Star Trek: Voyager
Air date: 4/26/1999
Teleplay by Bryan Fuller & Nick Sagan and Kenneth Biller
Story by Bryan Fuller
Directed by Allan Kroeker
Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan
"I didn't think Vulcans believed in luck."
"As a rule, we don't. But serving with Captain Janeway has taught me otherwise."
— Seven and Tuvok
Nutshell: It looks good, but the needle on the think-o-meter maintains a level very near zero.
Roxann Dawson is an actress of enormous appeal: edgy, attractive, energetic, convincing—and projecting lots of intelligence. It's too bad the stories can't dig deeper into her character in a quest for finding something new. The latest B'Elanna vehicle, "Juggernaut," seems for the most part pitched to a crowd that doesn't want to be bothered with thinking about anything unfolding on the screen. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, because "Juggernaut" exploits Dawson's talents nonetheless, even if in primarily superficial ways.
This is the type of episode that's all atmosphere and minimal substance. With perhaps one key exception, what substance we have is mostly unmistakably obvious, with the lesson telegraphed far in advance.
But that doesn't really matter too much, because "Juggernaut" is an hour sold almost completely on performance, direction, and production values. The only real mystery here: How did it require three writers to come up with such a bare-boned story?
"Juggernaut" isn't bad; it's just really, really simple. It's B-movie action/adventure, with 20th-century themes that look like they were purchased at a bargain store. Maybe I'm somewhat spoiled right now with the deeply layered story arc of Deep Space Nine currently unfolding, but I think Voyager can dig a little deeper than this.
Here lies the epitome of safe, mainstream appeal. Maybe that's why it was made. Episodes like this make my job as a reviewer a cake walk. I'm scarcely inspired to think about what I've seen (what you see is about all you get), so all I really need to do is react. My reaction is something along the lines of, "Nice sets, nice dirt, nice grime, nice smoky atmosphere." And, of course, "Nice job, Roxann Dawson." Dawson gets a chance to look real cool and badass-esque this week.
Anyway, to get the big gripe out of the way, I must ask: What the hell are the Malon doing out here? Shouldn't they be about 25 years behind Voyager's present position? Supposing they do have some form of ultra-fast travel—which given past stories doesn't seem at all likely—why don't we hear about it? I'm not trying to nitpick, but the presence of the Malon not only seems incredibly dubious, but is indicative of a thinking pattern that is frighteningly similar to encountering the Kazon again and again during season two. One of the biggest appeals of season five is that we got two giant leaps closer to the Alpha Quadrant, instilling a sense of progress in the series. Now all of a sudden the writers bring back the Malon, so what am I supposed to be thinking? That 25 years is just a joke to be utilized when the producers feel like it? (Grrrr.)
Putting aside the continuity holes, however, the episode does manage to make the Malon somewhat more interesting than past episodes ("Night," "Extreme Risk") have depicted them. These toxic-waste haulers, labeled none-too-happily "the scourge of the quadrant" by Torres at one point in the story, take on a certain depth here, mainly because the story has the Voyager crew working with them rather than against them. The Malon here are more fully defined people instead of cheap sources of conflict.
The lead Malon survivor, Fesek (Ron Canada), offers a sympathetic and fairly interesting persona as a laborer who doesn't particularly like the fact he has to haul around toxic waste to earn a living, but simply accepts it as a simple fact of life (as well as all the permanent damage his body takes because of radiation poisoning). The Malon come across as a well-intentioned but flawed society with a toxic waste issue that unfortunately seems to earn them that reputation, "scourge of the quadrant." They dump their waste, but try to do so safely, in isolated areas of space. Internal to their society, there are those who sacrifice their well-being—the "core laborers," who work so close to the reactor that they're likely setting themselves up for an early death—for the benefit of the "greater good," hence the appropriate issue of the "juggernaut."
The main premise is one of those race-against-the-clock machines: Malon ship experiences mechanical catastrophe; Malon crew is mostly killed; Voyager crew happens upon crippled Malon ship, rescues a few Malon survivors; Malon tell Voyager crew that Malon vessel will blow up very soon, laying waste to massive areas of space; Voyager crew—led by engineering whiz Lt. Torres—must help quickly defuse Malon reactor before occurrence of big explosion.
The rest of the story comprises the away team walking, crawling, or running through Malon tunnels in an attempt to shut down the reactor (via loosely story-defined "checkpoints") before it blows. There's a twist: A creature might be looming in the tunnels. No maybe about it—one of the team, an ill-fated Malon that should've been wearing a red shirt—gets attacked (to death) by this "creature." We don't get a good look at the creature, of course, until the end, when the "creature's" identity wraps up the story (more on that in a moment).
Aside from the simple mechanics of the plot, the central character story is about B'Elanna's emotional control problems. A scene early in the episode has B'Elanna being counseled by Tuvok on the finer points of meditation, etc., as Tuvok plays Yoda and offers B'Elanna insights like, "The rage within you runs deep."
This isn't bad, but it's about as subtle as a brick—to the face. The whole characterization is written and played up to an obviousness that requires very little effort on the part of the viewer. And we can tell far in advance that Torres' anger—which can also provide "a source of strength," as Tuvok says—will be used later in the story on the hardware side of the plot (as a source of strength, naturally).
