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Episode Guest Reviews

Reviewer : The Geek
Ave Rating : 2.6667 for 15 reviews
Title : Equinox, Part 1 Rating : 5
Writers : Brannon Braga, Joe Menosky, Rick Berman Year : 2375
Review : Frankly, I am quite surprised at the sub-par rating. Whilst I do not condone Ransom's actions, I was compelled to take a few points into account. One: Equinox herself. She is pretty much a modern- day Oberth- class; in other words, she is a short range science vessel of very limited capacity. Two: Voyager herself. This Intrepid- class vehicle not only has the latest in warp propulsion capabilities (I read in the DS9 Technical Manual a max. emergency top speed of warp 9.875- making her just a hair slower than her Soverign- class counterpart), she also has a sentient EMH, a former Borg drone and all her Borg bells and whistles interspersed throughout Voyager's systems, quantum torpedoes, etc. All in all, while she may not always come out on top in a battle, she can certainly dish out a fight to remember. Captain Janeway shows both remarkable morality and restraint in these two episodes. Obviously she cannot look the other way as another Federation vessel ensnares and kills lifeforms to use as fuel. Restraint because if this fuel is as good as Ransom says it is, then Janeway might be tempted to use it herself. However, I submit that perhaps Janeway is not the shining moral beacon in the continuously murky situation of being the sole representative of the UFP. I offer Endgame as my evidence. At first, of course present Janeway is deadset against future Janeway. She adamantly refuses to use the Borg transwarp hub- until future Janeway tells her of 7 of 9's impending death, as well as the impact it will have on her and Chakotay. Until this point, present Janeway wants to uphold the Temporal Prime Directive. Suddenly, her attitude changes to "To hell with it." She charges in with armor deployed and new- fangled phasers, destroys a few cubes, allows future Janeway to go off and kill the Borg Queen, and takes down the warp hub. Would she have made that same decision if she were told the Ensign Wally in deflector control was going to die? My point being is "Equinox" really shows Janeway at her best- so long as the cards are stacked in her favor. However I cannot help but think of what she might have done in Ransom's shoes. I doubt her Equinox EMH would fare nearly as well as Voyager's. What if Equinox's route from the Caretaker did not take them through Borg space? For that matter, can we guarantee the same sequence of events needed to get 7 of 9 on Voyager would transpire in the same manner? Janeway, compared to Ransom, really did have it easy. Her crew was not starving. Her ship was intact, and she had a crew to keep her that way. Ransom merely found another way home, even if that meant at the cost of a handful of aliens. How many Borg did Janeway destroy to get home? What makes her motives and choices any more right? Okay, the Borg are Starfleet's enemy to be sure, but if Janeway were to really stick to her own hard- lined principles regarding the perserverance of life at all costs, as very clearly stated in these two episodes, she should have told future Janeway to get right back on her impervious shuttle and go back to her own time. Regardless of who might die. Perhaps the idea of creatures that could also be used as warp drive fuel is not the best idea. It was the very interesting morality questions that were raised here that I feel earns "Equinox, Parts 1&2" a full five star rating.
