Star Trek: Voyager
Air date: 3/18/1996
Written by Brannon Braga
Directed by David Livingston
Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan
"Mr. Kim ... we're Starfleet officers; weird is part of the job." — Janeway
Nutshell: A great technobabble show with plenty of excitement. It's too bad the extreme but ultimately inconsequential damage to the ship prompts complete incredulity.
At the end of "Deadlock" when Harry calls his experience through space, time, and subspace weird, he sure isn't joking. The situation the Voyager crew faces in this episode is substantially strange. It's yet another high concept outing from the mind of Brannon Braga, who has supplied several labyrinthine stories in the far reaches of physical, temporal, and spatial manipulation this season. From "Projections" to "Non Sequitur" to "Threshold" to "Deadlock," Braga has displayed a constant affinity for spewing new technical gobbligook and conjuring fake new scientific theories out of thin air.
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. "Projections" was absolutely riveting. "Threshold" was absolutely ludicrous. "Deadlock," ranks nearby the former rather than the latter, featuring an intriguing premise, though not quite up to par with "Projections" in story strength or plausibility (if such a term can be used), but very well done nevertheless.
The plot: Unbeknownst to the crew, the mysterious properties of a plasma cloud replicates the Voyager such that there are two ships with two crews, both exactly the same, occupying the same location in space at the same moment in time. The only thing separating the two ships is a "spatial rift," which seems to link the two Voyagers together on deck 15. Under details that I refuse to go into here, one Voyager severely damages the other with "proton bursts" in an attempt to recharge their own warp core. Even more intricate details brings one of the Voyager's crew to realize what has happened after Kes crosses through this rift—that the ship has been duplicated—and before you can say "huh?," Janeway and Torres figure out how to get a communication signal through subspace to the damaged Voyager. Now it's a race against the clock to figure out how to converge the two Voyagers before both are destroyed.
Baffled? Well, at times, this can be damned confusing—and you can bet there is an ample supply of technobabble used to explain all this. But like DS9's "Visionary" last season, this episode goes to show that tech-laden plots can be very good if done properly and supported by a cast and crew that knows what to do and how. Not to say that Braga's script isn't adeptly written for the most part—it is—but the execution is what really stands out here.
David Livingston surely had his hands full with the dual shooting of Voyager realities and overseeing the reams of technobabble. (The actors also deserve a lot of credit for making the non-stop jargon sound believable.) But Livingston does all this and makes the show an intriguing mystery with plenty of excitement. In fact, "Deadlock" opens and closes with pulse-pounding intensity that is virtually unmatched by any Voyager episode to date. It wastes no time in its early minutes, beginning with jarring urgency and breakneck pacing, featuring some chaotically impressive photography as the ship is ripped apart. Surprising events like Ensign Kim being sucked into space and the unfair death of Ensign Wildman's newborn baby demonstrates a pull-no-punches grimness that proves quite compelling. Meanwhile, the bridge catches on fire and is evacuated in a scene that borders on the apocalyptic.
Once the two Voyagers realize their nature of coexistence, the time comes to repair the damage, and the fascination level is one-upped with scenes of Captain Janeway talking to herself over a viewscreen and, later, face-to-face.
The technical solution theories are, of course, absurd, and they involve such complicated fictional science that the characters always seem on the verge of spraining their tongues as they talk about using the main deflector dish to realign divergence fields and what not. If this technobabble wasn't so well performed, I would probably be complaining about it for months.
And just when you thought the two Voyager crews had their hands full trying to fix the phase-shift variance to merge the ships into one again, the episode throws more blood-boiling thrills at us when along come the Vidiians, looking for unwilling organ donors. With the Voyager's weapons unusable, they are easily able to tractor and board one of the Voyagers. However, the Vidiians are unable to even detect the existence of the other one.
The Vidiians' assault on the one Voyager crew is almost unsettling. Again, they come across as they did in "Faces": vicious and merciless, shooting down everyone in sight and extracting their organs without so much as a second glance. Outnumbered and outgunned, Janeway does what she has always vowed to in such a circumstance—arm the auto-destruct sequence. She orders Kim to take Wildman's baby to the other Voyager (they are both alive on this Voyager, and Janeway thinks it's only fair to replace the fatalities experienced by their counterpart). Kim surprises two Vidiians in sickbay (who have already begun their harvesting experiments on Wildman) in a nicely-done scene where he phasers them both and then finds the Doctor hiding behind his desk with the baby. Kim heads off to deck 15 to travel through the spatial rift.
Meanwhile, as the Vidiians walk onto the bridge to seize the ship, Janeway stands up and has just a few choice words for them—which she says with almost a smile: "Welcome to the bridge." With that, the Voyager explodes, taking the Vidiian ship right along with it, in a spectacular pyrotechnic spectacle that had me almost cheering. It's a guilty pleasure, I'll admit—seeing the Vidiians finally put in their place—but a pleasure nonetheless that is long overdue considering how the Vidiians wantonly ignored Janeway's stern warning she issued in "Phage," the first Federation/Vidiian encounter.
The details surrounding this ending, however, bring up perhaps the most perplexing questions about the situation. How is it that both Voyagers could detect the Vidiian ship, but only one could physically interact with it? Is the other Voyager in an alternate reality? Why can't the Vidiians detect it? How is it protected from the explosion of both its counterpart and the Vidiian vessel? If somebody explained this to me, would my head blow up?
I'm not sure, but I don't really care either. The raw energy of this episode makes it a winner, and, by the end of the show, everything feels like it more or less adds up in its own bizarre way, even if my brain doesn't want to buy it. Braga shows the talent, I guess, for making things clear and confusing at the same time. Livingston shows the talent for turning it all into a gripping hour of science fiction.
Still, the episode really only works on its adventure level. If you consider the long-term effects of the episode, they're shoved under the carpet with painful blatancy. The biggest flaw in "Deadlock" is the fact that Voyager's severe damage will undoubtedly be repaired by the beginning of the next episode, never to be heard of again. When Tuvok delivered the lengthy damage report early in the show, there was a sense of uneasy helplessness. After all, there are no repair bays or starbases in the Delta Quadrant. Yet the closing of "Deadlock" would have us believe that Voyager is a completely self-sustaining starship and there's nothing to worry about.
If you think about it, this defeats many of the dramatic elements of the very core of the series—which is definitely not a good thing. Such damage to the ship should not be treated lightly on Star Trek: Voyager. Remember the concern expressed in "Learning Curve" over the damage to irreplaceable gel packs? It was a big deal. Yet in "Deadlock" half the ship is hanging in ruin, and by the end of the episode it's hardly an issue.
It's too bad the issue surrounding Voyager's damage is so uncertain. The rest of the episode is terrific.
Previous episode: Investigations
Next episode: Innocence
Like this site? Support it by buying Jammer a coffee.
116 comments on this post
Mon, Feb 11, 2008, 9:37pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Mar 31, 2008, 2:18pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Mar 31, 2008, 7:26pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 3, 2008, 11:45am (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 3, 2008, 5:21pm (UTC -5)
Sun, Jun 22, 2008, 1:23am (UTC -5)
Fri, Oct 3, 2008, 1:59pm (UTC -5)
Sat, May 2, 2009, 10:30am (UTC -5)
Thu, Nov 26, 2009, 2:30pm (UTC -5)
The most genius part was the arrival of the Bad Guys. Until then I had assumed that the damaged Voyager would be destroyed or otherwise dealt with and the undamaged Voyager would survive and be perfectly fine. That seemed the obvious way to negate any consequences coming from all that chaos. The fact that the Bad Guys landed in the *undamaged* Voyager and started killing everyone was surprising and excellent, as was the consequence that it was *that* Voyager that was destroyed, and the other survived. Very good stuff.
As for the problems of "splitting" the crew, and whether any of them were identical with the originals, that is the sort of problem that lies at the heart of the philosophical discussion of personal identity. Suffice to say that many philosophers would say that, while the two Voyagers co-existed, each crew might have had equal claim to be identical to the originals, and it is possible either that they both were (which raises severe problems) or that neither was (which also raises problems). However, after the destruction of one lot, there seems no reason to say that the surviving crew isn't identical to the originals. Which is weird, but that's personal identity for you.
Fri, Dec 25, 2009, 6:14pm (UTC -5)
Sun, May 2, 2010, 2:56am (UTC -5)
The senior staff just sit there and they dont help him to escape , not like they defending the bridge or anything.I was so happy when kim died and we got an extra kes but the ending ruined it :)
Wed, Dec 22, 2010, 11:57pm (UTC -5)
Sun, Mar 27, 2011, 6:54pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Jul 4, 2011, 6:05pm (UTC -5)
Anyway I like to think the explosion didn't kill the other crew but instead re-joined the 2 ships back together. Otherwise surely the ship that survived could have spent the rest of the journey home out of phase and invisible to everyone.
