Star Trek: Voyager
Air date: 10/9/1995
Written by Tom Szollosi
Directed by Jonathan Frakes
Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan
"If you hear muffled screams, consider that a request for a beam-out." — Paris
Nutshell: The performances are good, but is this an episode of Trek or an after-school special?
"Parturition" is one of those character pieces that relies on very little storyline. Unfortunately, it's one of the more mundane character pieces in a long time, and the little bit of existing plot has no real focus or meaning. Voyager is beginning to worry me now—this is the fourth loser in a row.
Captain Janeway sends Paris and Neelix on a shuttlecraft mission to scout a violent M-class planet (nicknamed "Planet Hell") with interference preventing the use of the transporters. (What good are transporters anyway? Half the planets encountered by the Voyager have "interference" so severe as to render the transporters useless.)
Neither wants to go on this mission. Neelix and Paris are not on good terms with one another (they had just gotten into a physical fight in the mess hall moments before the captain sent for them). Neelix is angry, jealous, and paranoid. He's afraid Paris wants to steal Kes away from him. He's convinced that every time he turns his back, Kes and Paris are conspiring to run away together and leave him alone and destroyed. Well, maybe that's exaggerating Neelix's thoughts a bit, but he is one excessively jealous guy.
Surprisingly, the opening two acts of this story are the best. It centers around the fury Neelix allows to build inside him because of his jealousy. While an entire A-story centering around Neelix's disapproval of Paris' attraction to Kes seems to me as one of the dumbest ideas for a science fiction show, some miracle of execution (an admirable direction by Jonathan Frakes) allows this to remain not only tolerable, but somewhat amusing. It's not every day you see a fight between two people on a Federation starship that results in both being covered in pasta sauce.
It's as the episode gets into its latter acts, however, when the story begins turning extremely trite. Paris and Neelix go down on the shuttle together. (Fine.) They sit in silence for most of the trip. (Okay.) There's an emergency, and the shuttle hurtles out of control and crashes. (Sort of okay.) Now the two have to force themselves to put their differences aside and work together to survive. (Predictable.) They walk into a cave and find a nest of eggs, from one of which a reptilian creature hatches. Aw, it's sick. (Trite.) Paris wants to leave it alone. Neelix wants to nurse it back to health. The two finally agree and all but shake hands. (Very trite.)
The moral of the story? Even if you get into a fight with somebody, you can still make up and be their friend and work together to help others and...oh, never mind. The lessons here are on the level of an ABC after school special. Watching these two come to terms with each other is not completely unpalatable, but definitely not interesting either.
Back in orbit, an alien vessel attacks the Voyager. The aliens seem to have an interest in the planet. They land their ship near Paris' and Neelix's location. It turns out that the newborn reptile is of an advanced, sentient race, and the ship that attacked the Voyager are just the parents checking on their nest. Give me a break. The fact that creatures capable of cruising the galaxy would need to hatch their eggs in some cave on Planet Hell really strains credulity. More frustrating is how we never get to understand who these aliens are or what they want—their role in the episode is just so unimpressive and poorly conceived. They cruise in, fire their phasers a few times, check their nest, and leave. Thanks, but no thanks. I thought this was the Delta Quadrant, where aliens are new and interesting.
Even with this drearily uninteresting premise, Frakes manages to keep things watchable. The Paris/Neelix scenes transcend the writing since both actors seem to be sincerely into their roles. Virtually saving the episode is Kate Mulgrew, who turns in a wonderful performance as Janeway. The Captain comes across very nicely in this episode—Mulgrew is engaging in the lighter moments; commanding yet likable when the ship is in danger. (Her line in regards to Paris' and Neelix's personal problem—"Solve it."—is a particular delight.) But can't we get a story worthy of these performances?
