Category Archives: Voyager

Also known as VOY

The best (and worst) of Trek

Our 18-month mission to … tell you about Star Trek’s most pivotal episodes is (maybe?) over. We haven’t decided yet whether we’ll tackle the rebooted movies or the new series. But one thing’s for sure …

We still have a few things to say about Star Trek.

When we started this blog, we didn’t want it to be a site where we just reviewed every episode. Other sites, like Jammers Reviews, do that well enough. But now, as we close this project, we wanted to identify our 10 favorite episodes in all of Trek, including the movies. Some of these appeared in our Tapestry, others didn’t.

First, some honorable mentions: “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” “Mirror, Mirror”, “The Measure of a Man”“Yesterday’s Enterprise”, “Improbable Cause”/”The Die is Cast”, “The Way of the Warrior”, “Timeless”, “Twilight”, “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock” and “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home”.

Now, here’s our top 10. Note that this includes a couple of multipart stretches.

“One day, I’ll make Voyager even worse…”

10. “Star Trek: First Contact” — Easily the best of the TNG movies. It’s gritty, visceral and still optimistic with a good supporting cast while being the only TNG film that feels all that consequential. The flawed Borg Queen concept is a slight ding — and it paved the way to defanging the Borg on Voyager — but it’s still a great film.

9. “Azati Prime”/ “Damage”/ “The Forgotten” — Enterprise’s peak in arguably the most daring, and probably the most morally questionable, stretch of Trek episodes, which worked well in the years immediately following 9/11. It’s not Roddenberry’s Trek, but it’s good TV and as edgy as anything the franchise did.

9. “The Trouble with Tribbles” — Trek’s best comedy and also an episode that shows why TOS endures: the chemistry among the cast members. Kirk dressing down Scotty and others for getting in a fight with Klingons is still a thing of beauty.

7. “In the Pale Moonlight” — The episode where DS9 decided to not even pretend to be like the rest of Star Trek. It’s controversial as it makes Sisko, in effect, a criminal, which was just incredibly daring for 1998 TV. It might have been higher on the list if the scope issues that DS9 struggled with — i.e., a handful of people on the station can change and have no problem with changing the balance of galactic affairs — had been better handled.

6. “The City on the Edge of Forever” — Many fans’ favorite, but not ours. Arguably, it had been built up too much by the time we saw it and wasn’t as original in the 1990s as it was in the 1960s. Still, a great episode with Shatner, Nimoy and Kelley absolutely bringing it.

"Shall we swipe left or right keptin?"
“Shall we swipe left or right, keptin?”

5. “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” — Trek’s best film. Shatner and Nimoy are pitch-perfect and the story is a great mix of action and science fiction. If you haven’t seen it, you’re not really a Trek fan.

4. “The Inner Light” — Simply an amazing episode in which Picard lives an entirely different life as a way for a dying civilization to not be forgotten. The final scene with Picard in his quarters, as he re-acclimates with his real life, is a gut punch in the best way. It’s unfortunate that we didn’t see more consequences in subsequent episodes and that Picard, more or less, is back in regular form the next week.

3.  “The Visitor” — DS9’s finest episode as Sisko is lost and Jake spends the rest of his life trying to find him. We were often critical of Avery Brooks, but he was absolutely great in this episode. As poignant as Trek gets.

2. “Space Seed” — The setup to the second film is incredible to watch. That it was on television in 1967 is amazing, as Khan’s manipulation of Lt. McGivers is very edgy and provocative. Kirk’s decision to let Khan try to build a world rather than putting him in prison is classic TOS, in that it’s morally justifiable and intellectually curious but also a dangerous and questionable call.

Inform Admiral Kanye, this is the best two-parter OF ALL TIME.
“Inform Admiral Kanye, this is the best two-parter OF ALL TIME.”

