The bad news: the entire crew of the Prometheus has been slaughtered by Romulan intelligence services The good news: Andy Dick is here for comic relief! As part of VOY's tradition of "good concept, poor execution," here we have an episode that represents a momentous occasion: establishing contact with Starfleet for the 1st time since arriving in the Delta Quadrant. But continuing with the writers' pattern of only putting real effort into the writing of 1-in-4 episodes, we're given another one that's thrown together with bizarre scenarios along the way that is simply sloppy work on the writers' part - while still being regarded as one of VOY's better episodes. Examples: - The alien communication network absolutely cannot handle an audio transmission by Janeway to the Alpha Quadrant. Solution: send the ship's only doctor as a file and hope for the best. - The prototype ship of the slaughtered crew is about to fall into enemy hands, but amid the comedy, there's a need to talk about previous sexual experiences and sexual anatomy. - While the ship is at high warp, the main viewscreen shows stars at a standstill. (This mistake was later acknowledged by the show's production.) - We're told that nothing can catch up with the Prometheus, but oh wait, here are 4 Starfleet vessels that have caught up and are ready to save the day. - Somehow the Doctors unwittingly initiate a warp core overload on the Prometheus, but neither actor is invested into the moment at all, seemingly expecting the scene to be cut. The warp core overload is halted after pushing a few more buttons. Crisis averted. - Ensign Kim tests out a potential EMH replacement for the Doctor, and as the replacement Doctor is reciting a section from a medical textbook (from memory), Robert Picardo's eyes are going side-to-side, clearly reading cue cards that are nearby off-camera. - For whatever reason, the Prometheus' EMH has info on Starfleet deployment as well as current political/military knowledge about the Federation-Dominion war. He also refuses to treat the injured Romulan because he's "the enemy." The only way in which comedy can be tolerated in this episode is in the fact that they made the entire Starfleet crew disappear without a trace. The 2 bloodied crewmembers we initially see are quickly hidden from view, and it's like the whole crew was never there. Andy Dick is great, but this was an odd episode to place him into. They clearly intended for it to be a comedic episode from the beginning, but it played out in a way that was strangely disconnected from basic points of the plot. It was 1 more way that VOY chose to be cute & silly rather than take a grittier & more realistic approach to its circumstances. This followed for the rest of the series as it more or less went into auto-pilot. It's nice that the Doctor gets to play hero. It's nice that Voyager makes contact with Starfleet. But this is one more episode (among many) that is based on an alright concept that's poorly done in the execution. For most loyal VOY fans, the sentimental nature of it will make them overlook virtually all of this, but it's an important part of the autopsy of what went wrong with Voyager, because there are far easier episodes to pick apart (like "Threshold"), but deconstructing an episode like this says a lot about the overall writing when it had to do with a momentous event and wasn't a completely random stand-alone episode that can be easily written off. For those good 1-in-4 episodes, I'm a fan. But this wasn't one of them.