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Old June 25 2009, 08:22 PM   #1951
Tomalak
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

teya wrote: View Post
Bertie wrote: View Post
GodBen wrote: View Post
[Bliss (*½)
Trivia: The actor who played the alien in "Bliss" also played the head of the Vulcan Science Academy who insults Spock's human heritage in Star Trek XI (source). I like his work, so that's one point in favor of "Bliss".

He's also the father of Mark Sheppard, who played Icheb's father in "Child's Play" and who played Romo Lampkin on BSG.
I didn't know that, interesting.
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Old June 26 2009, 03:17 AM   #1952
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Tomalak wrote: View Post
teya wrote: View Post
Bertie wrote: View Post

Trivia: The actor who played the alien in "Bliss" also played the head of the Vulcan Science Academy who insults Spock's human heritage in Star Trek XI (source). I like his work, so that's one point in favor of "Bliss".

He's also the father of Mark Sheppard, who played Icheb's father in "Child's Play" and who played Romo Lampkin on BSG.
I didn't know that, interesting.
He was also in Star Trek VI as the commandant of Ruha Pentha.
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Old June 26 2009, 06:26 AM   #1953
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Cyrus wrote: View Post
Praetor wrote: View Post
Bertie wrote: View Post
Trivia: The actor who played the alien in "Bliss" also played the head of the Vulcan Science Academy who insults Spock's human heritage in Star Trek XI (source). I like his work, so that's one point in favor of "Bliss".
He was also the Commandant of Rura Penthe in Star Trek VI.
He was also Data's grandfather.
Oh yeah, Ira Graves! Quite right. Good catch.

GodBen wrote: View Post
Praetor wrote: View Post
"Death to the opposition!" I can hear Worf say that (and of course "Find him and kill him!") in my head and it is literally making me laugh out loud even now, and I don't give a flying frog fuck about baseball.
My favourite line is O'Brien and Bashir's discussion about chewing gum.

O'BRIEN: They infused the gum with flavor.
BASHIR: What flavor did you infuse it with?
O'BRIEN: Scotch.

It was strong stuff too, 125.8% alcohol.
"Wee Bairns" brand.

GodBen wrote: View Post
Praetor wrote:
(BTW, your name is Steve? I feel so... deceived. )
Yup, that conversation is an exact historical record that I did not change one iota.
Good. Good.

GodBen wrote: View Post
Praetor wrote:
He was also the Commandant of Rura Penthe in Star Trek VI.
So that's where I knew him from! I knew he was familiar sounding but I couldn't be bothered to figure out where I remembered him from.
Yep, thazzit. Honestly, he was the highlight of "Bliss" for me.

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Artillery, redirect rotten vegetables at Tachyon. Prepare to fire at my command.
Oy!







teya wrote: View Post
Bertie wrote: View Post
GodBen wrote: View Post
[Bliss (*½)
Trivia: The actor who played the alien in "Bliss" also played the head of the Vulcan Science Academy who insults Spock's human heritage in Star Trek XI (source). I like his work, so that's one point in favor of "Bliss".

He's also the father of Mark Sheppard, who played Icheb's father in "Child's Play" and who played Romo Lampkin on BSG.
Ooh, I did not know that.

DWF wrote: View Post
Tomalak wrote: View Post
teya wrote: View Post


He's also the father of Mark Sheppard, who played Icheb's father in "Child's Play" and who played Romo Lampkin on BSG.
I didn't know that, interesting.
He was also in Star Trek VI as the commandant of Ruha Pentha.
Beat ya to it.
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Old June 28 2009, 02:23 PM   #1954
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Dark Frontier (**½)

Janeway goes up against the Borg queen in the very centre of the Borg Collective? I can see why they decided this concept was worthy of a tele-movie, but that central premise is the fundamental flaw of this episode. You can't have someone march into the very core of the Borg and walk right out again and not make the Borg look like incompetents. I said back during The Omega Directive that they began destroying the mythology of the Borg, well this is the episode where they make the Borg look very foolish.

There is some good stuff in here which helps to balance out the episode, I particularly liked seeing the Borg assimilate that planet. It occurs to me that this is the only time we have ever seen a full-scale invasion by the Borg, and while I would have liked to see some planet-side action of the Borg beaming down and assimilating people, I'm happy with what we got on the spaceships.

There's some good stuff and some bad, but ultimately this episode does more harm to the image of the Borg than good. And what's with all the green lights on Borg ships? I know there was some ever since FC, but this has become overkill at this point.

