Star Trek: Voyager

"Twisted"

1 star

Air date: 10/2/1995
Teleplay by Kenneth Biller
Story by Arnold Rudnick & Rich Hosek
Directed by Kim Friedman

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"Tell me something, Tuvok. What does your logic tell you about navigating a maze that's constantly changing shape?" — Chakotay

Nutshell: Very poorly done all around. But if "boring" were a virtue, this episode would be a real winner.

Uninteresting mysteries arise on the Voyager when it becomes trapped in yet another spatial anomaly which begins to threaten the ship by slowly crushing it with its bizarre properties.

Forgive the cynicism, but this episode is nothing short of a total failure, definitely Voyager's worst outing to date, quite possibly descending below the level of DS9's ridiculous "Fascination" last season. I guess they got one thing right about this episode—they aired it the same week as the outstanding DS9 season premiere—a day when we don't really have to care all that much about Voyager and its laborious tech storytelling.

An example of the level of thought "Twisted" has to offer: When the ship comes in contact with the anomaly in question, it surrounds them. However, Ensign Kim is quick to note that it surrounds them like a ring, preventing their escape. Excuse me, but in space there are three dimensions, which means that if you are surrounded by a ring, all you have to do is go in the "up" direction to escape. Only a sphere surrounding them would really trap the ship. Talk about limited two-dimensional thinking.

Sure, that may sound a bit nitpicky, but when all you are given in an episode is a barrage of technobabble, there isn't much to do but try to seek plot in the bogus conceptual aspects. Unfortunately, that's all "Twisted" has to offer—an excess in incredibly boring, implausible plotting that presses on as if we genuinely care what all the fancy sci-fi terms mean.

The plot centers around the fact that the distortion ring (or whatever it's called) physically alters the layout of the ship so that the crew members walk around Voyager trying to get to their posts but instead wind up walking in circles and ending up back on the holodeck. That might have been okay for the story's starting idea, but unfortunately, that's all there basically is to the episode. We're treated to four long, repetitive acts of watching various crew members search through a maze that keeps changing configuration. It's about as much fun as trying to fill in a crossword puzzle with no clues.

When Torres finally comes up with a possible solution which may risk destroying the ship in the process, a completely forced and poorly conceived conflict arises between Tuvok and Chakotay regarding the choice for a course of action. Sequentially, Torres' procedure is applied in a completely overacted and very badly directed scene which features both her and Kim excitedly yelling out the procedure's progress indications at the top of their lungs.

The plot alone is a mess. But, in addition, the episode's characterizations make no sense at all. Janeway makes a comment to Kim about how proud she is of him and how he has exceeded her expectations of him. Amiable words, but what prompted them in the middle of the scene in the Jeffries tube? For that matter, where does this sudden conflict between Tuvok and Chakotay come from, considering it's been some nine months since Janeway promoted former-Maquis Chakotay into the position of first officer? Shouldn't we have seen this before? Then there's Torres, whose character runs awry in excessive behavior when she first acts impatient and angry at the situation, then sits down and pouts when things don't go her way. Meanwhile, the scene where a delusionary Captain Janeway sits up and begins shrieking gibberish is so hokey that it's unintentionally hilarious.

The opening and closing aren't of much respectability either. Kes' birthday party in the holodeck is strictly standard fluff, but the whole scene falls flat, while the closing scene in which Neelix comes onto the bridge and says, "Cake, anyone?" ranks as one of the most genuinely annoying "things are back to normal" tack-ons in recent memory.

And what about the mysterious mass of data that the anomaly places in the Voyager's database? Is it really an alien communique? The episode doesn't seem to care in the slightest, so I guess we shouldn't either. And since this encounter ultimately means nothing to us nor the characters and has no real consequences, the show travels nowhere from beginning to end—it's merely a long, pointless Reset Button Plot.

"Twisted" is a hands-down loser. Kim Friedman, who is generally a very capable director (she has helmed several successful DS9 and Voyager shows, like "The Wire," "The Jem'Hadar," and "Jetrel" for starters), has nothing here but a disastrous mess of an episode. I guess that's just proof that sometimes there's only so much a director can do with the given material.

Previous episode: Non Sequitur
Next episode: Parturition

◄ Season Index

63 comments on this review

Rob in Michigan
Sun, Sep 21, 2008, 5:45pm (UTC -6)
There are only two extremely short scenes that I found at all worth watching on this one: one was Tuvok ever so slightly moving his hand closer to Janeway's shoulder as they were facing their possible end and two: I liked Chakotay telling Torres that sometimes you have to just let go and let things happen... again as they were facing their possible deaths.
Chris
Wed, Sep 24, 2008, 10:43am (UTC -6)
I normally agree with the majority of your reviews, but I just don't understand your problem with this particular episode. I think comparing it to DS9's Fascination is a huge exaggeration.

First, the ending. You said the episode doesn't seem to care about explaining the mass data transmitted to Voyager, and that the show has no real consequences. How many "Crew encounters a strange alien entity" plots in Star Trek have major consequences on the characters? And why did you give a pass to TNG's "Time Squared" for leaving the space tornado's origin a mystery and even the following Voyager episode "Persistence of Vision" where the alien was revealed and then vanished with no explanation of who or what he was. Neither episode had long-lasting effects or a sufficient explanation of the entity's intentions, yet "Twisted" is made out to be lazy rather than mysterious.

I think there were some nice character moments in this episode - Doctor comforting Kes, Paris and Kim discussing how they were afraid, Tuvok's hand moving towards Janeway, Chakotay having to calm Torres (it's clear as I watch this season that they were planning to go somewhere with a Chakotay/Torres relationship) and even Neelix's paranoia of Paris was finally somewhat justified by the extravagant gift he bought Kes.

I don't think it's unreasonable to believe that there has been an underlying tension between Chakotay and Tuvok - Starfleet/Maquis relations were touched on in "Learning Curve" (though the concept as a whole was sorely underutilised overall throughout the seasons) and given Tuvok's relationship with Janeway, I don't see it as too much of a stretch that we haven't seen this before. We are dealing with a Vulcan who doesn't let petty jealousies get the better of him.

What I realy enjoy about this episode is the crew's eventual submission to the entity. If this were TNG, Geordi and Data would be working to the last possible second to solve the problem. But here we see the Voyager crew utterly defeated, and having no choice but to let the alien overwhelm them.

It's not a perfect episode by any means. Neelix's "Cake, anyone?" is right up there with the later seasons' "I'll give you my report in the morning". But like I said, there were some nice if brief character moments (whether they were capitalised on later in the season or not), which puts this far beyond "Fascination" - the latter being a completely contrived attempt at comedy with only the O'Brien's problems and Sisko getting decked by Bariel as the redeeming elements.
Bob
Tue, Dec 30, 2008, 6:09pm (UTC -6)
One star? Normally I agree with your reviews, but I don't here. There's some excellent character interaction, and the revelation that this anomaly was a lifeform (or lifeforms) simply exploring was interesting. It was also nice to see the crew fail for once, rather than do a last minute save like most trek crews usually do.

