Star Trek: Voyager

“Scorpion, Part II”

3 stars.

Air date: 9/3/1997
Written by Brannon Braga & Joe Menosky
Directed by Winrich Kolbe

"Do you have a better idea?"
"We are Borg."
"I take that as a yes."

— Janeway, Seven of Nine, and Tuvok

Review Text

Nutshell: A solid hour of sci-fi, and some nicely characterized arguments, but also some glaring flaws. Good, but not quite everything I was hoping for.

Given how promising "Scorpion, Part I" was, it seemed guaranteed that "Scorpion, Part II" would fall under some heavy scrutiny. This is the resolution to one of the most promising cliffhangers in all of Trek, and the hope was that it wouldn't be botched, because "part twos" to Trek cliffhangers have a pretty spotty track record.

Well, I'm happy to report they didn't botch it. I think I may have initially set my standards a little bit higher than I should've, but as an episode of Trek and a resolution to the promising first half of sci-fi action, "Scorpion II" works.

But not, of course, without its share of problems.

Where were we? Species 8472—a powerful and malevolent race with superior technology—is at war with the Borg, and the Borg are losing. Meanwhile, Voyager doesn't want to fall prey to the Borg in the relentless assimilators' vast territory, so in exchange for safe passage across Borg space, Janeway agrees to help them develop a prototype weapon.

It's a "deal with the devil" premise, which in part one was extremely intriguing. What would be the consequences of Janeway's actions? What about the disagreement between Janeway and Chakotay concerning the issue? What kind of characteristics and motivations would Species 8472 take on? Would the Borg keep up their side of the bargain?

Combine the answers to these questions along with the fact that "Scorpion II" also had to add the series' new cast member, Jeri Ryan as human/Borg liaison "Seven of Nine," and you've got a story that had to cover a lot of ground quickly and plausibly.

Well, nine times out of ten, when you've got that much ground to cover in an hour, something's got to give. And there's plenty that gives in "Scorpion II."

But, first, the good news. This installment does get a lot of things right. I believe the scene that sets the stage is the early one where the Borg collective announces its intention to temporarily bring Janeway and Tuvok into the fold to "better communicate," using a neural transceiver (a device that makes sense, especially given "Unity" from last season). The Borg drones force Janeway and Tuvok to the ground and proceed to begin a temporary mind assimilation. Naturally, Janeway wants nothing to do with it. "That wasn't part of the deal," she says.

This is probably the most psychologically intense scene in the episode, because it's what the Borg are all about—stealing your individuality by joining you with the collective. It doesn't matter that it's temporary, it's the very idea itself—that of being forced into such a circumstance. It's about here where it becomes clear the alliance with the Borg is all but destined to fail. The thing about the Borg—one factor which undoubtedly caused Chakotay to oppose the alliance in the first place—is that when they see an opportunity providing any advantage to them, they exercise all malevolence to take it. This scene effectively portrays this—speaks volumes, in fact.

The scene also makes another thing clear: "Scorpion, Part II" is not about Species 8472. It's about the relationship between the Borg collective and human individuality. It's a reliable if familiar theme, and in many ways this is good, especially considering that the Borg are by far a superior storytelling device to the comparably hollow 8472.

Rather than using the neural transceivers, Janeway convinces the Borg to use a verbal liaison—like Locutus in the Borg's "Best of Both Worlds" assault. This is where we're introduced to Seven of Nine (whom I'll call "Seven" henceforth); a character usage which is among the best things about "Scorpion II." Jeri Ryan plays the role effectively (we'll have to see how and where things go from here in subsequent episodes), managing to be intimidating in her Borgness. A few lines, especially the references to "small thought," are reminiscent of the Borg Queen's persona in First Contact. Her aura of superiority is always interesting to watch.

The other big selling point of this episode is the argument of efficiency in cohesive oneness versus the discord of individual opinions. This is represented, naturally, by the Borg's efficiency to do things quickly (like beam crucial survivors to a Voyager cargo bay when their cube is unexpectedly destroyed in a bio-ship attack) and the conflict arising out of the difference of opinion between the Voyager captain and first officer. It's the core that gives the episode its bona fide relevance. (On an unrelated note, the Borg's assimilation of the cargo bay is a neat idea—very First Contact-like.)

The "oneness versus individuality" argument works for the most part. But I'd like to present a problem about the way things play out just for the sake of discussion: Ultimately, I believe, the story takes the easy way out by making Janeway and Chakotay both "right." It turns out that working with the Borg does yield the weapon that defeats 8472. This makes Janeway (kind of) correct. But also, once the 8472 threat is absolved Seven takes the initiative by trying to hijack Voyager so the Borg can assimilate it. This makes Chakotay's "scorpion" argument fully realized. To really drive home the point of the Borg's evil, Janeway should've realized (perhaps even after the fact) that her decision to see the alliance through—even in the face of so many changes to the agreement—was destined for some major problems. It was foolhardy of her to turn a blind eye to Chakotay's point of view given the circumstances. After all, as Chakotay pointed out in part one, Janeway's desire to get her crew home doesn't make her decision-making infallible.

Instead we get a line about how if Janeway and Chakotay can simply stop "fighting" each other, everything will be fine—which seems a little too clear-cut and naive; not probing enough given the richness of the material. But any episode that can raise this sort of argument is doing a reasonably good job in my book.

Once again, the production was all-around phenomenal. I loved the Borg set design, the makeup, and costume work (Borg are just so visually cool), and the CGI effects were very convincing. The episode also sported the return of director Winrich Kolbe, one of Trek's finest in my opinion.

However, here's where we get to some of the significant problems of the episode. For starters, the whole "magical cure" to the 8472 virus was entirely too easy. Ensign Kim's recovery approached being laughably swift and succeeded in being dramatically shoddy. Here was an element that was a big concern in part one—Harry's condition of being "eaten alive" was downright ghastly—but with part two, Doc gives him a magical hypo-spray and he's cured by the next scene, end of story. It just doesn't have any impact.

Ideas like this one are what threaten to make "Scorpion" fall victim to the same pratfall that "Basics" did a year ago: In part one the writers set up a number of impossible situations, and in part two they quickly resolve them with little regard to emotional payoff.

Less questionable, but still a tad annoying, there's Janeway's severe neural injury that Doc solemnly says will take "creative thinking" to repair. Janeway temporarily being incapacitated is crucial to the plot, but the suddenness to which she recovers feels iffy; and I was annoyed at Doc's line that provided comic relief in the situation ("I'm two for two!"), because it was as if the writers were making fun of our own gullibility—hoping we wouldn't notice the sudden convenience of Janeway re-entering the story's equation.