Shuttles Lost: 13
Torpedoes: 48/38


One shuttle was lost in the attack on the sphere. One torpedo was beamed aboard the Borg ship at the beginning and Voyager fired six and the conduit at the end of the episode. We've already jumped the shark, we may as well jump a whale now, eh?



And because I forgot about this for Counterpoint and Gravity:

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Old June 28 2009, 02:30 PM   #1955
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

My big problem with the episode was the Borg Queen. She worked okay in First Contact, because they felt they needed a central villain, but it did take away the uniqueness of the Borg - the faceless collective identity. I liked the Hansen bits, as they showed a pair of anthropologists learning about the collective.

Susanna Thompson just isn't as good as Alice Krige either. She totally lacks the presence and menace that made the Queen so effective in First Contact.
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Old June 28 2009, 03:45 PM   #1956
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

I didn't enjoy "Dark Frontier" as much as I did "Drone" or even "Scorpion", but it still services the Borg better than "The Stolen Earth/Journey's End" serviced the Daleks on Doctor Who, that's for sure. It is still vastly superior to very average earlier "event" episodes such as "Basics" and "The 37's". "Dark Frontier" is a solid two hours of entertainment, despite some of its gaping flaws: 8/10, a more visually stimulating and grander version of "Deadlock".

I would agree with GodBen that it wasn't as good as "Timeless", "Living Witness", or "Year of Hell", but it beats the crap out of episodes rated higher by GodBen like "Once Upon a Time", "Hope and Fear", and "Night" in terms of entertainment.

I'm not so sure about Susanna Thompson either, but her costume certainly looked the part and actually seemed a little more in keeping as a spokeswoman for the cold, clinical Borg Collective (unlike the scrummy, MILF Borg Queen we had in First Contact. Kridge was good, but too passionate).

GodBen, I'm puzzled how "The Omega Directive" (an average episode anyway) supposedly demeans the Borg and you mistake metaphor for literal meaning when the Borg is said to see the Omega particle as a Holy Grail, when it is a more practical goal than that. But I whole heartedly agree with you that the Borg invading a populated solar system was the high point in "Dark Frontier" and it showed the Borg as being as dangerous as they ever were.

"Dark Frontier" has earned mixed but generally positive reviews: Jammer (positive), Sonnenburg (very postive), and Sluss (not so positive). You, GodBen, gave it a very mixed but relatively positive review as well.
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Old June 28 2009, 06:09 PM   #1957
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

"Dark Frontier" isn't a rapid-fire two hours saddled with a lot of complicated mythology but I found when I originally viewed it to be one of
those episodes that you can't fully enjoy as a completely smooth viewing experience the first time through because there are a few things the show
drops in my lap or adds a new take on previously held notions that I'm left taking it all in rather than just going along for the ride.

One of those moments was when I first heard Magnus reveal that he was aware of the Borg a full decade before the events of "Q Who?" Being a big Borg fan I was left scratching my head about that seemingly continuity-busting tidbit. As the episode proceeded I was still stuck on that. Eventually I came up with a satisfactory explanation. Some fans say it violated continuity regarding first contact with the Borg but it didn’t. I think Brannon Braga and Joe Menosky might have done a better job by inserting a line or two but Dark Frontier implies the Hansens were mavericks going on a wild goose chase to locate a race that may or may not exist based on reports most likely from various species including the El-Aurians. No one really believed in their theories. They encounter the Borg, get transported to the Delta Quadrant and are never heard from again and none of their research makes it back to Starfleet. They become a footnote. How does that undermine “Q Who”? It doesn't for me at least. In fact, I think ENT's "Regeneration" muddies things more than VOY ever did. The Hansens were working on rumors but we know from that episode there is photographic evidence and scans.

Another element that gave me fits and really had since First Contact was what exactly the Borg Queen was. I honestly didn't mind the introduction of a Queen into the Borg mythology--a central point where the collective intelligence was processed. However, I didn't care for her being an emotional femme fatale. The nature of the Borg Queen seems to spawn the most number of theories since the writers made her so nebulous and I never cared for the way the writers made her an enigma.
FC, for the most part, made her seem like she was simply a physical construct or avatar that the Hive Mind communicated through. In other words whenever the crew interacted with her it was really the Collective. However, there were some moments where she would behave like a single entity controlling the Collective like when she behaved like a scorned lover at Picard/Locutus' rebuke.

