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Old December 20 2010, 03:30 AM   #136
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Re: Star Trek: Voyager - A Marathon Re-visit.

FAIR TRADE - 3x13 - 3/5

Things don't start off too well, with Neelix feeling he can pre-empt a promotion of some Starfleet/Maquis officer and get into a security role immediately. Fortunately things improve and we have yet another good Neelix episode (a shock I know!) which helps build on his character and provides some background on his past life.

I also like the realism of the situation, as Neelix gets further and further pushed into a perilous situation, a situation all of us have been put in at some point in our lives. He's increasingly torn between helping an old friend (Wix) and doing the Right Thing and falls into the trap of easily rationalising the next questionable act. It's a fairly solid episode throughout and Neelix doesn't get the easy way out (sort of).
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Old December 20 2010, 03:52 AM   #137
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ALTER EGO - 3x14 - 1/5

This is the stupidest thing I have ever seen. Harry seems to have the emotional maturity of a 12 year old. This episode is so incredibly boring - hell in the first 15 minutes, nothing happens AT ALL. It also fails to interest me as it degenerates into a holodeck drama, which I have stated before hasn't dramatically interested me since TNG.

Also even though it turns out Marayana is actually manipulating the holodeck, I can't help but wonder about how if holdbacks are so prone to going crazy and creating sentient characters WHY ARE THEY STILL BEING PLACED ON STARFLEET VESSELS?

I mean, the fact that Marayana turned out to be someone lonely, looking for companionship and saw something in Tuvok is interesting, but it was too little too late.

The best part of this episode was that it ended.
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Old December 20 2010, 04:07 AM   #138
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Re: Star Trek: Voyager - A Marathon Re-visit.

CODA - 3x15 - 1/5

I am really at a loss with this episode. First of all, it feels like a cheat, especially the first 20 minutes as they have NOTHING to do with the main plot. I would've preferred if this had been a time loop story. It may be an overused device, but they're always fun in my opinion. No instead we get 45 minutes of Janeway: The Mary Sue

The entirety of this episode is "how great is Janeway, she has no character flaws". I haven't seen such sickly character indulgence since Kirk failed to hear what anyone was saying over the sound of how awesome he is.

It's made even worse by the fact this is ALL INSIDE HER HEAD. It doesn't paint a realistic (or likeable) picture of Janeway if it so happens that her opinion of herself is so inflated that she thinks that everyone on the ships just ADORES her. It's just bullshit, you cannot tell me that there is NO ONE on the ship who bears a grudge towards Janeway and would be happy to see Chakotay in command. It would've been a hell of a lot more interesting to see Janeway have visions of her own paranoia/fears about Voyager's situation being illustrated to the audience. Depict at least SOME of the crew now seeing Chakotay in command as being an opportunity to make some changes on board. This would've given some insight into the situation Janeway has put herself and the crew in. No that might have been interesting. Sigh.

Oh and her line: "GO BACK TO HELL" is just….ugh, so extremely cheesy. I am giving this episode a 1 as it gave Beltran the opportunity to actually act for once. Also Janeway and Chakotay need to have sex, STAT - GET IT OUT OF YOUR SYSTEMS.
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Old December 20 2010, 04:10 AM   #139
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Re: Star Trek: Voyager - A Marathon Re-visit.

Really have to say, season 3 is killing me here. I've awarded no five star episodes and there have been more stinkers than ever before.
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Old December 24 2010, 01:40 AM   #140
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BLOOD FEVER - 3x16 - 3/5

I have to say, I was thinking I would hate this episode but it turns out I kinda liked it, aside from the resolution which is awful, but more on that in a bit.

I feel sorry for Vorik in this episode as apparently Doctor-patient confidentiality means "let's discuss this with Tuvok and later other members of the senior staff". I mean, sure, it represents a risk to another crew member after a while (Torres) but initially, there's no need for this to go beyond sick bay but the Doctor has no qualms letting Tuvok know.

Another note, Harry Kim has been replaced by an UN-NAMED EXTRA.

I try to put myself in Tom Paris' situation, and I am perplexed by the idea of whether "have sex with this woman or she will die" is a turn-on or not. It does however get the Torres-Paris sexual ball rolling so I am all for that and the episode provides some more exploration and background on Vulcan culture and the Pon Farr.

The ending of this episode is shockingly terrible though. They could've just ended with Vorik having the time of his life with a holographic Vulcan chick, and B'Elanna being cured in the same way. But no, it's like there HAD to be an action scene to keep the audience interested. Vorik just comes out of effing NOWHERE and starts wailing on everyone. I keep getting the impression Voyager was often written not for Star Trek fans, but for the average mindless viewer.