1. “The Best of Both Worlds” — No surprise here. This two-parter has everything, and set the stage for cliffhangers for the next 25 years. Jonathan Frakes — often marginalized in late TNG — puts in his best performance and the Borg, as an implacable threat, still seem menacing today. Even the scene where Riker chooses his first officer is great. I would go as far as saying it’s a perfect two-parter, except for the somewhat rushed ending. It’s also bolstered by the idea that Picard wasn’t back at his desk the following week. In fact, he struggled with his experiences immediately after he’s rescued and in the following years.

And now, the bottom 10 (after some dishonorable mentions): “The Alternative Factor”, “The Lights of Zetar”, “Haven”, “Dark Page”, “Star Trek: Insurrection”, “Ferengi Love Songs”, “Spirit Folk”, “The Disease”, “Precious Cargo”, “Extinction”.


10. “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier” — The strangest entry in the film franchise. It’s light and jokey at points and heavy and ponderous at others — but it consistently avoids anything approaching subtlety. Co-written by William Shatner, the movie seems intent on lionizing Kirk while painting Spock as weak and evasive (the scene in the brig being the worst example). Worse, the script humiliates Scotty and Uhura.

9. “Course: Oblivion” — One of a handful of episodes that shows exactly what was wrong with Voyager. Instead of using a strong cast and a great concept to write compelling stuff with the REAL Voyager, the creators used those things with a FAKE Voyager. Worse, the fake Voyager should have easily known that it was a fake Voyager, invalidating the whole premise of the episode. And how did the fake Voyager crew build a fake Voyager and survive for like a year outside of the only environment that could support it?

8. “Code of Honor” — Weirdly racist and definitely uninspired. It feels more like third-season TOS than TNG, which sort of makes sense, as it was just the third TNG episode. Still, it’s hard to understand what the creators were thinking.

These are just clips from other BDSM books I've read?!!!?
“These are just clips from other BDSM books I’ve read?!!!?”

7. “Shades of Gray” — The awful Riker flashback episode partly necessitated by a writers’ strike. Yuck.

6. “Profit and Lace” — The worst of DS9’s awful Ferengi episodes. Quark in drag? What drivel. DS9’s obsession with having two Ferengi-centric episodes a year was just ridiculous.

5. “Fascination” — Lwaxana Troi comes to DS9 and everybody — well, at least the main cast and the regular guest stars, minus Sisko — gets horny. WTF, creators?

4. “Threshold” — The most scientifically awful episode in second-generation Trek. It didn’t make the top spot because there’s SOME good work by Robert Duncan-McNeil and it was an attempt at something new and different.

3. “A Night in Sickbay” — Archer as a total huffy asshole, with moronic aliens and a ceremonial apology involving a chainsaw. Oh, and a totally unnecessary sexual fantasy from Archer about T’Pol. The Archer/T’Pol relationship — at least in the prime reality — was professional and friendly, not romantic. Throwing a sex dream from Archer in there really belittled the show.

And, we have a tie for Trek’s worst episode:


1. “And the Children Shall Lead” — Wow. What an absolute train wreck. The kids are annoying and awful, the villain behind their behavior is horribly acted and conceived and even the editing is bad. While “Spock’s Brain” and “The Way to Eden” are the most infamous episodes of TOS, “And the Children Shall Lead” is BY FAR the worst.

Beverly, you've got nothing on Mrs. Darcy...
“Beverly, you’ve got nothing on Mrs. Darcy…”

1. “Sub Rosa” — Of all the awfulness in TNG’s seventh season — it’s worse than season one, folks, as the creators should have known better after six-plus years of the series — this episode is just cringe-worthy. Crusher was the most neglected of the TNG regulars, and it’s a shame that one of the few episodes to feature her is this hideous mess. She falls in love … with a freaking ghost.

That’s it for Trek Tapestry.

Or is it …


The good, the bad and the Voyager

“My mind to your mind, my thought — wait, wait, who’s this ‘Wormtongue’?”

As is our practice when ending series, we’re going to wrap Voyager by noting our favorite and least favorite non-Tapestry episodes. But before we getting into that …

The episodes we probably should have included in the Tapestry

“Meld” — Tuvok mindmelds with psychopathic former Maquis Suder (Brad Dourif) to provide him balance after he commits a murder, but Tuvok becomes unhinged in the process. It’s one of the best uses of Tim Russ, and Dourif is, of course, fantastic. It also sets up Suder to be the hero who essentially saves the ship in “Basics”.

