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Bob (a different one)
Sat, Mar 6, 2021, 2:13pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: 11:59

With the exception of "City on the Edge of Forever" I'd have been perfectly content if Trek never ventured back to the 20th/early 21st centuries.
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Bob (a different one)
Sat, Mar 6, 2021, 2:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Counterpoint

Just finished rewatching this one. Easily my favorite Janeway episode. What I like best about it is that Janeway outthinks and outmaneuvers a much more powerful opponent. I think that tracks with the "one lone ship" premise. She is also presented here as showing a little vulnerability while still being tough. It makes her a much more interesting and sympathetic character, imo.
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Bob (a different one)
Sat, Mar 6, 2021, 1:37pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Course: Oblivion

I think the writers missed an opportunity with the ending.

The show opens with the wedding of Tom and B'Elanna. He slips the ring on her finger and says it's a symbol of their eternal love. Here's where I would begin to change things: the two rings would have to be items not created by the silver stuff on the Demon planet. Let the fact that they are not breaking down be one of the clues that unravels the mystery.

Skip to the end. Instead of having Harry, Seven, and Neelix being the final remaining survivors at the end, I would have went with Tom and B'Elanna, holding hands as the ship disintegrates around them. The real Voyager arrives and finds nothing, but the camera slowly moves in on the two rings floating together in space for eternity.
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Bob (a different one)
Sat, Mar 6, 2021, 1:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: One

Anyone else prefer Enterprise's rehash of this story, "Doctor's Orders"?
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Bob (a different one)
Sat, Mar 6, 2021, 1:29pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Bliss

Skimms said: "I can pretty much buy that the monster can affect peoples minds, but how does it alter sensor readings?"


Who reads those sensor readings?

........

Michael said: "Gotta love the "monster expert's" faux-Australian twang. "

I didn't notice an attempt at an Australian accent. The actor who played the part is British fwiw.

.......

Jay asked: "Isn't the Beast mobile? Can't he move away from the buoys?"

It's either a slipup by the Voyager creators (Impossible!) or a clever bit of writing. The creature has been shown to have an increasing influence over its victims the longer they are in its proximity. "Do not kill me!" seems like a message that it would send constantly. "Yeah, marker buoys are good enough - I'm totally immobile!" would be another useful trick. If intentional, it might also suggest that the creature has tricked Qatai once more in the episode's closing shot. Who knows?


Random bits:

- Why wasn't Qatai's ship digested at some point between the time he dropped his shields to beam aboard Voyager and the time he returned?

- The creature reminded me (a tiny bit) of a an evil version of the creature from the TAS episode "One of Our Planets is Missing."
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Bob (a different one)
Sat, Mar 6, 2021, 1:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Juggernaut

William B has a very insightful comment above and it convinces me that there are some genuinely good ideas in this episode. Those ideas get drowned in an ocean of crap, but they are still there.

Let's play "fix the episode":

I like the idea of "emotional toxic waste." I like B'Elanna being the central character. I also like the character of Fesek.

I don't like having a literal monster, B'Elanna being in constant "Hulk Smash!" mode, the idea of "space polluters", the inclusion of Neelix, or the violent ending.


Start the episode with the Tuvok and Miss Turtlehead scene.

Make this a planet bound episode. Torres is asked by the Malon to help repair one of their power plants. Torres is outraged by their polluting ways. She harangues a middle management type, Fesek, for his role in what's going on. He's at least somewhat receptive.

Disaster strikes. Torres and Fesek are in a race against the clock to stop a total meltdown. As the story progresses Torres continues to press Fesek about his society's shortcomings. He becomes more and more sympathetic to her POV. As the show gains momentum and the tension increases, it becomes apparent that Fesek isn't just being influenced by Torres - he's also being affected by the radiation.

The episode's climax takes place when Torres and Fesek make it to their destination. Fesek has become unhinged due to radiation poisoning. He is both mentally and physically damaged. He has taken Torres' advice about the need for societal change and combined it with his own pain and rage. He sees the faults in Malon society, and blames it for "forcing" him into a job where he has been harmed and has done great harm to others. Instead of preventing the meltdown, he believes that the only way the Malon will change is if they feel the consequences of their own selfish actions - he's going to let the reactor explode.

