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Old January 8 2013, 08:39 AM   #1
SJSharksfan39
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Neelix Had Some Great Episodes Throughout the Series

Tonight, just completely random, I decided to watch Season 7's Homestead, the episode where Neelix leaves. As I was watching this episode, which gave Neelix a better send off than the rest of the crew, I was thinking for all the negative pub Neelix as a character got, some of his episodes were the best. It seemed like each season you had a serious Neelix show, some of which included Tuvok like:

Season 1: Jetrel
Season 2: Tuvix
Season 3: Fair Trade
Season 4: Mortal Coil
Season 5: Once Upon a Time (I don't like Flotter, but Neelix as godfather giving Naomi some hope was the best part of the episode)
Season 6: Riddles
Season 7: Homestead

The one thing these episodes (Except maybe Tuvix had in common was it really allowed Phillips to shine in the role. It's a shame really he was used so much as comic relief because the serious Neelix shows were some of the best episodes of his character arc. I'm not sure of the characters, except for Janeway, Doc, and Seven, there was this much consistency each season. Neelix may not be my favorite character and he could get annoying at times, but man when he got his season's serious episode, Ethan Phillips did a bang up job making Neelix shine.
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Old January 8 2013, 11:19 AM   #2
Guy Gardener
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Re: Neelix Had Some Great Episodes Throughout the Series

Ethan is amazing.

Neelix has disturbing problems.

It's like when a well known beloved actor is cast in some movie as Adolf Hitler.

Jetrel: Neelix buys Magic beans and teaches a man responsible for genocide how to build a transporter and also a more effective transporter like weapon.

Tuvix. inside the Gestalt the Kitchenrat pushed and pushed and pushed until Tuvok agreed to have sex with a two year old girl alongside him, who then spitefully or logically arranged their execution.

Fair Trade. Neelix deals drugs. People die. I think the bigger note is that this space station had transporter suppression fields because three steps past the limits of Neelix's known-space and transporters are common place.

Mortal Coil. Neelix lost complete and total faith in his religion because he died and heaven wasn't waiting for him... But his faith and chipper disposition is back next week. FU reset button. Unless he was still completely dead on the inside for the rest of the series and he was just pretending he still had emotions like how that serial killer who hunts serial killers Dexter Morgan does.

Riddles: Nuvok asked Neelix if it was cool when they were Tuvix, and Neelix says that it kinda sucked, so really he shouldn't hold onto this pathetic half life so much when he would get a much healthier experience as Tuvok, and if he doesn't agree with that sentiment, then he can F himself because Janeway will hunt him down and force the procedure on him, which is entirely unpleasant so he might was well callowly bend over, shut his eyes bite a pillow and think of Vulcan.

Homestead. Some losers who ran 40 thousand light years away from a war that doesn't matter anymore are hiding in a rock maintaining an unsupportable population that's going to quickly turn to inbreeding thinks that Neelix is a god, which gets Neelix off so hard from the idolization, and the sex, I assume he got off on the sex too, but between the sex and the idolization and the political office, it's a little better than the dry spell he had on Voyager, he abandons all his friends. So yes, but Homestead is really about a Salt Vampire slowly eating Neelix feeding him a comforting fantasy so no fear sours the salt.

So yes,

Fantastically entertaining stories.
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Old January 8 2013, 11:22 AM   #3
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Re: Neelix Had Some Great Episodes Throughout the Series

Neelix was a really messed up character. He occasionally had a good episode, and Ethan Phillips was always game. It was just a shame that it was never maintained consistently. One of his most horrible storylines was his jealousy over Tom's infatuation with Kes, where he reeked of desperation and general jerkiness.

Just another character the writers didn't have a handle on.
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Old January 8 2013, 11:44 AM   #4
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Re: Neelix Had Some Great Episodes Throughout the Series

He was quite a fleshed out character, more so than Harry or Tom. Even if you think he was a jerk or inconsistently written he was not bland.
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Old January 8 2013, 12:00 PM   #5
Guy Gardener
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Re: Neelix Had Some Great Episodes Throughout the Series

Ethan admitted in an interview that he tried very hard to make Neelix annoying.

It's a holistic experience, we're supposed to hate him a little and feel sorry for Tuvok usually.
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Old January 8 2013, 02:29 PM   #6
Insp.LeStrange
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Re: Neelix Had Some Great Episodes Throughout the Series

Good list! I would add Rise to it.

Also, if you haven't seen it, check out Ethan Phillips in a cameo in Star Trek Phase II: Of Gods and Men.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFqAM...4D9B66&index=1

(He comes in at about 2:24).

I like Neelix, period. He added much needed color to the gray mood. He deserved a lot more dignity than they gave him. They'd all be eating rations over the sink if it weren't for him. He was as loyal as the best of them. He was also better at diplomacy.
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Old January 8 2013, 02:38 PM   #7
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Re: Neelix Had Some Great Episodes Throughout the Series

They were unrealistically treating Robert Duncan McNeal in those episodes like he was Ryan Gosling when he was barely Ellen.
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Last edited by Guy Gardener; January 8 2013 at 10:06 PM.
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Old January 8 2013, 02:56 PM   #8
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Re: Neelix Had Some Great Episodes Throughout the Series

Honestly, despite some of the garbage they handed poor Ethan to do I still liked Neelix a lot more than some of the other main crew.
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Old January 8 2013, 05:31 PM   #9
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Re: Neelix Had Some Great Episodes Throughout the Series

Neelix was never my favorite character, but whenever they put him in a seriously dramatic situation (as in Mortal Coil), Ethan Phillips was able to make the audience care about Neelix.
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Old January 8 2013, 05:32 PM   #10
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Re: Neelix Had Some Great Episodes Throughout the Series

I can't comment intelligently on Ethan Phillips except to say he's an actor and paid to do what's on the script. If he said he was trying to make the character come off as annoying, well I'd say he did a fine job of it.