Previous episode: Twisted
Next episode: Persistence of Vision
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49 comments on this post
Thu, Oct 29, 2009, 12:31am (UTC -5)
Here is what Star Trek got wrong - it didn't explicitly do what Doctor Who has done. While TNG (like WHO in the UK) enjoyed a wide audience, DS9 did not. Instead of treating that like some kind of step-child failure, TPTB should have consciously focused DS9 on the adult demo (much like Torchwood does for WHO). Of course that leaves the kids - and just as the Sarah Jane Adventures has in the UK for WHO, VOY could have specifically served a younger audience of Star Trek fans here in the US of A.
Fri, Apr 15, 2011, 8:20pm (UTC -5)
The only thing that I really thumbed my nose at here was that doofy looking alien baby. That thing looked straight out of that show "Dinosaurs" from back in the day. Even though it looked more like the older brother on the show than the baby, I still felt like yelling out "NOT THE MAMA! NOT THE MAMA!" every time it was shown on screen.
Anyway, I think this one was a two and half star episode for me. I felt it was on the better side of mediocre.
Mon, Aug 15, 2011, 9:32am (UTC -5)
Thu, Jul 19, 2012, 1:48pm (UTC -5)
There, Jack and Mick struggeled to often and Dr. Tracy had sent them on an excursion in the desert.
The hereos had an accident with the Jeep. Also they had found some fresh fledged birds. Over the care for them both men found a way to understand and respect each other.
That is exactely the same script.
Mon, Mar 25, 2013, 6:32am (UTC -5)
-Neelix, self-appointed Morale Officer & the predicted 'breakout' character of Voyager.
Tue, Jun 11, 2013, 1:18pm (UTC -5)
The fight was childish, the make-up too predictable and easy. The actors did well with the material, however. And, I agree with Jammer. I absolutely love Kate's work. She does as well as Picard with emoting realistically and complexly while dealing with very difficult, techno-babble-laced lines.
Tue, Jun 11, 2013, 1:19pm (UTC -5)
Wed, Sep 18, 2013, 1:23pm (UTC -5)
Otherwise, an excellent character show - glad to see the end of the Kes triangle!
Wed, Nov 6, 2013, 9:13am (UTC -5)
KES: And I'm sitting here, and I'm feeling guilty for some reason.
KIM: Guilty? Why?
KES: I don't know. But I don't like it. And it's their fault.
Thu, Feb 6, 2014, 9:15am (UTC -5)
Thu, Feb 6, 2014, 3:01pm (UTC -5)
There's just no reason the Voyager crew shouldn't have known about the Dominion. The only explanation is that the Maquis didn't know about it, but that seems implausible.
Tue, Mar 18, 2014, 10:53pm (UTC -5)
Neelix: "There are now".
Because you know, a tricorder can read through walls, entire buildings, mountains, soil, but not an eggshell.
Gosh, I literally had to jump over parts to not get bored to the point of sleeping.
Tue, Mar 18, 2014, 11:11pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 24, 2014, 5:18pm (UTC -5)
It grew on me.
I didn't expect Neelix and Paris' argument to continue on (though they do make up at the end, go figure), much less be a fresh take...
But what I really liked was the M-Class planet fooling their sensors into thinking they were finding humanoid-compatible food when what they were reading was the food the lizard creatures ate.
Loved the ending as well.
And, yup, the tricorder problem was grating... It's amazing, where they put in some thought -- and where they overlooked detail just to keep suspense going...
3 of 4 stars, and a lot of it has to do with the quality of the acting drawing and maintaining interest... but - yeah - in 1995 I would not have cared for this episode at all...
Tue, Aug 19, 2014, 10:42pm (UTC -5)
Wed, Feb 18, 2015, 10:27pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Jul 28, 2015, 1:34pm (UTC -5)
Tom and Neelix's little excursion was enjoyable and needed. I was really tiring of the Neelix jealousy thing.
But damn... Kes's little rant with Harry was.... well .... searching for words here.
Best line? DOC: "Hmm. Your world must have very dry literature"
Haha, isn't that the truth... no distrust, no jealousy, no envy, no betrayal... no Shakespeare I guess :-)
Sun, Dec 20, 2015, 6:04pm (UTC -5)
I bet Paris was relieved when Neelix through the pasta on him. At least he didn't have to eat it!