I agree it would have been nice to give us more details on what was in the data, and to have Nelix killed off in this episode. Overall though, I would have given it at least 2.5 stars. Maybe three.
Fido
Thu, Jan 8, 2009, 5:02pm (UTC -6)
Sorry Jammer...but...WHAT?

I consider this to be one of my favourite episodes. I loved it. I love these 'messing with reality' stories...they're always so interesting (at least to me).

:)
Brendan
Tue, Jun 16, 2009, 1:42am (UTC -6)
Worst episode of Voyager ever. (Threshold doesn't count as an episode).

The first act is okay, but the rest is the most horrendously written garbage ever to appear in a star trek episode.
NickM
Thu, Oct 1, 2009, 10:47am (UTC -6)
Jammer,

While not a great episode, I would give it two stars because I thought, like others have stated, there was some good character interaction, even development. I also liked the scene as the ring is getting closer and closer, they accept the fate and there are no false heroics or hystrical admissions, just resignation and acceptance. As for the maze portion and wandering around, my teen step-son was watching and it had him engrossed, so I count that as a positive, he wants to see more Trek because this mystery had him thinking.
Nic
Thu, Oct 15, 2009, 9:40am (UTC -6)
I would also give it two stars, for the character moments and the ending which presented (for once) a life form that had no hostile intentions. Also, as is was meant to be the penultimate episode of the first season, I think something like this is to be expected; penultimate episodes often tend to have a lighter tone.
Will
Fri, Dec 25, 2009, 6:07pm (UTC -6)
Ugh, yet another spatial anomaly villain courtesy of the Biller. Apalling episode. I thought they'd got rid of them in the first season.
Jake
Sun, Apr 11, 2010, 11:45am (UTC -6)
As sfdebris noted in his review of this episode, the moment when everyone regroups in the holodeck before doing the Scooby-Doo pair offs begins with all the tables arranged like the ones in the observation lounge.
I just crack up at the thought of Janeway going, "OK, let's figure out what's going on, but, first, let's rearrange the tables so we can sit in a circle like we usually do."
I also agree with Chris that Neelix's reaction to Paris's gift was more justified than his past & future responses but it, sadly, doesn't change the fact that Neelix is an ugly moron who should be thrown out the nearest airlock.
navamske
Sat, Jul 31, 2010, 7:04pm (UTC -6)
"Meanwhile, the scene where a delusionary [sic] Captain Janeway sits up and begins shrieking gibberish is so hokey that it's unintentionally hilarious."

Actually, it's not gibberish. She says, "It's talking to me -- do nothing!" (This is right after Tuvok says they should give up -- i.e., do nothing -- and Chakotay and Torres are disagreeing.)
Carbetarian
Thu, Apr 14, 2011, 8:36pm (UTC -6)
I'm with Jammer on this one. This episode is a fail, period, end of story.

It gets one star from me only because I laughed so hard at Janeway's random freak out in the holodeck. That part was so ridiculous, it was actually sort of fantastic.
Matthias
Mon, Aug 15, 2011, 9:22am (UTC -6)
I'm a sucker for some sci-fi horror hijinks so I quite enjoyed the nightmarish scenario of an ever shifting labyrinth of a starship. I'm quite prepared to three-star this one on the basis of just that and Baxter's explanation of why he didn't notice the gym getting freezing cold.

The crew just giving up was kind of hard to take because as a viewer that sort of thing just slaps you out of your suspension of disbelief because you immediately know everything is going to be fine. Maybe if it'd been the final episode that sort of thing could provide some tension but now it's just a self-spoiler.
Jeff O'Connor
Sun, Sep 4, 2011, 3:52pm (UTC -6)
Eh, I loved the climax too damn much to give this episode a single star. Most of the rest of the episode is fairly weak but damn if I didn't feel my heartstrings getting pulled a bit when the bulk of the main cast all gathered to await their potential end.
Jeffrey Bedard
Mon, Dec 12, 2011, 7:49am (UTC -6)
The one thing I've never understood about any of these anomaly based episodes is why the ship never flies over, under or around them. Voyager had more than enough room to continue on course and avoid the distortion ring, but they fly through these things and get trapped, affected, encased, etc. Obviously, if the ship doesn't get trapped there's no episode that week, but I agree with you that VOYAGER as a series and we as viewers would have lost nothing had "Twisted" never been filmed.
Milica
Thu, Jul 26, 2012, 8:49am (UTC -6)
I absolutely disagree with this review. I loved the episode - it showed us few Star Trek episodes have - situations in which whatever you do it is not enough, you keep ending up where you starting feeling very frustrated (both literally and metaphorically and a situation in which the crew just lets go - I do not remember seeing this on Star Trek ever. Usually, however grim the situation is, the crew somehow in the most unlikely of situations saves itself. This is the first time we see them face death and knowing there is nothing they can do about it. It is a very deep moment.
Graham
Fri, Aug 3, 2012, 2:36pm (UTC -6)
Wow, can't believe the amount of people defending this episode. Just finished watching it for the first time and, boy, what a stinker. The premise itself was fine, but the whole 3rd act was just terrible. Both Janeway's comment to Kim and the Tuvok/Chakotay confrontation both just left me scratching my head. Where did they come from, and how were they at all relevant to what was happening? It's like the writers gave up about halfway through the script and just started stuffing in useless dialogue to fill time. Don't even get me started on the ending. Just a worthless episode all around!
Simon
Tue, Apr 30, 2013, 2:00pm (UTC -6)
Great review
Elliott
Tue, Apr 30, 2013, 5:45pm (UTC -6)
I have a serious question for anyone who would like to answer it;

Why is this episode better than "Threshold"? I would submit that this is the worst episode of VOY's run. It's pointless, implausible, poorly executed and BORING!

I know no one actually likes this episodes, but really, "Threshold," for all its weirdness, is a notch more entertaining than this!
Fido
Wed, May 1, 2013, 4:05am (UTC -6)
Hi Elliott,

I can only speak for myself on this - but I enjoyed the idea of the ship layout getting moved around. I thought the execution of this was handled quite well. I will admit that there were some boring scenes in this episode, but I did like some of the more personal dialogue between characters (mostly Neelix and Chakotay).

There were also some things that didn't make sense. Janeway being affected by the entity didn't really add anything. Although, Tuvok almost putting his hand on Janeway at the end and then retracting it was a very cool moment.
The idea that they are facing this doom and gloom situation only for it to be a form of communication is an awesome idea.

Threshold, on the other hand, had an interesting premise. Again, the idea of there being negative consequences to breaking warp 10 is cool...unfortunately, turning into a lizard...really, really wasn't cool. It was a waste of a good idea.

