R. Star wrote:
It took me a week and a half to actually sit down and finish the darn thing! I was at a loss for words after watching this episode. I looked at my husband (who has watched everything Star Trek already) and just shook my head and kept saying, "REALLY??"
Making fun of this episode has become an art form over the years. I'm a proponent of all the nepotism Janeway shows Paris in future episodes is because he rocked her world in this one.
Threshold. Yeah - it has that rep, much of it well deserved. I'll take a contrary position here though: it's actually got some pretty good stuff in it. Am I nuts? Maybe - but hear me out.
Admittedly, the whole metamorphosis/abduction/kizzards thing sucked. No doubt, no argument. It SUCKED ROYALLY. Robbie McNeill and Kate Mulgrew have both said the same thing - the episode was ruined in the last 15 minutes.
BUT. There is some pretty good character stuff for Tom Paris in it, if you can be bothered to look. That big Paris ego Qutluch mentions? Look closely - the episode exposes it quite nicely as a wall built of insecurity and unrealistic outside expectations. (Look at this ep in conjunction with Parturition, too.) Obviously the writers didn't need the slug-transformation to make that point, but it doesn't hurt to see past that aberration for a bit.
Also, the redemption speech at the end of the episode - trying not to spoil here - leads up nicely to Investigations. (I've got a story in the works that draws the connections; one of these days I'll finish it.)
And the Janeway favoritism R. Star mentions? I honestly don't see a lot of evidence of that; still don't after several go-arounds of all VOY episodes. So Janeway likes Paris. She adores Tuvok, Seven, Kes and the Doc too, and Chakotay when he doesn't contradict her. So what? But think of the evident wish KJ has to try and help TP reclaim his almost-blown life, and seen in that context what opportunities she does give him make a heck of a lot of sense. I've been a manager of people for some time now, and I spend a disproportionate amount of time on those that have a great deal of promise but need a bit of a boost to realize it. It's called good management and leadership.
Ultimately, it's all a question of nuancing - it's easy to lose what subtleties there are to be found in a given episode when the writers fail as spectacularly as they did with the lizard diversion at the end. Exorcise that, and Threshold is a not-bad character piece.
Think I'm completely off my rocker? Read Jim Wright's review of the piece on reviewboy.com. At least I know I'm not alone!