Sun, Jul 10, 2011, 8:50am (UTC -5)
Mon, Aug 22, 2011, 6:57am (UTC -5)
I can't believe they managed to have such horrible things happen while keeping the precious status quo, especially without resorting to 'it's all a dream LOL' copouts. Very tense episode and genuinely disturbing to see a crew get organ harvested and blown up.
Janeway being so flippant about it to Kim was weeeeird though, she was ready to sacrifice her own Voyager to save the other one earlier in the episode but now she's suddenly acting like the other one going down with all hands was no big deal?
Sat, Sep 3, 2011, 2:27pm (UTC -5)
I think the plural of Neelix is Neelices, kind of like vertex :)
Fri, Nov 18, 2011, 5:42am (UTC -5)
Every cell in our bodies are replaced every 7 years. Are we the same people that we were at birth?
And what about the transporters?
Not a big deal.
Sat, Dec 10, 2011, 8:57pm (UTC -5)
Well, since the script demands someone be incompetent every single episode I suppose then that the crew truly is incompetent. Guess starfleet's standards have fallen far since Kirk's day when you only got to act incompetent on away missions. (Mostly)
Thu, Aug 16, 2012, 4:45pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Sep 28, 2012, 4:13am (UTC -5)
Tue, Dec 11, 2012, 9:28am (UTC -5)
Too bad that all that techno-babble was necessary. Simply "communicate" with the others by "phase-shifting" the communications device. It's as much bunkum as the chosen solution but leaves us with extra time to see the crew interact and to see the story develop.
For the rest I like the episode, especially because in the end the "healthy" Voyager is the one that's destroyed, not the one you expected. Solid 8 out of 10.
Sat, May 25, 2013, 5:04pm (UTC -5)
Ha! I love Janeway's complete disregard for poor dead Harry. Her facial expression doesn't even change when she hears he died.
Thu, Jun 13, 2013, 1:22am (UTC -5)
Personally, I don't think I'd want to be that close to me.
Sun, Jul 7, 2013, 12:34am (UTC -5)
Tue, Aug 6, 2013, 1:43am (UTC -5)
why is there pain in a 24th century pregnancy?
We do not need to have it in the 20th century.
Tue, Nov 5, 2013, 2:47pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Nov 18, 2013, 3:23pm (UTC -5)
yeah, with their technology the reptilians from "Distant Origin" should have been able to find him...A Kimsicle would be even more revealing than Hoganbones.
Tue, Nov 19, 2013, 2:35am (UTC -5)
First, he dies.
Then his Captain tells him to go from the bridge on Deck 1 to the rift on Deck 15 by himself with one phaser and 347 bad guys in between. Plus he has to make a detour to Sickbay on Deck 5 (where the bad guys are also pouring out of a boarding ramp) and carry a delicate newborn the last 10 decks. Oh and he only has 5 minutes to do it all!
Finally he arrives in some other place where his own dead body is floating around in space and as the Ops guy, will spend the next week repairing a battered ship to pilot show condition.
I think the hero of this story is Harry! Let's hope he also tossed a bunch of gel packs through the rift too!
Mon, Feb 10, 2014, 2:13pm (UTC -5)
If surfing the Delta quadrant was so campy and fun who gives an f about Earth? I certainly didn't. Going back to what? Having Janeway drop what little casualness we got back to stick up the butt- bun of steel admiral and unbending SF regulation? No thanks. I am with Paris, Seven, and Naomi. I choose the more casual, impervious ship of vast exploration :-)
Tue, Feb 25, 2014, 5:56pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Mar 3, 2014, 5:48pm (UTC -5)
Splitting in two. Please. Lazy, desperate writing.
Wed, Mar 5, 2014, 8:02pm (UTC -5)
Speaking of dead Ensign Kim forgotten, wouldn't episode Ashes to Ashes have been WAY cooler if they came across Harry Kim back from the dead as the reanimated alien? Ha...Continuity is too much to ask :-)
Wed, Mar 5, 2014, 8:41pm (UTC -5)
As for the decompression, I guess it wouldn't seem more or less explosive than in a jet liner at high altitude (which is dramatic but not instantly fatal).
Sat, Mar 8, 2014, 11:57pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Mar 11, 2014, 9:21am (UTC -5)
The episode does surprise us by having the more-damaged Voyager survive, but it does seem to be good as new by the next episode. Shouldn't the Vidiians be going after easier targets than Voyager? They risk an awful lot of damage to get a small number of organs. Predators don't attack the most ferocious prey, they attack the sick, slow, old and weak. Perhaps the Vidiians would make good allies with the Kazon. They could aid the Kazon in their raids; the Kazon gets the equipment while the Vidiians get the organs of the people on the raided ships.
Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 1:32am (UTC -5)
Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 8:08am (UTC -5)
They all got duplicated. In the SAME universe. Harry died exactly the same as literally everyone else. Everyone got split in two and EVERYONE had 1 duplicate die.
Considering there are theories that the transporter is doing this (killing you and beaming a duplicate somewhere else) the only thing that was really "lost" is Harry's memories between the split and the death. So like 10 minutes tops.
What WOULD have been interesting is to revisit this (briefly) in Basics when Naomi is sick. I always felt Samantha should have had PTSD from losing her baby the first time.
Yes, technically the Naomi she has is the same one she carried inside her for (what is it, like 15 months?) but she still watched one of the Naomi's die after childbirth. Would screw with anyone.
Fri, Aug 22, 2014, 10:11am (UTC -5)
This is one of those times, though, that makes me wonder if the repair teams are manned by miracle workers. My hunch is that the newer Starfleet vessels, like the Intrepid class, are built to be more self-sustainable. Still, the damage here seems to be quite extreme.
Neither here nor there, this is an impressive episode on a technical level and everything else is above average to good with only a few quibbles. I'd rather have Tribbles than quibbles, but, as a famous philosopher once said: "You can't always get what you want."
Mon, Sep 1, 2014, 7:42pm (UTC -5)
I wonder why no one thought of "Computer: Have the transporter lock onto all Vidiian lifesigns and beam them into space" (or back to their ship, or to the brig, or hold them in the buffer for 75 years like Scotty).
Wed, Dec 31, 2014, 10:06pm (UTC -5)
Yet TNG was, in fact, subtly a serial show while being mostly episodic. One of the smartest things they ever did was put Family where it was. While having Picard deal with the fallout from being assimilated was a large part of that episode, most of it could have been placed anywhere in the series without a problem. But by having a quiet episode like this, where the Enterprise isn't doing anything and it's just the crew taking some personal time, made the impact of BoBW seem more real. Of course it was a reset button at the end of BoBW: Picard came back, Riker went back to being the XO, Shelby disappeared, and the Enterprise was ready for new adventures. But with Family, we saw that it took time for the Enterprise to be ready. It gave us time for the reality of BoBW to sink in.
Why do I bring that up? To show that there is a possible middle ground between The Reset Button and having a grim, dark show where Voyager is constantly falling apart and dealing with the repurcussions of getting a beating like in this episode. It seems obvious TPTB did not want the latter problems to happen, and so resorted to the reset button.
And yet, everything was perfectly teed up for them here! The next episode (Investigations) takes place mostly on a planet after the monthly Shuttle Crash Event, and the rest involves Janeway talking to the xenophobic alien race of the week. It would have taken 10 minutes to retool this episode to be the "breather" episode after Deadlock. Just have a captain's log that they are grateful for being the guests of these non-xenophobic aliens who are assisting them in repairs, and that a few shuttles were dispatched to search for specific supplies. Keep a couple damaged sets around for one more week of shooting. Voila! No reset button, and no need to constrain future episodes either. Yeah, it would be cheesy if used every time, but it would allow the emotional impact of an episode like this to linger a bit.
And I spent so much time writing all that because it is important, because the emotional impact was huge in this episode. This is really the first episode that makes it clear how dangerous their trip really is. Sure, they're in mortal danger all the time, but usually that means Shaky-Cams and Harry shouting "Shields down to 20%!" Here, we see the crew beaten down, exhausted, and at their wits end for the first time since Caretaker. We see real consequences with the death of Harry and the baby (reversed, yes, but pretty shocking to see). Two scenes stand out: Tuvok's laundry list of damage to the dejected crew members, and the frantic scene in sickbay with the Doctor performing triage while Kes desperately tries to keep the baby alive. Likewise, Janeway's iron will determination to keep from falling to despair and keeping her cool was a great character defining moment for her.
