Date: December 19, 2020
Season 5, Episode 12
Musical Accompaniment: Holding steady with songs that begin with the letter ‘S’, but coming up on the last of them (or maybe not, there are 171!)
Interstellar News: I feel like I didn’t do anything today, but I did watch four episodes of Trek… so there’s that. I’m only writing about one because it’s so late… but the others will come.
TL;DR: Kim and Paris are playing “Captain Proton” when they crash land on Planet X and encounter something strange in the holodeck, but cannot stop the program. Voyager has come to a dead stop and has entered a layer of subspace. Kim and Paris are able to transport themselves out of the holodeck but Voyager stays stuck. Some photonic aliens beam onto the holodeck and think Chaotica is the enemy, so they start attacking him. The crew realizes they can’t shut the holodeck down so Paris has the “bright” idea of sending Janeway in as Queen Arachnia to disable the death ray so Paris as Proton can allow the photonic aliens to win. Janeway does an amazing job, they also send the EMH in as the President of Earth to negotiate with the photonic aliens since they believe the holodeck is the real world, and in the end Proton and team wins the day and Chaotica dies… or does he?!
Seven of Nine: It seems your infantile scenario now poses a security risk.
Kim: It was just supposed to be a little harmless entertainment.
Seven of Nine: Entertainment. Another frivolous human endeavor.Seven is not wrong, but it is a thing that has kept me quite sane during this apocalypse.
“Listen to me very carefully because I’m only going to say this once. Coffee, black.”: So this started off as a fun mystery and then they lost me as soon as Paris pitches Janeway to finish the holodeck chapter. There have got to be other ways to shut down the holodeck or, and wait for it, you get the EMH to talk to the photonic aliens just like he did. Once you get past that, and the screaming by Miss Goodheart, it’s a fun cosplay/holodeck-as-a-plot-device episode. I loved that Neelix was doing the thing that these shows almost never do and talked about people’s grooming habits – like going to the bathroom and showering. You forget just how many things need power (um, everything) when you’re on a spaceship. There were also some really great one liners, like when Chaotica calls Janeway an “impetuous harlot” or when Kim and Paris together scream “THE OTHER PANEL” at the EMH when he almost hits the wrong button. There was a lot of humor, Janeway getting to act silly, and a strange first contact situation that was resolved rather harmlessly. I’m rating this episode 8 cauliflower bread sticks that are surprisingly dense but tasty.