Life Line (**½)
Is it just me or does it seem like as if the writers decided to have Voyager enter into regular communication with Starfleet so that Shmully could go back to heal Zimmerman? A major moment in the show's history decided because Robert Picardo wanted a second pay-check? I don't know whether to be disgusted or to admire the guy.
You can usually rely upon Robert Picardo to hold an episode together and he does so here as much as ever. I'm not a fan of sending Shmully back to Earth willy-nilly, especially not on their first use of this new communication method with Earth, it really does undercut the notion that they're isolated if one of the characters can have a little holiday on Jupiter station. Bringing Diana in also felt gratuitous, even morso than last time. The episode also has trouble meshing with what was stated in DS9's Doctor Bashir, I Presume
, but I suppose that episode was treading into Voyager's territory a little so I'll let it go. After all, if Voyager threw in a piece of dialogue in Message in a Bottle
that the Dominion War was over then DS9 shouldn't have been forced to change their plans.
Also, what was that scene where Janeway and Chakotay discuss the Maquis about?
It came from nowhere, it went nowhere, and it tried to claim that the Maquis were still an active identity on Voyager when that hasn't been true for almost four years. Was it there to fill time? Because that's the way it feels to me.