Star Trek: Voyager

"The Voyager Conspiracy"

2.5 stars

Air date: 11/24/1999
Written by Joe Menosky
Directed by Terry Windell

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"Your physiology is ... different from mine." — Seven to Naomi Wildman (nominee for the year's most obvious statement, though probably not intended to be

Nutshell: It is indeed a house of cards—with dizzying exposition taken to the nth degree—but it's kind of a fun ride.

"The Voyager Conspiracy" owes much to the Chris Carter school of storytelling. The main idea is that if you take enough facts and somehow jam them together, you get a big, messy, far-fetched conspiracy theory that has just enough plausibility (maybe) to arouse suspicions but not enough to provide anything resembling a convincing argument. This is Voyager jumping aboard the X-Files conspiracy bandwagon.

Of course, the same question-turned-pointed-out-pratfall applies: Does any of it wash or are we just being taken for a ride? (You get one guess; if you're wrong, you will be forced to dissect every hidden meaning of every statement ever uttered by the Cigarette-Smoking Man.)

"Voyager Conspiracy" also turns out to be another entry into the Voyager book of "Borg psychological thrillers," in the vein of episodes like "The Raven," "One," and last year's "Infinite Regress." So I guess that makes it Yet Another Seven Show™.

Anyway, this is the type of episode that comes with a great-sounding concept that might very well be impossible to successfully pull off in practice. Don't get me wrong; Menosky comes close here, and finds a clever way of spouting intriguing conspiracy theories at breakneck speed, without having any bearing on the past as we know it, thanks to the plot's special catch.

The key to the game is Seven of Nine, who at the episode's outset is testing a new processing device that allows her to assimilate database information at great speeds—sort of a Borg "learn while you sleep" procedure, as Paris points out. In an early scene, we see this device allows Seven to quickly draw incisive conclusions from many seemingly unrelated facts, as she confidently dismantles the Mystery of the Photonic Fleas. My only question: What the heck is a photonic flea, and how does it eat plasma? (Okay, two questions.)

Never mind. The Mystery of the Photonic Fleas is the warm-up game for the main event: an elaborate conspiracy theory that implicates the captain (and others) in a five-year-old plot that, it would seem, had left Voyager stranded in the Delta Quadrant intentionally. "An elaborate deception," Seven calls it.

Say what?

By this point, "The Voyager Conspiracy" had my attention. One of the story's appeals is the way it uses past Voyager events and twists them into a larger-than-life plot that is as complicated as it is sinister. Seven's new realizations promptly transform her into a sort of Agent Mulder on crack. She summons Chakotay to the astrometrics lab, seals the doors, disables the sensors, and unleashes upon him one of the most extremely extreme paranoid theories ever conceived in a Star Trek episode. Where's Section 31 when you need them?

I liked the inventive use of old Voyager stories; the episode in particular zeroes in on the destruction of the Caretaker's array, raising the question of why it was destroyed with tricobalt devices—apparently not standard-issue equipment on a starship. Ancient history (by Voyager standards)—like Kes' departure, Seska's child, and Tuvok's undercover Maquis infiltration—all figure into the plot via some truly inventive dialog. And there's plenty more where that came from.

Does any of it make any believable sense whatsoever? Well, not really. The elements are all interesting tidbits in and by themselves, but if you're looking for a master plan that means anything, either you need a brain like Seven's (complete with Borg implants) or you should go hunting equally futilely through the bogus conspiracy plotting mess of The X-Files.

Seven's theory ventures quite far into the complicated and is laid out for the audience through several minutes of rapid-fire exposition. While actors get paid to remember lines, it's still a credit to Ryan that she can expel so many Voyager facts in such a small amount of time. For her next challenge, maybe she should tackle a one-woman performance of Law & Order, starring as both detectives, the prosecutors, the defense attorneys, and all the suspects and witnesses. You want facts? I'd like to see her remember and expel all that.

But I digress. Suffice it to say that Seven believes Janeway's actual mission involves the Federation and Cardassians conspiring together to establish a military presence in the Delta Quadrant, using this week's plot element as the tool. That tool would be a space "catapult." You see, the conspiracy plotting unfolds against a background subplot in which a friendly alien named Tash (Albie Selznik) is about to use his recently completed catapult to send his ship several thousand light years on its way to his own home—a device Voyager also could use to cut a few years off the journey. This device uses a reactor similar to the technology from the Caretaker's array, which is one of the key reasons Seven thinks the conspiracy centers on the destruction of the array.

Unfortunately, there's a key problem with all of this, which is the episode's tendency to substitute sheer speculation for evidence—despite its claims to the contrary. Seven explains. And explains. And explains some more. Chakotay informs her that she has uncovered some interesting coincidences, but nothing more. So Seven offers more facts, and Chakotay slowly allows his suspicions to be aroused. Is Seven onto something here?

Well, personally, I don't see anything that can't be explained away as convenience, or even dismissed out of hand, and I don't think Seven's conspiracy theory holds water under any sort of scrutiny. And I also don't understand the turning point when Chakotay begins to see the merit in the argument. Particularly ridiculous, for example, is the notion that cease-fires to confrontations with the Borg and Hirogen were roundabout attempts to form relationships and a power structure in the Delta Quadrant—and not simply the truces that existed for the reasons which they were originally explained. Oh, come on. (Just what power structure is Seven referring to? Facts not in evidence?)

And is paranoia an airborne contagion? While this is all very interesting, Chakotay doesn't seem reeled in by the theory because of its "compelling evidence" so much as because the plot needs to advance to its next stage.

And the one piece of actual evidence that makes one wonder—namely the tractor beam that Seven alleges had intentionally saved the piece of Caretaker technology that would (allegedly) later be used to build the catapult—is never explained. The lack of explanation feels more like a loose end than a mystery. If everything else is conjecture, what is this tractor beam? The story, it would seem, hasn't the slightest clue.

The episode shows its real hand when Seven next calls Janeway to astrometrics to unleash the same evidence upon her—except this time implicating Chakotay in a Maquis plot. Obviously, there is no conspiracy; the problem is Seven, who has assimilated too much information and, in Borg-like fashion, is trying to make order out of chaos—ineffectively, it would seem. Seven subsequently flees Voyager in the Delta Flyer, one crazed conspiracy-nut Borg babe.

There's a fair amount of subtle paranoid humor percolating beneath the plot. In one of the best-played scenes of the season, Janeway and Chakotay run into each other in the cargo bay, where both are looking for clues and investigating Seven's data absorption device. This scene is damn near acted to perfection, with each character suspicious of the other, and both thinking the other isn't onto them. The quiet, relaxed, suspicious demeanor carried by both characters is hilariously subtle in its sly-yet-evident distrust, and played so calmly and carefully by Mulgrew and Beltran that it's—dare I say—delicious. Too bad the episode couldn't capture this sense more often. The fun to be found is mostly within isolated, irrelevant little snippets of conjecture, but here it does a good job of putting a new spin on the Janeway/Chakotay chemistry.

I must say, however, that if a conspiracy threat is wiped away and trust is renewed with two lines of dialog, then it probably wasn't much of a convincing theory in the first place—certainly not enough to have the close-and-friendly captain and first officer second-guessing each other. (Yes, indeed—as Janeway said, the whole thing's a house of cards.)

I did enjoy Seven's approach when detailing her theories to Chakotay and (later) Janeway—which is basically "assault with masses of facts." It ultimately isn't convincing as theory, but I liked the urgency projected by Seven's fast-and-furious deployment of fact after fact, the attitude of the scenes occasionally laced with humorous incredulity.

Alas, the "character-building" ending, where Janeway tries to reason with the crazed Seven, did not impress me. The problem, I think, is that Seven is finally reaching that point where the human lessons are beginning to tire. Last week she learned a lesson in "One Small Step." Now we're supplied yet another example of Janeway playing the maternal figure. A "been there, done that" attitude begins to take shape. The schmaltz is pushed a bit hard. And then in the wrap-up scene, Seven explains to Naomi Wildman (never just "Naomi," always "Naomi Wildman") that quality time spent is more important than quantity. Maybe someone should tell that to missing-in-action Mom, Samantha.

Also gnawing at me is whether Seven is supposed to be a computer or a person, and what has the final say in the control of her mind—computer malfunctions or brain functions capable of making final decisions. Janeway is able to overcome the computer by getting through to the human, but the road to be wary of is the one that has Seven becoming more like Data.

Despite the plot qualms, I sort of liked "The Voyager Conspiracy." It's fairly entertaining, well acted, and with a good premise and plenty of cleverness. But the myriad of facts doesn't add up, and brings down whatever in the plot we're supposed to take seriously. Maybe there simply wasn't supposed to be a plot to begin with. I could've lived with that if the episode wasn't so set on investing so much in that nonexistent would-be plot, only to give us another lesson for Seven. At the end, our house of cards is a deck scattered all over the room, all over the Delta Quadrant.

Next week: Years later, and even on another series, Barclay still has trouble with holodeck addiction. Maybe Counselor Troi can help.

Previous episode: One Small Step
Next episode: Pathfinder

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103 comments on this post

Tue, Sep 16, 2008, 1:25pm (UTC -6)
This one reminds me of all the 9/11 conspiracy-freaks who are occasionally panting out speeches to various forums. It still amazing how well these theories live on, despite almost every single "edvidence" has been debunked. I guess it's just a matter of wanting to believe something.
Fri, Jan 30, 2009, 3:25am (UTC -6)
This episode is ridiculous and should get 1 star. Why on earth would Janeway or Chakotay believe such obviously mad ramblings from Seven? It's totally out of character and makes them look like morons. They actually believed that a collection of ships transported such a device over 20,000 light years?! Did those ships also have Kes jump them forward by 10,000 light years?? It's farcical.
Sat, Sep 5, 2009, 12:48am (UTC -6)
What Bob said.