Twisted is definitely not the worst episode, in my opinion. Neither is Threshold. Nightingale would get that honour from me.
Braga raped and killed a girl named Trek
Thu, May 23, 2013, 4:49pm (UTC -6)
This crap spackle is but one ingredient in the comfort food for smooth brains that is Voyager. Eat up, fatties.
Michael
Sun, Jun 9, 2013, 12:01pm (UTC -6)
This is one of my favorite episodes, too. It contains a scene that stayed with me from the time I first saw Voyager almost two decades ago, adverted to by Michigan Rob above: Tuvok putting his hand near the incapacitated Janeway as they are about to be engulfed by the anomaly. I found that one single act to be incredibly warm, moving, and poignant. It cemented Tuvok as my role model, a giant of a man as far as both logic and loyalty. For that alone I commend this episode.

I'll agree with Jammer on one thing: Janeway babbling incoherently had me doubled over!!


@Elliott: You find this episode, inter alia, "implausible." And, pray tell, which of the other ~150 shows IS plausible :) And then tell me which of them is NOT pointless! As I said elsewhere, this is not a National Geographic documentary. It's mindless, sci-fi entertainment. There's quite a bit of "sci" and a lot of "fi" in this episode, so it pretty much DOES serve its purpose. If you want something "pointfull" or plausible, try Tomorrow's World :)
Lt. Yarko
Tue, Jun 11, 2013, 10:41am (UTC -6)
Fly above or below the ring, goofballs. This kind of thing pops up in trek way too often. How does it get from writer all the way through to production without ANYONE noticing? Khan must be running every part of production for these series.
inline79
Fri, Sep 6, 2013, 5:21pm (UTC -6)
I had a LOL moment when Janeway asks Chakotay if he's OK with Neelix going with him. I almost detected a groan, or at least a nod to the floor. heh.

Anyways, this was a good episode... if Voyager were a 30 minute show. They should have just cut 22 minutes of fluff and shown us clips from the first season, or played us music or something!
ljdarten
Thu, Feb 27, 2014, 8:51pm (UTC -6)
My only problem with this episode was how the heck does a spatial anomaly randomly reconnect hallways and other access points cleanly?
DLPB
Mon, Mar 3, 2014, 7:33am (UTC -6)
If you ignore the silly premise of this episode, and the fact Kate Muldrew sounds like she is having an orgasm at one point, it's actually a pretty entertaining episode. The show needed more character interactions like this, but sadly, they did away with the whole Federation v Marquis angle early on.
Amanda
Sat, Mar 8, 2014, 7:37am (UTC -6)
I like the character interaction but it stops there. The twisting ship thing was something I couldn't find plausible. But there could be something far beyond my comprehension in science that could make this happen. It reminded me of the barreon sweep (sp?) in TNG only without the real danger that they die if they touch it. (ie Janeway was caught in it she didn't)


Amanda
Sat, Mar 8, 2014, 7:40am (UTC -6)
DLPB> ha, if I am not mistaken, we could probably add Mulgrew orgasmic over acting effect to a drinking game. I've smirked a few times over the seasons.
DPC
Thu, Apr 24, 2014, 5:22pm (UTC -6)
They could have called this one "Non Sequitur" because it made no sense.

The cliche of "spatial/dimensional anomaly" being the cause of the ship being turned into a labyrinth would have been better than a space critter that swallowed the ship, made space bend in impossible ways, crush the hull (yet it clearly didn't), made people act slow, gave Janeway the big-O, et cetera, only to have the very end reveal the twist (no pun intended) that ruined the whole episode... complete with magical data exchange between both 'vessels'... really?

Kudos, in a way, for trying to do something other than a spatial distortion, but it just doesn't work. But at least they kept the big revelation to the very end... which seems a trifle unfair, now that I'm thinking about it, but if it were revealed earlier I would have changed the channel...
HolographicAndrew
Mon, Jul 21, 2014, 10:38am (UTC -6)
Like others have said, this is one of my favorite episodes in the first two seasons. The ending was touching, the doctor on the holodeck was funny, and the tuvok/chakotay confrontation was more interesting than anything in the past couple episodes. This episode was creepy and memorable.

Yeah the premise is silly if you start going "wait how does it connect the ship.. etc etc." but you can do the same thing with almost every trek plot. This particular review seems a bit jaded to me. If this were an episode of TNG I would rank it up there with Remember Me and Time Squared.
Vylora
Tue, Aug 19, 2014, 10:29pm (UTC -6)
Go home, Voyager! You're drunk!

I give this a bit of credit for weirdness, a few good moments, and the ultimate acknowledgement of defeat by the crew. I'm sure there are much better ways to tell that story than this. In the end it all amounts to nothing and is mostly a waste of airwaves.

Half star.
Skeptical
Sun, Nov 16, 2014, 9:30pm (UTC -6)
Heh, definitely doesn't seem to be a consensus on this one. Personally, I was pleasantly surprised. After all, this idea had the potential to be interesting... for about 2 minutes. How could you milk an idea as bizarre as "Voyager's corridors get twisted around into a ship of chaos" for an entire episode? Especially given this show's tendency to utterly fail to provide for a strong follow-up to any of its weird ideas. And yet, somehow, I think this one works ok.

It's not perfect, far from it. There are a lot of silly parts and random scenes that don't make sense. Like others have said, Janeway's random comment to Harry came out of nowhere, and her random sitting up and shrieking was silly. So execution wise, they could have done better. So what worked?

1) The twisted aspect was reasonably well done. The way the characters responded to the problem was actually reasonably competent given the circumstances, and the amount of humor involved in the situation worked. Even the characters realized it was a bit silly, and it came through.

2) The eventual sense of doom worked excellently. The show went from silliness to dread rather seamlessly, and the fact that nothing seemed to work led to the end quite well. Other than a few brief moments of absurdity as mentioned above, I felt pulled along with the story, which is as it should be.

3) There were some nice character moments, as others have stated. While the Chakotay/Tuvok animosity did seem to appear out of nowhere, it makes sense in retrospect. Chakotay likely can't get over Tuvok's betrayal, and Tuvok probably feels that he should be Janeway's top advisor rather than a Maquis rogue. So while it may be abrupt, it's understandable. The Tom and Torres time together was nice to see too in retrospect given their eventual marriage.

4) I also liked that they didn't solve it via some technobabble solution. It's good to see a failure every once in a while. While Tuvok's strong opinion to do nothing was dumb, seeing everyone resigned to their fate was interesting to see. A bit different from the typical Trek fare.

So no, not a masterpiece, but at least it kept me reasonably engaged throughout the whole episode. It's more than I expected, and it's at least a lot better than the dreck that was Elogium.

