Thursday, February 12, 2015
Star Trek Voyager (Season 1b)
Season 1a -- Season 2a
Voyager picked things up a little bit in the second half of its opening season, but it still feels like the early “finding their way” seasons that Trek series always seem to go through. And, as they round out the shortened season, we get a deja vu feeling like we’ve been here before, be it in a political episode dealing with past war crimes like we saw in DS9, or training raw recruits like they did in STNG.
Episode 9 “Emanations”
Unfortunately (or obligatorily) the show opts to cop out on taking a position. They clarify that the dead could still be achieving a heaven, spiritually speaking. (One thinks that a true-blue “Roddenberry-ite” would cynically shout that death is the end.) I would have liked a more provocative signal that there is something beyond scientific materialism at work.
And, interestingly, Trek again takes a very pro-life stance. This time in the face of euthanasia. They do that a lot.
Episode 10 “Prime Factors”
One plotline explores Janeway’s attempts to persuade the leaders to loan them the technology. We see where that story is headed early on. This planet is really less concerned with hospitality, and more interested in Voyager as an entertaining novelty. However, the Maquis on Voyager are keen to get the tech by any means necessary. Tuvok sees Janeway’s ethical struggle and decides the logical thing to do is to releave her of her quandary, get the tech, and help the crew. In the end, no one thought to check for compatibility issues.
This is almost a compelling look at the precedence ethics takes over convenience, but the fact that things do not work feels like a cheat. The crew here is good in spite of themselves.
Episode 11 “State of Flux”
Episode 12 “Heroes and Demons”
Episode 13 “Cathexis”
Episode 14 “Faces”
Some of the stuff in this episode is truly shocking. (A face-off moment in particular!) But what is most shocking is the way this episode takes the always uncomfortable hints of racism that Trek indulges in in its simplistic handling of alien differences.
Episode 15 “Jetrel”
Episode 16 “Learning Curve”