Star Trek: Voyager

"Day of Honor"

2.5 stars

Air date: 9/17/1997
Written by Jeri Taylor
Directed by Jesus Salvador Trevino

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"Flattery won't get you any more oxygen." — Tom to B'Elanna, upon being called a "pig."

Nutshell: Not consistently riveting, but reasonable—and with a good ending.

Boy, I'll tell you—I'm fairly sure I'm going to lead a violent revolt against those preview people one of these days. Not only did they all but give away some of "Day of Honor's" key emotional moments, but they did it with an abundance of silly cheese. Enough already. Week after week we're treated to pretentious, superficial nonsense with Big Words™ and phrases like "You won't believe...". But my complaints are futile, for looking back on reviews past, I now see that I began my review of "Warlord" with almost identical comments. That was a year ago, so why am I still wasting my time?

Forget the preview. "Day of Honor" is another quiet, reasonably entertaining Voyager outing that displays a television series going through (we hope) a healing process. The episode is nothing on the scale of, say, "Scorpion," but shows like "Day of Honor" are exactly what Voyager needs right now: small, understated stories that simply work.

That's not to say "Day of Honor" is great, because it feels a little too "standard issue" at times and has its share of shortcomings. But I'd rather see a few problems within some fundamentally solid shows than the major strokes of misguided-ness that characterized much of seasons two and three. And considering how impacting the emotional payoff of this episode is, the wait is well worth it.

The plot is not audacious, but it serves its purpose by allowing the characterizations to prevail. The day is B'Elanna's Klingon "Day of Honor," and it's a really lousy day. First, she's late for her shift. Then Chakotay assigns Seven of Nine some tasks in engineering. Torres isn't happy. She doesn't want "the Borg" walking around her department. Chakotay all but orders Torres to deal with it—and like it.

To get in touch with the Klingon culture that she has always repressed, Torres tries to engage in the Day of Honor ritual (and I appreciated the consistency of the "pain sticks" test from way back in Worf's TNG days). The result is a holodeck fiasco that puts her in an even worse mood.

Set in the background are two other plot threads that eventually come into play with Torres' personal issues. The episode is set in motion when Voyager happens across a race called the Cataati. They're a devastated people of dwindling numbers whose population was mostly assimilated by the Borg. They're starving, dying; their technology is failing them. They don't have the energy supply to sustain their remaining ships. They need help—and they won't hesitate to ask for it.

Question of the week: If you're already short on resources (as the Voyager crew is), at what point do you deny people who are in even more need? It's certainly a relevant issue, and the story handles it capably, proving that Borg stories are reliable even when they're only indirectly about the Borg.

Let's face it: The Voyager crew may have to ration its food supply and replicator usage, but everyone has clean clothes, plenty to eat, and excellent medical care. The Cataati have none of this in abundance—they're fighting for mere survival. And the one who speaks on the Cataati's behalf doesn't mince words; you have so much, he remarks, and we have so little—so surely you can help us out and give us some of yours.

Janeway agrees, and gives the Cataati all the extra supplies Voyager can spare. But it simply isn't enough for them. There are no miracle cures to poverty, even in the 24th century. And it's not surprising that the Cataati turn to treacherous acts when they don't get what they need. If I may make a 20th century observation, this is comparable to the impoverished turning to crime. These people have nowhere to turn, so they do what they feel they must, and Voyager ends up in the middle of a confrontation.

I only wish the guest actor who played the Cataati negotiator had been more effective. There was something about his performance, particularly during the initial contact scene, that seemed very ... off-kilter.

The other plot centers around Voyager's experiments with transwarp technology and Janeway assigning Seven of Nine (who agrees to be called "Seven" for short) duties in engineering to facilitate these dangerous experiments. There's a lot of repressed hatred toward Seven by members of the crew; Torres wants nothing to do with her, and even Janeway is suspicious when the experiment goes wrong. One exception is Paris, who offers his help in what is obviously a difficult transition for Seven. Paris' sentiment is sincere, although the story also indicates that Paris may have an interest in her that goes beyond simply helping her. Still, his reasoning for wanting to help Seven—the fact that "we all have a past" that we're trying to escape—makes a lot of sense given his own history. I always appreciate when writers acknowledge the fundamentals of their characters in subtle ways like this case. It makes the people more dimensional.

Seven's issues are relevant, though nowhere approaching the power of her role in last week's "Gift." Prejudice is never a simple topic, and it's probably not going to prove simple in Seven's case either. "Day of Honor" scratches at the surface without delving too far into the issue. One interesting notion is the way Taylor's script makes Seven so emotionally detached from the mistrust around her. She analyzes the situation and discusses it with Janeway in a calm, Borg-like monotone, but she doesn't respond to it emotionally or get angry when suspected of sabotage. It's a believable and interesting approach, although I don't think it really gives Jeri Ryan much of a chance to demonstrate an acting range.

While we're on the topic, much has been made of Ryan's addition to the cast. Some have said the producers wanted to add an actress with a great body simply to boost ratings. I'm still reserving judgment to that end, but I will admit that her costume this week seemed to go out of its way to highlight all those curves. I only hope that some of the more cynical attitudes toward Ryan don't turn out to be correct ones, because I still believe this character has a lot of promise. It would be a shame to have her reduced to eye candy alone.

But where was I? This story is really about Torres, and it works on a number of levels. The plot takes some turns that make this the "worst day of her life," ending with a mishap in the transwarp experiments and leading to the topper catastrophe-of-all-catastrophes for a chief engineer: the ejection of the warp core. Torres and Paris then have to take a shuttlecraft to salvage it. The Cataati get there first, however, and steal it. Torres and Paris attempt to stop the Cataati, and their shuttle is destroyed in the process. (Shuttle loss #2 of the season for those who wish to keep count.)

Torres and Paris suit up and beam into space just in time to witness their shuttle explode. I'll admit that this is a fairly contrived way of getting these two characters alone together to finally drop their walls of pretense and talk. But it turns out to be surprisingly effective. Even powerful.

For one, the space setting is utterly convincing. It's not every day that Trek does space walking, and this proves a refreshing change of pace with a genuine sense of ominous silence and uneasiness. The special effects are believable, and the setting wonderfully captures the sense of B'Elanna and Tom being alone in a vacuum, with only their space suits as their mode of survival.

Naturally, the oxygen supply is damaged and the two find themselves with only a half-hour air supply left. They know they stand a good chance of dying before Voyager can find them. So all that remains is a dialog—what they believe may be a final dialog—between two people who have had a sexual tension for some time now. What really, really works here is the way these discussions are so firmly grounded in what we know of the characters. Particularly with B'Elanna, the setting allows us to learn something new about her that we hadn't considered before, while still remaining true to what we do know. She admits her tendency to "push people away," and she regrets it. She has always been running from the Klingon in her, and now she feels she has been a coward her entire life. We feel for her.

And her regret that she is going to die without a shred of honor—and more, that this is the first time in her life that such a prospect has actually bothered her—is fascinating, well-written character material. Torres has always been one of the ensemble's most interesting people, and "Day of Honor" highlights why. She's complex and multifaceted. She's vulnerable, but she masks her vulnerability under acerbic sarcasm and cynicism. (I don't mean to slight Tom, because Taylor's script utilizes his persona very effectively, too, but this is B'Elanna's show, after all.) This is all interaction that comes across much stronger on the stage than on the page.

And in the eleventh hour, when oxygen was all but gone and rescue seemed beyond hope, and when B'Elanna struggled to utter those three words to Tom, it was genuinely moving—a lot more powerful than the cliché I thought it could've been. A big part of the credit goes to the standout performances—Dawson and McNeill both deliver characterizations that I believe rank among some of their best work on the series. But a part of it is the way the dialog beforehand leads up to this moment, making the payoff both credible and compelling.

Where things go from here I will not predict. As always, we'll just see how the writers handle it. I'm glad they decided to take a risk and bring this out into the open; now I can hope to see it put to reasonable use in the future (certainly, I hope, better than Worf and Dax on DS9 has been handled so far).