Torres finally recognizes the wisdom of what Tuvok told her in the opening scene, She realizes that her anger, which she had thought of as "a useful tool" for most of the episode, is nothing more than emotional toxic waste; waste with which she has polluted Fesek.

Our Trekkian ending: Torres does not, I repeat, does NOT beat Fesek with a rod to solve her problem. Instead, she talks him down. She opens up about her life and explains how her uncontrolled anger has hurt her and hurt the people she loves. She convinces Fesek that the best way to fight for change is to go public with what has happened to himself and let the people know what their pollution is doing to others. In the end, he agrees.

/cue sonic shower scene




Better? I don't know. But it did allow me to kill some time on a lazy Saturday morning.
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Bob (a different one)
Sat, Mar 6, 2021, 12:21pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Juggernaut

The moral of tonight's story: "If you suffer from uncontrollable rage, it's ok, because most of life's problems can be solved by beating someone to death with a rod."

B'Ehlanna is angry! What an interesting, fresh character development.

So the Malon are the "scourge of the quadrant"? Not the Borg, not the Vidiians -it's the race of mutated garbage men that are the REAL threat.

I thought Voyager was going to give the Malon some environmental tech after "Night"? Was that ever mentioned again?

Why is Neelix shoehorned into this episode?

Wouldn't having the ability to dump toxic waste into any nearby star solve all of the Melon's disposal needs? I know the producers wanted to do a show with an environmental message, but they did absolutely nothing to establish the Malon as a believable society.

Skuffle notes: "This monster business. It's ridiculous. The Malon have heard of this 'mythical' creature before, and some even claimed to have seen it! Oh my! But wouldn't they notice a psychotic mutated crewman on the ship when they got home? Or notice that one of their core workers was missing? The fact that this happens to some of their crew and they don't know about it is beyond stupid."
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Bob (a different one)
Sat, Mar 6, 2021, 11:48am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: Manhunt

^ I knew that, but I'm ashamed to admit that someone had to point it out to me even after watching the show for decades. in a similar vein, I only noticed Data's blue eyes in "Parallels" for the first time just a few weeks ago!
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Bob (a different one)
Sat, Mar 6, 2021, 11:42am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Infinite Regress

This is Jeri Ryan's show and I have no problem with that. She's great here.

Tuvok and Seven work well together. I can't remember if there are any episodes after this that team them up, but there should have been.

As others have said Doc's "personalities" line and Seven's "Sub-unit" line are both gold.

I like Naomi Wildman. Many child actors are annoying but Scarlett Pomers is good.


You know what really sealed the deal for me though? The screaming little girl at the end. Being assimilated by the Borg should be an abominable fate, and that little girls stark terror really brought the horror of the situation home.
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Bob (a different one)
Sat, Mar 6, 2021, 10:19am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Timeless

Good episode. Jammer's review was spot on, imo.

I read the first third of the comments here and there were a ton of really weak nitpicks. Yeah, I'm guilty of it too sometimes, but a lot of the "problems" that get brought up are addressed in the episode itself or in other well known Trek episodes.


Jammer said: "However, one problem I have with "Timeless" is the way this moral theme affects Chakotay. Specifically, just what motivates him to help Harry change 15 years of history."

^

Would the story have worked better if B'Elanna took the place of Chakotay aboard the Delta Flyer? I think it would. Her killing the Voyager crew, including her boyfriend, via her work on the slipstream drive would provide a much stronger motivation than the one Chakotay had. She's already a character who suffers from self-disgust and bitterness. Let Roxanne Dawson take the lead in the angst department while Wang plays a (slightly) more reserved version of what we see here. I think it would play to the strengths of both actors.
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Bob (a different one)
Fri, Mar 5, 2021, 7:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

Congratulations, it's a boy!


https://i.imgur.com/AC86fgy.png
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Bob (a different one)
Fri, Mar 5, 2021, 4:04pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Drone

I really don't understand why so many people compared this episode to "I, Borg." I mean both episodes feature a Borg with individuality, but other than that they are completely different shows.

