Star Trek: Voyager

“Fair Haven”

2 stars.

Air date: 1/12/2000
Written by Robin Burger
Directed by Allan Kroeker

"The fight spilled out onto the street. Before long, he climbed up a tree and began shouting your name. Mr. Neelix managed to talk him down." — Doc to Janeway about a heartbroken hologram, a scene worth picturing

Review Text

Nutshell: Only so-so on its given terms, and I have very mixed feelings about those terms.

The use of holograms on Voyager has at times made me very uncomfortable. "Nothing Human," in which a holographic re-creation of a real Cardassian surgeon helped save Torres' life, was a perfect example of the kind of mess the writers can create when permitting holograms to attain such limitless realism under manufactured circumstances. And who can forget the silly use of Leonardo da Vinci in "Concerning Flight," an episode that had the man's life knowledge carried around to be used as a conversation stimulator for Janeway as she tried to elude the bad guys?

As far as I'm concerned (maybe you agree, maybe you don't), holograms should not automatically be assumed as "real" people except in cases where they are long-term social participants who were created or permitted to grow as artificial lifeforms. Examples: the Doctor or Vic Fontaine. Your average holographic chump conjured on the holodeck out of "photons and force fields" (as Janeway describes it) is not an artificial lifeform; it's an elaborate computer simulation. To assume more opens a can of worms that makes me very leery, with implications that grow larger than any given story is willing to tackle. (For starters, just where/when does sentience begin?)

So now, in "Fair Haven," we have years of Janeway as the asexual captain finally dropped in order to give her a holographic love interest named Michael (Fintan McKeown). When I first heard about this premise a month or two ago, did I think it was a good idea? No, because there seemed to be too much messy unreality baggage factored into the equation. How does an emotional connection exist between a person and a simulation? What are the implications of such a relationship?

"Fair Haven" prompts in me some very mixed feelings. On one hand, I disagree with the basic premise—the idea that a holodeck character can make a good substitute for the real thing. (Hiding in the holodeck a la Barclay in "Pathfinder" has generally been seen as unhealthy and ultimately fruitless.) On the other hand, a big element of this story is about Janeway's hang-up with the fact that Michael is a hologram, resulting in some arguments that, quite frankly, needed to be said for this episode to work at all. The story, to its credit, manages to address some questions I was asking before the show even aired. It didn't resolve those questions to any real satisfaction, but it did manage to bring them up and argue them to some degree.

The Irish dwelling of Fair Haven is sixth season's take on the annual Voyager holodeck theme. My favorite hangout is still the more intimate and simple pool hall in Marseilles, but Fair Haven has a sort of idyllic context that seems to make sense for a pleasant setting the whole crew can enjoy. It's a triumph of Hollywood back-lot scene-setting, but it's not a triumph of imagination. (And is it me, or did it seem like an out-of-the-way effort was made to gratuitously insert [IRISH PUB BRAWL] into the script? Couldn't avoid that cliché.) Whether you go for this sort of thing depends on how much you appreciate these sort of setting showpieces for their novelty value. David Bell's thematically Irish score helps, I must say.

Overall, I didn't find this to be a particularly effective romance. I did, however, appreciate a few of the ideas behind it. What works are some of the implications that arise on the side, like Janeway's acknowledgement that Michael is a hologram, and the fact that she realizes her ability to change everything about him to make him more "perfect" is a big part of what makes the experience seem phony. I also sort of enjoyed McKeown as Michael, who creates an everyman persona that's sometimes likable, particularly his understated, confused vulnerability evident in the final scene.

But leading up to the (ambiguous) payoff is far too much pedestrian Standard Trek Romance material. The only real chemistry between Janeway and Michael is in the pathos of that final scene, after all the issues of real/not-real have been laid out for us; everything beforehand feels a bit forced. The romance here seems motivated more by the writers having said, "It's about time we gave Janeway a love story," than it seems like a logical outgrowth of events, character, or even spontaneous attraction.

Maybe the biggest problem is that Janeway just doesn't seem believably in character when flirting, dancing joyfully, arm wrestling, throwing rings, etc. These two characters aren't compelling enough to watch on the screen together. Part of the problem is that Mulgrew overplays the sentiment with exaggerated gestures. Mulgrew has always had a tendency to play up body language with stylized performances, but here it seems overly "playful" and too much for the audience's benefit. An early scene where a borderline-giddy Janeway gets a radiation inoculation in sickbay had me wondering just what kind of drugs she was on. (Okay, we get it—you're in an unusually good mood.)

On the other hand, I did get something out of the other end of the spectrum, when Janeway broods in her quarters. This sentiment is played up with an equal de-emphasis on subtlety, but it works a lot better because it grows out of emotions that seem to be genuinely held. Janeway has a quiet, defeated way about her sullen state—after it fully registers that her new holographic acquaintance is not a real person and she realizes that she is in fact very lonely.

It's perhaps a telling sign that the show's most entertaining scene is an amusing Janeway/Chakotay exchange on the bridge, which reveals about 100 times the chemistry of any Janeway/Michael scene. The J/C dialog is natural, playfully jibing, and friendly. (Doesn't this seem like the real potential here?) It's an episode like this that makes me wonder just what happened back in "Resolutions."

But never mind; Janeway/Chakotay is not an option because we can't have the captain having affairs with members of her crew. (As much as J/C interests me on the curiosity level, it would almost certainly be a bad, messy idea for the writers to attempt.) But is hooking Janeway up with a hologram the answer? I'm not sure. Quite frankly, hooking her up with an alien of the week might be more satisfying; at least it might seem like a real relationship with some sort of believable potential, rather than an extended, confusing fantasy with all the holographic real/not-real baggage to go along with it.

There are scenes in "Fair Haven" that suggest the captain's destiny is one of unfortunate loneliness. Those scenes are the ones that the show gets right. But a key Doc/Janeway conversation suggests that perhaps there is a future for Janeway and her holographic love interest after all. And then the episode ends with complete ambiguity, revealing that Janeway needs to sort some things out, and hinting that she might load Michael's program into the hologrid at some point in the future.

I'm realizing that this episode perhaps has a built-in Catch-22. Like the Doctor says, the captain's options are limited (though I'm not entirely convinced they must be as limited as the writers decree). So turning to alternatives might be necessary. But is this really solving the problem? Doc says so, but I dunno. More than anything, the romance seems to be testing waters—but testing for what? This relationship can become ... what? Is this a cure for boredom, high-tech physical/emotional masturbation, or an attempt for something more? Does it even matter since the chances of these issues being revisited are close to nil? Man, what a mess this makes. If nothing else, new writer/producer Robin Burger's first script for Voyager has found a way to provoke some thought.

In the meantime, there's plenty of laid-back filler, which is forgivable for what's essentially a shore-leave episode, I guess, but I can't say I was particularly entertained by it. Nor was I excited about the bargain-basement filler "danger" plot, involving some approaching spatial turbulence that basically serves as a metaphor for a hurricane or severe thunderstorm in space (and has the crew bracing for impact and escaping into the holodeck since there's nothing else to do while they wait out the storm).

All things considered, "Fair Haven" is a mediocre romance story. There's too much filler and bizarre characterization, and not enough chemistry. What remains of value are the arguments about how "real" a holographic simulation can be. It's a halfway interesting concept to tackle, but in the end it left me just as frustrated as ever about the supposed nature of holograms. At one point Doc tells Janeway that Michael is as real as Janeway needs him to be. But is he? Or will Janeway feel as hollow about the experience in a month as she did when she first sobered to the fact it was all an illusion? Can she—should she—force herself to accept the imaginary as reality?

By the end, Janeway is hopelessly conflicted over this dilemma. So am I. Janeway is not satisfied with how things turned out. And, unfortunately, neither am I. "Fair Haven" is a nice try on some levels, but it has too much implied messiness and ultimately doesn't work. And besides—Janeway deserves better than a hologram.

Next week: Societal development goes warp speed.

Previous episode: Pathfinder
Next episode: Blink of an Eye

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Comment Section

115 comments on this post

    Holodeck technology is clearly in need of recalibration here. Ireland just isn't that bright and sunny, by a factor of about 100 or so. (California, on the other hand...)

    This is the only ST episode that I watched in a cinemalike sorrounding, once on a convention in cologne. There were about 100 people, only a few of them voyagerfans but people went crazy for this one.

    So two stars? I'd rank it higher. Its certainly an episode you can show to your girlfriend and We don't have many of those...

    Speaking as an Irishman it's great to see the old stereotypes are alive and well. American vacationers must really get a shock when they visit us and find we use light bulbs now instead of candles.

    Y'know, when I saw this ep when it first aired, it was one of my most despised episodes of Voyager to date. However, over the years, I've re-watched it several times and I must confess that I have completely changed my mind about it. In fact, now I love it.

