Star Trek: Voyager


3 stars.

Air date: 5/13/1998
Written by Jeri Taylor
Directed by Kenneth Biller

"Leave it to Mr. Paris to cause as much trouble now as when he's awake."
"You knew this might happen. Why complain about it?"
"If you had even the slightest sense of humor, you would realize I was making a small joke."
"Very small."

— Doc and Seven

Review Text

Nutshell: Fraught with excess at times, but a good story nonetheless.

I have a tendency to sometimes look beyond what's on the screen to see what the episode is trying to tell me, and what hidden implications it has on the characters. There are times when a good story can come in a less-than-stellar package.

Such is the case with "One," an episode that has quite a bit to say, even though the way it goes about saying it proves a little uneasy and excessive. At times, "One" is a good example of using a sledgehammer to get the job done—a job that really only requires a tack hammer, or perhaps a rubber mallet.

I'm calling this a good episode with some evident flaws. The story is a cerebral outing featuring Seven of Nine, which effectively tackles her individuality by way of a plot that ensures she is alone and isolated for long stretches of time. The premise that sets the story in motion is a little on the goofy side, as the crew comes across a nebula that, whenever they get close to it, puts them in extreme pain. One nameless crew member is even killed by the bizarre side effects. Why this happens is never explained, which is just fine by me—I prefer a little mystery to a muddle of technobabble any day. Still, it strikes me as a bit silly that the crew would just happen upon a nebula that's as huge as this one without detecting it ahead of time. (The situation seems analogous to hiking through an area and not seeing the mountain until you're standing right next to the foot of it.)

The crew's problem is that going around the nebula would take a year or more, while going through it would only take a month. Only two crew members can withstand the side effects—the Doctor, for obvious reasons, and Seven, because of her Borg bio-technology. Janeway decides she can put the entire crew in biological stasis while Doc and Seven pilot the ship through the nebula. This, of course, requires Janeway to put her trust in Seven, who has always been one capable of erratic, unpredictable behavior.

There's a reasonable scene that sets up the character theme, as Janeway explains to Chakotay her faith in Seven's ability to do the right thing. It's a decent scene, if a little simplistic in dispelling the possibility that not everyone would be particularly happy that their fate rides on someone who has been a loose cannon in the past. Still, I find the bond between Janeway and Seven intriguing, even though it has often been a rough ride.

Once the crew is put into stasis, the episode becomes the Doc and Seven show. Can the two keep the ship running by themselves? (It's not an easy task.) Furthermore, another question emerges: Can Seven cope with the prospect of having no other individuals to interact with—especially once the nebula's strange properties cause the Doctor to malfunction?

It's this intriguing question that is at the heart of "One," and it brings up a host of other issues concerning Our Former Borg. Humans are social creatures—and so, it would seem, are Borg (in a twisted manner of speaking). The transition from being part of the Borg collective to being an individual was difficult enough for Seven; now she's faced with the prospect of being the lone individual in a high-pressure situation. It is more difficult than she could've imagined.

Yet "One" is not simply a rehash of "Scorpion, Part II." Rather, it's the point where Seven is tested—not just in her ability to perform under pressure, but her ability to make difficult decisions while also confronting her inner demons. These dilemmas are packaged within a series of mini-crises aboard the ship, slowly wearing Seven down as she finds the demands of being alone more than she can deal with.

Isolation is an frightening prospect. Can you imagine being completely isolated, even for a week? I can't. It seems to me that an isolated Borg (or former Borg) would have even more difficulty coping than a human being, which makes Seven's plight more believable, in my view. True, Seven has the holodecks to escape into, and even the Doctor to talk to through some of the journey, but that doesn't make it easy. Besides, she has a ship to run, and duties she must perform by herself.

Jeri Taylor's script for "One" gets a bit choppy and schizophrenic as the shipwide problems become more and more elaborate. An enigmatic alien (Wade Williams) shows up, only to disappear and then later reappear. Meanwhile, Doc's program malfunctions at bizarre moments throughout the narrative, going from on-line to partially on-line, to completely on-line, to completely off-line. I suspect the sense of disjointedness is partially intentional, because it serves to confuse and torture Seven. At the same time, it serves to puzzle the audience—and when the puzzles are solved it sometimes makes sense, but other times comes off as merely distracting.

For example, the story uses hallucinations to an extreme, bending the episode's sense of reality so far that, at times, it becomes difficult to see the images as believable hallucinations; they seem more like obligatory red herrings. Simply put, some of the imagery works, and some of it doesn't. The deception the story uses—convincing us that the alien is actually a real entity—seems unnecessary and implausible in retrospect. It makes segments of the narrative uneven and repetitive. Besides, I don't really think I needed a hallucinated alien, a Borg drone, the entire Borg collective, and the Voyager crew telling me everything that is going through Seven's mind. It's too much. In and by themselves many of these images are quite effective, but after it became obvious what the point of it all was, it grew tiresome. Kenneth Biller's direction over the surreality ventures further into the melodramatic for my tastes, sometimes pushing too hard.

Yet when I think about what this all means, it somehow makes sense. The final act, which is a fury of bombardment, may go over the top, but the way these hallucinations ultimately reveal Seven's inner psyche had me engaged, and the relentless line delivery by the faux-characters convey Seven's panic and mental overload rather nicely. While there's a part of me that feels like this is a foray into Trek Reality Bending, another part of me sees that Seven's inner problem is very real, and might just be torturing her enough to conjure up all these visions.

In the end, this episode may be a crucial turning point for Seven, as she faces the collision of past and present, Borg collectivity and human individuality, social independence and the need for others. Her stressful experience in saving the crew is marked with a decision that opens a side of self-sacrifice that has until now remained unseen. And the ending can be seen as a mini-breakthrough, as she finally realizes the benefits of socializing—expressing thoughts even though they may be less "relevant" than the exchange of crucial information.

Yes, there are some plot problems in this episode, including one hole big enough to fly a starship through: I can't see how Paris could leave his stasis chamber without being affected, especially when considering that it's later established that taking the stasis chambers off-line would result in certain death of crew members. Such holes keep this episode far from the realm of standout Voyager. But I'm feeling generous today; it simply isn't worth complaining too loudly about these things. I'm more interested in what this has to say about its central character.

Not surprisingly, "One" also serves to highlight the prevalent trend of season four—a trend which has made this season the most entertaining chronicles of the starship Voyager yet, but a very frustrating season whenever I try to think about where the series as a whole is headed. This series just can't seem to think for more than one hour at a time. It seems that these days the only character the writers can make interesting is Seven of Nine. Everyone else has become a cipher, with poor excuses for character shows like Paris' theme in "Vis A Vis," Chakotay's pointless endeavor in "Unforgettable," or Kim's scripted-from-nowhere attitude transformation in "Demon." When other characters are used well, it seems to be in relation to Seven, like Janeway's constant challenges throughout the season.

It's a ponderous subject. For months, I've found Seven of Nine to be the most believably and interestingly written character on the ensemble. Why is it the writers can't do these stories for anyone else? Maybe it's simply that Seven's quest for individuality and humanity is an inherently interesting topic, and the writers can come up with good material for such a topic relatively easily. In that sense, then, Seven is an asset. They've been telling a story about her, which has evolved and taken slow, believable turns. It's what is known as an "arc." We need more arcs.