“The Killing Game” — The two-parter is an over-the-top romp (to be kind) in which the Voyager crew (unknowingly) plays the parts of World War II characters in a Hirogen hunting program. It’s ridiculous, and the ship is absolutely wrecked (and is fine the next week, of course). But it’s important in that Janeway makes peace by providing the Hirogen with holodeck technology, which leads to the decent “Flesh and Blood” two-parter in season seven and Voyager’s look at holographic rights.

“I believe ‘Patterns of Force’ was a better episode. But, at least this isn’t as dumb as ‘Storm Front’.”

Other episodes you should watch

“Phage” — We meet the Vidiians, secondary bad guys in Voyager’s first couple seasons, who harvest organs to help combat a disease that is killing their race. The Vidiians had their moments — and were arguably more interesting than the primary villains at that time, the Kazon — but they essentially became the stand-ins for Villains of the Week, so we didn’t figure their introduction was Tapestry worthy.

“Eye of the Needle” — We almost included it in the Tapestry, as it sets up the recurring Voyager trope, sometimes known as “Gilligan’s Island Syndrome,” wherein the ship nearly finds a way home but is disappointed in the end (by season seven, this was a sort of meta-joke). Still, it’s a good episode in that it’s the first time Voyager dealt with crushing disappointment since the pilot.

“The Thaw” — A trippy episode that could have been right out of TOS, with Janeway playing the part of Kirk. Plus a cool guest appearance by Michael McKean.

“Doctor, can you explain to me how the clothes worn by Tuvok and Neelix merged? Because that just seems ridiculous.”

“Tuvix” — One of Voyager’s most controversial episodes as a transporter accident combines Neelix and Tuvok. Janeway decides to kill Tuvix to restore the other two men. Thought provoking in a good way. Of course, the whole thing is barely discussed again, even though it should have had profound effects on Tuvok and Neelix.

“Resolutions” — Janeway and Chakotay are forced to stay on a planet to avoid dying of some weird disease, and Voyager (briefly) goes on without them. They’re eventually recovered, but not before providing fodder for Janeway/Chakotay “shippers” for years. Of course, it’s oddly placed at the end of the second-season Kazon arc, as we discussed.

“Before and After” — A flash-forward and backward as we see glimpses of an alternative future of Voyager as Kes goes back in time starting from six years in the future. One of Voyager’s best hours.

“Mortal Coil” — Neelix dies, is brought back to life by the Doctor and struggles to figure out why he didn’t experience the Talaxian afterlife. Ethan Phillips and Robert Beltran rise to the occasion in a nice episode that provides some necessary depth for Neelix.

“Living Witness” — The Doctor’s backup program, on an alien world in the distant future, must correct the record when he learns the Voyager crew have been depicted as nasty oppressors. It’s a great Trek episode that is sold by Robert Picardo.

“Thirty Days” — Paris acts against orders to save a water world from Kevin Costner. Well, except the “from Kevin Costner” part. A nice episode that examines Paris and his rebellious streak.

“Does your show have better continuity than mine? I bet it does.”

“Bride of Chaotica!” — Janeway must go “undercover” in Paris’ schlocky sci-fi holodeck program. It shouldn’t work at all, but it does. Good work by the cast in what could have been a disaster.

“Homestead” — The crew says goodbye to Neelix, who leaves the ship to join a Talaxian colony two episodes before the end of the series. The final moments — particularly between Tuvok and Neelix — are actually quite poignant. We see Neelix just once more, in a brief viewscreen discussion with Seven in the far less effective “Endgame”.

“If you want my body … and you think I’m sexy … “

Top 10 episodes to avoid

10. “Elogium” — Kes’ mating cycle gets moved up. It’s not often you can vomit and fall asleep at the same time, so if that was the intended effect from the creators …

9. “Barge of the Dead” — Conversations with Torres’ dead moms in Klingon spiritual nonsense. The acting isn’t terrible (Roxanne Dawson does what she can) but the attempt to address spirituality is awful.