Character-wise, haven't we been here, and done this? Why is it we suddenly have B'Elanna unable to control her emotions, in an overstated manner that seems to regress her character back to season one? I like B'Elanna's fire, but it's much better utilized as an aspect of the character (like her fury concerning the genocide cover-up in third season's "Remember," for example) rather than the embodiment of it.
Also, something in Dawson's contract this season apparently says she must remove layers of clothing every time she becomes the anchor of a show. (Pleading guilty, I'll note the trend, but I won't complain about it.) It's nice to have female-driven action out here in TV land, but given the character's history, couldn't this be worth more? I suppose my biggest complaint is that we don't get enough B'Elanna episodes, and I hate to see the few we get devoted to almost completely hardware-driven stories.
Synopsis of the hardware aspect of the story would be relatively pointless; one can't convey atmosphere in a review (at least not in a way that would be worth the space devoted to description). Suffice it to say the corridor-traipsing is sufficiently well executed for what it sets out to do. The ending has all the major characters trapped in the reactor room while the "creature" is zeroing in on them ... as Seven, back aboard Voyager, monitors a viewscreen with the floor plan of the Malon ship denoting the location of Our Heroes and the "creature" in a cinematic statement obviously inspired by Alien and a dozen other movies.
The "creature" turns out to be not a creature but a core laborer who has gone insane with a quest for vengeance and has sabotaged his own ship, with the new intention of killing everyone on board the vessel and blowing it up. I have mixed feelings on the monster turning out to be a disgruntled crewman. On one hand, it's not very interesting; but on the other, it does make the juggernaut theme more solid.
That brings us to the hour's one moment of genuine thought—the moment where B'Elanna is the last line of defense between the core laborer and his plan to blow up the ship. The obviousness of B'Elanna's temper protecting herself and her shipmates follows the pattern along the obvious line established early in the episode, as she beats him into submission and is able to delay the ship's destruction. However, the consequences of the violence are briefly considered before and after the fact. B'Elanna tries to first reason with the core laborer before resorting to the necessary violence. And after the crisis is over, there's a good scene where she goes back to her quarters and ponders the unfortunate nature of having to resort to anger and violence—something I imagine she hoped to avoid when she started the mission.
Other than this one scene, most of the plot is mechanical A-to-B plotting. Still, though, I found "Juggernaut" appealing for all the superficial reasons it probably set out to be. The production values made for good, grimy eye-candy, and Dawson is extremely watchable in a physical role, where ultimately she's fighting off toxic-waste Malon baddies with a pipe. If I'm going to see characters in a potboiler story like this, B'Elanna is a particularly good choice.
I'm a B'Elanna fan. I think she's the most unjustly underused character on Voyager's ensemble (opposed to Neelix, who is generally a more justly underused character—but that's just a cheap shot that I couldn't resist). I was looking forward to "Juggernaut." Dawson doesn't disappoint. Nor does the atmosphere. But the overall simplicity of the story doesn't give the character what she's due.
Next episode: Seven takes some lessons on romance.
Previous episode: Think Tank
Next episode: Someone to Watch Over Me
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71 comments on this post
Thu, Feb 7, 2008, 1:15pm (UTC -5)
Sun, Apr 6, 2008, 10:48am (UTC -5)
Fri, Jan 16, 2009, 2:36pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Aug 17, 2009, 1:53pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Nov 27, 2009, 6:44pm (UTC -5)
Sun, Nov 29, 2009, 10:32am (UTC -5)
There are so many lines and plot devices that are used to death on this show. There is no drama and suspense at all, even though the show requires it. It's just typical voyager affair.
Even the lesson at the end is telegraphed from the outset, but it comes off as just bad. They've introduced Belanna's temper problem from the first few episodes of the series, yet they try and tackle it now nearly 6 years on the ship? Even then, it's been relatively in check since those episodes.
More so, I can't get past the the usage of the Maylons. Didn't they discover this species in the beginning of the season? Since then, Voyager has gained nearly 20,000 light years closer to earth as a result of Timeless and Dark Frontier. I would have to think that any species they met in the past are long gone by now. That's 20,000 light years people!
Yet, we run into the Maylon's again. The episode before, they ran into the Think Tank... and they were aware of the Vidians. Can you believe it? The Vidians! That's season 1/2! There is no way anyone in this part of space would even know who they are.
The writers clearly don't care about this sort of thing, and I can't ignore it while I watch.
In the end, the series proves to be as directionless as ever. This is terrible character piece, and it doesn't contribute to anything about the big picture.
Sun, Nov 29, 2009, 10:38am (UTC -5)
I can understand species like the Borg popping up all the time - they have a massive 'empire' so to speak. The federation does as well, as does the Dominion. There are very few powers that rival these, as the delta quandrant has proven to be pretty back-water compared to alpha quandrant. There hasn't been any big species like klingons or romulans or cardassians - the major players. Honestly, any space-fairing civilization has been pretty pathetic in the delta quandrant, having 1 world most of the time. Whoppie. Yet, everyone in the same of 30,000 knows about them. What a joke.
Mon, Nov 30, 2009, 12:06am (UTC -5)
If voyager has managed to cover this much ground in such a small amount of time using spacial vortexes and such, why can't other species do it? Heck, they know the quadrant much better than the voyager crew; they should be able to find the wormholes and such more easily than they can. Not to mention they've had a lot more time to explore than Voyager had.