And then to switch from that to the clean Voyager was jarring enough to make the clean Voyager seem alien, despite the fact that this is what we are used to seeing. It took a while to accept that this, too, was the real Voyager, because of the emotional attachment with what happened on the other ship. To have the reason for one ship getting so damaged be the other ship accidentally doing it was a nice touch too.
The Powers That Be seem intent on making Voyager entertaining first and logical/philosophical/anything else second. This episode shows that, sometimes, that works. The science or whatever was ridiculous, of course, and nothing stands up to any sort of scrutiny. Par for the course for Voyager. But for this episode, I was too engrossed in what was going on to care. Many episodes of Voyager so far have been, to put it mildly, boring. Perhaps interesting enough to see once, but instantly forgettable afterwards. This one, at least, made me sit up and take notice. It was exciting and novel and well directed and downright intense. So for one brief moment, I'm going to ignore the plot silliness and ignore the reset button and ignore the lack of meatiness and just enjoy what was a very enjoyable hour of television.
Also, as a random comment, I distinctly remember the preview for this episode back when it first aired. The narration included some line like "you will never believe the shocking ending!" So, of course, I saw the ending coming as soon as it became clear there were two ships. Stupid preview...
Fri, Aug 7, 2015, 1:45pm (UTC -5)
I like the "Amoeba" analogy K'Elvis, and Robert correctly points out why the "mourning" of dead Harry isn't that big a deal. Everyone of them was duplicated and moreover, Janeway, more than anyone else, had to come to grips with that because she ordered the death of everyone to save one crew. It's kind of like Tuvix, he's not really just one guy.
Skeptical, I'm with you on previews etc. DS9's 'Duet' identified the actor Harris Yulin as Marritza at the beginning of the episode!! If one paid attention, how much of an episode killer is that!!
I too like the episodic nature of Voyager. We don't need long drawn out story arcs. It was fine in TOS and TNG, it's fine here. As much as we trumpet that DS9 was not TNG, this isn't DS9 either.
It's too bad that the birth of Naomi couldn't have the emotional impact like when President Roslin changed the number of humans on the vap board at the end of BSG's '33'.
I'm not saying that I want my Star Trek to be BSG (far from it), but Voyager might have missed an opportunity here. They had already mentioned a generational ship earlier. I got all choked up Roslin's aid told her that there was a birth on the Rising Star (very powerful).
This was very good action packed emotional ride.
3.5 star from me.
Fri, Aug 7, 2015, 3:07pm (UTC -5)
See the problem? It's not the lack of battle damage, it's the lack of DIRECTION. The writer's cannot decide if they want the show to be "Survivor in Space" or "TNG the Next Generation". They eventually settle on the latter (a mistake IMHO) but at this particular point in the series the frustration is not WHICH direction they selected, but their incessant yo-yoing.
The episode could be months later? Sure, I'll grant that. But if they are still having problems replicating COFFEE there should still be battle damage. Especially since they spend all of their coffee power replicating the shuttles that Chakotay keeps crashing. %^&$ing Chuckles....
Rant aside... I liked this episode and pretty much agree with your rating (though I might go with a 3)
Fri, Aug 7, 2015, 3:09pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Aug 7, 2015, 4:37pm (UTC -5)
I don't think it's yo-yoing, They intially had trouble and worked through it. Janeway said "enough! I need my Joe!" :-)
They should have captured part of that Amoeba to make extra shuttles and gel packs! :-)
Fri, Aug 7, 2015, 6:43pm (UTC -5)
I certainly agree that the episode teasers were too revealing but I don't think your example qualifies as a spoiler. If someone were watching for the first time and noticed the character's name was Marritza in the opening credits it would only reinforce the Cardassian prisoner's assertion in the first two acts of the story that he is, in fact, a filing clerk named Marritza. Only in the second half of the episode does he openly masquerade as Gul Darheel until his breakdown at the end of the show. Now if this were TNG's "The Defector" and James Sloyan were identified as "Admiral Jarok" at the top of the show then I'd agree with you...
Still it would have been simpler all around to just list the actor without specifying the character's name.
Mon, Dec 7, 2015, 3:09am (UTC -5)
The theory behind that quantum mechanics discourse that Janeway mentioned to explain both the ships' situation was somewhat sound. Enough to where I didn't dig too deep into the quantum mechanics books myself for specific answers.
As for the the anomaly that caused it I suppose you could call the writing either ingenius or BS, depending on how you feel about cloud anomalies I guess. Cloud anomalies I believe have happened on all the ST incarnations. Not sure about DS9 since I haven't watched the series yet. I don't know how this particular one caused a replication on the atomic level but in all fairness there wasn't a whole lot of time to study it in detail.
Which leads us to the Vidiians. In truth they were far more interesting (not to mention scarier) than the Ka-zon. The Ka-zon stuggled with just basic things like acquiring water. The Vidiians didn't have any issues with that. It was the phage disease that consumed their days as much as their bodies. It's what made them deadly. And scary. In this ep they were as cold and efficient as any borg. In their case their very survival depended on it.
Yet we also known the Vidiians were more than just that, though. I keep remembering the kind, gentle Denara Pel. And she was very much humane. So in some ways it seemed like the Vidiians could not blame the phage completely on their heartless ways. Practicality and survival are paramount, yes, but we know the Vidiians were not just a totally reactionary species like, say, the Klingons and the Ka-zon. Denara and the first Vidiian we met in S1's Phage were clearly not the generic monsters-of-the-week.
So seeing the Vidiians in this taking organs as they needed puts them in a different light. It was horrific, yet we knew it wasn't about harvesting for some sick black market. They weren't the cardboard cutouts the Ka-zon were. Their very survival depended on it. I wish we had seen more stories with them. The episodes are most fascinating to watch.
I still fail to understand why they didn't just take B'elanna and do exactly what was done in S1's Faces. That would have been the end of the phage right then and there. It's like the writers completely forgot about that when they wrote S5's Think Tank. Either way it was sloppy and lazy the way it was handled. Especially after all these episodes where we witnessed the Vidiians' struggle. This episode alone also showcased the levels of cold efficiency they were capable of in their harvesting. All to stay ahead of the phage.
I agree with Tuvok in the end when he and Janeway were discussing the paradox both Janeways were facing. Can you imagine trying to convince yourself of an outlook you both know will avail none but still trying to preserve the other? That kind of paradox I sure wouldn't want to deal with. Could most people? Trying to outmaneuver yourself? Whilst being both the doubter and the doubtee? Maybe this is one of those rare moments where I am thankful for lack of spatial as well as temporal anomalies.
I give this one a 3.5 to 4 star rating. Thought about knocking that star off when Janeway offered to send cant-get-a-lock kim over to the other ship. But I guess someone had to carry little Naomi.
Tue, Dec 22, 2015, 5:11pm (UTC -5)
Why is the rift on Deck 15 of all places? What's down there that could cause that?
Why is the damaged Voyager invisible to the Viidians here, but in future episodes it fully visible from the outside as normal?
Why does Janeway argue with herself? She should know what she'd say so there really shouldn't be any need for an conversation at all.
Tuvok again proves just how shite Starfleet security is and how people can betray the ship and not be caught, steal stuff and take shuttles without anyone noticing. He takes one goldshirt with him to fight off over 300 Viidians!? And he looks the wrong way coming out of lift even though he knows where they'd be coming from! And phaser rifles anyone?
How did the Doctor manage to hide from the Viidians in sickbay? Ok he wouldn't have any lifesigns to detect but Naomi would. And other than the morgue compartments, there's not really anywhere in sickbay he could go where he wouldn't be visible from different parts of the room.
The Viidians clearly detect that Voyager has been split/duplicated (their scans show it and they even talk about it) yet, having over run the undamaged Voyager, none of them discover the rift? And shouldn't the duplication have reminded them of Sulan's work in duplicating organ donors so they don't need to go round harvesting?
Why does it take six weeks to repair the Enterprise-D's moderate damage in a fully equipped drydock, but the ruined Voyager is repaired in apparently less time just by the battered and injured crew while in flight with no outside support? I don't buy the "months between episodes" bit as as soon as Kim and Janeway leave sickbay at the end, the corridor is brightly lit and the crew working there seem to be finishing off already not conducting major structural repairs.
Why do proton bursts affect the other Voyager, but nothing else?
How can Kim and Naomi pass through the rift at the end without wearing magic armbands and not pass out on the other side as Kes did?
Why can Janeway initiate the self destruct by herself, when every other captain needs another officer to do it? Is it due to the "real" first officer, Cavit, being dead and Janeway not wanting to give that authorization to former Maquis Chakotay as unlikely as it would seem (she wanted the crews to work together and not not trusting Chakotay would be counter to that, although from what we see in "Worst Case Scenario", maybe Tuvok advised her against it? But then, Tuvok as next highest ranking officer should assume that duty.