Sat, Jan 9, 2016, 3:10pm (UTC -5)
Not too much to like in here. Some good character moments I suppose but overall it's pretty much the same contrivances we're starting to see regularly in the story set up - I'd agree with the comment above that these transporter blocking fields are getting very tedious. 1.5 stars.
Mon, Jan 25, 2016, 12:54am (UTC -5)
Sat, Aug 13, 2016, 11:40pm (UTC -5)
Wed, Aug 17, 2016, 7:23pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Aug 22, 2016, 12:52pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Feb 3, 2017, 10:55am (UTC -5)
I think the main problem with the episode is that the conflict is just way too one-sided. And I'm not sure the episode even realizes it. Maybe if Neelix just had an argument with Tom, or if he was the one trying to be professional or even apologetic while Tom was the one who couldn't let things go, that might work. But as it is, Neelix, after acting like paranoid and possesive asshole, outright assaults Tom in public, after Tom was shown to be a decent guy not even considering to put moves on Kes and trying his best to stay away from her. And the way it is done, I do think we are obviously not meant to think Neelix is right, but we are meant to understand why he did it, due to insecurity but again, he assaulted Tom in public and yelled he's gonna kill him, because he could not stand to see them sitting with their backs to each other. After Kes wanted him to be father of her only child. And he still acts like he's in the right long afterwards.
And I know, characters shoud be flawed but going by what we have seen of him so far, what are even his character strenghts? I do buy his love for Kes is genuine, but is clearly connected to some of his awful behavior, from his paranoid jealousy to him putting her safety above everything else, which is more understandable, but he clearly is convinced he knows better than anyone else what to do, even risking lives of Voyager crew in the pilot. Hell, he acts all the time like he knows everything better than anyone. He does show some insights, especially early on, but his biggest contribution so far is him outsmarting Kazon in Initiantions, which have not been shown to be terribly inteligent anyway and was undermining actual person in authority. Even if this plot line was given to an otherwise pefectly likeable character it would be a disservice but it's especially awful choice for Neelix,
Fri, Feb 3, 2017, 12:56pm (UTC -5)
Um...Talaxian root pie?
There aren't many, Mr. Vulcan.
Fri, Feb 10, 2017, 12:11am (UTC -5)
How about a leola root broth!
Of course the transporter problem, radiation, interference, and whole yadda yadda is just contrived setup, and an obvious attempt to put Paris-Neelix to resolve their problem. But once that is overlook, I find the show is enjoyable, and at least stay true to the character traits we know. We know Paris is the best pilot, and Neelix is the best for food resource.
I also think is about the time the show put an end for Neelix annoying overjealosy attitude. It's excessive and overbearing. I guess they recognize that and try to solve in this episode (as Michael Piller said after he voice his criticsm Neelix continue potrayal as Buffon per last episode 'Twisted').
Considering not much value on the overall stories, and we're pretty much know what the show direction going to be from the start (reconciliation of Paris-Neelix). I find the scene, act, and dialogue is a well-done, not stray-out from their character, and manage to do their goal just fine while avoid overdoing it (by having some live saving situation like Tuvok in 'Learning Curve' or other silly forced situation).
McNeill and Ethan Phillips doing a respectable job here, and I really feel sorry for Phillips that his character doesn't get much chance or develop further (doomed to be annoying character and comic relief for much part).
I'm a bit curious Jammers, you rate 'Learning Curve' better than this one. While i think that episode is way much more silly and contrived without so much character development anyway.
While Jammers think the alien is uninteresting by cruise in, fire their phasers a few times, check their nest, and leave. I think it's refreshing. Their attribute is quite easily be associated to a defensive nature of species protect their hatchling.
Leave the egg unattended also something reptilian do in real-nature environment, I defenitely do not think that strains credulity Jamers. Tortoise is even known for travelling hundreds kilometer back to their born habitat just to hatch. So I appreciate it the alien relate to our known nature of reptilian, and for once I do think the writers do the homework.
