Date: November 23, 2020
Season 4, Episodes 15 and 16
Musical Accompaniment: Continuing my 4-star playlist
Interstellar News: The new couch is wonderful and I am happy. These two episodes are not a two-parter, but they go well together and I wanted to write them up in one post.
“Hunters” in TL;DR: Voyager is trying to get a message from Starfleet command while the Hirogen go to intercept them. They arrive at the relay station and try to download the message, Janeway realizes it’s letters from home, and Neelix becomes the mailman. Chakotay and Tuvok get one, the Maquis have been wiped out and Tuvok is a grandfather. Janeway gets one from Mark, who is now married to someone else. Seven and Tuvok take a shuttle to try and get closer to the station, but are scanned, attacked, and tractored by the Hirogen. Janeway uses the field to her advantage, Seven and Tuvok are transported over, and Voyager escapes from the black hole. The relay stations are destroyed and Torres delivers a message to Kim, but the letter to Paris is lost. Neelix throws a party for everyone.
Seven of Nine: This message is important to the captain
EMH: I’m aware of that. In fact, if it weren’t for me, this transmission wouldn’t have been possible in the first place. I was the one who risked my matrix in order to go to the Alpha Quadrant. If we ever get home, I expect I’ll become quite the hero. “Emergency Medical Hologram instrumental in the return of Voyager crew.” Has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?
Seven of Nine: On the other hand, it is entirely possible that your program will be deleted and you’ll be upgraded to conform to the most recent standards.The EMH is adding to his ego while Seven tries to keep him down on Earth, errr so to speak.
“Coffee – the finest organic suspension ever devised.”: This episode packed a lot into a short span of time. A message from Starfleet turns out to be an encrypted message along with letters from home. Chakotay and Torres find out what’s happening to the Maquis during Seasons 5 – 7 of Deep Space Nine and it’s sobering that the reason they are stranded in the DQ no longer matters because the Maquis are no more. Kim spends the whole episode waiting for a note from his parents and he’s giddy as fuck when he gets his, but we have no idea what it says. Tuvok puts up a good, Vulcan face for Neelix but is clearly interested in what else his wife has to say and it’s damn adorable. Paris winds up being a dead end because his letter doesn’t come through, or maybe Torres nuked it because his dad was being a dick… but we don’t know.
The most heartbreaking letter is for Janeway from Mark, especially because they may have gotten to a relay station sooner if it wasn’t for all of the side quests. After we process all of the letters, you have Tuvok and Seven who are captured by the Hirogen, who remind me of the hunters from “Captive Pursuit“. They seem like an interesting enemy. I will say there are a few issues for me here. Who killed the dead alien and what was the point of that scene? How has no one ever had an issue with the relay system when it’s been around for 100,000 years? What was in the encrypted message that was SO IMPORTNT and then everyone forgot about? 8 bagel bites for this episode, but only the ones with pepperoni and cheese… no sausage for you!
“Prey” in TL;DR: The Hirogen are following a ship that has Species 8472 on board. The Doctor is trying to help Seven with her socialization skills when Voyager encounters the damaged Hirogen ship. The Beta has been decapitated and the Alpha is severely wounded, so he’s transferred to sickbay. They are able to get more information on the Hirogen culture while 8472 is seen outside of the ship, which it then breaks into. It turns out this alien has been on the run since it was left behind and it just wants to go home. Janeway needs Seven’s help to open a gateway into 8472’s space, but she refuses. As 8472 and the Hirogen hunter both escape their confines and battle it out on Voyager, Seven takes it upon herself to transport them both into another Hirogen ship so they can fight elsewhere. Janeway reprimands Seven.
Janeway’s Jam: “He’ll be under your supervision, Commander. If he steps out of line, shoot him.”
Tuvok: Mr. Neelix, I must ask you to exchange your spatula for a phaser rifle.
Neelix: Sure.Neelix just says yes, and sometimes that’s a good thing on a ship.
Doctor’s Orders: “You should know I’m a hologram and can’t be bent, spindled or mutilated, so don’t bother trying.”
“This lesson is terminated. “: Here’s the problem with picking up strays, you never know how they are going to integrate into your existing structure. Neelix is a “yes man” who basically does whatever is asked of him because he’s so grateful to be anywhere other than where he was. Walk around the entire ship delivering letters? No problem. Cook meals for a variety of nutrition needs for 150 people? Let’s do it. Seven of Nine, on the other hand, has a very specific skill set that has nothing to do with people skills and everything to do with technology. Neither Neelix or Seven, however, is a member of Starfleet and they are not quite obligated to follow the command structure. Think of the families on the Enterprise, they needed to follow the rules of the ship but they probably wouldn’t have been forced to do something they didn’t want to. So Seven decides to disobey an order but what’s Janeway going to do about it? Well, it should really be Chakotay since he’s in charge of crew discipline… so there’s that. There’s not really anything she can do, other than kick Seven right off the ship. Seven misreads this as Janeway being jealous or scared, but it’s really Janeway being pissed that she’s being disobeyed. I’m tired and it’s late, so I can only think of 7 words I want to hear right now.