The episode culminates with a visit to 8472's realm, and the appropriate revelation that the Borg started the war between them by trying to assimilate and, when that didn't work, destroy them. Then proceeds the big battle between the alien bio-ships and the Voyager, now equipped with the prototype weapons. This works well for action-packed entertainment, and the visual effects are great, but intellectually I was left a bit perturbed.

Not to get too nitpicky, but come on—if these aliens are really as powerful as they're supposed to be, the bio-ships' attacks on Voyager should've easily destroyed it. (We are, after all, talking about vessels that can destroy entire planets.) Here we have an all-too-transparent, intentional disregard for continuity. Suspension of disbelief is the byword here, but not with full acceptance.

The ending comes down to the old adage of the ultimate enemy defeated by technobabble weapons. Granted, the road documenting the invention of the weapons was nicely traveled, but it still unfolded awfully easily and with even fewer surprises than I had anticipated. I recommend you just turn your brain off and go with it, because it's much more fun that way.

But the thing that bothered me the most about "Scorpion II" was that parts of it felt like the standard Voyager Reset Button Plot. As obvious as it became that this episode intended to be about the Borg, I still couldn't help feeling completely short-changed on Species 8472. We learned absolutely nothing new about them in this resolution; ultimately they're merely a plot device. And although the possibility exists that they could appear again, there's a bigger possibility that they won't. Even if they did, I'm not sure what the writers could do with them given their simplistic, overlarge motivations to "purge" our galaxy. In the end, these guys are just shallow one-time villains. I guess that's simply the unavoidable consequence of making such large "galactic Armageddon"-type statements in the first place. Braga and Menosky did all they probably could under the circumstances.

Yes, I think this episode could've been more than it was. Nevertheless, "Scorpion, Part II" is a solid premiere that gets Voyager's fourth season started on the right foot—even if not quite on a springboard.

Next week: Someone leaves the cast. Who could it be? Hmmm ... perhaps the actress who was not in the opening titles this week?

Previous episode: Scorpion, Part I
Next episode: The Gift

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Comment Section

60 comments on this post

    The way Janeway woke up was laughable, she just suddely stood there, like she had never got hurt

    I had no problem with Doc's "I'm two for two" fit in perfectly with his character. He's very good at what he does, and no matter how dark or critical the situation is, he always makes sarcastic comments about how good he is. It fits.

    I totally agree with you in regards to the treatment of Kim's being "eaten alive." The makeup effects are very disturbing and although Wang says nothing his eyes show that he's in extreme pain.

    But Doc works his magic (and by this point in the series I believe it has to be magic. He can simply cure anything!) and not only is Harry completely cured, but there's Harry on the bridge with a goofy smile relieving whoever was at the post before him. Considering this was Kim's only real scene in the episode he should have just stayed in sickbay.

    But this continues that trend of keeping Kim as green and innocent now as he was on day 1. I mean, Voyager is trapped between the Borg and 8472 who are currently at war with each other. And he just got miraculously healed by Doc from being eaten alive by an 8472 virus and how does Kim react to all of this? With his trademark goofy smile.

    God bless Wang for having the endurance to see this series through to the end considering how much disrespect the writers seemed to have for his character. I know that's a harsh statement and probably even unfair, but the evidence is all there on the screen.

    Forgive me if this is explained in part one, I haven't seen it -- I'm going off of Jammer's review and a viewing of part 2, but I'm having a hard time understanding why the Borg don't just assimilate Voyager? If Voyager's crew has knowledge of how to create a weapon that the Borg want, wouldn't the fastest way to get that knowledge be to assimilate them? We've seen in Best of Both Worlds that when the Borg assimilated Picard they gained access to knowledge of the Enterprise's secret main deflector dish weapon and, either through Picard or their own ability, even came up with a defense for it.

    The Borg just never seemed the type to "negotiate" with any species. But I guess they have to in order to tell this story.

    Yes Sloan, in Part I Janeway did mention that if the Borg even TRY to assimalate Voyager, she would destroy all the data they had collected on 8472, in which case assimalating Voyager wouldn't get them anywhere.

    This one gets 3.5 stars for me. It wasn't as good as part I (as is the case 95% of the time) but it had its own twist and turns and kept true to its theme. I love that at first you think Janeway has actually put Chakotay in the brig for disagreeing with her, only to realize that they have actually worked out their argument and come up with a solution that they both agree to.


    I'm surprised some people still don't understand the concept of prime directive. In essence it is not interfering or introducing yourself to a PRE-WARP civilization. This concept came from the point of industrialized civilizations interfering with natives of non-industrialized nations. Most of the time in the course of human history, industrialized cultures end up being the upper hand wrecking the natural progression of the non-industrialized culture - at least this was the point ST is making.

    Picard also broke the Prime Directive when it suited him, and Kirk was famous for it. The Prime Directive is really made to be broken; the whole message of Star Trek is that you should have a rule like the Prime Directive but that you should probably be willing to break it or at least bend it real hard when it's for humanitarian reasons (or at least turn a blind eye to those who do).

    For some reason, however, fans seem to only have a problem with the inconsistent application of the Prime Directive when it is being applied by Captain Janeway. Gee, I wonder why. Couldn't be that they have a chip on their shoulder regarding Voyager and therefore all the things that Star Trek normally does (break the PD, engage in technobabble) are suddenly capital offences when they are done by the crew of Voyager.

    Wake up and smell the hypocrisy. Star Trek is all about technobabble and about seeking out ethical situations in which the crew will be forced to selectively break its own rules: it always has been about these things in every single series; Voyager is no exception. To all those who say Voyager sucks because of reset buttons and technobabble and bad use of PD, I guarantee you that I can find dozens of examples of those exact things in your favourite Star Trek series. End of line.

    Two remarks:

    How can Seven have a hearable voice in a decompressed cargo bay?

    Chakotay never had a neural transceiver implemented in his spine. It was just an on-skin device as seen in "Unity".

    One really jarring thing in this episode for me: Kes' blood-curdling scream... - yet again. That broad is bimodal: either annoyingly arch-browed serene or hysterical.

