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Old January 16 2013, 07:27 AM   #139
Kirsten Beyer
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Re: TNG: The Body Electric by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Hartzilla2007 wrote: View Post
And now Q doesn't like her anymore because of it, besides that was the writer possibly exaggerating Janeway's importance. Plus I'm not a fan of Janeway getting out of the consequences of her arrogance.

(....snip...)

I mean seriously she thought one shouldn't be afraid of the Borg despite being able to kill the f@#k out of the federation when ever they felt like it.
None of these statements ring true for me. They are, in fact, so not what I've written that I'm a little confused. And I'm not sure how any of them except perhaps the last can be taken outside the context of the latest books...or from a Janeway as portrayed on TV position only.

I mean, like Janeway or don't like Janeway, that's entirely your call. That said, how exactly have we exaggerated Janeway's importance or let her out of the consequences of anything?

In TET, Janeway learns that the choice she made to work with her future self and get her ship home earlier than it had in Admiral Janeway's timeline created a problem. Had she not done what she did, her ship would have closed Omega on their own, losing Seven in the process and apparently erasing the Q from existence, but still....her choice in Endgame set other events in motion she could never have predicted. I don't see how this exagerrates the importance of her existence...any more than any other Starfleet officer who has ever been up against an existential threat. I'm pretty sure lots of our characters have faced the possible end of everything more than once and found a work-around.

TET is essentially a story of her choosing to return to help clean up a mess she had a hand in creating. How is that not the exact opposite of her getting out of the consequences of her actions? If you accept the premise of the story at all, the only way she gets out of anything is if she stays dead. Then everybody else has to deal with the problem without her.

Further, in no way whatsoever was returning to help and subsequently surviving that avoiding consequences. You think living with the knowledge of what her past choices, a future version of herself's choices, and her current challenges is going to be easy? It almost sounds as if you are saying that for some reason her past actions were all so horrendous that the only acceptable action was for her to die as a result of them. While I'm not going to suggest we sugarcoat any of her more questionable calls over the years, I hardly think any of them warrant death, especially as they were made in the interest of protecting her crew which was pretty much her job description.

For my money, dying at this point would be a hell of a lot easier than figuring out how to live with everything she now knows. But perhaps that's just me.

I know that the Q in Before Dishonor chose to highlight their sense of her arrogance. In that instance, however, I think we might do well to consider the source. And there is a tendency here from time to time to toss around this 'arrogance' thing as a character flaw. Personally, I don't see how anyone signs up for the job of starship captain without a healthy dose arrogance. I don't think most of the people currently in any civilian or military position of authority could do what they do were not a little arrogance part of their basic operating instructions. And if anything, we've stated pretty explicitly that all she has just endured has altered her perspective considerably. She's still a strong person, still Kathryn Janeway, but damn. Too arrogant? I don't think so. To stubborn? Maybe. Too determined? Maybe. But again, I think all of these are necessary in a captain and lots of officer of lesser rank, come to think of it.

Nor do I recall her ever suggesting that anyone shouldn't fear the Borg. Did she take some foolhardy risks as she moved through their territory from time to time? Sure. Did she do it without a healthy appreciation of the possible consequesnces of her actions or the destructive capability of the Borg...not really. Dark Frontier comes the closest I can recall to a situation she likely should have avoided, but even that quickly turned into a problem with Seven she had no choice but to try and solve.

She did, in FC, counsel against returning to the DQ to further investigate the Borg, but not because she didn't fear them...because she knew too well how much they were to be feared. Her suggestion was to use the intelligence her crew had gathered to fortify the Federation's defenses over sending one or a handful of ships out there to try and end the Borg on their own...a pretty tall order, I think. At any rate, I can't bring to mind one instance of her suggesting the Borg were not to be feared.

Bottom line, the direction the stories have taken may not work for you. Clearly, it doesn't. But these statements are a misreading of them, not a defensible argument, at least as I see it.

As you were.

Kirsten Beyer
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