When Starfleet uses the Hirogen relay network to send messages to Voyager from their loved ones, the crew are excited to finally receive word from home. But when Seven and Tuvok travel to the relay station to prevent the messages from degrading, they run into the Hirogen themselves – a race of hunters whose entire culture is built around the pursuit of prey.
Although the title gives the impression that Hunters is all about the Hirogen, they actually take a back seat to the main event – namely Voyager’s letters from home. Everyone has some emotional investment in hearing from their loved ones, and this episode delivers in spades. We get everything from Harry’s desperate hopes that he will hear from his folks, to Tom’s ambivalence upon hearing that there might be a letter from his estranged father.
As for the Hirogen storyline, well, I have to admit that it was a bit disappointing. Having talked up the Hirogen as one of the good Voyager adversaries, on rewatch, they actually aren’t all that great. Oh look, another patriarchal warrior race who hates Starfleet and humanity. Whoop-di-do. All of their dialogue is out of the book of cliché, including such cringeworthy lines as “Yours will make me envied by men and pursued by women”. Even their actions seem designed specifically to ensure that they are never competent enough to destroy Voyager.
Letters From Home
- Janeway gets a letter from Mark, informing her that he gave her up for dead and has since married someone else. Since Mark claims to have held onto hope for longer than most other people – let’s say up to two years, that means he met and married someone within about eighteen months. Which isn’t outside the realms of possibility, he sure wasn’t hanging around.
Oh, and her dog’s puppies all found new homes. But where is Janeway’s dog now? Is she still with Mark?
- Chakotay learns from his mentor that the Maquis have basically been wiped out, as we know from watching DS9.
- Tuvok gets a letter from his wife and learns that he has become a grandfather.
- B’Elanna doesn’t get any letters directly, but is of course upset to hear that all her Maquis friends are dead.
- Tom almost gets a letter from his father, but it doesn’t quite come through. Never mind, Admiral Owen Paris will be showing up in the series later.
- After much worry, Harry gets a letter through from his parents. No word of former fiancée Libby though.
Lost, crashed or destroyed shuttlecraft running total: 11
Possibly salvageable shuttlecraft running total: 7
Number of times the entire crew gets kicked off the ship: 2
Number of times Voyager gets destroyed: 2
Summary – Hunters: In which Voyager destroys an ancient communications network. Nice going, Voyager.