Really, what this series needs are more challenges for its characters. And I'm not talking about plots that are solved with technobabble or even cleverly plotted ingenuity. What we need is to give these crew members a direction—personal goals and inner obstacles to overcome. What works for Seven would work for the rest of the cast, in some form or another.

Next week: Season finale. What is in the secret message from Starfleet? Bring your decoder rings.

Previous episode: Demon
Next episode: Hope and Fear

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Comment Section

96 comments on this post

    "Why is it the writers can't do these stories for anyone else?"

    Here's where Season 4 dropped the ball at Message in a Bottle:

    1. Harry: after Kim got a letter from his folks, he should have been OBSESSED with cracking the message from Starfleet. When he first feels pain in One, it could be yet another case of him falling asleep at his post - because of his incessant all-nighters. And when the Alien Tourist in the next episode quickly breaks the encryption, we could have a borderline schizo Harry insisting that It's A Faaake!

    2. Paris: Isn't Tom supposed to be the new nurse? Wouldn't that butt heads more often with his bridge duties, not to mention his love life? And what about consoling schizo-Harry?

    3. B'Lanna and Chakotay never seem to need to console each other, let alone the other Maqui, after a 10 second mention that everyone they cared about back home is... dead.

    4. Tuvok: well, at least Tuvok does ok in Season 4 (and throughout the show in general).

    5. Neelix: Dude is Voyagers fucking Ambassador, but he doesn't seem to have a staff, and still spends most of his time cooking. WTF?!? No wonder these people have so much trouble with Hard Headed Alien of the Week (TM: Jammer).

    6. Doc - Doc is great. He always is. Plus he gets Living Witness.

    7. Janeway: Either sleep with Chakotay. Or sleep with Seven. But for Christ's sake, sleep with someone. I mean, who wants to have a bitch of a boss who never get laid?!? (unless Da Vinci...)

    SO Voyager just happened to have 150 stasis chambers on board for what was originally to be a three week mission?

    I assume they constructed them from replicated components and then recycled them back into energy once they had made the trip. Same argument for shuttles.

    Yeah, you'd think with their shiny new Astrometrics lab they would have detected the nebula long enough in advance to avoid it. Oh well, these are minor points, overall it's a good character study.

    Jay: The mission may have been three weeks but I'd think Voyager was built for the possibility of long-term missions as well. Who knows what it would've been assigned to afterward.

    I wasn't a big fan of this episode when it originally aired because I've never really cared for psychological thriller-type stories that rely heavily on halucinations or what goes on inside people's heads. However, this really is an excellent look at Seven of Nine's psyche and provided some pretty powerful character development. It has its flaws, but I'd call it a minor classic.

    One glaring flaw: why would the computer voice slow down and speed up like a tape deck on low battery power? Is this the 24th Century or the 1970s...?

    I really liked this episode aside from the terrible acting in the teaser (and by the way, the effects of the nebula ARE explained, several times). The alien is creepy in a good way (not like the "Isomorph" which was way over the top to the point of being aggravating), though I do not like how that plot thread was left completely unresolved. Did he die or did they just beam him back to his ship?

    I particularly liked the surreal feel which reminded me of Season 2 (Persistence of Vision, Cold Fire, and Projections). The warp core turning green was a really cool effect.

    Anyway, I couldn't help but see a metaphor between this episode and the direction the series as a whole would take from this point: the rest of the crew basically gets put in suspended animation and it becomes The 7 Of 9 Show. At the beginning of Season 4, they at least tried to make shows about other characters. But I believe this episodes marks the turning point where they've given up and the rest of the characters basically become extras.

    Domi: I don't think the alien ever existed, I think he was a hallucination the entire time.

    You know, Seven could have deactivated life support much earlier and just put on an environmental suit and just rode it out.

    So many predictable plot holes;

    - as Daniel said, what about a spacesuit for Seven?

    - is there no Prozac in the 24th century? Seven was clearly having a nervous breakdown/paranoid delusions/ect... could have been precipitated by the 'radiation', regardless, the Doctor was completely useless assisting her deteriorating mental state.

    - Why the strange alien of the week to pester Seven's subconscious? It made no sense. They should have stuck with the Borg theme, it would have been a perfect opportunity to explore coping mechanisms of the Borg when they lose contact with the collective. Instead we get inconsequential manifestations from Seven that strain credibility. Seven is after all part Borg, her adherence to logic should have prevented any such delusions from overtaking her better judgement.

    Even so, the episode was a great set-up, showing the doctor and Seven working as a team, the last 25% of the episode clearly went off the rails.

    The radiation is devastating to organic tissue, but Seven i somehow immune. She has plenty of organic tissue.

    Plus, Seven is rather Archeresque here...she tells some strange alien that her entire crew is in stasis (and therefore incapacitated). He could easily have been hostile.

    @Nick "Why the strange alien of the week to pester Seven's subconscious? It made no sense. They should have stuck with the Borg theme"

    I agree, but it is clear why they chose the alien at first. Because we were supposed to believe, for a while,m that he was real. If it was a Borg bothering her from the begining we would not be foolished. However, it got obvious pretty soon that the alien was not real... So I also regret they did not use the oportunity to explore in the way you've suggested.

    Sure, the episode had a few big logic flaws, many of them already pointed here by others. But overall I found ths episode really entertaining, with a terrific development of Seven's character. Pretty good.

    Hokey in places, this is nevertheless a warm, compassion look at 7's lonliness and her budding camraderie with the crew. It strikes me that Season 4 is a giant arc in which the FEDERATION essentially ASSIMILATES a BORG and replaces its ideology with Janeway's FED ETHOS. Nice.

    Entertaining episode but it kinda highlights my issue with season 4.

    So far in my own rewatch I preferred the episodes before Seven came aboard. I think if this was an episode in season 1-3 it would have been better.

    The whole, 'Seven is unique and can do x, y, and z' thing gets really tired. Like Jammer's review said the writers could have done this episode with any of the characters, but everything is so Seven centric this season.

    The show is getting to be close to the Seven of Nine show, rather then conventional Trek, but I don't really see a way around that.
    The only characters worth a damn who aren't Seven are Janeway, The Doctor and Tuvok. And even Tuvok is dancing on the line of just barely being worth remembering.

    Harry, Chakotay, Tom, B'elanna, Neelix. Not much interesting going on there.
    They either were never interesting to begin with (Neelix, Tom and Harry) or they already depleted what little material their characters had that was interesting (Chakotay and B'elanna).

    Doc remains interesting, because he's the Data of this show. An unconventional piece of technology that attempts to become as human as possible and continuously struggles with achieving the same rights any human being has.
    Tuvok remains interesting, even if just barely, because as the Chief of Security as well as Janeway's confidant, he is often involved in whatever alien activity Voyager encounters and thus always able to voice his opinions or give his advice. Basically, Tuvok remains interesting because he simply gets enough screentime to be such.
    Janeway was always going to be interesting, simply by virtue of being the captain. She's the main character and everything goes through her.

    After 4 seasons, you can't suddenly make uninteresting characters interesting without completely rewriting them. And that would require a lot more effort then just simply focusing on the ones that already work.

    Given the vitriolic commentary I'm surprised any of you even watch the show. And Mal, really? Could you be any more sexist in your commentary? As for Jammer and the rest of you who like to nitpick, please reveal the television episodes, for any show, that you have written and that made it on the air. Go ahead, anyone?

