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Antoine
Fri, Feb 19, 2021, 4:43am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Virtuoso

Just a couple of comments since this episode was only alright.

1. For an episode centered around music, I was more than a little annoyed that the range of music the show decided to go with was so limited. Opera, jazz, and American folk. Perhaps its my own musical tastes, but I'd have loved to see the Doctor expose the Qomar, and the audience, to other types of music. I'd have gotten a kick out of seeing the Doc sing some metal music or rap. Also, as any episode involving music eventually reaches, I'm perpetually perplexed by the idea that Star Trek's musical interests (at least for the shows I've seen) essentially stop at the mid-20th century and are limited to Europe and America with the occasional Klingon drinking song thrown in. While, yes, I do know this is an American show, I think it'd be nice if the series expanded its musical repertoire just a little bit. Be a bit more radical. Tom and Chakotay mentioned rock and roll music. Why didn't they have the Doc sing some Elvis?

2. When Janeway was arguing with the Doc about resigning his commission, why didn't she just point out that Tom clearly can't handle the advanced medical procedures a Chief Medical Officer would need to know? It wouldn't be just Tom. It'd be any of the nurses who also work in Sick Bay. None of them can do what the Doctor can do no matter how much time they spend studying medical textbooks. It just seems like an open and shut case to me. The Doctor's arguments about humanity and individual rights don't hold much water to me when he's clearly the only truly capable physician on the ship. But maybe that's because I don't view the Doctor as the same as a full flesh and blood human no matter how much the show tries to convince me otherwise. At the end of the day, he's a hologram. A hologram with medical skills that vastly surpass the ability or potential of anyone else in Voyager's crew.
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Antoine
Sat, Jan 9, 2021, 1:57am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Relativity

I'm in the middle of the episode right now and watching the EMH and Seven talk about her having a horrid disease was a nice, unintentional dig at WebMD. XD
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Antoine
Mon, Jan 4, 2021, 12:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Course: Oblivion

Honestly, I wasn't feeling this episode until about halfway-through. I was too focused on the logical inconsistencies like the fact that the deuterium crew wouldn't be able to breath in a class M planet's atmosphere or my fuzziness on when Voyager got the enhanced warp drive compared to when the original crew visited the class Y home planet of the deuterium crew. Luckily (ironically?), I fell asleep halfway through the episode and started it back up today.

I don't know if it was just the second half of the episode, but I truly started to feel for the deuterium crew once I started the episode back up. Seeing them reach a new home only to turn back and ultimately fail in doing even the simple task of storing and transmitting the records of their brief lives was unexpectedly moving and emotional. The shot of the disintegrated deuterium Voyager was also rather spectacular. Since I wasn't watching the time, I actually expected the original Voyager crew to rescue them so that deuterium Kim could tell their story before dying in Sick Bay. It was definitely an "oh, damn" moment for me.



Couple of notes:

1. I really liked the prosthetics the show used to show the deuterium crew's deterioration. It was sufficiently, for lack of a better word, goopy. Great job on that.

2. I read some of the above comments about plot holes and logical inconsistencies. While those are usually an important part of watching Star Trek for me, especially in DS9, I think the emotional core of this episode is strong enough to ignore whatever logical problems this episode may have. Especially since the deuterium crew was consigned to literal annihilation.
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Antoine H
Sat, Dec 12, 2020, 6:52am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Latent Image

I thought this was a great episode. Watching the EMH melt down in the mess hall was an awesome sight. If I had one complaint its that Janeway's decision to delete the EMH's memories was unraveled so easily by one single conversation with Seven. It just seemed like such an obvious counterpoint to Janeway's choice that its almost unbelievable that she didn't think of it first.

Now that I read the comments, the points about Kes are also correct. She probably could have been of some use here. Or maybe not. The EMH did say that the surgery was extremely complex.
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Antoine H
Wed, Dec 9, 2020, 4:31pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: In the Flesh

@MikeyZ I don't really think this episode is comparable to the Israel-Palestine situation. The "conflict" between Voyager and Species 8472 is barely a year old. There's no lingering animosity that stems from decades of active conflict and failed peace negotiations. The current situation is more surface-level in its level of mistrust between the two sides. That, I think, makes it much easier for diplomatic relations and peace negotiations to get started. Its more like military-type suspicion and caution of the other side's capabilities and goals rather than a deeper cultural type of mistrust that is taught to children in schools and everyday life.

@Spock's Ears I did find that to be strange. Chakotay served in Starfleet for some time. He probably should have known who Boothby was.