Shame Kim didn't stay dead, then they could have replaced him with someone interesting. Like a stuffed toy. Or Hogan, then when Neelix gets him killed on Hanon IV, they'd still have another and he could carry on arguing with Janeway as the only Maquis left with any balls...
Regarding using the transporter during deliveries; the Doctor said something about the transport causing something or other. That may be why although he didn't seem too concerned until all the power started going off. Why transporting a baby would be more dangerous that transporting anyone else I don't get, its not like a featus is in "genetic flux" or whatever that would mess up a signal lock.
Sat, Jan 2, 2016, 12:03am (UTC -5)
Wed, Jan 13, 2016, 2:44pm (UTC -5)
Of course we get a reset button, but at least this time it's genuinely inventive - as others have noted, the fact that it's the damaged Voyager that survives comes right out of left field and cleverly subverts our expectations. There's a hell of a lot to like in here. 3.5 stars.
Sun, Mar 20, 2016, 12:16am (UTC -5)
The "splitting" plots, for some reasons always affect me very deeply. I find them highly disturbing and unsettlong (and I love being disturbed and unsettled), thought provoking and intense. I won't attempt to explain why I love this particular plot element so much, I don't even think I can. Episodes like DS9's "Whispers" (my favorite DS9 episode) and Miles' fate in "Visionary", TNG's "Second Chances", Farscape's "Eat Me" (the scene where chiana watched herself die was particularly intense for me), etc.
I also find the Vidiians ruthlessness and tactics extremely disturbing. They are fast becoming one of my favorite sci fi species of all time. I hope they don't get nerfed like the Borg, Jem'Hadar, and so many other species in the Trek universe.
So these two things combined - duplication plots and Vidiians - make this my favorite episode yet. I didn't mind the technobabble or plot holes or continuity problems, none of that is what this episode is really about. I found the problems easy to overlook.
So yeah, this one gets 3.5 stars from me (4, minus a half just to spite braga).
On the other hand I wonder if this was really just part of Tuvok and Janeways plan to catch Jonas. I'm sure they intentionally went into the plasma cloud knowing they would be duplicated. Of course, the entire crew was in on it except Chakotay (to make it feel authentic).
Sun, Mar 20, 2016, 12:32am (UTC -5)
- Wildman saw her baby die.
- Torres watched Harry slip from her fingertips and die.
- Harry watched pretty much the entire crew have their organs snatched.
- Janeway empathized with her other self facing death by self destruction.
- Kes visited the other ship and at least had direct personal contact with an entire crew that died minutes later.
But the only one who seemed even mildly traumatized by all this was Harry, and he was still rather chipper about it.
Tue, Jun 14, 2016, 5:06am (UTC -5)
Mulgrew did a very good job. Especially the scene where she meets her counterpart was nice as well as where she tells harry to get a move on. When Janeway says "enable" for the self destruct you can feel the emotions behind that. It really conveys that its not a light decision and that shes sacrificing ship and crew and that shes angry for not getting the crew back to Earth.
Thu, Aug 4, 2016, 12:34pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Aug 13, 2016, 4:54pm (UTC -5)
A very entertaining episode overall however.
Wed, Aug 17, 2016, 8:12pm (UTC -5)
Such as how blowing up one Voyager instantly solved the problem on the other Voyager and magically popped it back into existence even though blowing up one Voyager would not in any way solve the problem of the shared resources nor pop the other Voyager back into existence. All you are doing in moving some atoms around.
The biggest problem was the fact that all the crew seemed to be half Kryptonians who preferred dying with the ship over heading to the other Voyager and taking all their dilithium and other supplies with them. On the other hand that would mean that two Neelixes existed in the world, and that's just two too many.
Finally we have the whole baby problem. There is absolutely no way that a bipedal species would evolve to have spines on their nose like that, especially if they grow while still in the womb. There is a reason why our noses and the noses of primates are all smooth, because spines that could get stuck on the mother's vagina during birth would cause the death of the mother and baby and thus those genes would not be passed on to later generations. Furthermore, those nose spines fulfill no useful purposes and are in constant danger of being broken or causing further damage to the person who has them in the event they trip or get hit on the nose spines. And why didn't the doctor just perform a Caeserian? He knew right from the getgo that the nose spines usually cause a problem during birth, so he wouldn't have ever opted to try a vaginal birth. Thus this was a problem that could never happen because Naomi would not have nose spines, and even if she did, the Doctor would know how to safely deliver her.
Sat, Aug 20, 2016, 10:51am (UTC -5)
Tue, Aug 23, 2016, 2:13pm (UTC -5)
This episode shows the crew as cold hearted, and indifferent to the suffering and deaths of themselves. It's seriously freaky, yet the crew handles it with a kind of inhuman shrug of the shoulders.
Sun, Sep 11, 2016, 2:00am (UTC -5)
Sat, Jan 21, 2017, 1:35pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Feb 18, 2017, 6:35pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Feb 18, 2017, 6:43pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Feb 18, 2017, 7:12pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Jul 8, 2017, 4:36pm (UTC -5)
The one nitpick I have is, why didn't they evacuate everyone to the other vessel when self-destructing? Sure, it would be weird to have duplicates of the entire crew, but it seems like it would be the obvious choice before killing yourselves unnecessarily.
Wed, Jul 19, 2017, 7:27pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Aug 5, 2017, 2:57am (UTC -5)
My only question (and Lt Yarko is the only one who mentioned this above): Must the two Janeways stand so close to each other during their concersation? It looked awful, almost lip-to-lip.. Did David Livingston not see that in the editing or does he prefer it that way? I'd love to know..
Tue, Aug 15, 2017, 5:31am (UTC -5)
Mon, Sep 18, 2017, 5:05pm (UTC -5)
Wed, Oct 11, 2017, 6:38pm (UTC -5)
Wildman has her baby after being pregnant for over 15 months(?). Then Voyager gets split in two...then...(t...e...c...h...n...o...b...a...b...b...l...e)...then one Voyager blows up, the other doesn't. The end.
The number of times each of these was said in the episode. FYI
analyze/analysis - 7
antimatter - 16
align/alignment - 4
breach - 12
calibrate/recalibrate - 4
cell membranes - 5
cohesion - 3
conduit - 4
comm. link - 8
depolarize - 4
diverge/divergence - 5
duplicate - 8
emit/emmitters - 6
establish/re-establish - 6
field/forcefield - 18
frequency - 5
integrity - 4
magnetic/magnetize - 4
matter - 5
modulation/modulate/remodulate - 6
osmotic pressure - 5
particle - 4
phase - 12
plasma - 12
power/energy - 25
proton - 15
burst - 21
proton burst - 14
pulse - 6
reroute - 4
sensor - 11
array - 7
sensor array - 3
spatial - 11
rift - 11
spatial rift - 5
stabilize - 4
subspace - 10
baby - 25
That's just ridiculous.
Fri, Feb 2, 2018, 12:31am (UTC -5)
Of course Braga is at the helm if the intriguing premise is duplicating Voyager. The 2 Voyagers manage to communicate with each other, people can go from one ship to another (which is all well and good). Both ships can see the Vidiian ship but the Vidiians apparently can't detect the 2 Voyagers and when one of them self destructs, it doesn't affect the other Voyager, but it successfully destroys the Vidiian ship. WTF?!?! And going forward, Harry Kim and the baby are just going to continue to exist in a different reality (albeit an exact replica). Surely there has to be some implications here -- but, alas no. Anyhow, a lot of what drives the action is super farfetched.
Gotta give props to the opening scene with Voyager getting absolutely destroyed. This looked terrifying especially with Harry Kim being sent off into space. This was riveting as Tuvok rattled off all the damage, injuries etc. Well done here. But then when Janeway sees herself disappear and an undamaged Voyager appears, I was disappointed.
The decision to blow up Voyager to get rid of the Vidiians was the only logical option left -- for some reason it reminded me of "Yesterday's Enterprise" where the Enterprise-C is sent to certain destruction.
The scene with the 2 Janeways talking seemed weird -- the Janeway on the left wasn't quite looking properly at the one on the right. Anyhow, the dialog was effective and compelling.
2.5 stars for "Deadlock" -- we'll see in what state Voyager is in for the next episode, but it should continue to be in very rough shape. Good use is made of recurring villains the Vidiians -- I had thought they might have learned a lesson after "The Phage" and Janeway's sermon to them -- guess not. But this episode itself is basically mindless with good action scenes under an implausible pretence.
Tue, Apr 3, 2018, 2:34pm (UTC -5)
* Kim dies
* Neelix dies
And then the writers fumble what would've been a classic episode by bringing them both back.
