Star Trek: Voyager - Episode Guide - Season 7
Aside from the clear awareness on the part of the Star Trek: Voyager production team, what’s markedly different about season 7? The special effects, easily better and more gorgeous than any Star Trek iteration going into Discovery. Check out Voyager trawling the remnants of a destroyed Borg cube in “Imperfection” or nearly any exterior in “Inside Man” – here Voyager signals that this show has brought the franchise a long way from The Original Series.
The strengths of Voyager season 7 are hardly limited to looks, however. Despite a last-ditch attempt to foster an interpersonal relationship between Seven and Chakotay that features the least chemistry of any Star Trek couple since... well, since Neelix and Kes, really.
1. Unimatrix Zero, Part II – Apparently, Janeway, B’Elanna and Tuvok are able to stay cool and individual despite apparent assimilation because of magic drugs – until, oddly, Tuvok loses it temporarily. Naturally, everything else goes swimmingly accord to plan and dreams may somehow defeat the wussified Borg. **
2. Imperfection – Seven’s cortical implant begins to break down, thereby triggering a quick demise for the former drone. Until a possible donor steps forth… ***
3. Drive – In a very exciting and sadly underdeveloped idea, Paris gets wind of a local starcraft race and enters the Delta Flyer. With the buildup within the episode about as palpable as that within the show, how come this script doesn’t get to the race more quickly and why didn’t the director show us more? ***
4. Repression – A few Maquis Red Shirts are killed or apparently assaulted. Chakotay likewise goes into a coma (or so we’re told; sometimes it’s very difficult to tell). Tuvok and the Doctor take excruciatingly long to figure out what’s going on. **
5. Critical Care – The EMH as anarchist: A scammer steals Voyager’s EMH and sells him to a nearby hospital on an alien world which some twisted economic beliefs Satire, suspense, hospital-based drama, lots of Robert Picardo... what more do you want? ****
6. Inside Man – If you have managed to heretofore avoid synopses of this episode and are thus blissfully spoiler-free, you’ll dig on this one all the more. Here’s what we can tell you: A hologram of the indomitable Reg Barclay is transmitted to Voyager; the Barclay hologram is to help modify Voyager (with the latest in Starfleet™ technology!) so as to immediately get the ship back into the Delta Quadrant. Seven quickly becomes suspicious of the proposed technology involved in Reg’s plan; the twists and intriguing reveals snowball thereafter. ****
7. Body and Soul – On an away mission, Harry Kim, Seven and the Doctor are captured (imagine that), and the Doctor takes refuge “inside” Seven’s circuitry, thereby triggering the Brain Uploading trope. And for much of the episode, Jeri Ryan just kills it as EMH-inhabiting-Seven – very funny stuff. ****
8. Nightingale – Kim comes to the aid of a ship whose entire command crew has been wiped out; naturally all is Not As It Seems. The plot twists here are not quite enough to detract from the very predictable “Captain Kim” storyline. Plus, Neelix gets annoyingly shoehorned in here at an even greater level of toxicity than usual. ***
9-10. Flesh and Blood, Parts I and II – The Hirogen’s use of hologram technology has resulted in holographic prey capable of turning the tables on the hunters. The Doctor sympathizes with their plight and assists on their mission to find a new world to colonize, while Janeway must deal with the consequences of (let’s face it) another shaky decision. An okay story is well too stretched, and is anyone really buying the Doctor leaving Voyager? Also, what is up with B’Elanna’s continued racism (speciesism?) toward *holographic* Cardassians? ***
11. Shattered – Head trip for Chakotay … or it would be, if this character had the depth to freak out. Instead, when he finds himself in different time periods as he moves about Voyager, it’s an easily sussed non-problem. Interesting enough stuff for a bit of a “greatest hits” episode, and the pseudo-dream team earlier Janeway and current Chakotay assemble is fun. ****
12. Lineage – After this episode, can we finally acknowledge the dangerous stupidity that is B’Elanna Torres’s self-loathing? After finding out that she is pregnant, B’Elanna becomes obsessed with eradicating all traces of Klingon DNA from her unborn daughter. And just to prove this goes well beyond hormonal imbalance due to pregnancy, she psychotically reprograms the EMH to agree with her genetic manipulation plan. All this goes back to an ostensible childhood trauma that, while sad, hardly justifies the sudden wrought plea of victimization. Awful, just awful. 0
