines and recurring supporting characters. It worked well on DS9 and could have worked well here. And the Maquis play more of a role in the second season than I remembered. I found this an enjoyable episode, though it could probably have packed more punch in wrapping up the Jonas storyline.
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Andersonh1
Mon, Mar 23, 2020, 8:18am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Threshold

This is the episode that turned me off to Voyager as a series, back in the day. I remember thinking when it first aired just how bad it was. I didn't stop watching the show entirely, but I had lost any enthusiasm I may have had and it was no longer something I made the time to watch every week, and it wasn't long before I had in fact given up on Voyager. This was the show-killing episode for me.

Re-watching over the weekend as part of a start to finish re-watch of Voyager, "Threshold" has not improved. I talked it up a bit to my kids as "the worst episode ever" so they were interested, but in the end much of it lacks the entertainment value even to make the "so bad it's good" category.

There are episodes that I've re-evaluated and found that I enjoy quite a bit, but not this one. Even the small character moments that can partially salvage otherwise poor episodes like "Twisted" do not really work for "Threshold". I do think the first half of the episode sets up a great premise. The idea that warp ten is "infinite speed" and Tom Paris is the first human to break this barrier is a compelling idea, worth further exploration. Now Star Trek cannot turn the protagonists into Q, able to go anywhere in the Universe instantly. It's obvious Voyager has to fail to harness this power, but perhaps something like TNG's "Where No One Has Gone Before" would have been a good direction to take the episode.

But that's not what we get. The episode takes this inexplicable left turn towards body horror and mutation as Tom Paris "evolves" through a series of bizarre physical mutations, ultimately turning into a newt and kidnapping and having baby newts with Janeway, before both are miraculously restored to their previous physical state. The transformation is unpleasant to watch and impossible to believe, and a waste of an interesting setup and premise. Robert McNeill gives the performance his all, but it's good acting wasted in a schizophrenic storyline. I don't know what order these episodes were written and produced in, but watching Tom rant at Janeway from behind the forcefield is exactly like watching Tuvok rant at Janeway from behind the same forcefield in the very next episode. How did we get two such similar scenes in consecutive episodes? Probably the same way we got two "B'Elanna has to correct her own engineering mistake" episodes so close together. I can see why I found season two of Voyager so uncompelling on first viewing. There is a definite sense that the writers are struggling to create compelling stories from scratch without the crutch of the familiar Federation backdrop to draw from.

Threshold: nice setup, sound premise, but it's all wasted by the frankly bizarre second half of the episode that strains credibility well beyond the breaking point. The passage of time, good character moments and the knowledge that better episodes are ahead has made me look more kindly on other episodes that I formerly disliked, but sadly there's no saving "Threshold".
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Andersonh1
Mon, Mar 16, 2020, 1:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Cold Fire

Compare this episode with "Maneuvers", both of which follow up on plot threads laid down in the first season. Both pick a focal character related to the plot in question, but while "Maneuvers" uses Chakotay and the returning Seska well and advances the Kazon plotlines, "Cold Fire" wastes Suspiria, who we never see again. The appearance of the second Caretaker should have been a big deal, but it's a fairly small-scale, easily resolved controntation that lasts only a few minutes. The temptation of Kes with fantastic mental powers is a good storyline for the character, but should have been better balanced with the attempt to find and contact Suspiria, and Kes needed to be involved with the final confrontation since she's the focal character.

It's not a bad episode, but could easily have been better. I'd agree with Jammer's rating of 2 and a half.
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