Top 10 Episodes: Star Trek: Voyager – Season 2
The Star Trek machine was really rolling in the early/mid-nineties. Star Trek:The Next Generation was wrapping up and moving into features, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was finding their groove, so hey – why not start a THIRD spin-off series from the original?
Where TNG was updating what TOS had done, and DS9 took the novelty of a ship away and focused mainly on a space station, Star Trek: Voyager would take away the cozy confines of home and strand the ship and crew 70 years from Earth.
What resulted was a series that was basically TOS or TNG, but with the constant thread of making their way back home. Like the other spin-off’s, it took a season or two for Voyager to find it’s footing. (With that said we’re going to completely skip over the first season as there aren’t even ten good episodes to make a countdown.)
Here are the Top 10 Episodes from Star Trek: Voyager – Season 2.
10. Non Sequitur
Harry Kim wakes up in San Francisco in his apartment next to his girlfriend Libby. It’s exactly what he’s wanted ever since Voyager was marooned in the Delta Quadrant – and yet something just doesn’t seem right…
Not a bad outing for Kim. Libby might be recognized as the same actress who played Ba’el in a two-parter from TNG. We can see the writers trying to strengthen that friendship between Kim and Paris, as they continue to try and recreate the Bashir/O’Brien dynamic from Deep Space Nine. One can’t help but notice that everything during the climax of the episode happens in a span of 10 minutes. Talk about everything having to go right in a short period of time!
While “Tuvix” certainly extends the capabilities of the transporter further past the point of believability than it already is, it serves as a great tool for this story.
Now let’s be honest: Neelix is ridiculously annoying. I know it. You know it. Vegetable lasagna knows it. However, when he is “merged” with Tuvok in a transporter accident to create the title character of Tuvix, the result is surprisingly a pleasant and well-rounded character. (This isn’t to say that Tuvok on his own isn’t just fine the way he is.)
For most of this episode it is a lot of mumbo jumbo about combining and separating DNA at the molecular level, etc. However as the story progresses, Tuvix begins to grow not only on the crew, but the audience as well. The final few acts of the show are quite compelling, as there is a debate whether the well-being of a single individual is more important than the two characters it took to create this person. You can’t help but feel just as torn and unhappy about the whole scenario as Janeway does.
8. Persistence of Vision
Voyager encounters a species (or is it just one individual?) who has the ability to put people into a hallucinogenic state, seeing things or people that would be near impossible to turn away from.
Not a bad installment as we get to see what some of our characters apparently desire the most. Perhaps the most curious one is B’Elanna – is she really that interested in Chakotay? Maybe that was something the writers wanted to experiment with but then quickly realized it wasn’t going to work. Kes has a bigger part in this episode, as her growing abilities help her to fight off the images.
In a different category under “fantasy” we see what Janeway likes to do in her spare time; an interesting holodeck program to say the least, but hey – to each their own. (Trekkers should recognize Carolyn Seymour, someone who has appeared in Star Trek before, most notably as a Romulan. On two separate occasions.)
(She’s also the voice of Myrrah from Gears of War, for you gamers out there!)
While perhaps starting off a little rigid, The Doctor is quickly becoming one of the better characters on Voyager – and this episode is certainly helping that along.
“Projections” sees The Doctor having a bit of an identity crisis. Through a series of circumstances, The Doc is starting to question his very existence. Is he a hologram on a ship lost in the Delta Quadrant, or has he been Dr. Lewis Zimmerman this entire time, stuck in a holodeck program designed to test the effects of long term space flight? There is certainly a lot of evidence pointing to the latter, including an appearance from Mr. Barclay, whom we know from TNG. Having Barclay’s presence was a nice touch, as he was a character that was often obsessed with the holodeck. Having him involved in this kind of story was a good way to help support the Zimmerman argument.
Kes proves to be an important ally for The Doctor, and his “revelation” of his apparent feelings for her was perfect. (Not to mention his attempt at denying those feelings not long after.)
Janeway and Chakotay have been infected with a virus that will result in their deaths if they leave the planet’s surface where they contracted it. After extensive research by The Doctor, it is deemed there is nothing more that can be done and Janeway orders Voyager to go on without her and their first officer, leaving Tuvok in charge.
While it may seem that Janeway and Chakotay have accepted the idea of living out the rest of their days on this random planet in the Delta Quadrant rather easily and are making light of it, we have to keep in mind all that has happened before this episode even started. We’re told that they have been in stasis for an extended period of time while The Doctor did his research to try and cure them. Who knows how much was done even before it was decided to put them in stasis. While it may seem to us that they are surprisingly okay with the whole scenario, it *has* been a long time leading up to this. We the audience just haven’t seen it.
Basically what makes “Resolutions” interesting is this is pretty much the only time this unspoken attraction between Chakotay and Janeway is addressed by either character head-on. Up until this point there have been very subtle, small hints since the start of the series that perhaps there is the potential there for something extra between these two characters. However, nothing is ever verbalized or addressed until this situation comes up, where the potential of these two people spending the rest of their lives together alone on a planet has brought certain things to the surface. The seeds of something deeper between these two characters are planted here – and then taken away quite rapidly.