Title : What You Leave Behind Rating : 5
Writers : Hans Beimler, Ira Steven Behr Year : 2375
Review : I remember watching this ten years ago, just shortly before I joined the Air Force. At the time I was interested in Star Trek, but school and its resulting homework did not allow me to indulge in that interest in a manner that I would have liked. In essesence, I saw the final episode as it aired, but I could not fully appreciate what I saw because of all that I missed. Fast forward to 10 years later. I am in Afghanistan, and have seen some pretty bad stuff. One day, I went to the Bazzar, a weekly market ran by the locals. There, I managed to pick up all seven season of DS9 for the same cost as a single season stateside. It took me about 3 months, but I watched every single episode in order, from beginning to end. I gave this episode, indeed the entire series a 5.00 rating. Let's face it, character development, both personal and interpersonal, was intentionally avoided by Gene Roddenberry. I think that was a mistake. Now before I have angry Trekkies storming my home with pitchforks and torches (torches!), I ask that I be allowed this admission. TNG, is without a doubt a truly great series. However, every episode was a bit of "problem of the week," with little to no reference to what they did in the previous episode. Furthermore, something as obvious as Riker and Troi's relationship was glossed over entirely. Some great storytelling was lost under one episode after another of Enterprise rushing off to save the day/ planet/ Starfleet from an officer that lost his way. DS9 changed all of that. The love between Sisko and Jake and later Cassidy felt sincere. Odo's anguish over love never gained was moving. His and Kira's later relationship felt deep and beyond "puppy- dog love" romantic. DS9 really came into itself as CGI technology became cheaper and more accessable. We saw this in the incredible space battles. No longer did the two ships sit near motionless and fire vollies at each other until one can no longer do it. Here, we saw true savagery on both sides, and the deaths of some good ships- on both sides. The story- arcs were riveting (although admittedly a trifle dull when the subject turned to matters of faith), but remember: Not every episode can be "City on The Edge of Forever". DS9 did indeed have some misses, but never did I think, "I cannot watch this anymore." The series as a whole, I believe was overshadowed by the great "Kirk vs. Picard" debaticle. If you ask me, I thought Sisko was the best. He was human, and he was not afraid to show it. He was the perfect middle ground to Kirk's and Picard's extremes. Okay, the whole point for this review is to justify my rating fortbhis episode, so here it is: I cried three times: Once during the flashback montage, once during Vic's number and once when Odo and Kira are on the Founder's homeworld, saying their goodbyes. TNG simply did not muster that sort of emotion from me. Good writing can invoke surprising emotional feedback, which is why I stand by my full 5.00 rating.
Title : The Game Rating : 1
Writers : Brannon Braga, Fred Bronson, Susan Sackett Year : 2368
Review : I remember watching this when it first aired, and being amazed at the graphics of the Game. As an avid video game player, could it really be that awesome in the future? Fast forward almost 20 years... this is a terrible episode! The message itself is not so bad, when you consider games such as Doom and Wolfenstein 3D were all the rage when this episode first aired. However, when that, or any message is driven at you with the subtlety of a train crash, the message is lost simply because you choose to ignore it. Oh, lest we forget Wesley Crusher! He comes back to Enterprise for Shore Leave (not to, let's say, Risa to get involved in foolish debauchery like any other normal, healthy teenager) just in time to save the ship and indeed the ENTIRE Federation from this insidious mind- control device. We get it. Video games, as well as other stuff out there that is designed to tap into your pleasure center can be addictive if left unchecked. Fine. Can we please leave Picard and his crew out of it? If I wanted an after school special, I would have flipped over to ABC and watched some kids struggle with peer pressure and addiction there.
Title : Demon Rating : 1
Writers : Andre Bormanis Year : 2374
Review : My biggest gripe with this episode is how the Doctor, who has stated in several previous episodes (and even more so in later episodes) that he is designed to work in this sort of environment, is never even considered for this away mission. We know he can fly a shuttle, and he is certainly capable of conducting a battery of tests on the material. Janeway asks, "What can we do but land the ship?" My answer: "Send the Doctor". Obvious plot hole, hence the low rating.
Title : The Disease Rating : 2
Writers : Kenneth Biller Year : 2375
Review : Wow, Janeway, throwing the book at Kim for getting laid? A little harsh for the eager young Officer who is currently in his fifth years as an Ensign! Anyway, it took me a while, but I think I understand why I do not think this episode quite makes it: The A plot and the B plot seem to have no relationship whatsoever. This seems to me like some mediocre writing, or worse, writing that realizes neither plot can stand by itself. The result is an episode that feels bound together with duct tape and bailing wire. Perhaps Janeway's reaction to Kim's horrific crime would be more understandable if he had acted to help sabotage the generation ark out of love for the girl (she could then ask for asylum, etc). And on a purely speculative note, I wonder how this could have played out if it was 7 of 9 who had fallen in love? Her assessment of love as a disease, and subsequent mind change would have certainly made more sense as she spends the episode attempting to integrate a powerful emotion into her "perfect" self-image. Overall verdict: meh.
