Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Voyager - Episode Guide - Season 3

The slo-o-o-o-ow evolutionary progress of Star Trek: Voyager continues in season 3, as the show finally starts to more closely resemble, you know, Star Trek.

Voyager season 3 is still fairly uneven in quality, but some good old ST staples still get some good use in this season. The crew experiences trippy time paradoxes in “Coda” and “Before and After”, while the entire ship visits the 1990s a la Star Trek IV in “Future’s End.” The holodeck, well more used in Voyager than in any other ST series, is done extremely effectively in the ripping yarn “Worst Case Scenario” and the surprisingly interesting “Real Life.” (To be fair, however, there is “Alter Ego”…)

1. Basics, Part II – Talk about your pat resolutions: The Voyager crew survives in Stone Age conditions for about six hours of so and befriends a shaman while Paris, with the assistance of the Doctor, rounds up some galactic cavalry and Voyager is returned with nary a scratch. O yeah, Seska dies and the baby for which Janeway and Chakotay were willing to sacrifice ship and crew is never heard about again. **

2. Flashback – In Voyager’s version of “Trials and Tribble-ations,” Tuvok and Janeway mentally travel back to Tuvok’s time on the Excelsior, which awesomely intersects with the events of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, and gives Captain Sulu an opportunity to kick a little ass. ****

3. The Chute – With no knowledge of how they arrived, Paris and Kim find themselves in a prison straight out of Escape from New York. Kim’s sad attempts to act the aggressive badass are thankfully outweighed by a neat twist or two. ***

4. The Swarm – Janeway et al attempt to maneuver Voyage through a space packed with a swarm of small ships, but it’s Robert Picardo who deservedly gets the quality screen time. The Doctor’s memory is rapidly degrading and so B’Elanna crafts a holodeck program of the EMH’s designer, Dr. Zimmerman, to assist. ***

5. False Profits – Full disclosure: Star Trek Guide digs the Ferengi as fantastic satirical content on consumerism, so that may bias this synopsis. So … remember the dudes looking to bid on rights to a wormhole in the ST:TNG episode “The Price”? This is what happened to them after traveling through the ultimately unstable wormhole: The two conniving Ferengi found ways to exploit the local mythology of a nearby planet to their advantage; clearly The Prime Directive has no business (so to speak) conflicting with the Laws of Acquisition… ****

6. Remember – B’Elanna has recurring dreams which appear to be induced by visiting aliens called Enarans ; these are a side effect of an attempt to repress certain bits of Enaran history or something, but we’re still trying to figure out why Torres was susceptible rather than the Vulcans and Betazoids kicking around…**

7. Sacred Ground – Metaphysics and subatomic physics collide in a story that would likely have had Gene Roddenberry foaming at the mouth. When Kes is left comatose outside of a monastery while on shore leave, Janeway must take a less than scientific approach to restoring her to consciousness. **

8. Future's End, Part I – Kinda like Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home except not quite as humorous and set in the 1990s. An interesting time-travel tale which includes time travelers from the 29th century and Voyager’s escape into the 20th, where an unknown event will destroy the Earth 1,000 years later. Interesting stuff made even more compelling with Ed Begley Jr. playing an EEEvil Steve Jobs. ****

9. Future's End, Part II – Part II keeps the tension and intrigue high, while giving Tuvok and Paris some a few funny bits. Time ticks away as the unanswered questions demand resolution: Can Henry Starling be stopped? How will Voyager return to the 29th century? Does The Doctor get to keep that dope mobile emitter? And will Paris bag that attitudinal 90’s chick? ****

10. Warlord – An alien warlord takes control of Kes’s mind and whoa are the results boring … *

11. The Q and the Grey – Kind of like two Q-centric episodes put together: Q tries to convince Janeway to have a baby with him (guess he should have been around for Kes’s Elogium), and then reveals that Janeway’s decision in “Death Wish” has led to a civil war among the Q that’s having deleterious effects in the standard four-dimensional plane of existence. ***

12. Macrocosm – The classic virus-from-another-planet Star Trek trope goes one step further when a “macrovirus” invade Voyager. Watchable despite the silly presence, basically because The Doctor and Janeway are ultimately the only ones standing (literally). **

13. Fair Trade – Neelix finally admits that he knows nothing about the space they’re traveling through and goes on to whine about his uselessness. And then he gets scammed out of Voyager resources thanks to an “old friend.” **

14. Alter Ego – Kim and Tuvok vie for the affections of a holodeck babe, which then (sigh) comes to life outside the holodeck. *

15. Coda – Head trip for Janeway: The captain appears to be trapped in a time loop involving various death scenarios before the plot line takes a crazy left turn into the afterlife. ***

16. Blood Fever – Another rule of Voyager: Any story line involving B’Elanna Torres flipping out can immediately be labeled a non-classic. In this pretty silly episode. Tuvok goes through Pon Farr – and “passes it” to B’Elanna. I know, right? 0

17. Unity – In an episode set just outside of Borg space, a couple of subplots featuring the deadly force involve the investigation of a dead Borg cube and rogue Borg units who have (mostly) de-assimilated from the collective. ****

18. Darkling – Picardo gets to chew the scenery a bit in this one, based on an attempt by the Doctor to expand his personality. Unfortunately, this experiment goes awry and a Mr. Hyde type emerges at random. ***

19. Rise – Tuvok and Neelix (gods help us) crash land a shuttle (no kidding). Sensors and transporters aren’t working (imagine that) because reasons, so Neelix lies, claiming to know how to repair the nearby space elevator; also, there’s a bomb aboard. And Neelix squeakily complains that Tuvok doesn’t respect him. *

20. Favorite Son – In a plot line straight out of Kirk’s playbook, Kim is revealed to actually be a member of another species and is recalled to a planet where women are the vast majority, so even the ensign can get some. Or so he thinks … **

21. Before and After – Head trip for Kes: She suddenly finds herself years in the future and saddled with a terminal disease. She then begins traveling backward through her life. ***

22. Real Life – The Doctor creates a too-perfect family with whom to interact on the holodeck, so it’s a good thing that Anson Williams of Happy Days fame is aboard to direct. Includes a surprisingly touching ending. ***

23. Distant Origin – A nice script steadily unpacks a compelling tale about a reptilian scientist who believe their species evolved from humans. This one includes a very interesting reaction to the typical stirring speech by Chakotay as well… ****

24. Displaced – Head trip turns into invasion, as Voyager crew members are replaced one at a time by aliens who’ve discovered quite the unique pilfering strategy… ***

25. Worst Case Scenario – This show may take (justifiable) flak for overusing the holodeck, but at least three Voyager episodes make the list of top ST stories using the device. This is the first of the best. When a mysterious, anonymously-programmer holo-program starring the Voyager bridge crew and set in a time of Maquis rebellion, nearly everyone on board is obsessed. When the “author” is revealed to be Tuvok and the “holonovel” actually a training exercise, the crew nevertheless encourage him to finish writing; Paris offers to lend a hand. ****

26. Scorpion, Part I – The wussification of the Borg begun in the post-Best of Both Worlds seasons of ST:TNG continues, as the Voyager crew discovers a totally badass bunch of dudes known only as Species 8472. The Borg then condescend to negotiate (!) with Janeway regarding safe passage though Borg space in order for assistance with the 8472s.