Star Trek: Voyager

“Once Upon a Time”

2 stars.

Air date: 11/11/1998
Written by Michael Taylor
Directed by John Krechmer

"In accepting the inevitable, one finds peace [in death]."
"If that's another Vulcan saying, Tuvok, I'll stick with 'live long and prosper.'"

— Tuvok and Paris

Review Text

Nutshell: Not a total loss, but ill-conceived. Easily the season's weakest episode so far.

New Voyager staff writer Michael Taylor seems to enjoy looking for the emotional truth in his stories, as evident in his previous work on DS9. His stories center around personal torment as caused by the deaths of others, whether it was Jake's father in "The Visitor," Odo's guilt over allowing Bajoran executions in "Things Past," Sisko facing the "death" of his Federation morals in "In the Pale Moonlight," or even (admittedly, to a lesser degree) Kira reflecting on the death of Bareil in "Resurrection."

Alas, Taylor's first Voyager entry, "Once Upon a Time," doesn't find that truth. This episode fails for most of the reasons "The Visitor" was so fantastic. It has too much manufactured sentiment based on tired clichés, ws, whereas "Visitor" came alive and rang true with a strong, focused emotional core.

"Once Upon a Time" begins with a Shuttle Crash™—or, more specifically, a Delta Flyer Crash [TM pending]—when Tuvok, Paris, and Ensign Wildman (Nancy Hower) are caught in an ion storm and forced to crash-land on a planetoid, where they find themselves buried under tons of rock. I don't have a problem with the loss of a shuttle (even if it's casually brushed aside as no big deal) as long as it's part of a greater purpose. But I am sick and tired of the silly setting where we're supposed to care about characters who are bottled up and stranded inside a shuttle.

Maybe it's time, for lack of better things to say about this plot device, to recap the times characters have been forced into "intense" or "survival" situations because of a shuttle crashing or blowing up, usually on a "desolate" planetoid. Let's see—there was Chakotay and Kar in "Initiations"; Paris and Neelix in "Parturition"; Tuvok and a red-shirt in "Innocence"; Janeway and Chakotay in "Coda"; Chakotay in "Unity"; Tuvok and Neelix in "Rise"; Torres and Paris in "Day of Honor"; and Chakotay in "Nemesis." (If I've left any out, that's okay—you get the picture.) This of course doesn't count shuttles destroyed or disabled where characters were rescued by a last-second beam-out, such as "Non Sequitur" or even "Drone" from three weeks ago.

Suffice it to say the shuttle crash is a firmly established plot device in Voyager lore. Hell, it's so established it should have its own internal classifications. I'm waiting for the day Janeway turns to one of her officers (one who is not stranded in a shuttle, naturally) and gives the order to begin the procedures for a "class 3 shuttle salvage operation." Perhaps the class distinction could be determined by who is on board the shuttle. A "1" might mean Chakotay; a "2" might mean Paris and Neelix; a "3" might mean...

But seriously, folks, who for a second thought the away team would not be rescued at the Last Possible Moment, when oxygen was running out—two minutes left, one minute left, 30 seconds left. Please. Is this supposed to constitute suspense? I would hope there's more to the story than the suspense angle, and fortunately for "Once Upon a Time" there is, but why even bother milking such a foregone conclusion for such false excitement? Granted, the setting brings about the story's real issues back aboard the Voyager, but on its own the setting is virtually worthless. I say get on with the real story and quit dumbing it down with "suspense" scenes in an attempt to cover up the fact your primary storyline is in essence only mediocre.

The primary story is also a derivative concept, looking at the situation of how to break news to a child that her mother might never come home again. While derivative and obvious at times, it isn't completely unpalatable. Ensign Wildman's daughter Naomi (Scarlett Pomers), who like all Trek children seems to be much older than she possibly can be (she shouldn't even be three years old), plays a significant role in the story, and Neelix provides a surprisingly watchable center to the story.

Some of this angle of the story worked decently. I thought Janeway and Neelix's discussion on informing Naomi about the crash was one of the episode's highlights. It's nice to be able to take Neelix halfway seriously for a change, and the sequence in Janeway's ready room was performed with sincerity. The use of Neelix's past also helped bring a more understandable personal angle to Neelix's dread for Naomi's potential loss.

I also thought the writers' depiction of Naomi was nicely conceived. As Janeway puts it, "she's an astute girl," and her perceptiveness makes sense. Children are na•ve, but not stupid, and the episode seems to know that.

On the other hand, the fantasy holonovel sequences didn't do much for me. While I try to keep an open mind, these silly holo-characters are not the reason I tune into Trek, and the amount of screen time devoted to "Flotter" (Wallace Langham) and "Trevis" (Justin Lewis) and their goofy hijinks was just too much for its own good. The episode seemed far too proud of its cleverness in creating cute characters that would appeal to the very young demographic of Voyager viewers (if there is one), than it seemed interested in analyzing Naomi's struggles as the only child growing up on a starship. I can understand that Naomi would like these guys, but I can't in all honesty get past the fact that I don't really care.

Even though some of the Neelix/Naomi sentiments work okay, none of this, unfortunately, can save a story that's so fundamentally tired. There's never any doubt the crew members will be rescued, so the scene where the stranded officers make final statements to their loved ones is merely manipulation that rings false. And it's not interesting because the characters aren't permitted to say anything interesting. I did like the idea of Tuvok making his final statements in writing, but Tom's last words to B'Elanna are lame bittersweet jokes about Captain Proton and leftover pizza, with the disappointingly un-heartfelt sign-off, "So long." Talk about affection.

Wildman's final message to her daughter was also disappointing and simplistically conveyed—heavy on TV sentiment but lacking in common sense. (I found myself asking, "Is that all she has to say?", and then realized this would've worked better if done mostly off-screen.)

And, after a harrowing experience of almost dying, when Ensign Wildman was reunited with her daughter, I must say I was so moved I wanted to throw up.

Not to be a completely cynical, cold-hearted person who can only derive an emotional response from tragedy and darkness, but this predictable ending was just so sweet, syrupy, and happy with itself being happy that I couldn't help but feel that the episode would've been more interesting and poignant if Ensign Wildman actually had died from the injuries she sustained in the crash. Consider the implications: As Naomi's godfather, Neelix would suddenly have the responsibilities of a full-time parent thrust upon him, and we might actually get to see a whole new side to a currently underdeveloped character.

But, nah, we can't have that kind of unhappy ending ... it would be way too much of a downer.

I'm not saying I wanted to see Samantha Wildman so casually killed off (she could potentially offer a unique perspective as the only parent with a child aboard the ship if she were utilized more than once or twice a year), but in the confines of this particular tale, her death might actually have been more meaningful to the story's underlying point—namely, that Voyager is a dangerous place where people can and do die—than an oh-so-happy reunion.