    Here's what bugged me about this episode:

    1. Why is it when the good guys are facing an overwhelming enemy and are at their most vulnerable, the enemy only shows up in minimal force when they could have showed up with just a bit more force and completely obliterated the good guys? This is a common problem in later Trek when (because) a weaker Federation entity is confronted by an overwhelmingly superior force. Of course, I know the answer to this question. The good guys have to live, so the enemy can never bring all their force against them, even if it would be simple to do so. Whenever it served the plot for species 8472 to show up with 12 ships, they did. When it was just one Borg cube and Enterprise heading away from Borg space, only one enemy ship shows up! Well, that was lucky. I'm sure that some rationalization can be invented that would explain this, but it just seemed terribly convenient to the plot when it happened.

    2. How in hell did Voyager security not consider the access that the Borg could gain to Voyager’s critical systems through a freaking Jeffries tube connected to the assimilated cargo bay? This one almost knocked me out of my chair. Chuckles warns, “If a single drone steps one millimeter out of that cargo bay…” Well, Seven got quite a lot further than a millimeter into the tube before the bridge crew finally sensed that she had, and they only sensed it because her interference was already messing with systems. Nice work, Chuckles and Tuvok. How can you threaten consequences from microscopic movement when you are not even watching the people you are threatening? As happens too often in Trek, Starfleet security is only as capable as the plot allows them to be.

    3. I doubt Janeway’s decision to stay in the alternate universe and fight the enemy there. (I also doubt Seven’s decision to send Voyager there in the first place.) That just seemed like a really risky proposition if they had the option to go back to their home realm. And, it was convenient that the matter-filled universe didn’t cause any problems for a vehicle designed for the void of space.

    4. Species 8472 sure is a terrible shot, isn’t it? This was a problem in DS9 also. The enemy always seems to miss (how can anyone miss with the advanced computering available to targeting systems in this future universe?) when it’s convenient for the goods guys, but the good guys always hit. Four enemy ships, four fired torpedoes, four direct hits, and four destroyed enemy ships. Blech.

    These problems (and others that Jammer mentioned) really ruined this two parter for me. It just felt like more of the worst of Trek (attempted) epic story writing that was a real problem for DS9 on the whole and TNG to a more sporadic extent. I am reminded of how the Borg kidnapped Picard, and then just flew off without immediately destroying Enterprise. That was really a bad move given that the Enterprise would be the only Federation ship that would, on its own, be capable of defeating the cube.


    This is probably the best character exchange between Chakotay and Janeway in the entire series. Part 2 might be Chakotay's best episode.

    But it's sad that we don't really see a change in the way the characters interact after this show. Like so much of Voyager, the lack of continuity just undercuts the series.

    The weapon they use against 8472 is a bit... Well. Hardcore.
    The Federation are nasty sods when they want to be.

    I loved how, when they no longer had use for the Voyager, the Borg swiftly began assimilating Janeway's ship. They get what they want, and then instantly break the alliance. Very machine-like and methodical.

    Good episode, but once again we have to see the complete lack of security measures in Voyager. Nobody was watching what the Borg were doing in the cargo bay? Nobody can use a knife or something similar while the Borg is assimilating Voyager, since the Borg is resistant to the faser? Bleh.

    In the end, however, it seems that we are going to get some good welcome continuity. And to be fair, the interaction between Chakotay and the captain remains a joy to watch.

    Despite a couple of minor contrivances, this easily stands toe to toe with the previous episode.

    I agree that Kim's recovery was a little too quick but I don't agree that the cure itself was "magical" or felt "the Doctor can cure anything". It was well-established what the cure was and what it entailed in part one. It wasn't as if he just whipped out a hypospray with a sudden announcement of a cure. As it is, though, he would've been better off staying in sickbay as his fresh-faced appearance on the bridge was nothing but a distraction. Especially as there was no point of him being in the episode. A simple acknowledgement that the cure was working and he was in recovery for a period of time would have been much better.

    The Voyager being able to withstand attacks by the Undine is understandable given the nature of the situation. Having been at war with the Borg and been able to learn more about their defenses lends credibility that, at this point, the Undine would have more of an edge to say the least. Voyager, on the other hand, is a new element and therefore something new to adapt to. It may sound like I am reaching but it makes sense in my head. That being said, however, i do agree with the notion that Voyager got off a little too easy combat-wise. Although the modified torpedoes all hitting their targets in fluidic space made sense given the nature of the modifications. They were meant to disrupt the biology at a cellular level and were likely adapted to lock on to targets in the same way.

    A continuation of the great dialogue from the previous episode along with some expected and some unexpected turns of plot makes this a standout Voyager two-parter. I think everything came together really well here and is very nearly as good as part one.

    As an added bonus, we get Seven of Nine whom, despite the tired "VOY gets a babe" rhetoric, turns out to become one of the best characters on the series and will have potential that actually becomes utilized with some great stories and character growth.

    4 stars.

    My complaints were that Janeway seemed a little too confident in the beginning, more so than in the previous episode, and then her being in a coma felt too convenient, a way for her to largely not have to deal with the alliance, and Seven seemed a little too individualistic from the beginning (part of generally making the Borg less all-controlling and therefore less interesting).

    This was another one of those episodes that turned the Borg into a a kiddy boogieman. And Species 8472 was just a lame excuse to stoke up some more tension and get fanboys to talk about the new "even deadlier threat!!!!".

    Nothing really came of it, and an alliance with the Borg is as ridiculous as it sounds.

    And like usual... it's entertaining at the same time.

    Again, Part II doesn't quite live up to part I. But was it possible to recreate the buzz that part I gave us? Probably not.

    Couple hard spots for me.

    Kim healed WAY to fast...
    Janeway did too I guess.

    But is it medi-babble so...

    I too thought that "we just need to get along" was a bit of a cop out. Jesus, Chakotay just directly violated Janeway's orders! At least he was man enough to stand up to her and defend his decision.

    But all that said, this was awesome. Breaking 7's link, everything was well done.

    Springboard aye!

    I'm not sure I agree with Jammer's take that species 8472 was just hollow... the Borg picked the fight, kind of hard to argue with their retaliations. Also, just how much could we learn in one episode? I'm glad they are still "hanging out there".

    I'll go 3.5 stars here.

    So the Borg were speaking in Seven's head about casualties and the need to take Voyager into the alien realm, and Seven responded "we understand" VERBALLY! Um, did she think the Collective would hear her voice or something?

    Not quite up to the first part but nevertheless a very strong outing. Maintaining the dramatic tension with the Borg alliance is handled particularly well - the cube sacrificing itself to save Voyager is a very neat concept. It also moves the action on board which helps to ratchet things up even more. The kick ass engagement in and out of fluidic space is also a high point. Seven provides the perfect mouthpiece for the Borg and I'll look forward to how that plays out.

