Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Lineage”

Torres is pregnant, and this leads to all sorts of craziness, from the entire ship congratulating her and giving her advice to a flashback to her childhood trauma to her manipulating the EMH and being unethical. The Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch examines a “Lineage.”

An excerpt:

First of all, in this episode written and directed by men in a season in which the show-runner is a man, it’s a really bad look that the entire episode is about men telling a woman what she can’t do with her own body during a pregnancy. This is especially hilarious on a show with a female lead as the captain—said captain is notably absent for most of the episode, showing up briefly to congratulate the happy couple and again to decline the invitation to get involved. What a waste.

Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Shattered”

Chakotay goes on a wacky time-travel adventure, dealing with pre-first-season Janeway and Kim, first-season Torres, the second-season EMH, third-season Seska, early-fourth-season Seven, seventh-season Paris and Neelix, and twenty-fourth-season Icheb and Naomi. The Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch gets “Shattered.”

An excerpt:

As a kind of final-season tribute to everything Voyager has been through over the years, this works nicely. As an actual story, it’s kind of nowhere. And it actually pissed me off in several spots, in ways that everyone who’s been reading these rewatches for the past nineteen months can probably guess…

Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Flesh and Blood”

The Hirogen have taken the holographic technology Janeway gave them once upon a time and improved it so much that the holograms are now a) sentient and b) killing them. The EMH’s loyalties are tested as Voyager is caught in a war between self-aware holograms and pissed-off Hirogen. The Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch is a thing of “Flesh and Blood.”

An excerpt:

With all that, though, this two-hour episode doesn’t quite cohere. Part of the problem is that Iden is a nowhere antagonist. Jeff Yagher has no discernible personality (Cindy Katz and Spencer Garrett do a much better job), and his transition from bland affable leader to megalomaniacal murderer is utterly unconvincing. It’s a narrative cheat to make the EMH’s decision easier, but it makes the arguments far less convincing. The holograms generally are not the nicest people around—they kidnap both the EMH and Torres, they pretty much torture the EMH to make a point—but it was up to Yagher to show how they were evolving past that, and he never really did that. He was unconvincing as an antihero, as a resistance leader, or as a lunatic.

Star Trek: Lower Decks‘s “We’ll Always Have Tom Paris”

Tom Paris makes an appearance, as does his commemorative plate! Tendi and Mariner go on a mission to bond a little, and both the mission and the bonding go horribly wrong! Shaxs is back and Rutherford needs to know why! It’s a maddeningly uneven episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks — my take on “We’ll Always Have Tom Paris.”

An excerpt:

And then the ship refuses to give Boimler his food, and the doors don’t respond to his approach because of “new security measures” because of all the Pakled attacks. There is no level on which this makes anything like sense. Look, for 55 years, quite possibly the most consistent thing we’ve seen on Star Trek has been that when you approach the doors, they slide apart, no matter who you are. And the replicators have never had any kind of security on them, at least not for food. Any random schmuck who wandered onto the Enterprise or Voyager or the Defiant or even one of the runabouts or the Delta Flyer was always able to get food and have the doors slide apart when they approached them.

KRAD COVID reading #98d: Star Trek: S.C.E.: Breakdowns Part 4

For 2021, KRAD COVID readings is covering the only short fiction I didn’t read in 2020: my novellas for the Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers series, a monthly series of eBooks that ran from 2000-2007. I’ll have a new reading every #TrekTuesday.

This week, we continue Breakdowns, which was the last of four aftermath stories following the brutal mission to Galvan VI chronicled in David Mack’s Wildfire. In Part 4, Gomez confronts Gold about the circumstances of Duffy’s death, which proves a sad catharsis for both of them.

Check it out! And please subscribe to the channel!

Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Nightingale”

Kim gets a temporary command, and it goes pretty terribly, all things considered. But it’s okay, because he gets sage advice on how to command a starship from — Seven of Nine? O-o-o-o-okay. Meanwhile, Icheb is a dopey teenager, and Ron Glass is utterly wasted in a guest role. The Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch slogs through “Nightingale.”

