Someone to Watch Over Me (***½)
This is the first episode since Latent Image
(excluding Course: Oblivion
because it wasn't about the real Voyager) where the ship or a crewmember is not placed in peril during some point in the episode, and boy was I waiting for this. Putting the ship in danger is good when done in moderation, but some of the action scenes in this recent string of episodes have been especially forced, such as at the end of Gravity
or The Disease
. In contrast, Someone to Watch Over Me
is completely character driven, there's not even a single explosion!
I enjoyed the scenes between Shmully and Seven, the two of them displayed great chemistry throughout the episode, and while I don't share Shmully's infatuation with Seven I can certainly buy into him falling for her. The problem I have with this story is that the episode ends with the status quo intact; Seven chickens out of continuing her search for a man and Shmully chickens out of telling her about the feelings he has developed for her. I was okay with that back when I first saw the episode because I thought something might come of this in the future, but the only pay-off this episode brings is a cheap joke in the penultimate episode.
Then you have the b-plot where Neelix is tasked with taking care of an ambassador, I did not care for this at all. Not only was the ambassador's gluttony overdone, but to me this is a rehash of Troi having to deal with the gluttonous ambassador in TNG's Liaisons
. The episode did not need this and I feel it detracted from the otherwise good Shmully/Seven story.
But what this episode really needed was a kickin' piano duet between Seven and Shmully, it would have blown everyone's mind.