It's made even worse by the inflections Jeri Ryan used when she presented her ramblings "Was it merely blah blah blah, or was it an attempt to blah blah blah blah". I couldn't stand it.
Mon, Nov 16, 2009, 9:42pm (UTC -6)
I disagree. I thought this episode was really clever, and quite entertaining. What was interesting about it was that seven actually discovered something new: A piece of the caretaker's array was tractored away after the explosion.

Impronen: Just because someone writes an article with the words "debunking" in the title, doesn't necessarily mean that the "debunking" is sound. Watch a documentary sometime(I recomend: "9/11: confronting the evidence") and see if you're not convinced. Seven was malfunctioning, but the "scholars for 9/11 truth" (physics professors, etc..) aren't.
Ken Egervari
Wed, Dec 9, 2009, 4:54am (UTC -6)
I have no idea why voyager can go from such extremes of good episodes to bad episodes. Last episode was extremely high quality, which little to fault. Then we have this.

While I had a hard time believing that Seven was buying into her theories (and to be fair, it was explained that she was 'malfunctioning'), I honestly don't think they made a lot of sense when I hear them... just as Janeway and Chakotay heard them. If I wasn't convinced... I'm not sure how two of the top chain of command were convinced.

Perhaps as an audience member, we know the whole thing is ludicrous... so in a way, I got some smiles and joy out of hearing the insane theories. There were some aspects of the episode to like.

Still... I just can't see either Chakotay or Janeway believing in the theories. It just doesn't hold up... especially when the "coincidences" make a lot of sense and flow within the context of what happened just fine with the information they knew.

Not buying the fundamental premise of the episode. Just not buying it.
Thu, Jul 8, 2010, 1:18pm (UTC -6)
I have to confess to being bemused by your rating criteria. It seems episodes that are chock-full of action, twists and on the more cerebral/machiavelian side get low ratings, and those that are about personal journeys, retrospection and introspection are lauded to high heaven. Perhaps it's me, but I expect the former from a sci-fi show. I'd give this one 3.5 stars.

This is a good episode; dynamic, different and unpredictable.

The Kid is getting on my nerves slowly but surely, not just for being a precocious smartass but even more so because of that idiotic junk they stuck to her forehead.

BTW, note that the whole thing was, again, Harry "Can't-Get-A-Lock" Kim's fault. Oh, and he couldn't get a lock, yet again. HAHAHAHAHHA!!!
Wed, Dec 8, 2010, 2:42pm (UTC -6)
It's funny that these reviews and some commentators consider the last episode such a high point and this a low, when I find it's more the opposite.

This episode has plenty of curiosity about it that makes it interesting. We know how it is going to play out but it makes it an interesting episode anyway. The previous episode doesn't work for me much as a non American. It's too obvious a message and it's a stalled episode in that it doesn't really get anywhere in science fiction terms.

Sure this episode isn't great, but neither is the last. But I found this one more interesting than the previous "this is why we should fund NASA" promotional film.
Mon, Mar 7, 2011, 12:46pm (UTC -6)
I'm with Michael on "The Kid" but it's not the forehead, it's the excruciating annoying personality, and here her ridiculous prowling actually got its own musical score...
Wed, Mar 9, 2011, 6:20pm (UTC -6)
Aww, leave Naomi out of it.

So anyway..
I actually liked this. It's something that I don't remember being done on Trek much, and at this stage with all the recycling that has gone on it makes a bit of a change. Great to see Janeway and Chakotay pitted against each other like that, and resolved with good humour.

I do kind of wonder when the two of them started eating together, is it my bad memory or what? Seems more like a TNG type thing and was strange to see here all of a sudden.

LOL at Harry literally saying (again) that he can't get a lock. Drinking game win.

Unfortunately although I did enjoy it and saw past Voyager's inherent shortcomings in order to do so, I still can't completely ignore the fact that it was Voyager and so any conspiracy theory was, to put it in a Seven way, "Irrelevant" - because plot development doesn't happen and it's guaranteed by the end that everything will be reset to normal. There was no suspense at all, no matter how gullible one would have to have been.

Were this DS9, sure it'd still be far-fetched, but some part of me would've thought of Section 31 during that first theory. Wouldn't it have been fascinating in S31 *had* been involved in sending Voyager into the Delta Quadrant (albeit more likely without Janeway being involved in the conspiracy). Alas.

Nice Janeway/Seven pwnage towards the end. Kind of moving and awesome at the same time.

Shame the actual plot that created her theories was never explained. Yay for "mystery".

Speaking of mysteries, what happened to Ensign Wildman, Naomi's mother? I remember her *nearly* dying on an away mission once, but I don't recall it actually happening. Is she dead and Neelix fostering Naomi now? What gives?
Wed, Mar 9, 2011, 6:22pm (UTC -6)
P.S. I have come to the conclusion that since she was introduced, this show should be renamed "Star Trek Seven". 99% of it is about her anyway.
Tue, Mar 22, 2011, 11:38pm (UTC -6)
This is a fun show taken as a sort of parody, but I simply cannot believe that Chakotay and Janeway, who have known each other well for more than five years, would give Seven's rants more than the time of day. First or second seasons yes - good idea (there seem to be quite a few late Voyager plots that seem like they would have worked far better earlier on), but not now - I could never believe it.

We got an interesting look at Seven's brain in Timeless, when the Doctor removes her Borg cranial implant. It looks as if about half her brain is a Borg computer - this might explain why she never seems to really grow much as a human, aside from the obvious real-life answer of lazy Voyager writers who don't like anyone to change. Or at least never consistently.

I agree that it is "Star Trek VII" and luckily Seven is also one of the better characters - and those costumes don't hurt her watchability either. I think we even got some Borg high-beaming in this ep....
Tue, Aug 23, 2011, 7:08pm (UTC -6)
Sorry, but I found this episode a load of utter nonsense! It fails in every way that DS9's Inquisition succeeded - namely, in Inquisition the conspiracy was so brilliantly concocted by the writers that it was actually extremely plausible. In that episode I actually DID begin to wonder if Bashir had been a sleeper agent or whatever. The way they tied together all the details so perfectly almost made you believe they'd been planning the episode in advance for years. Extremely deft writing! Alas, Voyager's writing staff don't have the skill to pull that off, not if this is anything to go by.

Seven's theories are so utterly ridiculous and ludicrously unfounded that she comes across as a delusion, ranting IDIOT. To a lesser extent, Chakotay, Janeway and B'Elanna come across extremely foolish for entertaining her nonsensical theories. The writers seem to think that by firing off enough quick references to previous episodes in a short space of time they can somehow confuse us into believing Seven's conspiracies have legitimate basis. But I didn't believe a word of it for a second. Way too many plot holes, characters behaving like brainless idiots and a writing staff demonstrating how weak they actually are at creating solid plotting.

This is just the pits. Maybe it would have worked if they'd played it as a comedy, because it actually comes across like a very bad parody. It's just all the more unforgivable given that it's played absolutely straight. Idiotic.
Sun, Sep 4, 2011, 8:40pm (UTC -6)
I may be in the minority here, but I find Naomi Wildman a hundred times more excruciating than Wesley Crusher.
Fri, Nov 11, 2011, 3:40am (UTC -6)
I enjoyed this as a parody of conspiracy theorists. I really didn't buy Janeway and Chakotay buying into it though.
Mon, Dec 26, 2011, 4:55am (UTC -6)
I found this entertaining - almost as a parody of "The X-Files." Mulder on crack? Absolutely - Seven didn't sound so much different than Mulder in the series finale of "The X-Files," did she?
Sun, Mar 11, 2012, 7:20pm (UTC -6)
Just to nitpick, didn't the Doctor figure out the baby was never Chakotay's to begin with? It was Cullah's all along, in spite of Seska's mind games.

Did the Doc forget to add that to the database? And was that failure due to the writers or Seven?
Sun, Mar 11, 2012, 8:37pm (UTC -6)
*And = Or
Captain Jim
Thu, Apr 12, 2012, 10:00pm (UTC -6)
Hmm, this time I think Jammer was too generous. I could see 1 1/2, maybe 2 stars at best. The premise sounded interesting, but the execution was just too poor to get excited about. This story was too silly to take seriously, yet too straight to take as a comedy. So it didn't really satisfy on any level. At least that's my opinion.
Sat, Aug 25, 2012, 1:25pm (UTC -6)
Does not anyone recieve subliminal messages from this episode like; go back to sleep america, nothing strange about9/11, nothing funny about moonlanders docking 5 times at mach 6, 40 years ago. Strange facts, no matter how many, can never add up to reasonable distrust. They are using a malfunctioning former borg as comparison for people who distrust government stories/ accomplishments. This is a evident example of NWO/Hollywood zionist mind control. Jewish hollywood writers where Gene had two of, saw themselves as Vulcans, superior to Gentiles (humans) in many ways, hence all vulcans were portrayed by jewish actors. The vulcan handshake is actually a religious jewish one, making millions of american children greeting eachother in a jewish way. Also imprinting in childs minds that a one world government really rocks as a concept, hence the multiracial crew and the first interracial kiss on american tv. Sorry for english, i'm Dutch.
Sun, Aug 26, 2012, 8:52am (UTC -6)
Thank you for confirming that paranoid right wing fantasies aren't just for Americans.
Sat, Dec 15, 2012, 5:37pm (UTC -6)
Jammer, maybe you should delete rassist and delusional messages. thx.
Tue, Jan 1, 2013, 4:44pm (UTC -6)
I don't know if Jammer was missing the point of this episode, or if its more relevant today than it was when it first aired. Other commenters here talked about 9/11 conspiracy theories, and I think they're close to the crux of the issue, but more in the sense that they're a symptom of the bigger issue this story is addressing.

That issue is information overload. With all the data in the world at our fingertips thanks to the internet, the human mind's natural need to derive patterns and simple narratives out of a giant pile of unrelated or marginally related data points can lead to some truly crazy and self destructive behaviors. Today we have any number of movements based around dubious theories (the 9-11 "truthers" being a great example).

This was some fairly forward looking sci fi for a time when the Internet was still forming. At the time I'm sure it felt like...and maybe WAS intended X-Files riff. But I think the themes of the story are bigger and more universal than that, and the episode deserves not to be written off so easily.

