Tales from the Cultural Wilderness - Journal

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2005-05-20 Entry: "Voyages End (Season 1 Anyway...)"

"Eye Of The Needle" finishes up Tuesday night's viewing, and the crew find a wormhole... but it's too small to take Voyager through, and they're not sure where it leads. After some investigation, involving getting a probe lodged in an eddy, they discover it leads to the Alpha Quadrant and there's a ship on the other end.

Why are they worried that it goes to the Alpha Quadrant? The Klingon homeworld is in the Beta Quadrant, so there'd be no harm in the wormhole going there, and as this is set post Emissary, a wormhole to the Gamma Quadrant wouldn't be too bad... they'd just have to avoid the Dominion and make it back to the Bajoran Wormhole.

Anyway, the ship on the other end turns out to be Romulan, and they're obviously rather hesitant about making contact with a Federation ship. They're also slightly surprised by the level of technology on Voyager, and there's a perfectly good reason for that...

Wednesday night sees the next five episodes, starting with "Ex Post Facto" and seeing Tom Paris managing to get himself into trouble again, being charged and convicted of murder on an alien planet. Unfortunately the punishment is having the victim's final moments implanted in his brain and having to relive it every 14 hours. It's made slightly worse by the fact that this isn't entirely compatible with human physiology and it's eventually going to kill him.

This episode does see Tuvok getting to play detective for the first time, so it's not all bad, and the Captain grudgingly agrees that Tom isn't guilty, which is kind of her!

"Emanations" is a typical Star Trek tale, this time talking about death and the afterlife when they discover what looks like a burial site for an alien species on an asteroid. But the bodies are deposited there by some subspace vacuole swirly thing and Harry accidentally gets sucked back through it to where the body came from. Meanwhile, Voyager manage to revive the latest arrival, and she's clearly disturbed thinking she's arrived in the afterlife and this bunch of morons are her companions for eternity!

Harry has to cope with a society that think he's come back from the afterlife, and find a way to get back to his ship... the problem is that the only way the back appears to be through the device that sends the population there, a device designed to kill them first!

It's fairly yawn-worthy, so things have to pick up a little in "Prime Factors" where the crew meet a really friendly species that host them at a bunch of festivities. The leader of the alien bunch seems to be trying to woo the Captain, but when Harry discovers that these aliens have a transporter type technology that could potentially transport the ship tens of thousands of lightyears in one jump, things ratchet up a notch.

Clearly, the aliens can't give up their technology, the equivalent of their prime directive, so the crew try to trade for it. After stringing the Captain along for a while, it becomes clear the alien leader has no interest in giving them the technology, so the Maquis decide to take things in to their own hands. Of course, Tuvok steps in to the middle of this, and the Captain's double standard rears its ugly head for the first time. B'Elanna gets a serious reprimand on her record, while Tuvok just gets a stern talking to about how logic can be used to reach any decision you want. Where's his reprimand? Oh, right, he's the Captain's friend and confidant, and he wasn't a Maquis member...

"State Of Flux" sees the return of the Kazon, and Neelix getting a healthy supply of leola root. Oh, yeah, there's a bit about the Kazon managing to get hold of a Star Fleet replicator (apparently Star Fleet are the only ones to use some particular technology that sounds like it was stolen from V) and cause an accident on their ship that fuses them with the bulkheads.

So then the search is on for the traitor in the crew... is it the clearly stupid Lieutenant Carey, or the devious, manipulative, alluring, and former Maquis, Seska? Hmmm... let me think! Carey, who might be pissed off about being passed over for Chief Engineer, a position he is clearly unqualified for, by B'Elanna, or Seska, who seems to be throwing herself at Chakotay to distract him?

Clearly this is just another case of the senior staff being monumentally stupid, but that seems to be a requirement for promotion in Star Fleet...

"Heroes And Demons" finishes Wednesday night's viewing with the Doctor's first away mission... okay, he's only going to the Holodeck, but they allow him to leave his usual environs. How come he doesn't get a costume change though?

Anyway, there's a Beowulf story playing out on the Holodeck, and Harry Kim goes missing while the rest of the crew are studying some photonic energy phenomenon. Tuvok and Chakotay go in to investigate and they too get swallowed up by Graendel... so they need a crewmember composed of photonic energy to go and sort things out... cue the Doctor! So he gets to mess around with sword-wielding warriors, gets a love interest, and attempts first contact with swirly things.

Thursday isn't quite the highlight that Wednesday was, starting with the stupid "Cathexis." Tuvok comes back to the ship with Chakotay's body after an away mission. It seems all of Chakotay's bio-neural energy has been drained and he's brain dead (not much of a change from usual - perhaps he can take over the Morale officer position?).

Going back to the nebula to investigate, the ship starts to suffer strange behaviour by the crew... each one apparently being taken over by an external force and acting with no memory of their actions. Clearly Chakotay is loose on the ship, but the crew take another twenty minutes to reach that conclusion!

There's lots of messing around with a medicine wheel here which really should have been chopped out of the episode, but they've still got to beat us over the head with the fact that Chakotay comes from a backwards tribe that believes in the healing power of prayer... alright, so maybe it would work if they didn't let B'Elanna loose with it and leave Chakotay's spirit lost in the realm of the Buffalo Women!

"Faces" sees the return of the Vidiians, when they kidnap Tom Paris, B'Elanna Torres, and some random crewmember, while they're out on a mission in a shuttlecraft. The Vidiian scientist is sure that a Klingon is resistant to the Phage, so he splits B'Elanna in two - fully human coward and fully Klingon crazy woman.

Of course, this is a whole morality tale of B'Elanna being the sum of her mixed heritage, with both sides giving her something useful. Yawn... at least we get to kill off a random crewmember here!

"Jetrel" is a Neelix episode.

"Learning Curve" sees Tuvok trying to train a bunch of unruly Maquis who aren't integrating well into the shiny happy Star Fleet family... Brannon and Braga missed them when they sneaked on board in episode three to install the happy chips...

Tuvok tries to learn how to teach them so they'll actually listen to him, while the rest of the crew runs around trying to fix the bio-neural gel packs and spouting dumb lines like "get this cheese to sickbay!" Who writes this rubbish? Of course, the Maquis learn the true meaning of Christmas (too much turkey!) and are never seen from again!

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