    I cannot agree with Jammer's criticisms about a lack of chemistry between Janeway and Michael, I think it was there in spades. In fact, I loved Janeway's girlish behaviour around Michael. It's exactly the kind of high one can get when they meet someone that literally takes their breath away.

    The question of whether those feelings are appropriate from A) the captain and B) towards a hologram are valid, but I also think excusable given the R & R nature of the situation, where one is predisposed to having a good time.

    Whether a hologram is 'really' sentient or not is neither here nor there IMO. If it can pass the Turin test (where you cannot tell the difference between a real person and a simulated one), which the Michael simulation clearly seems to be able to do, despite being programmable, then I think it becomes difficult to draw the line. It becomes a real, immersive environment. But of course, once out of the environment, you'd be much more analytical.

    In fact, the very real tension that Janeway experiences between sober reality and embracing a perfect simulation, is what elevates this episode above standard fare.

    There were also so many funny lines (such as 'delete wife' and Tuvok the barometer, to name a couple), that it simply made for a very entertaining and likable episode. I'd give it a three.

    This episode is pure gutter trash. Its only redeeming feature is Janeway's coldly Machiavellian command to the computer, "Delete the wife." That line sustained me and my buddy through an entire semester of Differential Equations I & II/Semiconductor Physics. Just when we thought the classes couldn't get any tougher, we'd just look at each other and mutter, "Delete the wife." VOY as engineering therapy - what a concept!

    I agree with Brian- my dad was once asked by an american: 'do you really have electricity in England?' American tv rarely shows anything but stereotypes when it comes to foreign countries, and the result is mass ignorance.

    On a side note, Neelix constantly makes reference to helping with low morale on the ship, but the crew is never shown as anything other than blissfully happy. This strikes me as odd considering the situation- it would be nice to see at least one nervous breakdown, depression, anything.

    I have mixed feelings on a show like this. I can't understand why Voyager insists on resetting everything back to normal. Why couldn't Janeway have a holographic boyfriend on the ship for the rest of the series? What is wrong with that? The doctor makes a point, "It's not logical to have sex with your subordinates or wait for the chance alien passing by."

    I'm not really sure what to take from the episode - not to change your loved ones? If that's the case, she dumped him for non reasons anyway, even if she can't change him anymore.

    Ugh... it just makes me thing the entire endevour is pointless. The show has some really nice scenes too.

    Initially poor but this episode improved as it went along. Inappropriate to see a Captain programming a holodeck character - tried to imagine Picard doing that! Still, Mulgrew carried it off and I enjoyed this episode - especially 'A stranger is just a friend you haven't met yet'. My Mum says that. She's Irish. I too thought the weather was far too good - LOL.
    Chakotay's scene was hilarious - plenty of chemistry there. 'Delete the wife'.

    Are you kidding me!?!?! Two thirds of a show about a team of astronauts on a starship stuck in the Delta quadrant in the 24th century is spent depicting merry scenes from the recretation of a 19th-century Irish village?!



    This episode not only deserves MINUS FOUR stars, but it's such a load of taurine feces that it should get minus FOURTEEN stars, with the surplus ten spilling over into subsequent episodes. THAT's how crappy it is!! O.K., the episode itself wasn't stupid. Parts of it were actually funny. But the idea is so preposterous as to be beyond any critique.

    Highlight of the show: Paris telling Tuvok "You'd make a good barometer, Tuvok: Every time you get queasy we go to red alert." hahahahahahahah!!!!!

    Janeway was never "asexual," or portrayed as such. She was chaste. There's a difference.

    What a coincidence that the Irish town resembles so closely the French town in "The Killing Game."

    Another pointless filler episode. I think the holodeck should have been banned in Voyager. It's like Stargate Universe. Just get rid of the "stones" and all contact with earth, and any aliens that induce hallucinations which allow the writers to take a detour into pointless tat, and then it can move on with decent stories.

    What none of the reviewers mention is that this episode is an homage to Kate Mulgrew and her career. Her most famous role pre Voyager, and the one that launched her career, was as Mary Ryan on Ryan's Hope, the daughter of Irish bar owners. Any review of this episode has to keep that in mind.

    Bllody hell talk about sterotypes I mean do yanks actuallh think this is how people in Ireland live or lived well they don't or didn't

    It would have been fun if one of the characters had been called Father Ted that would have been funny

    Star Trek keeps topping itself in insulting the viewer's intelligence as far as the spacial realities of a holodeck are concerned. Take Me Out To The Holosuite reached a new high in low, placing an entire baseball stadium in the holodeck, with people in the simulation spaced out throughout. In that episode's comment section, some people spewed gibberish about magnetic fields and running in place and whatnot.

    Now we have a whole damned town in the holodeck, with countless members of the crew throughout...dialogue in the episode even has Kim declaring crewmembers in various areas of town simultaneously.

    It's a flaw I just can't get past even if the episode is otherwise good, which this one most certainly is not.

    Even the earlier seasons' Sandrines, when full of Voyager patrons, came close to pushing the limits of spacial respresentation.

    Argh, holodecks. The bane of Star Trek. I can think of one good holodeck episode (that Sherlock Holmes one in TNG) and it's as if they've been trying to recapture that kind of success again. It didn't work in TNG, it didn't work in DS9, it didn't work in the 6 seasons of Voyager thus far. I'd like to travel back in time and tell them to give it up!!

    Anyway, the crew has to suffer Neelix's "cooking" because they need to conserve energy by not using replicators, yet they're essentially walking around in one giant replicator using masses of energy all the time. Hmm. (And what happened to non-volatile memory in the future? A power drain erases data... wow)

    Logic aside then..
    It had promise - a romance story for Janeway after all these years and a chance to have a good shot at tackling the hologram reality and sentience issues. But as usual the writers didn't have the guts to make a decision, so unfortunately it was left half baked, with most of the questions raised but none of them answered or even tackled in any meaningful way. (Janeway also gets to say "he's only a hologram" in front of the poor Doctor for about the 5th time in the series. Classy.)

    It just left me wondering why they could never just FACE the hologram issue and sort it out.. clearly at some point with some kind of social triggers they become sentient. I don't think it happened with this Michael character, but certainly the Doctor and Vic and I'd say with enough interaction perhaps they all do - so hang on, Starfleet are creating and destroying life here, playing God. That has HUGE implications. Let's see them!! Oh wait, it's just Voyager :(

    I do have to give the episode some credit, "delete the wife" was an absolute scream and the scene in general was amusing (I couldn't help but wonder if she'd ask to access the er "pleasuring parameters" and check the dimensions there. Dirty girl, Kathryn, dirty.)

    All in all classic Voyager: something that could've been a lot more in the right hands, but which misses out due to a lack of guts on the part of its creators and ends up being a half story as the Starship ADHD drops the subject like a lead balloon and whizzes off towards something completely different.

    What was with Tuvok feeling ill in one scene? Nothing ever came of that.

    So the problem is that Janeway fell in love with a fake person. I thoughtt the real problem was that she was wasting all that power on holo decks instead of saving the ship from the storm so big they couldnt go around it.

    Maybe she should really be fired as captain for not being able to avoid a cloud when she is in a ship that is warp capable. I couldnt understand that.

    Anyway assuming there was no way around the storm cloud, I dont understand why anyone cares who she humps on the holodeck. Shes got to be an adult and realize that hes not real. The whole episode is childish and the point lesson of the episode is can't change people. Ok learned that one a long time ago. All in all a little below average, but fun to see Janeway smile. Since she finally got laid. :)

    Not content with one episode of Irish stereotypes (TNG's Up the Long Ladder), Trek takes another swipe. There's actually a little bit charm at work here, but it calls on too much suspension of disbelief regarding the capabilities of the holodeck - for Voyager depicts it as almost magical.

    I also think it damages Janeway's character having her in a relationship with a hologram (and not a sentient, self-aware hologram like the Doc, either). There was actually something borderline sleazy about the way she was programming in her preferred is this much different from some saddo blowing up an inflatable sex doll? It just doesn't sit well. It makes janeway look a bit stupid (and extremely desperate) and it highlights the general stupidity of Voyager's writers when it came to their (over)use of the holodecks.

    When Janeway cleared the bar of everyone except for her and Sullivan, my first thought was...what if someone else from Voyager was in there at the time...awk-ward.

    @Jack YES! I was thinking the same thing! Take it a step further though. Let's say Janeway actually decides to take those "pleasuring parameters" (lol) for a test run, and then the ship is hit hard by that ion storm (or whatever this week's anomaly was). The holodeck shorts out while everyone is at the bar, and Janeway is *ahem* with the bar keep. Now, THAT would be awkward.

    Or even worse, imagine the embarrassing potential accidents that could arise from a power drain while hooking up with a hologram. Janeway and and Michael are on a bed, when the bed suddenly disappears. CRASH. Janeway and Michael are having a kinky afternoon in the upper loft of a friend's barn. BOOM. You get the idea.