In reality the vagueness surrounding her in FC was the result of disagreement between Berman, Braga and Moore. Moore saw her as a single individual entity not an avatar. She had her own mind, there was only ever just one of her and her death would have been the end of her. He saw her as "the big Kahuna of Borgdom" as he said in an interview. She was unique. And that fits in with the oft-debated line about thinking in such three-dimensional terms she mentioned in FC. That to me came across as the Queen scolding Picard for forgetting that being Borg and part of the Hive Mind transcends the physical--three-dimensions- and is all about shared thought. So the reason Picard didn't remember the Queen very well was because she really wasn't on the cube in BoBW but was there with him in his mind. It also explains how she survived the cube's destruction without a lot of the mental acrobatics that theories such as subspace transporters, escape sphere taking her away before the explosion etc involve.

Berman, on the otherhand, didn't want to do that because he thought she might end up on Voyager--as she ultimately does. So they compromised hence all the cryptic answers in FC.

Then when the Queen popped up here in "Dark Frontier" I thought this would be a good opportunity to finally flesh her out and definitively explain what she is. After this episode aired years later I had heard that B&B had intended Alice Krige to resume the role but her schedule conflicted so Susanna Thompson was hired. In an interview Thompson said she had asked Braga whether she was the same Queen in order to know if she should tailor her performance to Krige's. He told her she was a different Queen.

As VOY continued using her it became obvious Braga saw her as a central leader with her own mind and the drones became nothing more than
mindless henchmen who responded to her commands. I eventually came to terms with that. Even in Dark Frontier the Queen discusses that she was part of species 125 demonstrating the body wasn't some template cloned each time a new queen was needed. It was strongly hinted that a Queen was created from a pre-existing assimilated drone and then given the Queen makeover where she would take over Unimatrix One and coordinate the Collective.

In fact, the impression I always had from this episode and the Queen's interest in Seven was she was being groomed. She was a female, she was
assimilated as a child like the Queen and therefore could be allowed individuality because she would have been indoctrinated into believing in the Borg philosophy and therefore ran no risk of defecting. It was too bad that beyond a brief line about the Queen being like the queen of an insect colony we didn't get an intriguing origin story about her. This would have been the perfect place given the Hansens researching the Borg. It also bothered me how Janeway along with the Delta Flyer just waltzed into the heart of the Borg with impunity and walked away unscathed. It was at that moment that the Borg's stature slipped a little in my eyes. Up until then despite what VOY critics said the show had managed to do a fairly good job of maintaining the Borg's aura of invincibility and dangerousness. Right here though it came to an end and from here on out the Borg could be featured in some interesting stories but they were never as imposing as before.

I also enjoyed the Queen's entrance--this time going one step further in her construction process. It was also neat to finally see a Borg
colony/starbase-type facility. It provided an impressive sight to behold. The Collective didn't implode with the Queen's destruction at the end
presumably because Janeway firing on her alcove severed her from the Borg that weren't on her vessel. The flashbacks were nicely eerie. I appreciated the writers addressing why the Borg hadn't come to retrieve Seven for the last year and a half when Hugh told Picard the Borg never leaves behind a drone. Also I thought Braga & Menosky did a good job pulling various disparate bits of previously established yet vague pieces of information into a very coherent backstory for the Hansens and how they ended up in the Delta Quadrant.

The second time I watched it with everything reconciled in my head and more comfortable with what the writers did to the continuity I appreciated "Dark Frontier" much more than I did the first time. I had been greatly anticipating "Dark Frontier", as was always the case with a Borg event, and most of the time they met and even exceeded my expectations. However, this one didn't come through in a way that the others always had-It felt more like an action flick starring the Borg and just using Seven's importance to the Borg not so much for character drama but as an impetus for the show's existence. Despite its shortcomings, I do enjoy it and it certainly is one of the more enjoyable season five episodes especially given what came before and what is to come.

I give it a solid 3 stars out of 4.
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Old June 28 2009, 06:29 PM   #1958
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Something that sticks out and irritates me, and I know it's really kind of minor, but Chakotay says Janeway 'always' fiddles with her commbadge when she's planning something - a character trait we've never seen before or will see again. It just bugs me that they made up this character trait for the sake of a two second joke, and is just another symptom of the 'Just Didn't Care' attitude we got from the writers.

