The Great Star Trek Voyager Rewatch: Survival Instinct

Eight years ago, Seven of Nine and members of her unimatrix were temporarily separated from the Collective. Now, the three other survivors of that event have escaped the Borg for good, but for some reason they are still mentally linked to each other. In the hopes of achieving true individuality, they make their way to Voyager to find Seven and uncover the truth about their past.

I have mixed feelings about Survival Instinct. On the one hand, I’m not a fan of previously unmentioned important character events late in a show’s run, an old TV trope to keep a series going past its best. And this holds doubly so when it’s yet another instance of Seven being a super special snowflake. On the other hand, despite my initial scepticism and belief that I didn’t really like this episode, I did actually find myself enjoying it.

Ultimately, Survival Instinct turns out to be quite a sad story, featuring three ex-drones who are permanently linked together – all thanks to Seven. Unlike those assimilated as adults, Seven has been Borg since she was six years old, and that initial brush with individuality was too terrifying to bear. Afraid of being alone, she reinforced the link between her severed companions, forcing them into a mini-collective that they cannot escape. What Seven did was awful, and ultimately costs three people their lives, but of course, she too is just as much a victim of the Borg as any drone.

Points of Note

  • It’s worth noting that from Equinox Part II onwards, Voyager was the only Star Trek series on air.
  • In case you’re wondering about the fate of the demoted crewmen from the Equinox, rest assured that you will never see them again.
  • It feels weird to have Chakotay and Janeway laughing and bantering with each other, given the friction between them in the previous episode.
  • Surely making Voyager an open house was the perfect opportunity to review their security procedures. Instead, there are numerous petty thefts and crimes that could probably have been prevented by having people do things like, I don’t know, lock their quarters?
  • It seems amazingly easy for Borg to get severed from the Collective. They might want to look into that.

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: 5

Summary – Survival Instinct: In which we learn that, in addition to assimilating countless individuals, Seven of Nine did yet another Bad Thing as a drone.

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