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  #10051  
Old 01-08-2018, 04:00 AM
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Author, Author: The Doctor writes a holo-novel about the struggles of a holographic doctor fighting for his rights on a starship where no one respects him. Unfortunately he cheeses off the entire dang crew because all the characters are basically them with the serial numbers filed off. (Seriously, 'Tulok'? Were you even trying, Doc?) He's eventually convinced to give the cast and setting an extensive redesign, but then the episode turns into Measure of a Man for the last 10 minutes, as the publisher in the Alpha Quadrant publishes the book anyway, and refuses to recall it because holograms have no rights as an author. It got a bit frustrating to watch another Federation judge ponder whether or not an artificial life form can be a life form because the precedent was already set! Barclay was sitting right there, and he didn't think to go 'oh wait, let me get Picard and Data on the line, they might have some input here'. Sure, the Doc is a hologram while Data is an android, but they're similar enough that Data's case should have warranted a mention!

Oh and the B plot is centered around Voyager getting a new comm link to Earth for 11 minutes each day, with the crew holding a lottery for family comm time, which leads to some truly interesting scenes. Harry being embarrassed by his mother, B'Elanna confronting her father, and Seven seeking out her aunt. Good stuff.

Friendship One: If you were wondering how long it would be until Voyager is given a proper mission from Starfleet once regular communication opened up, turns out just one episode. Way back when Zephram Cochrane made First Contact with the Vulcans, mankind sent out a probe with warp drive delivering a message of peace and friendship to the galaxy. And also technology and an invitation and instructions on how to use it.

This, uh, this was before the whole Prime Directive thing.

Anyway it just so happens that earth lost the probe's signal somewhere in the neighborhood where Voyager is now, conveniently, so they set out to look for it. And if you guessed that the probe landed on a planet and had dire consequences for it, well you'd be right.

Overall this was actually a really good episode, tying in the subplot of Tom and B'Elanna's oncoming parenthood, particularly Tom's blossoming fatherly instincts, with the main story, which is one of the better ones in the latter half of the last season. It's ironic that a probed named 'Friendship One' led to nothing but distrust, and mistakes were made on all sides, but while it's frustrating to watch the lead alien guy be so stubborn it's totally understandable too. In the end things are resolved maybe too neatly, but sometimes a win is needed.

Oh and I think for the first time in the series we see Janeway brooding over the death of some rando. It's like, there were plenty of other random crew deaths over the years and we never saw as much from her for them, certainly nothing like her sitting wistfully in his quarters, examining an unfinished hobby. Apparently this guy was in a few earlier episodes, at least, (all the way back in Season 1, and then never seen again until now!) but he never left enough of an impression that I recognized him. Oh well! Farewell Crewman Whatsyourface!
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  #10052  
Old 01-08-2018, 08:57 AM
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Oh and I think for the first time in the series we see Janeway brooding over the death of some rando. It's like, there were plenty of other random crew deaths over the years and we never saw as much from her for them, certainly nothing like her sitting wistfully in his quarters, examining an unfinished hobby. Apparently this guy was in a few earlier episodes, at least, (all the way back in Season 1, and then never seen again until now!) but he never left enough of an impression that I recognized him. Oh well! Farewell Crewman Whatsyourface!
Killed right before the finish line. Ghastly business, that.
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  #10053  
Old 01-08-2018, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by SpoonyBardOL View Post
Author, Author: The Doctor writes a holo-novel about the struggles of a holographic doctor fighting for his rights on a starship where no one respects him. Unfortunately he cheeses off the entire dang crew because all the characters are basically them with the serial numbers filed off. (Seriously, 'Tulok'? Were you even trying, Doc?)
"Original character, do not steal."
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  #10054  
Old 01-09-2018, 08:18 AM
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Author, Author: The Doctor writes a holo-novel about the struggles of a holographic doctor fighting for his rights on a starship where no one respects him. Unfortunately he cheeses off the entire dang crew because all the characters are basically them with the serial numbers filed off.
You know, it occurs to me that if this episode came out today, there would be a thousand reactions along the lines of "ha! they're parodying fanfic!" but, as someone who watched it first run and was wading through online fandoms at the time, I want to say it was barely noted.