Would only all Trek romances be handled with such attention to subtle emotional states and character foundations, we'd be in good shape.

Next week: Chakotay apparently gets pulled into a war of some sort—but, more importantly, the preview didn't treat us to Big Words™!

Previous episode: The Gift
Next episode: Nemesis

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76 comments on this post

Tue, Dec 25, 2007, 9:20pm (UTC -6)
They should have blown the Cataati out of the sky and then made a jump for it. Damn ingrates, no wonder no one wanted them on their planet.

The episode had a lot of good character developement, good one.
Tue, Jul 1, 2008, 7:33am (UTC -6)
Why did Tom and Neelix insist upon pushing B'Ellana to participate in the Klingon rituals on the holodeck? WTF is so damn important about Klingon rituals? Fer Chrissake, B'Ellana is only half Klingon, and besides, if she didn't want to do it, why force her? Idiots.

Also, if this was truly hard sci-fi, the shockwave from the shuttle explosion should have pushed Tom and B'Ellana on a roll through space. But I spose that would have complicated things considerably.
Fri, Aug 22, 2008, 3:29pm (UTC -6)
To indijo:

I believe that if this was hard sci-fi, there wouldn't be such things as warp drive at all. Such technology is quite impossible to construct after all.
Bill T
Sun, Nov 30, 2008, 5:51pm (UTC -6)
This is a great episode. Imperfect but still really great. I think Jammer's anger at the previews clouded his assessment. He'd probably increase his score in retrospect or more viewings. 3 stars (at least.)
Tue, Jul 14, 2009, 3:32am (UTC -6)
Soo, was this the only time in Star Trek history where the warp core ejection system actually works?
Wed, Sep 23, 2009, 9:16am (UTC -6)
Yes! I finally understand why your Voyager reviews get so lousy star ratings! It's those damned previews! Although I completely agree with your assessment of them, I don't think they should be taken into account when reviewing the actual episode. And if you remove the first paragraph of the review, it deserves at least three stars, personally I would give it three-and-a-half, because the flaws you mentioned were accurate.
John Pate
Fri, Jan 15, 2010, 7:45am (UTC -6)
No surprises but entertaining and engaging.

Seems to me Seven's thorium producer-thingy and the thorium tech is needed by Voyager. Since the thorium is used to generate power and Seven's magic thorium generator makes thorium then either: it doesn't work because they use thorium to make the thorium in first place or, even if they do use thorium to make thorium in the first place they get more energy out than they put in and, presto, something for nothing - no more worries about running out of fuel.
Wed, May 26, 2010, 9:37pm (UTC -6)
When Tom and B'Ellana are floating in space, where does the light on them come from? a nearby star? a nearby moon or planet? or just a spotlight in a studio?
Thu, Jun 30, 2011, 10:07pm (UTC -6)
Perhaps it was non-digetic light? Or starlight, that can be pretty bright.

Either way- I like this episode!
Wed, Oct 12, 2011, 3:42pm (UTC -6)
lol at these annoying Cataati people, Janeway should have fight and teach them instead a good lesson.
Sat, Jan 21, 2012, 10:27am (UTC -6)
@Sam, it's from a spotlight in a studio. The actors are not actually floating in space. Likewise, we can hear their dialogue because it is being recorded by microphones for the audio track of a television show. There is no aural implant in your ear. Trust me.

As a sci-fi fan myself, I am disappointed that the entire scene wasn't twenty minutes of silence and darkness. Alas, we are constantly asked to suspend disbelief for the sake of "narrative." Psh.
Tue, Apr 10, 2012, 2:31am (UTC -6)
I agree with those who think the rating doesn't even come close to matching Jammer's positive and very apt review. At least 3 stars are deserved. Even though the stories are a bit too broken up I consider it a true classic. The B'Elanna A story is terrific and it results in what is perhaps THE BEST Star Trek romance by simple virtue of the fact that it feels more real than any of the others because of its volatile nature.

On a personal note, I also know first hand what it's like to be in love with and married to someone who is headstrong and tends to push people away at the first sign of trouble. I almost look at Tom as a role model for how to handle my marriage. Almost, because he's just a little bit too good at it.

@mlk & Chris, would you feel the same way if the Cataati were Jewish refugees from the Holocaust? The Bosnian war and its awful Srebrenica genocide had happened not very long before this episode aired. Your comments are so callous that I doubt you see the obvious historical parallels the writers were trying to draw here.

The sense of guilt Seven shows over the Cataati's fate is real if only on a basic level. Guilt is a new emotion to her which makes for a fascinating character study.

Eventually Seven's guilt over her actions as a Borg would become so powerful and yet so internalized that it would practically consume her and define her as a human. This episode served as a terrific catalyst for that aspect of her character.

I look at Seven of Nine as sort of a 24th century parallel to Traudl Junge, a young woman who was employed as Hitler's secretary who escaped Nazi Germany after it's defeat, and over the years was forced to confront her feelings of guilt and remorse over her involvement, however insignificant it may have been. She never thought about politics, she was simply Hitler's typist. But after her escape she came to realize what a monster Hitler was and she felt a tremendous amount of guilt not just because she worked for him, but because she even liked him.

It may seem a silly comparison to some, but Seven's situation is rather similar. She was raised as a Borg from a young age. She likes the collective and takes pride in Borg "perfection." The Borg are all she ever really knew. But now that she's free of it she's confronted by the fact that she played a role in countless Borg atrocities - a role that was also insignificant in the grand scheme. Yet as the months and years pass she becomes more and more aware of the guilt she feels over that involvement and she wants to somehow atone for it. Like I said, it makes for a fascinating character study...
Tue, Apr 10, 2012, 2:45am (UTC -6)
Why do we have to compare everything with the Jewish refugees and the Holocaust? Did you watch the entire episode? Janeway DID help the Cataati a lot, although her ship was short on supplies and far from home. But when Cataati came back with allies, threatening to destroy Voyager (what a gratitude from them!!!) and demanding Seven of Nine to be delivered to them to torture and kill her (!!!), then YES, i wanted Janeway to play it tough and give them a good lesson. :)
Tue, Apr 10, 2012, 12:58pm (UTC -6)
@Chris, because the Holocaust is the genocide people most recognize and understand. You'll note that I also mentioned Bosnia/Herzigovina which was more relevant to the '90s. However, I don't give people enough credit to actually know what that means.

The Cataati were desperate people who had lost everything and they acted out of that desperation. But it seems like what you're saying is that you wish Janeway had finished what the Borg had started. Instead, she was able to remain compassionate and find a more diplomatic solution. Kudos to Janeway for putting the Federation's best foot forward.
Tue, Apr 10, 2012, 1:18pm (UTC -6)
No, Justin, I didn't wish that. I was with Janeway and her compassion too, and I would do the same thing in her shoes. But what do you think she would do in case Seven didn't come with her final solution and Cataati started firing at the Voyager (since they got allies and of course outnumbered Voyager)? Just sitting in her chair and letting Cataati stealing all Voyager's supplies, just because they were desperate? Besides, don't forget that it was the Cataati that picked up Voyager's core (despite Tom warning them) and then destroyed their shuttle (!!!) leaving Torres and Tom helpless drifting in space!!!
Tue, Apr 10, 2012, 2:01pm (UTC -6)
They only destroyed the shuttle so Tom & B'Elanna could do their zero-g love scene.
Josh G.
Mon, Jun 11, 2012, 11:04pm (UTC -6)
Just saw this one. I'm kinda surprised by the rating, both from the episode itself and the generally positive review. This feels like a strong three-star or even three-and-a-half star episode. I have only the vaguest memory of the previews, though I do seem to remember emphasis on B'Elanna and Tom's involuntary spacewalk.