8. “Flashback” — Not terrible on its own, but inexcusable in that it wasted a guest appearance by George Takei and the Excelsior crew from “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country”. We learn that the Excelsior mission really had nothing to do with the weird ailment affecting Tuvok that prompts the flashback. What a joke. It also pisses all over the referenced movie’s continuity.

7. “Favorite Son” — Something about Kim being breeding stock on an alien world. Why, Voyager, why?

6. “The Disease” — Kim falls in love with an alien and we learn (eye roll) that Starfleet captains have to approve their crew members’ romantic interactions with aliens — running counter to a lot of what we’ve seen since 1966. No, Voyager. No.

5. “Q2” — Q’s troublesome son born in “The Q and the Grey” comes to Voyager, and even John de Lancie looks bored. Oh, and this was the LAST Q EPISODE IN SECOND-GENERATION TREK!

4. “Fair Haven” — Something about a stupid (and horribly stereotypical) Irish town on the holodeck. Not good.

3. “Spirit Folk” — And the residents of the Irish town become … self-aware. Stop it, Voyager. Just stop it.

2.  “Course: Oblivion” — The crew replicants from “Demon” build their own Voyager, forget that they’re replicants, leave their planet, travel a great distance … and then die. What utter drivel. How did the replicants FORGET THEY WERE REPLICANTS? How were they able to travel as far as they did? This is actually a good example of Voyager attempting continuity — which the show did more in the later seasons — in ways that are just laughably dumb.

1. “Threshold” — No surprise here. Voyager’s (and possibly all of Trek’s) most ridiculous episode as Paris breaks the warp 10 barrier and evolves … into a lizard … and mates with … Janeway … who also evolves into … a lizard. Really. Oh, and then Chakotay just LEAVES the pair’s offspring on some random planet. That said, we almost kept this out of the bottom spot because it’s so bizarre that it’s more watchable than, say, “The Disease”. But, no, for bad science alone, “Threshold” deserves this ranking. It’s probably not Trek’s absolute worst episode — “And the Children Shall Lead”, “A Night in Sickbay” and “Sub Rosa” are all harder to sit through. But it’s just so weird and ridiculous that it definitely gets Voyager’s worst spot.

“At least I’ll get better writers when ‘Orange is the New Black’ rolls around in about 15 years.”

Two other episodes that really piss us off

You knew we couldn’t let the door close on Voyager without two more shots and what the series could and should have been, but wasn’t. We noted that “Equinox” and “Endgame” were two of the show’s worst examples of wasted opportunities — even if they weren’t totally unwatchable. Here are two more:

“Deadlock” —  A riveting outing (for its first two-thirds) in which two Voyagers occupy the same space and one must sacrifice itself so the other will survive. Of course, the surviving Voyager is in shambles one minute and basically ship-shape the next. Gah.

“Year of Hell” — Perhaps the most ambitious thing Voyager attempted, until the predictable and galling reset at the end. This could have been absolute classic Trek, as it had great sci-fi ideas, a strong villain in Annorax (Kurtwood Smith) and arguably the best performances in the series by Kate Mulgrew, Beltran and Russ. But as part two ends, it’s back to business as usual. And that’s the way Voyager almost always wanted it, I guess.

Whether it was a goofy tendency to use the reset button, an endless supply of shuttles, a seeming surplus of red shirts, a lack of consequences for Janeway’s reckless actions (in the later seasons) or a ship that could recover far too quickly on the regular after having been beaten to hell by random aliens, Voyager was Trek’s biggest waste of potential, despite a strong cast and some great standalone moments. To paraphrase Janeway in “Endgame”, Voyager too often had its cake and ate it, too — in attempts to use the show’s unique premise while also staying too true to old-school Trek.

In so doing, Voyager became the most frustrating — and, I’d say, the worst — of the five Trek series.