    Imagine this scene:

    Doctor: Please state the nature of the medical emergency.

    Janeway: It's none of your business. Just treat my back.

    Doctor: But captain, if I know how you received the injury I'll be better able to treat it.

    Janeway: Computer; disengage the doctor's vocal subroutines!

    *end scene*

    As for the episode, eh... I didn'f hate it as much as I expected to. In fact, I kind of enjoyed some of it. It was kind of nice to see a softer side of Janeway, and the questions raised about the viablity of having a relationship with a hologram were interesting. The Irish stereotyping was pretty cringe worthy though, and I don't think I ever needed to see Tuvok get space sick like that.

    I think two stars is about right, actually.

    If I had a holodeck, I would not hang out in a crappy simulation of an Irish village, especially if I wasn't allowed to get drucking funk on real alcohol in the pub. I's just so incredibly lame.

    Jammer, I take it that if a woman or anyone who isn't Vulcan, doesn't have sex they are asexual? As a woman I take exception to that. There is a difference between being asexual, chaste, and being a slut. Kirk is a slut. Janeway and Sisko believes in being faithful to your mate. Janeway because he was far away and sisko's wife is dead and both can't get over it -both heart-broken.

    Janeway is being true to her fiancee for couple of seasons and others she's oozing big time chemistry with chakotay. Damn if Chakotay would just take charge and shake her, this would be a show I think my girl friends would watch.

    Oh and someone here said something about sci-fi should be more space, etc. as an engineer I love that stuff. However, I'm also human and a woman who loves good entertainment. So a sci-fi series doing some episodes out of that context is a good thing. I see that complaint all the time and it's starting to sound like the whining I hear from the male engineers at my work who can't seem to just focus and just do their job instead of drama about their wives or too much work that have become too much because they were whining the entire day at work instead of working. Sorry if I offended anyone I'm just venting at this point and projecting.

    Since Tobe brings up synthehol here, I have to say that I've never understood it's concept. IIRC, TNG established it as "having the intoxicating effects of alcohol, but the effect can be easily dismissed".

    How does that work? If you're intoxicated by it (because you "allow" it?), then how do you have the clearmindedness to know when it needs to be "dismissed"?

    Someone should tell Father Doctor that they don't really celebrate St. Patty's Day in Ireland. It's mostly an Irish American holiday. Ah well.

    @Brian O'Connell, Fair Haven was a 19th Century representation of "sunny" Ireland. Hence, the candles.

    Now, if Harry REALLY wanted Tommy Boy to create an accurate simulation of 19th Century Ireland he would have insisted on a potato famine to go along with the fog. And maybe an epidemic of "The Galloping Consumption" (TB) for good measure.

    Ah well. Sláinte and...

    Delete The Wife.

    This is actually one of two Voyager episodes that I specifically avoided on the original run (the other being the sequel episode) because it sounded so dire.

    So I recently watched it for the first time (the first time I have watched a 'new' episode of Star Trek since the Enterprise finale aired!) and was... pleasantly surprised. It was fun. I thought the ending was ridiculous (The Doctor saying Michael was 'as real as he was' was offensive and dumb), but overall I had a lot of fun with the episode. I think 2 stars is about right, but I still liked it.

    The quote at the top of the top of the page should have been Janeway changing Michael's familiar parameters: "delete the wife." haha

    Everyone's wrong, Chakotay is probably the most senior ranking and best looking guy in the crew. Thus, he's probably already the object of affection by many of the single female members of the crew. In contrast, Janeway is most likely avoided by many of the men on the ship, even if they feel any attraction towards her. Thus, she's in a quandary and having a holodeck companion, probably beats dating by a long shot.

    What happens if the power goes off and you are banging a end up taking a cold sonic shower I suppose.

    I was thinking the same thing about the awkwardness of having sex with a hologram. Imagine if someone else walks in and says "Computer, end program." Then not only are you the only one there, but you're stark naked. Not a captain's proudest moment.

    Did anyone else think that the Doctor's line about --Michael being as real as he is --sound like the Doc was hitting on the Captain?

    Also the simulation was open to the whole ship so if they did do the nasty anyone could have walked on in AND all of the walls and such are made of electrons, probably not much that would muffle noise...ahem.

    Stupid, lame and embarrasing...
    One of the worst, and that is saying a lot.
    The idea that this is what the crew likes? The whole crew? No one rather have the planet Risa, which has been established it is already a virtual paradise, or even a version of Vegas? Hawaii? etc...

    Voyager sometimes does holodeck themes and stories that rank as my favourites in all of Trekdom (Captain Proton, the French bar, season 2s' 'Projections', the Doctor in general etc), however they sometimes get it very wrong (Neelixes' stupid tropical bar in season 3, Janeways' Victorian nanny exploits, Leonardi, the awful 'Nothing Human' etc).

    I'd say Fair Haven gets it wrong, mostly by not having enough humour or fun even when trying its hardest to be charming. And I didn't buy the romance as presented, expect for Janeways' torn expression as she kisses a man who isn't Mark and of course "delete the wife" made me laugh!

    I think it should have stuck at the physical level and just explored her loneliness and mixed feelings in what she's doing to satisfy some of that longing. It would remove a lot of the baggage and made for a more believable, braver story.

    And I hated the way a storm was used as a easy way out of the storys' implications and renders everything meek and meaningless. Half a star.

    I think the inclusion of the whole romantic angle was because the writers felt the need to make Janeway super respectable and above such behaviour as harmlessly indulging in sexual fantasy and satisfaction, no emotions attached to the act (i.e a 24th Centuary metaphor for masturbation).

    They should have ran with the analogy and used it as a means to explore the emotional implications as well as challenging the supposed shame built up around the act by so-called social standards. The truth is everybody masterbates wether they're a man or a woman, 15 or 50 and even being single or not makes little difference. So why not explore this part of the human condition?

    This isn't even something I care about. It just annoys me how fruitless and pointless the whole episode is, when a little bravery and maturity could have made for something much more. I'd rather they never bothered at all.

    While I'm still here, allow me to correct a few mistakes in my last post! *Leonardo, *except and hopefully that's it!

    the whole concept of the holodeck is flawed. you should only have one room in a holodeck. multiple rooms doesnt even make sense. but..we all know they exist in star trek, so time to get over it

    not my favorite episode because of the lack of action and mystery. but i liked the questions about "to love or not to love a hologram."

    2 star for being mildly entertaining.

    There are so many scenes in this episode (the brawl scene in particular) where I wondered why they don't just freeze the program or shut it off. That's a sign of how uninteresting this stereotypical Irish village is (just a shade above "Up the Long Ladder"). The best thing about the episode is Mulgrew's performance. She did her best even though she (reportedly) was unhappy with the script.

    "Everything is authentic!" - except, you know, everything. Apparently in Ireland, everybody speaks with an American fake English accent.

    Just like the "French" bar was populated with Italians.

    Also, I love how everyone on Star Trek is fascinated by the early 20th century! And they know so much about it, too! They never go vintage with late 23d century. No, ALWAYS the first half of the 20th. How strange. You know, just like today everyone's an absolute expert on 17th century music and customs and history, and everytime we want to go vintage that's where we go.

    Anyway, terrible episode, the first of season 6 I couldn't finish.

    @ Jons...

    The exception, of course, is for retro music. Then they zip right past the 20th century and it's as if all music ceased after the era of Beethoven. Would've been cool if Riker went to his quarters after work and turned on some Eagles or some Jefferson Starship.

    JJ Abrams remedies this in the reboot, but of course for the worse.

    Regarding the comments about the Holodeck failing while "in the act", I have just the image link for that!

    Doing a viewing of all the treks and this is the first time seeing most of Voyager as I didn't particularly care for it while it was on. When this holodeck episode came up I groaned because I never met a holodeck episode I liked. However it got into more adult aspects which was interesting, they always glaze over sexual relationships or things like bathrooms etc. in the show and when they put traces here and there it adds realism. Although Janeway turning a fully open holodeck into a holosuite was odd it showed a different side of her that seems to be missing mostly through out the seasons, even Commander Chipotle was interesting in his banter with Janeway. Not the greatest episode ever for sure but for a holodeck episode it carried itself well enough.

    Another huge flaw (surprise surprise) in this episode. Look... we have Commander Data, a sentient life form created by man. It took a genius his entire life to perfect him. Then, we have the holodeck... and characters that are now indistinguishable from life. That means they are basically sentient.

    Not only is that ridiculous, it opens up a massive ethical dilemma. But this episode, and almost all Trek's from TNG have shirked this.

    Mac> Not sure what the odds you'll see this years later after your OP, but I thought that too, that it was homage to Kate but she says so many negative things about the Fair Haven arc. So my question for her would be did she play a part in fair haven and the writers didn't mention Michel until the script was done? Or did she get zero wind of it. The writers were inspired by her background and decided to do an ep? She jokes they punished her for not pursuing a love interest and frowns at the very idea of a holo- lover especially the short statured actor.