Otherwise I agree that the Cataati spokesman is a bit oddly performed - slightly unhinged, might be the phrasing - and I wonder if that was the intent.
Fri, Jul 13, 2012, 9:30am (UTC -6)
It's been several weeks since I watched this episode, but I keep going back to it and agree with Josh G. that Jammer's rating does not seem enough. The discussion about poverty, Seven's growth, and the amazing love scene put it at least 3 stars, if not 3 1/2. Required watching, IMO.
Mon, Sep 17, 2012, 3:47pm (UTC -6)
3 stars!
Tue, Oct 2, 2012, 3:15pm (UTC -6)
What I found hardest to believe in this episode was Seven's recall of some obscure Borg technology. If I take a single computer off the Internet, would it have all the knowledge of the internet? Not quite. Moreover, if seven does know all Borg technology, why isn't she asked to sit and write everything down? Especially Borg defences?
Joe Joe Meastro
Sat, Mar 30, 2013, 6:45pm (UTC -6)
This was a really good episode I thought. I think most people can relate to Torress when she's just having one of those days, things like this help build on the impression of Voyager being an actual workplace and community.

Her interaction with Tom was beautifully handled, and about time too! It was a long time coming and the pay-off was magnificently realised in the closing scene. I think the alien refugee plot angle was good too, it's certainly relevant to Voyager with its themes of home and survival as well as compassion in the face of desperation.

Season 4 so far seems like it's finally devoloping on the show, at the very least these last 3 episodes have stirred up Voyager further than most of season 3 (not that I was ever against the show).

Each Star Trek show had its own setting and devolopments on its unique scenerio. For TNG it was the Alpha Quadrant with Romulan goings-on and Klingon complications (same with TOS but with a Wild West Frontier flavour), DS9 was fairly obviously the Bajorian situations and the wormhole etc....I thnk Voyager has had a harder time establishing itself because part of the idea is that they're constantly moving and consantly finding themselves in new regions of space leaving everything they previously encountered behind which is potentially narratively limiting.

But with season 4 it seems to present the possibility that the devolopment and ongoing situations and reaccurring elements and unique flavour of Voyager can come from within the ship itself with the way the crew survive and adapt and become a community.

At least this is what I hope. You could argue its the writers' failings for taking this long to come to this, but in terms of episode-to-episode enjoyment I've been mostly happy enough with Voyager. I knew from the start Voyager had chosen to follow in the footsteps of pre-DS9 Trek, so I've never had any hope or expectations of heavy serialisation. Maybe this is the key to enjoying the programme the way it was intended to be enjoyed.

Oh back to the episode, yeah it would get a 3/4 from me (possibly even 3.5)!
Lt. Yarko
Thu, Jun 20, 2013, 6:45pm (UTC -6)
A few things that bugged me about this episode:

1. Ugh. Seven's outfit. I know, I know. Even the original series used sexuality to attempt to attract viewers. Blah blah. But, god damn it, this was over the top. Every time she walks in camera view, I get distracted. I literally lost track of the scene in engineering when they were preparing the transwarp test because I couldn’t take my eyes off Seven’s damned ass. Janeway and Torres just look silly next to her in their jumpsuits. And every camera angle makes sure that her big ass is somewhere in the shot. I would have been pissed to be one of the other women actors on the show. It's just disgusting. And, I don't mean that it's immoral or anything. I love a sexy woman as much as the next guy. But, it's disgusting because it's pure audience manipulation. It's like - Hey! We can't produce a show interesting enough to attract viewers. Let's try to get horny guys! Seven and then T'Pol really screwed up Star Trek for me, because they were so over the top. I don’t watch Trek to get a b*ner. I watch it to see sci fi. ARGH.

2. This seems to be the point at which mugging for the camera began in Trek Voyager. Seven herself had AT LEAST 2 and maybe 3 end of scene camera mugs in this episode alone. That’s one of these really annoying and retarded things some TV shows and movies do where two people are talking, one says a final thing and walks away, and the other stays in place for a second watching after the one who walked away and makes some face to SHOW THE AUDIENCE their response to the last thing said. Grrr. I haven’t noticed this phenom in Voyager at all up until the last few episodes. But in this episode, the ones they had Seven do were SO overdone! It’s like: Hey everybody! Look! It’s the new actress we put on the show! You’ve seen her body! Now see how she reacts to conversation! I know Jeri is a good actress. I have seen here act enough to be sure of that. I just hate some of the goofy crap TV producers force their actors to do.

3. I didn’t buy that Torres was in love with Paris at the point that she told him she loved him. I have been paying attention and, unless I missed something (which could be possible), I don’t feel like enough has happened between them for her to feel this way. I feel like they rushed this relationship.

4. Why didn’t the core explode? Wasn’t that the point of ejecting it? That was really weird. It was weird because no one seemed interested in the question.
Lt. Yarko
Thu, Jun 20, 2013, 6:58pm (UTC -6)
Oh, I wanted to mention one other thing. The scene in which Neelix plays morale officer to Torres was done so well, it made me really sad that he hasn't been played that way from the beginning. I hope this is a sign that Neelix will be a more real person from here on out.
Fri, Feb 7, 2014, 10:23pm (UTC -6)
The BEST time to have long long long conversations about 'feelings', is when you're nearly out of oxygen.

(That was sarcasm, btw, in case anyone didnt get it.)

Oh and if it would have been me, the energy matrix would have had a secret self destruct built right in, those a-holes didnt deserve anything.
Sun, Mar 2, 2014, 7:05am (UTC -6)
Wasn't it the episode right before this one (The Gift) where Kes supposedly pushed them safely out of Borg space? Oops, I guess not. Not only did they devastate the Cataati, but we see the Borg for the whole rest of the series.

The Cataati were horrible. If Janeway can find the means to provide food and a clean ship for her crew, with absolutely no resources or support from other ships, why can't they? They're too busy feeling sorry for themselves to get off their asses and figure out how to survive. If I was Janeway, I'd be very hesitant to help others after this experience.

The Torres/Klingon storyline didn't hold much interest for me. Torres has angst about her Klingon side, what a surprise. Yawn.
Fri, Aug 22, 2014, 1:38pm (UTC -6)
@Justin "The Cataati were desperate people who had lost everything and they acted out of that desperation. But it seems like what you're saying is that you wish Janeway had finished what the Borg had started. Instead, she was able to remain compassionate and find a more diplomatic solution. Kudos to Janeway for putting the Federation's best foot forward."

The voyager crew is desparate too, but you don't see them disregarding their morals in order to get home. Desperation doesn't mean you get to just mug people with no consequences.

Janeway basically taught these aliens that if they don't get what they want from the Federation, they should threaten Federation lives. The Federation should not be pleased...

Compassion ends when they try to rob you at gunpoint. It also is not consistent with the Janeway who coldheartedly sent Tuvix to his demise for the safety of her crewmembers. But it is more in line with the Janeway who wouldn't go out of her way to get Neelix's lungs back.

My jaw honestly dropped at the resolution of this episode, I couldn't believe Janeway did not even give them a stern warning. Instead she equips them with the capability to continue robbing and plundering any ships that pass by. Ridiculous.

I totally agree with Lt. Yarko's comments on this episode.
Wed, Aug 27, 2014, 8:57am (UTC -6)
A few commentators wishful thinking of further genocide against an already devastated and desperate peoples notwithstanding, I thought this was a well executed character piece that continues the longest quality streak of Voyager episodes thus far (the streak beginning with last season's "Worst Case Scenario").

The character interaction here is worth it's weight in gold and, even in the midst of unfortunate incidents, maintains its ability to be effectively pleasant. I also like the added touch that the Borg still obviously influences people's lives here. Just because the crew is beyond their "borders", as it were, doesn't mean the Borg confine themselves there. That would make absolutely no sense especially given what we know about how they operate.

I've always regarded this episode as an understated success in that it highlights a lot of the positive aspects of Voyager in one neat package without any of the usual disappointments.