If I had any problems with the episode, it was that scene in the cargo bay that Jammer seemed to like so much, when it seemed that both Janeway and Chakotay had fallen under Seven's spell. They had drunk the Kool Aid a bit too readily based on what we'd seen, but then, I guess a certain amount of narrative expediency was called for.
Thu, Jan 10, 2013, 9:03pm (UTC -6)
i wish they would have taken the conspiracy further. the minute seven speaks with the captain ruined it for me. they could have made this a mult-part episode. i got really excited watching this episode only to have it fall apart in a matter of minutes.
Tue, Jan 29, 2013, 1:22pm (UTC -6)
I didn't find this episode particularly interesting. That space catapult was far more intriguing. It was kind of interesting to see another non-conventional method of space travel in Trek.

"The X-Files" was mentioned in the review. I liked that show very much. I guess this episode could be regarded as some sort of homage to X-Files as well as a subtle parody of conspiracy buffs. I personally don't subscribe to such theories nor am I a big fan of those, however I believe that conspiracies do happen. Kennedy's assassination, after all, was a a conspiracy, i.e. the result of a conspiracy. And there's also one major historical conspiracy known as a Wannsee conference, which as its goal had the extermination of the Jewish people. So, I'd say conspiracies are pretty real. Not all conspiracy theories may be true or accurate, but conspiracies do happen. Though we should be cautious when dealing with them.

Unfortunately, many conspiracy theories rely on conjectures, faulty reasoning, poor evidence, etc. Such is the case, I think, with Seven's conspiracy theories in this episode. Very little of what Seven presents could be qualified as solid evidence (besides, maybe, the mysterious tractor beam, which, as already pointed out, remained unexplained). She's basically making conjectures, without offering any real evidence for her claims. It's all just circumstantial evidence. It's amazing and surprising that the captain and the first officer fall for that. That's something which I didn't find convincing. Their naivety was intentional, obviously, to make the whole conspiracy plot a bit more interesting, but the reactions of Janeway and Chakotay don't appear to be consistent. Janeway would normally send Seven to sickbay or something, to let her be examined by the Doctor, and Chakotay would probably have a good laugh after listening to her lengthy exposition. But here they both begin to believe Seven after she masterfully "connects the dots" a la David Icke. I didn't find that very convincing.
Sun, Mar 17, 2013, 9:57pm (UTC -6)
Okay, just how fast is "supspace communication". Tash can travel 5000 light years and instantly phone back and tell Voyager about it, with a real-time dialogue exchange? Are there relays involved or can it just zoom at 5000 ly a second. If so, Voyager should have been able to send a message to Starfleet right from the Cartaker array in less than a minute.
Jo Jo Meastro
Sun, Jul 28, 2013, 3:33pm (UTC -6)
I'm glad to see in the comments there are others that find that Wildman kid irritating, I was beginning to think I was the only one!

As for this episode, there isn't a whole lot to add really. It's fluffy fun that passes the hour amiably and as always, I'm perfectly fine if a fictional TV show doesn't contain the most plausible tales ever told (that's merely an added bonus to me). However, it's perhaps a little too mild and fluffy to stick in the old memory banks for much longer after the closing credits.

For me, I'd be torn between 2 stars or 2 and a half. Perhaps 2 and a half simply due to the amusing scenes and the way the fun holds up through most of it. It just wasn't too spectacular, which is fine every so often and even welcome.
Mon, Aug 12, 2013, 12:22am (UTC -6)
I liked the way the writers had Seven use similar evidence to construct completely opposing theories. Using prior show plots was also clever. It shows how easy it is for people to get caught up in circumstantial evidence; as others have noted, there are plenty of real-life examples.

Unfortunately, the other elements of the plot didn't hold together. It's like they had a cool idea - big conspiracy theory has crew members distrusting each other - but couldn't figure out how to execute in a plausible way. Overall, I was left unsatisfied.
Tue, Aug 13, 2013, 11:37am (UTC -6)
1. Naomi Wildman is a GOOD addition. when a whole episode (once upon a time?) surrounds her, the it is a bad episode. but she is like a "guinan." in that she just provides a sounding board for neelix and seven. way better than alexander!
2. everyone complains about continuity, but this episode uses a TON of references from previous episodes but no one acknowledges that.
3. janeway and chakotay didnt BUY into the conspiracy. they just wanted to do the "due diligence." usually people have only few supporting facts. but Seven spit out so much stuff, then it created enough doubt to check. they checked and they were right.
4. very entertaining. even to the absurdly ridiculous in the correct way.
5. yes, it seemed to me that 5000 light years would be too far to communicate.
6. fun episode. 3 stars
Tue, Aug 13, 2013, 11:40am (UTC -6)
also, is that the first time Seven smiled?
Lt. Yarko
Fri, Aug 23, 2013, 2:49am (UTC -6)
"Impronen: Just because someone writes an article with the words "debunking" in the title, doesn't necessarily mean that the "debunking" is sound. Watch a documentary sometime(I recomend: "9/11: confronting the evidence") and see if you're not convinced. Seven was malfunctioning, but the "scholars for 9/11 truth" (physics professors, etc..) aren't." - Eric (2009)

(snicker) Watched all those videos. Not convinced. All of the so-called evidence has been thoroughly debunked. Well, the so-called evidence that even looks like evidence. There is ZERO reason to believe 9-11 conspiracies. Hopefully, Eric has figured this out in the time since his post.
Sat, Aug 31, 2013, 7:17pm (UTC -6)
What's really funny about this episode is that it aired well BEFORE 9/11, and predicted the manner of lunacy we were to see from the Truthers remarkably well.

Of course, Truthers are hardly the first cranks ever to act that way. Even back before they were trying to claim that the Mossad did a controlled demolition of the WTC towers, a lot of these nutcases were trying to blame Jews and Israel for everything bad that has ever happened in the world ever, EVER, and "debunk" the Holocaust with the very same rapid-fire-random-data-points-and-tie-them-all-together-into-a-conspiracy-theory method Seven uses here.
Mon, Sep 23, 2013, 5:29pm (UTC -6)
Jay, this is the second time Naomi's prowling got a musical happened in "Infinite Regress" too when she was stalking Seven.
Fri, Jan 10, 2014, 9:30am (UTC -6)
@ azcats

If it was just "due diligence" rather than rank stupidity, why did they make a pact to "keep it out of their logs"?
Mon, Jan 27, 2014, 3:33am (UTC -6)
This episode gets a 1 out of 5 for me. ST:TNG did a great conspiracy episode, (no not the one called Conspiracy with the Alien chest busters), but The Drumhead. Of course, ST TNG set the bar so high I'm not sure if Voyager is anywhere near the same orbit.

Regardless, TNG did it first and did it better - and I echo what others have said, Janeway and Chekotay would never be so daft as to turn on each other so easily with such flimsy evidence. Seven was beyond annoying, and not to mention illogical.
Tue, May 6, 2014, 7:56pm (UTC -6)
Awkward out-of-characterness.

This one is a good example of an episode when a plot may be interesting, an argument may be promising, but in the end, telling a story depends on how well, how convincing and how respectful to established reality the story is told. Yeah yeah, there was some nice attempt to develop the consequences of over-thinking the political nuances acquired by Seven via a mere download. It's nice to see Seven in a fragile moment regarding her superior abilities.

However, I am sorry: presenting such a heavily out of character piece pretty much harms any prominent qualities the episode could have aspired for. In fact, it made the experience of watching this hour of show even irritating. Why was it out-of-character? Oh well, of course the captain could have been mislead about Chakotay and vice-versa. But all it takes is one piece of dialogue with Seven? With a former Borg who could be receiving Borg signals to manipulate her, or a thousand other unwelcome influences? Chakotay and the captain after so many "you-are-not-alone" moments?

Blah. Pretty weak.
Mon, Jun 16, 2014, 8:17pm (UTC -6)
Clearly some people don't get dry humor. I thought this episode was not just hilarious, but an ingenious use of prior Voyager events providing continuity.

True, Janeway and Chakotay were a little too easily persuaded by Seven, but the exposition explains why -- her just-as-convulted firefly theory turned out to be true...and they realized how silly it was after the fact.

I was worried toward the end that Seven was going to successfully destroy the space slingshot. That would have been a huge mistake on the writer's part.
Sat, Jul 12, 2014, 6:10pm (UTC -6)
A great episode. Notice how it opens with a parable about Tom and the crew jumping to conclusions based on incompete data (they believe an entire deck to be pregnant lol).
Sun, Jul 13, 2014, 7:46am (UTC -6)
What I like about this episode is the dinner scenes between Janeway and Chakotay; so cute. Seven's monologues were also scarily powerful and Ryan did some fine acting in these sequences. And who can not but help find the last scene between Janeway and Seven, on the shuttlecraft, especially when the music kicks in, to be touching. 3.5 stars for me.
Tue, Aug 5, 2014, 12:59pm (UTC -6)
It seems I'm in the minority, but I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. Most of the commenters here seem to feel that the credulity shown by Janeway and Chakotay towards Seven's conspiracy theories was out of character. However, I think Chakotay's willingness to fact check Seven's claims would be more likely than would be the case for the Captain.

Consider that Chakotay was already well deceived by both Tuvok and Seska, while still serving as a Maquis. On discovering Seska was a Cardassian spy all along, he commented to Tuvok: "You were working for her [Janeway], Seska was working for them [the Cardassians]... was anyone on that ship working for me?" [State of Flux].

So Chakotay's suspicions were not entirely out of line. Recall also that Chakotay and the Captain had a various serious disagreement in Equinox, Part II not that long ago -- to the degree that Chakotay was ultimately confined to his quarters. He and Janeway have clashed previously, but as far as I can recall this was the most serious breach in their relationship to this point. It didn't appear as if it was entirely resolved, and I suspect that Janeway's comment about mutiny at the end of the episode was entirely out of the realm of possibility.

