Date: September 27, 2020
Season 2, Episode 13
Musical Accompaniment: Halidon Music presents: classical music for autumn
Interstellar News: Today I found out that something really awesome might happen in a week or two. I also sat through a two hour meeting, while in some physical pain, but it was an important subject.
TL;DR: Voyager finds an artificial life form floating through space and Torres revives it. Automated unit 3947 explains it belongs to the Pralor people, but there are no more Builders and they need help building a new power source. Janeway believes it’s against the Prime Directive so she says no, but they will take 3947 back to his ship. As 3947 beams back, it takes Torres and they almost destroy Voyager. Torres agrees to help as long as the crew is safe. Torres manages to make the prototype work just in time for a Cravic ship filled with automated units arrives and the truth comes out. The Pralor and Cravic people were at war and created the automated units to help them win but once they reached a truce and tried to terminate the units, the units terminated the humanoids and continued to fight each other. Torres kills her creation just as Paris beams her out and she debriefs with Janeway.
Janeway: We don’t know that’s going to happen. If they’re adaptable, as you say, and capable of educating themselves, they might very well learn to build a power module themselves some day.
Torres: Some day could be too late. There are only a few hundred of them left.
Janeway: I feel for the robot’s plight, but what you are proposing is exactly the kind of tampering the Prime Directive prohibits. We know almost nothing about these creatures or the race that built them. What would be the consequences of increasing their population, both to their own civilization and others in this quadrant? Who are we to swoop in, play God and then continue on our way without the slightest consideration of the long term effects of our actions?Janeway cementing why she is captain and Torres is not.
“It does not function correctly yet.”: This is a hell of a ride. The episode begins with the viewpoint of the automated unit and you can feel Torres wanting to solve this problem. She bounces ideas off of Kim, Neelix, and the EMH until she is able to make it work. There’s a wonderful callback to Data and how he’s treated and a good discussion of the Prime Directive. Torres may not agree with Janeway’s decision but she decides to abide by it and she gets kidnapped for her trouble. She gives into the demands of the Pralor units because she doesn’t want everyone on Voyager to die because of her. She tries to be honest, she gets into her work, she even tries to ask questions to help better understand the units, and eventually she’s successful.
Her joy is quite palpable, I was worried about her for a minute, but her enthusiasm was quite infectious. The BEST part was when she tells 3947 to cross his fingers AND HE DOES IT! She’s so proud of what she’s done and then instantly horrified when she learns what the units did to their builders, and she realizes what had to be done. The one big question I have, however, is how did they feed Torres? I mean none of them need food and their builders were all dead so, it’s a pretty big questions. Some follow ups… where did she sleep? did they let her? where did she potty? how was she not cranky? She nearly growled at Neelix when he cut her off after two pots of coffee, I can’t imagine she’s banging on all cylinders in captivity. 8 coffee mugs, each in their own color.