Date: October 2, 2020
Season 2, Episodes 18 and 19
Musical Accompaniment: The Stargate movie soundtrack
Interstellar News: I thought it would be fun to write about Death and Life in the same post. Happy Second Day of Halloween!
“Death Wish” in TL;DR: Voyager encounters a comet that was actually the prison cell of a Q (whom I shall call Q2) who wanted to be mortal. The Q we all know and love eventually arrives (he will be Q1) to try and stop it, so they agree to let Janeway be the arbiter. Q2 asks Tuvok to represent him at the hearing. Q1 questions himself, as an expert on the Q continuum and then brings in three people who Q2 helped, one of which is William T. Riker. Q2 shows his captivity and then they decide to head to a manifestation of the continuum so he can show how he’s suffering. He explains how he’s done everything, seen everything, and the only excitement was when Q1 was acting irresponsibly. They return to Voyager and Janeway agrees to grant Q2 asylum. Q1 turns Q2 mortal, he chooses the name Quinn, and then ingests hemlock that Q1 apparently supplied because he wants to go back to being the bad boy of the continuum.
Q1: Yes. Without Q there would have been no William T. Riker at all, and I would have lost at least a dozen really good opportunities to insult him over the years. Oh, and lest I forget, without Q, the Borg would have assimilated the Federation. Thank you. Thank you.Q1 talking about Q2 (aka Quinn) and all the good he did in the past.
“Say, is this the ship of the Valkyries, or have you human women finally done away with your men altogether?”: I forgot just how much I missed Q. The whole first bit on the bridge is fantastic. Quinn is a bit rusty and he makes the men disappear, but he is also quite polite and apologetic about the whole ordeal. Janeway’s face and response when she finds out Q is on board is perfect. When our Q arrives it’s so fast paced; bouncing around from the start of the universe to an ornament on a Christmas tree and Janeway finally has to put a stop to the madness. Tuvok makes an excellent representative for Quinn and it was fun to watch Sir Isaac Newton and a hippie from Woodstock be linked somehow. The manifestation of the Q continuum reminds me a lot of that from “Caretaker“.
The asylum hearing is a wonderful throwback to “Encounter at Farpoint” and we see some evidence that other cultures view life and death in different ways. As someone who cared for her terminally ill mother, I completely understand Quinn’s want to relieve his suffering… even if I couldn’t understand it myself. While it may not be a choice for me, it’s certainly understandable that there are some things a person can’t do anymore. However, I wish that Quinn would have agreed to give being mortal a try for at least 10 years or something like that. In the end, it’s Q who has been inspired to help someone with their last wishes. It irks me, though, that Q didn’t at least agree to tell Starfleet that Voyager was lost and headed home… it was the least he could have done. 8 loaded potato cakes for this episode.
“Lifesigns” in TL;DR: Paris is late, again, and Tuvok encounters a distress signal from a Vidiian female who is dying. She is beamed into sickbay and the EMH transfers her consciousness from a device she had installed into a holographic body in order to allow more time to work on her physical body. Danara Pel wakes up and she’s also a doctor, one who is trying to help her people and not by stealing organs. The EMH and Pel work together and she names him Shmullus, after her Uncle. Paris gets into an argument with Chakotay and Jonas receives instructions from the Kazon. The doctor realizes he’s falling in love and tells Pel in the most EMH way possible, but she just wants to be friends. Kes realizes that Pel is just overwhelmed, so Paris and Kes help the EMH and Pel go on a holodate and it’s absolutely adorable. Paris is disobedient once more so Chakotay gives his shift away and tells him he can come back when he’s ready to work. Pel wants to live out the rest of her life in her perfect hologram body with the doctor, but he convinces her to spend the rest of their time fixing her body so she can help her people. He finally does the transfer and they dance in the holodeck.
EMH: I apologize.
Denara: No. They were just being nice.
EMH: Irritating, isn’t it?The EMH being wonderful as always.
“Romance is not a malfunction.”: This was a timely episode as we just watched an episode of Scrubs where an ALS patient was trying to kill herself as her body started to break down. This also is along the same lines as the previous episode, as Pel knows she’s going to eventually die of the phage and wants to end her suffering, though this time to be with the hologram she loves. The Paris story line gets a few scenes while Jonas gets two scenes, one where he actually sees Seska and it’s all moving along.
This was a great way to show that not all of the Vidiians are complete and utter bastards as well as showing the EMH has a holographic heart. He panics because he thinks he’s malfunctioning, but it’s really because he’s being unethical in “dating” a patient. When the EMH so matter-of-factly told Pel he loved her and did she feel the same, I cackled and laughed so hard until she said no and HE LOOKED SO SAD. I loved that they parked and looked at the stars, it’s a fantastic first date even with the flowers AND candy AND teddy bear… slow down kiddo. The EMH is also super supportive of Pel doing her thing and living her life helping people as she’s meant to, but spending as much time together as possible in the meantime. It’s much better than some of the other love stories Trek has told in an hour. 9 otters named ‘Ib’ for this adorably cute and absolutely heartbreaking episode.