3.5 stars.
Sun, Mar 29, 2015, 8:15pm (UTC -6)
I feel like the Cataati acted a little too extreme, the second time they came around blackmailing Voyager into giving them more then the crew could spare. I realize that they are desperate and that their very survival is at stake, but I'm surprised no one on the crew pointed out that if the Cataati took this much from Voyager, they'd basically be doing to them what the Borg did to the Cataati. Chakotay or Tuvok could have (and should have) pointed out that if the Cataati stole that much from Voyager, they'd be setting them on a path of damnation.

For that matter, why did no one point out that the Cataati are thinking too small? Stealing Voyager's supplies and thorium (or whatever it was they needed) would have bought them a few more months. But as the Cataati themselves point out, Voyager is a more advanced ship with many forms of superior technology. Why not ask them how to make their replicators more effective? How to maximize the potential of their engine systems? You know, stuff that helps your survival in the long run. Seems to me like they could have just asked Voyager for help with long term solutions from the get go.
Instead, Seven has to come up with that idea, out of nowhere. Just didn't sit quite right with me. But I suppose if they did that, there wouldn't have been any cause for drama and the episode would have been dreadfully boring, so then they'd have to find another way to make it interesting, so what do I know?
Fri, Jul 10, 2015, 1:37am (UTC -6)
I actually remember where I was and what I was doing when I first saw the final bit with B'Ellana and Tom. (In the living room, doing a thorough cleaning.) I knew little about ST Voyager at the time, but was so struck by the scene that I became a fan instantly.
As to the Cataati: I took their demands as normal for a starving and demoralized people. And Seven's solution showed her further humanization - in the best way possible. It was truly a "Day of Honor" for more than one of the Voyager crew.
Fri, Oct 16, 2015, 11:11am (UTC -6)
Jammer - I read your review then checked you rating. I think your review reads like a 3 or 3.5.

Another wonderful episode where Roxann excels. We all saw the budding chemistry between these two last season, it's nice to see the writers notice how these two play off each other and now make it a integral part of the show. Glad to see it. We dog the writers all the time, but they got this one right.

Seven's initial costume was, shall we say, pronounced :-) It WAS a distraction. (in the best possible way :-) ) At least they do tone it down in the future.

The space scenes between Tom and B'Elanna were precious. They never get old during re-watches.

Oh, and Justin... the Cataati are only like Jews if you think the Jews think that everyone else should suffer because they suffer. Jeeeesh...

Another 3.5 star episode for me.
Tue, Oct 27, 2015, 10:23pm (UTC -6)
Well, I can understand a bit why Jammer might have given a relatively low star rating despite the positive text. After all, this episode relied pretty heavily on a cliche - the character making a dying declaration of love and then getting rescued. Sure, it was a reasonably well done version, but it was still a cliche. Maybe the fact that it's not yet a Trek cliche makes it tolerable.

Oh well, cliche or not, it was a quite enjoyable episode from front to end. Some comments:

- Dawson did a really great job acting here. In particular, I was glad to see that her "bad day" wasn't completely over the top. She was upset, yes, but still reasonably professional during her time in engineering, not breaking furniture and snarling like an animal. Likewise, her utter defeat when the warp core was ejected was completely realistic. As was her scene with Neelix. This episode lives and dies with the viewer being empathic with Torres, and it fully succeeds in my opinion, in part because of how well Dawson sells it.

- Another pleasant aspect of Torres' rotten day is it didn't just end with the cliched dying declaration of love. She was worried about her entire life, including whether or not she had any honor. This isn't a Klingon thing, it's about reexamining her life. She's worried about everything, what meaning there is in her life. We know she was never comfortable with her life, with her family, with her career, with everything. And the only thing she could fix then, floating out in space, was one aspect that she could actually fix before she died.

- This is the first episode with the humanized Seven of Nine, so basically her character is basically brand new. I like what they did here. Obviously, she's the cold, almost mechanical, that's to be expected. But she was still very Borg-like, giving her a distinct feel compared to all the other cold mechanical people in Trek. Take that scene where the alien accuses her of killing them all. Spock would have arched his eyebrow and given an arrogant "fascinating" comeback. Data would have been genuinely curious about this emotion and ask the alien why he feels that way. Seven just shrugs it off and doesn't care. And why would she? It's irrelevant. Everything is irrelevant to a Borg except the mission at the time. Same with being on the bridge and offering her solution. It wasn't relevant before. It is now. Simple as that.
Fri, Jan 15, 2016, 10:07am (UTC -6)
Torres' development is very aptly handled, and even the romance between her and Paris is clever, never taking up too much of the show. The stuck in space scene feel like a precursor to the award-winning Gravity movie. That alone earns this at least 2.5 stars.

I hated the Cataati. Everytime I watch Voyager, I wonder why everyone in the Delta Quandrant are such creeps. The way the Cataati held up Voyager in this episode makes me wish the Borg finds there remnants and eradicates their species.

Seven's scenes were decent. It's fun having a character who is both incredibly powerful but a possibly threat, sort why I loved "Deja Q". That said, I did not like the thorium producer gizmo that she invented out of Deus Ex Machina parts. There's just something bad about the writing when a character can say "Oh I had the solution all the time, I just forgot to mention it!"
Fri, Jan 15, 2016, 10:09am (UTC -6)
"Oh I had the solution all the time, I just forgot to mention it!"

For what it's worth I liked this because she didn't FORGET to mention it, she just doesn't think that way.

If you're having a problem with your boss you could probably pay an assassin to off him/her but that would never occur to you because your values contradict considering that solution.

The Borg don't give stuff away to help people. It's not their thing.
Fri, Jan 15, 2016, 11:20am (UTC -6)

I should have elaborated. Actually, I have no problem with the solution itself or the reason Seven held it back. My problem is that none of Seven's alieness regarding sharing was explored earlier in the episode. In that sense, it came out of left field and you just have to accept that Borgs are selfish know-it-alls.

I would've preferred Seven have a similar conflict earlier in the episode to forshadow the ending.

And, this is just a minor detractor from what I consider a good episode.
Fri, Jan 15, 2016, 1:12pm (UTC -6)
@Chrome - It's probably a weak link between Paris offering to help and Seven's observation that humans are capable of random acts of kindness.

A scene where Seven gives Torres hell about how they are wasting needed resources helping strangers might have made a good counterpoint to her doing the same at the end. I see where you are coming from.
Diamond Dave
Tue, Feb 9, 2016, 1:56pm (UTC -6)
Feels like something of a melange of ideas this one, with a lot of themes all jumbled in together. I suppose overall this is fairly well handled but I never really felt that engaged with it. The Torres/Paris scenes left me feeling kind of flat rather than moved. The Seven scenes at least showed signs of promise. So there was nothing really bad here but also nothing really notable.

At least we did get to see an actual warp core ejection! 2.5 stars.
Mon, Feb 29, 2016, 12:56am (UTC -6)
Quite the comment thread on this one....

These people are refugees from a recent genocide. As we know from our history, groups of people coming out of those circumstances will do almost anything to live... they will not be moral beacons of light.

So, you can either say "let's punish them for being immoral and start killing the rest of them in a battle", or "let's try to find them a solution here". I am happy the writers chose the latter. There has to be understanding of why they are acting this way and to just want to drop them hammer on them for being immoral is not right.

As for the person who said Sevens' ass is disgusting. It isn't. If you don't like men or women being sexualized then you might want to stop watching TV, Movies, Sports, or anything where a photograph is taken of someone who is wearing things that show their physique.

The brought her in as a blatant attempt to increase ratings with a "hot chick" in the show. I get the viewpoint that it is shallow. However, Ryan is an excellent actress and I felt did a great job in her 4 seasons on the show. She ended up being far and away better than any character other than perhaps the Doctor. While their motivations may have been sexual in nature, it turned out to make the show much better because she made Seven into a great character.
Fri, Mar 18, 2016, 10:44pm (UTC -6)
I find that mindsets of those talking about whether you should feel sympathy for the Caatati or not are as interesting as the debate itself.
On one hand, you can definately argue that when you are in the situation of the Caatati, your desperation could drive you to loose your morality. It's the survival instinct, it'll make you do anything to make sure you get something to eat.