    It's easy to critique when you're not the one that has to produce a show and keep viewers engaged for 7 years, but these folks managed to do that.

    Shannon, your comment is akin to saying that the only person allowed to sue a doctor for malpractice is someone who could have preformed the surgery themselves...

    Shannon - can you point out even one thing in Mal's post that is in any way "sexist?" I've read his post three times and I have no idea what the fuck you're talking about! There is literally nothing sexist in anything he said.

    Is it the part about Janeway needing to get laid? I would say the same thing about a man. Who wants to work for a grumpy boss who never gets laid? How is that sexist?

    Maybe you should get laid yourself because you are really fucking uptight!

    In defense of John's argument TNG had an entire episode based around Troi and Riker trying to get the grumpy Picard laid. They even make him buy a horgan :P

    John, I wouldn't presume to speak for Shannon, and I disagree with her comment about who is qualified to critique, but the cliche that an uptight woman only needs to get laid is old, tired, and yeah, sexist.

    While you claim you would say that about a man, a man who is doing his job and doing it well wouldn't be told he needed to get laid. Only women get told that if they are tough and efficient.

    So that's why I think Mal's comment was perceived as sexist, and I agree. No woman wants to hear that, especially when it is a commentary on how businesslike an good she is at her job.

    Sexism (1) - the belief that one gender is inferior or superior to the other.

    Sexism (2) - the belief that men and women should be treated differently on the same subjects as a result of an unwarranted double standard(s).

    I find nothing in Mal's comment that conforms to either of the above definitions of sexism. I don't see him saying that Janeway needs to get laid because she is "tough, efficient, and doing her job well."

    Instead, I interpreted his comment as seeing Janeway as being portrayed on many occasions as a joyless, stressed out, and uptight bitch who needs to loosen up. I agree with this in many ways. When someone is like this, having sex will relax them and kill that bug up their ass. That's why, as Robert pointed out, Troi and Riker tried to hook Picard up in "Captain's Holiday" (which was a good idea). So yes, an uptight woman, just like an uptight man, just needs to get laid.

    So I fail to see a double standard here. His comment pertaining to Janeway was too short for me to be able to draw any conclusions about, or extract any evidence of, its sexist nature. If there was a double standard in his comment, or the belief in one gender's inferiority in relation to another, it was too subtle or vague for me to detect it. I would need him to elaborate more before I convict him of sexism.

    Full disclosure: I always wanted Janeway to have been written as the female version of Kirk - a sexually open minded, hip, creative, and rule-bending "alpha female." Instead, they made her more similar to Picard than any other captain. And, just to take what Mal said further, I would have loved to have seen Janeway eventually sleep with both Chakotay AND Seven (preferably at the same time), although I realize that that would have been inappropriate for the tone of a show like this, lol.

    Did anyone notice that Tuvok is missing when the crew is being put into stasis? Or am I missing something myself...

    This does have its moments, and while it lasts the two header with Seven and the Doctor is quite entertaining. But it does take a veer off into a rather surreal and melodramatic direction, and frankly by the end I found it more akin to fingernails on a blackboard - the whole set-up was just grating for me. Not helped by the increasingly histrionic score. Sorry, but another clunker as the season badly peters out. 1.5 stars.

    John, I assume by your name that you identify as male. I am female. It is very frustrating to live in a society when men try to deflect sexism by quoting definitions and claiming that a sexist remark wasn't sexist because of 1, 2, 3. I see it all the time--people trying to justify racism or sexism or other prejudices by putting the blame on the victim.

    "You're too sensitive!"

    "Lighten up!"

    "It happens to men/white people/Christians too!"

    What you should do, instead of trying to defend yourself, is listen when people in a marginalized group try to explain something. Just take a step back from the front and consider that maybe you are incorrect in your assessment. Do it honestly. If you will even TRY to do that, I'll respect your effort.

    @grumpy - While I do agree with you that

    "Lighten up!"


    "It happens to men/white people/Christians too!"

    is a poor excuse for sexism and that John's definition of sexism falls woefully short.... and it does help to walk in somebody's shoes and see things from their PoV.... people who are not in a marginalized group are often frustrated when they DO all of that and find that perhaps the person you were talking to IS too sensitive? Not too sensitive in the sense that they should learn to let racism/sexism etc. roll off of them (nobody should) but too sensitive that they see racism/sexism where there is none.

    While I agree with you that an authoritarian female being told to get laid might be a "cliche that's a tad sexist" and Mal may even have meant it in a sexist way... you say that "a man who is doing his job and doing it well wouldn't be told he needed to get laid".

    I take serious issue with the idea that Janeway is doing her job well!!! I have been called sexist for not liking Janeway, often for as little reason as I have a problem with a woman in command (even though there is little more I'd want to see in Star Trek than Kira commanding DS9 for a miniseries).

    I guess what I'm trying to say is... is a man not allow to call a woman in charge uptight or crazy if they genuinely hold that opinion? This is a serious question at this point. I am aware that little boys in charge are more often seen as little commanders or leaders and little girls in charge are often seen as bossy. I'm not trying to belittle or marginalize the actual concept of the idea that "uptight bitch" or "need to get laid" are often key phrases for "I don't like a woman telling me what to do" or "I don't like a woman laying down the law in the same way that I'd put up with a man doing it". I really get that... but what if you genuinely think Janeway is uptight in a detrimental way to her command? Is it just not ok to voice that because you're a man?

    Robert, thank you very much for your thoughtful response. I REALLY appreciate you articulating your exploration of this issue. Certainly you may dislike Janeway as a Captain without being guilty of sexism. I recognize there is a faction of feminism that might accuse you of that, but that would not be me. (But then, MY favorite Captain is Jellico, so what do I know? lol )

    In my previous comments, I think I was bringing some of my own baggage, when all I really wanted to say was "Hey! Don't tell women they need to get laid! It's rude!" And even if people say the same thing to men, it's still a sexist and belittling thing to say. So if you want to point out Janeway is too stiff and uptight, that's exactly what you say. Not, "she needs to get laid."

    I hope I have proven that I am not too sensitive and am willing to listen to other views with an open mind. :-)

    @grumpy_otter It was definitely rude :)

    The question was just if it also HAD to be sexist. I sort of feel 50/50 on that.

    And as for Janeway.... I actually really liked her before her character "reboot" so to speak, which is unusual for me. Usually I feel the reboots improve the characters (Dax, Sisko, Picard and Riker all benefited from their reboots).

    I feel like, and this is actually a common problem with some feminists, that they tried to reboot Janeway to make her less feminine and more like Kirk. Like women can't be strong and feminine (a concept I hate). And I'm sure it's probably blasphemy, but Kirk is only alright for me.

    There's been some chatter on this site about "Good Shepard" lately, and that's totally the mama bear version of Janeway that really spoke to me in the beginning that I feel they lost a lot of over the way. I liked the scientist, the matriarch, the person who was.... in a lot of ways going to be the mayor of a community for 70 years. But I feel like they toned down her "Hermione factor" and her "Mama Bear" and amped up her Kirk.

    I actually don't even mind making a character stronger (I mean... dealing with the Borg and the Hirogen is bound to give anyone an edge), but they could have done it without losing some of what made her special too. In later seasons I missed the Janeway that told Kim in Emanations "Sometimes there are experiences which transcend all that. You've just had one, Mister Kim, and I want you to live with it for a little while. Write about it, if you feel like it. Paint. Express yourself in some fashion. The Bridge will still be there in two days." That's just not the type of thing that any of the male captains would have said and it was very cool.