    I hated the storm. Frankly, I hated this episode except the friendship of janeway and chakotay on the bridge. I liked seeing some deep continuity that they aren't superficial but loyal friends.

    @Carbetarian Good point. This was a public simulation, multiple people would use it at the same time. They implied that Janeway and Micheal had sex. That's fine in a private simulation, but if the holodeck failed... it could be embarrassing. I have no problem with the captain getting some holodeck action, but it might be best to use a private simulation.

    Trek hasn't been consistent with the holodeck characters. The Doctor and Vic are clearly "people" with experiences of their own, while other characters are just simulations. The Doctor has no reason to think that Micheal is as real as he is. If they are people, it's wrong to turn them off.

    The idea of large numbers of people on a holodeck makes little sense. Take for example "Take me out to the holosuite." You're the batter, and you see the pitcher 90 feet away, and you also see the outfielders a couple hundred feet away. The holosuite is only a few dozen feet away, so you can't really be seeing these people. What you are seeing is holographic projections of the people to simulate distance. That means each person is in their own holographic "bubble", a projection centered on themselves. Why not have a large number of "holo-cubicles"?

    @K'Elvis - The holocubicles would be a little strange because then it'd have to render you for me and me for you if I got close enough to and wanted to touch you. I always imagined dividers, if Troi/Worf went left and Picard/Crusher went right eventually the holodeck would split and they'd each be in their own separate half-sized holodeck.

    As for Voyager's holodecks... didn't the Hirogen make them bigger and link them? Maybe they didn't undo all of that and so they could make an Irish Village?

    "if the holodeck failed... it could be embarrassing"

    LOL.... that would have been hilarious.

    And yes, I found the whole "sentient hologram" thing to be annoying. I mean, Data was supposed to be unique in that nobody could replicate his electronic sentience but then the Enterprise D made Moriarty with little trouble, Bashir's friend designed Vic and Voyager's Doctor became sentient.

    I always felt Voyager's doctor became sentient due to years and years of constant on-time + a huge computer system + lots of experience doing things he wasn't programmed to do... forcing him to learn/adapt and by doing so evolve the ability to learn/adapt. I guess I just imagine Michael not being sentient because I just imagine him being a floppy to Doctor's terrabyte hard drive or a toaster to his iPad. The doctor's program is always said to be huge, I can't imagine they have the storage space for every hologram to have a program the size of the Doctor.

    The other intriguing thing about the Doctor is that Voyager uses BIO gel packs, so actually the processors making the Doctor's decisions are not even all electronic. That gives him an even larger claim to be able to be "accidentally sentient" than Vic/Moriarty.

    ::shrug:: I'll stop now, this conversation is far too interesting for such a disappointing episode :P


    "In fact, I loved Janeway's girlish behaviour around Michael. It's exactly the kind of high one can get when they meet someone that literally takes their breath away."

    I just watched this again, and I agree. I have never had any feelings one way or the other about Mulgrew's acting ability -- didn't think she was a good actress, didn't think she was a bad actress. But here, she really impressed me with only gestures, facial expressions, and body language -- I *believed* Janeway was majorly attracted to Michael.

    @Brian O'Connell

    Agreed, on the one hand we have reality (Chief O'Brien) and then they smash us in the mouth with this lephrachronic tripe. The worst vandalism was when Colm Meaney had to personally endure this racial torture during Up The Long Ladder.

    Based on this conversation, it seems that with the holodeck, you either love it or hate it.

    I love it, so it makes me wonder what we who love it have in common, and what those who hate it have in common.

    It would be interesting to do a survey.

    What struck me about this episode is how incredibly obnoxious and unethical it is of Janeway to change Paris' program. Harry has the decency to only suggest to Tom to add leprechauns, which Tom refuses because he has a certain vision for the program. What gives Janeway the right to make changes to someone else's work of art? Changes she makes because she feels that it would make her (and only her) enjoy it more? It is not a Wiki! I first thought that the episode would be about that, leading to a confrontation between Paris and Janeway in which Janeway clearly is in the wrong. Instead, this aspect is completely ignored -- when Paris sees the barkeep drinking and pining for a girl, his first reaction is "I thought I programmed him not to drink" -- he should react with "I though I programmed him as a married man."

    Not my cup of tea. I'm already not a fan of romance stories and I generally dislike holodeck shenanigans as well, so yea...

    The only thing I found worth watching was the Doctor and Janeways discussion about her romantic options. It's true that her options are limited, but I don't agree that the holodeck could provide a decent alternative. They aren't real. It's all good and fine if you're playing out a story with yourself as a character in it, because you're always aware of that fact.
    But when you start seeing holograms as real people that have to fulfill real human desires, then you're taking it too far and Janeway did the right thing by walking away before things got even worse.
    In the end, Michael and Fair Haven are just an elaborate illusion. They are what Tom and Janeway made them to be. You can never get any real satisfaction from anything they say or do, because in the back of your mind you know you (or someone else programmed them to be that way).

    It was a waste of an episode for me personally, as I didn't enjoy 95% of the content and the part that does work is an ethical/moral debate that is too headache inducing to think about in depth, so I don't. Not a shining moment in the Voyager saga, as far as I'm concerned.

    Am I the only one who finds Janeway's ridiculous half smirk, hand on hip thing utterly repulsive? She reminds me of Rimmer's obnoxious female counterpart in the Red Dwarf episode "parallel universe". I thought she was going to try the "wormdo" line on Micheal.

    And what the hell happened to the famous Vulcan stoicism? Spock will stay at his post to the point of collapse, whereas Tuvok gets a slight upset tum and acts like a dying Swan!

    Can you Europeans please stop judging us Americans for the depiction of the Irish in this episode? Blame Hollywood, not America. They're the stupid ones, not me. Besides, it is clear that the British isles were destroyed during WW3, and the only thing that survived to the 24th century was bad stereotypes of the Irish and Scottish. That explains Scotty's accent and love of Scotch, O'Brien only knowing Irish songs, and the episodes Sub Rosa, Up the Long Ladder, and this one. The English, of course, managed to escape before the destruction and merged with France, hence explaining why everyone in France has an English accent and drinks tea.

    But anyway, back to this dreck of an episode. To be honest, it was better than I expected. Of course, once I saw a holodeck-heavy episode, I expected the worst, so that's not saying much. The episode's strength is in recognizing the uncomfortableness of the premise, and Janeway's portrayal, at least after she gives up on her little fantasy, is solid. This isn't Barclay in there, thankfully enough (speaking of which, who's idea was it to put an episode about loving holograms right after a Barclay episode?). Otherwise this would have been terrible instead of just bad. But the episode had no clue where it was going.

    The biggest problem was the Doctor's discussion with Janeway in the hallway. I mean, it's fine that he did that; he is probably the only one who could discuss it with her. But the discussion was just ridiculous. The Doctor was treating the holographic bartender as a real person, that the only difference was between force fields and photons and flesh and blood. And Janeway kept claiming that that was the only difference. Um, no. How about... he's not sapient. He's a mere computer creation. He is simply a created construct. Whether a cheap facsimile in a cyborg outfit with real flesh and blood and moving parts or a cheap facsimile in a photonic environment is not the difference maker. It's the fact that he's a cheap facsimile.

    So the Doctor's claim that the bartender was just like him is false. The Doctor is unique. He is an actual AI that can think for itself. The bartender thinks whatever the computer tells him to think, and the computer tells him to think whatever Tom or Janeway programs him to think. He has no free will of his own! That the episode seems to think that photons vs flesh is the only thing standing between a relationship between Janeway and the bartender is silly. If it was real, then Janeway deleting the wife is a moral abomination!

    If Janeway wants to pork the bartender, whatever. It's her hormones. But to treat this as anything more than a fantasy is insulting to the real interactions and real relationships people have. And no, it's not just because Janeway can tweak the programming whenever she wants. Sure, not being able to change the programming may make her fantasy more challenging, but it's still just a fantasy. The bartender is still a computer program following its orders, simply moving along its preconceived notions. Janeway can still end program and ignore the bartender for weeks at a time without feeling guilty. Why? Because it's not real. If Janeway wants to indulge in a fantasy on her downtime, that's her choice. But stop pretending its anything more than a fantasy!

    Then again, maybe the reason the Doctor phrased it like that was because he was hoping other female members of the cast would start getting interested in bumping holographic uglies. Why he of all people chose to be a celibate priest is beyond me; he's hornier than Paris!

