The Great Star Trek Voyager Rewatch: Counterpoint

Voyager is making its way through the territory of the Devore Imperium, a region where just having a telepath on board is enough to get a ship impounded and its crew relocated. Nonetheless, Voyager has been smuggling not only its telepathic crewmembers, but a group of telepathic Brenari refugees. But with frequent surprise inspections at every turn, can Voyager really make it safely through Devore space?

I love Counterpoint – for me, it’s one of Voyager’s best and most memorable episodes. This is the first episode to give Janeway a proper sparring partner, in the form of Devore Inspector Kashyk. At first, we hate Kashyk – he presides over the insulting and humiliating inspections of the ship, even commandeering Janeway’s ready room for his own. Once he defects to Voyager, however, he becomes more sympathetic, working well with Janeway and even getting to kiss her – something that no one else has managed. Just as we grow to like him, though, the twist is revealed – everything he did was a trick to find the telepaths and catch Voyager. We know this can’t be the end for the ship, crew and series, but how can they possibly resolve this?

And then comes the master stroke. For all that it looked like Janeway was utterly trusting Kashyk in the typical naive, Starfleet way, she turns out to be the victor in their battle of wits. That moment when Kashyk realises he’s lost is priceless, and it made me want to be just as skilled at outmanoeuvring my opponents.

Points of Note

  • One of Janeway’s conditions for giving Kashyk sanctuary is that he will have “limited computer access”. Surely anyone who isn’t a senior officer, and especially someone who isn’t a member of the crew, would expect only limited computer access anyway.
  • This episode confirms that Tuvok and Vorik are the only Vulcans on Voyager, and that there is one Betazoid remaining aboard after the death of Suder.
  • During the final inspection, where do Tuvok, Vorik and Jurot hide? They aren’t on the shuttlecraft, and Tuvok is present on the bridge when the inspectors arrive.
  • I’m going to assume that Voyager later met up with the refugees and recovered their shuttlecraft. Or maybe they don’t care any more now that they have the Delta Flyer.
  • Neelix tells the Brenari children a story about Flotter, previously seen in Once Upon a Time. He doesn’t even let the kids meet Flotter on the holodeck.
  • Voyager reuses its low power “grey mode”, last seen in Demon.

Lost, crashed or destroyed shuttlecraft running total: 13

Possibly salvageable shuttlecraft running total: 9

Number of times the entire crew gets enslaved or kicked off the ship: 3

Number of times Voyager gets destroyed: 3

Summary – Counterpoint: One of Voyager’s finest episodes.

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