    The one thing that bothered me was the contrivance that knocked Janeway out of the game just long enough for Chakotay to pull the rug out from under the alliance and then get her back in the game soon after. It just seemed clunky. Kim's recovery I had no problem with, if the nanites didn't work quickly then how are they going to have utility as weapons...? 3.5 stars.

    Going through this series again with my wife and daughter, I was surprised how long it took for Seven of Nine to finally arrive. She became such an iconic cast member (love or hate her), that in retrospect I figured she must have come along a lot earlier.

    One thing I always thought was irrefutible, no matter how people felt about the character, was that she had revitalized the franchise by increasing viewership. It even says exactly this in the Wiki article about her. But looking over the audience numbers on Wikipedia, they actually look somewhat lower after she was introduced. Is this just an amazing job by Jeri Ryan's PR team of somehow fooling us all?


    You're right, Rick Berman is quoted by the NY Times as saying ratings went up 60% after Seven of Nine's introduction and stayed consistently higher than previous seasons without her.

    According to Nielson Ratings, Berman was only half right. Ratings surged immediately at Seven of Nine's introduction but then later in season 4 fell below previous seasons. Ratings from season 4 onward, were overall lower despite the brief spike brought by Seven.

    This was Janeway's missed opportunity to demote Chakotay the Faithless from Commander to LtCmdr and from XO to ship's counselor.

    I have some affection for Chakotay but he is too emotional and inconstant for the number two spot.

    Interesting comment JK. Watching this episode again, I was struck by Chakotay bringing up how he was assimilated into a collective. It's a jarring reminder to the audience that the emotional trauma of that experience was probably affecting his judgement.

    For me, Part II did a great job following up the tremendous Part I. You just feel that there is a much greater weight to these episodes than any other VOY episode -- it's as if the writers know that this is VOY's signature episode.

    The alliance between Voyager and the Borg was dealt with extremely well -- thought the initial steps the Borg took to sort of assimilate Janeway/Tuvok were a logical step for them to try and how Janeway gets them to back off was key to show the uneasiness.

    Great stuff again between Chakotay and Janeway on the disagreement - I can totally see where Chakotay's coming from and I'd tend to agree with him. Can't go 40 light years backward into Borg territory... Good to see the disagreement between the top 2 and how it gets worked out.

    As for the criticisms of the 2nd part - it mostly comes down to the medical miracles. They didn't bother me that much although it would have been better if Kim didn't look so fresh and ready to go after his treatment -- same applies for Janeway. The doc made it seem she was pretty much a goner, stored in a coma etc.

    I don't mind the biomedical weapons working like a charm either - there was some decent medi/technobabble buildup to their design that seemed logical enough to me.

    As for Species 8472, the threat from another galaxy/dimension that the Borg initiated the conflict with - not fussed that we didn't get to learn more about them. Sufficient that they provided a very credible threat although them being caught offguard when Voyager comes to their realm was fortunate.

    I think "Scorpion Part II" does just enough to earn a 4-star rating for me. Plenty of great Trek here -- all the things that we've come to expect from a signature 2-part episode. Yes, there are some minor flaws but not enough to detract from my thorough appreciation and enjoyment.

    Hello Everyone!

    Upon first-run viewing, I'd been doing my best to not look for spoilers, and to not watch the trailers for the next episodes. So I was rather surprised to see Seven stay on the ship after all was said-and-done, when usually they'd just have a Captain's Log saying how they sent someone back to their home planet (or something) when the show ended. But I'd also seen Kes as a guest star, instead of in the regular spot she'd been in. I was a bit surprised. But at least it hadn't been spoiled for me. Mild Spoilers Ahead...

    After I'd recently done some minor research into why Kes left, I'd found out it was supposed to be Kim who was written out of the show. From what I read, even he thinks his inclusion in the 50 sexiest men issue had something to do with it, because now even those that didn't watch the show knew who he was. I think that is why he had comparatively little to do with the episode. He wasn't supposed to be in it in his normal capacity, and they hadn't written anything for him. Yes, they could have given him more to do, but I figure they had their outline, and just left it as it was, except instead of dying, he lived.

    I liked Chakotay going his own way when the Captain was disabled. It showed a spark from him that had been lacking, imho. Janeway said she would have probably gone backwards as the Borg wanted them to, but I agree with Chakotay that it was a step in the wrong direction. Heck, just slow down a bit and have the cube catch up with them.

    I also wondered how Seven talked to them when the air was out of the cargo bay. Perhaps their personal force fields help with that. I also figured the Borg helped them out with the torpedoes hitting the 8472 ships. But when it took a few moments for them to die, as it were, I was surprised the high-yield torpedo simply blew the following ships up right away. It should have taken a few moments with them starting to shudder and shake before blowing up.

    Some compared the visual of Species 8472 with the Shadows of Babylon 5. I didn't see the resemblance (although the sound they made reminded me of the scream of Shadow vessels). What I did see were planet killers that reminded me immediately of the Vorlon's, and the living ships as well. When they fired at that planet in the previous episode, as the beams came together I didn't think Star Wars, the type and style had me thinking B5.

    Just some musings...

    Have a Great Day... RT

    3 stars

    I agree not nearly as good as I had hoped but still for a Voyager episode it's pretty solid. I loved idea of adding a Borg character to cast. It would help the plausibility of this one ship survive Borg space with inside knowledge. However I didn't much care for Jeri Ryan's take in Borg Seven. She behaved far too much emotional and came across as a standard villain. Instead of trying to be like Borg Queen she should have modeled her performance after Patrick Stewart as Locutus which was the perfect Borg performance. I didn't particularly care for her condescending attitude and conversation with Chakotay in captain ready room

    Also was hoping for more of a shake up in status quo with Borg. Maybe let species 8472 be assimilated but their telepathic abilities overwhelm the Collective changing them in a fundamental way

    And getting Janeway out of action was too contrived for me just to let Chakotay counter her orders. I did like how there was a pause and that the photon torpedoes didn't immediately work but took time to do their job.

    And too bad writers didn't take perfect opportunity to rid the cast of useless characters like Harry and Neelix

    Oje of the best delivered lines of all time in Star Trek: Tuvok's "Naturally!" to 7's "We are Borg!"

    Tuvok (Tim Russ) rules in this episode. His facial expression when the probes are placed in his and Janeway's neck, and Janeway says to take them off or "no deal" is about as close as you can get to a Vulcan panicking and Russ plays that beautifully. He is the best Vulcan in the Star Trek universe, and that is coming from someone who loves Spock, both in the original (Nimoy) and the latest one (Quinto) in the movies.