However, i believe that is the exact same instinct that is driving those who argue that the Caatati should have been wiped out right there. Imagine that these aliens have stolen your warp core and are using it to blackmail you down to the bone, with the threat of shooting you down as well. Either you die in battle, you are robbed of everything and die of starvation, or you are left adrift to rot in the void.
Is that situation not equally as desperate? Would your survival instinct not drive you to want to wipe out the threat?
If you can understand and have sympathy for the desperation and immorality of one group, why not the other?

This is not meant as a criticism of the commenters here, but it seems that when certain people have taken pity on a certain group, they will forgive almost anything they do, even if it can't possibly be excused by them being refugees.

Instead of taking about Hitler and the jews, let's compare it to something far more recent and deliciously controversial: the refugee crisis in europe and the sex attacks in Cologne. Many of the far-leftist (i refuse to use the general term "leftist"), who had taken pity on the refugees tried to play the whole thing down as much as possible. Most glaringly of all, a lot of feminists tried to shift the focus to white male sexism, rather than facing the possibility that every refugee might not be a saint.

Here's the thing with refugees, real life and Caatati alike; as horrible as fate has been to them, you don't know if they were good people to begin with.
The Caatati say that they were once proud and accomplished, but we have nothing but their word for it. As far as we know, they could have been the Cardassians of their sector. Maybe there's actually a good reason why nobody wants to take them in.
Even if they were once a decent people, the survivors might not be.
Sometimes, those who make it to the lifeboats are those who have no qualms about pushing others out of their way.
I am inclined to think that theese Cataati are indeed scum, because they showed no remorse about leaving the crew of Voyager to their fate, even after they preached about their starving children, and shamed Janeway for wanting to keep her own belly full. Even worse, they just abandoned Tom and B'Elanna to die in Space. They wanted help for themselves, but they couldn't even be bothered to beam Tom and B'Elanna aboard? Does their refugee status really excuse all of this?
No, what they did was inexcusable. If i didn't have a convenient bargaining chip like the one Seven brought to the table, but a plan that would get me my warp core back at the expense of some Caatati loosing their lives, i would have done it. If you are forced to fight for your own life, you have the right to defend yourself. Your right to live doesn't dissapear, just because you aren't a refugee.

And in either way, i too find it hard to believe that Janeway would just let them go without at least a very stern talking to.
Mon, May 23, 2016, 7:30pm (UTC -6)
Jeri Ryan is an excellent addition to the series and yes, her costume does get toned down to an acceptable attire. Her presence provides new story arcs that save the series and she IS a great actress. My best characters on VOY are the Doctor, Seven, and Torres.
Mon, Jul 18, 2016, 11:36pm (UTC -6)
Funny how their suits only had a half hour of oxygen left, yet in that time, Seven was able to design and replicate a perpetual Thorium source and give it to the Cataati with enough time to spare for Voyager to find Tom and B'Elanna.
Wed, Aug 24, 2016, 9:40pm (UTC -6)
nice episode
George Monet
Thu, Sep 15, 2016, 10:23pm (UTC -6)
If you are low on supplies, especially energy, then you land on a planet capable of supporting life and start a colony as that would require less energy than constantly traveling around the galaxy using a warp drive. I had no sympathy for these aliens because they are only in the desperate situation they are in because of their bad choices regarding their wasteful use of energy to power a warp drive instead of starting a colony.
George Monet
Thu, Sep 15, 2016, 10:28pm (UTC -6)
Now that I think about it, why didn't Janeway just give the homeless aliens a couple of shuttles. They don't seem to have any problems making more. I bet that Torres already uses one of those infinite energy machines Seven made to replicate a new shuttle every time they lose one, that's why they never run out. And why doesn't Janeway convert Voyager to run on these infinite energy machines?

The suits not running out of oxygen is actually canon for Voyager as the suits in Demon World had enough oxygen to last for several hours or days despite the suits claiming they were low on oxygen hours or days ago.
George Monet
Sat, Sep 17, 2016, 7:34pm (UTC -6)
Final thoughts. The technobabble made absolutely no sense.

The deflector dish projects matter, photons, fake particles and subatomic particles into subspace and then receives those particles back from subspace which are collected by the deflector dish, and the time it takes between emission and collection is the distance between Voyager and the object. The deflector dish also projects matter outwards to repel objects that the ship would otherwise collide with, meaning it projects in front of the ship. This is a closed system, it would not be connected to the impulse engines and would not be connected to the warp core.

The impulse engines operate by pumping fuel or gas or plasma or whatever from a tank. The plasma is then pulsed out of the engines and emitted behind the ship. There is no connection between the deflector dish and the engines. You cannot emit tachyons from the deflector dish and have those be pulled into the impulse engines, especially since the deflector dish and the impulse engines have no connection which would link the collectors on the deflector dish to the tanks of the impulse engines.

The only possible connection is between the warp core and the impulse engines as the warp core produces plasma, subatomic particles and radiation. Some of the products from the warp core could feasibly be pumped out through the impulse engines to produce propulsion. However that is a unidirectional flow, from the warp core out through the impulse engines. The matter-antimatter reaction in the warp core produces substances under very high pressure and with very high energies. These products would push outward against anything that was trying to push up through the fuel lines from the impulse engines and would serve to keep particles from being pumped from the fuel lines to the warp core as the pressure and energy in the water core will be higher than the pressure inside the fuel lines.

Furthermore, the warp core operates by first emitting a beam of particles onto dilithium crystals to produce antimatter. That anti-protons is pumped into the warp core where it meets a stream of protons in 1:1 ratio. The anti-protons and protons react to produce subatomic particles under high pressure and energy and radiation. Those two streams, protons and anti-protons, are the only two particles which can possibly enter the warp core. Those particles and radiation are pushed out of the warp core into a series of pipes as the particles and warp core are under a higher pressure and energy than the matter in the pipes. This is then piped throughout the ship and into the pylons on either side of the ship to produce a warp field. There is no line between the collectors of the deflector dish and the warp core which would allow tachyons to enter the warp core and there is no logical reason for having such a connection. So the tachyons being emitted by the deflector could never have entered the impulse engines and never could have entered the warp core.

The actors and writers knew how bullshit this was, so the engineers are already preparing to dump the warp core the moment the deflector dish starts emitting tachyons because they read the script and knew that the episode wouldn't work unless the warp core was ejected. So everyone is immediately ready to leave engineering and dump the core before any actual problems are reported and before the severity of any problems are determined. This is also why the warp core doesn't explode and why it was never in any danger of exploding. The core was never in any danger, the incompetent writers simply had no idea how to get from A to B so they just made the characters read the script and know they had to be at point B in 2 minutes from the start of the scene.

The Cataati could not have emitted a stream of antimatter along the tractor beam. Antimatter is not naturally occurring and so must be produced and then carefully stored. Starfleet produces antimatter by emitting particles onto dilithium crystals. The Cataati who don't even have enough energy to produce food clearly have no means of producing antimatter otherwise they'd have enough energy to produce food. Further, antimatter is still matter, so you can't send a stream of antimatter onto a tractor beam and you can't send a stream of matter onto a tractor beam which is pulled up through an energy beam being sent by a shuttle when that energy beam is being emitted. This is basically the same concept as saying that you are sending a stream of hydrogen through the beam of light coming from a laser even though the laser is just a stream of photons being emitted out from the laser. This makes no sense whatsoever because it is actually impossible.

We also have to ask why they didn't simply fire onto the tractor beam emitters on the Cataati ship which would have immediately disabled the tractor beam. The Cataati weapons are inferior to those on the shuttle as the Cataati have a severe energy shortage and no shields. In other episodes, Starfleet ships have no problems disrupting tractor beams by shooting the tractor beam emitter and that would have worked here too and that's what they would have tried first since it had a 100% chance of working and would take less than one second.