... I don't know what I'm saying here. Nerds have become more self-focused over the last couple decades? Hm.
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  #10055  
Old 01-10-2018, 04:28 PM
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I'm back, and:

"The Killing Game, Pt. I"

Holy crap, this episode was good as heck. And there's still more to come! Everything about this one rang true — a great in medias res intro ("Is that Kate Mulgrew in Klingon drag? Whoa, it is. WHOA, the Hirogen are up to something bad"); the most interesting use in Trek of Nazis that I've seen; Harry Kim gets to save the day; the fact that this has been going on for nearly three weeks and the crew has been mindwiped so they don't realize it; the fact that the Hirogen leader's desire for self-improvement, not his arrogance, opens the door for the Voyager crew's liberation; the fact that part two will apparently just be the Voyager crew and a bunch of holodeck character kicking ass; and the fact that the writers meticulously set up the outcome of unstoppable rogue holographs running rampant through the ship in a natural, convincing way; and finally, the baby bump becomes a plot point. I'm really digging this season of Voyager, and I appreciate the fact that the Hirogen are still being presented as a serious threat despite the way a single member of Species 8472 ran roughshod over them.
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  #10056  
Old 01-11-2018, 05:40 PM
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Voyager's done! Let's blitz through these final episodes before some final thoughts.

Natural Law: Seven and Chakotay crash in an isolated reserve for a tribal race, and Seven learns from Chakotay how to be all patient with them and junk. Oh and this basically starts off their relationship for real. So including the finale it had all of three episodes tops. Totally earned there, guys, real invested in this relationship.

Oh and Tom had a B-plot in this episode that can only be summed up with the phrase "Womp womp waaaaaaaaaaaaa~~"

Homestead: Bye Neelix!

...

Ok for real, a decent episode, though the stakes never felt super high. Mainly I guess the antagonists weren't, like, super duper evil? Just kinda inflexible and rude, and them making the jump to super murderous didn't really feel natural. They were just goddamn miners, after all. But w/e, we get the culmination of Neelix's character and he leaves the ship to stay with his people after realizing Voyager doesn't need him anymore. Which, I dunno if I agree with that, but for whatever reason the writers decided they wanted him off the ship before it got home, so. Eh! The pep talk Tuvok gave him half way through the episode, and the final exchange between the two was honestly kinda touching and awesome.

Renaissance Man: The penultimate episode, and it's a Doctor episode. The Doctor is forced to steal Voyager's warp core by those aliens from Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy and has a heck of a time staying ahead of the rest of the crew. As a Doctor episode it's merely OK, as the penultimate episode it's honestly a bit forgettable, if not for the final scene where the Doctor's program is decompiling and, figuring he's about to die, confesses all of his misdeeds to the crew. This, at least, was entertaining and the theatrics and melodrama were true to the character.

Endgame: As far as series finales go, honestly I'd have to put it behind All Good Things and What We Leave Behind. There's no other way this series could have ended, but while there isn't anything really wrong with how it got there, it doesn't quite feel earned. There's some great spectacle, but bits and pieces feel just a bit sloppy. It's ambitious, and ultimately satisfying, but everything about it just feels a little rote, just a little too neatly wrapped up.

Which, compared to TNG and DS9, describes Voyager itself, I suppose! So maybe it's the perfect finale!

Seriously, it's fine. Really, my biggest criticism of the episode is that the big return home feels so... muted. I can see what they were going for, they wanted the final shot of Voyager flying towards Earth to be one of quiet dignity. But, dangit, I WANTED triumphant bombast! I wanted visible celebrations and cheering, it was seven danged years stranded and in constant danger, and everyone on the bridge manages to stoically go about their duties in that last shot, having finally done it? At most, Harry is kind of teary-eyed a little bit. It just feels unsatisfying. Except for B'Elanna finally giving birth to Miral just as they get home, though, maybe that was laying it on a little too thick. Not to mention we never see what happened after. We KIND OF do at the beginning, in the now-aborted timeline, we're meant to extrapolate what happened to everyone keeping that in mind I guess, but ultimately it feels like we only got half an ending.

I suppose I could read some of the post-Voyager novels or get around to playing Star Trek Online for real for as-canon-as-it-gets material, but.... ehhhh.

And Seven and Chakotay... dang, this relationship. This is the big emotional linchpin that ultimately spurs Admiral Janeway on her desperate gambit. Seven and Chakotay get into a relationship, Seven dies before they reach Earth, Chakotay gets super duper sad about that, and ultimately dies of a broken heart or whatever Padme had in Revenge of the Sith. This relationship which, again has only existed for the last few episodes of the entire series, is what we're supposed to feel invested enough in to believe Future Janeway would be compelled to break the temporal prime directive over her knee and mess things up with time travel.

