Date: September 22, 2020
Season 2, Episode 6
Musical Accompaniment: 25 Piano covers or another BBQ show on Netflix, haven’t decided.
Interstellar News: Things at work are heating up and I’m worried I won’t even make it to Enterprise at this point. I’ve been super stressed but I got a lot done today, including five loads of laundry.
TL;DR: It’s Kes’s second birthday and they throw a surprise party in the holodeck, leaving Kim and Tuvok on the bridge. They encounter a subspace distortion and communications go down and then everyone gets lost. Torres can’t find engineering, Janeway, Chakotay, and Paris are in the turbolift to everywhere but the bridge, the EMH is stuck on the holodeck, and Kes and Neelix can’t find her quarters. They all wind up back at the holodeck and break off to try again. Paris and Torres go to the turbolift to retrace their steps back to engineering, which works, though they wind up back at the holodeck when they try to transport themselves to the bridge. Neelix and Chakotay go on foot, encounter Tuvok at some point, and then Neelix disappears.
Kim and Janeway go through the tubes and encounter the distortion, which effects Janeway. Kes stays with the doctor to help in case there are any medical emergencies, which comes in handy when Kim brings Janeway in, she’s delirious. Everyone winds up at the holodeck again, and Chakotay chooses the more risky plan proposed by Torres as opposed to Tuvok’s. It doesn’t work and they decide to do nothing and see what happens, which turns out to be the correct thing. Janeway wakes up and explains the distortion was trying to communicate with her and their computer has over 20 gigaquads of new information, though their information was also downloaded. Neelix brings the birthday cake to the bridge and Kes asks for a picture of him to put in her locket that Tom made for her.
Sandrine: My new bartender. Handsome, isn’t he?
EMH: I’m here in an official capacity, of course. In case of a medical emergency.
EMH: Surprises have been known to cause acute hyperventilation, oesophageal spasms and in extreme cases, even coronary arrest. One can never be too careful.The EMH, always a font of medical information.
“When every logical course of action is exhausted, the only option that remains is inaction.”: This was a very strange and, dare I say, twisted episode. We start out with introducing Kes to a surprise birthday party, everyone gives her gifts, Neelix bakes a cake, and then there’s the disaster… similar in some ways to TNG’s “Disaster“. Everyone is trying to get somewhere and they all keep winding back up in the holodeck program that never ends. The crew is doing what they always do, trying to find a way out of a situation they don’t even understand. It’s what is so wonderful and dangerous about engineers. Just like we saw in “Statistical Probabilities” when the “Jack Pack” thought they knew what was best and forged ahead, Torres can’t sit still. THING BROKEN, MUST FIX.
There’s not a lot of great here. Paris is still a little skeevy, Neelix is jealous in a way that is unfair to Kes, Torres lets her temper and confidence get the best of her, Kim’s mostly there to support, and Janeway is unconscious for most of the episode. We do get to see how Chakotay and Tuvok each choose to lead, a bit, but it’s nothing to write home about. Kim did have the fabulous idea of making the map out of the tri-corder data and the ending was interesting, as there’s all this new data to take a look at and Janeway got to do Starfleet proud by encountering a new life form. Baxter, who was last seen in “Eye of the Needle” acting a fool and not exercising correctly was at it again, which I did like as a call back to the other crew members who are also stuck on the ship. I also really disliked Chakotay and Neelix’s conversation about jealousy. YOU CANNOT “LOSE” A PERSON, because you can’t own someone. Neelix doesn’t own Kes, so he can stop being her partner or they can stop being friends and maybe they won’t be in each other’s lives but a person is not in your life to be yours. I choose to share my life with the people that love me and if they ever choose to stop then maybe we won’t share my life as much any more but they are always a part of my life.
Anyway, I say all that to then point out that Tuvok was super out of his element and it takes a lot to flummox a Vulcan and he played it perfectly. I was neither underwhelmed nor overwhelmed by this episode. I was just… whelmed. 5 new pairs of socks for this episode.