    Also some great head-butting dialogues between Janeway and 7.

    And 7 seeing Chakotay for the first time and saying "We have an alliance, do we not?" It was love at first sight wasn't it? LOL.

    DaVinci parts were the only duds of this otherwise great two-parter.

    Rewatching, Janeway seems pretty insane to be so indignant with Chakotay. It was much less that he disobeyed her orders as that the situations drastically changed (I can't imagine she would agree to go in "the wrong way" in an instant) and disagreeing with her about what she be done, and privately telling her that he does, is hardly being at war with her.

    So the Borg now have the nanovirus to defeat 8472 right? Since Seven was linked to the collective when they made the weapons. And they didn't need Voyager anymore, so were going to assimilate it.

    But they are still in Borg space, so why didn't they come get Voyager? At the end of the episode they had been warping along for three days without seeing any Borg ships. So apparently it isn't that dangerous to go through Borg space after all, even when you think they would be hunting them down.

    It's all a little confusing to me.

    2 1/2 stars.


    "How can Seven have a hearable voice in a decompressed cargo bay?"

    For that matter, how can she breathe or not freeze to death? In First Contact, Picard says that the Borg "cannot exist without their organic components." I wondered how the Borg working on the deflector dish (in FC) were able to survive in the vacuum of space.

    I also agree with Skavvy that it was lame that the Borg didn't come after Voyager after the events of this episode.

    I just saw this for the first time. Been a ST fan for many years but am just getting around to making my way through Voyager. So far, I have to say that I've found Voyager really hard to stomach at times. Compared to TNG and even DS9, Voyager feels like a cheap imitation of Trek most of the time.

    I mean, honestly, I believe the acting in Voyager is better than DS9. I didn't like Avery Brooks as an actor at all. Kate Mulgrew is much better in actually making her character believable. That's to say I believe she did the best she could with the material they gave her. The writers often failed to give these actors the best material.

    These two episodes were very interesting but the writing still just was very shoddy (IMO). The TNG borg episodes just flowed so much better and they wisely didn't stretch credibility too much by examining the specifics of the borg too much.

    As menacing as the new species was supposed to be, I just wasn't buying them as meaner than the borg. I also didn't buy Voyager saving the borg. I don't know. It just felt like it was written by a teenage fan instead of professionals.

    Well done again. Of course, the Scorpion does its thing, but they are ready for it. I like the way Chakotay's previous Borg experience is brought to bear. Nice intro for Seven of Nine.

    More good scenes for the Captain and her first officer.

    And Season 4 is off with a bang. Can't wait for more.

    Just watched both parts again, I had some new thoughts about how I understood the story.

    The first thing is about Da Vinci's workshop and the attempt to make a flying machine, which honestly I never thought much about before (or cared for). I still think it's by far the weakest element in the episode, however one thing it does give us is that for all his genius, Da Vinci was trying to create a flying machine not from scratch, which he didn't know how to do, but by copying an existing organism. Janeway offered him a new idea on which organism to copy, but fundamentally both seemed to agree that assimilating an existing model was the best way to go about it. Funny that, since that roughly describes what the Borg do as well. Further, there's a model of a mechanical arm in the workshop, indicating that even the human form could be modelled into a mechanical unit; and Janeway even refers to some saying that all technology follows the human form in the end. Combine these elements and you get the Borg. More on that in a minute.

    Regarding making a deal with the Borg, putting aside the moral implications, I think Chakotay is meant to be understood to be correct that they will betray the humans at the first opportunity. Or rather, like Earth empires, they will take any step to further their advantage and will give no thought to honoring deals if they can do better. The key is to guarantee that it's never better for them to betray Voyager. On that score Chakotay is certainly correct that reversing course back into Borg space and engaging 8472 victoriously would doom Voyager, as the Borg would immediately betray them. Any move that removes the leverage loses for Voyager, and therefore Chakotay was right to refuse that. On the other hand, I found it interesting that the Borg were certainly willing to make any move necessary to ensure their survival and that there was no ego involved; if sacrificing their ships to save Voyager was necessary then so be it. There was something admirable in the Borg that I'd never noticed before, which is that they will make the best move with no hesitation, and so as long as their best move advantages Voyager as well then in theory there would be no risk for Voyager. But as the circumstances kept changing rapidly that was a difficult balance to hold. But there was nevertheless something pleasing about watching the pure logic of the decisions of the Borg in this one. In previous TNG episodes they were determined but also seemed almost ambivalent to any input by Starfleet, whereas here since we see them in a state of need we see them respond quickly to events based not on what they want to do but what they must do. There is something Data-like about that.

    Another point that the Borg made, about unity, was interesting, because Seven was shown to be right about human disagreement slowing decisions. At the start of the episode there's a strangely romantic scene between Janeway and Chakotay, doubly so because of our meta knowledge that Mulgrew was utterly against any romance between them. And yet she played the scene not only tenderly but with outright loving overtones, body language, a touch, and even a promise of a sort made between them that seemed to suggest that their partnership was already beyond business. It wasn't hinting at a future love scene; it was a love scene. I swear I never noticed it before but this was clear as day to me this time around. How strange, then, that their biggest disagreement ever should happen next, to which Janeway responds with feeling betrayed and hurt. Normally that kind of reaction would be ridiculous since the first officer needs to disagree when necessary, but here it make sense: she thought they were bonding to the point of being in complete unity. A tender thought, except dangerous in the case of the two top officers on a ship. And his disagreement doesn't just hurt her, but in fact metaphorically incapacitates her, as the story finds a story reason to knock her out of the picture for a while. When she recovers we can see clearly that she doesn't forgive him, not even in the final scene. It feels like the suggested romance is now off, and their unity is busted.

    For all this we may observe that had Janeway retained command she would have been proved to be wrong in the end; only Chakotay's defiance saved them, despite the fact that Janeway's plan was probably also necessary at first. So the disagreement caused a course correction in Voyager's plan, and ended up somehow being the best series of moves possible. In order for Chakotay to serve the ship he needed not only to disagree, but to do so in such a way as to knock away her feelings for him (if we want to look at it metaphorically). Unity in this case would have led to disaster. Seven was right - except that a cohesive, simple plan was not what was needed, but rather a messy un-agreed series of course corrections. And that's the problem with the Borg: they do not change or alter course. They very efficiently pursue one path, whereas Voyager here stumbled into a multi-path solution through disagreement.