Seven and Chakotay is just not a compelling relationship, so this does kind of hurt a lot of the finale to have their relationship be so important to everything.

But hey, we got Alice Krige back as the Borg Queen though! That was neat!



Buuuut anyway, Voyager! I've mentioned something to this effect a few times now, but the show really does hold up quite a bit better than The Internet would have you believe.

I'm convinced much of the collective dislike show to this show is largely due to The Internet's habit of exaggerating in an echo chamber. Much like Dothraki handmaidens repeating sayings and beliefs without actually comprehending anything about them, confident that the tribe won't lead them astray, the belief is that Voyager is Bad, and Janeway is Bad. It Is Known.

But that's some bullshit. Not only is 'Voyager is bad' old meme, it's lazy, and wrong. As a whole, is Voyager as good as TNG and DS9? Nnnnnot really. But if Voyager's biggest sin is not being as good as what came before it that's hardly reason enough to condemn it. Star Trek fatigue also probably played a part in waning interest in the series while it was airing (see also: Enterprise) so I imagine that also colored people's opinions a bit.

That and the blatant sexism. Because hooooooo boy do people seem to dislike Janeway. Even though pretty much all of her faults are shared with other captains in the franchise. For some reason, though, that sort of fan loves to focus their ire on her, specifically.

Can't imagine why that is!

But, really, Voyager is good TV, overall. Sure it's not as beloved as TNG, the ensemble cast isn't as strong as DS9, but the hook of the series IS a smart one that gives the series enough forward momentum to be compelling. The writers ALWAYS had an out if they REALLY wanted to, if they felt audiences weren't connecting to the Delta Quadrant plot all they had to do was have Voyager stumble upon some convenient space thing and bam, back home. But they stuck to their guns until the end, which is to the show's benefit because what IS Voyager if not a story of trying to get home against impossible odds? Getting them home early out of ratings desperation, like they were considering early on, would have robbed Voyager of its main identity, it really would have just been TNG Season 8 if they had done that.

Shortly after the show ended I bought into The Internet's hate boner for the series and never revisited it until now. Glad I grew up a bit and mellowed out. I enjoyed Voyager while it was on the air, despite its flaws, and I enjoy it again now. It was almost like... coming home.

Now then, I stopped watching Enterprise partway through the second season. Let's see how that show holds up. (....in a bit, I'ma Netflix some other stuff for awhile first.)
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  #10057  
Old 01-11-2018, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by SpoonyBardOL View Post

But hey, we got Alice Krige back as the Borg Queen though! That was neat!
I have opinions about Voyager and its finale, but I'm too tired to write them up right now. I will say that The Borg Queen's reaction to the possibility of kissing TWO Janeways was a moment too beautiful for words.
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  #10058  
Old 01-11-2018, 07:27 PM
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Oh… I guess I'm way behind in the conversation. Anyway, I really liked "The Killing Game, Pt. II."
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  #10059  
Old 01-12-2018, 12:08 AM
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Oh… I guess I'm way behind in the conversation. Anyway, I really liked "The Killing Game, Pt. II."
Hey, I'm still behind you! Perspective or whatever.
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  #10060  
Old Yesterday, 06:44 PM
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Hullo,

"Vis-a-Vis": Eh, this one was just OK. Tom Paris hiding from his girlfriend by pretending to work on a classic muscle car is so dumb that I was kinda disappointed the skin-changer didn't just take his place. Also, they basically give a shuttle the ability to tesseract across the galaxy here and it doesn't come up again? Come on, that's even worse than the transwarp in "Threshold", and THAT episode was scrubbed from continuity for what it did to the concept of suprawarp travel.

"The Omega Directive": Much better than "The Omega Glory"! Interesting to see the crew throw respect for the Prime Directive to the wind — it's a brief glimpse of how awful Starfleet could actually be if it didn't attempt to tread lightly around other cultures. I can imagine this is an episode that gives portions of the fanbase fits, but I enjoyed it.

"Unforgettable": A lower-key episode, which was kind of nice. I was also pleasantly surprised that the mystery woman turned out to be who she said she was and it wasn't all a con. Obviously status quo gonna status quo, so there wasn't a lot of tension here, but a tidy, melancholy episode all the same.
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