"I, Borg" Is a 45 minute ethical debate about whether Hugh is more than a machine, and if so is it immoral to use him as a weapon. Which leads to the next question: If Hugh is "human" what are the implications of killing the Borg? What was initially believed to be self defense against soulless automatons may very well be an act of genocide against an enslaved race. The final question is "Is it morally right to commit genocide if you believe that you think your own people face an existential threat?

There are really no moral debates in "Drone" other than a 15 second scene where Janeway says she won't kill the infant drone.


Others have compared the episode to "The Offspring" and I think that is closer to the mark. Both are about characters who learn more about humanity through their "children." There are substantial differences though.

Lal's creation creates an ethical debate about whether Data has the right to "procreate" as well as a debate about who is best suited to raise her. Janeway sees One as a potential boon and immediately puts Seven in the role of mother.


Data, who wants to become more human, purposely creates Lal. Seven has humanity thrust upon her and becomes a parent due to a transporter accident and a decision by Janeway. This doesn't seem all that important, but it makes the ending of both episodes more tragic, imo. The ending of "The Offspring" is sad for the audience because Data can't truly feel sadness for his daughter. Compare that to "One." Seven begins the episode by looking in a reflective surface and faking human emotions. By the end of the episode she looks on the same surface and she is legitimately heartbroken. The endings of both episodes are tragic but for exactly opposite reasons.


Anyways...all three are great episodes.


MVP: Jeri Ryan. She gives another great performance.

LVP: B'Elanna Torres. Jesus Christ give it a rest already. Unless the episode revolves around her the writers seem content to make her character a two dimensional bitch.
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Bob (a different one)
Fri, Mar 5, 2021, 1:42pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Night

A group of people who have been in space for years have claustrophobia because they haven't seen stars for a few weeks. The have access to an almost endless supply of music, movies, and literature from god only knows how many planets, not to mention a freakin' holodeck and they are still stir crazy.

Janeway, who never seems to have a second of self doubt, crumples into a ball and crawls into her quarters to hide for a couple of months. She finally pops out at the end with a brilliant plan...to commit suicide. See, it turns out there actually were other, obvious options in Caretaker and the entire series has been based on a screwup. Don't worry, fans - this introspective version of Janeway is here for one week only. We'll be back to the "my way or the highway" version we all know and love soon we promise.

Tom and B'Ellanna are fighting. That's new.

The EMH, a computer program, needs to practice his opera.

Harry is busy dividing his time between playing second banana to Tom or and playing his clarinet.

The holodeck loses lights, but still, somehow, works.


The villain, who seems perfectly reasonable at first, turns on a dime to become another Voyager trademarked Hardheaded Alien of the Week.

Voyager offers a business man technology that would make him the richest man on his planet, but he says "Heck no - this would ruin my career as garbage scow owner who is constantly bombarded by deadly and disfiguring radiation!"


The ending:

Janeway: "The only option is for me to make a suicide run!"

Crew: "umm...how about we just fly by the bad guys really fast while shooting at them?"

/Janeway steps off ledge

/shit blows up

/wrasslin' is up next on UPN





The only good thing about this episode? Satan's Robot, of course. He should have replaced Harry on the bridge.
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Bob (a different one)
Fri, Mar 5, 2021, 12:48pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Year of Hell, Part II

I like Year of Hell. It's good, but it could have been great if they had focused more on the entire crew of the Voyager instead of doing another "Janeway is a badass" episode. I know it's the wrong nautical themed novel, but part of this episode feels like a version of Moby Dick where a heroic Ahab captures the whale and regrows his leg at the end.




William B - I enjoyed your comment pointing out the parallels between Janeway and Annorax. I had not noticed them.


.......


Chrome posted this Joe Menosky quote from Memory Alpha:

"Rick said, 'Just plow Voyager into the weapon ship, and reset the timeline, and nobody remembers.' That was the simplest solution.""

^^^ Sometimes it seems that these guys had absolutely no respect for their audience.


.......