I'm also grateful the script avoid the another hard-headed-alien of the week and save by the last second cliche. So overall for me it's a good character development episodes, especially for Neelix.
The one grudge I have is the annoying shaking camera effect, but it's fairly a minor, and thank god only on the shuttle scene.
Some insert-joke that still related to the plot also help :
"Ï'm a doctor, not voyeur" -- Doc to Janeway
"How delightful. Why I can quote you autopsy report from duels as far back as 1538" -- Doct to Kes
"And you expect to take care this thing until what? It graduates from high school, college?" -- Paris to Neelix
Enjoyable and refreshing episodes for me, also a good character development
3 (***) stars
Wed, Mar 15, 2017, 2:53am (UTC -5)
Jammer's review is spot on. Dismal episode, enough of Neelix-focused episodes, enough of spending few minutes wach episode watching his pre-pre-teenage disposition in matters concerning Kes..
Speaking of Kes, Jennifer Lien's acting did not help the episode either...
As a final note, I'll ask again: Were Kes and Neelix (and the actors playing them) SERIOUSLY the best actors/characters the showrunners could come up with to represent two unknown Delta Quadrant aliens to join the crew permanently? Really? REALLY??
Tue, Jul 25, 2017, 12:05pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Sep 5, 2017, 11:39am (UTC -5)
I was all set to hate the cheesy "people bond over caring for a baby" plot, but it ended up being cute in a weird sort of way and it won me over, despite my better judgment. It's a bit of a 3 Godfathers (or, for a more Trek-appropriate reference, Three Men and a Baby, which was directed by Leonard Nimoy) story and I think that Neelix was especially concerned with protecting the life form does a bit to mitigate all the unlikeable traits that Neelix has been showing the past few episodes. I like also that Paris reluctantly agrees but that it sort of goes against his instincts to run. There is some good dialogue on the planet, too ("B minus." "That's not very encouraging."). I still don't think the episode overall is particularly good, nor is the characterization that exceptional in the final scenes, but I guess I'm not immune to a little cuteness and it makes the episode a little more palatable despite a really weak first half and only a so-so second half. I guess 1.5 stars -- but I could maybe go to 2. At least the Neelix/Kes/Paris triangle is over now, right?
Tue, Sep 5, 2017, 11:40am (UTC -5)
Mon, Sep 25, 2017, 4:27am (UTC -5)
Neelix is the worst character in Star Trek.
They go hide in some cave. That cave somehow has different air than anywhere else? It has none of the nutrients/toxins that the outside air has? Makes no sense. And if their were no nutrients in there why would the aliens lay their eggs in there? So they would starve after they hatch?
Nothing in this episode works for me. I don't even want to talk about it anymore. Ugh...
Wed, Aug 15, 2018, 9:28pm (UTC -5)
With this type of behaviour, I can see why there are so many divorces among people
As far as the episode goes, this is one that I remember watching back when it came out. I think it was enjoyable seeing the two make up, and the catalyst (the hatching of the egg and taking care of the young bird/creature) was endearing
Tue, Aug 21, 2018, 7:13am (UTC -5)
So, overall, the ep is ok in many aspects, but the idea that Tom and Neelix and Kes seem to decide Neelix's insanity can now be set aside with a wink and a nod, ruins it for me.
Blech, please let the jealousy stuff be over.
Wed, Nov 7, 2018, 6:30pm (UTC -5)
Kes was OK here being caught in between Neelix and Tom and being concerned about possibly losing both of them -- her jumble of emotions.
I suppose it had been building - this Neelix/Kes/Paris triangle as a sideshow on VOY and so here comes "Parturition" to resolve it. I think it's fine that Paris admits he feels something for Kes and goes to Harry first as a buddy. But the whole Neelix/Tom confession scene at the end was just too trite and predictable. Put the 2 malcontents in a situation where they have to care for a baby and the problem is solved -- not good enough for Trek.