But I'm just throwing ideas around here. "Once Upon a Time," which has a few palatable moments between Neelix and Naomi, isn't a total loss, but with its hopelessly dumb plot and predictably thin payoff, I can't shake the feeling that this episode was flawed from the moment of conception—even though it pulled off a few reasonable isolated moments. There's probably a story somewhere in this material that could be compelling, but "Once Upon a Time" doesn't find it.

Next week: Voyager celebrates its 100th episode with a time-travel story.

Previous episode: In the Flesh
Next episode: Timeless

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Comment Section

88 comments on this post

    wow Naomi is gonna be one screwed up girl, not only is she butt ugly, and grows up on a desolate ship with no children friends. No guy will ever like her with those horns on her fore head

    Good job mom

    I would have given this episode a 2 1/2 star rating, being the first episode with a child as guest star that did't annoy me! Scarlett Pomers is doing her job really good!

    And, considering the "rapid-growth-factor": Voyager could have been the first series were this actually could have made sense if - yes, if Naomi would have been the child of Kes and Neelix, concepted in 1st or 2nd seasons "Elogium".

    It's been 'bout a year since you posted your responses, but:

    mlk: I beg to differ. She's cute and has a character that I have fallen in love with. It's indeed no good she is missing friends of similar ages.
    (For those who don't understand, no, I wouldn't dream of anything of her age, I was just saying that I liked her character a lot)

    Jakob: She's actually older than Kes when she came aboard Voyager, so that would make no sense at all. In "Mortal Coil" it is said that it's due to her being half-Ktarian. As found on Memory Alpha:
    It is mentioned in this episode that Ktarians, like Klingons, are prone to growing faster than Humans.

    Good point about Tom's last message. 'So long'?

    Do they even like each other?

    I felt like reliving childhood myself at times watching this, and while as a teenager I would not have liked this episode, I do now. Ah, the wonderment of being a child, exploring a fantastical world (not that different from watching Voyager now in some ways, :)

    Neelix's desire to protect Naomi, and the pain he showed at memories of his family was moving and believable, as well as Samantha's reunion with Naomi at the end. Tom's farewell, was it poor writing or was he just irritated and exhausted? I will admit Voyager did not do character driven stories nearly as well as DS9, but it still had its moments.

    OMG, how B-O-R-I-N-G!!! This episode (I managed to plod thru a half of it so far) is basically about a kid who either (1) misses her mommy and everyone is trying to console and/or distract her, or (2) spends a ridiculous amount of time (from the perspective of the viewer) indulging in a preposterous fantasy world on a holodeck. The first five minutes of the episode I was like WTF, did I tune in to goddamn Sesame Street!?!

    Yet again: Too much trite human "drama," introspection and exploration of "feelings" and shit, at the expense of the sci-fi aspect.


    I hope I manage to wade thru the other half of the show but it's not looking good...

    I half thought she was actually going to die, then remembered this is not DS9 :)

    Ah the classic Trek miracle growth child. She's 3 and using words like "re-liquify" (meanwhile Molly O'Brien went from 0 to about 6 in a year in TNG then stayed at 6 - time travel episode aside - for the run of DS9). Strange stuff! If they would've said something about accelerated growth characteristics of her father or whatever it might not seem so grating.

    There were some moving moments, but I must admit to being a bit soft with these things. I particularly liked Janeway's chat with Neelix in the ready room - the delicate mix of assertiveness and kindness made her seem deserving of the title of Captain in a way that hadn't really come across since Picard, and that's something I wouldn't mind seeing more of. It's also nice to see her coming out of her shell again after the first 3-4 episodes of the season when she was looking fed up and barking 2 word orders; if I didn't know better when it comes to Voyager I'd think it was a subtle echo and gradual recovery from her depression/breakdown in the first episode.

    The holodeck characters were irritating on a level not seen since the infamous Lwaxana/Alexander TNG episode. No more, please! No more! (In the style of Zorn from Encounter at Farpoint)

    Tom's farewell seemed perfectly in character to me. His character is mostly irritating, but still :) Lieutenant Sitcom would be cracking jokes right to the end of the universe so it didn't seem off to me.

    Generally a likable episode if you don't expect too much, as is par for the course of Voyager as a whole at this point, and at least had some nice moving character moments.

    When I read the episode blurb for this one on Wikipedia, I really, really came close to skipping it. I mean, for real, think about this:

    "Neelix looks after Naomi Wildman when her mother is injured on an away mission."

    Barf. A Neelix episode AND a little kid episode. How annoying could you get? But, because I'd like to eventually be able to say I've seen every episode of Star Trek, I watched it, and you know it wasn't too bad. It wasn't a good episode, but given how horribly annoying it could have been, I've got no complaints.

    As far as Flotter goes, I actually thought it was kind of interesting that Samantha, Harry Kim AND Janeway all apparently played with the same holo-stories as kids. One of those rare moments on Star Trek where we see a snippet of 24th century culture. I wish they would have done that a bit more.

    Another thing this episode calls to mind is how impoverished Voyager really was in terms of supporting characters. Who's there been?, Samantha Wildman, Michael Jones, Seska, Vorik...Naomi... Leonardo da Vinci, I guess. Um, I'm halfway through season 5 and that's it. (I guess there's the Delany sisters in stellar cartography that we've never actually seen). Voyager's a small reality, everyone should have been thick as thieves by the fifth year - that clique of main characters just isn't realistic at all. Adding a handful more familiar faces in the mess hall or engineering could have really added a richer dimensionality to their milieu and storytelling.

    Star Trek and children usually don't mix. The only exception I can think of was DS9, as both Jake and Nog worked as characters and weren't irritants as kids usually are on Trek. That said, the actress portraying Naomi is inoffensive and quite charming, but I could still live without her. This episode isn't a total loss, but it's hardly a masterpiece either. The plot is very basic and the characterisation, although passable, isn't exactly riveting.

    "The episode seemed far too proud of its cleverness in creating cute characters that would appeal to the very young demographic of Voyager viewers (if there is one)..."

    My 5-year-old daughter has been watching through Voyager and definitely did find this episode appealing. ;) Her favorite episode so far. Not exactly highest praise, though--her prior favorite was "Tuvix."

    Going through and rewatching the series, I could have sworn Samantha Wildman died at some point. Probably because you never see her again, but Naomi does appear at least a few more times...

    Samantha does appear again after this, she's also in "Fury" in season 6. Altogether she appeared in eight episodes over the course of seven seasons and was mentioned several other times as well.