Title : Juggernaut Rating : 3
Writers : Bryan Fuller Year : 2375
Review : All I want to point out here is once again, the EMH is not deployed for use in an exceedingly toxic environment. Also, if the environmental suits we see Kim and Paris use on the Demon class work there (at least for a while), then why could they not work here? I could even imagine how this could be an important diplomatic tool for Janeway: "In addition to the waste cleansing technology we showed you a couple years ago, we can also show you how to make better radiation-opaque suits that your freighter workers can use until you get a handle on your toxic wastes." I can also imagine the Delta Quadrant's general opinion of Voyager going up once word gets around that the Malon are no longer the ecological threat they used to be, thanks to Voyager. Overall, a good episode, but I would have liked to see some loose ends tied up before the Voyager finally moves out of the Malon's surprisingly expansive realm.
Title : Dragon's Teeth Rating : 4
Writers : Michael Taylor Year : 2376
Review : This is one of Voyager's better episodes, if for no other reason than the impressive CGI battle as the little V ascends from the surface while engaging in a multi-vector assault. This to me gave me a definitive idea of what her neural gel pack-laced computer can really do. With that said, I think I found a YATI. In the episode "Thirty Days", Paris is reduced in rank for doing what he believed was the right thing in helping a species survive. In "The Disease", Janeway enters a formal reprimand into Kim's record for have an unauthorized physical relationship with an alien. In "The Equinox, pt. 2", we see the tense moments in which Janeway relieves her first officer and later threatens her tactical officer with the same action because they were interfering with her Ahabian quest for Ransom. In this episode, Seven of Nine revives a Vaadwar without first obtaining command authorization. As Seven points out in the denouement, she put into action a series of events that had catastrophic results. Janeway's reaction? Confine her to the Brig? Restrict her access to Away Teams? No. Simply a "moral of the story" scene in which Seven's error is entirely glossed over. If I were Kim, Paris, Tuvok or Chakotay, I would be pretty upset at this apparent show of favoritism. Oh well. I suppose that I am used to this kind of writing from the Voyager staff. Great episode that is marred only by a lack of consistency in the discipline aboard Voyager.
Title : Collective Rating : 0
Writers : Andrew Shepard Price, Mark Gaberman Year : 2376
Review : "Q Who?" first aired when I was a young child. I watched the episode with my father; later that night I had a nightmare about being on a Borg ship, being assimilated. The Borg was the ultimate enemy that even had the great Picard begging Q for help in escaping from them. So relentless was the Borg that they even tried to assimilate Earth in it's past. In short, the Borg's quest for perfection via the assimilation of entire species was terrifying. That is, until the writing staff of Voyager got their hands on them. Since then, the Borg have become increasingly weaker: Species 8472 punk-smacks them, Janeway actually boards an active vessel to steal their transwarp technology, 7 of 9 is becoming more human by the episode and now we have a cute Borg baby being fussed over by 7 and cradled by Janeway. Future episodes will reveal that the Borg have a dream world in which they can plot breaking free of the Collective, and a serious defeat by one future Janeway. So, to re-cap: The Borg went from an invincible and truly indomitable threat to mere character-development vehicle. Oof. Speaking of 7, Jeri Ryan sure is starring in a lot of episodes recently, isn't she? Surely this is not because she is dating Braga, right? No, of course not! All you have to do is ask, and they will tell you the same thing. Poor episode, if anything because I miss the TNG-era Borg; you know, before they were rendered completely impotent...
Title : Repression Rating : 2
Writers : Kenneth Biller Year : 2377
Review : I suppose that with Voyager getting closer to home with each episode (although rarely shown at warp in this or in other episodes), we will begin seeing more "Alpha Quadrant issues". In other words, it is bizarre, and yet somehow fitting that a Bajoran holdover from the Occupation should be the antagonist here. Anyway, I also think this rather good episode suffers from bad pacing. The build-up lasted 25-26 minutes, the eventual realization that Tuvok was under some insidious form of mind control took 10 minutes, the ship was taken over in under five minutes, and everything was back to normal with no hard feelings in about two minutes. This is one of those episodes that would have been a good season-ending cliffhanger! Imagine scenes in which Tuvok has vivid nightmares about his time in the lab. I can see a tense scene in which a bewildered Tom has B'Lanna at phaser point. I would have also enjoyed a more drawn-out erosion of Tuvok's carefully controlled veneer of logic. Thus, not a bad episode, just an episode that did not get the screen time it deserved.
