Throwback Thursday: Star Trek Voyager’s Latent Image (Season 5, Ep 11)
It’s time to check out Star Trek: Voyager’s Latent Image on this Throwback Thursday.
On this Throwback Thursday, we’re looking at Star Trek: Voyager’s Latent Image. We open up with the Doctor being up to his normally creepy habits. After demanding to take photos of all the crew, The Doctor discovers Harry Kim had a surgery that The Doctor doesn’t remember giving him. So that prompts him to tell Captain Janeway about this during her physical. To the surprise of no one, she can’t be bothered to put down her coffee during the examination.
With the help of Seven of Nine, whom he guilts like Beverly Goldberg, The Doctor discovers that someone has been deleting his files. A nefarious accusation but it doesn’t end the way you’d think. After discovering an unknown ensign in The Doctor’s photo archives, the two set out on a mission to restore The Doctor’s memories.
The Doc is no fool and saves a backup of his memories so he can discover that it was Janeway all along! Yeah, the big reveal isn’t that exciting. She’s a good captain and is doing it for his own good. He interrupts Janeway’s debate on sumo wrestling to confront her, which was a shame because Tuvok and Chakotay were straight-up owning her in a pre(post) internet flame war.
Janeway reveals that Doc’s program was so messed up that they had to Ctrl-Alt-Delete him. Seven of Nine has issues with this and goes to confront Janeway, who’s drinking coffee. On the next edition of Voyager, the crew finally stages an intervention for Janeway’s coffee addiction. She literally raided a nebula to get some. She needs help.
After Seven of Nine goes full orphan Annie on Janeway and flat out asks her if Janeway would one day just go to Best Buy to get a new version of her, Janeway goes to tell The Doctor what went happened to the time he can’t remember.
We flash to a birthday party 18 months prior and see Engisn Ahni Jetal celebrating her birthday with what I hope to be a giant blueberry bubblegum cake. It’s not. Probably vanilla. Heathens.
We then jump to a point further in time, where Ahni, Harry, and The Doctor get ambushed by an alien who wasn’t expecting The Doctor to be a hologram. After getting beamed back to Voyager, both Harry and Ahni go into shock and The Doctor realizes he can only save one Ensign; Ahni Jetal or Harry Kim.
Kim has more seasons on his contract, so he gets to go under the knife.
The Doctor eventually realizes that he choose Kim because he’s friends with him. I guess The Doctor will be there for him. This causes him to go into a spiral of shorts, forcing him to justify why he saved Kim over Jetal. Janeway realizes she needs to let The Doctor have his emotional breakdown in order for him to right himself. So they set up a makeshift therapy session that stretches two weeks. In which Janeway is reading poetry. As this episode aired in 1999, it’s a safe bet it was Jewel; or La Vita Nuova. One of them.
I’m dating myself with that reference.
The Doctor finally gets his stuff together when he realizes that Janeway is ill with a minor fever. The last scene focuses on The Doctor reading poetry, apparently shedding his burden somehow. I guess books trump computer programs.
Let’s go to the scores.
Acting: Robert Picardo is the Ace actor of the series. Any episode that features him features the best.
Writing: A brilliant look into dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, and the concerns of what happens when one just erases trauma without dealing with it.
Design: Nothing off about the design, typical Voyager aesthetic. Minus one, however, for Seven of Nine’s hair coil-bun. That always freaked me out. Where does it end?
Special Effects: In the opening scene, you can literally see the Doctor standing ahead of the “hologram” of Harry Kim. Not a great moment for a great episode.
Enjoyability: The Doctor was always one of the better-used characters, and this may have been his magnum opus.
Overall: 22/25 (88%)
This was a strong episode that showed everyone what Voyager could be at it’s best.