    But I digress. Getting back to Janeway, like I said, the episode brings this up as if she is having a real relationship with the bartender, even though its just a program. But the episode kinda has to present it that way for it to have any value, even if it is stupid. After all, if it's just Janeway relaxing in the holodeck by romancing a 19th century figure, we already had that back with her Charlotte Bronte holonovel. And no matter how much the episode might pretend this could be a real relationship if Janeway just stops fiddling with his program, that's not the case. Janeway would have no qualms about ending the program to deal with Voyager (she's not Barclay, after all). She would have no qualms about setting aside the bartender for a real person if a real person comes along. If Voyager came home tomorrow, she would drop the bartender immediately. Why? Because its a fantasy, not real. No matter what the episode claimed. So, the entire premise of the episode is nullified, which means, well, what's the point?

    Meanwhile, to set up this bad idea for a plot, we had several ridiculous contrivances:
    1) The holodeck safeties apparently don't work during bar brawls, despite the fact that broken glass and splintering tables can be kinda dangerous. And what's with nobody able to shut down the program when it happened? No one could say "Computer, freeze program" like every other holodeck episode?
    2) How convenient that all 140 people on Voyager wanted to hang out in an Irish town where the only thing to do is throw rings at a peg and drink? Sorry Naomi, the adventures of your water and tree friends are no longer allowed, the grownups want to play instead.
    3) So anyway, this town is open to everyone on Voyager, and probably has a few people roaming around in it at any time. Yet Janeway casually deletes all the characters so she can dance alone with her virtual paramour. No one else noticed? And more importantly, the captain didn't worry that no one else would notice? The rest of the episode implied that Janeway didn't want the rest of the crew to know about her little fantasy (and for good reason; that probably isn't appropriate to share with the crew). Shouldn't she be a little more concerned with hiding her feelings?
    4) Now, after all these years, the holodecks are integrated into the rest of the ship's systems?
    5) Harry cares more about saving the holodeck program than his own life? Dude, the ship was going to explode, who cares if Fair Haven can't be saved?
    6) Speaking of which, what's with Tom and Harry choosing which characters to save? If you get a corrupted hard drive, are you able to tell it which files you want to remain corrupted and which ones you have no choice on? Didn't think so.

    I suppose I could forgive some or even all of these contrivances, for the most part they aren't a big deal. But when they serve to setup a plot I don't care for, then that means I'm not in a forgiving mood.

    Majorly conflicted over this one. On the surface it's easy to dislike - holodeck centred, rampaging Irish stereotypes, Janeway turns into a cougar from out of nowhere....

    But.... I don't know, there is something more to it. God knows there's no problem with Janeway getting her oats, and the conversation with the Doctor is a fairly frank examination of that. And Janeway's girlish behaviour around Michael is actually quite endearing. It's just that it all doesn't seem very organic.

    There are plenty of other fun moments - Seven's skill at rings ("I have superior hand-eye coordination") being a real laugh out loud moment. So a conflicted 2.5 stars overall.

    Oh, to be Chakotay when he recognizes Janeway in the holodeck. Just stabbing himself in the face in his own mind yelling "WHAT ABOUT ME?! WHAT ABOUT ME?!!!!" but acting polite about. "Hey, gee, thought that was you, as you're obviously thinking about doing this holographic guy. That's great, nothing wrong with that. It's not like I'm here, on this ship, waiting, since forever, but I'm you're friend hahah! hahahah! You deserve this! Have a good time! ahahahahah!."

    (computer, replicate pillow for me to scream into)

    You know, a simple edit feature for when you mean "your" instead of "you're" and you realize it one half of one second too late and it ruins your comment completely and how you feel about your own tiny contribution to the Internet...would be nice. :(

    Used to be a skipper for me, but I've grown to enjoy this one.

    Our Captain is a human woman and she has her needs too. :-)

    All our other Captain's have had their flings so I have no problems with this.

    "Delete the wife" .... ROLMAO!!!

    3 stars, because I've grown just about numb to holodeck stuff.

    LOL at Delete the wife.

    Anyhow, Janeway disappoints me. Given the chance to have a hologrammatic man, she changes a regular guy she has real chemistry with into a sensitive, pontificating poetry lover. What is wrong with this woman? To each her own, I guess. But it sounds like she wants somebody basically boring and predictable.

    I disagree with Jammer's criticism that the hologram isn't real enough, and with Skeptical's assessment above that the Doctor has free will. In Sam Harris' book on free will, he makes a compelling case that humans don't have free will, only the illusion of it. After all, our thoughts simply appear in consciousness and it has been demonstrated in the lab that choices in the brain can be made as much as several seconds before we are consciously aware of them. In this sense, the only difference between humans and holograms is the physical substance with which these spontaneous thoughts are produced. In this sense, the story was much more compelling because the Fair Haven hologram is arguably just as sentient as Janeway and the Doctor.

    @ Adam,

    You're confusing consciousness with sentience. If your claim was correct that any cause-effect process was the same as any other then we'd be as "sentient" as a rock or a gust of wind. Obviously those are different sorts of systems from life forms, so what you're looking at is whether a human is [i]conscious[/i] or not, which is a fair question. But there is no question that we are sentient, and that a simplistic computer program like a video game is not. Can a certain sophistication in a programming language create sentience? That's a question, although not one really addressed by Voyager. TNG vaguely alludes to it with Data, but doesn't go the hard sci-fi route of exploring the technological aspect of it, instead allowing Data to teach us about humanity rather than using humanity to teach us about Data. But rudimentary holodeck programs are no more sentient than the life support systems on the ship are.

    The case Voyager was apparently trying to make for the doctor is that because his program ran for so long and accumulated so many pathways or whatever, that his learned behaviors began to match the complexity of those of the crew. Whether this actually happened is up for debate; I personally don't think so.

    My claim was not that cause and effect is sufficient for sentience, it was to counter Skeptical's argument above that the Doctor was different than the Fair Haven character because he has free will. In terms of free will, I see no difference between Janeway, the Doctor or Michael of Fair Haven.

    According to the dictionary definition, sentient is "having the power of perception by the senses; conscious" or "characterized by sensation and consciousness", although I will agree with you that conscious is the better word. The question of what it takes to be conscious is obviously a valid one, which is why I qualified my statement with "arguably."

    Irish stereotype:Exuse me Father I need a bit of counsel
    Doctor:Not now
    Irish stereotype:But iv'e broken the 5th commandment again!
    Doctor:Say 10 our fathers and get me latter.

    Um Doc the Catholic 5th commandment is Thou shalt not kill the innocent.

    So that annoying old Irish guy is a repeated murder? that strangely makes him more endearing to me.

    As a lifelong lucid dreamer who has been annoyed many times through the years when reality snatched me out of ''paradise' I enjoy the holodeck fantasies of the Star Trek universe. If we're going to be honest, the ST universe itself is a kind of escapism for the trekkies of the world. We all have a little Janewayesque desire to mold the show to our liking.
    I liked this one (***)

    The big "issue" in this episode felt like the world's largest non problem. I just assumed that everyone was already using the holodeck for masturbation and that part of that might involve some prior romance and foreplay. So there wasn't anything going on in this episode which didn't like it would be out of the blue for these characters. It is certainly easy to view an artificial character as a real person even though we know it isn't one. That is how fiction instills emotion. We know that these characters aren't real, but our brains have trouble grasping this notion due to the complexity of the medium. Dolls appear human, puppets more so, and talking interactive video game characters seem even realer still. So it isn't any wonder that a hologram which looks like, talks like, and acts like a real person does such a great job of tricking a person into believing it is real when in fact it is not.

    Going back to the holodeck being used for masturbation, I would imagine that people fall for holograms like this fairly frequently because the brain has a hard time distinguishing fact from fiction in these circumstances and so we can see how the brain could be easily confused to the point of becoming emotionally attached to a hologram. Hell look at what happened to Harry, he fell in love with a hologram (well a half hologram) and in the reprisal to this episode he is about to go on a date with one of the Fair Haven holograms.

    I just want to say that holodeck cleanup must be the absolute worst assignment on the ship. They must be like that sauna cleanup guy from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

    Every time i rewatch voyager I try to make myself skip this episode but my ocd won't let me.

    I thought everyone was banging holodeck characters. Are we to assume that only the few crew members that paired off are getting any? Are they so cloistered in the future that there's no holo-whorehouse? Sounds like a good reason for a mutiny.

    1 star

    @Mikey - Jesus. You don't want to be next in the holodeck after all the singletons have just piled out.

    Ugh... Not without a mop and a bucket.

    @Latex Zebra: that's what holo-janitors are for. "clean up on aisle 5".

    Authenticty? Ha. Ireland looks like a backyard studio lot at paramount to me.
    As soon as they start marketing holodecks I'm getting one - that's all there is to it.

    Ouch episodes. Here again we have holo episodes, and it's taking for the worse

    I won't be suprised if Mulgrew despised this episodes. In fact, I think she should reject the plot of her character fall for hologram!