    So we can see our themes of unity and perfection brought into relief by what seems to be an argument on the part of the writers that disunity can be superior at times, and that this can even be true between Captain and First Officer. This almost plays like a manifesto by Mulgrew, proving that not only would a relationship between them undermine Janeway as a feminist figure, but additionally would be illogical for the crew's success within the show's story.

    Now getting back to Leonardo's workshop and the human-like mechanisms we saw earlier, we can look for a connection between what we saw earlier with the Borg-like overtones to assimilating animal structures to make a flying machine. Voyager did something like that by modifying the Borg nanoprobes. But even more specifically, Janeway had suggested copying a Hawk's wings. So we have a connection: by modifying the method of a predator the flying machine could work. And so it was with modifying the nanoprobes and matching the Borg at their own game of seeking greatest advantage at all times. Between Chakotay and Janeway they managed to pull it off, and to hybridize not only Starfleet and Borg methods, but also to hybridize their closeness and disagreement by combining plans. In the end the final plan they agreed was both to help the Borg, and to betray them by disconnecting Seven from the collective before she betrayed them first. And although she does technically betray them first anyhow their plan had already been put into place so it was too late for her. So Chakotay's fear about the Borg was assimilated into Janeway's plan to drive off 8472 with the Borg.

    In the end the Da Vinci workshop does tie together many of these metaphoric relationships in a way that is surprisingly clever, although I must admit that even after observing all of this I still find the scenes themselves in isolation frustratingly tedious. And thematically if I'm to find a wrong note in the other parts of the story I would say that it rings as false for Janeway at the very end to act as if she had been right all along and Chakotay should have trusted her. Sure, she might still be reeling in emotional hurt and say something she'd later realize was wrong, but the scenes are shot in such a way as to make it clear that the director believed she was right, and I think there is no way she is. Chakotay "not trusting her" was necessary for their success. So that point seems to have been missed in the filming, despite it being clear as crystal that Chakotay was 100% correct about the Borg being untrustworthy. What should have ended with a mutual respect that they were both right, instead defaults to Voyager's go-to ending, which is that Janeway is right and everyone else is wrong. Other than that, though, it's a great outing, and probably Voyager's best ever.

    Great thoughts, Peter.

    You are maybe alluding to this anyway, but I just wanted to add that implicit in the comparison with Da Vinci is Chakotay's argument that Voyager doesn't *have to* make a deal with the Borg. Chakotay points out that they can find some planet somewhere. They can choose not to fly, in other words. And this also suggests another possible reason for Janeway's decision. She is, at heart, still a scientist, and that means that, like Da Vinci, she is driven to attempt the impossible -- to access some of the secret knowledge of the gods, to see that if something can be done, that there must be a way for her to achieve it. This is low on the list of reasons Janeway pushes for the plan. But I think it's a factor. Chakotay, as someone interested in the past, and dead things, knows something about what it means to run up against the fundamental limits of the universe. Hence, also, Chakotay's insistence upon the Borg's fundamental nature (like the scorpion). Janeway wants nature to be comprehensible, and thus useful; Chakotay believes nature is fundamental, immutable. Both are right and both are wrong, as you say.

    Oh, right, one more thing:

    The difference between the sparrow (??? I forget if this is right) and the hawk is that the sparrow flaps its wings, and it's simply not possible to flap fast enough to keep the large vehicle, carrying so much weight, in the air. At a certain point, repetitive, tedious flapping work will fail, no matter how much effort is put in. What if it is possible to glide, like a hawk? It's "the easy way," expending less overall effort and using other forces of nature -- lift from the air -- to allow one to have passage; to let the Borg sail them across. But this is not merely Janeway attempting to get out of hard work. She is seeing that the actual effort of maintaining the flapping rate that the craft needs to in order to stay in the air is, as it appears, perhaps physically impossible. This fits both the ship in general and Janeway herself, who is wound pretty tight, and who cannot really maintain the level of expenditure she's putting in without burning out and crashing to the ground. So they can either touch down (Chakotay's suggestion), or they can attempt to glide.

    ...which actually even adds to Seven's function here. It's not just that their plan incorporates the Borg in the short-term. In the long term, they clip wings off the Borg-hawk, in the form of Seven of Nine herself, and then are able to incorporate her into the ship, to allow them to soar. How many times does Seven's Borg knowledge help the ship in times to come? But the thing that's necessary is Chakotay' accessing her apparently dormant Annika side.

    Good points, William.

    Regarding the "we don't need to fly" angle, it's surely in there, but I fear that this aspect of the storytelling ends up falling flat; not because it's technically irrelevant, but because we simply can't help knowing that there's no way they're end the series on account of not wanting to cross Borg space. So it's very hard to see this as "Janeway's perspective" when it's much more clearly the showrunners' perspective. That mires this story element greatly, I think, and makes it largely vanish from our sight.

    The bit about impossible flapping versus gliding is a great one. And while I agree "gliding" could refer to getting towed by Borg ships, there's a metaphoric level to doing things the easy way, which goes back to the Borg and to Da Vinci's shop. Why attempt the impossible and struggle in vain when you can find an easier course: cheat. Copying animal parts into technology is cheating, since we don't know how it works but only that it does work. And by using the Borg's own methods to get across their space it's cheating too: in this case, morally cheating. They are willing to employ utterly merciless tactics, risking the entire Borg civilization to ensure their own protection; they are willing to use basically Nazi technology, the nanoprobes, to do their dirty work; and they are willing to help the Borg assimilate a new species. Yes, there are strategic considerations beyond this, such as which power is the bigger threat and so on, but the bottom line is that the balancing act of ensuring that the Borg's advantage was always Voyager's advantage basically required them to think and act like the Borg for the during. And *that* is what it is to take the easy way. Anyone could just devolve into being Romulans or Cardassians; it's easy to be ruthless to gain advantage. The Federation chooses to flap and get there on its own merits rather than glide easily, but in this case flapping was futile.

    Just to add to this point a bit, Voyager's fix to the nanoprobes was to camouflage them to look like 8472 cells, and it seems like this is what Janeway has done to Voyager: adopted the Borg's methods and attitudes and ended up blending in with them quite ably as well.