I'm also surprised that no one pointed out the strong similarity between Seven had to a kind of Sherlock Holmes character. Her (accurate) inductive reasoning about the photonic fleas reminded me of Watson's awe of Holmes (who could infer so much from so little). So Seven's heightened reasoning skills were to a degree already established as credible at the beginning of the episode.

As Seven's behavior and reasoning became more erratic, there was less reason for Janeway and Chakotay to continue the mistrust. And in fact that's what essentially happened. But the underlying tension between Janeway and Chatokay wasn't unreasonable in my opinion -- given their past not insignificant disagreements with each other. I've always wondered what would have happened had they allowed Chatokay to push back harder. His character was never sufficiently developed in my mind, and could have been a much more interesting member of the Voyager ensemble.
Tue, Aug 5, 2014, 1:09pm (UTC -6)
Edit to fix a typo above: "...and I suspect that Janeway's comment about mutiny at the end of the episode was NOT entirely out of the realm of possibility."

TLDR: Given what we know about Chakotay and previous betrayals of trust he's been on the receiving end of ... he had more than a little reason to not dismiss Seven's conspiracy theory out of hand.
Tue, Aug 5, 2014, 4:50pm (UTC -6)
You're not alone Stephen!!

My favorite line?

"JANEWAY: Computer, change music selection. Mahler's Symphony Number One, Second Movement. Maybe this will help you relax."

I'll review this when I start my "Voyager-a-thon". Enjoying DS9 right now.
Tue, Sep 9, 2014, 5:59pm (UTC -6)
Yikes, this one was pretty bad. And did anyone else catch Janeway at the end of the heartwarming moment with Seven on the Delta Flyer telling Voyager "Two to beam up"? Um, so they just left the shuttle?
Sun, Nov 9, 2014, 8:06am (UTC -6)
This episode was OK but it was going better until Chakotay became suspicious without the evidence actually being compelling (I liked that Janeway didn't, instead regarding the claims as unlikely speculation), Seven developed conflicting conspiracies without noticing their inconsistency and then therefore she was absolved of responsibility or consequences.
Sun, Nov 9, 2014, 8:11am (UTC -6)
Also the continuity references were enjoyable enough (especially near the beginning with the idea of the guest star actually having had some connections with the Caretakers) but there seemed to be a big inconsistency in that I don't think most of the Maquis were generally anti-Federation.
Sat, Jan 31, 2015, 4:50pm (UTC -6)
Very interesting, an original idea, impressive use of Continuity that I wish we saw more of on Voyager...but still, what the hell?

The episode had an intriguing first half, with Seven concocting a farfetched but not totally implausible theory about Starfleet directing Janeway to establish a military presence in the Delta Quadrant. As Stephen points out, Chakotay has been betrayed before and I think it's in character for him to be just a little suspicious--enough to ask B'Elanna to delay the mission until he can gather more information.

Everything is going fine so far. It's in the next scene, where Seven then summons Janeway to the lab and tells her a totally different conspiracy theory implicating the Maquis--that this thing completely DERAILS. All of a sudden it's a story about Seven's cortical implant malfunctioning and how her drive to make order out of chaos has her coming up with illogical theories. It's all downhill from there.

What they should have done, IMO, is keep it simple and stuck to the Starfleet theory, have Chaoktay and B'Elanna get suspicious to the point of confronting Janeway, and then sort out the whole thing by convincing Seven she had made a very human mistake: information overload = desperate attempt to make order from chaos = making increasingly illogical connections between disparate facts on less and less evidence. No "cortical implant" technobabble necessary. And above all, they should have thought to explain where the tractor beam in the picture really was and where it came from. (How do you fail to tie up a loose end like that??)

By needlessly complicating the story, they force another contrived resolution and the rift between Chakotay and Janeway is minded before it even happens. It would be almost comical if it didn't represent such a lost opportunity. Two stars for the first half, zero for the second.
Sat, Jan 31, 2015, 4:55pm (UTC -6)
Excuse the typos...stuck -> stick, minded -> mended, and "what the tractor beam in the picture really was."
Fri, Apr 10, 2015, 9:43pm (UTC -6)
This episode is a slap in the face for reminding us about Voyager's two mysterious tricobalt weapons and then once again providing absolutely no explanation.
Fri, Nov 27, 2015, 10:03pm (UTC -6)
This ep was completely displaced. Firstly I tend to agree with others that in spite of Seven's rapid-fire delivery of facts she is trying to arrange in some kind of order in her now disorganized mind the suggestion that a conspiracy at this point was even remotely plausible required a bit too much suspension of disbelief on the part of the viewer. I keep forgetting about the tricobalt missles that were used to destroy the caretaker's array in the pilot. Not that it matters since they were never mentioned again except in this. And forgotten again soon afterwards.

Now this would have been perfect in say, Season 1. It would have made for a better episode than Learning Curve. It was in any event, surprisingly. Which was about the only episode that even dealt with the displaced and disgruntled Maquis. I was rather nonplussed with that episode despite Tim Russ' kickass portrayal of Tuvok as always. The ending felt too simple and the premise was meh.

Anyways regarding this ep the way the story laid out was doable. And it would have fit in perfectly with the tension of the Maquis/Starfleet S1. The 6th season is way too late for any kind of talk about conspiracies on that miniscule ship. That's what made it so implausible.

Now with that being said I won't lie. I loved the scene w/ Janeway and chuckles going to Seven's alcove to determine the source of those power fluctuations. You could slice the tension in that room with a butter knife. Even the way it ended was solid entertainment to me. Couldn't stop smiling thru the whole scene. Now if this level of acting was the norm rather than the exception at this point in the series I could see the viewers begging for at least 1 more season. I might have even written a letter or two to the execs myself. "Have a heart guys, leave em stranded just one more season, please!"

Still, one great scene doesn't make up for its shortcomings. The greatest being it's 5 seasons too late for talk about conspiracies. The Maquis conflict was a thing of the past just before DS9's cancellation and at this point Voyager was the only ST show in town. Not to mention the crew was working side-by-side with each other during the whole conflict to begin with. I'm guessing it was riding on the coattails of the X-files which was a network superpower around this time. Regardless, I don't think I could have given this one more than 1.5 stars.
Thu, Feb 18, 2016, 6:30am (UTC -6)
I loved the premise of this episode, was a blasting watching this, but yeah it's kind of crazy to see Chakotay and Janeway fall for Seven's weird theories so fast. But on the other hand, like the intro showed Seven has become such an integral part of the crew that I sort of buy her convincing Chakotay and Janeway that something might be going on. If Kim would say something like this he'd be dismissed and laughed at no doubt but Seven has that VIP place where she's miles ahead in her knowledge of technology that it would be somewhat believable to believe her when she's conjuring up theories like this. I'm actually a bit sad the cause of Seven's weird behavior was a sensory overload. If they made the episode more organic with Seven finding truly suspicious data the same point would've been made without it being a construct of Seven's delusions. But still, enjoyable entry, 3/4
Sun, Mar 6, 2016, 7:38pm (UTC -6)
Like most everyone else, I did not find Seven's conspiracy theories very convincing, and was surprised that both Chakotay and Janeway entertained them to the extent that they did. Admittedly SFDebris did point out that Chakotay, as a member of a rebellious organization who discovered two people he trusted were actually spies, may very well be more amenable to such a theory than I thought. But there's no excuse for Janeway.

People have claimed that the plasma flea Holmes-esque deduction was there to set up Seven as being more plausible, but I don't think it works too well. If you ever read Sherlock Holmes stories, Watson always proclaims how obvious it all seems once Sherlock explains things. And that was the case with the fleas. When her evidence was laid out, you could see the theory as plausible. As Watson would say, it's obvious in retrospect. But her conspiracy theories?

They start out fine; the Cardassian ship is an interesting hook albeit not unexpected given the way the Caretaker worked. Then we had the unexplained cobalt missiles and, more importantly, the evidence that there may have been a tractor beam from a cloaked ship. OK, great hook. Obviously there's something unexplained going on. Definitely worth hearing Seven out to see what other evidence she has cobbled together.

Except the problem is that there is no more evidence. In both of her scenes (with Chakotay and with Janeway), she raises her voice at this part and starts spouting off random facts, then with each fact providing an either/or explanation: either the obvious explanation or something completely out of the blue. And I mean that, they made no sense! Would you be convinced if I said "February 24: a major blizzard hits the Midwest. Was this a random weather event, or was the government controlling the weather to prevent me from getting to the store and buying more tinfoil for my hat?"? Didn't think so. You'd laugh in my face. Yet Chakotay and Janeway were at least concerned about this barrage of "facts".

On the flip side, that does seem to be how a lot of conspiracy theories work, so I guess it's reasonably accurate. Just seems odd that anyone in-universe would fall for it. Seven never really connected the event with specific actions from Chakotay or Janeway (actually, she did somewhat for Janeway, but not enough). So the conclusion seems to come from nowhere, and it definitely doesn't become obvious in retrospect. It's like when you're reading a conspiracy theory of today, and it starts out with some "asking questions" but, and then all of a sudden veers off into left field and blames it on the Jews or the Illuminati or whatever. And you start to wonder where that came from...

And for that matter, why did neither of them come up with the obvious counterargument: why the heck would they wait 20 years before getting the technology to get back home? Yes, 20, not 5. There's no way the conspiracy could have predicted all the time-skips Voyager made from the Gift up through Dragon's Teeth. That's an incredibly stupid strategy to assume Voyager would survive that long.

It's also why I wasn't impressed with the alcove scene that others have praised. Because I had a hard time believing either of them would start wearing phasers around based off Seven's flimsy evidence. This is especially true given that the mistrust between the two was such a small subplot that it could have been dropped completely. I think the scene would have played out better if both of them went in there just to check on Seven's alcove, as both of them realize the theories are absurd. They could have then told each other about what Seven did, and decide they need to confront her about it. This is what in turn convinces Seven of her final conspiracy: the conspiracy against her that causes her to leave the ship.

