Date: December 9, 2020
Season 5, Episode 5
Musical Accompaniment: Songs that start with ‘J’ and ‘K’, because the J list is super small (only 22 songs).
Interstellar News: It’s the ninth day of my birthday month and I have NINE new sunflower cream cheese flavors to try!
TL;DR: Naomi Wildman enjoys the stories of Flotter and Trevis in the holodeck while her mother is on an away mission with Tuvok and Paris. The away team encounters an ion storm and needs an emergency landing, which lands them under some rock and Ensign Wildman is hurt. Neelix is tasked with keeping Naomi occupied, but Naomi is a clever girl and knows something is amiss. Neelix also remembers the trauma of losing his own family and wants to keep Naomi from that pain. Naomi finds out the truth, Neelix explains why he was not forthcoming, and they decide to stick together. Tuvok writes a goodbye message for his family while Paris records one for Torres and Samantha leaves one for Naomi, but then they are saved at the last minute. The episode ends with the Wildmans, Neelix, and Janeway on the holodeck about the enjoy time with Flotter and Trevis.
Neelix: Do you miss your parents?
Seven of Nine: I barely remember them.
Neelix: Maybe that’s a blessing.
Seven of Nine: I adapted. The child Naomi will adapt as well.
Neelix: Borg wisdom.Seven is totally correct here, children are very resilient.
“You have been an exemplary mother to Naomi, and she is in the hands of people you trust. She will survive and prosper, no matter what becomes of us.”: This was a very good episode for something that could be a very real issue with having a parent on a starship, but there are still some issues with it. Let’s start with the issues. Anything could happen on an away mission, especially one in the Delta Quadrant, so it makes more sense for everyone to already have their goodbye message recorded before they leave. I refuse to believe Tuvok doesn’t make one every week. I also refuse to believe that Samantha hadn’t had “the talk” with Naomi yet or that she didn’t have a plan for what would happen if she passed. One of the first things my parents did after I was born was update their will and include my godparents as my guardians should both of my parents pass before I was 18. While we’re on the subject, her goodbye message didn’t include anything for her husband… what’s up with that? Also Paris doesn’t, and still hasn’t, told Torres he loves her and their relationship seems to have fallen to the back burner.
Now for the good. The holodeck program is delightful and a wonderful way for a child to experience a story. I love that it’s something Kim and Janeway talk about fondly and it reminds me of the way Ron talks about the wizard bedtime stories to Harry and Herminoe in Harry Potter. Tuvok also does some amazing counseling here when Samantha is worried about how Naomi will be without her. Naomi is the star of this episode, though. She’s excellent in the holodeck and continues to think about how to solve the problems in the story, she’s not as sensitive as Neelix thinks. She also does great with the Doctor, even though you can tell she’d rather be elsewhere than school, she listens to Neelix, and she’s super dramatic about Seven of Nine and it’s fabulous. As I said earlier it was a great episode to highlight a real situation (potentially losing a parent), but the execution didn’t make it all the way through for me. 7 otters using blotters at their jobs as potters for this episode.