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Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 2:47am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Real Life

Re-watching this episode in April 2019 (22 years into the future from its original release).

This is a very touching episode. In about the half-dozen times I've watched this in the last 10, maybe 15 years or so, every time I still end up with a lump in my throat. The Doctor's unrealistic family in the beginning turns out to have somewhat relatable "problems" any family could face these days by the end of the episode. Yes, it is tragic when a family member dies, and the Doctor and his "new" holographic family handle this like any family would.

We share our grief about Belle with the characters. She is the Doc's holographic daughter who gets a bump on the head from playing Pirisi Squares with older kids and suffers a trauma that she will never recover from, and Jeffrey decides he wants to become Klingon and starts hanging around Klingon teens in preparation for receiving his Kut'luch dagger and becoming a warrior. The Doc's wife, Charlene, turns from a fuzzy-warm 50's mom to a 2000s-style mom who's blood pressure is about to hit the roof, yet all of these come together when Belle unexpectedly passes away because of her accident. In the hospital, Jeffrey is seen hugging his father so we know that possibly the idea of becoming a Klingon is now a passing thought. Charlene and the Doc become closer for having shared the loss of a child.

I give this episode a 4/5 mainly for the Doc's family story line and the wonderful acting by Linsey Haun (Belle) and Robert Picardo (and partly because Wendy Schaal plays Francine on American Dad!).

Oh yeah, and Tom gets caught in an astral-eddy, and blah, blah, blah. I couldn't help but think when Tom was telling the Doc about facing his family's troubles how much he looks like Nick Locarno. LOL
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