    As far as the episode was concerned, eh, I think everybody's being a bit hard on it. Far from being one of the best, of course, but I thought it was a solid "average."

    Samantha did appear in "Fury" but only in scenes set during the first season. So chronologically this episode turned out to be her last appearance. All the more reason why it probably would have been better to kill her off. Her absence for the rest of the series (especially in "Homestead") was downright puzzling.

    I think people tend to forget that Star Trek and Voyager in particular is a family show. Having child characters around every once in a while is by design to attract kids as audience members.

    And it works. My daughters loved this episode and they adored Naomi. They also loved Neelix and Seven, who would forever in our house come to be known as "The Borg Lady." They were also intrigued by the idea of Flotter and Friends and wished they had a holodeck to play with instead of a dusty old Game Cube.

    This is by no means a brilliant episode, but it's a fun one for me and it brings back fun family memories.

    I enjoyed this episode, because we get to see someone other than the usual "Senior Officers" at work. I also liked the character of Naomi Wildman. I found the holodeck characters interesting, a great look at what life in the Federation is like aside from The Bridge, Engineering or the Mess Hall...

    I would have liked to have seen more episodes with Naomi and her would have added a different view to what the Voyager crew was going through...

    i couldn't get into this episode. the girl was annoying and all i kept thinking while watching the older jake was commander kern

    Are you sure you're talking about the right episode? Sounds like you watched "The Visitor" on DS9, not "Once Upon a Time" on Voyager.

    A cavern filled with fluorine gas seems's been awhile but if I recall my chemistry, elemental gas is about the last form that fluorine want to be in...

    Good catch, Jack. DS9's "Starship Down" has the same goof. They paid a science advisor for what, now? These aren't even cases of suspending disbelief for the sake of drama. (If it had been, say, "snorine gas," no problem.)

    I couldn't even finished this episode as it was so false, mind-numbingly bland and boring. As soon as you see half the crew sitting there in the shuttle along with Wildman, it becomes screamingly obvious that nobody is going to die and the manufactured drama and gag-inducing "cuteness" will end in a big sickly sweet happy ending that even Barny The Dinosaur would be proud of. After reading this page I was right not to have wasted my time.

    I'm all for genuinely emotional, humanly raw and warm stories that have a beating heart at their centres....unfortunately this was cold mechanical "drama" anything but. Also I hate cuteness, or at least Star Trek trying to be cute (Cost Of Living, anyone?). 1/4.

    I agree that this episode was largely a boring waste of time but I vehemently disagree it would've been better if Naomi's mother were killed off. I don't watch Voyager to see a four-year-old orphan sobbing over her mother's corpse, nor do I find the prospect of episodes featuring Neelix playing daddy to a traumatized child appealing.

    "What's a mitochondria?"
    "The warp core of a cell!"

    I liked this episode for the way Neelix and Naomi were used and the chemistry between those two characters. I also enjoyed seeing Samantha Wildman again and am disappointed they didn't use her more.

    The holodeck scenes were visually stunning, and looked just like you would expect a children's holodeck program to look--very lush and colorful. But the Flotter (it rhymes with water, get it, hahaha) theme became inane quickly.

    One scene that was really cool was when Naomi wondered onto the bridge. We got to see the bridge and hear the captain talking from a naive outsider's perspective.

    But yeah, they just built the Delta Flyer what, the very last episode? And they crashed it already? It would have actually been vastly superior storytelling to have the crash been due to some type of design or construction flaw, rather than an ion storm, considering they built it in less than a week. It would have not only added continuity and made it felt more serious rather than a cliche plot device.

    A minor gripe in the grand scheme of things, but I had a little trouble believing Janeway ran that holodeck program as a little girl. Surely holodecks were in their infancy then?

    I think they addressed somewhere that Naomi is a hybrid and her father's age grows up VERY fast.

    On another note..Naomi's mom showed up so rarely that for a long time I thought she'd been killed off in season 1.


    I know it's nitpicking, but it is cannon: the Enterprise NX-01 was the first Federation star ship to encounter replication technology. Furthermore, replicators are based on transporter technology, which was well established in Kirk's day. I think it's safe to say that by the time of the Enterprise B they had replicators. Holodeck tech couldn't have been too far off, and in some ways would be simpler than replicator tech. (aside perhaps from the sophisticated AI required to make semi-sentient holograms)

    Ok, gonna go get a life now :P

    I liked this episode. The look into how a children's world in TNG and their fairy tales added a bit more to the social milieu of ST.

    On the big HD screen there were amazing colors in the fairy tale land that may not have not been seen earlier. To me the story seemed very Ozish. Flotter (flowing water mix?) character was the scarecrow, Trevis reminded me of the tin man (somehwat), and the fire ogre was very wizardish.

    The rest of the story? Killing off the mother would have been interesting. I thought that maybe some kind of development between seven and the child would have been interesting.

    I did like the child's point of view of the bridge, as well. The rest of the story... well it could have been better.

    "I don't have a problem with the loss of a shuttle (even if it's casually brushed aside as no big deal)"

    Just wanted to say that the Delta Flyer was not lost. They couldn't detect any lifesigns inside the shuttle to lock on to so they beamed the whole lot (shuttle & all) back to the launch bay.

    To me, this episode was quite brilliant!

    It set out to let us see Voyager through the eyes of a child, and I enjoyed that fresh perspective. I think it was very well written, very well directed (especially the scenes involving Naomi) and very well acted.

    I really liked the addition of the "classic holonovel that every child knows and loves". It just made sense. The fact that a character in the program recognized Sam Wildman - now all grown up - was very sweet (was that a tip of the hat to Peter Pan?) - although entirely illogical.

    The girl playing Naomi was absolutely wonderful! Stellar performance and screen presence!
    A lot of details centering around her perception of the world where great - such as her attitude towards 7 of 9.

    All in all a traditional story of the acceptance of loss (Neelix) told from a refreshing new perspective (Naomi) - and given the eyes through which we saw this story play out, I'm not at all disappointed with the happy ending.

    When Tom Paris is in a situation where he's running out of oxygen he talks continually. Day of Honor - Tom and B'elana, Demon - Tom and Harry, Once Upon a Time, Tom, Tuvok, and Ensign Wildman, to name 3. And every time, they get a message saying something like "Warning oxygen depletion is xx minutes" Tom can't shut the hell up, lol.

    Anyone else notice that?

    Tom sez:

    "On another note..Naomi's mom showed up so rarely that for a long time I thought she'd been killed off in season 1."

    Quite the trick that would be, considering Naomi wasn't born until Season 2.

