Think Tank (**)
This episode suffers from that old axiom; show, don't tell. The think tank aliens are supposed to be really, really smart but the problem is that I just don't get a sense of that, they come across as your standard villain of the week. The only reason I can see to think that these guys are smart is because they say they are, and everybody else says that they're smart based on... the fact that they say they are. And why was this concept used for villainy? The idea of a group of extremely smart individuals who seek out challenges is interesting, why did they have to be villains? And why was it made so obvious that they're villains from the very first scene? When you play poker you shouldn't show everyone your cards until after you've won the game, if you do so at the beginning you're guaranteed not to win anything.
For an episode about trying to out-think a problem, the more I think about it the more problems I have with it, and the irony of that is another problem with the episode. And that problem increases the irony which increases the problems which increases the irony... now I'm stuck in a feedback-loop.
This episode almost
qualifies for a TNG point deduction for copying The Most Toys
; a seemingly friendly alien creates a situation where he is the solution but it is all a part of his sinister plot to capture a main character because they are unique. However, Think Tank
is just different enough that I'm willing to give it a pass.
I wasn't bored but I wasn't impressed, this episode falls squarely in the "meh" category for me.
And since we're on the subject of torpedoes, a number were fired in this episode but I don't know how many. In one scene Janeway orders Tuvok to fire torpedoes but we don't see any fired onscreen. I thought I heard three torpedoes being fired but I'm not certain so I'm just going to count two. Towards the end of the episode Janeway orders Tuvok to fire a full spread of torpedoes but they also fail to show that onscreen. I'm going to be generous and say that a full spread is only three torpedoes, which brings us to a total of five. Seven also flew a shuttle to the think tank's ship and Voyager seemed to fly away without recovering it so I'm counting that as another shuttle lost.
Shuttles Lost: 14