Nasa's got 2 probes that were launched in 1977 (named Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 - ha!), since then they've both gathered data about different planets in our system, and by 1998 Voyager 1 was departing the solar system. They're hoping eventually to get data about something called the "heliopause" at the outer edge of the system (whatever that means). Now imagine how much ground you'd cover, how much you'd explore with that amount of time AND ships that can go up to 21,000 times the speed of light? Why wouldn't some species know about another species 20,000 light years away? if you could sustain warp 9.9 the whole trip, it would take less than 20 years to get there. Can't sustain that speed? Need to 'refuel' or whatever? OK lets say 40 years. 40 years is nothing!
Mon, Nov 30, 2009, 2:30am (UTC -5)
Yes, the Krenim had an empire in various stages. Mighty convenient that they skipped it in 1 episode after the time was reset. I think when it was all said and done, they emerged with something that wasn't quite so big. Perhaps the size of the romulans.
Nonetheless, there are loads of inconsistencies. The entire delta quandrant is totally unaware of the alpha quandrant. They haven't visited it. They know of no races in the alpha quandrant. Nothing. And yet we are to believe that the Maylon's have an empire the span of 20,000 light years. A civilization that can't even recycle it's own anti-matter waste. Not buying it. I'm really not.
Sun, Jul 4, 2010, 5:54pm (UTC -5)
They're stuck on a vessel with a lethal explosion impending in less than three minutes. Harry "Can't-Get-a-Lock" Kim, of course, can't get a lock - now there's a surprise! And rather than pummeling the angry alien hellbent on the destruction of them all, Torres gets him to talk about his feelings in those 2.5 minutes they've all left to live. Jesus Harold Christ. Such idiotic scripts should be made illegal under criminal law.
The rest of the show is O.K., if too New Agey meditation-heavy for my taste. 2-2.5 stars is about right. It is, however, FAR inferior to the previous episode, which very undeservedly got the same rating.
Mon, Sep 6, 2010, 7:08pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Dec 23, 2010, 7:23pm (UTC -5)
It's only interesting/funny because I'm drunk. In any other circumstances I think I'd definitely struggle to give it the 2.5 stars that it got.
I have to admit, it had some genuine comedy (although unrelated to the main story) - the turtlehead quote and the gag reflex comments.
That's about it though. Fun if you're hammered.
Thu, Dec 23, 2010, 7:28pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Jan 3, 2011, 4:07am (UTC -5)
Fri, May 20, 2011, 1:41am (UTC -5)
Mon, Mar 26, 2012, 10:58pm (UTC -5)
Why? Just because she took her top off? :D
Sun, May 6, 2012, 12:06pm (UTC -5)
What bugs me the most is that the exact same story could have been told with a new alien race instead of the Malon. Why should the Malon have the galactic market cornered on industrial waste?
What's more, is that this isn't even the worst offense. The Hirogen come back in season six ("Tsunkatse") and the Hirogen holograms are coming up...wait for it...in SEASON 7! Gah!!!
Tue, Aug 14, 2012, 10:39pm (UTC -5)
Wed, Sep 26, 2012, 7:26am (UTC -5)
I did find it odd for them to be characterizing Torres they way they do here. I don't even remember Torres acting quite so out of control in season 1.
When Tuvok says to Janeway that Torres is unpredictable, I felt the complete opposite. Torres, in Tuvok's mind, is filled with angry emotions and will lose her temper at the slightest provocation. How is that unpredictable.
I also had to laugh at the "warm fuzzy" moment when Janeway tells Tuvok she won't be sending him over because she doesn't want Torres to think Janeway doesn't trust her. Just another example of the main characters doing whatever they want for the benefit of themselves and not the mission or the wellbeing of the ship and crew.
Dawson does a great job as usual, but this is hardly a story which really needed to be told.
Having Torres reflect on her violent act at the end of the episode is a mature handling of this kind of situation which is rarely seen on this show.
Tue, Jan 15, 2013, 1:49pm (UTC -5)
The worst offense has to be S7's "Homestead", where we have a Talaxian colony at what must be almost the border of the Beta Quadrant...
Sun, Jan 20, 2013, 7:19am (UTC -5)
On top of that, she's a beautiful women... though, I don't really care about beautiful women. That's something that's always bothered me: all the women are (with very few exceptions) attractive. On the other hand, all the men (with very few exceptions) are not really handsome.
If you're a man but no top-model, you have a chance of being hired. If you're a woman, you must be somewhat charming. I'm not a feminist, but if I'm not bothered by unattractive guys - if they are good actors - the same should be true for women, shouldn't it ? And if you don't agree, so let us have some good-looking men too !
Sorry, that was my yearly ranting ;-).
Sat, Apr 13, 2013, 1:41am (UTC -5)
Fri, May 24, 2013, 9:42am (UTC -5)
Fri, May 24, 2013, 8:44pm (UTC -5)
"The entire delta quadrant is totally unaware of the alpha quadrant. They haven't visited it. They know of no races in the alpha quadrant. Nothing."
Not only that, but some of them seem to call their area "the Delta Quadrant" or have no problem adopting that usage when the Voyager people introduce it. "The Delta Quadrant" is an Alpha Quadrant designation. Suppose aliens showed up and said to us, "We're stranded here in the Omega Sliver" -- we'd be like, "This ain't the Omega Sliver; it's the Alpha Quadrant." (Or, "it's the Sol system.")
