I had hoped I wouldn't have to do this, but since my non-review of Coda
has caused some consternation I will now rip it apart and show everybody exactly why this episode failed to earn any points. I'll start with the first scene.
NEELIX: Captain, do you have a minute?
JANEWAY: Just about a minute. I'm on my way to the shuttlebay.
NEELIX: I thought last night went well, didn't you?
JANEWAY: Extremely well. Everyone had a lot of fun.
NEELIX: I was thinking of making it a regular feature, say once a month?
JANEWAY: It's certainly worth a try.
NEELIX: And Captain, you were especially good last night.
JANEWAY: Thanks Neelix. It's been a while.
NEELIX: You'd never know. Now, Captain, I, do you think, I mean, I, I, I was wondering if,
JANEWAY: What is it, Neelix?
NEELIX: Could you possibly keep Mister Tuvok busy on the bridge that evening?
JANEWAY: I'm sure something could be arranged. Our secret, Neelix.
NEELIX: We never had this discussion.
Why was this scene played for sexual innuendo?
I don't know if this was intended by the script or if it was a directorial choice or if it was just something the actors did, but this was over-played and unfunny. The last thing I want to think about is Neelix and his junk.
Then we go to a scene where Janeway and Chakotay are in a shuttle together. Why? That's not explained until we've seen them be killed a half dozen times, but apparently they were going to a planet to collect samples. The captain and the first officer?
In a shuttle together?
You have frakking science officers for that sort of bullshit!
You don't send your captain and first officer away in a shuttle when you have no way of replacing them. Have these morons learned nothing from what happened in Resolutions
Then the shuttle crashes, which is something that is so overdone on this show that I am completely desensitised to it.
Now we enter the near-death experience part of this episode, and the first thing that happens is that the Vidiians show up and act as typical villains. I know this isn't real, but this just furthers the destruction of this initially fantastic species.
Janeway dies, they're back in the shuttle and you realise that they are revising the plot of Cause and Effect
. The loop repeats again and eventually they end up on Voyager where Shmullus diagnoses Janeway with the phage. This is the first time that the episode comes across a plot more interesting than the one they eventually go with but for some reason they decide not to go down that route.
Then we get one of the most hideous scenes in the episode, Shmullus "euthanising" Janeway. I'm in favour of legalising euthanasia because I don't believe a patient should have to suffer if they choose not to, and one of the most ridiculous accusations presented by those who oppose euthanasia is that doctors would then start killing patients without their consent in order to lower their workload. This scene only serves to reinforce this stupid argument and I cannot stand it.
Time loops, Janeway dies again, then we realise the whole episode up until this point was pointless. A good plot twist is one that makes you think "Ooooh, now I understand. That makes perfect sense." A bad plot twist is one that makes you think "That's it?!" This episode has the latter.
Then the episode becomes a rehash of The Next Phase
, the crew thinks Janeway is dead but she is a ghost-like figure who is invisible and can move through objects. She tries to get the crew to find her in some predictably boring scenes, and then her father shows up. Now this episode has a chance to be something meaningful at long last, but I never got the sense that anything which was going on was anything more than mundane, which is really surprising considering the circumstances.
Then we have the memorial service in the mess hall and Kim gives a speech. Oh boy...
You all know the old axiom "show, don't tell", well this episode completely ignores that. Kim tells the story about a time when he and Janeway ate some fruit together on a planet and it is really emotional and blah-blah-blah. The whole thing felt very phony and later I figured out why; not only did this scene never happen on screen, but the only time I can remember Janeway and Kim having any kind of heart-to-heart was at the end of Emanations
, and that wasn't all that personal. The fact is that Janeway and Kim do not have a great relationship and pretending that they do just doesn't work.
Then Janeway's dad turns evil and starts demanding that Janeway join him in the afterlife, which turns all orange and evil-looking just in case the ham-fisted dialogue was too subtle for the more stupid members of the audience. Luckily Janeway starts getting flashes of what is going on in reality and she manages to hear important parts of the conversation so that she can figure out that her father is really an alien infestation. Then Janeway's dad says this:
ADMIRAL JANEWAY: Eventually you'll come into my Matrix and you will nourish me for a long, long, time.
JANEWAY: Go back to hell, coward.
How did this episode not win an emmy for writing?
Everything is explained away, there is absolutely no ambiguity, and you realise that everything which happened in this episode didn't really happen. None of the "touching" scenes of the crew reacting to Janeway's death were real, they were a fantasy she herself created because she believes that people should act that way when she dies. I'd like to think that people would be very sad about my death too, even though the reality would probably involve church bells ringing over the joyous news and my funeral will involve people defecating on my corpse.
Then we have one last scene between Janeway and Chakotay which is so pleased with itself and its terrible dialogue that it actually made me nauseous.
I watched Blood Fever
yesterday and I haven't had a chance to review it yet because of the fall-out from Coda
, so I'll post this now and try to get around to Blood Fever
later this afternoon.