Tue, May 8, 2018, 11:50pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Jul 12, 2018, 9:24am (UTC -5)
Also, i concure with a few other patrons that the crew just fizzled out and almost welcomed death (or suicide,) especially Chakotay. Hr may have even smirked a bit but u can't say for certain (lol.)
And for Janeway to have stated on MANY occasions that Harry Kim was the one crewman she was most proud of and whatnot and then for her to just COMPLETELY ignore his death and show more concern for a "Dissapearing Kes" was totally out of character.
I think they needed to realign thier plot thrusters and get the script variance back into phase aligmment tbh. The first time watching this and realizing the "original crew" all fkn died, I needed a few moments, like to myself, to ponder life and my choices and also to visualize a cranial thingy getting caught on some gross ass bloody uterine tissue...
Thu, Jul 12, 2018, 9:36am (UTC -5)
Didn't u guys notice that upon haphazardly coming into sensor range of Voyager, the Viddian vecile CLEARLY noticed the ship was in some phase shift and TWO VOYAGERS were seen on thier weird screen?
Then it's just forgotten about in 30 seconds and they dont realize there is two ships anymore? Like WHAT?
And if the damged ship could see the Viddian ship, could they not see a HUGE THERMONUCLEAR ANTI-MATTER BLAST coming straight toward them? This was just one totally "written as they went" ad libbed and constructed at the last minute things we've come to expect with Voyager, not that I'm not a fan, i obviously overlook such fatal flaws, like Paris and Janeway's mutant reptilian children ....and such.
Thu, Aug 23, 2018, 10:23pm (UTC -5)
Also, I would have liked it better if the intact Voyager was saved, not the damaged one. I mean if they can fix their ship so fast, they should be able to build a fleet of starships in their spare time (as they basically had to remake every system on the ship)
Another weird thing is that the Vidians are either mercliess or good-there's nothing in between. You have these guys, and then the Vidian woman from the last episode. No wonder B'lanna didn't want to donate a section of her brain! Hard to forgive people that butcher like that with no qualm.
I kind of would like to see Harry Kim giving a speech over the other Harry Kim, but that's just too macabre
Sat, Aug 25, 2018, 3:49pm (UTC -5)
I have to say, as a mom, that I was wide-eyed at the sight of that baby. Really? That was going to be a natural birth? I can't help but wonder what dad looked like.
I loved that Samantha got her baby back at the end. Lovely.
I loved the surprise that it was the less damaged Voyager that self destructed at the end, and how coldly the Vidiians attacked my beloved crew.
I loved "Welcome to the bridge," and Janeway's badass ways in general. I thought the Janeway to Janeway talk was oddly done, with the Janeways looking like they were about to make out. Reminded me of the Kirk on Kirk fight from the movie.
I'm in for more.
Sun, Nov 25, 2018, 5:51pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Mar 26, 2019, 12:14pm (UTC -5)
We start with Neelix trying to be cute (and failing) as he clumsily reminds the audience that Samantha Wildman, who's trying to get some work done in the Mess Hall (the fool), is extremely pregnant. And I mean extremely. If we assume that she and Greskrend..erm...Grindwald? Whatever his name is...if we assume they conceived on the day the Voyager left DS9, then it's been at least a year—probably closer to two—that she's been with child. Yikes. Neelix asks her to take a look something wrong with his space stove, since Harry hasn't yet come down from his bridge duties to deal with it. Hmmm...are there no maintenance engineers on this ship? I'm pretty sure if Scotty asked Spock to fix the radiator in his room, Spock would lift a single eyebrow and order Scotty's entire collection of contraband booze confiscated on the spot. Well, all of Neelix' pestering finally sends Wildman into labour.
We cut, mercifully, to the Sickbay where the Doctor and Kes are fulfilling their usual medical counterpoint of confusing the patient with mixed messages. The senior staff are anxiously awaiting news of the delivery on the bridge. Finally the triteness gives way to an interesting observation:
JANEWAY: In a way, this child belongs to all of us. It is the first baby born on the Voyager. I'm just not sure whether I should be welcoming it on board, or apologising...The Voyager isn't exactly anyone's idea of a nursery, and the Delta Quadrant isn't much of a playground.
CHAKOTAY: My father had a saying, Captain. Home is wherever you happen to be.
This of course explains why the Space Indians preferred armed rebellion against two civilisations instead packing up their shit and “being” in some other home. Okay, okay...Maquis bullshit aside, this line of dialogue picks up one of the only not-terrible threads from “Elogium,” and the burden Janeway bears to foster a community aboard her ship in a way she was never prepared for. The conversation is light, but behind Mulgrew's smile lurks a very deep concern over her ability to meet this challenge.
Tuvok reports that sensors are picking up several Vidiian vessels and colonies ahead, so Janeway orders Paris to take the ship through a plasma field that should mask their presence. Sounds like a solid plan. I mean, if it doesn't work, all this means as that Wildman's new baby is going to be raised as an organ slave and Torres is going to be strung up like a ham. No big.
Meanwhile, said pregnant ensign is going through something painful—erm, even more painful than squirting out a 2-year old fœtus. The baby has horns on its forehead (how else would we know it's an alien, right?), and these are digging into the uteran wall. Ouch. Well, no worry—the Doctor is able to beam the baby right out of her belly. This story is about to be typhooned with techobabble, but I have to say that the conceit of taking Trek staples like forehead ridges and transporters to these kinds of picky detail is amusing. It may not make a whole lot of sense, but the Trek-tech feels like a lived-in part of the Universe these people inhabit.
Back on the bridge, things start going to shit. There's a massive power drain all over the ship. Janeway orders Torres to start bombarding the warp core with protons, because why the hell not? But before she can start, the ship starts being hit with...protons. Hmm. Maybe Janeway is witch doctor. These bursts cause massive casualties in Engineering and the Sickbay systems—including the incubator keeping the new baby alive—start loosing power. Uh oh.
Act 1 : ***.5, 13% (short)
The Doctor and Kes rush about treating injuries and trying to keep the baby from expiring. We haven't seen this kind of serious medical drama since “Caretaker.” To make things worse, the proton bursts are fucking with the Doctor's imaging system, Engineering is a complete wreck, power is failing, there are hull breaches everywhere...and then things start to go badly. The baby dies from transporter complications, Hogan is severely injured and unable to re-route power to something, causing Harry Kim to be sucked out into space. Sorry. Blown out. Anyway, Harry has died again and Kes, who was sent to help Hogan, disappears into some sort of spacial vortex on Deck 15. There's not too much to say about this stuff. Much like Braga's “Cause and Effect,” there isn't a lot of substance to speak of, but the scenes are quite harrowing, the music lives up to the drama and the stakes feel enormous.
Act 2 : ***, 17%
Torres is able to determine that there's a breathable atmosphere on the other side of the rift, suggesting Kes is still alive somewhere. On the bridge, Chakotay has “magnetised the hull,” whatever that means, and this seems to provide some respite while Tuvok lists all the damage and casualties. After a brief couple of minutes, Chakotay's stopgap fails and the bridge catches fire. What's really great here is Janeway. Follow her expressions as she tries to process everything they're going to have to deal with. In the midst of the crisis, she reverts to her science-officer persona...something we've seen hints of before. The bridge is being evacuated, people are dead, the ship is a sieve, and here the captain is, furiously pushing buttons in an attempt to seal one hull breach. The only thing that finally forces her off the bridge is a beam collapsing nearly on top of her skull (the same one that fell out of the ceiling in “Projections,” I daresay).
As she watches her command centre be consumed in flame, she sees herself as a ghost image sitting in her chair. The two Janeways seem to make eye contact. Then we see ghost Janeway, except this seems to be the real Janeway, who sees the ghost image of shipwrecked Janeway evacuating the bridge. This Janeway's power bun is in place, Harry is quite alive and the bridge is clean and brightly-lit. She orders some scans. Harry discovers the presence of a very minor spacial rift that briefly appeared on the bridge. This is the same term that Torres used to describe the vortex on Deck 15.
More contrasts abound as we see that the Wildman baby is in tip-top shape and the Doctor is fully functional. The only odd thing is that the other Kes who disappeared before is unconscious and resting on a biobed.