Thu, Jun 20, 2013, 12:59pm (UTC -5)
Anyways, it was another likably fun and stylishly charming episode that I enjoyed. Its' substance was engrossing without being deep, its' action fun without being tense, and overall it's very likable without quite managing to reach lovable. But for a standard adventure it does the job nicely, 3 stars would cover it IMO.
On a side note, Neelix could really use a course in basic food hygiene! His hacking all over the food as he stirs it with his used spoon, dipping his fingers in and having that long hair swinging about unchecked...I'd take the replicators thanks, Neelix!
Wed, Aug 7, 2013, 2:53pm (UTC -5)
but the gag reflex bit was funny. as so was turtlehead.
yes, why couldnt have they just added this a few episodes earlier? not like they dont plan shows in advance.
this was mildly entertaining. i would give it a 2 star..maybe 2.5 stars.
@arachnea. Nana Visitor is no model. and the doctor in 2nd season of TNG...nuh uh.
i like the comments about the "Omega Sliver." funny stuff.
Thu, Aug 8, 2013, 10:13pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Aug 31, 2013, 5:14pm (UTC -5)
When the Hirogen were first introduced in season 4 they were shown to have relay stations that reached all the way to the alpha quadrant. I think it's safe to say that they are a widely traveled species.
I don't really have a problem with the Malon or Talaxians showing or whoever showing up again ahead of Voyager. Why should we assume that all species gained warp drive when humans did? That's kind of arrogant.
Besides, at this time in Trek lore, the Feds have listening posts in the Gamma quadrant. That's like what, 25,000 light years from Earth?
So I just think this argument is a bit nitpicky.
Fri, Sep 6, 2013, 6:49pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Feb 4, 2014, 8:05pm (UTC -5)
A single Malon freighter exploding (everything within 3-5 light years dies) would be enough to destroy the entire Dominion fleet.
This episode establishes into Star Trek canon that the most powerful weapon in the galaxy is a Malon Garbage Truck.
Sat, Mar 8, 2014, 9:54am (UTC -5)
As I said in my review of "Faces," I find Roxanne Dawson to be probably the single most sexually attractive Trek actress I've seen; and I'd fairly happily watch B'Elanna for hours.
With that said, this was by far the weakest B'Elanna episode I've seen. Yes, she's fiery, and I love that; but at the same time, temper still usually needs some sort of motivation. Here her temper seems purely arbitrary, most of the time. She's angry just because she's angry, and for no other reason.
Anyone who's seen "Gravity," will also know how much irony there is in Tuvok teaching Torres anger management; Tuvok might be Vulcan, but it's still a true case of the blind leading the blind, there.
There also wasn't enough action here for me, or at least not enough action that had a real point in terms of the characters or the story. I like action, but not when it is mindless, or occurs purely for its' own sake. Chakotay gets hit in the head, which doesn't really do much except maybe raise tension slightly, although you know that, as a regular character, of course he's going to be ok.
B'Elanna attempting to reason with the alien, however, and plead with it before killing it, is a good example of why VOY has become my favourite Trek series of the lot. There was action in this show, and during a few episodes said action becomes fairly intense; but despite survival occasionally being an issue (although nowhere near as much as it should have been, I know Jammer) the characters' commitment to principle demonstrated that this was still genuine Star Trek.
So yeah; Roxanne looking sexy is always a big plus, but I kept waiting for her to have an interesting character moment like she did in "Faces," and except for the brief conflict and flashback at the end, she never really does. It's disappointing.
This one gets two stars from me, with an extra half star due to makeup making Roxanne look as though she'd just been mud wrestling. Yum, yum. ;)
Wed, Nov 12, 2014, 10:53pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Jan 1, 2016, 9:48pm (UTC -5)
And to answer Captain Jim's question: maybe the removal of her clothing and the sonic shower cleansing were to be interpreted as a 'casting off' of her old volatile ways. And a new B'elanna was to have emerged from the shower.
Then again, could've been just because she took her shirt off. Either way I ain't complainin'.
Since we never saw the Malon in their own sector of the galaxy all we have to go by are these guys that look like post-nuclear war survivors. They looked even worse off than the Vidiians.
Voyager already provided them a solution for their theta radiation problems and the toxic buildup as a result of using their technology. Since they rejected it it's hard to muster any sympathy for them, like when the Malon explained to B'elanna his plight and how his son wanted the same job when he grew up. He doesn't realize that implementing Voyager's solution would mean his son would not have to put himself in harm's way. An occupational risk that no longer has to exist. But they need the work. I guess their government didn't have a New Deal program.
2 stars. If this had aired before Extreme Risk it would explain a lot more. And I probably would have given it 3 stars just for the fact they dabbled with a little continuity. As it is I just have to wonder about her sudden emotional instability.
Wed, Jan 6, 2016, 1:39am (UTC -5)
"On top of that, she's a beautiful women... though, I don't really care about beautiful women. That's something that's always bothered me: all the women are (with very few exceptions) attractive. On the other hand, all the men (with very few exceptions) are not really handsome.
If you're a man but no top-model, you have a chance of being hired. If you're a woman, you must be somewhat charming. I'm not a feminist, but if I'm not bothered by unattractive guys - if they are good actors - the same should be true for women, shouldn't it ? And if you don't agree, so let us have some good-looking men too !"
