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    Alright, we pick up more or less where we left off here.

    This episode features a lot more scenes back in the "present" on the Voyager, following Rokk-Takk, Murf, and Janeway & co. Communication links are made between them and Dal and the others through the wormhole on two different occasions, as they try and unfuck the timeline. However, a certain mysterious benefactor has let them know Gwen is in danger. This ends up being pretty much the plot of the episode - rescuing Gwen.

    A highlight of the episode is Gwyn's developing relationship with the downtime Diviner. He was a complicated villain in the first season, and seeing him before the destruction of his people made him go bad is...refreshing.

    The gang somehow built a time machine in less than ten minutes of showtime! This would frustrate me if this weren't a kid's show. As an aside, "Dr. Erin" is a within-universe cameo of the real Star Trek science advisor.

    Regardless, they "save" Gwyn, and then somehow the mysterious benefactor fixes their ship. This is a sort of annoying deus ex machina, but it does set up a wider mystery of who is helping them. And the episode concludes with the whole gang reunited (with the sadness of Gwyn having failed in her mission), with a real feel that "Act 1" of the season has finished.

    On the whole, I think this is the best episode of the season yet, which strengthens with every entry. Yet as I noted in the last review post, the first four episodes have been barely distinguishable. These all could, with a bit of trimming, be combined into a serviceable regular-length episode.

    Janeway: "How can we help?"
    Dal: "Uhhh... could you be ever so kind and send us all the information you have on 'Temporal Mechanics 101'... please?"


    Just an observation, that I know is of limited merit because it's not an apples-to-apples comparison . . .

    . . . but the writing on this show is Shakespeare compared to the writing on the final season of Discovery. I'm actually transported by the story. No awkward bit of writing or pacing or a bad line or characters being colossally stupid for plot reasons or acting dramatically out of character inexplicably, no crying or emotional confessions in the middle of high stakes time-is-of-the-essence moments; I can watch and no moment like that arrives to suddenly and jarringly take me out of being engrossed in the story.

    You know, basically the standard for the bare minimum of competence in entertainment? This show is flying over that bar.

    How refreshing.

    And while I know it's easier in 20-minute installments, and this is only episode four, you know what else they're doing competently? Pulling off a highly serialized story without filler or false stakes, delays or stalls, or failing to convince with the character development because it hasn't been earned. See? Competent serialized storytelling CAN be done in Star Trek!

    All you need are writers who aren't lazy and give a fuck. This show is clearly being made by writers who give a fuck. They have something to say, a story they want to tell, characters they care about, and it really appears they like their jobs rather than just like the paycheck.

    You can always tell in the final product. Always.

    . . .

    I am going to watch these slowly over the next week or so to avoid blowing through them all at once. I know I will enjoy the show more that way. Little moments will stick with me better over the long run than just the big moments. I'm done for today and will pick it up again tomorrow.

    What a treat to have this.

    @Jeffrey's Tube: "the writing on this show is Shakespeare compared to the writing on the final season of Discovery."; "...while I know it's easier in 20-minute installments..."

    ---> Totally agree on the quality of the work product. There are 20 episodes that seem to average 23 minutes. I'd peg 6 of those are filler episodes (all of which are relatively descent). Translating to Discovery's runtime of 55 minutes per episode, that gives you a little over 6 episodes of serialized content. That would have been a strong half-season for Discovery.

    But to your well-meaning point in ensuring proper merit and objectivity, this is a kid's show. I wonder myself how much unconscious latitude I'm giving to Prodigy because of that.

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