Janeway has rescued Seven of Nine from the Borg, but, having spent the majority of her life as a drone, she is reluctant to embrace her humanity. Meanwhile, Kes’ abilities are dramatically evolving, leading to the possibility that she may well be ready to ascend to a new level of existence.
Following the exciting events of Scorpion, there are two loose ends to tie up. The first, of course, is to say goodbye to Kes; the second, to welcome Seven of Nine into the fold. Both these stories intertwine, leaving us with a new cast line-up, and sending Voyager almost ten thousand light-years closer to home, and far beyond Borg space. Don’t think for a minute, though, that this means there won’t be plenty of Borg episodes in seasons to come.
First off, let’s examine the departure of Kes. Fortunately, there’s no need to pull a Skin of Evil as there’s already an out – way back in Cold Fire, and even before that, we’ve been shown that the Ocampa can develop amazing telepathic and telekinetic abilities. This episode pushes that to its natural conclusion, with Kes transcending her physical existence to become something more. It’s a nice send-off, and I for one was disappointed that they took it back just to have a special angry Kes episode in season six.
Then we have Seven of Nine. I’m a bit apprehensive about the start of “The Doctor and Seven of Nine show” that Voyager somewhat becomes from now on, but even so, I do like the character. In this episode, Seven is desperate to return to the Borg Collective, but Janeway refuses to let her, forcing her to confront life as an individual. Was it right to ignore Seven’s wishes in this way? One might argue that Janeway should have let Seven decide what to do with her life, but on the other hand, we could regard this like an intervention. If the Borg and its collective consciousness are the drug, then Janeway is just helping Seven kick the habit so that she can live a healthier life.
Points of Note
- Voyager sacrifices an entire shuttlecraft in order to let Kes transform, when they could have just gotten her to the nearest escape pod and had her use that instead. It’s not like she used the shuttlecraft to go anywhere. Then again, Janeway was happy to offer Seven of Nine a precious shuttlecraft when they originally intended to send her back to the Borg in the previous episode.
- Even though Kes boiled Tuvok’s blood the last time she tested her psychokinetic powers, he is remarkably willing to spend another session training her here.
- Tuvok says there is nothing beyond the subatomic, but of course there are quarks and quantum fluctuations.
- I originally thought Seven of Nine’s transformation from full Borg to mostly human would take place over several episodes, but by the end of this episode, it’s basically done.
- Seven of Nine mostly refers to herself as ‘we’ or ‘us’, but a couple of times (whilst still in drone mode), she does say “I” and “me”.
- At the end of the previous episode, B’Elanna says that Voyager works better with some of the Borg modifications; in this episode, she wants to get rid of all of them.
Lost, crashed or destroyed shuttlecraft running total: 8
Possibly salvageable shuttlecraft running total: 5
Number of times the entire crew gets kicked off the ship: 2
Number of times Voyager gets destroyed: 1
Summary – The Gift: Farewell Kes, hello Seven.