    So here, we have Janeway fall for holo fantasies in a way much worse than Geordie La Forge (fall for Leah Brahms, but manage to avoid attachment, just using for help to resolve problem, and abandon it afterwards), also worse than Barclay (holo-addict, but deep inside know it's not real and never develop a real relationships, just using as a getaway from social-related work problem)

    Meanwhile Janeway gone further by having relationships and having problem to detach herself from it, possibly using it as a whore-holo in the process, or at least heavily hinted (Doctor : "Do you have intimate relationship?" Janeway : "That's noe of your bussines"). She knew full-well it's not a real relationships and not healthy right? Awful.. awful episodes

    Someone might try to said by using Doctor argument :
    "He's as real as I am. Don't matter as long as your feel is real"
    Really Doc? If I recall correctly, last time you're trying to be a ships counselor and take a role of psychiatrist it's failed miserably and costing someone life because he's overlook the complexity (Retrospect).
    Don't matter? That thing is being confined to the holodeck, can't comprehend outside of holodeck world.. It's far.. far from being a sentient being, and do you think it's okay to develop relationship with it?

    While in Doc case thats can be debated for many reasonable reasons. That sullivan-holo is far from it. Is Doc suggesting it's okay develop real-relationship and attachment to it? Suggesting that can produce a healthy 'relationship'.
    I agree if the holo-man can be used for some kind of 'pressure relieve', but downright stupid unheatlhy suggesting it can be a real relationship.
    Is Doc suggest Janeway take route of being holo-addict? Bravo Doc!
    Heck, this will make Barclay case is a healthy and having small social/psyhology problem compared to Janeway if Doc reasoning should be taken!

    Prior to this episode, we've established that having attachment to holo environment (holo-dict) is an unhealthy for psychology and prone to social problem (TNG-Hollow Pursuit, TNG-Booby Traps, VOY-Pathfinder).
    Turning and let the character into an independent and sentient being is also unwise and out of question, as it can lead to unpredictable/unfathomable consequences, even possibly creating a whole new race (The Killing Game).
    So how the hell let relationship to a holo-character is a good and healthy? Where is this reasoning even came from?

    While I'm shocked Doc's suggesting continue pursue this unhealthy relationships, I'm flabbergasted Janeway didn't have a word to counter it and follow Doc suggestion to consider it.
    Just when you thought Janeway character can not be more ruined, the writers found one eh....

    Awful episodes! Half star

    Crap episode, but at least it wasn't Janeway acting out some weird governess fantasy again.

    Also, what happens to secretions of sex when the holodeck turns off. Whose sad job is it to mop up the holodeck afterwards?

    "Also, what happens to secretions of sex when the holodeck turns off. Whose sad job is it to mop up the holodeck afterwards? "

    Harry of course, duh!

    This Irishman thought this one was a lot more charming than it should have been. Don't worry, I know Hollywood can't do an Irish accent and I accept that. :)

    "Delete The Wife."


    The premise of destroying Fair Haven infuriates me. Way back in the beginning they said that they couldn't transfer holodeck energy to conserve power because the power systems were not compatible or some crap. Obviously it's wrong for two simple reasons, one canonical, one practical. Holodeck energy was compatible in Next Gen so that's out. Also, the ship in a general sense gets its entry from the warp core, matter/antimatter intermix, however you want to refer to it. They play kind of fast and loose with that since they lose warp power all the time and even ejected the core once or twice. But the point is, if there is a central point of generation for the ship's power, then you don't worry about compatible systems cause you can cut off the holodecks at the source.

    I hate that reasoning, especially since they were looking at 75 years to come up with a solution, but I get it, they wanted an excuse to keep the holodecks online without raising questions about power conservation. But other times, like in Night, they make a reference to pulling power from the holodecks. They failed, but for an entirely different reason. And that brings us to this episode, where they DO draw power from the holodecks for the express purpose of provoking catastrophic loss of the Fair Haven program and manufacturing a sentimental moment for the closing scene.

    The one thing I hate worse than making up stupid rules for story purposes, that make no sense in the real world, is when they turn around and break their own rules arbitrarily just to serve a different story point later. See also: Sword Art Online.

    2 stars

    Here we have a series set in this brand new unexplored wondrous--in theory-- part of the galaxy and instead we get a filler fluff piece in a holodeck featuring a lukewarm romance and a MacGuffin spatial anomaly. No thanks!

    I was never one of those fans who felt Voyager sucked because it wrapped up the star fleet/maquis friction or sucked because it didn't make a big deal out of repairs or supplies etc etc. No, those things didn't bother me. I would have been perfectly satisfied with it being TNG in the Delta Quadrant. I mean TNG was consistently good week in and week out with solid standalones that I enjoyed a great deal. TNG also had a gravitas and rarely ventured into the silly

    However Voyager was not TNG in the DQ. It had more in common with campy contemporaries like Xena or Hercules than TNG. And it was episodes like this that didn't help. But the Irish sets and music were lovely. Always been a sucker for the Irish

    Surprised at the negativity directed toward this episode. I've always thought of it as a very clever way to examine Janeway's loneliness, her inability to have a romantic or sexual relationship, her inability to be intimate, and her disconnection from her crew. It's a very sad and touching episode, I thought.

    I'm surprised to read criticism about how stupid it was for Voyager to have a stereotypical presentation of 19th century Ireland. This is 500 years in the future we're talking about, so of course it's stereotypical. All their knowledge of the era will have been taken from books (fiction, most likely).

    If anything, I think the stereotypes were underplayed. Maybe they should have put some leprechauns in there? This would have been the perfect theme for DS9 to show how "flawed" humans were, if it were serious about such a thing.

    I wrote about Spirit Folk already, so I'll just do the short version: I find the depiction of Fair Haven for the most part to be very grating and stereotypical, and while I appreciate the point that it's stereotyped because In The Future, people will have an even worse grasp of the past, but I don't really detect any genuine social commentary as far as that goes. That said, I find the Michael hologram to be relatively tolerable, and his interactions and chemistry with Janeway to be fine (in THIS episode). The depiction of Janeway's loneliness, where she actually goes (presumably) all the way with a hologram as opposed to the way she stopped her Gothic governess hologram after the male character kissed her back in Persistence of Vision, is powerful and touching, and worthwhile, and the notion of the impossibility of her having a relationship with a real person, and immersing herself in a fictional world, is sad and also something that is relatable to a lot of lonely people who find solace in fiction, just taken to a higher degree, and it makes a good pairing with Pathfinder. But -- there's always a but -- the episode seems to stop playing it this way partway through, and "decides" that the real problem with Janeway is not that she's having trouble reconciling her real feelings with the fact of Michael's not being real, or even with her recognition of Michael's "reality" with the fact that he is a creation of Paris' and that Paris and the others are treating "real people" like playthings, but that she should just lay off trying to change her boyfriend, man, like stop trying to control everything and let the relationship happen. The Doctor, who should know better, pretends he and the other holograms are exactly the same, and, I hate to keep harping on this, but IF that's true he should be a lot more up in arms about Paris' continually creating new life and then abandoning it once he gets bored of a particular program. If we take the perspective the show generally takes, which is that unsophisticated holo characters are basically as "real" as NPCs in a standard video game, then Janeway has to accept that Michael is a masturbatory romance fantasy, and recognize that this is as much as she can actually expect of her love life for the foreseeable future, and then *maybe* give herself some leeway to not control her holographic "boyfriend" which in this case would *only* map onto fans coming to accept that the actions of their favourite character are to some extent outside their control and in the hands of writers with a different grasp of narrative. The episode is mixed in quality as it goes along but still sort of works before it incorrectly identifies what the real issue with Janeway's "relationship" is and torpedoes the whole show. But it's not wholly without moments. 1.5 stars.

    "Irish stereotype:Exuse me Father I need a bit of counsel
    Doctor:Not now
    Irish stereotype:But iv'e broken the 5th commandment again!
    Doctor:Say 10 our fathers and get me latter.

    Um Doc the Catholic 5th commandment is Thou shalt not kill the innocent.

    So that annoying old Irish guy is a repeated murder? that strangely makes him more endearing to me."

    LOL I came here exactly to post that, I guess the Doc is a Lutheran pretending to be a catholic priest or something

    For a long time I was wondering what the point of the episode would be -- ultimately, it's disappointing with plenty of fluff and overall rather unambitious. Again, it's the well-worn holodeck theme and it coincides with Janeway needing a romance. Both don't work out although there are a couple of interesting parts in "Fair Haven".

    And like in "Nothing Human" the holograms are so easy to create -- just a few voice commands and they're basically fully sentient beings. I like that Janeway tries to create the perfect man and then realizes what she's doing and prevents herself from doing it again. I think she realizes she can enjoy herself with the hologram in the future, but that she should stick to reality. Not really a big payoff for an hour of mostly boring filler. At least she gets to use her Irish roots.

    I liked the "confession" Janeway tells Doc -- the 2 have a good frank conversation about romance. But even better was Chakotay teasing the captain when on the bridge -- why didn't Janeway confide in Chakotay who she says she trusts more than anybody else?

