'The needs of the many...'
'The needs of the one...'
Given how quickly they constructed the Delta Flyer and how easily they managed to rebuild it in Season 7, it wouldn't strain my disbelief to believe they're capable of building their own shuttles (and there are plenty of other things that DO strain my disbelief to varying degrees elsewhere that I don't need any more help in that department anyway) - I personally wouldn't deduct points for that, but hey, you're the one reviewing, you rate them how you wish.
All it would take is one throwaway line about shuttle production and I would cancel the deductions. BSG did this, in the episode Scar
Roslin explains that they are mining an asteroid for metal used to build more Viper fighters, so if Voyager explains that they are forced to build more shuttles I will excuse them.
I wonder why they didn't use Neelix's ship more often? We only saw it once or twice, but I think it was bigger than Voyager's shuttles. It just sat somewhere in Voyager for the best part of seven years.
I wonder about that myself sometimes, I know he used it in the final season so was it just sitting in the shuttle bay all that time? How much room did they have down there to store all these shuttles, Neelix's ship and the Delta Flyer? It wasn't a big ship.
Basics, Part 1 (***)
Star Trek has one big problem; the first time they attempted a season ending cliffhanger they nailed it so perfectly that every time they tried it since they just weren't able to match it. Every TNG cliffhanger after BOBW resulted in diminished returns, and DS9 chose not to go down the cliffhanger route in favour of twist endings designed to entice you back for the next season. This is Voyager's first season ending cliffhanger, and who better to write it than Michael Piller himself?
What this episode has going for it is a sense of continuity about the events of the second season. Seska's baby is born, Voyager must face the Kazon, Suder is brought into the story and so is a minor Kazon character from Alliances. If there is a problem here it is that this doesn't feel like the wrap-up to a season long arc, this feels like a standard Voyager episode when it really needed to feel epic. There should have been a sense of dread, that this may be Voyager's last stand, that would have helped the ending where the ship is captured by the Kazon to feel less tacked on.
Another problem this episode has is that it feels a lot like set-up. The final act includes shots of Suder in the ship's vents, a native of the planet and the big bad land eel, as well as Seska explaining how Tom could have escaped in the shuttle. It is always good when you set things up to pay off later, but it isn't good when certain aspects of an episode scream that they are set-up. Set-up should be subtle, it shouldn't announce itself.
I admire the idea behind this episode: Voyager risks everything to save a child and they lose, now they must live without technology because they refused to share it. At the end the crew is faced with living on a desolate world while their home leaves without them. But as I said, the execution of these ideas doesn't feel big enough for the premise and that hampers the events as they happen.
Torpedoes! In this episode Janeway says that they don't have torpedoes to waste, so I'm adding that to my argument that they don't have a method of replacing them. Three were fired on screen, Janeway later gave an order to fire more torpedoes (plural) so they fired at least 5 in this episode.
We're half way there.
I'll be posting a season 2 wrap up before I begin on season 3, so get ready for some more graphs!