This needless fight scene almost made me drop the episode down to a 2 but then out of nowhere HOLY SHIT A BORG CORPSE.
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Old December 24 2010, 01:50 AM   #141
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UNITY - 3x17 - 4/5

After the juicy little teaser at the end of Blood Fever, we finally get to sink our teeth into the Borg. I love this episode - it's the shot in the arm Voyager needed and the Borg are the villain I've always felt Voyager needed. The Kazon NEVER worked as a believable threat and the only time they really end up succeeding is because a single Cardassian who is smarter than all of them combined, helps them out.

I also like what this episode adds to the Borg, an exploration of what happens to drones who are able to escape from the Collective. The episode illustrates how they are mostly reformed, but the temptation of power and control that comes with Borg technology and interconnectivity is too great to ignore and these individuals will happily to resort to these methods to get what they want.

There's also a great atmosphere established in the space scenes where Voyager encounters the derelict Borg cube and there's just the massive feeling of "OH HOLY SHIT". This is personally one of my favourite little scenes in Voyager of all time because it really reinforces just how much of a threat the Borg still were at this point in the franchise.

This episode also reinforces just how much better a diplomat Chakotay is compared to Janeway.
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Old December 24 2010, 01:54 AM   #142
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DARKLING - 3x18 - 3/5

This episode could've been a doozy but seeing Picardo ham it up is a real joy and made this episode passable. It's also nice to see Kes evolving as a character as well as a lifeform, although it's a shame it's all going to be cut short soon enough.

This episode just edges over to be 3 instead of a 2. Picardo's acting, the furthering of the development of his character and the relationship between him and Kes really elevate this episode above being unremarkable.
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Old December 24 2010, 01:59 AM   #143
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RISE - 3x19 - 3/5

I don't have too much to say about this episode, but it's enjoyable enough mostly thanks to the tension and drama being maintained at a consistently high level. This is probably mostly in thanks to the the maglev lift being a cool plot device, taking the elevator mystery to literally greater heights.

The interaction between Tuvok and Neelix is excellent and whilst I think Neelix is annoying as hell most of the time, I can't help but feel for the guy in this episode as he's REALLY trying hard to prove himself useful beyond just a chef as he comes to realise that Voyager needs as many good people as it can get in order to survive in the Delta Quadrant. It also illustrates how he is not a perfect Mary Sue character like most of the other crew who are all just darn-tootin' amazing at anything they do.
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Old December 24 2010, 02:08 AM   #144
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FAVORITE SON - 3x20 - 1/5

The only thing that we learn in this episode is that Harry Kim has mother issues with Janeway, which would be interesting if it didn't feel like an accidental character trait through sloppy writing. Instead, it is just hilarious.

This episode also attempts to make Harry Kim more interesting by making him an alien from the Delta Quadrant. But wait no, of course it's a ruse! That would involve an interesting change to his character so instead he remains the plain, boring, white bread Harry Kim.

Also once everything is revealed at the 30 minute mark the rest is just pointless filler I don't care about. This episode's science is also remarkably stupid. So a species has evolved where only 10% of the population is male....and these males are then KILLED at marital age? What the hell.

Boring, dumb and crappy but we do get HARRY HORROR #8, where he is captured by many attractive women for the express purpose of harvesting his genetic material. This kid is a veritable psychological playground for a therapist.
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Old December 24 2010, 02:15 AM   #145
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BEFORE AND AFTER - 3x21 - 3/5

Whilst I have said before that I am big Kes/Jennifer Lien fan, this episode doesn't really elevate above 'slightly over average' for me. It's fun time travel fluff, which is pretty much Trek's bread and butter and also serves as a harbinger of terrible things to come, but is just a bit weak in general.

It's interesting see Janeway's contrasting attitude towards time travel compared to other Trek captains as he seems to say "to hell with timeline contamination, TELL ME THE FUTURE!" I guess I would do the same if I were stranded in the middle of nowhere, 70 years away from home, so I certainly wouldn't hold that against her.

Some of the dialogue in this episode isn't great though, especially Kes' AWFUL closing line to the episode "if there's one thing this experience has taught me is that there's no time like the present". I would've thought having a lifespan of only nine years would condition you to feel "there's no time like the present", especially given that every other race around seems to live about 10 times longer than you?!