KRENIM COMMANDANT [on viewscreen]: This region is in dispute. I suggest you avoid our territory.
JANEWAY: Thanks for the warning.
KRENIM COMMANDANT [on viewscreen]: Good journey.
CHAKOTAY: Tom, plot a course around Krenim space


Huh. As Latex Zebra pointed out, it's too bad nobody thought of that the first time around. Just kidding. In the first part of episode one you will see that Voyager is hit by the time wave thing and the "new" Krenim captain immediately says that he is going to seize the ship and crew. Now, why they didn't decide to just leave Krenim space some time in the following 365 days is another question...


.....

My thoughts:

Annorax is a great character, well played by Kurtwood Smith. My favorite part of the episode. I wish more time had been devoted to scenes aboard the time ship. I didn't care for the prosthetics used on the Krenim however.

I like these episodes, but there are a lot of problems that could be avoided.

1) The Reset Button. It seemed inevitable almost from the start and, to the surprise of no one, that is exactly what we got. I can deal with resets, but they need some sort of buildup or explanation. I have no idea why things turned out the way they did.

2) What am I supposed to make of the epilogue? I don't think history is going to repeat itself, but I'm not sure how Janeway blowing up the time ship was supposed to make Kurtwood Smith give up his plans to go hang out with his wife.

3) Janeway. Again. Look, I get what they were trying to do, and it (mainly) makes sense in this episode, but I just can't stand the iron fisted B.M.F. version of Janeway. Look at the scene featuring the crew while they are hiding in the nebula. Harry and Torres mention the issues they are having, and give an estimate of three weeks to get things back into some kind of order. Janeway will have none of that and says that they are going back into action the next morning. Why? DRAMA apparently. It makes no sense, and as a matter of fact the very next scene is of the Voyager being ripped to shreds in a meteor swarm. She's Edward Jellico without his competence.

4) Where is everybody? Am I wrong, or was Voyager manned by only a handful of people by the end? And one of them was Neelix. How is this preferable to just backing the hell out of there? Space is pretty big and going around stuff is possible.

5) Allies. Who wouldn't want to ally with a wreck like the Voyager? The only point of the Allies was to provide a place for the rest of the crew to escape to while Janeway makes her suicide run. It's a contrivance to set up a "Janeway stands alone ending." To me, an ending where the entire Voyager "family" sticks by Janeway would have been much more meaningful.

6) JANEWAY: Negative. Torpedo launchers are down. I'm setting a collision course. Janeway to the fleet. Take your temporal shields offline.
TUVOK [OC]: Captain, we won't be protected.
JANEWAY: Exactly. If that ship is destroyed all of history might be restored. And this is one year I'd like to forget. Time's up.

^ How the hell does Janeway know this?

Final thoughts:

Was the Reset Button even necessary? It seems so at first, but I don't think so. If you went with something other than the typical UPN "If something doesn't blow up how, do we know the episode is over?" ending you would be left with two main problems: a heavily damaged ship and Tuvok's blindness. To me, these aren't problems but are in reality the seeds of at least two interesting episodes.
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Bob (a different one)
Fri, Mar 5, 2021, 11:31am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Retrospect

gozar asked: "Is Kovin’s rifle a Dyson vacuum cleaner?"

Flushed with success from their vacuum cleaner business, the Dyson Corporation overextended itself by jumping into the Sphere business just before the market went bust. Sadly, by the 24th century they were reduced to manufacturing low quality small arms in the Delta Quadrant.




I liked this episode. I think it would have been interesting if it had been extended into a two-parter so that we could see more of the ramifications of the Doctor's actions on both he and Seven. I would also have liked to have seen a little more time devoted to the investigation, as well as more time devoted to the arms dealer's culture so that we could better appreciate his fear of being accused.
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Bob (a different one)
Fri, Mar 5, 2021, 11:05am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Day of Honor

On second (ok third) thought, I have overestimated this episode like I did so many others.

Start with the premise: as someone mentioned above, why are Tom and Neelix so dead set on getting B'Elanna to participate in the Klingon Day of Honor ceremony? Torres seems to have nothing but contempt for her Klingon half so it's hard to believe that she would even begin to entertain the idea much less take the time to work with Tom to design the program. "Honor" doesn't make much sense as a theme for this episode.

