Date: December 7, 2020
Season 5, Episodes 2 and 3
Musical Accompaniment: Finally onto songs that begin with the letter ‘H’
Interstellar News: It’s the seventh day of my birthday month! Getting closer to the big day.
“Drone” in TL;DR: Seven, the Doctor, Paris, and Torres are on a shuttle to complete a survey of a nebula when they need an emergency beam out. Due to the interference the patterns get mixed and the Doctor’s mobile emitter is damaged and then fused with Borg technology. Voyager monitors the growth of the nebula while Mulchaey goes to the science lab and is attacked by the emitter/Borg fusion. Seven’s nanoprobes and the Doctor’s emitter have taken DNA from Mulchaey and created a maturation chamber, complete with a Borg fetus. Janeway refuses to kill it and it grows into a 29th century Borg who decides to call himself ‘One’. Seven, Neelix, and the Doctor all help One adjust to life on Voyager and he assimilates an incredible amount of knowledge. He accidentally summons a Borg sphere, but agrees to help Voyager stop it. He does so by beaming over and navigating the Sphere into the nebula. He’s greatly damaged and refuses to allow the Doctor to fix him, as that would but Voyager in danger and he really shouldn’t exist anyway, and he succumbs to his injuries.
Seven of Nine: I am to instruct the drone in the ways of humanity?
Janeway: Think of it as first contact, and you are our ambassador.Janeway’s just making people ambassadors left and right and promoting everyone but Kim.
“You are experiencing an emotion. Anxiety. It is only temporary.”: So Janeway won’t murder a fetus that could make the Borg unstoppable, but she’s totally fine with killing Tuvix… right. This is basically the abortion/adoption episode and it doesn’t even try to hide it. One finds out he’s an accident (on “unexpected”), the Doctor likens himself as the father and Seven as the mother, Janeway calling it murder, and even asking about his “real” parents… the Borg. I will say there are a lot of great lines in this episode. The Doctor calling the Borg party poopers, Janeway wanting to come clean to One before he finds out things on his own, and the ending where Seven repeats that One is hurting her but he closes with “you will adapt” is just wholesome and adorable and heartbreaking all at the same time. I am fascinated by the technology and think this was a good use of the “transporter as a plot device”, but the message behind the whole episode leaves me feeling yuck. 4 cups of cold apple cider for this one, mostly for the fantastic dialogue.
“Extreme Risk” in TL;DR: Torres is in the holodeck and disengages safety protocols but Chakotay calls her to the bridge. One of Voyager’s probes is picked up by a Malon vessel, so they stick it in a gas giant and the Malons are destroyed. Paris puts forth a new shuttle design and plan and they all get to it, though Torres is distracted. Paris questions Torres about it but she won’t open up, then she goes to another holodeck program where she fights a Cardassian and disengages the safety protocols again. Voyager encounters another Malon ship at the planet who believe it’s their fault for the other ship’s demise. Seven discovers the Malon are also building a new shuttle and it will be ready before theirs, so they have a space race. The Malon try to scare off Voyager, Torres tries to fix a flaw but disengages safety protocols and gets knocked out, but Chakotay saves her in time. Janeway questions Torres, who denies everything so she’s thrown off the shuttle project. Chakotay has Torres accompany him to the holodeck where he forces her to relive a Maquis battle, and she finally tells him the truth, she feels numb and like she’s lost all of her family. The Malon launch their craft while Paris, Kim, Seven, and Torres launch the new shuttle. Torres becomes MacGuyver and they get the probe.
Paris: Well, if we can’t transport it out, we’ll just have to fly in and grab it.
Tuvok: Perhaps you weren’t paying attention when the Malon freighter imploded.I absolutely love sassy Tuvok.
“In the future, if you come across anything that bears the insignia of the U.S.S. Voyager, head in the other direction.”: This is a great episode that highlights how people deal with grief differently and everyone does so at their own pace. Torres is devastated at the loss of the Maquis and reliving all of the bad times in her life. Turning the safeties off in the holodeck to feel the rush is the same as when people cut themselves to feel something better, but they have to keep doing so to get that feeling again. The biggest problem with both of those solutions is that it’s just plugging one hole after the other instead of figuring out where the leak is coming from in the first place. It’s awful that Voyager doesn’t have a true ship’s counselor, though Chakotay does a damn good job here. He knows how to handle Torres, though that should never be tried in real life with anyone ever. Everyone knows something is wrong with Torres as soon as she isn’t enthusiastic about the new shuttle project, we all know she loves a good geek out. I wish I knew why she went to Neelix and if she ever actually caught back up with him after she was starting to feel more like herself. I love the bit about making a new shuttle, racing with the Malons, and Torres getting her mojo back because she realizes what’s important. However, Chakotay should have never let her go, even though she did save the day in the most impressive way possible. 7 bottles of dark beer for this one.