Another point, it is completely impossible that losing some people to the Borg caused the Cataati to lose the ability to replicate thorium. This is stupid beyond belief. I can't believe someone actually wrote this idiocy and that someone else was able to say it with a straight face. The thorium is produced by a device that produces thorium. This means that the device which produces thorium can be built by following plans. Plans that the Cataati, who use this device and are dependent on it, would have stored on their hard drives. No matter how many Cataati are assimilated, the plans for building that device would still be stored on the Cataati hard drives. All the Cataati would have to do is turn on their computer and open the appropriate file. This really raises questions about the Cataati having any antimatter as the Cataati don't use dilithium if they use thorium. Since the Cataati don't use dilithium to produce antimatter then they don't have access to antimatter and this episode is even more insultingly stupid.

Nobody who spent time going over the draft for this episode had a brain.

Finally, the Cataati are so butt ugly that the Borg did the galaxy a favor by eliminating this butt ugly species. Voyager should have blown the survivors to kingdom come to finish the job started by the Borg.
Fri, Nov 11, 2016, 10:20am (UTC -6)
I never felt any sympathy for the Cataati. A manipulative and violent horde of vagrants. If Paris and Torres hadn't escaped into space, the Cataati would have been instrumental in killing two starfleet personnel, in an attempt at theft. Not to mention they had 27 ships prepared to open fire on Voyager.

It was probably right to give them the thorium generator, just for the innocent few amongst them. Not all Cataati would have been complicit in these threats, one might imagine.
Mon, Jan 23, 2017, 7:16pm (UTC -6)
The Cataati remind me of the first (and only) time I decided to give some money to a beggar. I handed him $10, and he smiled all over. When I started to walk away, he grabbed my arm and wanted more money. When I told him I didn't have any more cash on me (truth), he grabbed my jacket sleeve and yanked on it. I told him he couldn't have my jacket, and then he started yelling angrily. When I turned around to walk away, he spat at me.

Watching this episode was a trip down memory lane. The Cataati ask for help, singing the Voyager crew's praises, but then they return and ask for more. And more. And when they can't have more, they start making demands, and then they become hostile.

I sympathize with them, but this episode lacked some much needed Janeway toughness. The ending felt... Anticlimactic. Like the Vidiian storyline. The show is essentially promoting pacifism at this point. Roll with the blows, and whatever you do, don't stand up for yourself. Seems to be the Voyager motto.
Dark Kirk
Mon, Jan 30, 2017, 11:24pm (UTC -6)
One little scene is vividly memorable for me - the ejection of the core. I didn't realize how long it is compared to the ship. And nice little moment of Janeway staring at the vacant space where the core was supposed to be.
Wed, May 3, 2017, 6:14pm (UTC -6)
Soooo, Torres and Paris have only a half-hour of oxygen left, but that still gives Seven plenty of time to build a device (it was rather small, after all), Janeway to negotiate with the Cataati (and undoubtedly take a moment to casually ask, “oh by the way when you were stealing, uh, salvaging my warp drive, did you happen to see my two crewmembers who are currently MIA?), get the warp drive back aboard, secure the drive so it no longer poses a threat, and for Voyager to impulse over to wherever Torres and Paris are lazily floating about. Voyager probably also has enough time to stop at a local Starbucks along the way.

About the Cataati, yes they were awfully ungrateful etc, but I’m thinking it was only after they found out that (former) Borg Seven-of-Nine was on Voyager that they turned ugly and bit the hand that fed them. The Borg being responsible for their dire fate and all. So I guess it was supposed to be a doubly special moment when the Cataati guy told a Borg (Seven), “Thank you” and then the Borg (Seven) responded (in a human manner) “You’re welcome.” Though at that point, I personally was too obsessed with Torres and Paris’ ticking oxygen clock to appreciate it.

And did anyone else notice—the very first comment on this page? Suggesting that Voyager should have blown the Cataati out of the sky? It was posted on a Christmas Day. Gotta love it.

Enjoyed the episode, and the comments.
Wed, Aug 2, 2017, 3:05pm (UTC -6)
Hello Everyone!

Some, including Jammer, mentioned something about the spokesperson of the Cataai sounding off. If I am not mistaken (and I didn't look the name up), it is the same actor who was on TNG Birthright, as the thumbless alien who gave Worf the information on his Father. And allso on another episode, Gambit, where he tells them Picard had been vaporized. He played this character exactly the same way, with the same inflections, and it was distracting to me (just a little bit), since I kept thinking about the other episodes.

Now that I'm finally to the Seven episodes, I will mention again what I thought of Seven's outfit. As a former Borg, she might like the catsuit because it isn't bulky or in the way, and is simply functional. I don't see a handy zipper though, for bio breaks. But her shoes seemed to be a form of high heel. I doubt she would wear those, as it would not be helpful for much of anything, and figure she'd wear a comfortable, sturdy, shoe or boot.

As for the prurient interest in her outfit, well, in the 90's I had a nice 32" teevee, and watched the episodes on tape. Watching today, the shows are still 480, but on my rather large widescreen (and Netflix) I did notice her backside quite a few times, much more than when I originally saw them. I don't believe it distracted me, but I did have to watch the scenes twice to make certain it didn't bother me. And while I did notice the ribs of her catsuit originally, I did not realize they were a girdle that sometimes made her short of breath, or faint. I just thought they were raised parts for some decorative reason. Easier to see on the larger teevee that they don't really move. I honestly don't like them all that well.

They needed a reason to get Torres and Paris alone together in space suits, so they made a core problem, then a fetching mission with them, then the shuttle had to have a problem (Let's blow it up! That'll be different!), then they have to come up with a reason it blows up, so they have a new species that does just that, so they can float in space with nearly no air. I've heard that some write novels backwards from the ending, and I somewhat feel this episode was written that way, more than most. Not a horrible episode, but not the greatest. 2 1/2 is about right to me, with a single thumb up. IMHO, of course.

Have a Great Day... RT
Thu, Aug 3, 2017, 1:20pm (UTC -6)
2 stars

Don't care about Paris/Torres so that part of story did nothing for me. The Seven plot was so-so. It was paper thin but I guess it managed to show yet another race devastated by the Borg and saw some growth in Seven but pretty weak honestly overall MEH
Mon, Aug 7, 2017, 7:27pm (UTC -6)
Looking back from a more adult perspective at these episodes makes me re-evaluate the characters somewhat. B'elanna Torres just comes across as such a walking inferiority complex, that what she needed was the ship's counsellor, not a relationship with the ship's chief helmsman.
Mon, Sep 25, 2017, 2:14pm (UTC -6)
I think this episode had quite strong acting, aside from McNeill being a little uneven, but pretty abrupt and overdone writing.
Mon, Sep 25, 2017, 2:19pm (UTC -6)
Dawson did well but it felt like much too much for her to think near the end that she was completely without honor when she consistently does great in her job as chief engineer.
William B
Fri, Nov 3, 2017, 1:39pm (UTC -6)
A possible link between the emotional plot and the Voyager/aliens plot: people devastated by difficult experiences don't always behave the best. B'Elanna's response to a difficult upbringing has mostly been to shut down, with the occasional outburst of anger; she's having a great deal of difficulty realizing that she's now in a situation where she doesn't have to be on edge all the time, and can maybe let other people (like Tom) into her life. The aliens have been so broken by the Borg that they cannot set limits to their own behaviour, and view Voyager's mild efforts to help them as licence to take everything. In a sense their responses are opposite -- B'Elanna is unwilling to take what is being offered her, and the aliens are unable to restrain themselves. In defense of the aliens, though, it seems like they really are desperate and starving. I don't feel any particular malice at them for their survival-motivated actions, even though I don't think they are admirable and I do think Janeway should defend Voyager; but I do think that the solution at the end, while maybe implausible in some senses (I'm not sure why the Borg assimilating some of them would remove their knowledge) seems like a better solution than perpetual conflict. That the aliens are willing to accept a gift from Janeway and from Seven of Nine -- and that Seven finds herself willing to offer one -- similarly seems to me to have a bit of meaning over in the other plot, where B'Elanna is willing to both take a personal risk by saying she loves Tom (giving him a gift of sorts), and take maybe a greater risk in accepting the possibility of his love in return. The meaning of the Klingon Day of Honour ritual changes throughout the day; like most Klingon rituals it has some violent symbolism and seems to be about honor-as-fighting/glory, but by the end of the day B'Elanna recasts "honour" as something that she is missing in her life because she lacks a certain amount of courage to go after what she actually wants in life, and not to be so badly ruled by fear and irritation. I'm not really sold on what the rest of season four did with Tom/B'Elanna (...spoilers) but this episode strikes me as effective and plausible as a follow-up to what season three did with the two of them, and makes a good step forward in both their characters. It also is the first episode to showcase Seven of Nine in her mostly-settled form; the "random acts of kindness" theme is a little overplayed, especially with Janeway throwing it out there at her at the end when Seven's actions of giving out tech were obviously not motivated by random altruism but to shave the ship from capture and destruction. But still, she has a number of good scenes, and the way she plays into the central Torres material (as another frustrating element in an increasingly frustrating day) is a good use of the character in supporting capacity, using the friction resulting from introducing this radical, unstable element into the crew to further the stories of some of the already-existing cast. The episode isn't thrilling exactly and aspects of the alien plot feel rote but I think it's mostly a good character piece; 3 stars.
William B
Fri, Nov 3, 2017, 1:46pm (UTC -6)
I should add, Neelix offering himself to be B'Elanna's emotional punching bag is one of the sweetest things I can recall on this show, and one of Neelix's best moments.
Tue, Nov 21, 2017, 1:27am (UTC -6)
If the Caatati's ships run on thorium, why wouldn't they be able to make it? Voyager could, and that was even before Seven's magical thorium maker. They had already made and given them some earlier in the episode.

