Date: October 8, 2020
Season 2, Episode 26 and Season 3, Episode 1
Musical Accompaniment: Minus the Bear and other such tunes on my instrumental playlist
Interstellar News: My brain is an idiot.
TL;DR: Voyager is hailed by Seska who claims she and Chaktoay’s son are going to be killed by Culluh when the baby looks part human, so they go after her. They encounter a Kazon who was trapped on a shuttle, he says Seska is dead and tells them where to find the child. On the way several Kazon ships attack a certain part of the ship but don’t do any damage. Janeway is skeptical so they turn around and are immediately attacked by the Kazon-Nistrim. Everything they planned for fails and they are boarded. Seska, Culluh, and the baby are all alive and well. The Kazon take the ship and leave the Voyager crew stranded on a primitive planet. Paris gets away in a shuttle, hoping to enlist the help of some Talaxians, the EMH is still intact, and Lon Suder is hiding in the Jeffries Tubes.
On the planet, the crew tries to make camp but Hogan is eaten by a creature so the tunnels are out. They make weapons and a fire, Kes and Neelix are captured by the locals, and Chakotay bails them out. Wildman’s baby is sick and a volcano erupts, bringing the two groups in sight of each other. Chakotay saves one of the women and the leader of the local people saves the baby. Paris is alive, the Talaxians agree to help, and he gets a message to the EMH. On Voyager, the EMH identifies Seska’s son as being part-Kazon and gets Suder to help him sabotage the ship. Suder was making progress with Tuvok, but now he has to kill. They enact Paris’s plan which essentially EMP’s Voyager, Seska dies, Culluh takes the baby, Paris and the Talaxians board the ship, and eventually the crew is found and order is restored.
Doctor’s Orders: “What am I supposed to do? Lead a revolt with a gang from Sandrine’s? Conjure up holograms of Nathan Hale and Che Guevara? I’m a doctor, not a counter-insurgent. Get hold of yourself. You’re not just a hologram. You’re a Starfleet hologram.”
“I don’t know, but it feels like we’re being pecked to death by ducks.”: I was glad to see Tuvok was continuing to mentor Suder and Suder was getting the therapy that was available to him. He was able to turn his energies into enthusiasm for plants and he wants to be of some use while they are all so far from home. Of course everyone smells a trap when Seska calls for them, but they feel they can prepare for it. Chakotay’s vision with his father helps him to see that no matter who is the aggressor in a rape, if a child is born it is still an innocent. He also clearly is pro-choice because he indicates not all women carried their baby to term and I thought it was nicely done. While Janeway anticipates for a trap, she does not anticipate for a convoluted plan that includes an almost-killed Kazon who blows himself up while on her ship or that she won’t be able to self-destruct the ship if she needs to. The trap planned by Seska and carried out by the Kazon makes the crew of Voyager look like a bunch of cadets. The tricks work for a bit, even the EMH gets to hang out in space for a bit, but in the end our technologically advanced crew gets marooned without their technology… a far cry from the last time Janeway and Chakotay were stranded somewhere. When they are all corralled into the cargo bay, it very much reminds me of the scene I pictured above from The Handmaid’s Tale.
“Trapped on a barren planet and you’re stuck with the only Indian in the universe who can’t start a fire by rubbing two sticks together.”: I was sad to see Hogan and the other crew member eaten by what I’m calling the “Sarlacc Pit” creature. I find it terribly fascinating that Tuvok is so adept at making weapons and, of course, he had another life as an archery instructor. I mean that is what one does when they can live almost 200 years. I continue to love that Chakotay is able to be non-violent and really tries to do everything he can diplomatically first. He was able to bridge the gap between the locals and Starfleet, which eventually saves baby Wildman. I love that one of Janeway’s plans was essentially “throw rocks at the locals, get them to chase you, and run like hell”, especially because it worked. Paris gets to save the day but he’s surprisingly in very few shots, which I did not mind. The EMH and Suder also both get to have their time to shine, the EMH just delivers lines so well I can’t help but enjoy everything he says. It was a shame for Suder to die just as he redeemed himself, but maybe it was karma or justice or something. I was upset, however, at the ending. The ship is magically okay but no one puts their com badges on, no one asks about the baby, and there is no indication that anyone told Chakotay that he is not the father. As a two-parter and a season finale/season opener, it closed a bunch of story lines and wasn’t absolutely terrible. Combined, I give it 6 more days!!!