    I agree with Jammer, Samantha Wildman really should have died here. One of Voyager's biggest problems was sticking too tightly to the status quo; this would have been a great opportunity to shake things up. It also would have necessitated a follow-up episode dealing with Naomi's reaction to he mother's death, but story arcs are one of those things Voyager needed more of anyway.

    That said, I doubt that would have affected the story too much and would have made later plot developments make sense: Ensign Wildman never showed up again anyway, and Naomi seemed to find a surrogate mother figure in the form of Seven of Nine, just like Neelix effectively replaced her absent father.

    Actually, "Naomi warms up to Seven during the grieving process" would have at least made for an interesting subplot in the aforementioned follow-up episode and served to set up their interactions in "Dark Frontier".

    I am just glad they brought in Naomi. She wasn't a discarded character unlike her mother. She didn't join the borg baby in the Forgotten Crew Dimension!

    This episode was mostly boredom disguised as a profound piece of episode.

    I gotta agree with Caine here. Even though this episode is filled with typical Voyager clichés, the result to me is still quite good. In part, this is actually a Neelix character piece - and probably one of the best ones. Here, his character is actually not annoying for a change and we get to understand his war trauma a little better - which is clearly the most interesting aspect this character has to offer. Overall, the episode felt very human to me and I found myself unexpectedly moved by the drama, manufactured as it may be. I suppose it's thanks to the good direction and acting that I was able to ignore the silliness of the plot and actually buy into the emotions of the characters involved. I'd rate this one 2.5 to 3 stars.

    So, is no one wondering why Voyager even has that Flotter program in its holodeck base? Why would they have that? Voyager was only scheduled for a 3 week long mission with no children on board.
    There would have been no reason for them to include that to the holodeck archives.

    They couldn't have made it from scratch, because it has all the stories it's supposed to have on Earth and wherever else it exists, so where do they get them from? They can't pull up the stories from the database, because Voyager shouldn't have it in its database, because it doesn't need them. There were never supposed to be children on board.

    These are the questions that haunt my mind. I know it's nitpicking and focusing on a detail that doesn't matter, but hey, that's how my mind twists stories that don't require me to pay much attention.

    Captain Janeway synched her Steam account with the VOY holodeck before they left spacedock.

    @Xylar - We're talking about a standard database so vast that it includes full info on child!Seven and her family, for heaven's sake. :P

    Also I'm sure I'm not the only person who occasionally gets nostalgic and goes back to read some favorite childhood book. The episode makes it clear that a number of the adult crew have fond memories of Flotter, and the program is apparently scripted to recognize adults who ran it as kids (I assume the program synchs with some central database when run in the Alpha Quadrant, which would be why Voyager's Flotter recognizes Samantha "I'm an ensign now" Wildman even though she was never a child on this ship). It's like complaining that a grown-up has Wizard of Oz or The Hobbit on their bookshelf.

    Maybe you're too cool for nostalgia, but some adults in Star Trek apparently aren't. ;)

    I thought this episode was passable. Featuring Naomi was a good one-off plot. Scarlett Pommers did a solid job in her portrayal. I thought incorporating the holodeck story was ok but too much time was spent on that. I got sick of Flotter et al. But I can see how a child would like the episode.

    Neelix was extremely irritating. I know he suffered alot as a child and I thought it was good that the writers shed some light on his loss but he was still annoying. All he did was project all of his childhood neurosis onto Naomi. Neelix kept saying "she's a really sensitive child". I never got that impression from Naomi. Yes, she seemed to be really worried about her mother but she also was hanging in there. Neelix pulled the same crap with Kes, with his attempts to "protect" her from this or that.

    I would give this episode 3 stars... First of all, Jammer, they didn't lose the shuttle. Sure, it took a beating, but they recovered it. As for the plot being tired, I think you're missing the point. This story dealt with a common theme in today's world, how do you break potentially unpleasant news to a child. I love the use of Neelix here, and yes, those moments between Janeway and him were potent... Not great Trek, but his was a good story and drew me in emotionally, even though, yes, I knew they would be rescued. That's besides the point, and you seem to be so in love with DS9 that I'm not sure why you even comment on Voyager. With few exceptions, you just seem very biased against this show.

    Plothole: Janeway, Kim, and Ensign Wildmon say they played the exact same holodeck program when they were Naomi's age (Flotter even recognizes Samantha Wildmon), but that's impossible since it was established on TNG that holodecks were only invented recently. In TNG's premiere "Encounter at Farpoint" Riker walks into a holodeck for the very first time and Data has to explain to him how this brand new technology works!

    The first season of Voyager took place 8 years after the first season of TNG. So Janeway, Kim, etc... didn't even have holodecks when they were kids. As usual, the writers aren't paying attention.

    Also, this was the worst episode of Voyager so far! Who the fuck can possibly enjoy this AND be too old for pre-school at the same time? Voyager needs more sex, less kids!

    @John - I'll accept that plothole. I could see myself walking up to a kid playing the Wii and saying that I remember playing Mario at their age. Unless it was 100% clear that they were talking about a holideck maybe they played Flotter in their VR suit.

    I saw somewhere that this story was rewritten at the last minute. Originally, the idea was that Voyager was in a stressful situation, like a war or something, but the entire thing would be told through Naomi's eyes. In other words, she would have no idea what's going on, instead playing with Neelix, and see how she interprets the experience. Rick Berman axed the idea, and so the writers had to come up with this at the last minute.

    Which certainly explains how absolutely derivative it is. There's nothing you can point to that is egregiously bad, but it ends up being flat out boring as a result. You can practically see the outline showing all the marks they had to hit for the "child in emotional turmoil" plot. Not bad, just predictable.

    Meanwhile, the other concept at least has promise (and given the writer's pedigree, probably would have been good). I mean, Lower Decks was pretty highly regarded, so another episode in that vain (but even more extreme in terms of being out of the loop) could be interesting. More importantly, it would be unique and ambitious, something this episode was sorely lacking. And for those saying that this was ok because it gave something for kids to watch, well, this other option could've been good for kids too. The reason Disney and Pixar are so popular are because the movies are good for everyone, not just for kids.

    That said, there were a few tidbits, here and there, that it did do right:

    - The actress who played Naomi was actually pretty good for a kid actor. Nice!

    - The holodeck program was at least something original. For all the complaining about how everyone in Trek likes 16th-20th century stuff exclusively, Voyager has probably done the most to circumvent this, even with Paris' obsessions.

    - The scene in which Tuvok tells Samantha that she can trust the Voyager crew to raise Naomi, comparing it to his youngest child, was good. Tuvok doesn't really get many stories of his own, but his bit parts in almost every episode are always natural, always consistent with his character. Rewatching Voyager, it's clear to me why so many people praise Tim Russ as the best Vulcan since Nimoy.