By the way, I think there was an intentional hesitation with Chakotay when Janeway asked him if he's ok with Neelix coming along. For all the hype of Neelix being the breakout star, I think the crew realizes that he can be overbearing at times, and the writers allowed that overbearingness to enter into the script. After all, the annoying guy often IS the breakout star of a show (think Homer in Simpsons, Sheldon in Big Bang Theory, etc). So my guess is the actors/writers/directors were intentionally being mildly annoyed with Neelix's antics, expecting the audience to side with Neelix. Of course, the opposite happened.
DVMX
Wed, Mar 18, 2015, 1:23pm (UTC -6)
"DLPB - Mon, Mar 3, 2014 - 7:33am (USA Central)
If you ignore the silly premise of this episode, and the fact Kate Muldrew sounds like she is having an orgasm at one point, it's actually a pretty entertaining episode. The show needed more character interactions like this, but sadly, they did away with the whole Federation v Marquis angle early on."

I agree with this, and its also one of the reasons I like this episode as well.
Yanks
Tue, Jul 28, 2015, 12:50pm (UTC -6)
Jammer, one star? ... come on man... it's not a classic by any stretch, but one star?

I don't know what sci-fi technobabble is "plausible" or not, so I'm willing to accept the what if's... etc.

The writers have to be given some credit for the ending. Nothing the Voyager crew, Janeway or the captain-less crew could do, dream up, execute, etc. could do anything to stop anything here. I think it's a pretty cool having our heroes realize they are helpless... and even to some degree - accept it. Folks complain all the time about technobabble saving the day etc... here it didn't and folks are still up in arms.

I'm not sure how you can portray these affects better. I actually thought their ramblings etc. were kind of humorous.

With all the Tom/Kes gift brouhaha, what I noticed was some serious chemistry between Tom and B'Elanna when they were paired off. Very telling.

Touching moments in the holo-deck as our heroes await their fate. Tuvok's little hand gesture was touching as was B'Elanna's opening up to Chakotay.

Was this huge data dump ever used or provide any benefit later in the series? I can't remember.

I'll go 2.5 stars here.
JD
Fri, Sep 25, 2015, 3:42pm (UTC -6)
Ok, I've been a watcher of all things Trek but I really felt like this episode was a whopper. I mean Tuvok being such a disrespectful & insubordinate dick, publicly. That's so incredibly un-Vulcan if this era it's ridiculous. Even T'Pol never mouthed off like that & she was a very antagonistic Vulcan with an attitude problem. It didn't belong, much like the majority of Voyager.

Also, all of these strange little encounters Voyager has in the Delta Quadrant don't really illustrate much about how stranded they actually are & really isn't any different than TNG, TOS, or ENT.
MartinB
Sun, Dec 20, 2015, 5:51pm (UTC -6)
I don't get where Janeways little chat with Kim came from. Very out of place. I can only assume that its either padding (in an episode that's nothing but) or was out of sequence and should have happened after Janeway went all wibbly-wobbly. Sure it wouldn't have had the same effect (if you can call it that) but it would have been hilarious...

Why does the map of messed up Voyager show it all wobbly when if the rooms and corridors aren't where they should be surely the ship would look like a jigsaw with all the pieces in the wrong place? Like the map shows, everything is where it should be, you just have a few more corners to go round than normal but it'd still be perfectly navigable.

And I'm sure glad the anomaly dumped all that valuable data about the nearby space in Voyager's database... Funny then that just next episode they're lost again...
Diamond Dave
Sat, Jan 9, 2016, 2:13pm (UTC -6)
Enter another anomaly of the week episode, and a virtually nonsensical one at that. The main premise is something of a mess, and an episode consisting largely of wandering round corridors looking confused is not really a recipe for success. The ending is bizarre - no doubt this computer dump will never be spoken of again, and the "cake, anyone?" conclusion is risible. Indeed it adds to a number of character-based WTF moments, as others have noted.

Nevertheless, there are some good things in the character interactions here, and the final acceptance of defeat is indeed a fairly unusual thing in Trek. But it doesn't save the episode. 1.5 stars.
Adam
Fri, Jan 22, 2016, 8:32am (UTC -6)
Joining (some of) the crowd here to say that, while TV generally does not have the budget to convincingly pull off a sense of the surreal, and here you see just about every one of those cliches put into action, I enjoyed the characterization here. Chakotay's grimace when paired with Neelix was a great little detail, and the closing scene with the ring slowly encroaching on everyone was downright touching, even if Chakotay and Tuvok's dialog there was a little on-the-nose.

I will say that watching this series in order now and trying not to skip any episodes like I did the last time I attempted to get into the show, that the angle of Neelix's jealousy for the way others act around Kes is getting tiresome. They never seem particularly good as a couple until the show finds a way to 'challenge' their relationship, which always feels forced.
Andrew
Wed, Feb 3, 2016, 12:19pm (UTC -6)
Oddly, there wasn't much wrong with the premise, it was kind of interesting, the problem was the execution (although the ending was a stupid resolution even in concept).
Somehow the characters facing a no-win scenario when the audience knows they'll win was really boring and the characters, even the ones who usually work, were really annoying.
Tom
Fri, Feb 5, 2016, 7:42pm (UTC -6)
Awesome review site, thanks for such analysis!!

I have to disagree as well with the 1 star though. I found the despair and submission so fascinating, and I guess it really is nice to have an episode where something cannot be solved. It makes everything feel very human, very mortal...

Also, there was no "enemy" per se. Probably the same reason why I found Gravity as a movie so interesting. There was no conflict, just survival against the reality of space (I use the term "reality" loosely.

Also, there's so much Neelix-bashing - duly deserved perhaps ^_^ But personally, the whole family vibe Voyager has (and I just watched Naomi being born and saved) really makes me chuckle and feel calm. Neelix adds to that. It does make everything less starfleet-stuffy.
JC
Tue, Mar 15, 2016, 8:26am (UTC -6)
I also found this episode boring, but enjoyed some of the interactions.

I think it was a mistake for them to try and show us a map of the ship. It took away from the effect a bit. The deformed ship in the map didn't look like it would produce the rearrangement of corridors seen. They should've shown something more unrecognizable or nothing.

I thought everybody's "last words" at the end were kinda cheesy but at least we didn't get any "I've always loved you"s out of it.

The end was a bit anticlimactic but on par with the dullness of the rest of the episode. A whole bunch of debate and panic and suspense and then... I guess they slowly and silently turn green then it's back to the birthday party.

I'm pretty sure when Kim wanted to "turn the implosion into an explosion" he was proposing to switch the Voyager from suck to blow. So that's a win at least.
belowzero
Tue, Jul 12, 2016, 2:21pm (UTC -6)
I dont think this episode is so bad!

I also love Sandrine! She is sexy and that voice... I wish she would have been recurring.