    She was the one that looked after Tom, Harry and Kes in a motherly way without undermining her authority, the one who got excited about science and engineering with B'Elanna, the one who was soft, smart and strong. She had it all. I know VOY went through a lot of show runners, but I really preferred that early characterization.

    Why does everything have to be on a horizontal plane? Why does Voyager not simply navigate below or above the nebula?

    Good episode.

    Not great.

    But really, what's one more year? .... was this really worth the risk?

    Seven and the Doc are great, even if they are over the top at times.

    I too don't think this "guy" was real.

    3 stars.

    Ensign "Who Cares' must be the unluckiest guy in the world. Every one else got minor burns. For some reason he was fried .
    If I see Lenny show up as a clown I'm out.
    Things disintegrated into dullsville when Seven started spacing out. (*)

    @ grumpy_otter,

    "While you claim you would say that about a man, a man who is doing his job and doing it well wouldn't be told he needed to get laid. Only women get told that if they are tough and efficient."

    I'm just butting in to give my 2c of observation: I've heard men told countless times "you need to get laid", typically by their male peers, but occasionally by females. It's not at all an uncommon thing for a guy to be told when he's frustrated or stressed. I have, to date, heard zero men in my presence say that same thing to a woman, although I have on MANY occasions heard women say *of themselves* "I need to get laid" or something to that effect. Maybe you can chalk this up to women having better awareness of their maintenance needs, or men being reluctant for the most part in mentioning (to say nothing of being aware of) their own weaknesses.

    So I don't know where the "cliche" comes from about women in authority being told they need to get laid. Is it even a cliche? I've never heard of it. In fact, if one wanted to posit some sexist meme it surely would not involve a woman's "needs" since chauvinism tends to highlight male needs and sideline the fact that women even have needs.

    Regarding Janeway herself, I think the show more or less directly implies that she does need/want to get laid, or at least to have intimacy with a male. It's not merely some quip thrown out by a viewer like Mal, it's an actual story element. That's hardly sexist; as Robert said, it was more like a crude way to state the obvious.

    As an aside, I'm happy to see there is another member of the Captain Jellico fan club :)

    Did anyone else catch that Seven reads Paris's vitals as "Pulse: 42. Temperature 97.6..."...degrees Celsius?! Good job, Doc, Tom is almost boiling. Must be all that radiation.

    Do we really need to turn this page into a discussion about sexism. For fucks sake, take it somewhere else. I'm sick of PC bullshit.

    About the episode: I can imagine the creative discussions in planning this one:

    Writer 1: "Seven's only been the star of 8 out of the last 10 episodes. We need to come up with a way to give her more screen time".
    Writer 2: "Can we kill off every else?"
    Writer 1: "I like the way you're thinking but let's just put them all to sleep. We can always come back to the first idea later."

    Good thing I like seven. Good episode. 3 stars.


    hate to break it to you, however, they still use F for temperature in the USA so often you get that in Trek shows. She was not speaking in Celsius in that moment.

    Ah, how handy. 150 stasis pods just lying around ready to go on a moment's notice. Those Federation stations are so smart when stocking a ship for it's next mission.

    Yes, I know.... Replicated, right? Well, considering all the replicators we see are the size of a microwave, it would have taken a long time to replicate all those parts and assemble them. And where did they put them after this was done? Hm.... maybe de-replicate them piece by piece?

    Darn, too bad the crew forgot about how to make these handy dandy pods. They would have come in handy in future adventures.

    I never saw this episode during the original run. Recently, I found all of voyager's episodes available online, so I've been binge watching the entire series.

    I'm 10 minutes into this episode and they're talking about "subnucleonic radiation" (WTF is that? free range quarks roaming around?) that their scanners failed to detect beforehand and that walked right through their deflectors and hull like overpriced gossamer curtains, but somehow doesn't immediately murder everyone aboard or damage any equipment. People start dropping like the cockroach version of The Raid: Redemption, but Janeway doesn't do anything, until "surprise," after they come back from the teaser. (Any idea why that ONE GUY was extra crispy, while everyone else just had minor burns? Did he alone forget to put on his Sunblock 1 Billion that day?) I'm like WTF?!? 3 people are collapsing and Janeway doesn't immediately scream "Get the hell out of here!" The iron worker at the end of Terminator 2 had more sense than that. And all he saw was a truck accident in front of his building.

    Luckily Tuvok is faster on the draw than the captain and gets them out of danger. They then devise an "ingenious" plan to put everyone in stasis while 7 of 9 (whose extent of immunity they have no idea about) and the Doctor, who as we saw in "Message in a Bottle" doesn't know squat about piloting a spaceship. But according to Janeway, he's well versed on Starfleet protocols and so he's in charge Again, WTF?!? What protocols is she referring to? Prime Directive? How does that help them cross the nebula? Where were those protocols in "Message"? This apparently is all for the purpose of seeing how 7 deals with loneliness, as indicated by the short discussion between her and Janeway.

    Seeing as they have holo-emitters all over the place I'm wondering why can't they have holograms of the crew, like the ones the Doctor was using in 7's social training, perform ship duties? But I digress.

    Why do they have to cross the nebula anyway? Going around it takes 12 months instead 1 month going through it. So freaking what? What difference is 11 months going to make compared to putting the crew in such jeopardy? What are they going to do if something goes wrong with the ship while everyone's counting sheep? Remember the time they went into a nebula and almost got Tuvok assjacked by a supermassive bosom, reptilian Yandere, holodeck-hacker?!? I would think Janeway had enough of nebulae for one lifetime.

    Jammer gives this episode 3 stars; I'm already skeptical, but I'll ATTEMPT to reserve judgement until I've watched the whole thing.


    Thanks man.... that's some funny shit right there :-)

    @Peter G.

    I am of the opinion that Jellico fans are the BEST Trekkers; any dissenters can come at me!

    I added another comment below the one you quoted that expanded on what i meant--just "don't be rude!" I'll add that men should never comment that awoman needs to get laid. In every context I have ever heard such a remark from a man, it means that HE wants to be the one to "relax her." It's such a smarmy and icky come-on. Blech.

    I guess I have heard men say that to other men, but in that case the dynamic seems different, though still abhorrent. When I've seen that, it seems like saying "Go find a convenient hole to fulfill your needs in." Which again denigrates women.

    I am not one of those vicious feminists who get all riled up when i hear stuff like that, and I'm happy to explore my beliefs. But I'll tell you, it gets a bit tiring to hear stuff like that so often and be told to "Lighten up!"


    If Jammer comes by and tells us to stop talking about a certain subject, I'll happily comply.

    2 stars

    This was a pretty boring episode. It picked up some interest with the the alien but then ripped the rug out from underneath me with it being just a hallucination. I'd rather they left that out rather than get my hopes up only to dash them. I don't know if I would have liked the episode any better because it wasn't very entertaining nor was it very involving

    I have to say that I really love this episode. Jeri Ryan shines here and it is the best episode so far in terms of exploring what she is going through since leaving the collective.

    "I don't really think I needed a hallucinated alien, a Borg drone, the entire Borg collective,  and the Voyager crew telling me everything that is going through Seven's mind. It's too much."