With that said, however, I do agree 100% with Luke that this episode, probably accidentally, predicted the information overload that came with perpetual contact with the internet. Because of the vast amount of information out there, we can pick and choose what we want to see. We are free to read information that reinforces are own viewpoint while ignoring alternate information. Not only that, but the sheer magnitude of the voices out there allow information to be reinforced on its own. See our friend earlier who thinks that there can be counter-claims to all of the debunking of the 9-11 Truthers. There's also far too much to take in, more information to find than can ever be found. Most people aren't metallurgists or structural engineers, and thus don't know for themselves what happens to steel in the presence of extreme heat.

All that free and instant information, while a very good thing, also has killed people's ability to think rationally (ok, so people probably didn't think rationally in the first place, but whatever). You don't need to learn anything, you can just look it up. You don't need to understand anything, you can just ask someone else to explain it. You don't need to learn how to connect information together in a logical matter, someone else will do it for you. Unfortunately for you, that someone else could be wrong, but you don't know how to tell if they are or not. And since humans have a strong impulse to believe things they want to believe, people end up not being skeptical of what they read or see. All because they can't process all the information. Just like Seven.

Given the track record of Voyager, I doubt that was in their mind when they wrote the episode, but I will give them props for it anyway. And I will say that it was a reasonably enjoyable episode anyway. I especially liked the B plot, and enjoyed the weird alien (Voyager, I must say, is getting good at making these one-off aliens interesting, at least when they aren't required to be the Xenophobic Hard-Headed Aliens of the Week). I just think the conspiracies should have been more compelling. Heck, Peter G. just made an excellent conspiracy theory surrounding the DS9 episode To The Death. I wonder, if the writers could have opened this up to the obsessive Trek fans out there, if a better conspiracy theory or two might have been created.
Diamond Dave
Fri, Mar 11, 2016, 1:44pm (UTC -6)
Almost but not quite genius. I thought this was both the driest of dry humour looks at conspiracy theories and those who peddle them, and an extraordinarily prescient look at the perils of what we now might call big data. How do you divine the truth when the volumes of data let you link anything? What's interesting in all of this is that there are some genuine intriguing hanging facts - and I choose to believe these were deliberate rather than poor writing - such as the mystery tractor beam.

I think the episode lost it's grip just slightly though when it becomes clear that Seven has gone off on one, but that's not really a significant drawback. The catapult was a stunning looking bit of kit in action too. 3.5 stars.
Mon, May 16, 2016, 10:00pm (UTC -6)
I absolutely love the relationship between janeway and chakotay. its like best friends from college. and just makes the intimacy that could have developed in season 2 (the one where they were stranded after catching a virus) so much more... plausible? real? human? everything fits i feel.

i guess this is why i prefer voyager so much. regardless of its flaws, seeing the characters together, its so human (for lack of a better word)
Mon, Jun 13, 2016, 12:34pm (UTC -6)
Skeptical hit the nail on the head here I think.

"I think the scene would have played out better if both of them went in there just to check on Seven's alcove, as both of them realize the theories are absurd."

Bingo, if they would have done this I would have made this a 4-star episode.

I can go with "getting sucked it" to an extent. Seven isn't known for getting facts wrong. She did find photonic fleas. They've grown to trust her, her findings, interpretations, etc.

Useless Yanks Developed & Distributed Voyager Trivia (TM) here.... :-)

Seven spoke 2,352 words in this episode (not counting numbers).

You are welcome.

I couldn't imagine having to memorize all that :-)

All that and the best part about this episode are words that Captain Janeway spoke to Seven in the Delta Flyer. Quality over quantity.

"JANEWAY: There is no conspiracy. There is no Maquis rebellion. The Federation isn't planning to invade the Delta Quadrant.
SEVEN: I realized that, because I finally uncovered your true objective.
JANEWAY: And what's that?
SEVEN: Me. Stardate 32611, the Federation sends my parents to study the Borg Collective. They know my family will be assimilated. That was their intention. Stardate 48317, Voyager is sent to the Delta Quadrant with orders to retrieve me. When they reach Borg space, Captain Janeway negotiates an alliance with the Collective in exchange for information regarding species 8472. They agree to give her Seven of Nine. Stardate 51030, Janeway extracts the implants from my body to remove any knowledge I have of her agreement with the Borg. Stardate 53329, Captain Janeway finalizes plans to use the catapult to deliver Seven of Nine to the Alpha quadrant, where Starfleet will dissect and analyze the drone to gather tactical data to fight the Borg. I won't allow you to complete your mission. If necessary I'll destroy the catapult, and myself.
JANEWAY: You're right, Seven. There is a conspiracy here. But I believe it's a conspiracy of one. I've got a theory of my own. Your modified alcove threw your synaptic patterns into chaos and your mind can't make sense of all the information, so you're generating theory after theory in an attempt to bring order to that chaos.
SEVEN: Your reasoning is flawed. My alcove is functioning perfectly.
JANEWAY: What about you? You're not a drone anymore. You can't always predict how Borg technology will affect you. You should be in Sickbay, not behind that forcefield. Let me help you.
SEVEN: No. I don't believe you.
JANEWAY: Of course you don't. Anything I say gets woven into your paranoid conspiracies. But you should believe me, Seven, because I've never lied to you, and I'm not lying to you now. You have to put your doubts aside and trust me. Stardate 51030, Seven of Nine is severed from the hive mind. The Captain tells her not to resist, that she'll learn to accept her humanity. Seven complies, and slowly begins to embrace her individuality. Does she regret that decision? Stardate 51652, the Captain encourages Seven to develop her social skills. Seven insists it's a waste of time, but after further requests she pursues it, and begins to develop her first human friendships. Did Janeway lead her astray? Stardate 52840, the Captain orders Seven to study her parents' journals. Seven claims they're irrelevant, but eventually she reads them and rediscovers part of her own past. Stardate 52841, for the first time, Seven tells the Captain thank you.
SEVEN: It was Stardate 52842, oh six hundred hours in the mess hall. We had just finished breakfast.
JANEWAY: My mistake. Stardate today, Janeway beams aboard the Delta Flyer. She reminds Seven of the bond that's grown between them. Seven lowers the forcefield and she decides to come home. All I'm asking is that you trust me again.
(Seven lowers the forcefield.)
JANEWAY: Delta Flyer to Voyager. Two to beam out."

I'm guilty, pass the schmaltz. Just watched this the other night and couldn't keep from tearing up.

3.5 stars from me.
Mon, Jun 13, 2016, 3:57pm (UTC -6)
@Yanks - Knowing that these 2 women did not like each other makes that scene extra impressive.
Tue, Jun 14, 2016, 8:23am (UTC -6)
True, at that time. Nice to know they've put all that behind them.
Fri, Jul 15, 2016, 1:48am (UTC -6)
First of all, I think it's hilarious that people have been finding and commenting on this post for eight years now.

As with others, I have been irritated for DAYS after rewatching this episode (my second time watching through VOY, didn't pay enough attention the first time through to be bothered) that there is ZERO explanation as to why Voyager had the tricobalt weapons, why Tuvok used such a massive yield to blow up the array when as Seven points out it was major overkill, whose ship it was that tractored one of the components away, and for what purpose. Anyone with eyes could see in the recording that there was a ship using a tractor beam at the time of the explosion, yet the Captain and others' curiosities aren't even the slightest bit piqued, and it's never brought up again.
I'm just going to pretend the USS Relativity did it with Tuvok's help for the purposes of constructing the catapult (for some reason), and then wiped his memory of the event, and then showed up and wiped the memory of everyone else involved once Seven started asking questions... How's THAT for a conspiracy? It would be one of the first times in Star Trek history that a memory wipe actually succeeded...
Thu, Sep 8, 2016, 6:41pm (UTC -6)
Here we go again Gilligan .... sigh
Sleep inducing. What happened nvm ... not interested
Sat, Nov 26, 2016, 12:32pm (UTC -6)
can't find this addressed anywhere: Janeway felt a moral imperative to destroy the Caretaker array lest it fall into the wrong hands, even at the consequence of leaving them stranded 75k light years from home. But there isn't even a moment's consideration given to what will become of the tetryon reactor, or keeping it out of the wrong hands THIS time..for the benefit of being only 3 years closer to home. ??

I also dislike the loose ends. Why is the tractor beam that drew the tetryon reactor into subspace shrugged off and forgotten? Perhaps this will come up later in the series (watching for the first time), but it seems unrealistic that they would all just laugh it off and forget about it.
dave johnson
Wed, Dec 14, 2016, 12:50am (UTC -6)

Voyager had a tendency to forget things from past episodes as they always have the reset button at the end with no lasting consequences.

So, no hope on figuring out that tractor beam. And no idea why this reactor was so important yet they left it behind for someone else to take.
Fri, Jan 13, 2017, 1:04pm (UTC -6)
Janeway sent KIm to help Torres. When Chakotay sent Kim back I'd think Janeway would be like "um...go back and help" and call Chakotay into the ready room for a chat.
Fri, Jan 13, 2017, 1:08pm (UTC -6)
Also..since when was Seska a Commander?
Mon, Jan 16, 2017, 1:54pm (UTC -6)
I would have liked this episode better if I didn't hate Seven of Nine outright. I can't explain my hatred for Seven, it's irrational - but it's there. Did having her on the show really help the ratings that much? It's like the Star Trek writers at this point really had no idea who their audience was.
Fri, Feb 3, 2017, 1:30pm (UTC -6)
Another ridiculous episode for a number of things.
I'm getting tired of the Seven-stories plot of dealing her humanity. We've already covered much of that with Doc, and now with Seven too on already several episodes.. It gets too much, and on top it of.. the plot is sucks.

While it is understandable Seven going into 'malfunction', it just out of character for Janeway and Chakotay turn into each other only based on Seven rumbling without so much of shred evidence, in fact it was disservice to their charracter.