Act 3 : **.5, 18%
Alt-Kes finishes her story and Janeway concludes that there is sci-fi weirdness going on. Always good to be genre-savvy. Immediately, any Trekkie should be reminded of “Parallels,” “Non Sequitur” and “Timescape” (I see you William B!). What works much better for me in this story is that the parallel reality stuff doesn't seem so arbitrary. Most of this is about the tone. This story feels much more like “Yesterday's Enterprise” than those other stories, and that's down to way the stakes are interpreted in the dialogue and the mise en scène. The Enterprising blowing up isn't some weird inconvenience, Geordi dying isn't something we throw a blanket over, and we don't have Harry desperately trying to return to his reality just because. Harry isn't being recovered from space. Baby Wildman is a puddle. There are only two realities here and which one “wins out” matters a great deal. Janeway orders the proton bursts stopped. Remember this:
JANEWAY: I don't know how, but there's another Voyager out there, and I intend to find it.
Just like her counterpart, Janeway's scientific curiosity overrules her command responsibility. This too will matter.
A “quantum level analysis”--yeah--explains what's going on here. Ah Science, such a giving mistress. Okay...so what I think I get out of this is that the “divergence field” in the nebula they passed through caused all the matter on the Voyager, including the people, to be duplicated, occupying the same point in space in time. All hail holy Quantum. Ah, but Quantum is a fickle god, as she does not permit the duplication of *antimatter*, hence the two Voyagers are splitting the supply, explaining their power drain and the effect of the proton bursts...I guess...thankfully we have another “Parallax”-patented metaphor to wrap this all up: “like two siamese twins linked a the chest with only one heart.” Yikes.
In the Sickbay, Samantha Wildman is framed with her new baby as the dialogue between her and the Doctor fades into a portrait of blissful new motherhood. Alt-Kes watches, her mind flooded with the auditory memories of the horror on her own Voyager. Again, the tone is everything here. This *isn't* just another nuts and bolts goofy sci-fi plot.
Meanwhile, despite attempting to remodulate things on 47 (duh) different frequencies, Torres is unable to establish communication with the Alt-Voyager. Janeway instructs her to attempt a more roundabout method, “more primitive,” which might get their attention and allow them to work together to establish a link. So, we cut to the shitty Voyager Engineering where the shrill signal punches through and, waddyaknow, it works.
Here's where things start to slag a bit. Janeway has suggested to Alt-Janeway that their best bet is to “merge” the two ships and crews. I can write off a great deal of technobabble, but what in the fuck would this even look like? Are the people going to be half-injured with conflicting memories? Is Harry going to be half-dead or something? Is the ship going to be half-damaged? We also get repeats of the kinds of endless non-science passing as drama from “Twisted.” The Voyagers do something with their deflector dishes and...oh shit, there's too much plasma backflow! Damn it! Damn it! Anyway, the merge fails, of course, and Torres reminds Janeway that they're going to have to start those proton bursts again if they're to have any hope of restoring their power. Janeway determines to follow Alt-Kes back to her Voyager so she and her counterpart can figure out what to do next.
Act 4 : **.5, 17%
With special armbands that protect against science (c.f. “Timescape”), Janeway and Alt-Kes cross the threshold and make their way to Engineering. The Janeways retire to the upper level to hash things out. The effect is a bit more convincing than with the Kiras in “Crossover,” but there are still some errors, especially in the sight-lines. It turns out that Almighty Science has decreed that the Voyagers cannot split the antimatter or they'll blow up, and they can't all evacuate to Voyager Prime or they'll blow up. Alt-Janeway suggests that Janeway return to her own ship and do some metallurgical analysis, but of course, she sees right through her counterpart's scheme. Alt-Janeway has concluded that she should blow up her own vessel *on purpose* in order to save the other undamaged Voyager. The interaction here echoes much of what we've seen before, from the Picards in “Time Squared” to the Rikers in “Second Chances” to the Kiras in “Crossover.” Even have such intimate knowledge of someone you disagree with that that other person IS you, human nature dictates that we don't entirely trust each other. The Janeways here have life experiences which are completely identical save the last couple of hours or so, and yet each thinks she knows better than the other. Interesting. Alt-Janeway consents to give her counterpart a quarter hour to try and pull another solution out of her ass.
Well, fat lot of good that does as a Vidiian vessel drops out of warp nearby. The current crisis means both Voyagers are defenceless. For some reason, when the Vidiians fire, only Voyager Prime feels the impact. The vessel attaches itself to Voyager Prime and begins cutting its way inside. Dun dun dunnn...
Act 5 : ***, 18%
We see the crew efficiently (one might say pathetically) gunned down by the boarding Vidiians. Chakotay reports that 300 of them have taken most of the ship when Alt-Voyager makes contact once again. With the Vidiians unaware of Alt-Voyager's presence, she makes her own ironic decision.
ALT-JANEWAY: We can't just stand by and let you all be killed.
JANEWAY: I'm not about to let that happen. I'll destroy this ship.
ALT-JANEWAY: I don't suppose there's any way I can change your mind. I know how stubborn you can be.
Janeway decides to send Harry and the baby over to the other ship, citing fairness, and makes her counterpart promise to get her own crew home. We'll come back to this. Mulgrew really excels here, especially in her throaty “that's an order” bark to Kim to move his butt. So, Janeway initiates the self-destruct, Harry does some fancy heroics to recover the baby from the Sickbay, somehow avoiding capture, and makes his way to the vortex. Janeway calmy welcomes the boarders to the bridge, in a cute little badass moment that ends with the spectacular destruction of the Voyager and the Vidiian ship.
We get a coda that includes an odd exchange between Alt-Janeway and Alt-Tuvok:
TUVOK: One could say that you were both the doubter and the doubted. I do not envy the paradox of logic you were faced with in that situation.
JANEWAY: Neither did I. And neither did she.
What? Erm...nevermind. Better is the final bit between Kim and Alt-Janeway:
KIM: I'm not sure. I mean, this isn't really my ship, and you're not really my captain, and yet you are, and there's no difference. But I know there's a difference. Or is there? It's all a little weird.
JANEWAY: Mister Kim, we're Starfleet officers. Weird is part of the job.
Episode as Functionary : ***, 10%
I like the whimsical touch at the end here. It hits the right note of levity for a story that flirts dangerously with some very serious issues. While in many respects, as Kim said, it “doesn't matter” which of the two Voyagers he originated from, we have to remember which Janeway this is. This Janeway was a bit reckless when her bridge was catching on fire and she was trying to be a science technician instead of a captain. It was her counterpart who decided to stop trying to protect her ship from a serious power loss to pursue a scientific curiosity. I'm not saying Janeway Prime was wrong to do this—ethically, with Alt-Kes in her Sickbay, there wasn't much a choice. But her actions directly led her self-destructing her own vessel and killing her entire crew. It was this Janeway, beset by the realisation that she may have fucked things up here, who demanded that her counterpart get her own crew home, to make up for the loss in some way. As I said earlier, it's details like this that make this episode more than just a goofy tech story and more akin to dark elseworlds tale that was “Yesterday's Enterprise.” It doesn't have that episode's polish or focus, but we do get a glimpse of where this show, and especially this captain, are going.
Production wise, things are pretty impressive here, with strong performances, elaborate choreography (how often do we see people doing somersaults?), and ambitious pyrotechnics, to say nothing of the Janeway double-act.
*A brief note about the “reset button” here. I know it's the most famous of Voyager clichés, and I'm not about to pretend that it doesn't exist. However, just like how, for example, on DS9, the crew complement fluctuates between a few hundred and several thousand depending on what the script requires, or the Defiant can destroy almost anything or be an equal match to a single enemy vessel depending on what the script requires, I think it behoves us not to get into the weeds about things like this unless they become egregious. The next episode of Voyager, “Innocence,” is a story that would work exactly the same if we were shown the background characters dutifully repairing the ship, or if they resupplied their antimatter using reserves from the aliens they were negotiating with. If Voyager were being produced by more ambitious show-runners, I have no doubt these kinds of details would be included. My point is, adding these details would tie up the loose ends from “Deadlock”'s plot without changing the actual trajectory of the season, so, while their absence can be annoying, I don't believe they have the kind of deleterious effect on the show's credibility that others do. There *are* ramifications from this episode to be seen, most especially in Janeway's character. It's not that “it doesn't matter.” I share the frustration most people seem to feel about the physical damage to the ship not seeming to matter week to week, but in the end it's another one of those things we brush aside to a degree, just like the script conveniences that all Trek series rely upon to make their series work. I'll get into it more when we get to Season 4, but I wanted to make note of it here.
Final Score : ***
Tue, Mar 26, 2019, 3:20pm (UTC -5)
1. No lasting physical damage. It's a good, high end tech story which (as you say) has a lasting impact on Janeway especially. The weight of the other Voyager's destruction is felt strongly.
2. Lasting physical damage. All the above, but also the tragic irony that it's the much more broken ship, the one almost destroyed and barely holding together, that is saved. This irony, for me, only has impact if the physical damage is focused on, because the two crews were identical only a few hours before the split, and so (once Harry and the as yet unnamed baby are replaced) the crews are more or less the same.