Seriously? You think Janeway is attractive? Gag! You thought Kes was attractive? She looked like a little boy! That's pretty disgusting!
On DS9 both Kira and Ezri Dax look like short haired lesbians and on TNG Crusher is just old! And don't even get me started about TOS. There are plenty of ugly women in Star Trek. I'd fuck very few of them.
Wed, Jan 6, 2016, 8:24am (UTC -5)
They certainly don't take the hot thing to the same extremes as the CW, but none of the TNG guys are bad looking men. And as attractive as they are Crusher/Yar/Troi are not super models (which in my book is not a bad thing, I don't necessarily like the super model look).
And women are STILL hot for Patrick Stewart and he's 75 years old (and married to a 37 year old...)
Sun, Jan 24, 2016, 9:11am (UTC -5)
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 4:34pm (UTC -5)
And it really shouldn't be a prime directive issue either. The Malon are advanced, they're warp capable, they're peaceful, they just haven't figured out this issue. We saw Picard helping out independent civilizations all the time, what's the harm in giving them the technology to convert theta radiation? I mean, surely Roddenberry doesn't think that, for example, the US shouldn't tell China about our ability to clean sulfur and other pollutants out of coal emissions, right? That would just be silly.
Actually, my largest annoyance is that this is the most ridiculous "planet of hats" ever. When we first saw them, I was definitely intrigued. A gritty, amoral, industrialist society? No interest in niceties or conquest or peaceful cooperation or whatever? Maybe these could be what the Ferengi should have been! Instead, all we ever saw were the garbage dumpers, nobody else... What a narrow view of their society; why did we never see anyone else? Talk about a wasted opportunity.
As for the episode itself, well, see my comments on the Fight. Exact same thing. A blatantly telegraphed, overly simplified "character piece" that comes out of nowhere for Torres. She was actually this belligerent in Season 1 (she punched out Carey in the second episode, remember?), so it would have worked in season 1 or 2. But being a model Starfleet officer for 4 years, without Janeway showing any concern, and now all of a sudden it comes to the forefront in such a blatant way? Sniping to a guest when Janeway is right there? Janeway being concerned with her actions on an away mission?
Well executed, but an annoyance nonetheless. We have a pattern of the crew living in limbo, with character aspects coming and going randomly, but at least they are shown in an entertaining and well developed fashion. That's a lot better than early Voyager, which tended to be poorly executed with only half-thought out plots. It's a different form of turning off your brain and untapped potential, and probably a better form, but still not quite as good as it can be.
Thu, Feb 18, 2016, 6:01pm (UTC -5)
Even accepting the ridiculous premise that the Malons can't figure out how to do what everyone everywhere can do, the concept is just plain dumb. Toxic waste disposal should not be an issue in the vastness of space for a species with warp drive. Unless theta radiation travels faster than light, it should be a non issue - just toss it into any old sun.
I just feel with the Malon the writers had this allegory they wanted to go with to wag their fingers at us about environmental degradation or whatever and they just forgot to make the slightest sense.
As for this episode, it was garbage, figuratively as well as literally. Dawson is as far from a good actress as I can imagine. Her alleged rage comes across as bitchiness more than anything. And the confrontation at the end with Mr. garbage radiation monster - what was the point of that? That she needed to control her anger? Apparently not. Pipe meet head. End of story.
Fri, Feb 19, 2016, 3:51am (UTC -5)
A better example would have been the Pakleds, who really are the Gobshites of the Galaxy!
Sat, Mar 5, 2016, 7:34am (UTC -5)
But writing wise this is just a mess. It seems to be a B'Elanna episode, but what does it tell us that's new or developing her character beyond 'B'Elanna gets angry and needs to control her temper'? Nothing. Indeed the conclusion seems to be that in failing to reason with the Phantom of the Opera at the end she's not angry when she clubs him with an iron bar. And then gets her shirt off for a shower scene. Sheesh. 2 stars.
Fri, May 27, 2016, 11:07am (UTC -5)
I like this one. Don't love it, but any episode featuring B'Elanna (almost) is a winner for me.
Some side-splitting humor (even if it's only because of the source) :-)
"Whatever you say, Miss Turtlehead."
"As a rule we don't, but serving with Captain Janeway has taught me otherwise."
Tuvok's humor seems to be pretty prevalent recently.
Thank the gods for smoldering jackets. :-)
3 stars, primarily because we get a whole episode of Roxann.
Oh, we finally see a sonic shower actually work! :-)
Thu, Jul 7, 2016, 3:08pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Nov 12, 2016, 6:19am (UTC -5)
Sun, Dec 18, 2016, 5:56am (UTC -5)
Mon, Jan 2, 2017, 3:41pm (UTC -5)
This episode isn't getting me excited for the new Star Trek TV show I can tell you that much...
Tue, Jan 31, 2017, 2:48am (UTC -5)
Yeah , I hate the continued disregard for distances as Voyager makes its way through the quadrant when they keep meeting species who are on short trips yet somehow 25,000 light years away from their home world. (these guys were talking about their kids like they would be back home in a few weeks). However, if I put that aside this is a good episode.
I liked how the "evil aliens" were shown to be just normal family people like the rest of us; doing this garbage run to provide for the family or help save the planet. Voyager rarely explored the "other side" of the conflict.