The only plot device that hold facts and introduce the whole ridiculous premise to make a bit sound is the 'tricobalt weapons', and yet this matter is never resolved (I suspect because the writer don't have idea how to explain that into this whole messed up bad premise, just put it there to make it at least belieavable to the audience and put a little tension for a while, but no idea how to explain that and just to be forgotten at the end)

The end is tiresome scenes too.. I had enough of this "Protective mother" Janeway talk, usually accompanied with "I trust you, and you let me down" thing. One or two episodes will be an okay.. Too many of it, it just downright stupid, overboard, and one may question is she's really a good leader if this things keep happened?
We've got that scenes several times already with Seven, Harry (The Disease), Paris (Thirty Days), B'ellana (Barge of The Dead).
Enough is enough!

Is the writer right on their head? I wonder if this is a real crew they feel appreciated treated like somekind of 'kid'?. They are adult and supposedly a respectable senior officer.
I sure wouldn't appreciate it if my boss not respect my opinion/ability and just casualy dismissive so many times, treat me and my colleague like a kid over and over again! This is a nightmare crew.

1 (*) star for this whole messed episodes, maybe thats still too much.
Half star
Fri, Feb 3, 2017, 1:36pm (UTC -6)
Forgot to add. Is Seven also having amnesia so she dont put a shield and Janeway can casually transport to Delta Flyer. All at the sametimes Kim 'Cant-Get-A-Lock' not able to tractor beam, beam seven, etc....

This is a reminiscence of 'Dragon Teeth'. Tuvok can beam to Voyager, while the ships on heavy attack and have the shields up, high radiation and interference everywhere. While on any given casual day, they can't beam/transport with just a little interference or radiation.

Tue, Apr 11, 2017, 7:11pm (UTC -6)
The tractor beam is a sensor glitch, just like all the other weirdness people see in photos.

JFK was shot well before this episode, so we already knew about conspiracy theorists.

Chakotay only says he can't dismiss it out of hand because he can't prove it false. This is exactly how CTs work. Janeway isn't as suspicious, but wonders if something is going on, then sees Chakotay.

I find it funny that some people explain how even the first conspiracy is obviously wrong. But others were all following the conspiracy and were disappointed when the second one proved she was malfunctioning. The truth is somewhere in the middle--even dumb ideas from trusted sources can lead to at least a little doubt, and that's enough to start some paranoia.
Roger W Norris
Wed, May 31, 2017, 12:26pm (UTC -6)
I don't know about the supposed tractor beam, but I do have a suggestion for the tricobalt devices. They were to be used on Voyager's THIRD mission, which it never got to go on. Voyager was supposed to have a totally different history. How much of the unexplained information can be due to things that should have happened, but never got a chance to? Or are connected to crewmen who died because of the Caretaker's actions? One ( or is that Seven?) never knows.
Wed, Jun 7, 2017, 9:45am (UTC -6)
A 3.5 for me (used to be a 3) - it's a great depiction of a psychotic break from reality, strongly written and excellently acted (by all but especially Ryan). Information overload from the internet and social media really can fry people's brains, frighten and radicalise them - we're simply not designed to process the amount of media we're bombarded with today by highly emotive 24-hour news and endlessly refreshing social media feeds demanding our engagement, and the internet is a breeding ground for conspiracy theories. today. Contemporary relevance aside, it's simply a great portrayal of someone gradually descending into a paranoid episode (something that can be a feature of schizophrenia, dementia and other conditions), fuelled on by the fact that her first couple of theories were correct. The scene with Janeway in the shuttle is stirring - Seven's distress and confusion are palpable (I've seen people having these kinds of episodes, and Ryan nailed it), and Janeway manages to expertly de-escalate the situation and calm her down by responding with calmness, affection and open arms. It's great.
Sat, Jun 10, 2017, 2:36am (UTC -6)
Is it just me or did they forget all about the catapult?

Janeway retrieves Seven, apparently abandoning the shuttle (which they seem to be able to produce ad infinitum), and then Janeway and Chakotay have dinner, indulging in some light teasing and blissfully forgetting all about the catapult and getting a thousand lightyears closer to home.

Like the salamander episode, I think this one is best considered non-canon.
Sat, Jul 29, 2017, 3:19pm (UTC -6)
GuyFaux, I think you stopped watching too soon. They did use the catapult at the end to shave three years off the journey.
Mon, Jul 31, 2017, 3:21am (UTC -6)
I like that we don't find out about the tricobalt weapons, the high yield , or the tractor beam. Those points lend credence to Seven's theories - based on information overload, granted - by having actual mysteries involved.

And now we can speculate on our own, which is fun.

Also, it serves as a cautionary tale for all of us in the present era, with the incredible amounts of data now available to us daily (hourly). With enough statistical information, we can believe anything is true. (From a certain point of view, as Obi-Won once said.)
Mon, Oct 2, 2017, 10:18pm (UTC -6)
This was worth it just to see Jeri Ryan perform in unloading the mass of information to Chakotay and Janeway separately. I mean, that is some serious delivery of long and complex lines that had to be memorized and unleashed with an attitude. Jeri Ryan should get paid extra just for those outstanding sequences. I am glad Jammer also touched on how impressive Ryan was in doing those scenes.
Sat, Dec 2, 2017, 5:19am (UTC -6)
This is one of the worst episodes, with Seven emphatically babbling nonsense to the camera for half the running time. After the episode I never wanted to hear her voice again. Awful.
Prince of Space
Wed, Jan 17, 2018, 3:21am (UTC -6)
Well hey, lookie there!

After reading Jammer’s review and then the comments for each episode, I then read Memory Alpha’s blurb about it, followed by lastly the The Cynic’s Corner review. And Jammer got a shout-out from the Cynic on this episode!

“Jammer’s too positive...” hahaha ... er, no offense, Cynic; but next to you Stalin appears too positive.

And no offense, Jammer... but his reviews are way funnier. ;-)
William B
Mon, Feb 5, 2018, 1:11pm (UTC -6)
I agree with a lot of what people are saying: the episode is cool in that it accurately describes (and predicts!) the consequences of information overload, where the pattern-seeking aspects of the brain, when given more data than was once available and which we are not properly prepared to integrate all at once, leads to superficially complex but actually simplistic, Manichean, and nonsensical conspiracy theories designed to make sense of all the mysteries at once. The episode also gets points for showing why this pattern-seeking is an important and positive quality -- Seven's quick assessment of the photonic fleas as an example of a good consequence of this type of mass collation of data and pattern-seeking within it. Ryan's acting is great and if Seven's eventual breakdown was overplayed, it's not significantly so. The big problem with this episode is Janeway and Chakotay's behaviour, particularly in the cargo bay, in which they apparently bought Seven's nonsense theory, learned to distrust each other, and then got over their identity-shattering doubts in a few seconds. A very big problem, but it at least take up very little time. 2.5 stars.
Thu, Mar 22, 2018, 11:13am (UTC -6)
I was pleased to see Janeway and Chakotay resolve this in 30 seconds by actually TALKING. One of my least favorite literary devices is when conflict carries on because no one talks.

It would be irresponsible of them to not be a little suspicious. Seven was after all right about the photonic fleas. I think everyone acted appropriately given the circumstances.

Mostly I’m glad that this didn’t turn into someone sabotaging the catapult because of the misunderstandings and then everyone riding in silent anger the next three years while they caught up to where the catapult would have taken them. Nice to see the attempt to get closer to home work out.

Count me among those frustrated they didn’t explain what the “tractor beam” was (swamp gas?) and noticing that Seska’s child wasn’t actually Chakotays
Sat, Apr 14, 2018, 10:36am (UTC -6)
Kind of a fun episode led by the terrific character that 7 has turned into, although VOY does rely an awful lot on her. But it's a good character story as well for Janeway and Chakotay and I like how their [working] relationship is by this point in the series. Maybe the part at the end with Janeway mothering 7 is a bit redundant but it is akin to talking a person down from the ledge as the climax of the episode -- so, not bad.

The 7 character is a lot like Data and Spock in terns of understanding and dealing with human emotion, while having the computer brain. And VOY has had a few episodes when some Borg [computer] issue pops up for 7 and creates havoc for Voyager -- that being said, the premise here is a really interesting one. The idea of information overload and coming to the wrong conclusions (fake news) is a serious issue for today's society. So that is worth exploring through 7 and even if her conclusions from all the facts are wrong, Ryan puts on another excellent performance trying to convince Chakotay/Janeway of her conspiracy theories -- very much like a prosecutor.

Obviously under serious scrutiny, 7's theories crumble and I think the amount of scepticism shown by Chakotay/Janeway is reasonable and they handle their doubts appropriately, for me. I also really liked their scene in the alcove checking out 7's area and their quiet suspicion of each other -- solid acting here. They know 7 won't lie, they are growing in confidence of her, so they don't totally dismiss her as potentially devastating as her claims may sound. And a tinge of distrust has arisen about each other reciprocally.

The air got let out of the balloon when 7 confronts Janeway about Chakotay's supposed Maquis revival theories -- then we know there must be some problem with extra data she's been downloading (which was the suspicion when the episode starts out with 7 trying something new -- what chaos is 7 going to create this episode??).

A high 2.5 stars for "The Voyager Conspiracy" -- pretty interesting concept and episode for the most part, with some very good acting performances. Ultimately, 7 gets another lesson in becoming human. Her conspiracy theories were interesting even if we know they aren't true, but they did serve the purpose and maybe there's some prescience to the premise given the proliferation of digital media etc. But I wouldn't forget about Janeway/Chakotay and their trust/respect for each other either.
Mon, Jun 18, 2018, 1:40am (UTC -6)
Any episode that requires that characters act like brain-dead morons to make the plot work is worthy of at most 2 stars. This one is worth 1-star, maybe 1-1/2.

I have no problem with Seven acting paranoid. That can be interesting and relevant as a commentary on the character and methods of conspiracy theorists. The problem with this episode is the ridiculous actions of Chakotay and Janeway. What their characters should have done is realize instantly that something was really really wrong with Seven and then had the Doctor examine her (which would have "confirmed" Seven's suspicions of a conspiracy as now she was being silenced.)