Odyssey47
Tue, Aug 16, 2016, 8:53pm (UTC -6)
Hopefully Neelix gave Kes some birthday sex. Sex with a two year old.
mephyve
Wed, Aug 17, 2016, 6:23pm (UTC -6)
This one left me all bent out of shape. Quite boring and pointless
Gin
Wed, Sep 7, 2016, 12:01am (UTC -6)
As far as episodes go, this one was a good one in character study. The anomaly itself turned out to be something that was not expected throughout most of the episode. It felt more like a mystery to me, sort of like S1's Cathexis.

Anyways regarding the characters the chuckles/tuvok conflict didn't seem so forced. If anything this should have happened in the first season. At this point I'm sure chuckles is still more than a little sore at Tuvok for being a spy in his maquis crew . Tuvok was simply being contratrian as ship's security as he should be. so I am ok with his addressing his concerns.

This was early on in the second season so I won't say it's too late for those two to have it out. It wasn't so out of left field like S6's "The Voyager Conspiracy." In any event Tuvok remained cool, calm collected like a surefire Vulcan should. Kudos to Tim Russ!

Not so sanguine about chuckles. It was clear Beltran wanted no part of the show. It shows in his acting. Plain insufferable even after seven seasons. Not to mention he talked pretty badly about the show throughout its run. I found him to be a good deal more annoying than Neelix. At least I enjoy Ethan Phillips' work in other areas.

Speaking of Neelix this was during his prime time jealousy years. I believe this 'beast' as he referred to it reared its head first in S1's Phage. I think by the next ep it would resolve itself in a rather silly way, but meh.

No comment on Janeway's swooning after contact with the anomaly.

Funny to keep hearing Torres refer to Ensign Kim as Starfleet even though she outranks him.

I'd give it two to a weak 2.5 stars for character interaction and snippiness at this point in the show. A lot more refreshing than the phoned-in performances we'd see in the final seasons. Well, with the exceptions of Jeri Ryan, Tim Russ and Robert Picardo.
Rob
Fri, Nov 11, 2016, 6:18am (UTC -6)
This episode actually resonates in my childhood memory of being one of my favourites, despite its flaws. It was a strange blend of creepiness, mystery and character development, with a fairly original "twist" in that the crew ultimately had to surrender in order to succeed.

One ridiculous aspect of the story is that the ship could turn into an interlocking rubix cube of changing corridors, without any jagged metal anywhere, and yet could still resemble a functioning ship. I would have preferred they left it open to the viewers interpretation over whether it was literally changing or whether as the Doctor suggests, everyone was a delusional state which would be a more believable plot device.

Most characters also come off more likeable as a result of the episode as well, apart from Neelix who was a neurotic mess.

I don't understand why this is such a scathing review. The reviewer doesn't even seem a fan, reducing scenes that explore character dynamics as "fluff". I get the impression most critics spend more time analysing than they do enjoying.

That giant blue cake looked awesome as well.
Quincy
Sat, Jan 14, 2017, 1:00pm (UTC -6)
This episode was very lacklustre. It had a promising premise, but was unable to execute it. Really not much to say about it. It would've been far more interesting if they'd explored the aliens or the nature of their space-time manipulation technology. As it was the revelation remained so vague it had almost no impact.

I suppose it's worth noting that this incident and these aliens are referenced again in the Start Trek novel, Protectors. That original contact was a distress signal, as determined by Ensign Kim's research, and voyager returns to the Delta Quadrant to investigate after a series of attacks: memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Protectors
Garthok
Wed, Jan 18, 2017, 5:43pm (UTC -6)
Am I the only one bugged by how the reviewer keeps referring to to the ship as "The Voyager". :P
Ildaf
Thu, Feb 9, 2017, 9:06pm (UTC -6)
Oh boy.. Another wasted premise!

The idea is decent, a ship that keep changing it's shape mysteriously, and the crew racing with time to solve the problem.
We got a grasp of what's going on 10 minutes into the show (5 mins of that is wasted/unrelated Kes B'day scene), it's doing quite okay and starting to get eerie by the scene of B'ellana and Baxter in transporter room.
Alas, as usual it's going down hill from there. We got Doctor comedic scene in the holodeck, then Neelix annoying-overjealous scene over Paris and everything after that, completely ruin the tense buildup.

It's not until after another 15 minutes that the plot advanced when Janeway accidentally contact that 'space distortion whatever', rescued back to holodeck, then a real attempt to overcome 'this week anomaly' being made by Torres-Paris, then Torres-Kim (with overplay act) . That attempt took around 10 minutes screen time.
With a total ~35 minutes into the show, we have 10 minutes left.

What happen on the last 10 minutes? Nothing! Yeah literally... nothing...
Tuvok suggest they doing nothing as the attempt proven fruitless so far and another attempt may only endanger them more, while doing nothing is not proven otherwise.

I get the idea of the writer try to convey the nuances of hopeless, defeat, and acceptance, but it's feel really weak. It didn't feel like they are trying that hard anyway, too much time wasted on circling the corridor scene, by the time attempt was made it's on 30 mins mark.
Maybe a better pacing and directing could really help this episode, but it's all too late.
The defeat scene is not really that strong, feel clumsy... and dragging. In part, maybe because of the weak scene before it, in part.. maybe because we know there's not much to it anyway, we know very well the ships will be okay and shiny afterall!

I like the body-languange of Chakotay reaction when told he's going with Neelix, I think that's the best act of Beltran so far.. eh...
And... the scene of delirious Janeway is priceless
"it..s... tal..king...to...me....... do.. no..thing". I'm literally laugh out loud on this scene.
I just hope we have many episodes of Janeway act like this. I'm going to give a bonus 1 star for that scene alone!

1 star for the episode and another 1 star for the delirious Janeway scene
2 (**) star
MMM
Sat, Jul 8, 2017, 4:52pm (UTC -6)
"Actually, it's not gibberish. She says, "It's talking to me -- do nothing!" (This is right after Tuvok says they should give up -- i.e., do nothing -- and Chakotay and Torres are disagreeing.)"

They failed completely to convey that to the viewers, because it sounds like she says "Eee talking to bee too gonnding."
William B
Tue, Sep 5, 2017, 11:16am (UTC -6)
I feel compelled to point out: in addition to all the other sins of this episode, there's a weird conflation between "spatial distortions," where people and regions just go all wavy but are deformed in a way that preserves topology, and the actual thing that happens with the maze stuff, where entire rooms change location but in a way that leaves the hallways looking totally normal. Obviously those two things are completely different phenomena, so even the episode's basic premise is daffy. That is, as I often say for this type of thing, not really that big a problem for the episode in itself, but in an episode that has nothing going for it except weird tech stuff (and long stretches where there's nothing to do but think about the tech stuff), it's pretty bad.

