The Cynics Corner

Star Trek: Voyager

"Someone To Watch Over Me"

by David E. Sluss

1 May 1999

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: Mostly fluff, with a few instances of witty dialogue. But not my cup of tea, particularly with Robert Picardo phoning in his performance while apparently under the influence of speed.


RECYCLING OF THE WEEK: Clearly, we're getting a rehash of Deep Space Nine's Kira/Odo plot. The isomorphism is only too obvious: Non-human character (Odo/Doctor) falls for a beautiful, if sometimes rude, female character (Kira/Seven) who wears absurdly tight spandex. He hasn't the guts to tell her, and so he keeps his feelings under wraps. But his secret is discovered by someone who annoys him (Quark/Paris). Too cowardly to act in person, he rehearses on the holodeck. Songs are sung. It doesn't taste any better the second time around.

RECYCLING OF THE WEEK RUNNER-UP: The B-plot, with the gluttonous ambassador on Voyager, smacked of that forgettable Next Generation episode, "Liaisons." But the resemblance faded, and it was mainly filler, so I guess it's not that important.

CRASH-AND-BURN OF THE WEEK: Always nice to see Harry going down the tubes in a play for Seven.

UNMOTHBALLED SET OF THE WEEK: The return of the Sandrine's holoprogram, not seen in nearly three years, was a welcome sight, at least when compared to the junk that has replaced it as the crew's hangout over the past few years, i.e. the third season's infamous beach resort, or this year's Chaotica stuff.

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE OF THE WEEK: There's a few problems with the notion of using Seven's Borg nanoprobes to sober up Voyager's guest. First, the ethical dilemma of "operating" without his permission is dismissed rather cavalierly. Regardless of whatever spiritual beliefs his people might have, he might have objected to having Borg tech put into his body. Second, we learn of Yet Another Borg Ability, namely that the Borg nanoprobes can be used to absorb Synthahol. If that's so, why can't Seven safely drink the stuff, a fact which is mentioned in this very episode? Shouldn't the probes be able to "adapt" to sober her up, so that she doesn't strip down and dance on the tables? Hmm... on second thought...

IN-JOKE OF THE WEEK: Neelix offers B'Elanna cheese in the mess hall; is this supposed to be a reference to the infamous "Get this cheese to sick bay" incident in "Learning Curve?" It's either an MST moment or a dirty trick on the writers' part, reminding everyone of that.

LAUDABLE STORYTELLING CHOICE OF THE WEEK: The good news is that whitewashing the mineral trade negotiations was a Capital Idea, because it short-circuited so many of Voyager's pitfalls (and pratfalls) in this area, i.e. lack of explanation for the inability to replicate the stuff, goofy technobabble names and/or real substances misused and misunderstood, surly forehead aliens attacking the ship, etc. The bad news is that the plots we were shown weren't especially worthwhile, either.

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NEXT WEEK: In a mad rush to meet the yearly quota, Voyager offers another installment of Trek Time Travel. Beat the clock! Literally, if possible.



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