    The space anomaly was stupid. What was the point of it? Just to have Janeway say that the holodeck could be put on ice (meaning she's not out of control in love) so the deflector could have more power to cut a path through the "space storm"? And what of Tuvok's "space sickness"? (more fluff)

    Barely 1.5 stars for "Fair Haven" -- there have been better holodeck Trek episodes for sure. It only became clear about half way through the show what the issue was going to be -- will Janeway have a real romance and then what? Or would the spacial anomaly make the holodeck run wild? Glad the episode didn't go there. There just wasn't enough of substance to this episode and the whole falling in love with a hologram doesn't cut it. Not a great Trek romance either.

    "And I didn't buy the romance as presented, expect for Janeways' torn expression as she kisses a man who isn't Mark and of course 'delete the wife' made me laugh!"

    Here's an idea: If after six years of Delta Quadrant chastity Janeway decides she's going to boink a hologram, why not create a holographic Mark?

    "that annoying old Irish guy"

    Richard Riehle, also known as Batai (the one who wasn't Daniel Stewart) from "The Inner Light."

    Well, oh, boy!

    Let's, see:

    --The writers just don't show Janeway the same respect they do Picard. This is disappointing, but mostly, she's a badass and she's all I've got on Trek, as far as a truly "in command" wholly independent, confident woman, so I'll persevere.

    --People can get very attached to fictional characters. They can love them, cry real tears at their deaths, masturbate thinking of them, etc. So really, nothing new or unusual in Janeway's attraction to Michael. In fact, I would think infatuations with holo characters would be very, very common.

    --Tuvok being queasy, well, probably no-one will buy this, but I think this related to Janeway being queasy about her relationship with Michael. Tuvok can be seen as representing her rational, scientific, dutiful side. He's queasy.

    --Janeway and Chakotay: Voyager does a good job keeping it subtle between them, but there is a mutual attraction there that they both know they can't indulge.

    --Doc encouraging the Captain's relationship: I think he does this, even to the point of stretching the rationalization to say Michael is "as real as he (Doc) is, because he really wants the Captain not to deny herself. And too, it's hard for him to be objective on this topic.

    Mostly, I think the series would have been better off without Fair Haven - which, it turns out, is neither fair, nor a haven.

    Didn't dig this one. I didn't like the Michael holodeck character and didn't buy their romance one bit.

    Why isn't the name of the actor who played 'Danny' in the credits?

    Is interesting that Fair Haven runned just after Pathfinder. I don't think it was a case, but a clear reference to holodeck addiction: Barclay takes refuge on the Voyager... and the Voyager takes refuge in Fair Haven...

    Uhm... Following Braxton's "A-B-C" theory (Future's End), should we wait for Seamus knocking at Barclay's for "tuppence"? :-D

    Ah shit. I wanted to see the one star episode about fair haven and watched this by accident. I also disagreed with Jammer because I thought that this episode deserved two stars for reasons (I clicked on the wrong tab and the text was gone) only to see that Jammer gave this episode two stars. Boing.

    I kind of liked it. Janeway finding a nice guy. Irish flute. *sigh*. I actually sighed at the end. Laughed out loud once: "Girl meets boy, girl changes subroutines of boy."
    On the other hand fair haven is a pretty boring place. I mean once or twice (ok more often if you find a charming, good looking, trinity college educated guy who is totally into you *sigh*) but I would get over this place quickly. I also thought for the first 15 minutes that the big reveal would be that the storm is influencing Janeway and not that she is just lonely. Strange bahavior of her sometimes bordering on inappropriate. Narrative also somewhat shaky. Ending a little nonsensical.

    Let's see what Jammer has to say. In my new run watching the worst Voyager episodes I want to write my impressions first before I read what Jammer has to say.

    So I read it and kind of agree. I thought there were more than one scene where Janeway and Irish guy had something going but her behavior often seems weirdly joyful. Everything else in the episode fell completely flat for me. I actually have a hard time remembering what happened. Storm something, Tuvok something, shot the storm, Harry Kim arm wrestling... successfully! On the holodeck everybody can be a winner, I guess.

    Well whatever I wanted to watch the bad fair haven episode. Damn!
    Not today.

    @ Lister from 2015 - you are not the only one annoyed by Mulgrew's acting style (i.e. half-smirk/hands on hips). She can be annoying as heck at times. Other times her acting is okay.

    I think Jammer got this episode about right, maybe 1.5 stars instead of 2. I'm glad that Jammer also noticed Mulgrew's overacting *Yes, thank you!* and although I thought the idea of Janeway actually falling for a hologram to be preposterous, the episode was kind of fun to watch.

    On a side note. I think I've finally found a way to enjoy VOY, although many of the episodes are not good. I now think of TOS and TNG as depictions of legendary characters within the ST universe while VOY is not. VOY still has very capable officers and crew members, but they are more like people we know today who are very high functioning and talented, but with all of the foibles of 20th/21st century humans. TOS and TNG are the GOAT type characters and obviously the creators of those shows took the writing and production more seriously. I feel that the show-runners of VOY were just having fun with the ST universe and trying out plots that would not have been considered in TOS and TNG (although TOS 3rd season had some stinkers). I don't know, just my ramblings.

    Back to this episode. It's cool if Janeway does the nasty with a holodeck program; the falling in love part was stupid though.

    I agree with many of the complaints above. Why go to late 19th century/early 20th century Ireland?? I'd be on Risa, or a similar place, doing terrible things to a hologram ;).

    And people, sorry to break it to you but the VOY Dr. is NOT sentient, neither is DATA, nor any hologram. Quoting the Critical Drinker "go away now".

    At least Janeway has a bit more chemistry than Shannon O'Donnel did with Henry Janeway.

    My main problem with this episode, like most Voyager episodes that reference human history, is that they are very white-bread Eurocentric. It makes the senior staff seem utterly uncultured and mundane. United Earth means that humans can go anywhere on the planet they want, at all times. Presumably, any Star Fleet officer in that century has been all over Earth. Yet all we hear about is people reminiscing about "good old Indiana", or Paris, or Ireland. We never see any portrayals of interest in Asian, African, or South American culture for example. It's all white European, and it's all Hollywood's version of those European places.

    So naturally, their 24/7 holodeck program that "everyone wants" is of a white, 19th century Irish village, complete with the crew dressing in period costumes like bar maids and priests. It can't get more white bread than that.

    Star Trek: Enterprise continued this problem. Most of the senior staff are white, into meat and potatoes, water polo and other boring crap. Who knew that the future centuries would basically be 'Merica in space? There's no sense at all that Earth has united and that its cultures are widely distributed, known, and available to everybody. The only thing we get is a very serious Vulcan, and a native American character who is distinguished by having a facial tattoo. Wow, big whoop.

    The problem goes on in other episodes. Tom Paris and his fascination with hot rod vehicles, juke boxes, and being a grease monkey. Harry Kim and playing the clarinet. Neelix making a holodeck version of Hawaii.

    You can tell that this entire show is under a white male gaze and there is no attempt to even manifest one inkling of Roddenberry's dream of a highly diverse, accepting society that is deeply self-reflective. It basically just looks like Americans in space.

    Look at how much effort Roddenberry put into casting TNG. It was painstaking. Picard is from Europe, Geordie from the Moon, Worf a Klingon, Troi a Betazoid, Riker from Alakaska, and later Ro Laren from Bajour. They made a real effort to make the ship cosmopolitan. Later Trek iterations were basically white 'Merica and it only got worse from Voyager onward.

    In "Counterpoint" (S5), they pulled off a Janeway romance with flying colors, much thanks to great attraction and a superb main story. In "11:59" (S5) the chemistry was non existent and because the story was otherwise lacking, it kind of bombed.

    In "Fair Haven" the affection is at least half way there, but because there's nothing else of substance it still falls flat on an overall scale of things. There's not much of a main plot, no b-plot and it's not even remotely believable that the whole Voyager crew is going gaga over Paris mega lame rendition of early 20th century Ireland.

    With that said, it's still a treat to see Kate Mulgrew shining in every scene; among other things showing the audience a girly side of the Captain, not seen often before and done to perfection.

    So it's worth 2 stars or maybe 2,5 at most, but I'd probably still include it on my re-watch list - simply due to my Janeway bias.

    Jammer rated this as a poor episode thus only giving it two stars. I must respectfully disagree with his assessment. In my mind it not only has no redeeming qualities but loads of bad, insulting ones. I did not watch Voyager during its original run and only now I am watching re-runs. I have tried several times to watch this episode, but until today never succeeded. It genuinely took real effort to sit through the episode. I was worse than bored with the episode. I was downright irritated, insulated. I think that a better title for “Fair Haven “ would have been “Fetid Vomit from the Future “.

