Friendship One (**)
An interesting idea for an episode but one which ends up being dull, pointless and dumb. It starts out well enough, I like the idea that the naivety of early humanity's desire to make contact with alien races inadvertently caused a disaster on another world. The scenes of various crewmembers walking through the devastation with no idea that humanity is partly to blame is not only interesting, but it opens up a lot of potential. However, rather than exploring the legitimate grievances these aliens have with humanity, the episode makes the aliens insane conspiracy nuts who accuse humans of some asinine plot to invade the planet, and the real issue is almost side-stepped entirely. That's disappointing.
Then the episode devolves into your standard hostage situation where the goldshirt we haven't seen in six years is the only person to die. I'm not the sort of person who is opposed to characters being killed off, I believe when it is done right it adds to the drama of a series, but Carey's death is pointless, and it has no emotional resonance because the guy was clearly brought back purely to kill him. When I first saw this episode all those years ago I didn't even remember him, he meant that little to me.
Then Voyager solves the problem using magic torpedoes, and Janeway reflects upon Carey's death:
CHAKOTAY: The urge to explore is pretty powerful.
JANEWAY: But it can't justify the loss of lives, whether it's millions or just one.
Did this scene just undermine all of Star Trek? Janeway, contradict yourself:
JANEWAY: We seek out new races because we want to, not because we're following protocols. We have an insatiable curiosity about the universe.
SEVEN: Your Chief Engineer and Security Officer were nearly lost today. That is unacceptable.
JANEWAY: To you, maybe, but not to me or my crew. Our experience with the Mari gave us an insight into a culture we've never encountered.
SEVEN: But that is irrelevant.
JANEWAY: No. It's how we gain knowledge.
SEVEN: We are in disagreement.
JANEWAY: Good. I dread the day when everyone on this ship agrees with me. I thank you for your opinion but our mission is not going to change. Dismissed.
We saw two torpedoes being fired, then Janeway orders at least one more volley so that brings a total of four torpedoes (although explosive sounds indicate there might have been a lot more).