When Voyager finds themselves pursued by relentless bounty hunters, they turn to a ‘think tank’ of alien geniuses for help. This think tank loves to tackle difficult problems, but they always charge for their assistance, and this time, the payment they demand is nothing less than Seven of Nine herself.
Think Tank was one of those episodes that I didn’t really rate on first viewing. I wanted to like it, and I mostly did, but it just felt a tiny bit disappointing. Having watched it again, I think I may well have come to the same conclusion.
Don’t get me wrong, I like the premise – who doesn’t enjoy an eclectic group of moral dubious super geniuses? I appreciate the twist of making them the ones who orchestrated the whole thing, forcing Voyager to team up with the Hazari. This time around, I even found additional depth in the character of Kurros- for all that he is complicit in the actions of the think tank, they are also pretty much the only life he has ever known. As the outward facing member of the group, he must attract a lot of hate, and yet ultimately he is as much their victim as anyone else.
For all that, though, I still don’t get on with the flow of the episode. I find it jarring that we have a scene that begins with Janeway saying “we have to out think the think tank”, followed by a lazy montage that segues into “we can’t out think the think tank, so we shouldn’t try”. I was writing scenes this clunky and unsophisticated twenty years (and so were the Voyagers), but the difference is that I was fourteen and not a professional screenwriter.
Points of Note
- Why is the Hazari problem referred to as a paradox? In what way is it paradoxical?
- Janeway is so humanoid-normative – she doesn’t stop to consider that the jellyfish life-form might be sentient.
- According to Kurros, the think tank have cured the Vidiian phage. I wonder what this means for Vidiian society, given how driven they were by organ harvesting. Will they be able to form a functioning society dedicated to other pursuits, or will they become embroiled in petty squabbles?
- In Revulsion ‘isomorph’ was basically just another word for ‘hologram’. Here, Kurros says that ‘isomorphic projections’ are more sophisticated than holograms.
Lost, crashed or destroyed shuttlecraft running total: 15
Possibly salvageable shuttlecraft running total: 9
Number of times the entire crew gets enslaved or kicked off the ship: 3
Number of times a version of Voyager gets destroyed: 4
Summary – Think Tank: I bet the Think Tank are really bummed out that they didn’t get Neelix’s recipe for chadre’kab.