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Sat, Nov 11, 2017, 3:51am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Real Life

They come across this anomaly that damages the ship, and that they have never seen before, and that has destroyed a space station, so of course they chase after it, risking the lives of the entire crew, so they can maybe collect some plasma and get off of replicator rations. I know Neelix's cooking is supposed to be bad, but worth killing everyone on board to have some different food? Jeez. (There's coffee in that eddy)

CHAKOTAY: If we could harness some of that energy, we could go off replicator rations for a while.
KIM: Captain, we don't have any idea what caused that phenomenon, or what made it dissipate. So how do we investigate it if it's gone?
JANEWAY: I suspect there are conditions in this part of space that lend themselves to the formation of those eddies. Set sensors for continuous scans of subspace. Maybe we can anticipate the next one.

So they don't know what caused it or how to investigate it, but maybe they can anticipate the next one somehow, so they set sensors to scan for....what? They just said they don't know what they are looking for.

TUVOK: The Bussard collectors could be modified to gather plasma particles.
TORRES: We could do that, but Voyager's energy emissions are so high they'd corrupt the particles. I'm not sure the plasma would be much use to us.

Wut? Voyager's energy emissions are too high to collect plasma? They didn't realize that before they went chasing after this eddy to collect the damn plasma?

So of course Paris flies a shuttle to collect the plasma instead, but the temperature of the eddy is 9 million degrees celsius. There is no way a shuttle could fly into one or even near one. That would be like flying into the center of a star.

PARIS: I'm in position, Captain. Activating the Bussard collectors. It's working...This may save us from Neelix's pleeka rind casserole after all.
JANEWAY: We'll all thank you for that.

Wow, Neelix's cooking must be really really bad. Like really.

Now about this Doc business.

When he has Kes and Torres over for dinner are they eating holographic food? Or did they bring in real food? Or did the holodeck act as a replicator? If it's the first one, that's stupid. If it's the second one, why are they eating Neelix's slop when they have wild mushroom pilaf and salad and bread and all that? If it's the third one, why not use the holodeck as a replicator all the time? It seems to have unlimited power resources.

That eating in the holodeck annoyed me.

The Doc's sugary family seems to be a relatively recent thing, as in created in the past few days before this episode. Torres modified it and made it horrible and it ran that way for what, maybe a couple days tops? So the Doc (Kenneth) got so attached to his fake family and fake daughter that he couldn't bear to have her die, when he's known them for about a week?

And how much can you learn about being in a family in a week anyway? And in the more 'realistic' one for only a day or two? If I was plopped down in some strange family's house for two days, and then one of them died, I'd feel bad a little I guess, but I wouldn't be heartbroken like the Doc was.

I'm not sure what the point of all these 'Doc learns a life lesson' episodes is anyway, since he is always the same after them. He never seems to get more compassion or empathy or a better bedside manner or more humble or any of the stuff he is supposedly learning about all the time. They are just wasted.

As far as all the metaphysical stuff of how 'real' was his holodeck family, that people were talking about, all he was trying to do was have a sort of family, so he could relate to the crew a little bit better. That's it. It wasn't a deep philosophical journey he was embarking on or anything. He just wanted to be able to say to Ensign so-and-so, 'Do you miss your wife?' and sound somewhat sincere about it, because he also had a wife. It was all about how better to interact with his patients. To be able to have the sort of small talk that a real doctor uses, to improve his bedside manner, not necessarily about what it was like to actually have a real family. Though talking about his family to patients that are most likely never going to see their own families ever again doesn't sound like that good of an idea. But that's what the purpose was.

EMH: The tinkering you speak of has been for the sole purpose of improving my performance as a physician. I can hardly be faulted for that.
TORRES: I'm not faulting you for your intentions, Doctor. I think it's rather commendable that you want to improve yourself.
EMH: That's why I've created a family.

Torres changed things up a bit when she modified the program, and that made it more than it started out to be, and he rightly quit the program when it went beyond what it's purpose was. But then Paris convinced him to restart it so he could see what it's actually like to have a family. So he continued with it, and discovered that sometimes having a family sucks, because you can be hurt by them. I don't think that helped his bedside manner, or gave him any real understanding beyond that simple fact.

So him treating them as real people or as a holonovel or whatever else is beside the point. He was using them as a tool to begin with. That was his sole intention. Torres and Paris butted their big noses in and tried to make it something it was never meant to be. Maybe he began to have feelings at the end, or maybe not, but the whole point was for him to use the holodeck as a way to connect with his patients, not a family.

Anyway. 3 stars.
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