Coming later this week …

The longest and weirdest episode of “Quantum Leap” begins. And no, not the one where Sam leaps into a monkey.


Once you go hologram, you never go holoback.

The gang — most of it, anyway — is back on Earth, 26 years since we last saw them. Janeway (unbelievably) is an admiral, Kim (inexplicably) is a captain, the Doctor (finally) has a name, Torres (curiously) is a liaison to the Klingon Empire and Paris (believably) writes holonovels. But Chakotay and Seven — who end up (surprisingly) married — are dead and Tuvok (sadly) has lost his marbles, but could have been cured if he hadn’t been away from the Alpha Quadrant for so long. So, Janeway steals some Klingon and Federation technology and goes back to present-day (2377) Voyager to try to get the ship home faster and maybe save everybody (cough, Chakotay, Seven and Tuvok, cough) who died after year seven of Voyager’s journey. Present Janeway is skeptical, but caves when Future Janeway tells her about Chakotay, Seven and Tuvok (with a passing reference to other crew members who would die). Unfortunately, Future Janeway’s plan involves using a Borg transwarp hub to get the crew home, and Present Janeway decides that destroying the hub — and possibly saving billions of lives — is more important. But, of course, the two Janeways put their heads together and (sigh) find a way to “have (their) cake and eat it, too” — by having Future Janeway sacrifice herself and get assimilated while carrying a pathogen to the Borg — enabling Voyager to get home while also destroying the hub. End series.

Why it’s important

Well, this episode wraps seven years of frustrating telev — I mean, seven years of Voyager’s trip in the Delta Quadrant. It also does some major, major damage to the Borg. So, what we see has some galaxy-shaking consequences. Or, rather, it likely will.

Batmobile armor provided by Starfleet’s Bruce Wayne Research Center™

What doesn’t hold up

A friend of mine asked me what I planned to write for “Endgame”. He joked that he still has no idea how Voyager pulled off destroying the hub WHILE ALSO using it to escape. I’m not sure I get it, either — even if I put aside the fact that Future Janeway shouldn’t have existed if Voyager got home when it did in this episode. What concerns me more is how EXACTLY Future Janeway decides to play god in this episode. Let’s review:

As the episode begins, Voyager’s been back on Earth for 10 years after an additional 16 years in the Delta Quadrant (how the ship cut 14 years off the journey isn’t explained). The Federation is apparently in good shape and most of the crew seems fine (as noted above). There were some other unnamed casualties before Voyager got back, but Janeway’s biggest reasons for getting Voyager home sooner seem to be that Tuvok (her oldest friend), Chakotay (her first officer) and Seven (her de facto daughter) would be much better served by her actions here (or, at least, Janeway assumes they would be, which is a stretch). This, my friends, is really terrible and shows just how reckless and selfish Janeway became as the series dragged on. You could argue that this episode is similar to “Timeless”, in which Chakotay and Kim do something very similar. But in that episode, all of Voyager’s crew except Chakotay and Kim died 15 years earlier — meaning things were about as bad as they could get. Janeway’s actions here are a lot harder to swallow because they’re mostly about saving her besties (and also because she’s the alleged hero of the show). It’s disquieting that we don’t see the futures of the other 100-plus Voyager crew members who apparently made it back to Earth — but a strange focus on the main cast (despite Voyager’s small crew and inability to rotate in new redshirts) was always an oddity of this series.

Beyond that, it’s sad that the series ends without answering any questions about what will actually happen to the crew after their return, as the future we DO see is wiped away. How will the former Maquis fare? What about Seven? Will the Voyager crew have more adventures together, or will the crew break up? What about the forgotten Equinox crew members? And most importantly, what about all the questionable decisions Janeway has made over the years?

We know that Janeway is (pfft) promoted to admiral by the time “Star Trek: Nemesis” rolls around, so I guess Starfleet shrugged all of her questionable behavior. Overall, not getting more is really disappointing, as a strong finale — hell, a 5-minute montage showing where each of the main characters really end up — would have done wonders for this series. The only character who got a decent sendoff was Neelix, who ends up on a Talaxian colony in the Delta Quadrant a couple episodes before “Endgame”. Amazingly, one of Voyager’s most-lampooned characters gets the best exit.

