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Old September 2 2009, 03:48 AM   #2483
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Location: Ireland
Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

My name is Godfrey Steven Benn, I live in Dublin, and my lawyer's name is Dermot Ahern.

I didn't intend to make such a big deal about Endgame, I thought I would say that my complaints about the episode are the same as those made by everybody else ever since the episode aired and I had nothing new to bring to the conversation. But then everybody started piling on expectations so I decided I had better try and give you all a show. Here we go:

Endgame (*)

When I was new to this board I made a criticism about the title of this episode, I said that "Endgame" was a lazy title and all the other Trek finales had much more poetic names. It was pointed out to me then that the endgame refers to the final moves in a game of chess as your grand strategy reaches its climax and your pieces prepare to take the rival king, and as such it was a fitting title for this episode. Well... no. One of the most famous rules in chess is that once you take your finger off a piece you can't move it back again, you make your move and you have to live with the consequences. When you find yourself losing the game you shouldn't get upset and demand to reset the board so you can take that move again, that's cheating. You also can't replace all your pieces with queens in order to assure victory, where's the fun in that?

Issue number 1: Time travel

I can see what they were going for, an All Good Things style look into the future of these characters. But the very nature of this plot means that this is not the future of these characters, things are likely to turn out very different now that Voyager returned home 16 years early. And the way that this episode decides to use time travel as the means of getting Voyager home stops me from routing for that cause. You can't change history just because you want to, you're not allowed to play at being a god, so I don't want this plan to succeed, I wanted this plan to fail as soon as I heard it.

The plan also fails to hold up to even moderate scrutiny. If I am to accept that you should be allowed to alter history, and that Janeway has a device that seems to allow her to go anywhere at any time, why should I support a plan that will save 22 lives? Why doesn't she go back prior to Wolf 359 and destroy the Borg cube before it has the chance to assimilate Picard? Why doesn't she go back and save 7 million people during the Xindi attack on Earth? Why doesn't she save hundreds of millions of lives by preventing WW3? When you think about the episode like this it adds a selfish element to a plan I already find to be grossly immoral.

But why doesn't Janeway go back to the events of Caretaker, use the array to send Voyager home while she stays behind in her shuttle to destroy the array? What about the events of False Profits? She could have shown up in time to prevent the Ferengi screwing up Voyager's attempt to get home through that wormhole. Why not travel back to the events of Timeless and figure out a way of making the slipstream conduit stable? Or steal a few Borg transwarp coils and give them to Voyager after the events of Dark Frontier.

Basically, I want to know why Janeway doesn't care about Lt Carey.

JANEWAY: People who weren't as lucky as you and me. You said you and the Doctor wanted to keep things in the family, but our family's not complete anymore, is it?
Poor Lt Carey, he's not a part of the family.

JANEWAY: For the sake of argument, let's say I believe everything you're telling me. The future you come from sounds pretty good. Voyager's home, I'm an Admiral, there are ways to defend against the Borg. My ready room even gets preserved for posterity.
ADMIRAL: So, why would you want to tamper with such a rosy timeline? To answer that I'd have to tell you more than you want to know, but suffice it to say, if you don't do what I'm suggesting it's going to take you another sixteen years to get this ship home, and there are going to be casualties along the way.
As opposed to the casualties which happened before now, such as, oh.... Lt Carey.

ADMIRAL: Unfortunately, our favourite cup took a bit of a beating along the way. It was damaged during a battle with the Fen Domar.
ADMIRAL: You'll run into them in a few years.
Janeway's cup is more important than Lt Carey.

Issue number 2: The Borg

The Borg are a popular species and they bring in good ratings, but this is the finale of the show, there's no need to fall back on them here. As others have said, why didn't they try to bring the show full-circle by bringing back Kes and Susperia? TNG began and ended with Q's trial of humanity while DS9 began and ended with Sisko's Prophet arc. Voyager began with the Caretaker and a good moral dilemma, it ends with the Borg and time-travel with some lip-service to a moral dilemma.

I'm tired of The Borg, I'm tired of the Borg queen, I would have much preferred an ending which tried to mirror the beginning of the show somehow. The Borg aren't even used particularly well here, they're just a standard threat that stands in Voyager's way.

QUEEN: You've always been my favourite, Seven. In spite of their obvious imperfections. I know how much you care for the Voyager crew, so I've left them alone.
You could have sent a cube or 13 to assimilate Voyager and take Seven back. You're not a very smart queen, are you?

JANEWAY: Mister Paris, attack pattern alpha one. Target the lead cube and fire transphasic torpedoes.
Noooo! There's 100,000 people aboad that cube! You blew them up, you monster!

JANEWAY: What is it?
ADMIRAL: The road home.
SEVEN: It's more than that. It's a transwarp hub.
JANEWAY: You once told me there were only six of them in the galaxy.
SEVEN: That's correct.
Seven knows about transwarp hubs, she knows they're vitally important, she knows there's only six of them... but she had to take a good look at one of them before she could figure out what it is? She couldn't have taken a guess as soon as she realised there were over 40 Borg ships in the nebula?