Instead we get the ridiculous plot of Chakotay and Janeway actually buying into this nonsense. But if we, as the audience, know this is nonsense, there is no way to convince us that Chakotay's and Janeway's acceptance of it is nothing more than a lame plot device.

This actually had the potential to be really interesting. Imagine after Seven is cured, the episode ends with this scene:
Janeway: Come in

Tuvok: Captain may I have a few minutes with you to discuss Seven's situation ....

Janeway: No need for concern Mr. Tuvok. The doctor has cured her and assures me that it's unlikely she'll suffer a relapse.

Tuvok: I'm pleased to hear it, but I wanted to discuss her analysis of the destruction of the array. I'm gone over the sensor logs in great detail and while Seven may have been suffering from delusions, she was right about the destruction of the array. There was a tractor beam and it does seem it was used to seize some equipment before the explosion.

Janeway: Do you know who was operating the tractor beam?

Tuvok: The sensors readings are very fragmented, but the tractor beam's signature is consistent with federation technology.

Janeway: You're not suggesting that ...

Tuvok: I merely report what I have discovered. It is unproductive to engage in idle speculation and illogical without additional facts.

Janeway: (turning to look out the window with a chilled expression) Indeed it is Mr. Tuvok .... sigh ... we are a far far way from home my friend ...

--- fade out ---
Fri, Jul 6, 2018, 6:23pm (UTC -6)
I would love to be a fly in the studios's walls while Jeri Ryan was trying to memorize her pages. Her MANY pages. If actors get paid by the words, she must had made a small fortune for this episode.
And this is the only thing this episode left me.

wow Jeri.. just wow!
Wed, Sep 5, 2018, 2:46am (UTC -6)
Gotta say this is one clip show I enjoyed, even if it melted down in the second half. Loved how they exploited early eps lazy writing plot holes! I mean, why the hell DID Voyager carry tricobalt torpedoes??
Fri, Oct 26, 2018, 10:27am (UTC -6)
Seven would have been great on Twitter with her crazy conspiracy theories. More timely now than it was back then.
Thu, Nov 15, 2018, 10:24am (UTC -6)
Chakotay and Janeway swallow every word or Seven's mad jabberings and turn on each other. Really? Just more evidence that Braga was good only at banging out high concept sci-fi ideas, but was pathologically incapable of writing or keeping track of real characterisation and relationships amongst the crew.
Thu, Jan 17, 2019, 6:34pm (UTC -6)
Overcome by unveiling a conspiracy plot against her, Seven steals the Delta Flyer and dashes off at high speed. Janeway orders Paris to engage in pursuit. After analyzing the DF’s course Ens. Paris reports that she’s headed for the catapult. Wait a minute; wasn’t Voyager parked squarely in front of the cat before this chase began?
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 1:05am (UTC -6)
Hello Everyone!

I remember thinking how it would have taken Tash longer to build the catapult by himself, from scratch, than the ten years it would take him to fly home.

If there were no conspiracies, then I wonder who the race was that just happened to be there, cloaked, waiting for Voyager to blow up the array with their finger hovering over the button for their tractor beam? Since they'd had no contact with each other, how did they even realize Voyager was going to destroy it in the first place? And it had to be real, because the power source turned up in the catapult. Right?

I thought both of the conspiracies hinged on the tractor beam, and it made it mildly more plausible to them because of it. Without that tidbit, they just send Seven to Doctor for tests. I wouldn't have minded that they wrote it that way so much, if they hadn't ignored this big mystery at the end. Now, if it had been a Romulan ship they'd seen, and not Cardassian with no cloak, maybe. But that would destroy one of the conspiracies... sigh...

Does a tractor beam keep an item from being damaged/destroyed as it's removed from a massive explosion, during the time it would take to move it?

Acting saved this one a bit, but the holes were bigger than I could swallow.

Have a Great Day, Everyone... RT
Kevin S.
Sun, Jul 28, 2019, 2:56pm (UTC -6)
Reminds me of today's world... lots of my friends assimilate too much data from social media and the internet, then rant about these half-baked conspiracy theories. For example, one of them just got into David Icke and his lizard people theories... that guy is obviously a paranoid schizophrenic! Anyway, feels like a take on that sort of thing, to my mind.
Mon, Jul 13, 2020, 7:42pm (UTC -6)
Pretty good in my opinion. What if Seven got hooked on InfoWars, or got sucked into a YouTube rabbit hole, and used all the facts to say coronavirus is a hoax! I mean she would have to be malfunctioning right?

Seriously though, to try and take the jumbled mess that was Voyagers first few seasons and make a semi-coherent conspiracy theory was actually kind of impressive. I don’t have an issue with Janeway and Chakotay investigating more, I think it’s less of them getting sucked in and more of an obligation to investigate. I see it all the time at the hospital. Someone comes into the ER with chest pain after eating 5-alarm chili, and you know it’s probably 99% heartburn, but you gotta check the heart out to make sure it’s not the other 1% heart attack. The fact that 2 sentences of dialogue diffused the situation shows they didn’t take it too seriously.

Good SF really helps you view the current situation, and I think now more than ever you can see how dangerous it is to take isolated facts, and twist them to your own agenda. I’d give it a 3/4
Mon, Oct 26, 2020, 7:30am (UTC -6)
I love this episode. It's tremendously entertaining in how it skewers the average conspiracy theorist and I love Seven's absolutely sincere and driven spouting of the facts as she weaves them together into her elaborate theories. The continuity callbacks to Voyager's early days are very welcome, and I especially enjoyed the way that the story used the fact that Neelix had been in the area long before Voyager turned up and had seen all these other ships come and go, thanks to the Caretaker, and it was nice to hear Kes discussed as well.
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 8:25am (UTC -6)
Really surprised how many people didn't like this one. I loved it. It's a fun, interesting, character-driven piece that puts a fun twist on past events (to the point of being meta) and examines real world issues.

People are complaining that Janeway and Chakotay should never have believed Seven, but they would have been plain irresponsible not to consider her theories POSSIBLE.

My only real gripe it that I felt this has way more traction for just a single episode. Could easily have been a two-parter and drawn out some of the conspiratorial intrigue a bit.
Wed, Jan 27, 2021, 9:47pm (UTC -6)
Neelix snark when talking to Seven (got my mind spinning) was funny...he's usually more diplomatic.

Also, why is the replicator in Janeway's quarters apparently a stove? Janeway apparently had to write the programming for the meal herself, and apparently burning it is a risk. I guess you can 11001001 when you should have 11000110'd.
Fri, Feb 19, 2021, 8:25am (UTC -6)
This one was very clever and entertaining. I commend the writers for the continuity going back to previous episodes and events, also Jeri Ryan for memorizing all that dialogue! Her delivery of it all made me laugh so hard my first time watching it. Seven literally blurting out dates and accusations... priceless! I can't help but to compare her being overloaded with information trying to put two and two together to going down a rabbit hole of conspiracy theories on YouTube hahaha we've all done it.

I can see why Janeway and Chakotay started to believe Seven though. It's easy for the viewers not to fall for it but without knowing what we know and absoring all that information with no time to process it could all seem plausible. The scene where they are suspicious of each other was pretty funny lol at least they figured it out shortly afterwards. They were just talking about rumors on the ship though which makes this whole thing ironic.
Sun, Apr 4, 2021, 10:28pm (UTC -6)
-0.5 Stars variance from JRS (Jammer's Review Score) for me.

The tractor beam thing was never followed up on, despite the fact that Janeway and Chakotay were shown it? :| Crap.

Janeway and Chakotay taken in by Seven's ramblings without immediately realizing that she's not right in the central processing unit? Crap.

Janeway's Super Glurgey Mom Speech to Seven that Makes Everything Better™? Uh, super smelly stinky flat stinkums of crap.

This ep gets two stars from me for the fact that all the actors managed to read their lines well. But this is far from good writing. Holy schniekeez.
Thu, Apr 22, 2021, 2:57pm (UTC -6)
I thought this was an excellent episode and very fun. The Conspiracy theory was superb. It would have been hilarious if either were true, especially some type of Starfleet conspiracy. Nevertheless, it was done brilliantly where Janeway and Chakotay began to actually believe her and so did we.

What I would have liked to have seen was that blue beam to be a key plot point for the series. Perhaps, the final episode of the entire series could have had Voyager (in the future) itself use some technology to pull that Caretaker reactor with that blue beam just before the explosion simultaneously thwarting a Borg attempt to seize it (the Borg known to use time travel from the film First Contact) and also using the Caretaker reactor to get home to Earth in one go.

Then you'd have a fulfilled time travel loop (like in First Contact), the Borg, the blue beam explained and it would have made some sense as to what that blue beam was. Maybe.
Thu, Sep 30, 2021, 12:20am (UTC -6)
"The Voyager Conspiracy" demonstrated how easily simple conjecture can be transformed into something that sounds plausibly sinister given the right intonation by a determined, charismatic individual.

It was a study in paranoia, with Seven unable to bridle rampant speculations about everbody else's 'evil ulterior motives.' I thought it a very effective indictment of all that is 'seeming' in an age of vapid demagoguery.

The structure of the episode was clever, with its mirror image plots and schemes. Loved the mutual suspicion in the showdown between Janeway and Chakotay. It starts out very tense, but amazing how briefly it lasts! JANEWAY: "What are you talking about?" Loved that delivery, the whole bubble of distrust quickly bursts andcloses with Janeway's line "Damned photonic fleas." was really funny.

Nice to know that one unhinged person can take a few logical assumptions and shuffle them around to turn everybody into mortal enemies.

Contra all haters of sentiment, I found the scene of Janeway and Seven in the shuttle to be most effective, since the good dialogue was matched to a really beautiful musical background : 'STARDATE 52841 Seven's first 'Thank you'. ' It was 52842.' Both actresses really delivered.

Will enjoy repeated viewing of this one. 4 Stars.
Bok R'Mor
Fri, Nov 5, 2021, 5:11am (UTC -6)
Watching ‘Prophecy’ last night – Klingons in the Delta Quadrant – reminded me of the intriguing scene in this episode in which Seven provides evidence (recorded by Neelix’s ship, no less) of a Cardassian Galor-class vessel also brought to the Delta Quadrant by the Caretaker shortly before Voyager.