    - I also liked Naomi's scene in the cafeteria with Seven. Nice take to see how the littlest member of Voyager dealt with the Borg presence. Especially since it had absolutely no relevance to the plot, but just there to round out the experience and give us another glimpse of life on Voyager.

    - Finally, I liked Naomi's character in general. In particular, she seemed to be a problem solver, strong at puzzles. Not a super genius like Wesley, but a bright, eager kid. Given how annoying kid episodes are, Naomi never annoyed me here. Just the plot did.

    Seems like a long time since we've had a full on kid-focused episode, which given Naomi has been on board for years is almost a welcome acknowledgement of the fact. I liked Naomi's character, and there were a number of other good character moments throughout (particularly for Neelix and Tuvok).

    But by heck was this derivative. Virtually nothing actually happens (there's a crash, then a rescue), and while the telling at least takes a different perspective there's not a whole lot in here at the end of the day. 2 stars.

    Jammer hit all the key points.

    I enjoyed the Naomi/mom stuff and the 7 Naomi interaction etc.... but the treehead dudes were old about 5 seconds before they were on TV. Good god, Neelix went from "yeah, he's an adult now" to "I want to shoot him" all in one episode.

    I'm glad Naomi's mom didn't die.

    2.5 stars from me because Voyager tugs at heartstrings better than all the rest.

    "So, is no one wondering why Voyager even has that Flotter program in its holodeck base? Why would they have that? Voyager was only scheduled for a 3 week long mission with no children on board.
    There would have been no reason for them to include that to the holodeck archives."
    I realize this is an old comment, but- It was probably part of a standard "packet" of holodeck software, in which case it's harder to remove a single program than to download the whole thing.

    They might as well killed Samantha Wildman. I'm not even sure we see her again. Everyone else seems to raise Naomi. At least killing the mom would've made the rest of the series make sense.

    Just like Alexander, the alien part explains the rapid growth, just like it explains why the pregnancy went on for like a year and a half.

    I didn't buy the scene with Naomi and seven in the mess hall. By this time seven has been on board for more than a year. It just seems that the timing is wrong. That kind of interaction would be believable in the weeks following seven's arrival.

    I also think the writers missed a great opportunity. A child born on a starship in the delta quadrant would have offered many possible stories. I know they utilized the Naomi character a few more times in later seasons but they could have done much more.

    I actually enjoyed the holodeck characters. I thought they looked great, and the interactions were clever.

    Overall a reasonable effort. 2 stars is about right.

    The casting director chose well with scarlet pommers, her and ethan phillips had great chemistry. In fact all of her interactions with the crew were solid. I know a lot of people rag on Neelix, but I think whenever we get to see him in pain we see his true character. It helps me to understand and appreciate that annoying happy all the time neelix is a front for somebody who is actually living with immense sadness. This front is how he gets through his day. I have to admit the scene in the ready room between Janeway and neelix got me a bit teary and Ethan Phillips did a great job of portraying Neelix cracking at the seams with anxiety. Call me a big softy, but I really liked this one, it explored the family aspect of voyager really well and didn;t get overly bogged down in technobabble and bridge explosions

    The absence of seat belts on shuttles has made countless episodes like this possible. Thanks!

    Always enjoy an episode of Voyager where Neelix doesn't come across as his usual insufferable, annoying self, and the child was really well cast (although I've never really had a lot of trouble with child-focused episodes of Star Trek). I'd probably rate this episode 3/4 stars myself.

    Good episode. Not great. The pacing was weird because we were away from the Delta Flyer haps for like 25 minutes and you're kind of wondering what's going on with them. I liked Flotter & Co. I really enjoyed them when I was a kid and still like them now, haha.

    I feel like this is the Neelix we should have had the whole time. Someone who is crushed on the inside and copes by being bubbly and silly on the outside. Someone who doesn't have the skills of a Starfleet officer but is still sincere and really cares about those around him. Not the jealous, annoying, childish guy we had for the first 3 seasons. Neelix should be child-like, not childish.

    Wildman should have died for the reasons Jammer said above.

    "Once Upon a Time," is an honest, straightforward, emotionally affecting episode. Well done. Neelix's conflict is understandable, Scarlett Pomers portrays Naomi Wildman very well, and Tuvok has some great lines. This story shows that sometimes simpler is better.

    By the way, when I say Neelix's conflict is understandable I mean: believable and well constructed.

    I don't mind the shuttle crash "cliche." Shuttles are going to crash sometimes. I'll grant that the crash rate seems high, but they're in unknown territory. I get the idea that this is a bit of a storytelling crutch, but unlike the Fun with DNA stuff, it's a crutch that basically makes sense.

    Nor am I that opposed to the idea that Samantha doesn't die. I am all for the idea that Voyager could have been a "braver" show, but I'm not sure that orphaning the one child is the best step to take in that direction. In The Bonding, Jeremy still has extended family in addition to Worf, so while it's weird to emphasize his joining Worf's family when that element is getting dropped, it's still not so fundamentally surprising for the show not to have to carry around the considerable stress of having a child with no living, biologically-related caretakers running about. Even if Voyager were a consistently better show, I think it'd be a lot to take on.

    And nor do I think that the episode "teasing" Wildman's death for angst for Naomi and Neelix is wrong. People almost die and don't, sometimes. The episode makes some good decisions on this, and places much of the emotional focus on Neelix and his still somewhat unprocessed grief over his own family's death; the possibility of Naomi losing her mother opens old wounds of Neelix's, and this prevents him from being able to be truthful with her. The episode's emphasis on Naomi's precociousness, curiosity and intelligence (but not Wesley-style prodigy-brilliance) makes it clear that Janeway is right that Neelix is not doing her any favours by keeping things from her, and that she can see through his and the others' deception, and that it's hurting her. But I don't think the episode cheats by having it look like Wildman might not make it, and/but she doesn't. We're reminded of Neelix's family's death (granted, when he was older than Naomi) and so the episode makes clear that sometimes the worst happens. But often it doesn't. Neelix's feeling that the worst is inevitable prevents him from properly helping Naomi through the uncertain time; if the worst did happen, she would also have to deal with feelings of betrayal that he kept her in the dark, and if the worst didn't happen (as we see here) he only made the temporary worry and confusion worse. It's got an emotional core that works for me, is what I'm saying; Neelix and Naomi are both understandable. And Scarlett Pomers is really great for a child actress (particularly on Trek), one of the best portrayals of children in the franchise.

