When Chakotay’s shuttle crashes, he finds himself in the midst of a warzone, he is rescued by soldiers of the Vori. The Vori explain that they are fighting against the Kradin, a barbaric race who slaughter civilians and desecrate corpses. Despite his initial intentions to remain neutral, Chakotay finds himself drawn into the conflict.
Yes, it’s time for another “Chakotay wanders around in the jungle” episode. Anyone with any length of Star Trek experience will surely spend the majority of the episode waiting for the twist, which is that Chakotay has been trapped in a brainwashing simulation, designed to make him hate the Kradin. Along the way, he is blindsided with every trope possible – innocent children uprooted from their homes; old people slaughtered for being too weak and feeble to work; young men drafted into battle and then losing their lives on the battlefield. All of which is presented in a whimsical near-English language filled with synonyms such as “nullify” for “kill”, “the now” for “the present”, “glimpsers” for “eyes”, and so forth. I guess it’s a nice touch to make the aliens sound a bit different, but since one assumes that the Universal Translator smooths out dialect oddities, it feels a bit jarring. We accept the Universal Translator as a convenience and largely try not to think about it – drawing our attention to language just ruins our suspension of disbelief.
As for the plot itself, well, it’s another standard slice of Star Trek. The final twist isn’t bad, with the aliens who look hideous and ferocious turning out to be the nice guys, whilst the human looking ones are the villains. Of course, we have no proof that the Kradin don’t visit all sorts of atrocities on the Vori, but at least they actively helped Voyager whilst the Vori were busy indoctrinating Chakotay into their war.
Points of Note
- Although it’s not clear, let’s assume that the Kradin were able to salvage at least pieces of Chakotay’s shuttle – if only to stop the irrevocably destroyed shuttle count from getting too high.
Lost, crashed or destroyed shuttlecraft running total: 10
Possibly salvageable shuttlecraft running total: 6
Number of times the entire crew gets kicked off the ship: 2
Number of times Voyager gets destroyed: 1
Summary – Nemesis: In which Chakotay finally learns to hate.