Anyway, I kind of like the eventual tone of doom that sets in, and the way the crew keep being led back to the holodeck and that bar, which reminds me a little of something like The Exterminating Angel (an unusual surrealist movie where guests at a dinner party gradually become aware that due to some mysterious force, they are unable to bring themselves to leave the house; Buffy the Vampire Slayer did an episode take-off of it). The episode also plays with the idea of a shifting maze and a labyrinth, and the general idea has a certain spooky, haunted-house quality. It also mirrors the ship's premise overall, where the crew really are ultimately trapped with each other for the foreseeable future with no escape -- and so this is maybe a good way to play up the show's own premise and allow us to see it in a different way. Still, the episode doesn't actually *do* anything with the all-roads-lead-back-to-the-fake-pool-hall premise, and a mildly unusual mood does not an episode make.

As has been pointed out above, the characterization is also terrible, from the sudden, unfounded Chakotay/Tuvok fight to the continuing unbearable Neelix jealousy plot to Janeway's totally inexplicable "you're a bright spot" speech to Kim to Torres' sudden bursts of anger to the Doctor fending off the holo-bar owner's advances. Even basic ideas like Kim suggesting a map are met with bizarre responses --

KIM: Maybe we could make a map.
CHAKOTAY (shocked): Ensign?

The very ending has a certain charm to it, of watching the crew stand by and try to meet their possible fate with calm, even if I'm not entirely convinced by the character interactions at the end. The episode's main strength is the sombre, defeatist tone it cultivates, and responding to The Inevitable by letting it happen is a suitable ending to it. I wonder if this episode might have made a good episode of the animated series or something -- certainly cutting large chunks of the episode out would have helped make it less boring, and made that one strength less badly diluted. 1 star.
Skarbi
Sat, Sep 23, 2017, 12:28pm (UTC -6)
A few things bothered me about the episode.

Mainly the whole ring problem. Why not just make it a sphere? Huh? Why not? Huh? So annoying. It's always bothered me about Star Trek that everthing is 2D. Two ships meet in space and they are always perfectly in the same plane with the same orientation.

Then there is Neelix's jealousy again. I can almost understand it when Paris gives her the locket, but later when Kes remembers where people's crew quarters are located, he basically accuses her of being a slut and sleeping with half the ship. I hate Neelix and Kes should have dropped him like a hot potato.

And Janeway babbling out "It's talking to me -- do nothing!" or "Is docking doo be -- goo duthing!" is pointless. Since neither the audience or the crew can tell what she is saying. They should have just had her say it clearly, then the crew could have debated whether to believe her or if she was only delusional. It would have given them some rationale to give up like they did at least, instead of because 'Tuvok says so'. I did sort of like the ending in the holodeck though otherwise.

But the revelation that the ring was intelligent and had uploaded all this data to the computers was idiotic. They never mention any of that again. I would imagine they could have gotten something useful from all that data, but they just ignore it completely. Maybe the thing told them how to get home? Too bad they never checked any of it.

All in all not as bad as the last 2 episodes which were horrendous. But not that good either.

1 1/2 stars
Sidney
Mon, Oct 2, 2017, 8:02pm (UTC -6)
Rewatching Trek a lot this past year. I'm still wondering what the rest of the crew was doing in the contorted parts of the ship - going insane perhaps? And all that data they received to my knowledge was never mentioned again.
Chris P
Thu, Jun 7, 2018, 1:45am (UTC -6)
This episode evoked more fascinating reactions on Jammer's board than did its story. Once in a while I wonder if Jammer wishes he could redo a review and this is such a case. I wonder too if his scathing words about a decent episode influenced some people in the comments. Then I wonder how independent the comments are and how colored they might be by herd mentality. Way, way, way too harsh for a middling anomaly of the week that ends with a bashed reset button.

Star Trek: Voyager relies on Janeway or whoever is on the bridge flying into anomalies/nebulas/trouble, technobabbling, and then bashing the reset button. If we're grading on a scale then this formula must be accommodated for half of Voyager's episodes, not used as a demerit when convenient. The only explicit flaw that I saw was the map. That was a visual lie and should not have been shown unless they were willing to get very funky with it. All of the rest of the things (ship rearranging itself, how does the ship functions when twisted, how does it envelop the ship) are better off assumed to be the work of a sentient anomaly messing with the crew.

This episode deserves credit for serving the characters well at a time when they badly needed it. Arguably the first episode since Cathexis to show the crew working together and interacting for a prolonged period of time. The creepy atmosphere and fun crew interactions (which is one of Voyager's strong points) supersede my desire to nitpick.

2.5
navamske
Sat, Jul 7, 2018, 7:34pm (UTC -6)
@Garthok

"Am I the only one bugged by how the reviewer keeps referring to to the ship as 'The Voyager'?"

No.
navamske
Sat, Jul 7, 2018, 7:36pm (UTC -6)
@MMM

"They failed completely to convey that to the viewers, because it sounds like she says 'Eee talking to bee too gonnding.'"

It helps if you watch with the closed captions on.
Springy
Tue, Aug 21, 2018, 6:50am (UTC -6)
Eh. Average ep. On the boring side, to be sure, and the "surrounded by a ring" thing made me laugh. My kid figured out how to get out of a hulu hoop, after all.

I liked the "just do nothing" premise and both how hard, and how wise, that was. Don't see that enough on "just do it" action series like this one. I liked Tuvok in this one, particularly.

Sometimes you must relax and surrender to Fate. An important lesson, on Voyager.

On calling the ship "The Voyager," I think of it as idiomatic, the way we say both "the Kroger's" or "Kroger's" around here (when really it's "Kroger"). I was in California, and they kept (sometimes) calling their numbered highways "the." "The 15," or whatever. So anyhow, no, doesn't bug me.
Ebert
Sun, Sep 9, 2018, 12:26am (UTC -6)
What's with Chakotay grabbing his ear when he's getting bothered by Neelix?
Rahul
Fri, Oct 19, 2018, 11:25pm (UTC -6)
Clearly the worst VOY episode to date -- this one's terrible on so many levels: idiotic premise, bad interactions among characters, nothing meaningful and completely arbitrary resolution. Janeway speculates about some kind of alien intelligence trying to communicate, exchange information but it just comes about as an afterthought at the end of the episode making "Twisted" a total waste of an hour.

The distortion ring made absolutely no sense. The episode spends way too much time on filler stuff like the crew wandering around in a maze. There's just not enough here in terms of ideas, plot etc. It's not hallucinations, which might have been better.

What is also bad is the bizarre nature of the interactions among the crew. Why, as Janeway and Kim are crawling around, does the captain decide to tell the ensign out of nowhere that he has been exceeding expectations? This makes no sense. And then there's the pissing contest where Chakotay calls Tuvok arrogant and the Vulcan says he doesn't agree with some of the 1st officer's decisions (or whatever). So there's supposed to be some resentment about Chakotay getting to be the 1st officer instead of Tuvok -- Vulcans shouldn't feel resentment anyway. It was as if this episode tried to artificially manufacture some spice in the midst of the overall boredom/idiocy.