Dawson as an action star was pretty good in this show. She does look great with the arms showing. I would have liked to see more of her, however, Voyager did become the 7 of 9 show for the most part.
The evil deformed crewman was a bit over the top at the end (I would have preferred an actual chemical monster or something).... however, it served a purpose to show Torres unleashing her anger and feeling bad about it after in the shower.
Sat, Jun 24, 2017, 1:15pm (UTC -5)
And if the Malons traveled thousands of light years 'back' to where Voyager was in "Night", they can certainly travel 'forward' as well.
Sun, Sep 24, 2017, 5:12pm (UTC -5)
Well, second most. Most powerful is apparently 1 Omega molecule. One of Voyager's silliest conceits was establishing so many ridiculously superlative phenomena.
Wed, Dec 13, 2017, 12:31pm (UTC -5)
On that level, the episode is a decent psychological study with a good central metaphor. The performances I thought were good, especially Ron Canada's guest turn as Fesek, and I like that he is rendered sympathetically throughout. The episode gives Neelix something to do in a way that's pretty in keeping with his character history and is not annoying. I also like that Voyager works on plans B and C while the Plan A goes on, suggesting a kind of competence and decent planning on the main staff; and I think also that this ability to make relatively cool-headed decisions contrasts with the difficulties B'Elanna is facing. There are two main problems I have with the show:
1. B'Elanna has always had a temper and this is a consistent point that has been raised. However, the idea that in *this* particular episode, she is a constant live wire unable to control herself, to the point where Tuvok recommends pulling her from the away mission, seems a little out of nowhere. She's been on life-threatening missions before. Why is it that they're so sure that she's unreliable *now*? Relatedly, B'Elanna's frequent outbursts seem to be implausibly intense throughout the show. The episode just doesn't justify why her garbage is all coming out right now. This is as opposed to something like Day of Honor, which clearly identified an initial trigger and then showed her day gradually worsening, and even so her professionalism was not in question, so much as her failure to make sense of her personal life.
2. It's kind of boring for some stretches and I'm not sold on its effectiveness as a horror story. The "monster" ends up not being that interesting except for what it tells us about B'Elanna, and the POV shots just seem silly.
All in all, it's an episode with a cool character core idea, somewhat fumbled in execution by insufficiently justifying what makes B'Elanna so totally unreliable in this situation, as opposed to others -- and which is not all that entertaining for me. 2.5 stars, probably.
Tue, Jan 23, 2018, 4:30am (UTC -5)
And let me get this straight. Plan A is to send a bunch of people over to the ship to possibly die, which at least one did, and others nearly did. Plan B is to throw the ship into a star. I'm thinking maybe they got the plans mixed up.
Also, this monster business. It's ridiculous. The Malon have heard of this 'mythical' creature before, and some even claimed to have seen it! Oh my! But wouldn't they notice a psychotic mutated crewman on the ship when they got home? Or notice that one of their core workers was missing? The fact that this happens to some of their crew and they don't know about it is beyond stupid.
And really? B'Elanna gets angry sometimes? Really? No kidding! What an in depth exploration of her character!
This episode is just dumb.
1 1/2 stars.
Wed, Jul 18, 2018, 9:46pm (UTC -5)
I get this is a Torres episode and it's about time. Dawson is a good actress and the fiery personality just comes naturally for her. She's supposed to get her anger tested here and maybe develop some control over it. Who knows if she improved in any way. What the writers intended for her character is fine -- for me, they didn't quite pull it off. But it seems they also wanted to play up this notion of "G.I. Torres" as also some kind of sex symbol -- this is where it gets dumb. Why was Torres in a tank-top while all the men were more fully clothed? And then there the shower scene at the end -- gratuitous. She could have her remorse etc. without disrobing...but ratings etc.
As for the Malon again, I see it as a quandary for VOY: if it's like every week a new alien species comes along, it gets harder to care, some groundwork needs to be re-laid, different forehead/nose ridges need to be invented etc. It makes no sense that Voyager should be encountering the Malon here but at least there's some familiarity to build on. OK, so they're the toxic waste dumpers but there was an opportunity to do more with them here. Unfortunately, the episode is another twist on their toxic waste dumping.
Why wouldn't the Voyager away team have protective suits when they go aboard the freighter? The whole idea seemed ridiculous at first -- the Malon themselves admit they can't deal with the sabotaged freighter but Voyager boards it believing it can do something about it. So there's plenty of fumbling around the vessel, giving Torres a chance to control her temper.
As for the core laborer, this is like the worker going postal -- so that's all well and good as the unexpected element. Decent suspense with 7 saying he's approaching the team in the control room. Torres has her hero scene when she hits him with the metal rod and saves the day -- she's done this kind of thing before ("Revulsion" and even "Dreadnought"). I don't think she should have too much introspection to do for sending the core laborer to his death.
Barely 2.5 stars for "Juggernaut" -- Dawson does everything that is asked of her well. It's just that the emphasis was excessively on action/adventure instead of character development. Didn't feel like there was very much to this episode. Have to also question this radiation dumping by the Malon, although they do develop a bit more as aliens here as we understand the core laborer phenomenon and a tad more about their homeworld.
Thu, Aug 9, 2018, 9:41pm (UTC -5)
"What a narrow view of their society; why did we never see anyone else? Talk about a wasted opportunity."