    But yeah, it's not a great show or even that good of one. The Naomi material is marred by the Flotter program, which is goofy-silly without having the (say) edge of Warner Brothers cartoons or Dr. Seuss entertaining to adults, or the logic-pretzels in Lewis Carroll. It's not disastrous, but the episode sort of grinds to a halt as those segments go on. And I think the episode's focus is a little mistaken. Skeptical's point earlier that the episode was hastily rewritten to pivot away from the idea of this being a Standard Crisis but from Naomi's perspective makes sense to me as an explanation of the ep's problems; I would have loved a Lower Decks-style POV-shifted episode from Naomi's POV, including one in which Samantha was endangered (as we got), and even in which Neelix's role in the story was the same but we got to feel both the betrayal and then the feeling of reconciliation without us being able to "know" Neelix's reasons for holding back until he reveals them (except, of course, for our knowledge of his character and history). More to the point, I think the episode misplays its cards, with regards to the shuttle. Not knowing at all whether Wildman is even alive might have been a stronger way to play things, in some senses, but the bigger problem is less that reveal than the fact of having Paris and Tuvok in the shuttle. We know that Paris and Tuvok aren't going to die, and in the unlikely event they *did* die, the episode wouldn't so completely de-emphasize the crew's emotional attachment to those characters, to the point of having no B'Elanna moment in the episode where she's worried about Tom. The episode tries to compensate by having Wildman also have a potentially life-threatening injury, but that seems like an unnecessary fix. The one advantage to having the two regulars in with her (besides giving the regulars some screen time) is Tuvok's lovely speech to Samantha about why he does not worry about his children, and why she should not either; in general the Tuvok material in the shuttle was nice. The episode's attempts to play the possibility that the shuttle won't be returned (and to create a ticking time clock with vague, inconsistent gas references and so on) don't feel credible and it would have been better to either de-emphasize this part of the story or (better) to have the shuttle's status remain a mystery through most of the ep's running time.

    I'd say 2.5 stars.

    This episode has all of my favorite things.

    A precocious kid. A shuttle crash. An atrocious holodeck program. False suspense. Neelix. Mama Janeway. A last second rescue. A tearful reunion. Reminiscing about the atrocious childhood holodeck program that couldn't have existed.

    And boredom. Don't forget the boredom.

    Zero stars.

    Anyone else think the 'Voyager' theme sounds sort of like the song, 'There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays'? Maybe it's just me.

    Of all shuttle crash episodes, this was the very best. I give it four stars. Neelix, a much underrated character, shined in this episode. The child actress who played Naomi did a fantastic job. And even Tuvok had some wonderfully poignant things to say on the shuttle. If you didn't like this episode, you have no humanity. Even a Vulcan gets it.

    A good episode, but I agree the Nelix character tends to be too much. In one way though it is unrealistic. In a so small society the tension in the crew should have been higher. Although you notice this when Naomi slips into the transporter room and then goes to the bridge. That three crew member are in a dire situation must have had caused more obvious concern. On the other hand, I can't thing of any Voyager episode being completely realistic, or any other Star Trek episode either.

    Apart from that it was an interesting approach to show it partly from a child's point of view.

    Detestable as holodeck episodes so often are, this outdoes them. Flot and Trev would be vastly improved by being obliterated. Where is Colonel Quaritch when he’s needed ? Or is the Avatarverse cloaked in utter inaccessibility ?

    I like Voyager, a lot. But while Little Miss Half-Ktarian is tolerable even in generous doses, Itchy and Scratchy IN SPACE !!!! are puke-inducing. If Captain Planet were a Totally Right-On space vegetable, he would be as they are.

    Having a good message - “Folk need one another, and need to realise that they depend on one another, so they really ought to drop all the narcissism, tribalism & chest-thumping” - does not make up for having a weak-as-water plot, shallow characterisation, and (yet again) more lazy Deus ex Holodeckery. One is used to wretchedly-confected Evangelical art like “Left Behind”, which sacrifices aesthetic value to the requirements of its message - but it is very disappointing that ST makes the same blunder. If a story is garbage as a piece of craftsmanship, it is sloppy and insulting to broadcast it, regardless of how good the message may be.

    Neelix did something to prevent the episode being totally unwatchable, but not enough to rate the episode more than one star. There are worse episodes than this, so this one does not quite deserve zero, notwithstanding the efforts of Butthead and Bevis.

    I seem to be going against the grain here, but I think this is actually one of Voyager's better episodes. It delves into a theme that TNG rarely got right (except perhaps in Hero Worship). I think it was Levar Burton who said that he wished TNG explored the aspect of having family aboard the Enterprise more, and I think this is an episode that does that very successfully. It's not meant to be an action adventure; it's an examination of a child's life aboard a starship, with all the wonder and risk that entails. The fact that Samantha dies or survives is not the point; the situation allows us to get to know both Naomi and Neelix, and this is a rare case where the writers really get Neelix right. For me, the reset button isn't pushed at the end of this episode; Neelix, Naomi, and Samantha have a real character arc. I thought this was a theme worth exploring.

    I say the episode "Timeless" has a visceral quality to it. This episode has the exact opposite quality and it rubbed me the wrong way with the opener going on and on about Naomi's holonovel. Too much time was spent on that silliness and the episode was predictable in its ending. Far more interesting would have been Naomi's mom dying and as Jammer says Neelix would have to take on a parental role, which would add more meat to his character. But VOY can be very G-rated at times and this is one of those episodes. But I did think at one point the mom might die...

    But I did like the interactions between Janeway and Neelix who has an interesting backstory that makes him go through the ringer here. That much was decent and gave the story some tension. The Naomi character did well -- came across as intelligent but naive which is how kids are -- and it created some of the potential parental challenges for Neelix.

    But I think the idea of Trek doing a parent dying thing isn't a promising premise. It worked poorly in TNG's "The Bonding".

    Naomi forgives Neelix pretty quickly for "lying" to her as well. This could have been really tough on Neelix after she found out for herself what the deal was. But this episode is meant to be a feel-good episode.

    The episode tries to milk the purported last minutes of the shuttlecrash survivors -- this totally didn't work. It was like it was just randomly thrown in. The focus is Neelix/Naomi/Janeway but there isn't enough to that dynamic so they have to fill it with holonovel crap and final messages, which came across as particularly lame.

    2 stars for "Once Upon A Time" -- not a complete waste but definitely not what I'd call a decent episode. The premise isn't great for Trek and there's too much fluff here. I guess we do get an idea of what a child's life is like on Voyager -- if we cared for that kind of thing.

    FWIW, the writers of Voyager are mean enough to kill a little girl's mother in a shuttle crash so I was a little worried. I figured she'd make it but I was prepared to cry.

    This one wasn't terrible. OK. So the shuttle crash thing is horribly overdone in Voyager but it's been done far worse than this.

    The worst scenes were the scenes in the holodeck. Boring.

    The Neelix stuff was ok.