Let’s also talk about the Chakotay/Seven pairing. Was it rushed? Well, yes. Was it completely unbearable? I don’t think so. I would have preferred that it happened a few episodes earlier, considering the weight it apparently would go on to have, but I didn’t hate inserting it here — even though it appears it mostly happened because Robert Beltran essentially dared Brannon Braga to do it.

Oh, and one more thing actually. I’m sure it will surprise no one that the “Borg resistance” from “Unimatrix Zero” led to absolutely nothing. Because Voyager.

Last, last thing: Did Admiral Janeway give the Borg information about technology that would provide them with an advantage in the future? She equips Voyager with new shielding and weapons — and the Borg are (of course) well known for their ability to adapt. Voyager (and DS9) played pretty fast and loose with the logic of time travel, but if Voyager made it back using the advanced technology, doesn’t that mean that the Borg would have retained knowledge of it? Even if that’s not the case, Admiral Janeway’s actions are reckless, as her plan could have easily failed and the Borg would have learned and possibly assimilated those transphasic torpedoes and the weird armor. Because it’s always good to hand advanced technology to a foe intent on assimilating the galaxy.

Again, the creators made Janeway far too reckless and selfish here.

“Janeway, are you supposed to be my nemesis? Because I literally embody billions of Borg.”

Final thoughts

On a positive note, the episode does appropriately show the birth of Torres and Paris’ child. Quietly, their relationship was a strength of the series, so at least it was wrapped up effectively. It’s too bad, though, that Admiral Paris didn’t really acknowledge Tom on the viewscreen after Voyager returns home.

There’s also the matter of Voyager’s finale being an awful lot like TNG’s — an alternate future, a main character becoming a writer, a key character dying and another with mental issues, fighting with the Klingons and a rescue by a Starfleet ship by a sympathetic yet skeptical commander, etc. This is a criticism often thrown at “Endgame”, and there’s validity to it. But I think that’s about the least of this episode’s failings.

We’ll get into a larger assessment of Voyager in our next review. The 10-second version is that it was a show with a good cast and some great moments that ultimately ignored its premise and ventured into comic-book territory late in its run. Even Enterprise — which had many failings — was a better show, in the eyes of this reviewer.

Coming next week …

Our last look at Voyager.

“Author, Author”

On the holodeck it’s always Movember!

The Doctor has written a holonovel that hits a little too close to home for the Voyager crew. All the names are changed, but it basically depicts the crew as being jerks and oppressive to the Doctor. A publisher back in the Alpha Quadrant is all about distributing the holonovel but balks at the idea that the Doctor wants to make some alterations (after the crew convinces him his work could paint them in a negative light). Ironically, the publisher uses the fact that the Doctor is a hologram to refuse the changes, initiating a subspace hearing over holographic rights with the Voyager crew arguing for the Doctor. The magistrate eventually rules in the Doctor’s favor — but balks at making a bigger-picture ruling about holographic rights. The episode ends by showing dozens of EMHs like the Doctor doing menial mining work back in the Alpha Quadrant.

Why it’s important

To Voyager’s credit, this episode furthers the holographic rights storyline last seen in “Flesh and Blood”. As Voyager ended as a series not long after this episode, we don’t get to see what happened with that thread — but props to the creators for exploring it. The door was first opened in “Life Line”, when Zimmerman (the EMH creator) said the failed EMH-1s were sent to do grunt work after Starfleet deemed them unsuitable.

Aboard the USS Vortex perms are all the rage!

What doesn’t hold up

I’m not sure I buy that the Doctor would be SO tone deaf that he wouldn’t think the crew would be offended by his initial depiction — even if names and appearances were very lightly changed. Otherwise, this is a pretty solid episode.

Connect to your remote employees, no matter the quadrant only with Sisko WebEx™!

