In an attempt to find a more efficient way of ingesting information, Seven of Nine designs a new alcove that enables her to download content from Voyager’s computer directly into her brain. With access to so much information, Seven is able to spot patterns and connections that no one else can, leading her to suspect that Voyager’s presence in the Delta Quadrant is no accident.
The first time I saw this episode, I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as I’d hoped I would. I approached it with caution this time, afraid I would be disappointed once again. In fact, although it’s not nearly as good as many people seem to think, this is a better episode than I originally gave it credit for.
The basic premise reminds me a lot of Statistical Probabilities – put together a smart person or people and a large amount of information, and watch what falls out. Of course, at first everything goes swimmingly, and it looks like a really good idea – but just as everyone puts their trust in this new method, everything goes badly wrong. We all know how this goes, and that by the end, the status quo will have been proven to be best.
Ultimately, whilst I enjoy the attempt to put together a complex yet vaguely plausible set of conspiracy theories to pit Janeway and Chakotay against each other, it just doesn’t quite click for me. If the conspiracy theories aren’t true, which we know from the start is the most likely outcome, then we’re just killing time until Seven is proven wrong. If they are, then it involves a ridiculous amount of retconning.
Points of Note
- I know Seven is very smart and that everyone respects her opinions, but would Janeway and Chakotay really be turned against each other so easily? Maybe this is the result of leftover tensions from Equinox.
- One from Dragon’s Teeth – Neelix makes a reference to Mother Goose. Why would he reach for an Earth cultural reference instead of a Talaxian one. Has he gone completely native in an attempt to ingratiate himself to the crew? (Yes, I know it’s for the audience’s benefit, but I want an in-universe explanation, damn it!)
- Apparently the Federation and Cardassians are amongst the signatories of the Jankata Accord, which states that “no species shall enter another quadrant for the purpose of territorial expansion”. That seems like quite an arbitrary distinction, especially as the Federation for one has a presence in both the Alpha and Beta Quadrants. Also, Bajor is clearly not a signatory of this previously mentioned accord, as they established the New Bajor colony in the Gamma Quadrant.
- No one seems to care that the space catapult is now left unguarded and accessible to any alien species.
- Voyager recently stopped by a Talaxian colony, some 40,000 light years from where they first met Neelix. They will also of course meet another Talaxian colony towards the end of season seven. Do the Talaxians have transwarp travel, access to subspace corridors, or just a penchant for sending out generational ships to colonise distant worlds?
- Janeway can easily be talked into taking a detour for a Class-K nebula, but has frequently refused to take detours of a similar distance to avoid confronting hostile and unfriendly alien races.
Lost, crashed or destroyed shuttlecraft running total: 16
Possibly salvageable shuttlecraft running total: 10
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 – The Voyager Conspiracy: Just because there was no conspiracy doesn’t mean there aren’t deep, unacknowledged problems between Janeway and Chakotay.