This tragic irony isn't that big a deal and is still present in the final show, but I think this is one case where one aspect of the episode takes a hit from its lack of future impact.
To be clear though, I agree that the ep still matters, it's one narrow part of its emotional resonance on first viewing that for me doesn't work as well later. And it only works for me if there's follow up in a way kind of in addition to the positive qualities you relate (I'd personally go to 3.5*, for example).
I think I like this one a bit more than you, but I'm more indulgent in general of Braga's techy scripts and I agree this is a particularly strong one.
Tue, Mar 26, 2019, 4:52pm (UTC -5)
Generally agree, but there is only one way a direct follow up to this episode, at least regarding the damage to the Voyager, could have worked in the way you describe, and that would be if the ship were irreparable. The crew would be forced to find a new ship, or build one or something crazy that was never going to happen. Otherwise, we're essentially doing Enterprise's "Mine Field." The direct follow-up, "Dead Stop" provides the similarly damaged NX-01 with a complete repair of its systems. My recollection is that both of those episodes are pretty good by Enterprise standards (that is to say, watchable), but the connection between the two doesn't actually mean anything. It makes the show feel more serialised, but that's it. The ship could have been repaired off-screen and then something else could have happened to the Enterprise that caused it to need repair. For me, a Trek show especially lives or dies on what it has to say and I can't picture a follow-up to "Deadlock" changing my view of it unless that follow-up actively undermined or contradicted the message here.
Tue, Mar 26, 2019, 8:30pm (UTC -5)
Where exactly is Voyager's proton sac?
Wed, Mar 27, 2019, 9:45am (UTC -5)
More seriously protons aren't hard to find. I assume that there's a chamber adjoining the warp core that acts as a, yeah, proton sac.
@Elliott, good point. I agree that just having an unrelated repair ep wouldn't mean anything, and while it might be nice in terms of continuity the tragic irony wouldn't be maintained. Tonally, I think the ep is going for a feel like Eye of the Needle, where they have a bad situation (R'Mor is from the past!), an apparent solution (at least he can send letters!) and another gut punch disappointment (oh, he died). Because that was the first "contacting home" ep it could do it without physically impacting the ship or crew at all. I wouldn't want the ep to also have some magic solution to help the crew get home be introduced and ripped away, so that particular avenue for this ep is out. I'm not sure whether there was a way that was dramatically possible to do it here. About all that occurs to me is if several more crew men had died and only Harry and the baby could be sent across for some reason. I'm not definitely sure I'd like that anyway.
It's weird though, because to some extent the ship *is* a character, and for Voyager to be damaged and "lose something" and be repaired with other materials from the DQ appeals to me as a metaphor for the crew. The visceral sense of the ship falling apart (SPOILERS) mainly appears in Year of Hell, and I can see why you've argued before and probably will again that it would change the show too radically to try to maintain this, or even milder forms of this, for longer. Even BSG only kept it up for so long before Cloud Nine was introduced, as I think I recall you saying before at some point.
You might link Basics to this ep in some way, but I do think that having some aspect of the ship's damage be related to its stranding could have been good. It could tie in with Seska by emphasizing her criticisms of Janeway for both failing to make better alliances with the locals and for continuing to Science when they should be more pragmatic. It might not work, because it might be that a more overtly damaged Voyager would obviously have no chance to get the baby back, so would step on the toes of that important plot point.
Anyway in conclusion I think the ep could be better with more physical damage follow up but I think you're right that it'd be difficult for the show to follow it up in a substantive way. So the ep is back to its 3* home after all :)
Wed, Mar 27, 2019, 11:56pm (UTC -5)
Not doubting the availability of protons, but I'm wondering how and from where are they getting CERN'd into the warp core from and in such a precise and violent manner :)
Thu, Mar 28, 2019, 3:39am (UTC -5)
To just tack on two cents to the discussion happening above, WRT an episode about Voyager's damage being repaired. The problem with these "wrecked Voyager" plots wasn't just the infamous Reset Button, a Trek and sci-fi staple. It was the assumption of the showrunners that what fans wanted wasn't actually Voyager; they seemed to think that all we wanted was just generic Star Trek Ship Adventure In Space!
Even TNG paid more attention to the big picture than Voyager did. That crew occasionally had to weigh up the ways in which their actions would impact the wider Federation around them, and could be held to account by higher authorities.
You really need to look no further than episodes like "Year of Hell" or "The Void" to see the ways in which realistically depicting the maintenance of a starship as it makes a lonely journey through the void could have added *so much* to the weekly goings-on of the show. You could still have your episode-of-the-week conceit, but it would have made it far more satisfying for long term fans and done wonders for the evolution of the characters if they had been truly challenged for survival more often.
If the ship can't just be fixed with a magic wand after every space battle, do they still answer every distress call? If it's been a lean couple of months, can they afford to give away supplies? If they need to dock at foreign spacedocks for repairs, do they take on mercenary missions to pay for them? If Janeway answers to no higher authority, then shouldn't she be more accountable to her crew? You wouldn't have had to deal with this all the time - BSG-style grimness wouldn't have been a good fit - but the showrunners simply chose to deal with it never, which felt cowardly and lazy after a couple of seasons.
As Enterprise showed us, just flipping the switch to serialisation won't magically fix a show's problems overnight. Only committed writing and planning can get you there. But it would have felt much fresher than the TNG/TOS leftovers that VOY was serving up on a weekly basis.
(I say all the above as someone for whom Voyager is my co-favourite Trek show with TOS, so don't shoot the messenger!)
Tue, May 14, 2019, 2:30am (UTC -5)
Thank you for that comprehensive list of technobabble terms. The Viidian take over was by far the highlight of this episode, but it only lasted for about 10 minutes. The rest was almost painfully boring - then again, I've never been a fan of the time shift/dimensional/parallell universe ep's.
Mon, May 27, 2019, 7:31am (UTC -5)
First, from a show standpoint, the "Voyager is getting wrecked" part just takes too long, especially as they aren't the ones to solve the problem and it doesn't give them any insight into their situation. It's just a long slow destruction.
Second, the Vidiians takeover was terrible. I thought I was going to get some cool action scene of Starfleet security barricading a hallway and having a shootout a la the opening scene of Star Wars, but...they're far too incompetent for that. And as someone else mentioned, this voyager still has their transporter, seems like they could just transport enemies into the vacuum of space for days. Of course, they creates a problem because they don't have time for that with the other Voyager, but they're complete helplessness irritates me. Especially since it seems to be a trend in the series. Voyager is always the weakest ship in the fight, and that kinda sucks.
And the philosophical implications of the ending are....uncomfortable. And unaddressed. Also kind of a problem. Though the Amoeba analogy helps me a bit.
Wed, Jun 5, 2019, 11:22am (UTC -5)
Wed, Apr 1, 2020, 10:47pm (UTC -5)
Lots of great visuals on this one.
Thu, Apr 9, 2020, 7:55am (UTC -5)
The concept of the episode was a good one...but it never realized its full potential. Too much focus was on the fight/flight/destruction scenes which made them boring. How many panels do we need to explode to understand that Voyager is badly damaged...we get it...
A better concept would have been to focus on the duplicate crews interacting with each other. Remember when Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes fame duplicated himself to do his chores but then all his clones disagreed on who would do them? That's what we needed. I would have loved to see the two Janeway's get into a genuine power struggle with one locking the other in the brig for example. Maybe both Janeways give the crews conflicting orders resulting in confusion...but unfortunately this concept was never really explored.
Mon, Aug 31, 2020, 1:34am (UTC -5)
Not sure why there is so much Kim hate on this forum. I don't find him to be a particularly interesting character, but I do find him completely inoffensive. He's essentially an extra with a name. The only character I hate is Neelix. The only Neelix scene I've ever enjoyed is the one where Tuvok kills him. Makes me laugh hysterically every time I rewatch it.
Fri, Oct 2, 2020, 9:18pm (UTC -5)
The Janeway vs Janeway bit is good, but they are standing REALLY close together, verging on locking lips.
Sun, Oct 18, 2020, 12:43pm (UTC -5)
Sun, Oct 18, 2020, 6:03pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Dec 24, 2020, 11:04am (UTC -5)
COMPUTER: "Self destruct sequence initiated. Additional command authorization required."
CHAKOTAY: "Computer, confirm self destruct. Authorization Chakotay gamma 347."
COMPUTER: "Self destruct sequence completed and engaged. Indicate time interval."
JANEWAY: "Five minutes, mute voice warnings. Enable."
Pretty simple. No one person (male or female, captain or admiral, alien or human, whatever) should be able to nuke a Federation starship alone.