Well...note dialogue from Redemption, written by Ron Moore, where he writes this dialogue:
"You're a fellow officer and I respect that... but no one would suggest that a Klingon would make a good ship's counselor or that a Berellian could be an engineer. They're just not suited for those positions."
Ron Moore is the godfather of the "planet of hats" on Star Trek.
Thu, Oct 18, 2018, 8:55am (UTC -5)
A good episode, good exploration of how B'Ellana is trying to deal with her own "garbage." (You beat me to it, William B - notice too, not just the mention of toys and childhood, but the repeated comments about having children . . . another reference to growth, change, maturity.)
I think B'Ellana continues to be touchy and her long buried garbage is surfacing for two reasons: the Maqui deaths and her relationship with Tom, which is going well.
I do foster care. Guess what happens when a scared, angry, emotional kid finally, finally starts to feel safe and loved? It can be quite the roller coaster ride.
The objections to seeing the Malons make no sense to me. We don't even know what part of the Delta quadrant they are from, since we first see them coming through a worm hole, no? Plus we don't know much about their tech or how long they've been space faring (hundreds of years? thousands?). Had zero problems with this.
A great character episode that takes us down into B'Ellana's core. It's best to keep the plot fairly simple with this kind of ep.
Thu, Nov 1, 2018, 3:24pm (UTC -5)
"notice too, not just the mention of toys and childhood, but the repeated comments about having children . . . another reference to growth, change, maturity"
I hadn't thought of that, but that's great.
"I do foster care. Guess what happens when a scared, angry, emotional kid finally, finally starts to feel safe and loved? It can be quite the roller coaster ride."
I hadn't thought about it. That's really interesting...and I think it makes a lot of sense that it can happen at any point in a person's life, if they've felt unsafe/unloved for a long time.
And that does seem to be B'Elanna's issues -- that the point isn't that Voyager is a bad place for B'Elanna and that's why some long-buried things are coming back, but because it's a good place. The trick is whether she can deal with all the garbage without alienating Tom and the others, and it's really hard for her (and requires a lot of patience from them).
I think a lot of the time, people who have it rough as kids deal by becoming precocious, successful, or by convincing themselves -- and others, even, if they are very good -- that they are doing all right, by burying, and they can maintain it for a long time, but it wears them down. It takes a lot of energy to keep the buried stuff buried. And eventually it is possible to start lashing out against certain people who deserve it least, because they are the ones who show some evidence of not hurting them, or stopping loving them...but it's also hard for the person to process it. Or people who are isolated for a long time, and seem to be able to deal with it, and then lash out when they do get close to other people...because they've also never really learned how to do that. B'Elanna makes me hopeful.
Thu, Nov 1, 2018, 8:18pm (UTC -5)
Yes, what you describe is exactly what happens . . . it's when things are starting to go really well that I can expect an explosion with the foster kids. It seems contrary, but it's not. I've gotten pretty good at knowing when to brace for impact.
The whole picture is complicated these days with drug treatment, which can help when it allows a super-anxious kid to calm down enough to function and think, or hurt when it zombifies a kid into not feeling anything at all.
But I digress. Yes, B'Ellana is a great character!
Wed, Nov 28, 2018, 3:20am (UTC -5)
I agree-using the Doctor and Radiation suits would seem obvious-how the writers missed it, I don't know.
I know Janeway has to use what she has, but if this is how B'lanna is after half a decade on the ship, I would have ordered her to have at least semi-weekly sessions with Tuvok on anger from day 1! How do people put up with that?
I also agree with whomever said that the degradation of women is getting ridiculous. I know it supposedly wasn't played for seductive reasons, but there is no reason for us to have to see B'lanna get ready for the sonic shower (although the actual usage of the shower was cool)
I honestly don't find any of the girls on Voyager that attractive except for Kes & Samantha Wildman, and for whatever reason they barely used her in the show, even in episodes with her daughter, but I still don't see the need to use them in this kind of fashion.
@ C Baker-YES! Why didn't Voyager give the tech to them! They wouldn't have to use these toxic waste ships!
Thu, Jul 18, 2019, 7:21am (UTC -5)
Tue, Aug 6, 2019, 6:19pm (UTC -5)
This particular episode was ok but I have always found B'elanna's temper annoying and immature for a Starfleet officer.
Thu, Sep 5, 2019, 1:47pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Oct 7, 2019, 10:04am (UTC -5)
Mon, Nov 25, 2019, 2:16am (UTC -5)
Aside from the all-too-obvious environmental message, I’m curious about “toxic waste” in space. As I understand it, most - maybe all - of space is toxic. Every star (never mind supernovae, neutron stars, pulsars, quasars) are sources of radiation which would be lethal to us, even through our atmosphere, if earth’s spinning molten iron core didn’t create a magnetic shield. We don’t really know how we’re going to shield spacecraft well enough to get humans to Mars in healthy enough condition to burrow underground to escape the same radiation which would kill them on the surface there.
So I’m having a hard time understanding how we can pollute space, esPECially with radiation, given that space makes a helluva lot more of it than we do. So yeah - launch it into the gravity well of a star and forget about it.
But I can’t find anything in real science about “theta radiation,” so it’s one of those Trek things we just have to accept and go with. But a “by-product of anti-matter reactions?” I thought the point of such reactions was that matter and antimatter were annihilated, yielding nearly 100% of the energy of both. No doubt radiation across a wide band is produced...but wouldn’t it dissipate rapidly in the vast expanses of space, contributing negligibly to what’s already zipping around there?