I can intelligently say the writers made the character screwed up to the point where I had little sympathy at all for him. Frankly, it still baffles me why Janeway ever trusted him and took him along after that crap he pulled in Caretaker. He deliberately misleads the crew about where their people are and brings them to a Kazon camp to rescue his girlfriend. This gets them captured, he escalates the situation by starting by taking their leader hostage, and quite nearly gets the whole away team killed. Then he acts as if it was no big deal and that their problems don't concern him now that Kes is safe. Even Kes had to point out how much of a jerk he was there. He could have just been honest and said these bad aliens have his girlfriend captured, and she can lead us to the people who have your friends. But that would've been like... honest and respectable.

To the episodes listed as good "Neelix" episodes let's see....

Jetrel, this was a good episode. Though how Neelix can be so righteously upset about it when he was "against the war" and draft dodging is far fetched. Jetrel carried the episode with his desperation, and Neelix... I dunno, just came across as petty... even when he thought they guy was trying to save his life he acted quite... childish towards the man. It was a good overall story though and easily one of the best of season 1.

Tuvix- To be fair wasn't really a Neelix episode. Tuvix did demonstrate some of Neelix's characteristics, but... in moderation really. Which made him less annoying. Then Janeway had to murder him. But there's morality for you.

Fair Trade- I do dislike the Neelix character a lot, but I did have to feel for him in this episode. It's easy to see how he got caught up in this, just one bad call spiraling more and more out of control as he gets deeper and deeper into it. You could kind of sympathize with Neelix's thinking that he was worthless and was trying to stay useful... especially since his own expertise is generally just him talking up his abilities to make himself look good.

Mortal Coil- Really was just a bleh episode to me. Between an overexposure of Neelix, to great forest stories with Naomi and another technobabble cliche save his life plot, it just didn't engage me. A few interesting character details just aren't enough to carry the episode or really make me receptive to the antagonist of it.

Once Upon a Time- Yeah this story combines annoying children and Neelix set in annoying holographic childish setting. Yeah... I didn't care for this one. Any drama with Samantha's imminent death was not enough to detract from the annoyance of watching this one. Flotter... even the name is annoying.

Riddles- This one sort of grew on me over time. The alter Tuvok is kinda fun, and Neelix, while at first engages in his sick fantasy of having Tuvok remolded into an image of himself... he does eventually do the right thing and persuades the alter Tuvok to do the procedure. So his jerkishness has limits at least.

Homestead- They're supposed to be 20,000 light years from Talaxia by now so this one kind of stretches credibility, but we can role with it. Neelix was his usual overbearing self to Tuvok... and Tuvok really shows what a great guy he is... by giving Neelix the confidence he needed to help the Talaxian and even unwinding enough to dance when he was leaving. As much as I want to say "YAY he's gone!" you can understand his decision... this literally is the last chance he's gonna have to be with his own people. So I'll say I liked this one overall. Nice of them to remember they've been hauling Neelix's little shuttle thing all this time too.
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Old January 8 2013, 05:42 PM   #11
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Re: Neelix Had Some Great Episodes Throughout the Series

teacake wrote: View Post
He was quite a fleshed out character, more so than Harry or Tom. Even if you think he was a jerk or inconsistently written he was not bland.
Yeah I have to agree with that. On his best days he's more interesting than Harry, Tom or Chakotay.
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Old January 8 2013, 06:03 PM   #12
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Re: Neelix Had Some Great Episodes Throughout the Series

Guy Gardener wrote: View Post
Ethan admitted in an interview that he tried very hard to make Neelix annoying.

It's a holistic experience, we're supposed to hate him a little and feel sorry for Tuvok usually.
But not unlike Eugene Ionesco's The Chairs, a play about boredom, it sounds much better in theory than in practice.
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Old January 8 2013, 06:14 PM   #13
R. Star
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Re: Neelix Had Some Great Episodes Throughout the Series

teacake wrote: View Post
He was quite a fleshed out character, more so than Harry or Tom. Even if you think he was a jerk or inconsistently written he was not bland.
Gotta give him that.

The most interesting thing about Harry was how he was going to get rejected or suffer this week.

Tom Paris? Lotta potential... but let's see... he's a hotshot pilot, a skilled field medic, he can pick up any woman he wants, he can lead commando missions, he designs and builds ships in his spare time, he invented a completely new propulsion system(some side effects), he's a history expert, and basically he can do anything else the plot requires. Tom Paris is a Mary Sue.
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Old January 8 2013, 06:37 PM   #14
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Re: Neelix Had Some Great Episodes Throughout the Series

teacake wrote: View Post
He was quite a fleshed out character, more so than Harry or Tom. Even if you think he was a jerk or inconsistently written he was not bland.
He is not bland, he is annoying, which is worse. The occasional good episode with him didn't make up for the "Stupid Neelix Moment" that appeared in almost every episode he was in.
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Old January 9 2013, 11:35 PM   #15
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Re: Neelix Had Some Great Episodes Throughout the Series

Ethan Phillips is a very talented actor,the character Neelix was very original but was somewhat annoying :P and also he was a warm heart for the crew,i remember many episodes when Seven is having issues or B'elanna or Tuvok...he is always there to comfort them,so he did a decent job as morale officer but for hes cooking i think that is another story.
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