    Chakotay was RIGHT. Another example of Janeway being wrong and not admitting it in the end. It was HER original plan not to give the Borg anything until Voyager was far away. Chakotay was only following through on that plan, but Janeway was totally angry at him for not changing the plan the way the Borg wanted. So Seven of Nine, still being a Borg, forces the situation by putting Voyager into fluidic space and they get chased back out by species 8472. This forces Voyager to use the new weapons and destroy some ships. This scares all of 8472 ships back home (because miraculously all their ships in Borg space instantly became aware of some of their comrades being blown up). And where is Voyager at this point?...far from the Borg because Chakotay didn't turn the ship around. If Janeway had her way, they'd be right up with the Borg and give them the torpedoes and let the Borg do the killing of 8472 to scare them off....and then Voyager would have been assimilated. Months later, Janeway was also wrong in the episode "Prey" with the Hirogen when she got mad at Seven who also saved the ship.

    This and the previous episode were relatively good for Voyager. But many thing didn't make sense.

    An alien race is destroying the Borg and Voyager goes to great pains to save them? This alien race wants to destroy ALL life in an entire galaxy...just because "they're weak"? Voyager is the ONLY one capable of stopping this alien race from destroying the entire galaxy? Their nanites can infiltrate the alien hull but conventional weapons can't? This alien race can quickly one shot entire borg cubes...but can't do the same to Voyager? Too contrived.

    The worst part was the "deal with the borg". As Picard noted, you don't negotiate with the Borg...yet that's exactly what Voyager was successfully able to do. How would Voyager have bargaining leverage over the borg? If Voyager wants safe passage...that means they value their ship. If Janeway destroyed the nanites then they would be Janeway didn't have the leverage she thought and the Borg would know this.

    I think this two-parter was the best thing "Voyager" as yet offered up. I never got to see the conclusion, so that was a nice treat.

    To me, if Part I was four stars, then Part II is three and a half. It fell a little below what Part I set up, but just a little.

    And I liked Species 8472 and fluidic space and all that. It was the most ambitious thing any Trek outing had tried up to that point.

    Whatever else you say about Voyager, it LOOKED great. As far as visual spectacle goes, it's my favorite Trek. (That included the current offerings and the horrible JJA movies)

    I liked this episode a lot. I enjoyed it when it debuted 23 years ago, and I enjoyed it upon rewatching it last week. Great drama, great acting, great special effects, great music, great dialogue, great introduction for 7 of 9.

    Any inconsistencies with previous Borg portrayal can be easily explained away. The Federation was now helping the Borg? Like Janeway said, the Borg to their knowledge had never faced such a threat. And Picard never had recoded nanoprobes that the collective could use as a weapon against a mortal enemy, so he was never in any position to negotiate.

    Heck, Best of Both Worlds made a change from Q Who, in which the Borg weren't interested in human life, only their technology. Certainly that minor change doesn't take away from BOBW being an all-time classic. I don't think any minor Borg changes in Scorpion take away from the episode's quality.

    I don't think it was necessarily an easy way out to make both Janeway and Chakotay "right". They had to get back to trusting each other, and I think the way they handled Seven's eventual betrayal was the best way to do that. I think this was a moral dilemma that fit in with the best grey area explorations of DS9.

    As for why no Borg ships had come after them after species 8472 retreated, I have no problem with that. They had just been in a deadly conflict with a mortal enemy and were possibly licking their wounds. And the episode following this explains how Voyager made it farther out of Borg space.

    4 stars from me.

    I have spoken.

    I hate Janeway. Erratically written, and thoroughly unlikeable. I find myself actively rooting against her in many episodes.

    Chakotay turns out to be 100% right in this episode.

    Seven was the best thing to happen to the show. It took 3 seasons, but the writers finally found a character they seemed inspired to write good scripts for.

    "Fair Trade" is the point where they should have dropped Neelix. "Scorpion" is the point where they should have dropped Harry; it would have allowed them to pump up the threat of Species 8472 and simultaneously jettison a weak character.

    They originally were going to jettison Harry at this point. The original plan was for him to die from the Species 8472 cells attacking him. Wang was going to be the cast member who left to make room for Jeri Ryan.

    However during the summer between Parts I and II, People Magazine named Wang as one of their “50 Most Beautiful People in the World”. The show-runners decided that gave him enough “star power” to keep him around. So, they reconfigured the story and decided to kick Kes off the show instead. Pretty stupid since they didn’t do hardly anything with Harry Kim from this point onwards.


    I've heard that before. What a ridiculous way to make casting decisions. I also just realized that at the same time Jennifer Lien is being shown the door they found a way for Jeri Taylor's son, Alexander Enberg, to join the cast on a limited basis.

    Yeah, but Kes was such a blah character. There were literally scenes of her watering plants.

    There were several blah characters though, a major Voyager weakness. Chuckles, Harry, Tom were pretty darn blah. Tuvok kind of was too because the straight serious Vulcan thing was kind of dull.

    It's interesting to read the beyond the scenes animosity of Mulgrew to Jeri Ryan. It's not hard to see why- Mulgrew was playing the first female Trek center character, then they bring in this bombshell woman and put her in catsuits.

    Mulgrew repeatedly did things to screw with Ryan. The weird thing is, it probably helped, as there was almost always an awkward vibe between Janeway and Seven.

    Mulgrew seems to have softened her tone lately. She probably should because Voyager definitely needed a new dynamic, and Ryan/Seven really worked. And besides, yes, some people do like to watch shows with gorgeous ladies, there's nothing wrong with that. Or at least, that's show business.

    @Sarjenka's Brother
    >I think this two-parter was the best thing "Voyager" as yet offered up. I never got to see the conclusion, so that was a nice treat.

    For me the best Voyager has offered so far has to be season 2's “Death Wish” for it's philosophical value and it's expansion of our understanding of the Q. Don't get me wrong, Scorpion II is worth 8/10 but it's not on the same philosophical level as "Death Wish", it doesn't make us ask as big questions about the ultimate fate of civilization.

    Aside from some hokey CGI aliens, the "Scorpion" two-parter - which I believe is the most watched piece of Trek on Netflix - holds up remarkably well.

    Though an almost three-decades-old episode, I'd also argue it offers better spectacle than all the JJ and TNG movies. I'd even say it's a better "Borg adventure" than the "First Contact" movie.

    Mostly this is due to good, muscular writing. Chakotay and Janeway are constantly sparring in interesting ways, and the entire two-parter is bedrocked by an undercurrent of danger, be it the threat of the Borg betraying our heroes, or Species 8472 nipping at their heals.

    There are also at least three great visuals here: Voyager being yanked along by a tractor beams, a kamikaze-cube sacrificing itself to protect Voyager, and an early sequence in which an armada of cubes thunders by, one pausing to scan our heroes ("Think happy thoughts").

