The Cynics Corner

Star Trek: Voyager


by David E. Sluss

6 February 1999

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: Sci-Fi romance is admittedly not my cup of tea, but that bias notwithstanding, I found this episode to be deadly dull and full of questionable plot devices.


VOYAGER CLICHE OF THE WEEK: Tough call this week, but I'm going with the Space Anomaly [TM], the second in two weeks. Subspace sandbars, subspace sinkholes. What's next: subspace Velcro?

VOYAGER CLICHE OF THE WEEK RUNNER-UP: The Shuttle Crash [TM]. Nuff said.

CONTINUITY OF THE WEEK: So I guess there was a good reason for retrieving the multi-spatial probe back in "Extreme Risk" after all. However...

TEMPORAL ANOMALY OF THE WEEK: Besides the obvious one (the bright red one that, for some bizarre reason, B'Elanna's sensors could "barely register"), the away team was in the Anomaly for two months, according to Paris at the end of the episode. So how did the multi-spatial probe get three months worth of data, according to Chakotay, earlier in the episode?

THOUGHTLESSNESS OF THE WEEK: Throughout Voyager's rescue effort, everyone was concerned about rescuing Tuvok and Tom, but no one ever mentioned The Doctor. Considering that just a couple of weeks ago, the crew again faced the issue of The Doctor's growing sentience, you'd think that some concern would be warranted.

MYSTERY OF THE WEEK: And what was The Doctor doing on this shuttle mission, anyway? Hell, what was the mission?

OVERKILL OF THE WEEK: Since the Anomaly was collapsing on its own, according to Seven, why, dramatically, was it necessary to have the Alien-of-the-Week show up in a kewl ship threatening to close it down? It's a dramatically suspect plot device that didn't appear to serve any purpose at all, other than to provide a cliffhanger between acts. And Voyager's Alien-of-the-Week syndrome has reached the point where the alien races aren't even named (or numbered) anymore.

POINTLESS PLOT POINT OF THE WEEK: Another plot element that seemed to serve no purpose was the malfunction of the universal translator. Unlike, say, Next Generation's "Darmok" or Voyager's own "The Swarm," in which the language barrier had real importance, here it seemed to be there for the purpose of providing even more get-to-know-you filler than was necessary. Besides, once The Doctor was activated, it only drew attention to the fact that the Universal Translator makes no sense whatsoever. Shouldn't The Doctor's UT make everyone sound to one other like they are speaking the same language? If so, why does Paris need The Doctor to translate what Noss says?

HOMAGE OF THE WEEK: How'd you like the Kung Fu tribute? "When you can take the rubber ears from my head, time for you to leave." Still, the actor portraying "Grasshopper" Tuvok was reasonably effective, at times seeming uncannily like Tim Russ. I wasn't sold on "Master Po," however.

Previous: "Bride of Chaotica!"
Next: "Bliss"
NEXT WEEK: Another false homecoming scenario? And a "space carnivore" to boot! Is it sweeps again already?



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