    First off, I personally can’t stand a holodeck episode. It is terribly overdone in Star Trek. The whole idea of safety protocols going off line is completely unbelievable. Worse, I find it ridiculous that one cannot just turn the holodeck off. I don’t believe any of the holodeck romance stuff. I get that Janeway is lonely, but I cannot believe that she would even remotely fall for a holodeck character. Worse, I would never believe that Janeway (or any of the Starfleet captains we have ever met) would ever risk one of her crew in order to save a holocharacter. Absolutely nothing about this episode works.

    And really, how are we supposed to care about holodeck characters that will inevitably be deleted at the end of the episode or at least we will never see again. And talk about stereotyping! Holy cow does this one ever insult the intelligence! The whole Irish country folk trope is insulting to everyone watching, the Irish in particular!

    Nothing about this episode works. It is terrible and should never have been produced. Other reviewers have this episode negative stars. Generally I think of these types of reviews as hyperbole, but in this case it is appropriate as it so bad that it actually degrades the value of the series as a whole. It degrades Janeway. It degrades Star Trek. It is episodes like these that Star Trek critics love to pan.

    It is one of the worst episodes of any Star Trek episode ever, right up there with Spock’s Brain.


    While I think the idea of addressing Janeway's loneliness is reasonable enough, and I'm partial to that scene with the Doctor, this is a barely functional snooze that seems bored of its own tired story beats. Amusing, if only to see how little Trek's Irish stereotypes have evolves since early TNG.

    Everyone is taking this episode far too seriously and out of context in relation to the crew of voyager and their situation.

    Plus "Delete The Wife" is funny as fuck lol

    Agreed @Leanne.

    I enjoyed the episode. It was a study of Janeway’s loneliness, a chance for Kate to show some range, and also a study of if you could change features of your partner whenever you liked, would you and is that a good thing or not.

    It’s a fun episode, that mostly worked for me. Ideally it would have been left there, but they couldn’t leave it and it went badly in the other episode later in the season.

    The ups of this episode include allowing us to see a different side of Janeway, and delving into the truth of being a captain marooned in the Delta Quadrant: it's lonely at the top. I remember the end of "Resolutions". Janeway and Chakotay were unquestionably right to return to "all business" mode, but my heart broke a little all the same.

    Downside is that it's a little ambiguous as to what these holographic characters are. Are they non-sentient computer programs, created for the crew's enjoyment? Or are they something more? There's little question that the Doctor, Vic Fontaine, and Moriarty achieved sentience, but can that happen with others? Especially on Voyager, given that its computers (where holograms dwell) were designed to mimic organic brains?

    An interesting variation of the Pygmalion (My Fair Lady) motive 😍

    It's fun to see how the comments on Jammer's reviews are changing as time goes by. Could it be that our 2020s sensibilities have changed and we can be a little more relaxed when analyzing this episode? Maybe we are more open to a grown woman having a romance story on our science fiction?

    I also disliked this episode in it's first run (i was 20 when i first saw it), but now I found it an interesting character study on Janeway's personal life and feelings. Oh how times have changed!

    Maybe it’s just that 2020s “entertainment” is so bad that it makes dreck like this look good in comparison.

    Bob (a different one) and I are in complete agreement - I still hate it.

    Only just realised this was the first Trek episode broadcast after 1 January 2000.

    Mulgrew's wonderfully expressive, fun acting in this particular episode (she's excellent in most episodes in my opinion, but there's an extra liveliness to her performance here) and (of course) 'Delete the wife' remain highly entertaining after all these years.

    #8 of my "Janeway's expanded list of rules"...

    Never be afraid to delete the wife.

    Finally watched this one... bleh.

    There are ideas here that are good, such as Janeway's uneasiness with altering the program to make the perfect mate, and the Doctor counseling her to there is nothing wrong with her using the holodeck for flings.

    The Doctor questioning the difference between flesh and blood vs photons and force fields is really interesting. I agree with Jammer that this instantly becomes a can of worms, but I do think it has merit if the Doctor is considered sentient. Because to the Doctor, these are issues as profound as they come, essentially religious/philosophical issues.

    But it sure did take a while to get to this stuff and it was not exactly dwelled upon. And Voyager's worst cliché of having to be attacked occurred late in the show when the nebula started firing torpedoes at the ship or whatever supposedly happened.

    Yes I'm a "yank" but I don't think the Irish stereotyping is quite the issue here it was in the TNG episode because this is explicitly a fictitious holodeck program. The town doesn't have electricity because it was set in 1980s Ireland, duh.

    This turned out better than I expected for a holodeck episode. 3 stars.


    How can you award 3 stars to this trash? Did you mean to say 3 stars out of 50? I'm not usually a fan of holodeck episodes, the exceptions being "Worse Case Scenario" and "Living Witness".

    Final score: 1/10

    Re-Watching this episode, I think it's one that would have benefited from interrogating its own premise in a meta sense. The idea of Janeway having a romance with a fictional character is far more interesting than whether or not Michael is "real" or not in defiance of our usual stories about artificial intelligence.
    Star Trek fans have always loved romanticizing the characters, ranging from the original Kirk/Spock slash to the fact my twelve year old self's first love was Doctor Crusher (I'm more a Kira Nerys man these days).

    There's nothing particularly weird about having a parasocial relationship like this in real world with lots of women reading romance fiction for this very reason. I see Janeway's relationship with Michael no different than Twilight or 50 Shades of Gray. I mean, video game romances are a thing as well. Bioware makes a living on players wanting to be with Leliana, Ashley Williams, Tali, Garrus, or Alistair.

    Indeed, it's kind of weird everyone seems to tease Janeway this episode about it and in a way that's clearly uncomfortable for her. I mean, it seems like something you'd respect a person's privacy over.

    I feel like I enjoy the episode's premise but I don't think they did a good job with an interesting idea: how people enjoy interactive entertainment in the future. Maybe it's just I think Fair Haven is a terrible idea and the Parisian Pool Hall or WW2 france would have been more fun. At least less insulting.

    Frankly, I find a lot of the comments from the early 2010s to be pretty cringey. I hope we've become slightly more tolerant. It seems like there was a lot of pervy speculation and giggling about banging on the holodeck.

    My take on this episode and the series as a whole: it would have been more interesting to see the characters make the "wrong" decision more often, and then to follow up with consequences. Should J and C have gotten into a relationship? Probably not. Would it have been interesting to explore the ramifications? Sure would have.

    Should Janeway fall in love with a holo? Probably not. But would it have been interesting to revisit it as time went on? Would she have found some aspects fulfilling and others hollow? Would the crew care? Would she fall for an organic and then feel like she was being unfaithful to a holographic character? Would she evolve away from him? Try to pull a Moriarty and make him sentient? Accept it and marry him??

    Dont think ive agreed with Jammer once this season.

    The message seems to be: “If it works for you, who gives a shit?” Which is commendable and progressive for the time.

    The interesting thing is Kathryn can’t readily enjoy this off-romance, not just because of the level of power she feels over the hologram (which is the same reason she can’t be romantically involved with her crew, not a coincidence), but also just classic Irish Catholic-style guilt over the “unusual” nature of her relationship.

    It’s a really good Janeway show, kinda messy with the sci-fi b-plot metaphor and some early humor, but there’s some great scenes and the Chakotay/Janeway scenes reaffirm their chemistry righteously reminding us of their little flair seasons ago. Easy 3/4

    Huge points to Robin Bernhiem on that piercing first-time script for the show, she feels very comfortable in the characters shoes, and Allan Kroeker’s romantic sweep lends a lot of heft to the steamier passages.

    “Delete the wife.” has got to be one of Mulgrew’s all-time best deliveries

    I have several Trek guilty pleasures and this is one of them. It's cozy and fun and makes me happy.

    @Ensign David
    >It's cozy and fun and makes me happy.

    Carbon Creek was cozy and is possibly worthy of a 6/10 score, this is just an empty holodeck episode with very little sci-fi. 2/10 at most.

    @Jammer WHY Do you posit Janeway/Chakotay would almost certainly be a bad, messy idea, Jammer? I would LOVE to hear your reason since you didn't give any evidence and this is a matter of opinion to some extent whether it would be bad or not. Hope you can respond when you can. Thanks for your reviews.

    @Andrew why did you think this episode was good, I'm really curious?

    *Explosions on the bridge*
    Tuvok: "Shields are failing!"
    Janeway: "Transfer all secondary power sources: transporters, replicators, holodecks!”
    Kim: “We’d lose most of Fairhaven!”

    Imagine Wesley belaying Captain Picard's order, in a life or death situation, to whine about endangering a recreational holodeck program.

    I know that scene was about Janeway resolving to end her artificial relationship. Which is good, because it was weird. They hooked up for three days?!? What if the holodeck had crashed? Would other crew members on the holodeck have seen her involved in public behavior unbefitting a star fleet captain? This episode should have been called "Kathy Gone Wild."

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