There's the nonsensical technobabble of a shock pulse and particle shower, which doesn't work and Tuvok, who got shut down by Chakotay, gets everybody to do nothing and like magic the distortion wave passes and all is back to normal.

Neelix's jealousy is somewhat interesting -- maybe it's a Talaxian thing. At least it's not bland and it's moderately humorous and I thought Chakotay had a good answer for Neelix's questions about women.

1 star for "Twisted" -- a true VOY turkey here: stupid spacial anomaly that does arbitrary things and nothing useful comes out of it. The characters say some out-of-character things but it's not systematic -- just reeks of poor writing, as they're supposed to be normal. The special effects were bad as well - like a high-schooler was doing them. Sounds like it was meant to be a Chakotay leadership episode as Janeway was out of commission for the most part -- but that would up failing as well.
Yanks
Sat, Oct 20, 2018, 12:57pm (UTC -6)
Rahul,

"The distortion ring made absolutely no sense."

That's the point. If it made sense, they could have figured out a way to beat it.

The blessing of this episode is that technobabble and photon torpedoes didn't win the day.
Waldorf
Sat, Oct 20, 2018, 1:02pm (UTC -6)
“The blessing of this episode is that technobabble and photon torpedoes didn't win the day.”

Yeah, instead bad writing won! Do-ho-ho-ho-hoh!
Rahul
Sat, Oct 20, 2018, 4:40pm (UTC -6)
Yanks,

While I agree it's nice that the solution doesn't come down to more "technobabble and photo torpedoes" and that Tuvok's do nothing is the solution (makes sense to not apply logic since it's an illogical situation), I'd hardly call anything in this episode a blessing. Ultimately it all means too little if anything -- and if it means something, the episode doesn't even make it close to obvious. Have to agree with "Waldorf" that bad writing won the day in this turd of an episode.

What the distortion ring was doing to Voyager was beyond suspension of disbelief -- which you do need a fair bit of in watching VOY.
Elliott
Thu, Oct 25, 2018, 9:57pm (UTC -6)
Teaser : **, 5%

Kes arrives in Chez Sandrine's to find many of the senior staff and Neelix there to wish her a surprise happy birthday. She's finally two. The EMH is around, too, serving drinks, putting up with the annoying holo-characters...we get the cake and the candles. Finally, Tom gives Kes a gift, a locket he spent about two weeks' worth of rations to replicate. Please note that he gives her this right in front of Neelix, whose food he will of course have to ingest at every meal the next two weeks. Janeway diffuses the situation while Neelix vents a little bit to Chakotay.

On the bridge, Harry is champing at the bit to join the festivities, but Tuvok isn't inclined to let him off duty early. But the old Vulcan softy finally relents and lets him go under the pretext of inspecting the holodeck. Ah, but there's some space whatever in front of them, so too bad for Harry. Tuvok calls Janeway on the comm, but his signal has gone to plaid or whatever, leading to yet another close up on Janeway's face as we cut to the credits.

Act 1 : .5 stars, 17%

Janeway sends everyone to stations, leaving Kes and Neelix behind. Meanwhile, the anomaly has surrounded the ship, in Kim's words “like a ring.” Now—this episode is not exactly impressing, but I find the comments about “oH wHY doN't theY jUSt go uP or dOwn?! spAce is 3d” fucking pedantic (sorry, Jammer). So, if the script said “sphere” instead of “ring,” that would fix all of the problems? Really? Anyway, Tuvok decides to speed through phenomenon at warp speed, but the effects shut down their engines, so Kim is sent to get the captain up to speed.

-While wandering the corridors looking for Janeway (what, no tricorder?), Harry runs into Baxter, that asshole from “Eye of the Needle.” Remaining within his thinly-sketched character, he reports that he was working out super hard, brah when the com and environmental systems starting fritzing.

-We catch up with Janeway, Chakotay and Paris exiting the turbolift on the wrong deck, a problem Chakotay attributes to the communications system malfunctioning. Okay. A few minutes later, the lift takes them to Engineering and so Janeway yells at the computer to take them to the bridge. There's some A-level scientific thinking there, captain.

-Kes and Neelix are trying to return to their quarters, giving Neelix a chance to prove to Kes that he's totally gotten over his jealousy of Tom. Totally.

-This trend continues as we see Torres end up on deck 2 instead of 11...then on deck 6. She runs into Baxter who's having the same problem.

-The EMH keeps having his programme returned to the holodeck instead of sickbay, so Sandrine can start making out with him because THIS IS FRANCE, MA CHERIE! Hoh hoh hoh.

While the idea of the crew meandering around looking for rooms is sort of amusing, their repeated attempts to just walk around and hope they stumble upon the place they're aiming for instead of, I don't know, pulling out a tricorder, analysing the computer work station, etc. makes them look really dumb.

We cut back to Kes and Neelix. They keep finding people's quarters on the in the wrong place, leading Neelix to wonder how his girlfriend, who has an eidetic memory, could remember where things are. Obviously, she must be fucking all these people behind Neelix' back. But he's not jealous. No...well, keep calling her “sweetie” and mansplaining her own memory to herself will help.

Eventually, Torres runs into Kim, asking him where the fuck they are (I like the “Starfleet” monicker callback to “Caretaker”). Neelix and Kes end up in the same spot, followed by the turbolift trio, meaning we have spent an entire act seeing people walk in a circle and Neelix behave like an asshole. Great.

Act 2 : .5 stars, 17%

So, they powwow in the holodeck, with Janeway summing up the entire act in about 10 seconds. You see the problem. The monotonous conference-room scene is tempered its boring tedium only by the fact that nobody has just off the accordion and all these Beauty and the Beast cartoons continue to flounce about around them. Janeway should hold all the staff meetings here. Torres hits on the idea of trying the transporter, Harry via the Jeffries tubes, so Janeway has everyone split up and search for clues, I mean the bridge. Janeway finally hits on the idea of pulling out the fucking tricorders, Chakotay is saddled with “legendary tracker” Neelix as he tries to find the bridge on foot. The look on Beltran's face is priceless as so he gets to continue his season 1 theme of barely tolerating Neelix' bullshit. Maybe a little “Maquis way” is in order here?

-Paris retraces their steps and manages to get him and Torres to Engineering, so we can get a lame joke where B'Ellana walks in on a crewman in his underwear. Seriously? You didn't see people in their underwear at the Academy? Hiding under rocks or whatever in the Maquis? Sigh...

-Neelix takes the opportunity to annoy Chakotay as much as posisble, buttering him up so he can confess to Commander Handsome about his jealousy over Kes and we can get this after-school special about jealousy being perfectly natural. I don't get it. We seem to be continuing this odd characterisation of Neelix and Kes like they're the ship's teenagers! Did the writers regret not having a child actor on this show, so they just turned the adults into children? Speaking of “Elogium,” didn't Kes tell Neelix that she wanted him to be the father of her only child? WHY are you still so insecure? They run into Baxter and then into Tuvok, who left the bridge to look for the captain. While the first and second officers chat about the ship's status (the “ring” is now in contact with the hull), Neelix just kind of wanders off camera, becoming lost for ever. Thank god.