Once a resolution (pun intended) has been found regarding the two senior officer’s conditions, it’s life back to normal for these two, with not even a hint or indication to anyone else that anything ever happened (or was on the verge of happening). That kind of discipline and mutual understanding between two people makes this a notable episode. In a word, any possibility of a romantic future between these to have come to a “Resolution(s)”.
A good B’Elanna episode.
Voyager comes across a Cardassian automated weapon of mass destruction, nicknamed “Dreadnought.” How do they know this? Because Torres was the one to institute it’s deadly programming.
Any mention or flash of the familiars from the Alpha Quadrant is always nice, so it was cool to see some Cardassian technology make it into Voyager. It must have been a little surreal for Torres to be matching wits with essentially herself – and constantly losing. As Voyager prepares for the worst, we see just how loyal Tuvok is to Janeway, as he offers to see the planned self-destruct to the end with her.
Perhaps the only downside to this one is how the whole show wraps up at the end in about a two minute span!
An underrated outing: B’Elanna helps create an artificial lifeform for a race of artificial lifeforms, unaware that she is helping to continue a war between robots that should have ended years ago.
There is some great debate in “Prototype” when it comes to the Prime Directive between Janeway and Torres, with the Captain ultimately being correct in the end. The journey to get to that point is an entertaining one though, and one can’t help but sympathize with B’Elanna at certain points. It’s just unfortunate she didn’t have all the information right off the start.
As Paris notes, the robots themselves are probably the most polite robots you’ll ever meet, which only adds to the surprise when Automated Unit 3947 turns hostile towards the Chief Engineer and kidnaps her. The voice acting was used perfectly for 3947, and B’Elanna’s mention of TNG’s Data by name was a great nod to the most recognizable artificial life-form in Star Trek’s history.
Great use of first person perspective to open the show, and the few comedic moments throughout (“Cross your fingers!”) was a nice touch to help round out the episode.
3. Death Wish
Unbeknownst to the Voyager crew, they release a member of the Q Continuum from confinement in an asteroid. Turns out he’s been placed in there to stop him from doing the one thing he wants more than anything else: to end his life.
More familiars from the Alpha Quadrant are presented here with not only Q, but a guest appearance from Commander Riker as well. The Q we know seems to already have a bit of a rapport with Janeway, and would facilitate future visits throughout the series. As is synonymous with Q, we get some pretty good humor in this episode, but there is also a serious undertone as well. We get to see (an interpretation) of the Q Continuum for the first time ever, and it’s not exactly what we had pictured. Q2 isn’t too bad, although his little waving of the hand is far inferior to Q’s snap of the fingers – and frankly is a little lame.
Stranded 70 years from home, Janeway sure sticks to her principles and doesn’t go for Q’s bribe. How many people would have been able to stick to their guns like that??
A very good outing for Voyager.
The pacing is quick and exciting. If the death of the first child born on Voyager & Harry Kim in the first fifteen minutes isn’t enough to get your attention, then perhaps nothing will.
It is realized that due to an accident, there are two Voyagers occupying the same space and time, yet drawing power from only one source. It is impossible for both ships to break free and survive. Making matters worse is an attack by the Vidiians: a Delta Quadrant race whose sole mission is to harvest organs from healthy species in order to fight a plague ravaging their own people. As a result we get several scenes with duplicate versions of our characters, complete with a face-to-face between Janeway and Janeway, a concept we’ve seen many times over the years in Star Trek.
The ending is poignant, and you can’t help but fully agree with Janeway’s assessment at the conclusion: “You’re a Starfleet officer – weird is part of the job.”
One of the best installments from Voyager‘s early seasons.
A spacial anomaly somehow starts to rearrange the insides of Voyager, moving rooms and corridors to places where they shouldn’t be. This makes getting around the ship extremely difficult and confusing. Meanwhile, the anomaly slowly closes in and will envelope the entire ship…
Perhaps not one of the most feasible story lines, but it makes for some good moments and a rarely-used resolution. There is something mysterious about the characters getting lost within the ship, sometimes disappearing as soon as they round a corner. (Thankfully that happens to Neelix, but not before we have to see just how annoyingly jealous he can get when it comes to Kes.) Tuvok and Chakotay briefly butt heads when the Captain is incapacitated, leaving what to do next up to the First Officer – perhaps to the Vulcan’s chagrin. As each attempt at fixing the problem seems to fail, the idea to do nothing is the one that is ultimately decided upon. It’s not very often we see that: letting whatever the problem is take its course. This sets up for a rather quiet scene between characters as they mentally prepare for the unknown that is before them. It’s a nice moment.
One thing definitely lacking in his episode was other crew members in the corridors. Yes, they attempt to explain that away a little, but just having the one crew member (who was “working out so hard”) also experiencing what the senior staff was going through was a little lacking.