And when they dump the warp core, they are no longer at warp obviously, and they lost impulse too and are dead in space, so why is the warp core millions of kilometers away? It should be right next to them. Makes no sense.

And if you use a tractor beam on it will supposedly explode, but the Caatati tractor it all over the place and nothing happens.

Once you replace a warp core, doesn't it take a long time to initialize it as well? More than 30 min I think. Not to mention all the other stuff they did in that same time period while Paris and Torres are running out of oxygen, as other people said.

And they keep saying in the show 114 millibars of oxygen left, 93 millibars, etc. Millibars is a measurement of pressure. Not an amount of oxygen. They should have said parts per million or a percentage or count down time or something that made more sense.

Not just a Voyager thing, but most sci-fi does it; and that is that people in outer space always move in slow motion. Like when they are typing on the communications pad and whatnot in this episode. I always found that ridiculous.

And why didn't Voyager realize that they were out of communication with the shuttle long before that? Why didn't either of them on the shuttle tell Voyager they found the core and that the Caatati were trying to steal it?

And why would Seven have suggested that she turn herself over to them first, instead of bringing up the thorium generator? She only brought it up after Janeway said no, she won't let her go. It doesn't seem very Borg-like to surrender.

And screw the Caatati, they didn't even apologize.

2 1/2 stars.
Sun, Apr 15, 2018, 1:14am (UTC -6)
I felt sorry for the caatati at first. But, as someone else said, it reminded me of a vagrant that wants even more once you've given everything available to him and then becomes violent. I was really hoping the crew would meet a nice race of people for once, but I guess that's not good TV.
I dislike the B'llana character so I always fast forward through her scenes. They always make her whiny and contentious, like a shrew.
Wed, May 16, 2018, 6:57pm (UTC -6)
A surprisingly great 2nd half of this episode elevated it for me -- really the scenes with Torres/Paris drifting in space were terrific (the emptiness, vastness) and I'm surprised we don't see more of that on Trek. It actually seemed somewhat original, ironically enough.

But overall, there was a lot of ground covered here and it was done pretty well for me. Yes, it's mostly about the worst day in Torres' life, but important strides are made with 7 like when she comes up with an "unexpected act of kindness" (sparing the Cataati from being attacked by Voyager by suggesting a way of replicating some mineral). 7's line to Janeway that among the Borg, there are no lies/secrets is good for pinpointing why it's difficult for her to adapt. Liked how Janeway admits she was suspicious of 7 as being the cause for the accident that made Torres eject the warp core -- but hard to blame the captain for this based on this being just the 2nd episode when 7's a member of the crew (and after what she tried to pull off in "The Gift".)

Also Paris has a key role here for identifying with 7 given his checkered past -- as there are people who surely would rather stay away from him back home and 7 faces that now. But his dynamic with Torres works great as the person who brings out the truth about her (pushing people away, being a coward). Really liked this character exposition.

Some of the things I didn't care too much for were the technobabble -- Voyager loses another shuttle, how I'm not exactly sure, and 7 trying this transwarp conduit BS -- anyhow, these are contrivances to set up what's important so it's not a big downer.

Weaving in the Cataati element was also interesting for illustrating human compassion to 7 and also another species to point at that has been devastated by the Borg. Can understand their desperation and can see how Voyager was prepared to defend itself (and I wouldn't have minded if it destroyed the Cataati for their treachery) but of course that would have completely ruined the dynamic of this episode.

3 stars for "Day of Honor" -- pretty well constructed episode and one of the best surely for Torres' character. 7 comes a very long way from "The Gift" in offering to be sacrificed to the Cataati as it would be best for Voyager in her eyes. And while it may be cliche for Paris/Torres floating in space to hook up, I liked it and thought it was believable (albeit predictable). Janeway is far too generous though to the Cataati -- she should be more pragmatic, but controversial decisions are not new with her.
Fri, Sep 14, 2018, 6:40am (UTC -6)
Hmm. I didn't think the ep implied Tom had an ulterior motive for volunteering to help Seven. Maybe I missed something.

I can understand why B'Ellana "ejected her warp core" so to speak, when she thought she was dying, by telling Tom she loved him, but it makes me wonder what it's going to take for her to get it back from that . . . vast, airless region of dark, uncharted space.

Good luck, B'Ellana.

Nicely done ep. I've decided to just ignore all the the over-the-top, and bewildering, VOY snark (it's criticized non stop, in the or review or comments, for things all the ST series do, reset button, technobabble, questionable, inconsistent decisions by the Captain, nonsensical plot devices, no consequences from previous eps, etc). Harsh and unfair, but too baffling and ingrained (and continual) to bother mentioning it from here on, I've decided.

Maybe I'll have a theory about this phenomenon by the time I get to the series finale.

In the meantime I'll just eject my warp core: I love Voyager.
Upton O. Goode
Fri, Sep 14, 2018, 7:41am (UTC -6)
Springy - I only watched the entirety of Voyager last year, and at the start of Season 4 I also couldn't understand the seemingly over-the-top criticism of the show. It was only when I got through that season, and 5, 6 and 7 and reflected on what I had watched that I understood what they were talking about. I can almost guarantee you'll feel the same way.
Sat, Sep 15, 2018, 8:04am (UTC -6)
Upton, thanks for the response. It is hard to imagine that I will feel as you say, but will keep an open mind, and try to remember to comment on this aspect after the series finale.

In the meantime, I'm just going to ignore these criticisms (bewildering bias to me) or I'd be on the defensive constantly. And I want this to be more fun than that. Overall enjoy Jammer's reviews and the varied and insightful comments.
Sean Hagins
Fri, Nov 2, 2018, 2:22am (UTC -6)
I personally understand people's anger towards the Caatati. What they did was of course wrong. But when people are desperate and feel their situation hopeless, they can react by lashing out. Without having a Godly moral compass, we see this happen all too often. Sadly, many of the VERY poor are surrounded by the rich. When I was in the Florida Keys on vacation, I drove thru a VERY poor town called Homestead. The area of it that I've seen was almost like a 3rd world country. And the people there were bussed into the Keyes to wait on vacationers who were on the whole quite a bit more wealthy than them.

Bangkok is like this as well. Seeing relative luxury in your face can make people do bad things. Retaliating against such people is not the answer!