As for the aliens, they're just more random aliens of the week -- nothing special about them. Why no verbal contact between the ships was made is strange. It's just disappointing to see the extent the show goes to to create these aliens and ultimately does very little with them. Seems odd that these aliens have a powerful starship and yet their babies hatch in a cave...
Neelix's over-the-top jealousy is kind of funny -- maybe this is a trait of his race regarding their mates. I think there should be more such traits among the aliens that can annoy humans more...
2 stars for "Parturition" -- plenty of the VOY cliches of transporters not working, shuttle crashes, random aliens of the week all to resolve the Neelix/Kes/Paris relationship triangle - which is hardly compelling. It's an overly feelgood episode that is too much so for Trek, I think.
Thu, Nov 8, 2018, 8:44am (UTC -5)
Kes and Paris are on a shuttle mission...no that can't be it. Paris is too calm and borderline condescending. He's actually got Kes in the holodeck and he definitely has that Marseilles charm turned on for this little shuttle simulation. We see that lurking in the shadows by the holodeck—no seriously—is Neelix, looking frightened.
We cut to Janeway's ready room where Chakotay reports that they've found a planet with likely food reserves to replenish the supply we had no idea was low until just now. Chakotay explains that this planet is covered in some sort of weird vapours and seismic or something. Janeway and her new haircut suspect it's a planet early in its evolution, primeval. Incidentally, Janeway makes the comment that she might reconsider setting course for “Planet Hell” if they had any information on this region. As I'm doing these reviews, this comment is fine, but thanks to the absurd reshuffling of episodes, “Twisted” aired the week before—you know, when that alien green space ring/sphere/party-crasher dumped several gigaquads of info into their databanks? Thanks, producers! Also, it helps not having that episode, with Neelix serving cake on the bridge, right before this one, too. Not exactly riveting, but it's a competent teaser.
Act 1 : **.5, 17%
Inspired by his recent trip to San Francisco, Harry is playing a little Mozart on his clarinet when Tom chimes the door to his quarters. Tom asks Harry for a little mood music (ahem). Tom confesses that he is, in fact, in love with Kes.
PARIS: A whole crew full of women and I have to fall for the one I can't have. Why do I do this to my self?
KIM: If you ask me, I say you enjoy it.
PARIS: Enjoy it?
KIM: Only thing that makes sense. You've been doing the same thing to yourself your whole life. Setting yourself up for rejection. You must enjoy playing the part.
As with “Non Sequitur,” the Paris/Kim dynamic is pretty amusing to watch, complete with good comic timing on MacNeil's part. Wang even gets some decent moments, coyly prodding Tom with his clarinet while he plays (ahem).
The EMH calls up to the bridge as the approach the vapour planet. He's been monitoring ship functions and has prepared an ointment of some kind to deal with the bad mojo. This triggers another patented Robert Picardo line:
JANEWAY: Tell me, just how often do you eavesdrop?
EMH : I am simply trying to monitor issues involving the health of the crew, Captain....the Emergency Medical Programme establishes comm. links with all key areas of the ship, and I have, on occasion...I am a Doctor, not a voyeur. I am programmed to be discreet.
Well, that out of the way, Torres reports that the bad mojo is going to prevent transport and make shuttle missions dangerous. So, I guess Janeway is going to land the ship and...nah, we already did that one.
Kim and Paris end their little rendezvous for a meal in the mess hall. They spot Kes while Neelix scowls from the kitchen—yes, seriously. Through their teeth, Paris tells his paramour that he'd rather not sit with her than make things awkward. Neelix makes nice (poorly) by offering up his hair-spaghetti...Kim is called to the bridge...Paris tries to act pleasant...Neelix just about spits in his hair pasta with rage...Kes notes their behaviour and storms out...do yourself a favour by the way and watch this scene for the music. It's really excellent. Neelix confronts Paris over his perceived indiscretion, prompting a food fight, complete with death threats and quippy puns. What's this show about again?
