BASICS, PART II - 3x01 - 3/5
After the big dramatic setup of Part I, Part II is quite a let down. The stuff on the planet just felt farcical and I had a real hard time taking anything there seriously, not to mention the endless cliches and Neelix acting like a useless moron. Poor Hogan - you deserve better than to be eaten by a CGI cave eel.
So this leaves us with the Suder/Doc story on Voyager and Paris bouncing around in a shuttlecraft. Suder being forced to come to terms with the reality of having to murder once again is terrifically powerful stuff and I relished every scene with him on screen. Picardo delivers some great dialogue between them as well as when he's talking on his own, not to mentio The Doctor is such an enjoyable person to hear just monologuing.
The ending events of this episode are particularly troubling, and even without reading any of the production dramas going on between Piller and Taylor, the mass culling of characters and storylines is so blatantly obvious, not to mention the baby turning out to be Culluh's is a total non-sequitur. And then, after reading about Piller's desires to kill Chakotay's baby, I am even more incensed at Jeri Taylor's moronically bland vision of Voyager. I mean, what was her ideal Voyager episode? Everyone sitting around talking and agreeing on something inconseqeuntial? She seemed hell bent on removing anything of possible drama or conflict. Or perhaps she wanted to clean up a season with so many loose ends that weren't working. Well you know why they weren't working? Because you did them in such a half-assed manner! I'm sure Piller is equally to blame, since he was the one developing these threads, but at least I get the sense from things I read that he wanted to TRY and resolve them, not just kill everyone involved!
Anyway, I won't let that affect my score of Basics, Part II, but as it stands, I give a 5 for Suder's storyline and a 0 for the planet malarkey which averages this episode out to a 2.5. Now I don't like giving half marks, so the final score will be determined by my personal slant on this episode, and coupled with Paris's fun shenanigans in the shuttle and the fact the episode is at least never boring, I am going to bump it up to a 3.
A very haphazard ending to Voyager's first cliffhanger, but we'll see how it holds up to Voy's future offerings, later on.