FWIW, I didn’t think seeing B’Elanna’s bare back at the end was gratuitous or constituted any sort of “degradation” of women. I think it was necessary to contrast the dirt and grime she’d accumulated (both physically and emotionally) during her visit to the belly of the beast with the comparatively clean and unstained condition she might attain after her shower. It also serves to remind us of her vulnerability, and contrast it with the strength she’d shown in doing what had to be done to survive.
That’s all compliments of Ripley’s similar strip-down toward the end of Alien - which is, yeah, yet more evidence of this episode’s debt to that movie. But I can live with that.
Mon, Jul 13, 2020, 9:26pm (UTC -5)
She wasn’t angry toward the core worker. She was understanding and tried to reason with him. She feels badly having to kill him because he’s a victim.
The only way I can see the ending connecting to Torres’s anger issue is that the core worker is operating on pure anger, and defeating him is symbolic of her defeating her own anger. But viewing her that would make her look like a monster. Would make no sense.
Sun, Aug 23, 2020, 3:37pm (UTC -5)
Nice ass though...and the rest of her...so all is forgiven ;)
Neelix was also a pleasant surprise: He came across as constructive, professional, quick-on-the-trigger, and competent... - def. a far cry from the annoying bellybutton lint he's been for the past five seasons.
Thu, Sep 10, 2020, 2:43pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Mar 6, 2021, 12:21pm (UTC -5)
B'Ehlanna is angry! What an interesting, fresh character development.
So the Malon are the "scourge of the quadrant"? Not the Borg, not the Vidiians -it's the race of mutated garbage men that are the REAL threat.
I thought Voyager was going to give the Malon some environmental tech after "Night"? Was that ever mentioned again?
Why is Neelix shoehorned into this episode?
Wouldn't having the ability to dump toxic waste into any nearby star solve all of the Melon's disposal needs? I know the producers wanted to do a show with an environmental message, but they did absolutely nothing to establish the Malon as a believable society.
Skuffle notes: "This monster business. It's ridiculous. The Malon have heard of this 'mythical' creature before, and some even claimed to have seen it! Oh my! But wouldn't they notice a psychotic mutated crewman on the ship when they got home? Or notice that one of their core workers was missing? The fact that this happens to some of their crew and they don't know about it is beyond stupid."
Sat, Mar 6, 2021, 1:02pm (UTC -5)
Let's play "fix the episode":
I like the idea of "emotional toxic waste." I like B'Elanna being the central character. I also like the character of Fesek.
I don't like having a literal monster, B'Elanna being in constant "Hulk Smash!" mode, the idea of "space polluters", the inclusion of Neelix, or the violent ending.
Start the episode with the Tuvok and Miss Turtlehead scene.
Make this a planet bound episode. Torres is asked by the Malon to help repair one of their power plants. Torres is outraged by their polluting ways. She harangues a middle management type, Fesek, for his role in what's going on. He's at least somewhat receptive.
Disaster strikes. Torres and Fesek are in a race against the clock to stop a total meltdown. As the story progresses Torres continues to press Fesek about his society's shortcomings. He becomes more and more sympathetic to her POV. As the show gains momentum and the tension increases, it becomes apparent that Fesek isn't just being influenced by Torres - he's also being affected by the radiation.
The episode's climax takes place when Torres and Fesek make it to their destination. Fesek has become unhinged due to radiation poisoning. He is both mentally and physically damaged. He has taken Torres' advice about the need for societal change and combined it with his own pain and rage. He sees the faults in Malon society, and blames it for "forcing" him into a job where he has been harmed and has done great harm to others. Instead of preventing the meltdown, he believes that the only way the Malon will change is if they feel the consequences of their own selfish actions - he's going to let the reactor explode.
Torres finally recognizes the wisdom of what Tuvok told her in the opening scene, She realizes that her anger, which she had thought of as "a useful tool" for most of the episode, is nothing more than emotional toxic waste; waste with which she has polluted Fesek.
Our Trekkian ending: Torres does not, I repeat, does NOT beat Fesek with a rod to solve her problem. Instead, she talks him down. She opens up about her life and explains how her uncontrolled anger has hurt her and hurt the people she loves. She convinces Fesek that the best way to fight for change is to go public with what has happened to himself and let the people know what their pollution is doing to others. In the end, he agrees.
/cue sonic shower scene
Better? I don't know. But it did allow me to kill some time on a lazy Saturday morning.
Sat, Mar 6, 2021, 5:13pm (UTC -5)
Literally her whole persona is making bitchy remarks, threatening to break your nose and hating being Klingon. All of which gets tired very quickly.
I do like how this episode demonstrating the parallels between B'Elanna's emotional toxic waste and the Malon's actual toxic waste. You can't dump your mess (anger) out wherever you want just because it's convenient. That negative energy will eventually start to affect everyone around, yourself included.
Sun, Jul 11, 2021, 9:43am (UTC -5)
Thu, Aug 5, 2021, 10:08pm (UTC -5)
They probably drank Neelix’s soup lol
Mon, Sep 13, 2021, 9:31pm (UTC -5)
Sun, Oct 31, 2021, 9:40am (UTC -5)
The reviewer might have expressed that better as "Within you the rage runs deep."
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