    Jammer I have to disagree here. I actually thought knowing what goes on in detail in Seven's mind through the voices of others served to indeed intensify the viewer's experience and understanding of how fragile Seven has become. I did not realize she was tormented to that degree in her effort to adapt to her sense of individuality, and the intrigue is that, it seems that neither did she realize that. It made her inability to cope that much more realistic.

    Stellar episode as far as I am concerned.

    @ grumpy_otter ... amen to Capt. Jellico, putting his boot to the asses of the Cardassians and the Enterprise crew alike! He even got Deanna Troy into a proper uniform (she looks good in Starfleet blue!), and probably jump started her career as a Commander.

    @ Robert ... I believe we can still find examples of original mama bear Janeway in the later seasons, but as you mentioned, her experiences matching wits with the Borg and the Hirogen gave her a Kirk-esque edginess. Those experiences made Janeway a more well rounded Captain -- ironic to think of someone finding their inner James T. Kirk making them a better and more complete person, usually it would be the reverse of a "Kirk" getting in touch with his/her feelings. By getting to "ride shotgun with a group of officers like that", Janeway attained the full set of skills necessary to see her ship and crew through 70 years in the delta quadrant, and thereby received 63 years off for good behavior.

    PS @ Robert ... agreed, more Kira in command of DS9 would be welcome, especially if Lieutenant Nog is her first officer!

    There are some episodes that seem like they are better suited to a half-hour episode format; this really feels like if it were an animated series-style episode, it could have been great. As is, it's okay. There just isn't enough material for a whole show in here. Skeptical mentioned Firefly's Out of Gas when talking about Demon, and that episode managed to make long sequences of isolation effective first of all through a beautiful musical score and great central performances, but also by layering in a complex flashback structure. Something like 2001: A Space Odyssey manages to make long sequences where nearly nothing "happens" interesting by focusing on the technical realities of what life on a space ship would mean for Bowman and Poole and by using the spectre of conflict with HAL to create a slow sense of dread, as well as (again) making the visuals and music do some heavy lifting. The episode here doesn't reach those heights, and nor should I really expect it to, but man, I think the ep either needed to have something else *happen* or to commit more fully to showing what Seven's daily routine is, both with and without the crew, to give some further context to how the experience of total isolation differs from her regular experience.

    The thing that's interesting about Seven's plight in this episode is that Seven's time in the collective led to her never being alone, and always having a number of voices in her head, but ALSO led to her having no concept of "social skills." The Borg's emphasis on efficiency and utility and their collective nature eliminated the role of "inefficient" interpersonal communication and friendship; social needs were fulfilled by the mere fact of being hooked in with thousands of voices with a common goal, and so the way in which humans (or humanoids I guess, plus the Doctor) satisfy their needs for companionship in more indirect ways is hard for Seven to grasp. So Seven is already deeply isolated on Voyager, spending much of her time alone on an episode-to-episode basis. How does *that* loneliness affect her? Why does she find herself so unwilling to interact with other people on social terms, given that the way the Collective circumvented those social needs is gone? The episode sort of addresses those ideas, but I think it doesn't quite do so well enough; I think the idea is that Seven is so used to the Collective's form of social contact that she cannot adapt to the conversational social style favoured by the Voyager crew, and so she convinces herself that she doesn't need others, and only interacts with them in the standard way she does -- through work. But that contact was enough, for some time, combined with memories of the collective, to convince her that she was capable of operating as an individual without joining the rest of the crew. The time truly alone through this episode emphasizes how badly she needs other people, in a way that she had been completely unaware of, despite her already-present state of isolation. She thought she could continue placing the abstract good of the group and efficiency as ways to stave off loneliness and aloneness because those worked in the Collective, but they could only take her so far, and the small points of contact with other people which she had ignored before turn out to be very important.

    Ryan is great and so is Picardo, of course, in these scenes, and I like the way the two grate on each other in isolation and the way Seven in particular seems to want to be rid of the Doctor before he disappears and then she is desperate to have him back. I also like the way there is some fear/desire mixture with the alien; I don't think her sexuality is exactly activated by him, but there is something in the attention he pays her (with a sort of leering quality) that seems to trigger both repulsion and a kind of attraction, because she also really *does* need someone, even an imaginary someone, to keep her company and keep her from going insane. I like the idea too that Seven has mostly thrown herself into her work, including work with other people, and it's only when totally alone and with no feedback from other crew members or the command structure whatsoever that she starts to feel something like guilt about what she did in the Collective, and to understand and process what some of the crew's feelings about her actually mean. I think in some ways that the "moral dilemma" where she has to choose where to cut power comes too late in the episode, and seems odd anyway (she seems to cut life support to the whole ship at once, rather than to, say, every room but the one she's in), but still makes an important point about Seven trying to figure out what it means to be moral partly by trying to figure out what other people would say about her. There's a childish quality to her loneliness, and it reminds me of the way The Raven suggested the unprocessed trauma of her assimilation as a child, and the way in some senses her emotional growth was stunted at the age she was when assimilated, despite her physical and intellectual maturity.

    I find the idea that Tom can keep climbing out of the stasis chamber really unbelievable, especially with the idea that he keeps not getting horribly scarred. The hallucinations involving the alien have some benefits -- his articulating some of Seven's fears about herself, of whether she's effectively a mass murderer, seems worthwhile, for instance -- but mostly he seems like a weird, half-digested story idea, with a lot of hokiness. And as I said, I feel like the episode should have maybe been more incisive about how Seven is able to function as alone as she already *does* on the ship, a huge open question which the episode only really gestures at. (Maybe this is more a flaw with the season overall than the episode in particular.) Still, I like the episode and find it touching. I think like Jammer I'd say it just barely makes 3 stars.

    If the display of that nebula in astrometrics was in any way accurate, they could have gone over or under the nebula in a month as well, maybe less. But even if it took a year, it's far smarter to go around it than risk everyone's life to save time.

    It seems that the writer's have already forgotten that Voyager knows how to make a backup module of the Doc (Living Witness) and that holoemitters were installed all over the ship (The Killing Game), but what's new? It's like every episode is the pilot. Nothing came before it.

    This episode wasn't certainly a step up from the last one, but still not very good.

    2 stars.

    Oops. I meant to say 'WAS certainly a step up', but then what wouldn't be?

    Watched this yesterday in my first full Voyager watchthrough, and I found it terrible. Probably my least favourite episode of the season, and one of the worst of what I've watched so far (season 1-4).

    I've come to live with VOY's notorious lazy plot devices, but this is one of those cases where it's really pushing it right from the start. Voyager hits nebula that kills people but they can't fly around because Janeway insists on going through at all costs. We could put the whole crew in cryo sleep for a month? Well, make it so. This reminded me of the similar ENT episode with Phlox, which did it better because at least they discussed dangers and options should something unexpected happen. I admit, I stopped caring at this point already.

    What's more, another Seven episode? Really? I don't have anything against Seven, I think she's a good character, but most of the season seems to be about her, which gets tiring first and then annoying.

    What followed I found pretty trite and unconvincing, with the final words of Seven to Paris "maybe you felt lonely"... eurgh. Deep.

    Threshold was better because it had a "so bad that it's good" ending that still makes me laugh just thinking about it. I hope I'll forget this one quicker.

    I liked the previous episode, "Demon," better.

    Too much Seven. This season has too much Seven. Seven having hallucinations for 20 minutes is boring.

    Only the Doctor saves the episode from being unwatchable. Robert Picardo is a great actor.