Secondly, even though I think Roxann Dawson is a very good actress, and I really want to like B'Elanna, I have to admit that this is another case of my seeing what a character could be vs how a character actually is.



PARIS: You have been like a spitting cobra all day and it's getting boring.


If this episode was an aberration, and B'Elanna was just having a "bad day" it would be much better. The thing is, 95% of B'Elanna's dialog over the course of the series is her being crabby. Extremely crabby. And not in the fun Klingon "I'll eat your beating heart!" kind of way. Usually she is just rude, sarcastic, and sullen. And Tom's right - it is boring.

The character of Tom Paris has a similar problem. 90% of his dialog is him delivering snarky, unfunny, jokes. The "jokes" are bad, but RDM's delivery of them is even worse. I mentioned in my previous comment that I thought his performance in this episode was bad and I'll give an example of what I'm talking about. Look at the scene just after their shuttle has exploded. Paris starts talking in a very slooow drawn out way for some reason. Why? Does he think that talking in zero G is like walking in zero G? Dawson doesn't do this.



I don't like these characters, so why should I care about their relationship? Theoretically, the plot could be interesting enough that it could overcome that fact and keep me entertained, but is it? The setting may be unique, but the "confession of love just before being rescued" idea doesn't seem all that original. You know they aren't going to die. You can almost be certain that the writers aren't going to throw their budding relationship in the scrapheap.

So, ultimately, we have a predictable episode featuring a romance between two characters I'm not invested it.
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Bob (a different one)
Fri, Mar 5, 2021, 9:36am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Hope and Fear

Anybody else on Team Arturis?


I kind of think it's funny that Jammer got so worked up by the preview for this episode. It's kind of charming to think that in the pre internet age someone could think "This is the week they make it home!" and be genuinely disappointed when they don't.


Some posters have mentioned that Arturis' plan strains credulity and that he'd have to "have the power of a god" to pull it off. I think people fall into the trap of thinking that all space faring races are of similar advancement; that there are Q level "gods" and then everyone else. Maybe a little more advanced, maybe a little less. Species 116 stayed one step ahead of the Borg for centuries. Arturis could master languages in seconds after hearing only a few sentences. They may not be Q but they are clearly far far ahead of humanity.



Serious question: do the writers want us to dislike Janeway? My impression of her in episodes like "Scorpion" is that she is a dangerous autocratic fool, but I assumed that the producers actually wanted me to think of her as a wiley iron willed leader. But then they write a character like Arturis who harshly, but fairly, rips her apart for blithely wrecking havoc through the Delta Quadrant. Do the writers give Janeway an impassioned speech defending her actions. No. They have her give a lame "I couldn't have known" excuse. Which is a lie because Chakotay warned her in "Scorpion" and suggested that they not make a hasty decision. And then you have the next episode, "Night", which puts the final nail in the coffin of the idea that Janeway is a competent captain.

What was the plan here?




A couple of more positives:

Kate Mulgrew's acting was much more natural this week. No swaggering or exaggerated face/hand movements.

Ray Wise did a great job.



Final judgment: I liked this episode. I would have liked it more if Janeway was assimilated.
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Bob (a different one)
Thu, Mar 4, 2021, 5:59pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: The Killing Game

"They could have gotten both Patrick Stewart and Avery Brooks to do crossover guest appearances. I would much rather have seen that instead of another tired World War II “adventure”."


fantastic idea.
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Bob (a different one)
Thu, Mar 4, 2021, 3:38pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: The Killing Game

Jammer's review is spot on. There are just too many nonsensical moments in this two-parter. It's mindless fun that's ultimately a lot more mindless than fun.

I like the character of the Hirogen commander. He adds some depth to a race of Predator clones. He should have been at the very heart of the episode. The premise of the episode should have been that he is using the holodeck hunt as a tool to teach his men that their current way of life is a dead end. As Jammer says, killing the commander before the battle ended made the truce completely unbelievable.


Negatives: too many dumb things to bother listing.