Janeway calls both directly to the ready room. She inspects their spaghettied clothes without comment and just kind of sips her coffee. If you think about this insanity for too long, your head will hurt, but honestly, Mulgrew plays things so well that it's genuinely amusing to watch her scrutinise her crewmen. She assigns the pair to scout the planet together. I wonder where this is going...but I have to say, despite the sitcomy triteness of the scene (it's definitely there), between Frakes' camera work and the actors' timing, I can't help but chuckle at Janeway's curt “Am I detecting a personal problem here?...Solve it.”
Act 2 **, 17%
After the afternoon briefing, Kes confronts Neelix about the food fight, but Neelix is his typical mansplaining, infantilising, condescending self and refuses to talk about the incident. This behaviour finally seems to be getting to the two-year-old as she reports to sickbay for her shift in quite the mood. I hate to keep harping on this point but it's true. This is total sitcom bullshit, and I want to hate it...but little character moments keep things light enough to be genuinely amusing:
KES: Neelix and Tom Paris had a physical fight over me.
EMH: How delightful.
EMH: You should consider it a high compliment. Throughout history, men have fought over the love of a woman. Why, I can quote you autopsy reports from duels as far back as 1538.
KES: That's not funny.
EMH: It's not meant to be. You've always been interested in autopsies.
What the Doctor lacks in discretion, he makes up for in observing human behaviour. He notes to Kes that she's in denial about Tom's obvious attraction to her. Finally, he suggests letting her suitors sort things out for themselves. We won't hold it against the Doctor for giving her bad advice (anything other than “dump Neelix immediately”) since he's actually younger than she is.
Aboard Shuttle Immaturity, Neelix is busy making passive aggressive remarks to the man he threatened to kill while Paris gives techno-flight status updates. Well this stupid crap is interrupted by—try not to be surprised—the bad mojo fucking with the shuttle. After some shaky cam, this leads to...another shuttle crash! (That's three for three this season)
Act 3 : **, 17%
Well, the pair survive, itching and bitching. They exit the shuttle and continue their bickering, full of bile, rage and sarcasm.
On the Voyager, Kim stops by Kes' quarters to give her an update. She's feeling guilty and angry...the scene doesn't deserve the performance Jennifer Lien is putting into it, but it is definitely the most interesting thing going on here. This triteness interrupted by things shaking and Chakotay announcing “battlestations” over the comm.
Tom and Neelix hole themselves up in the cave set and attempt some character development. We get a little more backstory on Tom's Academy days. Owen Paris was teaching there at the time and was especially hard on his son. Neelix reveals that his insecurities about Kes stem from a rather pernicious inferiority complex. Despite how annoying Neelix is most episodes (something that did NOT have to be so pronounced in execution), it actually makes some sense that he feels the way he does. As a young man, he hid from military service, half-convinced that he was staging a protest, but mostly just cowering from combat (not that I would blame him for this). This behaviour spared his life but saw his entire family exterminated. After that, he drifted, dealing in junk and...water? without any direction, scruples or baths. At some point, he hooked up with Kes, a remarkably naïve but intelligent and curious young woman who could not possibly know how Neelix measured up against the galaxy of eligible partners who might desire her. Finding himself aboard the Voyager, Neelix has creature comforts and security he never would have hoped for, but this puts into stark relief how pathetic he truly is, and exposes Kes to a ship full of genuine explorers and highly-accomplished people. Tom, walking hormone that he is, would spur any man in Neelix' position to jealousy. This doesn't excuse his behaviour, but frankly, Neelix never had the opportunity to grow up; his childishness is pitiable. For his part, I think Tom is struggling with the realisation that Kes is a remarkable person who attracts him—and whom he attracts. She is saddled to this man-child and basically stuck through a combination of naïvety and tradition (Ocampa mate for life). See, Tom *also* has some ego issues to work through, thanks to his overbearing father and meandering life (c.f. “Non Sequitur”). Trek tends to make their male protagonists with daddy issues heavy womanisers (Kirk, Riker, Bashir and Paris). For both men, a woman like Kes validates their existence and ameliorates their self-loathing. None of this is healthy, but it certainly feels real. I just wish the characterisation didn't have to be so fucking cartoonish.