The biggest thing for me in this episode was the glimpses into the days leading up Seven's assimilation (and, you know, learning that the Hansons fail at parenting forever...). Though when in 'The Raven' did they have time to download the ship's logs, given that it was blown to hell by the Hardheaded Aliens of the Week? Well, anyway. I liked Susanna Thompson's more clinical approach to the Borg Queen - Not that I disliked Alice Krige, because I definitely think that she IS the Queen, but Thompson, I think, is a fine alternative to her.

Of course, I do have to comment on the biggest irritant of the episode, worst than the commbadge thing above, is the fact that they show the assimilated Magnus Hanson and, other than Seven's 'Daddy?' it's a complete non-event, including his implied death (given that it's implied that he was in the Queen's Diamond when it was destroyed). I mean, it's shock value is ripped out by the lack of reaction after that one moment.

In fact, the finding the Magnus drone could have been a completely separate episode - the crew comes across one of those interceptors like they destroyed at the start that's been seriously trashed by some ion storm or something, they raid it and there he is. Some bit of humanity from Seven causes her to bring him back, try to de-Borgify him.

I'd probably rate Dark Frontier in the three star range - yeah, I was entertained, but in the long run, it didn't do much more than show off the special effects and it really did damage to the Borg - the crew hits the heart of the Collective and walks away? I'm with GodBen here - that's a blow to the Borg's effectiveness that they can't recover from, even with the 'excuse' of how the Queen wants to have Seven's unique experience among individuals to continue.
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Old June 28 2009, 06:59 PM   #1959
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Dark Frontier. It's this beautifully produced train wreck. It's pretty. When watched with the volume off it screams that's it's cool and that I should love it....I want to love it! But sadly (in this case) I don't watch television with the volume muted.

That combadge scene has always annoyed me. This is one of those moments that I talk about to people when they ask me why Voyager isn't my favorite Trek. It's an example of how if you could watch this as a stand alone movie, that scene...it would play beautifully, but since it's part of a series of events that should back up that statement, it plays as a form of false continuity; a make-it-up-as-we-go-along shtick, and let's just ignore all the stuff that came before. It just hurts my head to think about it. But I know many people, who don't pay attention to details and so they just accept that scene as is and can enjoy it. I'm just not one of those fans, which tells me that I was never Voyager's targeted audience - which hurts me, because I am a fan of STAR TREK in all it's incarnations.

The Hanson's & the Federation knowing about the Borg before 'Q-Who?" annoyed me the first time I watched it (a lot - I was screaming), but some of that has been retconned to a certain degree. I mean, it would make sense now that the Federation would have some inkling of the Borg before then, as there must be records of Archer's adventures with the Borg (though they weren't named in the episode) - that Enterprise episode also mentioned Zefram talking about the incident so others may have heard. Also, Guinan's people were saved by the Enterprise-B when Kirk was still around - and they had all encounted the Borg. With all that retconning, the fact that Starfleet may have sent out people in search of a Borg threat seems less annoying - yet it doesn't exactly gel with some of the things we've heard about the Hansons previously, does it? I'm not as familiar with that stuff anymore as I've distanced myself of late. But it seemed like there was a bit of a slipup there.

The other thing that really irked me about the 'Dark Frontier" is the confrontation between Janeway and the Queen. It's played almost exactly like the first confrontation between Riply and the Queen Alien in "Aliens". In the movie, Ripley enters the hive to rescue her new daughter figure, enters the Queen's chamber and comes face to face with the queen. Ripley fires a warning shot. The queen turns to some alien drones who shrink back at her glance as if on unspoken command. And then in "Dark Frontier" the same thing happens. Janeway enters the Borg hive to rescue her new daughter figure, enters the Queen's chamber and comes face to face with the Borg Queen. Janeway fires a warning shot. The Borg Queen turns to some Borg drones who shrink back at her glance as if on unspoken command. That's from memory, as I'm not in the mood to get out the disc and watch it right now. I know that Star Trek rips off other stuff (and that many shows do) but this moment hit too close to home for me. It just annoys me.

Then there is the Queen herself (itself?). I thought the Queen worked to a degree in 'First Contact'. But in Voyager she's played a petty manipulator. She lies. That bothered me. Seven had talked about how she wasn't used to lies and that as a Borg all things were shared so there was no reason to lie. It just felt like something the Borg wouldn't do up until this point. I felt it diminished them.

I know GodBen doesn't detract points for shuttles lost anymore, but I wanted to point out that I still do. That and the torpedoes thing. It's a constant irritant for a fan like me...

I could go on, but as so often happens lately, I have no time!