Positives (or at least interesting bits): Chakotay makes a pretty cool GI Joe, Wang's acting is better this week, the Hirogen commander is interesting, the "Meaningful Speech Scene" is successfully delivered by a Nazi, Jeri Ryan's singing is always a plus.



P.S. I really like Malia's idea of using the Eugenics War as the setting instead of (yet another) WW2 story.
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Bob (a different one)
Thu, Mar 4, 2021, 2:10pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: Darmok

I'm a big fan of every one of those episodes, Rahul, but I think the only two I'd rank higher than Darmok are The Inner Light and All Good Things.
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Bob (a different one)
Thu, Mar 4, 2021, 1:48pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Living Witness

A very effective use of the EMH; a character that I don't really "get" sometimes.

Someone above compared this to "Remember" because of its theme of revisionist history, and I think while that is true in one respect it is different in another. "Remember" is about a society that refuses to admit to committing the sins of the past, while "Living Witness" is about a segment of society that wants to twist history in order to nurse an eternal grievance and prolong their victimhood. And, of course, the style of storytelling is so different that I think I'd still enjoy both episodes even if they examined the exact same theme.

Final thoughts:

1) The ending was perfect.

2) Since this episode was so well received, I wonder why Tim Russ never got a chance to direct another episode?


p.s. "Watch your mouth, hedgehog!"
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Bob (a different one)
Thu, Mar 4, 2021, 1:18pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Prey

The only way to enjoy some of these Voyager episodes is to watch them while pretending that Janeway is the villain of the story and the heroes are the rest of the crew who try to hold things together while she does her best to get them all killed. This is a good episode viewed in that light.


I'm really, reaaaaallly tired of this "Janeway as an alpha-male badass" routine. Kate Mulgrew's performance is only slightly more subtle than Shatner's in Turnabout Intruder. For God's sake, stop swaggering around like you're swinging a pair the size of cantaloupes.
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Bob (a different one)
Thu, Mar 4, 2021, 1:05pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Concerning Flight

"Hey, who should we cast as this old Italian guy?"

"How about the fat British guy from Sliders?"

"Brilliant!"



Christ, was this show sponsored by the Italian Tourism Bureau or something? They can't get enough of this "Master Da Vinci" set, can they? A complete waste of a great guest star in another mindless Voyager holodeck episode.
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Bob (a different one)
Thu, Mar 4, 2021, 12:56pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Scientific Method

They really want to turn Janeway into a badass don't they?

How fucking dumb was this ending? What if the alien's ships could survive longer than the Voyager? What if they weren't physically attached to the ship? What if the aliens were only mental projections like the alien in "Persistence of Vision"?

This episode feels like a mix of Where Silence Has Lease and Schisms. It isn't as good as either of those (average) episodes though. Fun With DNA turns into comic relief, which moves to a 30 PSA about animal testing, followed by obligatory Seven scenes, and it all gets topped off with an exciting scene of Janeway having a mental breakdown and nearly getting her crew killed.

The best part of the plot involves 30+ year old actors making out in public like a couple of horny teenagers.
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Bob (a different one)
Thu, Mar 4, 2021, 12:41pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: The Raven

After posting my comment I watched this episode again and I think I may need to reevaluate this episode, and maybe the whole series. I watched Voyager for the first time a few years ago and I wasn't crazy about it but I would always tell people that asked me about the show that I thought it was deeply flawed but that there were some very good episodes that any Trek fan should like. I stand by that assessment, but I think I may have overestimated the number of episodes that I would consider "good."

I just started a partial rewatch of the 50+ episodes that I initially thought were pretty decent. In posting my comments here I've found that I'm making a lot of "well, if you just ignore x,y, and z,.... and maybe if you imagine they had written it this way...and if you squint really hard - this episode is ACTUALLY good." In hindsight, I think several of the episodes that were on my "good" list only ended up there because they are good compared to the even worse episodes that surround them.


"The Raven", despite a couple of nice scenes, is not a good episode.


p.s. A list of the episodes that I probably need to move from my "good or good enough" list to my "skippable" list:

Time and Again
Maneuvers
Alliances
The Chute
The Swarm
Day of Honor (maybe. I'll need to rewatch)
Scientific Method
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