    The best scenes by far were the ones on the crashed shuttle. If I'm ever trapped somewhere and dying, I want it to be with Tuvok.

    The ep was about what's buried inside us, what endures.

    One serious mistake is that Janeway and some other crew member fondly remember playing this holodeck program when they were children. However, holodeck technology was introduced to the Federation by the Ferengi in the first season of TNG, which occurs only a few years before Voyager. They couldn't have played in this program as children.

    It might be “cliché” but it’s a way of life for kids whose parents are in dangerous situations frequently (military/police/first responders etc). Day after day your parents are in situations that you don’t understand and you have to accept they may not be coming back. But they do come back, you have a tearful reunion, but soon the “cliché” will play out again. Or it won’t be a cliché and they die or are wounded horribly. The stupid things Harry said to Neelix struck me the most. That Naomi is lucky to have seen nebulae and such. That is such a denialist thing to say that I’ve heard civilians say so many times. The best thing for a child is a stable home with real lifelong friends and family connections they can count on. Neelix screams this at Captain Janeway but she doesn’t really listen and blames it on Neelix’s trauma. I like this episode because it has such a resonance in the life of a military child. Oh and “brats” as we are called are often considered more mature than our civilian peers because of our extensive “life experience.”

    Jammer, you must have serious problems! I like this episode a great deal! The Flotter holodeck seems a BRILLIANT use of that technology for kids and it was neat to see it actually shown!

    There actually was suspense in this episode-yes, I knew the Delta Flyer would be retrieved since 2 main characters were in it, but with Ensign Wildman's injuries, I actually thought she might die. (I'm glad she made it)

    Nothing pleases you about Voyager I see! Well, you are entitled to your opinion of course, but I don't know why you are so down on it.

    MLK-Actually Naomi is a cute little girl-I don't know why you think she is ugly. The alien bumps are nothing compared to the Klingon head ridges B'lanna has, and yet Paris likes her. And what about Worf and his wife Jadzia Dax?

    About Tom's message-he strikes me as someone that wouldn't express his true feelings in a "sappy" way, and instead try to push it off in a jokey way, so this seems in character for him

    @Ed-Thank you! It amazes me how so many people here are upset at the child in the show, and the childish holodeck program! I regularly read my childhood favourite series-especially the Three Investigators and the McGurk Organisation-and would not be surprised if others didn't as well.

    I listen to audiobooks a lot. On a trip that may take 10 hours roundtrip, I still have a good TB of audiobooks on my hard drive-with hard drive space almost limitless in this fictional 24th century, I can see them packing every classic they can on the database!

    I also again do not see why people are so against Neelix! Some of his decisions in the past have been a bit odd to me, but no more so than almost everyone else on Voyager at one time or other

    I did not think this episode was boring at all. It had some interesting moments (weep inducing empathy, a rare support for Neelix, a challenging predicament, etc.). I am puzzled at times by the caning of some of these episodes (and from other Star Trek series as well). One cannot hit a home run every time and should take from each episode all its merits and try to cover any shortcomings with the use of imaginative license. After all, they are only one hour episodes and the writers are not scientists or engineers. I think they do the best they can with the time they have and complexity of the show. I admit that there are better episodes than others, and I have some issues with a couple of the characters, but in the long run, Voyager turned out to be a better show overall than I thought it would. I do not condemn critique (it adds to the fun of posting) all I am saying is that if you look at the core of most of these episodes, I think the effort is there to find a balance between the action part and the human interaction part.
    And I will add a little humor in stating that a far more danger to the little girl might have been when the time came to tell her about Janeway's decision making!

    Sure, there were some good moments and beautiful shots, but in the end it felt like two B/C plots stitched together. Janeway was seen from one of her best sides all while Neelix got some further depth. Most felt like filler though.

    1,5 Stars.

    Neelix and Naomi have great comedic value in this epidode. Their scene where they talk about 7 of 9 assimilating the crew, I actually enjoyed the light hearted yet sincere feeling generated by the actors.

    I may be in the minority here, but I enjoyed and appreciated this episode a lot. I've always enjoyed Nancy Hower's performance as Samantha Wildman. She's just calm and kind and down to earth and just feels friendly and like a normal human being in ways that many of the main cast, as much as I like them all, do not. And as the only parent with a child on the ship, there are some unique storytelling options with her than were rarely taken advantage of. This episode could not have worked with any other character. Scarlett Pomers is surprisingly good for a child actor of her age, and I enjoyed seeing the world of Voyager from a fresh perspective through her eyes.

    I've long since come to appreciate Neelix and what Ethan Phillips brings to the role, and here he reminds us just what a sad person Neelix is beneath his cheery persona and how tragic his backstory is. The scene where Janeway insists that Naomi must be told what's happened to Samantha and Neelix gets so angry before being talked down is a highlight.

    Tom and Tuvok's interactions with Samantha while she's injured demonstrate the benefit of giving the main characters scenes where they interact with Voyager's sadly underutilized secondary characters. Tuvok demonstrates empathy with a fellow parent, and Tom's understated concern for "Sam" is also nicely played with none of his usual bravado or joking.

    Every now and then it's nice to be reminded that space travel is dangerous for the Voyager crew, and that it's a big deal when someone might not make it back. Extras get killed to provide extra drama, but it always works better when we get to know them first. Still, this is one time it would have been unforgivable to kill off a secondary character, so I'm very glad Samantha lived to see her daughter again. Not that we see her in the present day after this story, oddly....

    Two and three quarter stars.

    And I like the holonovel. This is a much better use of the holodeck than the usual BS of safety protocols off, etc.

    Naomi is cute. Nice character moments. Good moments in the shuttle.

    Good Lord above, what a frikken SNOOZE-FEST!!!!!

    The mouthy and precocious yet emotionally vulnerable kid (now THERE's a trope that's never EVER been featured on a television show, amirite!) is a juvenile version of Neelix, who is a juvenile version of...himself.

    Someone may have died but, I guess, didn't (I don't know because even having this on as background noise was too irritating so I stopped the whole thing and just scanned through the comments here instead), and a bunch of people I never heard of and don't care about lived happily ever after. Or at least until the writers again run out of sci-fi ideas and decide to parachute them into the show. Okay. Whatevz. The end.

    Interesting how polarizing this one was. Though I think that if people can dislike the masterpiece that is "The Visitor" and enjoy the abomination that is "Threshold" (and both happened), anything can go that way.

    Regarding the lack of holodeck tech, that's easily explained. I used to listen to Sesame Street on vinyl records. If I heard a kid listening to it on a CD, I would still say "I used to listen to that". Maybe Samantha and the captain enjoyed Flotter on an older medium.