On a side-note, I always find it funny listening to Tom give 20th century examples to 24th century problems. It just makes me think of some colonel in the Situation Room bringing up how the French invaded northern Italy in the 1500s when discussing some strain between French and Italian troops serving in Afghanistan on the NATO mission.
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Antoine H
Wed, Dec 9, 2020, 4:16pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: In the Flesh

I find it interesting that Jammers, writing in the 90s and at the height of the so-called Pax Americana, viewed this episode as a historical retrospective on MAD and the Cold War. Viewing this episode in 2020, and arising from my left-leaning, non-interventionist views on foreign policy, I can't help but note how prescient I find this episode's overall moral message to be.

I suppose living in an America that has been at war for nearly 20+ years in the same region (Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, etc.) can offer a new perspective on an episode that preaches understanding and building trust with foreign "adversaries". Perhaps the MAD parallel is a bit outdated, but I think the idea that you have two powers at a standoff is a timeless one. I mean, in 2020, you can see varying degrees of standoff between the United States and a number of countries and organizations including the Taliban, China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea. All situations, to one degree or another, can find some parallel with this episode.

I just have one minor gripe. I find it somewhat gag worthy how much Star Trek, in general, hyper-focuses on the importance of Earth. Beyond the fact that the Federation is home to hundreds of alien species who all have their own home planets, a large number of the humans wouldn't be nearly as fond as Earth as, say, Janeway or Kim are. They would have grown up on starships or far off colonies. It may just be me, but I find it odd that Voyager's mission of returning home is almost always couched in the language of "we're returning to Earth" rather than "we're returning to the Federation".
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Antoine
Mon, Oct 26, 2020, 4:32am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Investigations

So, I'm watching Voyager for the first time and just finished this episode and I ultimately find myself agreeing with the rating for the most part. First, I want to lead off with the statement that I don't hate Neelix or Tom Paris as much as a lot of people seem to on this website. I generally find him to be amusing and a welcome presence when the show decides to give him a chance to be more than the stereotypical jealous boyfriend. The same goes for Tom. I've always had a soft spot for roguish characters.

Anyway, I think this episode could have easily been worthy of three stars if three things had been done differently. One, I'd nix the entire Neelix the Journalist plot point. I realize that one could consider it a natural extension of his job as morale officer, but the way it went about doesn't make much sense to me. Neelix went from hosting a light, fluffy daily news show to accessing what is almost certainly classified coms logs. I don't remember if Neelix learned how to operate the more complex systems on Voyager (I tend to watch Star Trek in bursts), but I found it somewhat unbelievable that he would recognize that Jonas wasn't accessing the transporter systems. More fundamentally, though, it just kind of came out of nowhere. Maybe it would have made more sense if Neelix had shown interest in journalism before this episode, but I suppose this is the least important aspect of the episode that I'd change.

Second, I'd change how the Tom Paris insubordination arc resolved itself. You can still keep the spy stuff, but I think it would make for much more interesting characterization if Paris' insubordination was routed in existing feelings and animosities towards Chakotay and the rest of the crew. I would have preferred a better explanation for why he was always late to his shifts than simply "it was part of his cover". Previous episodes have shown he has self-esteem issues.

Third, and most importantly, I'd have changed how the Jonas arc resolved itself. As Jammer indicated, Jonas' death was far too neat and far too predictable. Ever since the arc started I've been truly perplexed by the idea that an ex-Maquis guerilla who's only way home is to remain on the Voyager would ever ally himself with a Cardassian spy who masqueraded as a fellow Maquis and seeks to destroy/take over the very ship that is his ticket home. Sure there are traitors in rebel groups in the real world, but this particular set of circumstances borders on the silly and ridiculous. Sure, Jonas appeared to be disgruntled at the beginning of the arc, but no real explanation for why he would betray his friends and ideals so readily was offered before he got offed. That leads me to the next part of this arc that I would like to have been different. Instead of being tossed over the railing by Neelix (which was a good action scene, in my opinion) I would have preferred Jonas being knocked unconscious and imprisoned. Following this, I'd have either dedicated the remaining few minutes to extracting Jonas' reasoning for his betrayal or, and this is a much better option in my opinion, dedicated the entirety of the next episode to revealing the causes for Jonas' betrayal. And to avoid the issue of having another crew member in the brig like @impronen suggested you could end the episode with a Kazon-Nistrim attack that ends up killing Jonas.

On the bright side, I enjoyed seeing the Doctor grow angrier and angrier at being snubbed by Neelix.
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