Final thoughts

This is a highlight of Voyager’s last couple seasons — perhaps not surprisingly as it focuses on the Doctor, the show’s best character. There are some genuinely great moments, like when Paris effectively guilts the Doctor into seeing the error of his ways (Paris and the Doctor were consistently one of the show’s better pairings). And, really, it was nice to see the crew rally around the Doctor, despite his actions.

Coming next week …

That’s all she wrote for Voyager.

“Flesh and Blood”

Have Voyager send over the holodeck cleaning crew.

Voyager comes across a Hirogen space station where holographic prey rose up and killed almost all of their oppressors before escaping. Realizing that the holograms were the result of holographic technology Voyager gave the Hirogen back in “The Killing Game”, Janeway decides to help the Hirogen hunt the holograms, who are made up of recreations of Alpha Quadrant races. They steal the Doctor’s program, and initially convince him to join their cause — to the point where he betrays Janeway to help their ship escape. In the process, the hologram leader Iden (Jeff Yagher), a recreated Bajoran, abducts Torres to complete a self-sustaining holo-generator that he plans to put on a planet that humanoids can’t live on. The Doctor goes back and forth as far as believing Iden until he finally sees Iden wants to start a religion with him as a messiah and after he kills two innocent people and then — in the episode’s most over-the-top moment — sets up the Hirogen to be hunted by the holograms. Eventually, the Doctor kills Iden (using the largest gun I’ve ever seen on Star Trek) and Janeway lets the other holograms go on their way.

Why it’s important

Well, we’ll start with the good. This episode does pave the way for the hologram rights stuff that’s the biggest continuing plot line in season seven. We’ll see more in “Author, Author” in our next review. Beyond that, it’s good (if you don’t think about it too hard) that the Hirogen pop up again and Janeway’s decision back in “The Killing Game” is shown to have some bad consequences. Looking back, we probably should have reviewed that two-parter. Oh, well.

In the name of the programmer, the code and the holo emitter…

What doesn’t hold up

The biggest problem is that the Hirogen shouldn’t be anywhere near Voyager at this point. The Hirogen aren’t shown to have transwarp capabilities (they come across as primitive in many ways) so it’s unlikely that Voyager — which has moved about 30,000 light years since we last saw the Hirogen in season four — would be in Voyager’s current flight path. But, then, this is Voyager, so I should probably just shrug it off.

Beyond that, the episode takes Iden from an interesting and multi-layered half-villain to a megalomaniac to a revenge-thirsty bore. I could have swallowed the idea that he thinks he should be the center of a new religion, but it would have been more interesting if he had been somewhat forced to send the Hirogen to the planet, where the holograms would have fought them. The irony should have been that he had to make the hunters become the hunted, as opposed to him getting his jollies from it.

Janeway also sort of washes her hands of the situation too easily as the episode ends, particularly as torn up and dead set she was about fixing things earlier. With Iden gone, she sort of leaves the holograms with the recreated Cardassian engineer Kejal (Cindy Katz) in charge. There’s no real guarantee that Iden was the only problem (the episode sort of shows that he wasn’t) and that the Hirogen will actually stop hunting them (despite some fast talk from Neelix that is viewed as a solution).

In a couple stray items, it was ridiculous that the holodeck recreation included a Borg drone, who apparently works with the other Alpha Quadrant holograms. And there’s a weird line from Chakotay in part one about how trading technology is something Voyager had to do to survive in the Delta Quadrant. Must have been a directive after the Kazon years …

Scanning action movie quip database… “Say ahhh!” “The doctor will kill you now!” “This won’t hurt me a bit, can’t say the same for you!”

Final thoughts

There’s some good stuff here, mostly because Janeway does some important self-reflection and because Picardo, Mulgrew, Dawson (in good interchanges with Picardo and the holograms) and Yagher, in his portrayal of Iden, bring their A games. I’d even say it was a very good episode, despite the continuity issues, if not for Iden’s trip into goofiness as the episode ends.

Coming next week …

More holographic rights in our second-to-last Voyager review.