    This one had its ups and downs for me, but I think that it is carried by Naomi's relentless cuteness, Neelix's very relatable dilemma, and the fact that I was genuinely worried for Ensign Wildman (another character overdue for promotion). I'd give it 2.5 stars.


    I agree I didn’t mind the couple of Flotter episodes. It’s used just enough to not really get on your nerves. I feel the same way about the Fair Haven episodes. Luxwana Troi should have got similar treatment and she wouldn’t be as hated

    I like this episode. Honestly, the idea Jammer had of Samantha Wildman not surviving the episode would have been a good move. Not that I don't like the character, but it would have taken Neelix in a more challenging direction.

    Recycled plot of the shuttle crash coupled with a horrible B plot featuring the worst characters (Neelix, idiotic holodeck characters, and any kid).

    Shuttles are the Voyager equivalent of red shirts. The minute you see anyone in one, there's a 75% chance the shuttle is going down. I have avoided getting emotionally attached to any of them for this reason.

    Ethan Phillips did a great job here in a dramatic role instead of his court jester role. I don't fault him because the writers turned him into an annoying buffoon. Tuvok showed minor character development when comforting his injured crewmates. Paris also showed a more humble, human side.

    It pains me to think how much was spent on costumes and effects for those holodeck characters.

    When I first saw this episode years ago, I thought it was bland filler. As I became older, I learned to appreciate it for its poignant story. I cried at the end during my last viewing.

    Three star episode. Not brilliant but pretty good. I thought the Holodeck scenes were smart— if such technology were possible then it made sense that children’s literature would be like this. As a presumed adult watcher you aren’t supposed to find Flotter and friends interesting in their own right— you are seeing what small 24th century children do in their free time.

    The cliched aspects were there but a happy ending is fine. If you want relentless grim dark material then Voyager isn’t for you.

    And it was fun seeing how a child first reacted to the “ Borg lady”.

    This episode would have been better if:

    A) the shuttle that crashed had been manned solely with redshirts, including of course Wildman.

    B) after the initial crash, we as the audience had seen nothing of the shuttle crew’s perspective.

    Having the show focus on the ship side view of the situation, particularly Naomi’s perspective would have been more emotionally grounded. And having a shuttle full of redshirts being the focus of the search efforts could have lent some real suspense to the end. But it was obvious that paris and Tuvok weren’t going to die, so the opportunity for genuine tension was wasted.

    It might also have been interesting to see the bridge crew diving full in to save characters that weren’t well known. Might have given a feeling that they actually care about the random crew members they lose and never mention again. I think my biggest voyager gripe is beginning to be the unsustainable crew attrition. It seems like they should have about 20 or 30 people left out of their original 150ish, yet they always seem to be hovering between 140-150.

    Lastly, it would have been fun if voyager had done a sort of lower decks episode built around the team of crewmen responsible for recovering and repairing shuttles. I imagine it would be a comedic episode given how exasperated these poor people must constantly feel.

    This is a fine enough episode.

    There is, as pointed out, some lazy and heavily reused circumstance, but it's at the very least not an episode that struggles with having personal meaning, which Voyager struggled with continually. This episode doesn't stack up to The Visitor by any means, but compared to several other, more highly rated episodes of Voyager, this was one I was actually looking forward to seeing on my current rewatch.

    I don't think what happens in the shuttle matters that much, as in that we, the audience, knows they'll survive didn't really matter; you could still write an episode with Neelix going through the same emotional turmoil just from the Voyager crew wrongly thinking they might lose the shuttle. Neelix is a heavily traumatized person, and I think it's much more worthwhile discussing this episode on those terms, since that's the actual weight of the material here.

    And while it might be seen as overwrought and obvious, the dilemma Neelix is dealing with is dealt with pretty spot on considering what an immature person he is.

    While I dislike how toxic Neelix in the earlier seasons is, I think this episode makes good use of that emotional immaturity. Neelix overcompensates constantly with a happy and nice surface, and everytime this psychological schema stops working we get an angry and combative Neelix. In the episode with the space elevator, which had been described as Neelix having an unreasonable, selfish tantrum, this is also the case. I think it's a pretty good way elaborate on Neelix's psychology, and I feel like this episode really recognises how this anger is more often than not a maladaption (though I do think it was very understandable and ultimately productive blowing up on Tuvok finally).

    So it might seem obvious to is what Neelix needs to do, but this isn't who had learned to deal with things and this is a thing he has to go through on one way or the other, in one magnitude or the other. As always, Ethan Philips is one of the better actors in the show, and he had decent material in this one compared to the hogwash he has most oftenly been dealt, even though he acts well then too.

    Naomi is also acted really well for being a child actor, and I think her and Neelix having a common arc of growing up is nice. I wouldn't trust a guy so set on sweeping emotional problems under the rug with being a parent, but partly through his relationship with Naomi he is actually finally given the chance to nature and move on.

    @Andersonh1 i see you commented a bit after I did in 2020, hope you're still enjoying Jammers excellent reviews to this very day. I'm glad you've come to appreciate Neelix because I have too, after a fashion. In my 20s I found him very cringe and annoying. Yes, very often he IS obnoxious and you would be forgiven for tossing him out the nearest airlock. However, in my early 30s and revisiting this review, I really like how you charactarise Neelix as a sad, frankly depressed character. He uses humour to shield himself from the pain and I think he would see it as disrespecting his families memory if he sought counseling or anti-depressants from Doc. I was being too harsh on him to the point where I wasn't being fair when judging his better moments. This episode is perfect for anyone wanting to see a more grounded, humanised side of the character.

    I vaguely remember this episode. I like it when we see things from a child's perspective. For some reason, I thought Naomi's mom died, but I guess I was mistaken (I'm glad she didn't, but I don't know why I thought this)

    "I thought Naomi's mom died, but I guess I was mistaken (I'm glad she didn't, but I don't know why I thought this)"

    You didn't imagine it.

    In an early episode where Voyager gets split into two copies due to some technobabble contrivance the mirror Naomi's mom is killed by Vidians who harvest her organs.

    In fact, as I recall, Naomi is actually the daughter of that mirror version who was killed. Because our Naomi died in childbirth or something the doctor brought over the still living mirror version of the newborn who replaced her dead copy.

    @Jason R Thanks, Jason. I remember that episode, but I didn't mean the death of the copy. I actually thought she died here. Of the many Voyager episodes, I remembered this one (and a few others) before I began my rewatch. But I thought Ensign Wildman dies in this episode. I'm glad she didn't, but I recall that in the future, Naomi, and soon the Borg kids are used primarily with Neelix and Seven. I don't remember Naomi's Mom, but then again, I may just be forgetting.

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