13. Repentance – A group of guards and prisoners are rescued from a crippled prison ship and are subsequently uneasily housed on Voyager. And then the Doctor discovers that at least one may be cured of his psychotic tendencies… ***
14. Prophecy – O, those kooky Klingons! Voyager happens upon a Klingon cruiser that has traveled for 70 years on a mission to find an afore-destined spiritual leader and/or a new homeworld. When said Klingons discover the presence of B’Elanna – a pregnant B’Elanna, no less – aboard Voyager, well, that’s clearly a sign and/or omen, right? ***
15. The Void – As in “Night,” Voyager enters an apparently boundless void. Unlike that other classic Voyager-in-emptiness story, however, Neelix does not lose his marbles, nor does Janeway get all pouty/depressed. Instead, Janeway manages to band together with various other ships who’ve also been sucked into the void. A decently paced story that defies its Beckettesque surroundings. ***
16. Workforce, Part I – Head trip for the audience: The WTFs come early and often, as Janeway, Tuvok, Paris, B’Elanna and Seven all occupy jobs in a blue-collar manufacturing district. Meanwhile, Chakotay, Kim and Neelix returned to find an empty ship piloted by the Emergency Command Hologram. (Yes!) ***
17. Workforce, Part II – Chakotay and Neelix pose as (un-brainwashed) workers to infiltrate the plant floor, and ultimately the fairly easily guessable antagonist’s motivation is revealed. (Sudden thoughts: When the entire Voyager crew was rounded up, did they get Naomi Wildman, too? Did they put her to work as well? Come to think of it, where the hell has Miss Wildman been for the past 1½ seasons, anyway?) ***
18. Human Error – What does Seven do on the Holodeck? Incredibly, she imagines everyday scenarios with crew members. Unfortunately, a dinner date with holographic Chakotay almost kills her. Also, Icheb comes around to drop a few quotes from classic thinkers. **
19. Q2 – Remember when Q wanted to, likesay, get with janeway to perpetuate the species and/or create a new leader for the Continuum? Well, the son he later had with another Q is her approximated as a human teen. Naturally, Q is all to willing to ditch junior with Janeway and the crew. Though the lad’s treachery is predictable, the plot machinations thereafter keep things interesting. And a decent enough sendoff for Q. ***
20. Author, Author – Yet another clever use of the holodeck by the Voyager folks which unfortunately shifts into an inexplicable “Measure of a Man” redux with the Doctor in the Data role and Tuvok serving as Picard. **** for the first half featuring the Doctor’s purple “prose” and Paris’s ingenious response; ** for the unsatisfying legal argument that’s founded in the Doctor suddenly acting oppressed and bitchy. Overall, then it’s a ***.
21. Friendship One – Tracking a 21st-century unmanned craft now in the Delta Quadrant leaders Voyager to a planet whose citizens blame Earth for their own destructive folly. ***
22. Natural Law – Chakotay and Seven crash land a shuttle (imagine that) nearby a group of Stone Age people. In the much more watchable subplot, Paris is busted for an orbital traffic violation in the Delta Flyer and is given a penalty of mandatory piloting lessons. Again, a split rating gets this episode a ***.
23. Homestead – Neelix departs Voyager about 168 episodes too late when a colony of Talaxians is found, and he decides to stay on with his compatriots. And o, hey, Naomi Wildman sighting! ***
24. Renaissance Man – Another straightforward, fast-moving script as aliens manipulate the Doctor into posing as various members of the crew as a means to stealing Voyager’s warp core technology. ***
25-26. Endgame – Like the great majority of the Star Trek: Voyager series throughout its run, the ending of it all is so very muted, the stakes set lower and the victory smaller. Set some 10 years after Voyager’s return to Earth, 33 years after its diverted maiden voyage, Admiral Janeway conceives of a way to change the past and return the ship home 26 years more quickly (and also nullify Noami Wildman’s daughter’s existence, apparently). At least we get a penultimate dalliance with the Borg – and resolution, rushed though it is. ***