    * * *

    Why don't they just all stay in stasis for 75 years while holograms run the ship? Then they won't all be old men and women, half of them dead from old age, when they finally reach Earth.

    Things I took from this episode: Neelix has experience in warp field theory? And is apparently a bigger expert on the subject than Seven who was schooled by the Borg collective?

    Could it be that she was just using the holodeck recreations of Neelix and Janeway to have some social interactions on a subject she's actually comfortable with? The Doctor berates her for it, but c'mon... We all have people we'd much rather discuss work with than intimate, personal stuff.

    I can see the admirable objectives in this episode -- 7's new-found beliefs being challenged, her dealing with loneliness -- but it got overdone with the hallucinations and paranoia. It stopped "adding value" after a certain point when it seemed to be just trying to break her and I wondered what was real and what wasn't (or what makes "sense" and what doesn't).

    As for being another 7 episode, I think they maybe could have made it work for say Tuvok but 7 is the new toy this season and it has done quite well -- albeit to the detriment of other characters.

    At first, I was wondering where they came up with all those stasis chambers. Do they just have them hanging around? And then, I assume Paris getting out of one had to be a hallucination otherwise he'd be covered in burns etc.

    Trek's had a number of these episodes where a primary character goes through the ringer (paranoia etc.) but here I don't think it works well -- not because of 7's acting but just the situations are so repetitive. The random alien, the bridge crew all mocking got ridiculous. But 7 (Jeri Ryan) does have some great facial expressions -- like when she showed genuine fear.

    Ultimately it's a baptism by fire -- 7 sticks to her guns (not surprisingly) and redeems Janeway's trust. Obviously the 2 have a strong bond and I liked all the stuff their relationship has gone through, although the captain didn't have much choice other than to trust 7 here.

    A high 2 stars for "One" -- the whole paranoia thing went on for too long and has been done better ("Frame of Mind" comes to mind) but there are other examples. Another lesson for 7 about the need for companionship now that she's not Borg is a good premise for an episode but the ongoing nagging from the alien and hallucinations of the shipmates, stuff not working on the ship etc. got repetitive and annoying. Ultimately it's a pretty basic, somewhat predictable episode.

    I am like Jammer, not the biggest fan of Voyager, but this is a 4* episode. No question. Just a great psychological thriller with the most interesting character on the show. Awesome.

    I like Seven, but this was just too much Seven. Once the Doc lost his mobile emitter, and the enjoyable Doc and Seven interchanges ended, I was disappointed and bored with the Seven-only show. I assumed the alien wasn't real, so no surprise there.

    Using my own special system, with an undefined range, I rate this episode a 7.

    I really do like the "horror" episodes like this one, and Data's dreams/nightmares in a TNG episode.

    I am still wondering what was real and what wasn't. Was the alien ever there?

    At one point, the doctor acknowledged him-was that a hallucination too, or was the doctor just assuming an alien was aboard because Seven said there was?

    A Mutara Nebula? I kept waiting for one of the voices to say, "Seven, I'm laughing at the superior intellect!" LOL! (A ST II;TWOK reference)

    I saw a British reality show where 4 volunteers were in isolation in a trailer (each in their own trailer), and people REALLY started to lose it. I wonder if any prisoner was redeemed after being in isolation for years

    @Springy-I do agree that season 4 seems to be a Seven show. I don't think it was Jeri Ryan's fault-she's just the actress, but I can understand Kate Mulgrew's frustration with this (although Mz. Mulgrew actually is the only character that didn't suffer because of it)

    I am glad they didn't have any immorality in the show with the characters. Although I think the catsuit they made Seven wear was really inappropriate if it was put there just for people's base desires

    So this subnucleonic radiation sails right through the shields and hull but stops at the 2 inch thick tin plated stasis pods. Ummmm.... why? Who cares if the pods are on separate life support systems. It's radiation - it"s not in the air, it is going right through the hull.

    And I love how Tuvok has to painfully and slowly stagger over to Tom's station to punch in the coordinates manually while everyone is being bbq'd. Why don't you just tell the computer to reverse course verbally? We even see Seven giving verbal course corrections to the computer later in the episode!

    And at the end Seven cuts life support with just 11 minutes to exit the nebula and.... instantaneously starts suffocating? Ummmm.. the giant starship doesn't have 11 minutes worth of air and heat. You cut life support and BAM she's sucking vacuum?

    I just have 1 question. The unnamed crew member who died was subjected to the radiation for maybe a minute and died a horrible death. Tom Paris climbed out of his stasis chamber on more than one occasion and was unharmed. Now is this part of Sevens hallucinations that Tom left his chamber. If not surely Tom should have died. Please give me an answer. That being said I really enjoyed this episode.


    I saw this nearly a year ago, and I say this without a rewatch, so grain of salt, but I believe Tom leaving his chamber was one of Seven's hallucinations.

    At a recent convention an audience member mentioned she had a podcast that discussed all of the plot points of Voyager and analyzed them, much like many of these reviews have turned out to be. The audience member was asking a question of Kate Mulgrew at the time, and she looked back incredulously and asked "why would you do this"?

    I just watched this episode and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I've seen better, I've seen a lot worse, but this is a well done episodes. Sometimes you have to sit back, relax, and enjoy the presentation for what it is.

    Machias out.

    @ Machias,

    "At a recent convention an audience member mentioned she had a podcast that discussed all of the plot points of Voyager and analyzed them, much like many of these reviews have turned out to be. The audience member was asking a question of Kate Mulgrew at the time, and she looked back incredulously and asked "why would you do this"?"

    I would be very surprised if she wasn't using her usual wry sense of humor when saying something like that. That's how she kids a lot of the time.

    The Doctor to Seven, during one of increasingly terse exchanges:

    "Between impulse and action, there is a world of good taste begging for your acquaintance."

    God, that's a delicious use of language. The sort of line 'Deadwood' might have produced half a dozen times per episode, but most TV never manages at all.

    I liked this episode, but I had a hard time not feeling like they should have just taken the extra 11 months to go around the nebula.

    My favorite scenes were the bookends of Seven asking the holodeck crewmembers blunt personal questions in rapidfire succession, and then connecting with them hesitatingly but more effectively in real life at the end, and showing some vulnerability. I hope this is character development that will not be erased by the dreaded Voyager Reset Button.

    Of course the Doctor was great as always. I found it funny that no one ever commented on the irony of his lecturing Seven about tact. It’s true that at this point he does better at that than she does, but this is a low bar and he is not the ideal teacher.

    I do not believe the alien was real, but I do think Tom actually crawled out of his pod at least once (the first time we saw — clearly the last couple were hallucinations). Otherwise you have to believe that Seven was hallucinating some of the Doctor’s lines as well, and that she told a falsehood at the end.

    Mulgrew has a point. In these reviews the logic of episode plots are often dissected into minutiae.

    I agree its not something I understand either. Take the plot as it is. If there are holes, fine, notice them, but otherwise run with the story and decide if you enjoy it on its own merits.

    These comments often end up a race for who can tear the most strips off an episode 'Why didnt they just beam him/her to sick bay?' or nitoick

    ... continued

    Or nitpick. Worse than this is always applying a present social context to the episode in order to call BS on its politics. Great, you've positioned yourself on a contemporary topic, but its 90s show, people.

    "Can you imagine being completely isolated, even for a week"

    Oh 2020 what lessons you are teaching us.