The pair hear some noises and Neelix detects some lifesigns on his tricorder. Meanwhile, the Voyager is still being shot at by a vessel, which adopts a defensive posture between the ship and the planet. Neelix and Tom encounter...a nest of eggs...oh jeez. One of them hatches and reveals an alien pterodactyl puppet baby. … … … …
Act 4 : *.5, 17%
On the bridge, we get a slew of technobabble prep for trying to outwit the alien ship, mitigated slightly by Tuvok's acerbic remarks. Meanwhile, Tom and Neelix determine that the baby bird is sentient...thankfully, Neelix doesn't suggest putting it on the lunch menu; instead he wants to take it with them since it was they who sealed off this cave from the parent alien bird lizard. The baby starts shivering, despite being cold-blooded. Whatever. Can't pass any opportunity for triteness, can we? There's some action nonsense in orbit, we're walking...the pair of adopted parents determine that the nutrient source on the planet is actually in the bad mojo vapour. What a twist!
Act 5 : *.5, 17%
Welp...Tom and Neelix save the puppet's life and endure the vapours together. Neelix finally, FINALLY manages to apologise for his insane behaviour. And Tom admits that he is attracted to his girlfriend.
PARIS: Everything you heard those guys saying about me, well, it was true. But it's not who I am anymore. At least not who I want to be. This upside down mission to the wrong side of the galaxy has given me a second chance, and I don't intend to blow it.
The insight into Paris is good. Paris treating Kes like a piece of meat, and the two men sniggering about how hot she is...not so much. But again, I have to give some credit. These guys are being portrayed as extremely flawed with damaged egos and unhealthy relationships with women, so, while I object to the sexism on principle, it fits the characters at this point. Anyway, the alien mother returns for its hatchling, there's some cheesy “we're all friends now” dialogue back on the Voyager and it's over.
Episode as Functionary : *.5, 10%
Another stupid story rescued by the actors and the director. As seems to have become the norm for this show, the plot is totally perfunctory and dumb, the character work is decent and the performances rather excellent. Depending on the ratio of these elements at any given time, the episode meanders from fairly entertaining to aggravatingly stupid to tepid. While I am glad the Neelix is jealous arc is finally over, I think the writers did a great disservice to Kes by essentially writing around her. Lien's portrayal of the character reflects a very accelerated maturing process and I want to see that reflected in her relationships beyond getting a bit peeved with the Doctor. Then again, the more I think about it, Paris, Neelix and Kes are all suffering from forms of arrested development. It's not illogical that they should be in this petty love triangle together, but I would like very much for them to grow up already.
Final Score : **
Fri, Jan 18, 2019, 7:01pm (UTC -5)
I find Neelix to be such an unreedemably annoying character. It’s as if the writers decided to create another Wesley Crusher but without any discernible intelligence.
Neelix attacking Paris for *not* sitting with Kes at lunch was just too much. You strike an officer and you belong in the brig, not on an away mission. His whole jealousy and possessiveness routine might be excusable for a 12 year-old but not an adult. If it’s not true Neelix got over it after this episode, I hope he got red-shirted in a later one.
As for the whole two enemies from different species get stranded on a hostile planet and then bond over a baby...Isn’t that exactly the plot of Enemy Mine? That’s a sci fi classic! Did the writers think no one would remember it?
I will agree Frakes is a decent director for this episode and the acting was pretty good. I’d give it 2.5 stars but only because the scene with the Doctor and Kes, where he speculates about the literature on Kes’ planet is worth a whole star on its own.
Tue, Mar 5, 2019, 3:11pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Jul 23, 2019, 12:55am (UTC -5)
At least Janeway had a nice hair style in this episode.