Sun, Dec 27, 2020, 5:08pm (UTC -5)
I'm surprised no one has mentioned it in 9 years, but that's a myth and not true at all.
Sun, Feb 7, 2021, 3:37pm (UTC -5)
Sun, Nov 25, 2018, 5:51pm (UTC -6)
In the future women will still be lying on their backs with legs in stirrups pushing a baby out into the hands of an arrogant, condescending, balding white man while sweating, screaming and trembling with pain. It’s comforting to know the status of women will never change!
And nor will having to endure self righteous, anti-male racists and/or self hating liberals like you.
Wed, Feb 24, 2021, 6:00am (UTC -5)
Being the only people stuck in the Delta Quadrant is depressing enough, besides we have DS9 for all the heavy stuff. Let this show give you an hour of action then let it have its reset button. Enjoy Voyager for what it is.
This still had an intense and high stakes feel to me. The later half of season 2 has some of the best episodes in the early seasons.
Wed, Feb 24, 2021, 11:16am (UTC -5)
It's about a ship a long way from home surrounded by danger both from enemies and nature itself while being totally cut off from the help and support of the Federation. "How will they survive to make it home?" is a question at the very heart of the series.
But it rarely felt that way. Problems like damage to the ship or being low on supplies were magically solved between episodes. One minute the ship is low on energy, the next we're having a holodeck adventure - because "holodeck energy is different."
Voyager is like Robinson Crusoe...if Crusoe had a McDonald's and a Home Depot on his island.
It also completely abandoned the (brilliant) idea of having a ship manned by Federation and Maquis which would have given the show some much needed drama, conflict, and character growth.
What you are left with is a watered down TNG, with a weaker cast, and without all the worldbuilding that had been done with the Alpha, Beta, and Gamma quadrants.
The show is still ok. There are some truly great episodes that rank amongst the best of Trek, imo. But it will always feel like a missed opportunity to me because, on paper, this really could have been something special.
If they had had the guts to stick with the original concept, they would have combined the best of DS9 (characterization) and the best of TNG (exploration and high concept sci-fi).
Wed, Feb 24, 2021, 11:23am (UTC -5)
It's a good one. One of my favorites from the first three seasons. One thing I think Voyager did well was creating new alien races; the Vidiians are one of my favorites.
"Welcome to the bridge" is also an awesome moment; one of the most memorable from the entire series.
Wed, Feb 24, 2021, 2:51pm (UTC -5)
I think Voyager running the same time as DS9 had alot to do with that as well. Since DS9 became so serialized they didn't want both Trek shows that were on air at the time to have the same format. You could tune in to Voyager at any point and not have to see the previous episode to necessarily know what's going on.
The reset button that most have a problem with (which this episode Deadlock does in such a unique way that you have to give credit for), I appreciate that we don't have to see them suffer for extended periods.
There are times watching DS9 that I get sick of the Dominion and war. Defeat after defeat gets tiresome, but the storytelling is so good it keeps you coming back. I don't think Voyager would hold up the same way.
I guess I look at both shows as answers to each other in a way.
Wed, Feb 24, 2021, 3:06pm (UTC -5)
That's actually a very good point that I had never really considered before. I didn't watch VOY until sometime around 2015, I think as it wasn't aired in my area during its original run. I can definitely see the PTB thinking it would be a good way to hedge their bets by doing one show in a (semi) serialized fashion while doing the other in a traditional episodic format. Having two shows on at the same time in the same format probably wouldn't have worked as well.
Mon, Mar 1, 2021, 7:47pm (UTC -5)
From the script:
JANEWAY: Let's try a different tact. Instead of trying to merge the two ships, let's try to separate them. Maybe we could divide the antimatter between us.
JANEWAY 2: I'm afraid not. We've been studying that theory. B'Elanna tells me that any attempt to disrupt the antimatter supply will destroy us all. What about evacuating your crew to my ship? It might get a little crowded, but we could manage.
JANEWAY: We've been studying that theory. And my B'Elanna tells me that sending any more than five to ten people through the rift would radically alter the atomic balance of the two Voyagers. We'd both be destroyed.
Dirk Hartmann said: "I think "duplicated" does not necessarily mean that one was the "original" and the other a "copy". Rather we should think that due to the "rift" Voyager "split" like an amoeba"
^ I like this theory.
Quincy asked: "For what reason do the writers think it's a good idea for the Captain, not only to give orders that an experienced crew would already know to initiate, but to constantly tell that experienced and competent crewman how to do? "
I see what you're saying, but I kind of like it when the captains have their own field of expertise, like Archer being a good pilot or Picard being an amateur archaeologist. I think Janeway having a science background is interesting.
Silly noticed: "The Janeway vs Janeway bit is good, but they are standing REALLY close together"
Yeah, that was a poorly shot scene. I've noticed a similar problem with other Trek "double" episodes, but this one takes the cake.
isKes>Seven? caught a pretty big flub in the script:
"Okay, maybe I just didn't get this part but why does Harry say "I didn't have time to ask" when questioned by the doc of the other Doctor's name? Implying he was only there for a few minutes when he was actually part of the crew for a couple years on *that* ship? And furthermore, why would the Doctor even *think* that the other doc WOULD have a name if literally EVERYTHING else up until the point of entering the plasma stream was exactly the same? "
Absolutely right. It's like the author lost track of his own story at the end.
My favorite bits:
- The damaged Voyager being the one that survived.
- The Vidiians methodically marching through the ship
- "Welcome to the bridge."
Tue, Jul 13, 2021, 3:47pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Sep 24, 2021, 2:14pm (UTC -5)
It's well directed, boasts a great premise, and has a few stand-out scenes, and hovers on the edge of greatness, but the technobabble is far too relentless. Someone should have combed through this script and removed at least two-thirds of the techno-jargon.
Voyager has always overused its magical solutions, but this episode is particularly overbearing; we see "fix the problem with the sensor array" cliches, orders to magnetize the hull, anti-matter explosion solutions, countless orders to reverse the polarity, fire magical proton bursts, and alter modulations...it's all far far far too much.
Compare to "Yesterday's Enterprise", where a similar premise is treated in a much more subdued way.
Tue, Nov 9, 2021, 3:02pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Nov 9, 2021, 6:14pm (UTC -5)
The Vidians had several encounters with Voyager (and therefore Vulcans) by this point in the series.
Thu, Nov 25, 2021, 2:50pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Dec 10, 2021, 10:32am (UTC -5)
Fri, Dec 10, 2021, 10:51am (UTC -5)
Wed, Dec 22, 2021, 6:39pm (UTC -5)
Wed, Dec 22, 2021, 8:07pm (UTC -5)
"So was that a duplicated Ensign Kim and duplicated Naomi Wildman (the baby) on the original Voyager (including the crew), or was that the original Ensign Kim and Naomi Wildman on a duplicated Voyager (including the crew)?"
Wed, Dec 22, 2021, 8:20pm (UTC -5)
Yes, I know they haven't gotten anywhere near Kobaldy space.
I wonder if there’s a command like "Screw the countdown, just blow up the ship now." ("Jean-Luc, blow up the damn ship!")
Somebody probably mentioned this already: How come Janeway gets to blow up the ship by herself whereas both times Kirk initiated the self-destruct others (Spock, Scotty, Chekov) had to participate?
Sat, May 14, 2022, 2:11pm (UTC -5)
Next... they hide in a nebula because they are perilously close to Vidiian space. Is that literally the only Vidiian ship that knew what was going on? Wouldn't they detect a couple of starships blowing up? Maybe the nebula concealed that, I guess.
The magic reset button the ship's damage was really annoying. I think of Battlestar Galactica wherein, by the end of the series, the ship can barely hold itself together. The whole point of needing a starbase is that a ship does not have its own internal resources to repair catastrophic damage. Yet Voyager always does this, even while the ship is still in motion! It seems like there are no real stakes because any dramatic catastrophy will just be undone.
Remember in DS9 when Michael Edington disabled the Defiant computer with a virus? They had to be towed home by another ship.
Sat, Jun 25, 2022, 5:34am (UTC -5)
She just suddenly seems about to giggle as the camera pans across, and I get it's because they achieved this particular double by having Jenifer Lien run across the set off camera.
Sat, Jun 25, 2022, 5:52am (UTC -5)
Well a big part of it is how often the ship was *severely* damaged, yet with no access to starbases, relief crews, etc, it's shiny and new every week.
The ship is fired on nearly every week, vastly more often than the 1701-D was.
And, yes, the Maquis conflict was so quickly dropped, why in the world did they bother?
Thu, Dec 22, 2022, 2:33pm (UTC -5)
Submit a comment
◄ Season Index