    Lameway does need to get laid, no question about it. Someone, something, anything. Pronto.

    This was a very nice episode. I really enjoyed it and not just because of the endless shots of Hooters of Nine's attributes. The idea was interesting, and the Doctor and 7/9 performed very well.

    As for the plot holes and jumping the shark, I would've thought we'd have long ago learned what to expect from Voyager. Forget consistency, logic, continuity, etc. Give me enough science, enough fiction, enough dynamic storytelling, not much talkie-talkie, and I'm golden. This one did just that.

    It's an interesting episode (and psychologically appropriate for 2020), but is it explained somewhere why putting the crew into stasis protects them from the nebula's radiation? (Which the ship with all its fancy shielding apparently can't).

    The fatal radiation nonsense is too contrived, but otherwise, it is a nice episode. I agree with Jammer that the fake alien is a bad idea.

    I thought it was weird how simply being asleep would prevent radiation burns. The end was kind of silly too; with a ship that size it is impossible that a single person would run out of oxygen in just ten minutes. Also space is an excellent insulator, things just don't instantly turn ice cold.

    Why does 7 faint almost immediately after life support is turned off? A ship that size would take quite awhile for oxygen to be depleted/temperature to drop etc.

    Great episode, love the alone in space concept and great development for 7 of 9. Always get a little annoyed with the obvious manufacturing of the obstacle that drives the plot. Janeway's 2 dimensional thinking on the way to get home is frustrating. To go through such an incredibly dangerous nebula opposed to adding a few months or even a year to an already impossibly long journey makes no more sense than driving your car through a farmers field because it takes a few minutes off your eta. Finding a way home faster than the 70+ years of standard travel could mean that the route home is in any direction even backwards. Of course, having a determined, set course allows to more easily drive story lines that create suspense and interesting situations, as long as you can suspend ... logic.
    Also, nitpicky but we are always told that Star Fleet vessels need a minimum complement of personnel to run. Here is another episode where 1 person and a hologram run Voyager for a month in the harshest of conditions. What do the other 150 crew usually do? Scrub the plasma manifolds?

    These must be some weak ass stasis pods if people can just wake up, get out of them, and wander around the ship...4 times. Isn't all neural activity supposed to be suspended? And how would these pods provide any protection from the radiation simply by suspending neural activity? What does that have to do with the price of eggs? And shouldn't the radiation have damaged 7s organic components? Very good episode though and fun to watch.

    Just got out of a 4 month lockdown where i only saw three person in real life.

    Have been bingeing all the Star Treks.

    Really enjoyed this episode, but as Jammer said, it's a pity that they couldn't manage this type of episode for any other character.

    Jeri Ryan is a fantastic actress, but the series did turn into 'The Seven Show' for a while.

    My problem with Trek "dream episodes" is that the "dreams" are far too neat and tidy.

    Too often the hallucinations are overly literal ("This dream symbolically encapsulates my feelings!"), and unfold in ways identical to a normal Trek adventure, complete with obstacles, revelations, ad-breaks and plot twists.

    So why have Seven hallucinate in this episode? Why not just stick her alone on the ship, with only the Doctor for company. They bicker, she ditches him, she feels lonely, she seeks him out. End of episode.

    You don't need dream-aliens and action scenes. Just play the episode low-key and tender.

    If I recall, "Enterprise" does a similar episode. That episode started off with some great Tpol/Archer dialogue, and then degenerated into action schlock with the introduction of alien invaders. Why do this? And if you must have alien invaders, why not make them benevolent?

    Complaints aside, I thought this was a rather solid mid-tier episode. Seven's wonderfully acted, and you get a sense of how traumatic disconnection from a hive might be.

    I would have gone around the nebula, or over or under it, rather than go throught it with Seven in charge. This is still season 4; it wasn’t until the later seasons that she considered herself "a member of this crew" and became more trustworthy. Janeway took a really big risk that Seven wouldn’t deliver the ship and its crew to the Borg, or contact the Borg and tell them to come and get the ship. Either way, though, I guess she'd run the risk of being (re-)assimilated herself.

    I thought Seven's "I felt the need for companionship" was superfluous and entirely unnecessary. Given what every viewer — as well as Torres, Paris, and Kim — knows about Seven, it was so out of character for her to sit with them at their table and speak those words that it was obvious what she was doing and why she was doing it.

    Also, is Mutara the name of a specific nebula in the Alpha quadrant (in referring to the local nebula in TWoK, Spock seems to describe it as one) or is it a description of a particular type of nebula?

    There has been a hell of a lot of Seven recently but I really liked this episode.

    I love a bit of psychosis.

    I just watched this episode for the first time last night. Wow. I really loved this episode. The Doctor and Seven of Nine are my favorites so I knew I’d like it. My girlfriend said that it made no sense that stasis chambers would somehow protect them from radiation. I was like “yeah that makes no sense, but it’s so they can have this story.”
    I loved when the doctor was complaining about how they should have built full hallways instead of those tubes so he could walk upright for repairs. And Seven of Nine says “but they didn’t, so it makes no sense to complain about it” I laughed so hard. I love the way she delivered that line,
    I didn’t understand how Tom Paris while unconscious could crawl around and not be covered in radiation burns. But again it was for story reasons.
    I liked how the creepy alien guy got progressively creepier, like he had never heard of the Borg but then later knew all about the Borg. It made it really surreal.
    I thought she was going to have imagined Tom Paris escaping his pod at the end but they played it like it had happened. Weird.

    I love how the show goes from restricting Seven to the cargo bay and removing all her access privileges because of her failure to conform, to running the whole ship while everybody is in stasis.

    This really did become the Seven of the Nine show, but I don't necessarily have a problem with that. If the show had better writers and less top-down restrictions, they could have made every character as good as Seven. Instead, they relied on her superior abilities to drive so many plots.

    I thought this episode was well done. They captured the mood well and I enjoy the repartee between Seven and the doctor. I could've done without Paris getting out of his stasis chamber (which would have been impossible + deadly), and Seven turning off al life support when she should've just worn a spacesuit or hid inside a shuttle craft. But hey, we can't have everything.

    Since it's the Seven of Nine show, I'm surprised her Borg memory didn't already contain info on the nebula, since she basically knows everything. Also, why didn't astrometrics pick it up sooner?

    Anyway, I'll stop nitpicking. I liked this episode, over all. I would give it 3.5 stars.

    Jammer " Why is it the writers can't do these stories for anyone else?".

    There is a German expression "Weniger is mehr" I am not sure if the translation "less is more" is so commonly used. To me "stick to the essentials" would be suitale. Seven ist built on condradictions, a visable eye catcher with understated acting.

    All the othe characters especially the Doctor is made the oposite. B'Elanna the least obviouis. She was never fully used from the begining but would have had similar possibilities. Still she is much to human.

    All othe charaters are ( including B'Elanna are characters that we know or have met. Data was in the same position as Seven but the Doctor have always made a very irritating human apparance.

    Now, Seven's with their self assured arrogance convinced of her superiority do exist among humans but they they never really can live up to it and then mostly ends up like the Doctor.

    There have been several attrmpts to make stories of the nice Kim, spiriteal Chaktay, drifting unreliable Tom etc, but it is not easy to get enogh "energy" for a story .

    I like the character Harry Kim, the attmpts to get him out of his zone as the very nice, decent, and intelliget son of the neigbour always failed. I can not remember that he was really confronted with anxity and fear in any episode. Well, in "Killing game" episodes they did let a little bit more out of him.