Overall, it's pretty shallow but enjoyable enough.
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Old December 24 2010, 02:39 AM   #146
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REAL LIFE - 3x22 - 5/5

Finally, I was beginning to worry I wouldn't be awarding any 5 star episodes this season, but here we have 'Real Life' which I find one of the most emotional episodes Trek has ever produced.

Picardo is just great throughout this episode as he experiences the variety that family life has to offer. His perfect family is just sickeningly hilarious by the way - I was literally laughing out loud at them and B'Elanna's reaction is just great. There's also some great touches when the family life becomes more serious, like the fact that Jeffrey is attracted to other cultures and thinking it's cool, like so many teenagers who are seeking to rebel in order to establish their own identity.

Now, whilst I have stated before that holodeck dramas don't really work for me, this is VERY different. The Doc's family may be un-real to us, but to him, they are VERY real and the emotional connection he feels is real and that's where the emotional core of this episode comes from and is why this is such an excellent episode. The Doctor learns through a horrific personal tragedy what life can be like for the rest of us and the ending to this is absolutely heartbreaking. I have no qualms in admitting this reduced me to tears.

The episode may have it's flaws and the external anomaly episode doesn't really connect with the Doctor's story at all, but I don't care. There's also some smaller stuff going on like the furthering of Paris and B'Elanna's storyline which is all well and good. Plus whilst I have found the CGI in this season has been a bit hit and miss, the special effects sequences in this episode are absolutely stunning.

At the end of the day though, the Doctor's storyline is the core of this episode and is so strong that it stands on it's own well enough and in conclusion, if this episode doesn't resonate with you on an emotional level you aren't human.
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Old December 24 2010, 03:02 AM   #147
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DISTANT ORIGIN - 3x23 - 5/5

Maybe it's because I am a child of the late 80's/early 90's but dinosaurs are THE BEST THING EVER. All this episode would have to do is MENTION the word dinosaurs and I would give it five stars. Fortunately, this actually is a really great episode I am happy to objectively award 5 stars, as it is an interesting, well acted and engaging piece of science fiction.

The initial perspective is interesting and a great deal of episode time passes before we even see Voyager's crew (14 mins). It also illustrates a somewhat unusual perspective on the other side of the sci-fi fence - seeing how the alien of the week's perceives our weekly heroes.

Now you would think an episode written by Brannon Braga about sentient, evolved dinosaurs and the lost city of Atlantis would fall flat, but I suspect the teleplay's cohesion is in thanks to Joe Menosky's involvement (after all, he helped bring us the excellent season 2 episode, "The Thaw") and the episode stays relevant to the issue throughout. The episode plays out very well and the science involved is reasonably well grounded with almost no perceivable techno or medico babble I could find. The guest actors are very good and the final scene between Minister Odala and Gegen is excellent as she tries and succeeds in breaking his will.

The episode is not just an interesting scientific concept, but develops into an excellent sociological issue which gives Chakotay something to sink his teeth into for once. This is not just one of Voyager's best, but one of Trek's best episodes and goes down as one of the most memorable of all time for me.
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Old December 24 2010, 05:24 AM   #148
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Re: Star Trek: Voyager - A Marathon Re-visit.

^ Distant Origin is a pretty popular episode, it seems, and I think it definitely deserves its accolades for all the reasons you mentioned.

Can I just second that OMG DINOSAURS ARE EFFING THE BEST. EVER. The makeup in this episode: love! I used to have all sorts of dinosaur toys when I was a tot, too. Actually, I still love reptiles!

I think the love of dinosaurs may be a timeless thing.
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Old December 24 2010, 07:03 AM   #149
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I thought it was universal, but I have noticed that it's just another interest with kids today. When I was like, aged 5-10, dinosaurs were just the 'in' thing. If you liked dinosaurs, you were the coolest. Also I think that there were some major paleontological discoveries in the 1990's that boosted general public interest and also sparked the creation of one of the most awesome movies ever, Jurassic Park.
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Old December 24 2010, 09:45 AM   #150
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SRFX wrote: View Post
I thought it was universal, but I have noticed that it's just another interest with kids today. When I was like, aged 5-10, dinosaurs were just the 'in' thing. If you liked dinosaurs, you were the coolest. Also I think that there were some major paleontological discoveries in the 1990's that boosted general public interest and also sparked the creation of one of the most awesome movies ever, Jurassic Park.
Ah, you might be right. My nephew just got this huge pile of plastic dinosaur toys for Christmas and he liked it but it wasn't a big to-do.

Jurassic Park is fantastic. *high five* The couple times I've been to Islands of Adventure, we HAD to visit the Jurassic Park area.
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