-Janeway and Kim are crawling around the Jeffries Tubes, failing to get to the bridge. She decides to take a moment and tell Harry that she's proud of him. Erm...okay? The last time Harry did anything noteworthy was in “Heroes and Demons,” when he got eaten by Grendel. Is that why she's so proud? For coming back to life...twice now? Whatever. They run into a stuck door. Janeway pries it open and her arm gets stuck inside leading to an hilarious visual of the tube and her arm being all wavey and green. Always a good sign when intended drama evokes laughter.

Act 3 : *.5, 17%

-Kim manages to pull her to safety, but after a few seconds Janeway starts get dizzy and writhe in pain. In the holodeck, Doc is still fighting off la vielle pute photonique, Robert Picardo doing his best to salvage these pathetic lines when Kim brings Janeway inside.

-In a better scene, Tuvok and Chakotay debate the best way to proceed. Tuvok wants to continue taking right turns, to logically parse out the maze that the Voyager has become. But Chakotay counters that there may not be any logic to this puzzle. Tuvok counter-counters that even chaotic systems have limited degrees of patterning, and so Chakotay decides they should try both ways, Tuvok's logic and Chakotay's...er...Indian hunches? Kidding aside, I like the way the two men's command styles are contrasted; Chakotay is very open to following the Vulcan left-brain approach, but he isn't going to ignore his instincts either. Unfortunately we tie up this scene with a visual oops that rivals the spinning door in “The Royale”: Tuvok walks away from Chakotay who turns around, and we follow him go a few steps before Tuvok runs into him, coming from a different corridor, but the way the shot is filmed it's obvious that Tuvok just ducked around the back of the set. Talk about cheap.

-Torres and Paris are trying their transport to the bridge, but end up getting beamed to Sandrine's pool table instead. So for the third time in as many acts, the whole gang has assembled in the holodeck, except now Neelix is gone, Janeway is injured, and the ship has stopped obeying the laws of physics. I hate Mondays. Through some incredibly slow dialogue, we finally, finally have the crew create an image of what the ship looks like now—which is scrunched up like a tin can. Except that's not at all what we've seen this episode; rooms are on the wrong deck, shouldn't everything look all stretchy like in the Jeffries tube? Tuvok does some math and determines that they have just over an hour before their central location is affect by the distortion. Oh yeah—dun dun dun.

Act 4 : .5 stars, 17%

Sigh...Kim and Torres spout their usual gibberish to explain that they're going to cause a SHOCK PULSE to try and reverse the effects of the ring, a procedure that will kill them all if Torres isn't careful. Mhm. Drama. We even get Torres repeating Doughy's line from “Learning Curve,” “Personally, I'd rather go down fighting,” because this episode hates you. Tuvok wants to try and turn the thrusters on, which assumes they could get to Navigational Control, but whatever. Chakotay is going with Plan Likely Death, because, erm, Maquis. Actually, Beltran really delivers here, reminding Tuvok that, despite Tuvok's knowledge of Janeway's preferred tactics, he is in command, so he sends Kim and Torres off.

Oh my god. So Torres and Kim are babbling the tech, SCREAMING at each other from about 2 meters away in the Engine Room while the camera shakes. Well they do the thing, which causes the lights to flash. But...turns out the failed because the distortions are already moving through the door. Then the episode gets unintentionally hilarious again with Janeway babbling incoherently...something about Snoop Dogg...ah, but then the ring follows Kim and Torres into the holodeck. The camera makes sure to get a facial reaction from every member of the cast before cutting to commercial. Thanks.

Act 5 : .5 stars, 17%

They try a holographic forcefield. Finally, Tuvok speaks up, suggesting they stop trying to fight this thing, delivering a decent little speech about his logic, but this is interrupted by Janeway who sits up and screams (this is from the script):

JANEWAY: Is dogin do be to gandin!

Did you know this was a comedy episode? These poor actors try to make something of the decision to accede to Tuvok's suggestion. Indeed it's more enjoyable to watch them just sit with each other and look morose than listen to these awful lines.

-Tuvok and Chakotay hash out their difference, putting to rest the tension over the latter's promotion over himself, seen most recently in “Learning Curve.”

-Paris and Kim tell each other they love each other.
-The EMH and Kes speak fondly of Neelix (…...) and embrace.
-Chakotay and Torres pray together (did you hear the PANFLUTE??!! Doo doo dooo)
-Tuvok puts his hand by Janeway's shoulder, which is the only bit that isn't cringeworthy.

Finally everyone gets all wavy and weird, and then...it's over. Everything is fine. What a CLIMAX! Janeway awakens, coherent again and explains that her mind, like the ship was twisted in order to deliver an important message by yet another strange lifeform. Sigh...so they have all this new data in their computer, Neelix is fine and has made a cake (hold your applause), Kes wants a picture of him to allay his jealousy (can someone say co-dependent?), and oh yeah, it's her birthday.

Episode as Functionary : zero stars, 10%

Jerry Taylor admitted that all the scenes of people wandering around and the bullshit in Sandrine's and the weird character moments, coming out of no where, were added at the last minute in order to pad out the script. This isn't quite the abortion that “Shades of Grey” was in terms of Trek doing a show to save on costs, but it's close. An incredibly dull, vacuous and brain-dead story. Oh, and if anyone is wondering, this is still better than “Fascination” by approximately 1/40 of a star, which remains the worst episode I've reviewed so far. Skip.

Final Score : .5 stars
William B
Fri, Oct 26, 2018, 9:10am (UTC -6)
"Meanwhile, the anomaly has surrounded the ship, in Kim's words “like a ring.” Now—this episode is not exactly impressing, but I find the comments about “oH wHY doN't theY jUSt go uP or dOwn?! spAce is 3d” fucking pedantic (sorry, Jammer). So, if the script said “sphere” instead of “ring,” that would fix all of the problems? Really?"

LOL. But I dunno, short of going act by act (as you've demonstrated!), it's hard to even find enough *content* in this episode to criticize properly. The ring line is one of like three lines in the episode about the SF problem that actually seem to describe something rather than being just "it's all so weird man, trippy," and it doesn't make sense, and I think that's probably why it gets singled out.

But I do agree though. It's pretty common in mathematical physics to fudge the dimensionality of objects (ring for sphere, sphere for hypersphere, call a ring a 1-sphere and a sphere a 2-sphere, etc.) when the main interest is the topology of an object, and we can probably reasonably assume that Kim, green as he is, would know to go up or down if it were really a ring.

It is pretty funny though if he didn't, and would make Janeway's "You know, you've impressed me a lot and are totally competent" speech even funnier.

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