Seven's suit-I for one never found Jeri Ryan attractive. But still, it is sad that media uses indecency to appeal to viewers. And things have gotten worse since the 90s!

The Paris-Torres romance. A decent episode. Sometimes it is hard to express ones feelings, and it was good they finally were able to.

Overall, a decent episode
Paulus Marius Rex
Thu, Mar 5, 2020, 12:23am (UTC -6)
I am only here today to say that the music was simply outstanding in this episode. It was 24th century Sibelius. It served its purpose perfectly. It didn't overpower. I loved it. (And I liked a lot else about the episode too.)
Tue, May 12, 2020, 9:11am (UTC -6)
I agree with Lt. Yarko's original comment on the suit. I think Jeri Ryan is stunning but it looks ridiculous compared to the Starfleet uniforms and I can totally understand why the other female leads might have taken issue with it. It's out of place and it doesn't fit. It has nothing to do with Seven the character or Ryan the actor - both were among the best parts of the show. Thankfully they toned it down somewhat.

I also disagree with the implication that Paris had "ulterior motives" for his kindness towards Seven. I didn't get that vibe at all - more like "we all have a past" as he said.
Thu, May 21, 2020, 6:38pm (UTC -6)
Just watched it for the first time. Great episode. Seven adds a lot to the show. The spacesuit moments reminded me of BSG, when Apollo got stranded in the middle of a battle.
Sun, Jun 7, 2020, 2:59am (UTC -6)
The alien is like a homeless beggar who refuses to leave when you say you have no change.
Bob (a different one)
Wed, Mar 3, 2021, 1:23pm (UTC -6)
A pretty good episode.

I'm a fan of B'Elanna, or more accurately, I'm a fan of Roxann Dawson's acting as B'Elanna. She is what makes this episode work for me.

I'm not a big fan of the Tom Paris character however. For one thing, I don't think much of Robert Duncan McNeill's acting ability and I think he was too old for the part. For another, the snarky lines written for Paris that compose 90% of his dialog are (very) rarely amusing and RDM does a poor job of delivering them. I thought his performance here was pretty bad, honestly.

If I had to play matchmaker I'd link Torres with Chakotay, and Tom with an open airlock.

Other thoughts:

- I like the presentation of the Cataati and their leader. It was very realistic, imo.

- On the subject of Seven's outfit: she's going to be hot no matter what you dress her in. I saw her on an episode of Matlock once, and all I can say is that if a woman can make an episode of Matlock hot there just isn't any stopping her.
Bob (a different one)
Fri, Mar 5, 2021, 11:05am (UTC -6)
On second (ok third) thought, I have overestimated this episode like I did so many others.

Start with the premise: as someone mentioned above, why are Tom and Neelix so dead set on getting B'Elanna to participate in the Klingon Day of Honor ceremony? Torres seems to have nothing but contempt for her Klingon half so it's hard to believe that she would even begin to entertain the idea much less take the time to work with Tom to design the program. "Honor" doesn't make much sense as a theme for this episode.

Secondly, even though I think Roxann Dawson is a very good actress, and I really want to like B'Elanna, I have to admit that this is another case of my seeing what a character could be vs how a character actually is.

PARIS: You have been like a spitting cobra all day and it's getting boring.

If this episode was an aberration, and B'Elanna was just having a "bad day" it would be much better. The thing is, 95% of B'Elanna's dialog over the course of the series is her being crabby. Extremely crabby. And not in the fun Klingon "I'll eat your beating heart!" kind of way. Usually she is just rude, sarcastic, and sullen. And Tom's right - it is boring.

The character of Tom Paris has a similar problem. 90% of his dialog is him delivering snarky, unfunny, jokes. The "jokes" are bad, but RDM's delivery of them is even worse. I mentioned in my previous comment that I thought his performance in this episode was bad and I'll give an example of what I'm talking about. Look at the scene just after their shuttle has exploded. Paris starts talking in a very slooow drawn out way for some reason. Why? Does he think that talking in zero G is like walking in zero G? Dawson doesn't do this.

I don't like these characters, so why should I care about their relationship? Theoretically, the plot could be interesting enough that it could overcome that fact and keep me entertained, but is it? The setting may be unique, but the "confession of love just before being rescued" idea doesn't seem all that original. You know they aren't going to die. You can almost be certain that the writers aren't going to throw their budding relationship in the scrapheap.

So, ultimately, we have a predictable episode featuring a romance between two characters I'm not invested it.
Sat, Apr 17, 2021, 10:25am (UTC -6)
I generally like this episode. Nothing special. Possibly Final Fantasy VIII used it with Rinoa and Squall>

Any case, I thought I'd note a funny error..

"Com systems must be down."
30 seconds later

"The transporters are back online. Energize."
[com system suddenly working, I see]

Sat, Apr 17, 2021, 10:26am (UTC -6)
"Transporters are still online".
Sun, Aug 8, 2021, 2:15am (UTC -6)
"Day of Honor" strikes a lot of the right cords for me. I happen to like the B'Elanna character, despite her tendency to dish out negativity.

Embittered characters (those with an unsettled past, perhaps hiding some shame) are important to the inner workings of many Trek shows.

Ensign Ro comes to mind immediately as contributing tension-building acidity to the stomach of TNG. Another Bajoran, Major Kira, performed regular reflux duties on DS9, also to good effect. Even TOS had its handy fault-finder with an acerbic bent in McCoy (although,on balance, he radiated somewhat less byotchiness than the aforementioned characters tended to).

B'Elanna does a lot for the show. Roxann Dawson gets the part right in this episode...she conveys that she's sick of herself, directly after creating unnecessary strife. I wish that more people in real life had that ability.

I completely liked the episode, 3.5 stars for sure.
....@dplb good catch on the 'transporter still online' thing when the computer in the shuttle is obviously down. I got past it by imagining a time lag buffer or booster doohickey that allows a beam-out for last moment escapes. I just hope my power windows work that way if I ever go off the bay bridge!
Sun, Aug 8, 2021, 2:24am (UTC -6)
My nomination for best moment of the episode is the tell-tale raising of Seven's left eyebrow after Janeway says to her:

" was just an unexpected act of kindness?"

Amazing eyebrow action!
Michael Miller
Wed, Oct 13, 2021, 3:09pm (UTC -6)
If the ion turbulence caused ruptures in both their suits, then how would connecting the two oxygen supplies help? All the air would still get sucked out almost instantly? The 0 Gravity Soap Opera also got boring real quick.
Tue, Oct 19, 2021, 2:11pm (UTC -6)
I found this episode less interesting than most commenters above; I found the Klingon "Day of Honor" subplot to be unnecessary, and I found Torres' visit to the holodeck to be a bore. Also grating to me were several Trek cliches: the ejected warp core, the obligatory "shuttle accident" and the "violent Klingon ritual".

All this bad stuff all gets in the way of the Cataati plotline, which IMO was the episode's most interesting aspect. This subplot, in which a battered and mistreated race - a sort of symbolic stand-in for the impoverished and downtrodden - acts hostile to those who treat them well, opens up mountains of interesting thematic avenues, none of which the episode seems interested in.

And while I liked how this episode furthered Paris and Torres' romance, I found most of their "floating in space" dialogue to be rather hacky. The FX works during this EVA scene has also aged poorly.

What has aged well are the Cataati costumes and facial prosthetics/masks. From a visual standpoint, these were some of the best "aliens of the week" Trek has cooked up.
Mon, Jul 25, 2022, 2:54pm (UTC -6)
I'd have given this at least a 3.
Sun, Apr 23, 2023, 10:43am (UTC -6)
Roxanne Dawson deserves a lot more credit for what she brought to Voyager than what she usually receives.

Mulgrew as Janeway was consistently great.
Picardo's Doctor was the best of the series.
Jeri Ryan became unforgettable as Seven.
Russ was solid as Tuvok.
Lien did fine with what she was given.

Beltran, McNeil, Wang, and Phillips were just not as strong imho. With Beltran, I think it's because I was never sold on Chakotay more than a critique of the actor.

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