One thing that bothered me from the very beginning was that I knew none of this was actually happening. When Chakotay entered the scene and was addressed as "Captain" I instantly knew that this was just "another one of those episodes where something strange has happened to the timeline and it'll all get fixed and be back to normal by the end. Snooze."
Well its normally the case in TNG and VOY that the problems are solved by the end of the episode though, that's how episodic TV works. And its not like everything was totally back to normal at the end of the episode - Kes remembered those glimpses of the future - she saw Janeway die, how she fell in love with Tom and had his kids, and she saw the "Year of Hell" and informed the captain about the Krenim. The episode was really setting up a lot of potential threads and a possible love triangle between Kes/Tom and B'Ellana. So I think the episode achieved a lot in terms of the journey but also left us with an intriguing conclusion that had us looking towards future seasons to see what would happen. Whether that *potential* was fulfilled is probably a discussion best left for sometime in season 4.
RE: Real Life
: I'm not a huge fan of this episode, it has some good elements and some really bad ones. On the one hand the concept for the episode is very solid and I actually enjoyed a lot of the interaction between the Doctor and his family, and the scenes before they were reprogrammed were especially enjoyable and amusing. The downside comes with the awful awful technobabble B-plot (with some shoehorned in Tom Paris character development best left for another episodes) and the emotionally manipulative ending which has his daughter implausibly die from a head injury (???) after only 2 days of being reprogrammed.
Overall though I still consider it a solid episode.
RE: Distant Origin
: My heart jumped when I thought you were giving this a zero and was thinking "wow, admiralscreed really HAS gone off the rails!" but thank goodness you were just joking.
The outlandish concept and "small universe syndrome" in this episode kind of annoyed me on my first watch and I agree with misco on that holodeck scene, it was eye-wateringly silly and really reaching "computer show me a dinosaur, now show me what he'd look like after 65 million years of evolution"...*rolls eyes*.
But on a rewatch, I realized that the power of the allegory along with the excellent production values, lighting, direction and acting really make this a standout for me too. Voyager's third "excellent" episode for me after Unity
and Before and After
Not to get his hopes up (and it shouldn't since we definitely have some very divergent opinions) but I feel admiralscreed's hit probably Voyager's longest stretch of solid episodes starting with Before and After
and ending with Random Thoughts
- 16 episodes, none of which I would classify as poor.
Oh and I think its starting around this time that the look of Voyager begins to change as well as the quality. The lighting is better (a little darker and less clinical imo) and the production values improve.