Wow! The opening began with Kim whining…so surprised! On a side note, I kind of feel like Paris’ hairline is rapidly receding! I don’t think I have mentioned this before, but I really like the openings music. I often find myself humming it.
Voyager picks up an automated transmission from a damaged world. The transmission suggested that a few members of the world were able to survive the cataclysmic event that “killed” the planet. Five humanoids were put in stasis and three survived. Voyager beams these individuals onto the ship and tries to figure out why they did not reawaken when they were supposed to. We have our plot! A mystery: Who, Why, and How??
In order to figure out the mystery Kim and B’Elanna enter the other two stasis pods to speak with the individuals to figure out why they had not exited the pods. When they enter the pods they are in some kind of evil-cracked-out-circus-of-the-damned-world where the members of the circus want to kill them by beheading. (Were the writers on acid? No, really. Were they)? The three in the stasis pods enter the scene and stop Kim’s beheading (DAMN!)! They keep teasing us with a potential Kim death. One member of the evil-circus-of-the-damned taunts them, and tells the two of them that they cannot allow the humanoids to leave because the evil-circus-of-the-damned would cease to exist. They also pointed out that the reason the other two died was because the fear of beheading caused a heart attack…So, if the fear of losing your head is what causes the heart attacks for the humanoids (because they are in a make-believe world and their physical bodies don’t actually lost their heads)… why can’t Kim and B’Elanna reason out that if they are beheaded in the stasis world their bodies would be fine. It seems like they could rationally withhold the fear and leave…. This is a huge plot flaw right? Or, am I overthinking the whole thing? They need Tuvok…or the DOCTOR!! Yeah, for the Doctor! The Crazy in charge (the embodiment of fear) argues with the Doctor, and is upset because he cannot read the Doctor! Janeway trades herself for all of the other hostages…or at least pretends to via hologram and defeats The Fear, who vanishes into the backdrop.
Least favorite part: 1. If they are going to show a crazy evil circus at least let us see some awesome feats of strength or cool acrobatics in the background. 2. The whole plot flaw thing kind of ruins this episode. 3. The point of the episode was to show that anyone can overcome their fears; okay, I understand the moral rational for the episode, but it could have been executed in a stronger fashion. Finally, The moral of the story: Don’t do drugs!
Favorite part: They torture Kim! Although, this leads to another disappointment in the show…the lack of continuity between episodes. I feel confident assuming Kim will not re-address his stress from the mental torture in this episode.