    In Seven they managed to create a character with extrem contrdiction, made an extremely eye catching package with an actress that had en excellent minimalisic acting. So " Why is it the writers can't do these stories for anyone else?"

    Very fun episode, 4 stars, but they are taking the psychology of isolation to the extreme. People just don't automatically become insane after a month of being alone. Not to mention she wasn't even really alone as the doctor was there, so that was BS. Comparing what prisoners on death row or in solitary confinement go through for YEARS in the crappiest conditions imaginable and totally alone, to a star fleet officer getting to have a whole starship to herself for 1 month in the 24th century, is beyond absurd. Then there's the whole crap of Tom "wandering out of the stasis chambers". Do they not know the difference between sleepwalking and medically induced coma? And I thought the whole Tom begging 7 for help thing was all part of the hallucination, yet at the end they say it actually really happened??? Which is it?? Likewise the episode in enterprise with phlox going through the same thing..same issues, that's not how isolation insanity works. Otherwise most single people and long haul truck drivers would go insane as well. Another small stupidity was how everyone's face started melting within 10 seconds of entering the nebula for the first time, yet somehow when Tom was found unconscious after escaping his statis chamber for God knows how long, suffered no "ill effects". The storyline can't stay straight for 10 minutes!

    Jason R's comment is perfect! And I don't get the life support thing either. I also never got the whole thing of "drawing power" from life support. Isn't life support just regulating stored oxygen or replicated atmosphere or whatever? How much extra power is that? Maybe they are actually sucking the oxygen out and "recycling it" back into energy? That would be a better explanation for why 7 starts suffocating instantly and why that could actually be a viable power source.

    Jeri Ryan is quite simply, a star. She takes these ridiculous scripts and makes magic happen.

    The effects of loneliness and becoming paranoid where really very well done- the tension rose to an exponential climatic level and the aftermath dispersed in to a tiny fragment that almost got lost in Seven of Nines stubborness- and still it left an effect on her - how the feeling of isolation almost becomes it's own sentient being and as soon as it's over it fizzles out and leaves a weird emptiness. Just as nightmares often do.
    I was just so happy that it left a tiny impact on Seven of Nine

    Picard was an uptight bitch of a boss.

    Clearly he needed to spread his legs for Riker or get ridden by Troi.

    Let’s review: The man smiled about once per season. Never laughed. Never joked. Was never shown hamgin’ with his people. Was never seen at a table in Ten Forward. Visited the holodeck exactly once (to ride a horse) but otherwise went nowhere but the bridge, ready room, bridge, ready room, bridge, ready room. Called Riker “Number One” instead of, yknow, using the dude’s freakin name. Sat behind his ready room desk while berating various people. Resented Troi’s efforts to talk about his feelings. Said “Make it so!” rather than “Yes.” Used to violently yank down his uniform top on frequent occasions, an expression of rigid constipation or repression if I ever saw one. Couldn't handle being around children. Could barely talk to the young man he thought was his son. Took seven years to join his officers at poker.

    Compared to Janeway (who smiles, laughs, jokes, plays, has Holo-novels, gors to parties, chats with her fiance about a dog, chats to a simian, discusses her love of bathtubs, , takes her “lost sheep” out on an away mission, tucks Seven into bed (regeneration), insists on undead-Neelix getting the weeklong Talaxian death ceremony, etc etc), Picard clearly needed to be banged by every man, woman and child on the Enterprise to loosen him up.

    And yet…

    And yet I have never heard anyone call him a bitch of a boss who needs to unclench and get penetrated.

    Isnt that odd.

    @Peter G: There is always a huge tonal difference between something said teasingly/kindly by a friend (the N-word being a prime example, but also “Hon, don’t be an idiot” or ”You’re crazy” or whatever) and something said by an antagonist whose is obviously trying to belittle you. I’m surprised this needs to be explained.

    On to the episode:

    I loved the first 20-30 minutes. I thought it was smart that we were initially kept guessing whether the alien intruder was real or hallucination. I liked the dialogue between Seven and Intruder. I was impressed by her “I like this game” ploy.

    But for me the ep got dull when the alien was proven non-existent, and Seven spiraled down into endless hallucinations.

    I’d have preferred the alien to be real and to present real jeopardy. That would have let a little air and light into the show. Thirty minutes of solo psychosis just isn’t interesting to me.

    I would have written the sequence as: Seven’s loneliness gets to her; the hallucinations start and the doctor correctly diagnoses them. Then the alien arrives tontrade something the ahip needs. When he starts running amok on Voyager, Seven has trouble deciding if he is a real threat or a hallucination. She establishes that he is real. But as he wheedles her to turn over ship controls to him - or sleep with him - she remains fatally tempted by him in her madness, due to her need for another voice and companion. At the climax, she finally summons the strength of will to kill the alien, choosing loneliness and silence - and thus saving the ship. She hangs on grimly until the crew wakes up. Janeway thanks her. She never admits how close she came to betraying everyone - but in a closing scene with the Doctor or Tuvok she alludes to her self-doubt and self-recrimnation.

    Also: In one scene we get a full-body shot of Seven - and I realized for the first time that she is wearing 4-inch spike heels. Revolting.

    This actor, Jeri Ryan, is playing Seven: a person who works, runs, fights, crawls through jeffries tubes, etc.

    The character, Seven, is not vain. She would surely say: “Appearance is irrelevant. Footwear is irrelevant. Your opinion of my attractiveness is irrelevant.”

    Yet this actor gets told every day, “Put on your fuck-me-stilettos and your catsuit and push-up bra for us. Because - forget what your character would wear! - that’s what we wanna see you in; that’s what the guys watching on their sofas wanna see you in. We’ve got a fourteen-hour day of filming, and that’s what you gotta wear for us.”

    Those four-inch stilettos took me out of the action, and into the meta.

    First comment above; then a later reply to the first comment; then a long chain of comments debating the subject.

    Though the debate is years old, some of the people involved are still reading/posting here.

    >Never laughed. Never joked.
    >Visited the holodeck exactly once

    Picard laughed in Tapestry and visited the holodeck in The Big Goodbye.

    "First comment above; then a later reply to the first comment; then a long chain of comments debating the subject.

    Though the debate is years old, some of the people involved are still reading/posting here."

    Still confused - you mean Ramon's??

    Anyway I don't really take issue with your criticism; it just seemed to come out of left field on this particular episode.

    Incidentally, I agree 100% putting Seven in heels was laughable and I'd add, completely stupid and pointless. The whole "sexy actresses sell Star Trek" has never been true in my opinion.

    So in addition to being sexist it was futile as far as actually generating interest in the show from fans.

    Jeri has said she demanded to wear heels if she was going to wear that outfit. I'll leave it to your imagination whether this is meant ironically or she was being completely serious. The argument is that they accentuate the legs, and she wanted to look good if she was going to wear a tight suit.

    Jason R:

    Yes, I went for attention-grabbing opener. See how well it worked? Feel free to read the comment chain.

    Diety Dancer:

    icepick under my bed? No, I hate ice-climbing. Is that a reference to someone who attacked Picard?

    I like Picard fine. But anyone who says (or defends) “Janeway is a bitch who needs to get laid” should ask himself why this was never said about the far bitchier, stuffier and more uptight Picard.

    Answer: Misogyny and double standards.

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