An excerpt:

To make matters worse, Kim’s story is sabotaged by the need to make Seven be important as often as humanly possible, so we have the bizarreness of the one person in the main cast who knows even less about how to be a commanding officer than Kim lecturing Kim on what he’s doing wrong. Not that she’s saying anything useful, she’s just taking up a contrary position to whatever it is Kim is doing so she can berate him and pretend to know what she’s talking about so he can then pretend to learn something and be better at his job. Bleah.

Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Body and Soul”

It’s the inevitable body swap episode! Jeri Ryan gets a fun acting exercise, as the EMH inhabits Seven’s body. The Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch does “Body and Soul.”

An excerpt:

The plot itself is a bit awkward to watch, as it dances on the edge of tiresome heteronormativity, but manages not to cross the line. So much of what happens can be seen as playing for cheap homophobic laughs, but the script and performances stop short of that, thank goodness. Ranek’s kissing Seven could have been played as being okay normally, but isn’t because Seven is really a dude, but in truth, the kiss was unwelcome because neither the EMH nor Seven would be remotely interested in a romantic relationship with the guy who took them prisoner, sexual preference notwithstanding. Ranek’s kiss was a violation regardless—and, to his credit, he apologized and backed off the nanosecond he realized he misread the situation. Additionally, Jaryn’s lack of interest in Seven has less to do with what gender Seven presents as and more to do with her unrequited desire for Ranek.

Star Trek: Lower Decks‘s “Kayshon, His Eyes Open”

Shaka, when the walls fell! Temba, his arms wide! Darmok and Jelad at Tanagra! Picard and Dathon at el-Adrel! Lower Decks, it’s new episode live! “Kayshon, His Eyes Open,” the episode’s name! DeCandido, his review mixed!

An excerpt:

On top of that, the episode takes him out of action almost instantly, as the away team mission he leads sees him turned into a cute Tamarian stuffie. Now, for the record, I totally want a Lieutenant Kayshon stuffie please and thank you, but watching the episode I was mostly thinking, “Ah, so that’s how they’re avoiding the issue of him talking.”

If you’re not up to the challenge of having an abstruse security chief who’s hard to understand, don’t put him in in the first place.

His introduction also annoyed my inner fan-dweeb, as Kayshon said that the Universal Translator doesn’t always catch it when he goes metaphorical, and that is a swing and a miss. The whole point of “Darmok” was that the UT didn’t help—they were hearing Dathon and the other Tamarians in English. The translator was doing its job. The problem was their mode of communicating, not the words. So the UT doesn’t enter into it, it’s Kayshon himself who has to learn, in essence, a new language.

KRAD COVID reading #98c: Star Trek: S.C.E.: Breakdowns Part 3

For 2021, KRAD COVID readings is covering the only short fiction I didn’t read in 2020: my novellas for the Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers series, a monthly series of eBooks that ran from 2000-2007. I’ll have a new reading every #TrekTuesday.

This week, we continue Breakdowns, which was the last of four aftermath stories following the brutal mission to Galvan VI chronicled in David Mack’s Wildfire. In Part 3, Captain Gold takes it upon himself to speak directly to the families of all twenty-three of his crew who died at Galvan VI, which proves a more difficult task than he imagined.

Check it out! And please subscribe to the channel!

Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Inside Man”

It’s two, two, two Reginald Barclays for the price of one — and one of them is not what he appears to be…. Plus we get Troi, Owen Paris, Ferengi, Pete Harkins, a dabo girl, and the EMH in golfing attire. The Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch has an “Inside Man.”

An excerpt:

Unlike the last time the Ferengi were used on Voyager, this is actually a decent use of them, with Ferengi vet Frank Corsentino leading the trio of greedheads. This is a return to the villainous Ferengi of early TNG rather than the more nuanced portrayal we got on DS9, and these Ferengi are willing to murder the entire crew complement to get Seven’s nanoprobes, but I’m okay with it. The threat is legit, and this is one case where Voyager trusting the bad guy makes sense, because it’s Barclay for cryin’ out loud! This is the guy who busted his ass to get the Alpha Quadrant in touch with Voyager in the first place, and someone whom the EMH actually got to know during his one-month journey in “Life Line.”