Wed, Oct 9, 2019, 2:08pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Nov 11, 2019, 8:41pm (UTC -5)
Hologram or not, the chief medical officer should be informed of day to day ship operations. Telling the Doc off for trying to do his job is a bit hypocritical, especially on a ship that supposedly already monitors the crew's whereabouts and lifesigns.
Of course, in later seasons we learn the EMH has a penchant for gossip, but
Sun, Feb 9, 2020, 4:35pm (UTC -5)
The Paris/Neelix fight was cringyworthy. I usually like Kes, but she was bad in this too.
Weakest show of Season 2 so far. WHY were they not doing Seska episodes by now? MORE SESKA!
Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 1:24pm (UTC -5)
I'm also hoping this is the end of Neelix's boring jealousy saga.
Sat, May 16, 2020, 11:41am (UTC -5)
An animated Star Trek for the kiddos. An adolescent Trek full of cursing and moronic plots - Discovery - for whatever demographic enjoys that stuff. Picard for the senile geezers.
And maybe, just maybe, if we are very lucky, they can keep Strange New Worlds for us grups.
(hat tip @Booming)
Sun, Dec 20, 2020, 6:16pm (UTC -5)
The Prime directive only applies to pre-warp civilizations.
Sun, Jan 24, 2021, 5:16am (UTC -5)
One note - since I'm covid-binging this series on a large 4K TV in 2021, I'm disappointed this it hasn't been upgraded for HD like TOS and TNG.
Mon, Jun 21, 2021, 3:15am (UTC -5)
Anyway, I just realized. Other posters are right, they do seem to want a child on board. So here’s what they should have done: back in the 37’s episode, they should have picked up some new people from the planet. How about someone who is a hydroponic specialist who can grow them vegetables from the 37 planet, which must taste better than leeola root. Then, add a female doctor who is widowed, with a older teenage daughter, like 18 or 19. Yes, this is kind of retread but I”m willing to take it. The new doctor is an age appropriate love interest for the doctor and he can fight with her about her not knowing the latest technology and having to learn medicine all over again while being super nervous that a real flesh and blood doctor will take his place. Then you don’t have to have all his interactions be with much younger women, clearly someone on the writing staff had a specific thing about this.
Now Kes has some other outsiders to talk to besides her creepy uncle who wants her all to himself all the time, and the teenage daughter can be the ships’s inexperienced youth instead of having actual middle aged adults acting like kids. Then….Kes can be gay with the daughter or something. Anything more age appropriate for her, please.
Fri, Sep 3, 2021, 8:02am (UTC -5)
Half this episode is needless worn-out tropes. Instead of alien babies, space battles, a shuttle crash and more dark caves, I'd instead have this episode play like "Data's Day". Have it take place peacefully aboard Voyager, and then during a totally peaceful stroll across a hospitable alien planet in which the crew peacefully went looking for space-berries.
Still, as bad as this episode is, there are some great one liners scattered about. The "I am a Doctor, not a voyeur. I am programmed to be discreet" line is funny in context (the Doctor's a pervert with his test tubes being beaten on his lap), and the first Kim/Paris conversation in Kim's cabin is pretty good. The pasta debacle in the mess hall is also neat, as is the messy meeting with Janeway in her ready room. The Kes/Doctor consversations also continue to be lovely.
Voyager's problem seems to be too much MANIC PLOT! and PERFUNCTORY, SHOE-HORED SCI-FI TROPES shoved lazily into very good interpersonal scenes.
Mon, Jun 27, 2022, 7:07am (UTC -5)
Neelix's relationship with Kes is so uninteresting, how did this get off the drawing board?
This is literally the cook dating the gardener.
His selfishness towards Kes just adds another way for Neelix to be a proto Jar Jar.
IMHO, they should have axed Neelix, Kes and Tom. A usual annoyance and two duds in a main crew filled with duds. Both Harry and Chuckles could easily be thrown in there too.
Mon, Oct 24, 2022, 11:12pm (UTC -5)
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