Seven – on no evidence whatsoever – surmises that the Cardassian vessel was transported back to the Alpha Quadrant, but we know from ‘Dreadnought’ and ‘Equinox’ that the Caretaker either did not or did not always return vessels he dragged from other parts of the galaxy.

So the writers actually had a prime opportunity here to have a plausible ‘Cardassians in the Delta Quadrant’ episode. Personally I would have preferred to have had it relatively early on in the series – Seven says the Cardassian vessel was brought to the Delta Quadrant ‘months’ before Voyager, so it could not have made it far, and it would have led to an exciting impact on Maquis-Starfleet relations among the crew early on.

I cannot help but think doing so would have facilitated a better arc for Seska, as well, who was revealed as a spy far too early on in the series in my opinion. I don’t know how far a Galor-class ship could have reasonably travelled in two to three years, but imagine if ‘Basics’ had been the Cardassians – not the Kazon – taking over Voyager with Seska’s connivance from the inside. That would have been amazing (providing the writers did not mess up the chance, of course).

They could even have tied it into ‘Dreadnought’ with the Cardassian vessel’s original mission being to find seek out and destroy the doomsday missile that Torres re-programmed.
Peter G.
Sat, Nov 13, 2021, 10:55am (UTC -6)
Damn. I'm watching this right now, and it is such a prime example of the writing needing edits and not having enough guidance from the writing team to turn a great idea into a great product. The first 1/3 of The Voyager Conspiracy plays like TNG at its best: an investigation, conversations, a new technique being used (learning while asleep) to further the investigation. And each scene followed nicely from the last, drawing us into a story we didn't even know existed. The alien of the week isn't the threat, merely the catalyst to arouse interest in the real issue. In fact the question of the investigation is to determine whether there even is an issue. What a great idea - no bashing us on the head with a threat, but instead wondering whether there has always been one.

But then the story takes a nosedive at the 20 minute mark, where instead of Sever organically coming to new realizations she suddenly takes a bunch of data and compiles it in a way that is objectively preposterous. It's not just that it happens to be wrong, but that it's a stupid idea. Even if Seven had evidence that Tuvok had secretly used a torpedo technology designed to squirrel away one of the reactors, and even if Janeway was in on it, going from this to the conclusion that therefore Starfleet is planning an invasion of the DQ - that's not just a leap, but as a piece of writing changes the pace, tone, and probably the genre of the episode. It's not a mystery episode anymore, but rather a storytelling bonanza where we're just wondering what cockamamie narrative is coming next. That's much more boring, even if occasionally colorful. I know the tech explanation for all this is that Seven's learning technology is flawed, but that's a tech copout that should not be the reason why the mystery stops being interesting.

Beltran was actually a really good sport in this scene with Seven starting at 20 minutes, actually listen quite intently and reasoning with her rather than objecting out of the gate. That was an interesting choice, considering what she was saying. What would have much more interesting would be that Seven's logic was so impeccable that Chakotay actually had no room to object or brush away her concerns. In other words, if Seven has to skillfully discovered and arranged the data that the pattern was absolutely clear (even if incorrect), we and Chakotay might actually wonder if she was right. Now it's an episodic show, so for meta reasons why know she cannot possibly be right, which hurts the show's flow. But it would be within the realm of possibility for Janeway individually to have had an agenda in the pilot of being a maverick explorer even at the expense of her crew. For instance, could it have been possible that some part of her mind was excited at the idea of being the first to explore the DQ, and that this in part motivated her to destroy the array? It's actually possible. And what about Tuvok's choice of torpedo: could have individually have thought it was a mistake to utterly destroy the Caretaker's tech, and taken personal initiative to save a piece of it and hide it somewhere (only for it to be found by others and stolen away)? Actually, yes, this might be a logical thing for Tuvok to do. We might doubt it, but it *could possibly* be true, at least. But a Fed/Cardassian alliance theory - totally ridiculous and not even worth imagining for fun. The Maquis looking to rebel against Janeway is likewise foolish to the point of being irritating.

I would actually call the first 20 min of this episode a 3.5 or even 4 star affair, doing what Trek does best, but then it degenerates into a bunch of exposition dumps that don't make sense even on their own terms. What still works at least is the invoking of the Maquis/Starfleet divide when Chakotay goes to engineering behind that Captain's back. I don't care what anyone says, that was a rich environment to mine that got thrown away, and it's nice to have a bit of it even at this point in S6.

What should have been a story about how data can very easily fit various patterns of analysis - and therefore having too much data can in a sense be hazardous - instead turns into a story that effectively says that Seven loses her senses when her tech overloads her brain. That's not a useful message for us, as it's not relatable. We can't do what she did, so it's moot. What we *can* do is to bombard ourselves with too much data for us to handle in terms of social media, the 24 hour news cycle, and to not be able to sift the data exterior to the narratives being thrown at us. In other words, just hearing information does not necessarily result in us being informed, and just reading does not mean we are learning. There are real challenges in making sense of a huge amount of white noise in the information world. But what happened to Seven here doesn't really relate to that. She's just going crazy, and the episode ends up much worse for it.

One point that I find interesting is that Joe Menosky wrote this one, and he also wrote The Nth Degree. Both are about a technological even changing someone's way of thinking, giving them huge amounts of information but also changing their personality and causing them to go haywire. The difference is that in The Nth Degree we have Barclay becoming the thing we always wanted to be - more assertive, confident, smart - and it being a nightmare. The problem was relatable to his own personal problems, reflecting on his self-image and yet also making him impressive in an unpredicted way. When he's sitting in the holodeck dominating the ship it's kind of cool, like he was an amazing vision of his purpose and he'll carry it out no matter what. But Seven's experience here doesn't seem to really relate to her general challenges in being an ex-Borg. It's sort of a random thing happening to her, not really a reflection on her life as such. She ends up being pitiable rather than fascinating as she falls apart. I don't think Menosky's concept is nearly as clear here as it was in the TNG version. TNG always knew that story must be rooted in character, but here Seven's character ends up being used in service to an abstract story idea, which doesn't really work.
Fri, Jan 21, 2022, 8:24pm (UTC -6)
@GuyFaux: "Is it just me or did they forget all about the catapult?"

I missed this too, in case anyone else did too, it is like a 15 second log entry , saying they used it and it shaved 3 years off. It occurs between the Captain/Seven conversation on the shuttle, and the Seven/Naomi discussion at the end, @ around the 41:00 mark in the episode. Blink and miss situation.
Mon, Jun 27, 2022, 12:46pm (UTC -6)
Jeri Ryan's acting has been incredible this season. In "One Small Step" she says so much with so little, using quips, expressions and little cocks of the head.

And yet here she does the opposite; she delivers some incredibly long monologues, filled with ridiculous sentences and techno jargon, and yet she makes it look so effortless.
Gilligan’s Starship
Sun, Nov 27, 2022, 4:37pm (UTC -6)
@TheRealTrent agreed. I started laughing out loud during her long conspiracy-filled diatribes marveling at the sheer AMOUNT of dialogue she had to commit to memory. And as much as we know about the friction between Mulgrew & Ryan, you’d never know it from that final scene in the shuttle. They both really delivered the emotion of the scene. Ryan had some truly fine moments in this series, I feel she was completely underutilized in the Picard series.
Fri, Dec 23, 2022, 8:38pm (UTC -6)
I found it weird how easily everybody on the ship succumbed to speculation, except for Tuvok. People started skeptical, then Seven just threw out more information and suddenly people were concerned that she could be right. And these people call themselves scientists? Especially the Captain, who is *the* scientist on the ship besides Seven herself. It just wasn't believable. Even Neelix... he starts off saying that Kes always suspected that more was going on with the Caretaker array than was commonly known. Seven then says that a cloaked ship was protecting the Caretaker's reactor from destruction, and Neelix says AHA! Kes was right!

Locating a bunch of errant photonic fleas was great, but it didn't suddenly mean that everything Seven said no longer required evidence. Every single scientific hypothesis requires its own verification, even if hundreds before it were proven as supportable.

The subspace catapult was pretty cool tech though. I wonder what happened to it after Voyager left? The guy who made it seemed very concerned about other species trying to get their hands on it, yet there was no mention of its fate later in the episode. I guess it's just sitting there waiting to be discovered by somebody?
Wed, May 3, 2023, 1:54pm (UTC -6)
This was a great episode. I still want to know what the blue beam was!

Great point above about the acting in the shuttle was top notch as well.
Tue, May 9, 2023, 7:04am (UTC -6)
I suppose this episode was planted by the government (US) in order to riddiculate all us searching the truth in the facts the same govenment tries to hide.

In spite of this, not a fantastic episode but I liked it and Jeri Ryan delivered, as always.
Sat, Sep 9, 2023, 7:25pm (UTC -6)
This has to be one of the very best episodes of Start Trek ever. The lessons in it are very pertinent.
To think that Jammer gives episodes of Picard more stars than this! The man is obviously not taken in by the intellectual facets of the show.
Sat, Sep 9, 2023, 7:30pm (UTC -6)
" I could've lived with that if the episode wasn't so set on investing so much in that nonexistent would-be plot, only to give us another lesson for Seven. "

It's meant to be lessons for us the viewer. Forget about character development and some of the other things you look for. It's the lessons for humanity that you are constantly overlooking. Fiction is not just entertainment.

The irony of your Voyager views is how you use your dislike of the show to find flaws that you overlook in other shows, this is a case of emotion clouding reason. The same happens to extreme conspiracy theorists. Pure cherry picking.
Fri, Oct 13, 2023, 9:32am (UTC -6)
The first thing Seven discovers with the fleas had a bit of dialogue that should have raised some questions namely that some local aliens called the Karteleans had supplies from a former Talaxian colony and no one seems to question it, that said they never bothered to question how the Talaxians colonised a asteroid in the next season either.

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