Dark Frontier ***** (with the volume down)
Dark Frontier ** (with the volume up)
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Old June 28 2009, 07:26 PM   #1960
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Bliss, eh? I thought this episode was great until about the half-way point when it turned pretty generic. Dark Frontier was very pretty looking and the assimilation scenes were quite effective, but the problem was that the Borg never seemed to be much of an actual threat to the main characters. That scene with the Borg ship hitting the Delta Flyer over and over again - just how tough is this ship supposed to be? On the plus side I like Seven of Nine, so these episodes still have their moments. Voyager, ultimately, needed more good writing. Thank heavens for Latent Image.
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Old June 28 2009, 08:50 PM   #1961
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

DGCatAniSiri wrote: View Post
Something that sticks out and irritates me, and I know it's really kind of minor, but Chakotay says Janeway 'always' fiddles with her commbadge when she's planning something - a character trait we've never seen before or will see again. It just bugs me that they made up this character trait for the sake of a two second joke, and is just another symptom of the 'Just Didn't Care' attitude we got from the writers.
THAT's the other thing I was going to say. It's so totally pointless and ridiculous to invent it, because you just spend the rest of the scene thinking "Does she? I don't think so."

At least do it in subsequent episodes, or don't bother.
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Old June 28 2009, 10:43 PM   #1962
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

TedShatner10 wrote: View Post
GodBen, I'm puzzled how "The Omega Directive" (an average episode anyway) supposedly demeans the Borg and you mistake metaphor for literal meaning when the Borg is said to see the Omega particle as a Holy Grail, when it is a more practical goal than that.
I didn't like how the episode played Omega as a representation of "perfection" and that achieving perfection is the goal of the Borg, and then Seven has a religious experience when she sees the particle forming. I liked the motivation that the Borg had ever since BOBW; they want to assimilate everything into their collective and bring order to chaos. I don't like the idea that they leave certain species out because the detract from achieving perfection. If I want to be nit-picky then I'd point out that this was first referenced in Mortal Coil as an in-joke about how useless the Kazon were, but the concept really only took off in The Omega Directive.

DGCatAniSiri wrote: View Post
Something that sticks out and irritates me, and I know it's really kind of minor, but Chakotay says Janeway 'always' fiddles with her commbadge when she's planning something - a character trait we've never seen before or will see again. It just bugs me that they made up this character trait for the sake of a two second joke, and is just another symptom of the 'Just Didn't Care' attitude we got from the writers.
That annoyed me, I won't deny it. When I saw that scene I shouted out "Since when?!" but the television did not respond to my query. Janeway didn't have a "Picard maneuver", if they wanted to introduce one then they could but they shouldn't introduce one and claim she had one all along.
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Old June 28 2009, 10:52 PM   #1963
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

The Borg were originally more about assimilating other races and technologies to improve the collective - the "order from chaos" stuff came in First Contact IIRC. With that reading, it makes sense not to bother assimilating races that will add nothing. In "Q Who", they only want the Enterprise's technology, and abducting Picard and turning him into a Borg comes as a massive surprise.

I didn't really understand what was so "perfect" about Omega anyway.
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Old June 29 2009, 01:34 AM   #1964
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

Say one thing about "Dark Frontier": it had the most aggressive — and maybe the best — music in post-Ron Jones TV Trek. At least before some of ENT, anyway. Something about the theme just fit stalking around creepy Borg corridors perfectly.

And another point on sound: the background screaming as the aliens were being assimilated. Really nothing else like it in all of Trek; it gave the scene a certain intensity that you wouldn't expect to find in the assimilation of a bunch of generic forehead aliens.

Too bad the writing was such a muddle, because the production side sure came through on "Dark Frontier".
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Old June 29 2009, 03:03 AM   #1965
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Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

DGCatAniSiri wrote: View Post
Something that sticks out and irritates me, and I know it's really kind of minor, but Chakotay says Janeway 'always' fiddles with her commbadge when she's planning something - a character trait we've never seen before or will see again.
I absolutely HATED that!!

I can just imagine Beltran rolling his eyes when he read that part of the script and going "seriously?!"


I liked Dark Frontier, I'm actually a fan of the Borg Queen and prefer Susannah Thompson over Alice Krige - she just seems so much more 'in control' than Alice's more emotional portrayal. I was disappointed in Endgame when they used Alice instead of Susannah, Susannah was the Voyager queen, Alice was the First Contact queen!

I liked seeing Seven finally displaying her emotions in relation to the Borg as well, I don't think she ever says "I am Borg" after that episode.
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