    Some have complained about the scenes in which Janeway visits Leonardo da Vinci, but I loved the dialogue here, and the romantic set design (large winged flying machines, primitive animatronics etc).

    Some have also complained that this episode de-fangs the Borg, but I don't think so. They're just as ruthless as ever, and its darkly hilarious watching them turn on Janeway at the drop of a hat, and dispassionately journey to another galactic plane entirely just to genocide an entire species.

    I agree with two of the more common complaints, however: Janeway should have asked to be transported closer to Earth (surely the Borg can do this), and Janeway's decision to side with the Borg is never articulated well enough. The episode wants to convince us - via Kes, and various stacks of dead Borg bodies - that Species 8472 is evil incarnate, and so Janeway "has no choice but to slaughter them", but this a huge moral issue, and the episode far too quickly breezes by it.

    Agreed that Scorpion 1 & 2 are better - cinematically - than all the TNG films (and JJ films). Plus the story is better too.


    "I too thought that 'we just need to get along' was a bit of a cop out. Jesus, Chakotay just directly violated Janeway's orders!"

    With the caveat that I don’t know anything about military protocol, I wonder if there’s any latitude in an officer's continuing to follow orders of an unconscious superior. Janeway did give Chakotay orders. But doesn’t he have some discretion to adapt to changes that the superior officer didn’t anticipate?

    Long time trek fan, finally watched this two parter. Its pretty good! Although I have to state that compared to TOS, TNG, and DA9, VOY is a big step down overall.

    Theres a lot of good ideas in this two-partner. Making a big bad that can wreck the borg is a good idea. I think they kind of missed the mark a little bit on the Species, something a little more animalistic/parasitic and even closer to Alien would have been more interesting IMO. It didn't need to come from another dimension, simply a parasitic organism that keeps the borg in check is an interesting idea in my opinion.

    But like a lot of Voyager, the execution is kinda hokey. It often feels like the characters are going through the motions of a star trek plot and it just doesnt land. The "betrayal" of Chakotay to Janeway should be a reoccurring tension in the show, but it gets diffused very quickly here and feels perfunctory. The conversion of the Voyager with Borg tech feels very by-the-numbers. It feels like what a lot of Voyager feels like, which is decent ideas but the writers didn't want to put in the hard work to connect all the dots and sell the story. Even TOS took a lot more time trying set up the stakes and setting up the narrative. It never feels like anyone in Voyager is in real danger. They just bounce back after a few scenes with The Dr. It would be better if they were never in danger in the first place.

    Overall, though, it works fine. Seven of Nine is a great idea for a character and looking forward to it. But to those of those saying this is somehow better than First Contact....... it just isn't... in character, plot, drama, or effects......

    This is pretty good, but there's false drama that's directed at the viewer that feels like a cheat.

    And that's the final fight between Janeway and Chuckles where she's bitterly disagreeing with his course of action after she was in a coma.

    First, whatever her preferred orders, once Chuckles has the center seat, it's his duty to do what he believes the correct course of action. Full stop.

    Second, the Doctor's opinion is that Janeway is gone.

    The Doctor miraculously reviving Janeway offscreen is a cheat toward the viewer because Trek does not do this...

    followed up by the offscreen plan of Chuckles and Janeway to fool Seven.

    I'm not against surprises that cheat on the format, but this veers close to Bobby in the shower territory.

    I loved this two-parter. The only thing I don't get is why the Borg didn't just take Voyager through their space immediately via transwarp conduit as soon as they made their agreement. Voyager would've been home free and the Borg could've destroyed species 8472.

    Loved this two parter, very entertaining. Though it seems to me the way they portrayed species 8472 made me think 'really, what's the point'. "The weak will perish". Come on. Would've made more sense for them to just be creatures of pure instinct, like the creatures in Alien and Aliens. Then again, maybe they were trying to avoid making them too similar

    Also, the prime directive issue is one I find intriguing. It seems to me that the emphasis of it being their highest law is something they have to emphasise all the way through the federation, in order to prevent certain species from gaining technology they aren't ready for yet, like the Ferenghi. When it comes to this type of issue, the prime directive is absolute, with no exceptions. However, when it comes to issues like for example stopping a pre-warp species from going extinct due to living on a very geologically active planet, it becomes less clear cut.

    QUESTION JAMMER do you still agree the invention of the bioweapon journey in this episode unfolded with very few surprises? What more surprises would you have wanted...we got Janeway and tuvok on a borg ship, 7 of 9, the borg cube destroyed, borg beamed on and assimilating a cargo bay and Janeway injured and Voyager going I to an unknown alien realm and the ship partly assimilated...can you tell me what more twists or surprises they could've put?? Thanks and hope to hear from you Jammer or somebody! Luke what other surprises could they have done? I'm not sure I can think of any.

    I apologise if the things I bring up have already been stated (I am not going to read every comment first), but overall this was a pretty good conclusion. The Borg additions are a bit weird in that I don't think they are used again (which if they are truly better than what Voyager already had, it would make sense to keep them) Also, the Borg shielding was pretty good-too good since the cubes had no defence against the weapons of Species 8472, so how does Voyager?

    I remember 8472 comes back later (in the form of my favourite Martian!), but in this dual episode, they just seem very one sided and murderous. I guess if they never encountered our space, they just assume that every being is part of the threat that attacked them in the first place.

    Besides that, I think the actress who played 7 did a good job here-she seems very chilling and ant-like in her hive mindedness. I know she was added for "eye-candy" to the show, but I have always found Kes more attractive than her anyway.

    Another thing though is that Voyager should really be destroyed soon-Borg space is VAST supposedly, and you would think they would have still another year or so of travel before they would get out of it. They should have been hounded by the Borg the entire time. The fact that their ingenuity let them develop a weapon that the Borg couldn't alone should make them a top priority to be assimilated (if they could do this, what other thoughts could be added to the Borg hive-mind by having them a part of it?)

    But plot armour wouldn't allow such an ignominious end to our intrepid heroes (especially since they fly in an Intrepid class starship! Hehe!)

    I know a lot of people here don't like Chakotey, but I liked his ideas better than Janeway's on handling the Borg alliance (I'm sure no one is surprised that the Borg had no intention of honouring their bargain) The bargain actually reminds me of Shatner's book "The Return" where dissident Romulans formed an alliance with the Borg (that didn't go well either)

    @Robert Because they were just stringing Voyager along. They had no intention in honouring their agreement

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