ADMIRAL PARIS: What the hell is it?
BARCLAY: A transwarp aperture. It's less than a light year from Earth.
I don't think I need to point out why this is stupid.

Issue number 3: The cake wasn't a lie

JANEWAY: There's got to be a way to have our cake and eat it too.
ADMIRAL: We can't destroy the hub and get Voyager home.
JANEWAY: Are you absolutely sure about that?
ADMIRAL: There might be a way.
Great, now the episode completely undermines the moral dilemma they were trying to create, it is like Night all over again. For the last 20 minutes there has been option a) destroy the hub and stay in the DQ, and option b) go home while leaving the hub alone. But now there's a magical option c) which contains the best parts of options a and b but they also get to destroy the Borg unicomplex for MASSIVE DAMAGE! Where's the moral dilemma here?

Add to this the fact that Voyager last attempt to inflict damage on the Borg (Unimatrix Zero) didn't seem to do anything, so why should I give a damn about this hub when it will probably end up the same way?

Issue number 4: No homecoming

I, for one, would have loved to have seen Voyager's triumphant return home, and to see the crew's emotional reunions with their families. But there was not time for that, they blew up the Borg sphere and hey set a course for Earth. The End.

What did the Klingon sub-plot achieve apart from filling time? That time would have been far better utilised by giving this show a proper ending rather than cutting to black in the middle of the story. (Okay, so The Sopranos did that in their finale, but at least they were blatant about it and added a lot of symbolism into the final episode so that the audience could make up their own mind.) Here it feels like the writers couldn't be bothered to write a proper ending for the characters so they just ended it. Say what you will about the BSG finale, but they had about 40 minutes of screen-time after the big action finale to say goodbye to the characters, and while I've seen some people complaining about that I think that was time excellently spent.

Issue number 5: Chakotay/Seven

They still have no chemistry that I can see, and watching Chakotay pleading with Seven to not give up on their relationship is awkward. I can't buy into the notion that these two are going to fall madly in love with one another and the actors don't seem to believe it either. As the for piano music which kicked in whenever they had a romantic moment, it was laughably bad. How did the music for this episode win an emmy with the cheesy music that sounds like it should come from a bad sitcom from the 80s?

CHAKOTAY: Seven, any relationship involves risk and nobody can guarantee what's going to happen tomorrow, not even an Admiral from the future.
No Chuckles, I'm pretty sure that somebody from the future can tell you what's going to happen in the future.

Various other issues

BARCLAY: And when it comes to your performance in this class, my expectations are going to be no different than the Borg Queen herself: Perfection.
EVERYONE: *laugh*

JANEWAY: As they say in the Temporal Mechanics Department, there's no time like the present.
EVERYONE: *laugh*

CADET: When you informed the Queen that you were going to liberate thousands of her drones, could you describe the look on her face?
EVERYONE: *laugh*
Awkward and unfunny.

KIM: If they can't detect us, we should go back.
SEVEN: I wouldn't recommend it. My analysis of the tritanium signature suggests there were at least forty seven Borg vessels inside the nebula.
KIM: We can't just give up on those wormholes.
47 Borg vessels, you numpty!

KIM: I think it's safe to say that no one on this crew has been more obsessed with getting home than I have but. when I think about everything we've been through together, maybe it's not the destination that matters, maybe it's the journey. If that journey takes a little longer so we can do something we all believe in, I can't think of anyplace I'd rather be or any people I'd rather be with.
When I was in my early twenties, on a trip to East Africa, I saw a gazelle giving birth...

QUEEN: Captain Janeway is about to die. If she has no future, you will never exist and nothing that you've done here today will happen.
If Captain Janeway gets to the AQ then Admiral Janeway wont exist to travel back in time and none of this will have happened anyway. The plot makes no sense.

The good

Even if the plot is stupid, it is well-executed. Very rarely did I get bored while watching it, and in the final battle things did get blowed up really, really good. So I'll give a point each to the production staff and the special effects guys for making the show look so good. I also liked the Tom/B'Elanna stuff in this episode, it highlighted how the two of them have grown as people over the seven years. It wasn't stellar, but it worked well enough for me.

I have to admit, there were times when I thought I would never see this day, particularly during season 3, but I have finally reached the end of Voyager. I had seen most of the episodes before (I missed two or three from the early seasons) but I hadn't seen the show in its correct order, so watching it properly has given me a new perspective. Before I start Enterprise I am going to do two more posts about Voyager; my regular season review and a final post explaining my opinions on the show as a whole. Hopefully those will be done by the end of the week and this thread can finally be allowed to fall off the Voyager forum and into internet oblivion where it belongs.
__________________ many different suns...

"No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away." - The immortal Terry Pratchett
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