Title : Initiations Rating : 0
Writers : Kenneth Biller Year : 2372
Review : Fail. This entire episode is built on one of the flimsiest premises I have ever had the misfortune of witnessing. Chakotay borrows a shuttle to be alone so he may engage in a ritual. This ritual is apparently so private that it cannot be conducted in his quarters, holodeck, cargo bay, et cetera. Then, while his is sitting crosslegged and with eyes closed, his ship -surprise!- gets attacked. Thus we get another tedious episode with the Delta Quandrant's resident tribes of the hopelessly aggressive and terminally pigheaded. This would have been all okay if at the end of the episode, Chakotay laments missing the ritual. Perhaps it could have only occurred within a specific timeframe, say around the hour of his father's death for example. But no, after all of that we see Chakotay performing that very same ritual... in his quarters. Stupid, blinding plot hole that is large enough to pilot a runabout through sideways.
Title : The Forsaken Rating : 2
Writers : Jim Trombetta Year : 2369
Review : I never particularly cared for Lwaxana; she reminds me of a banana cream pie in the face at a funeral. However, I think that the thing that really bothers me about this episode is the same thing that bothers me in all episodes involving technology failures: the "forgetfulness" of redundant systems. DS9 is equipped with several runabouts, each a standalone vessel complete with systems that are independent of the mother ship. The instant they realized the station's transporters are down, either Dax or O'Brien should have immediately went to a runabout and beam Odo and the Daughter of the Fifth House of Tacky out that way! This is probably the most enduring Trek Inconsistency: The transporters go down, or the vessel loses power, and that's it. The remaining hour is spent trying to get everything back up and running. Runabouts have warp drive; why can't they be used to re-power the host vessel, like using running jumper cables from a live battery in a car to a dead battery in another? Oh well. I suppose the real reason is because the 30 second solution makes for good television not. Maybe there could have been a line about how Starfleet and Cardassian technology are incompatible, or something. This at least make about as much sense as Star Trek usually does.
Title : Civil Defense Rating : 2
Writers : Mike Krohn Year : 2371
Review : Every time I hear the words "transporter malfunction" or "transporters are down", my very first thought is, "use a bloody Runabout!" In fact, transporter malfunction is such a commonplace occurrence (and the transporters themselves are more fragile than sugar glass)that this could be a Standard Operating Procedure. It could go a little something like this: Dax: "Uh oh. Looks like transporters are down. We can't beam Sisko and the others out." Kira: "Redshirt, initiate Transporter Malfunction Contingency Plan Alpha." Redshirt: "Yes, ma'am." (Redshirt heads off to a Runabout. Five minutes later, Jake, O'Brien and the Commander materialize on Ops). Of course, the transporter problem was only the first of many in this episode, but the logic still holds for my argument: When the transporters go down, remember and use the auxiliary crafts.
Title : The Way of the Warrior Rating : 5
Writers : Ira Steven Behr, Robert Hewitt Wolfe Year : 2372
Review : It has been almost 20 years since I last saw this episode, and it is as every bit as good as I remember! The Defiant scene was excellent, as usual, but I think I discovered a YATI: When Sisko orders retreat, he orders both the cloaking device and shields raised. I am a touch rusty with Star Trek tech, but I am pretty sure both cannot be used at the same time. In fact, I recall the shields/cloaking device conflict being a source of concern for the crew in previous episodes. Anyway, enough about the Defiant. DS9 finally gets some claws! O'Brien has a line about Starfleet dragging their heels about authorizing upgrades, but it seems the wait was worth it! Watching one Klingon ship after another being picked apart was the obvious highlight of this episode. May I also add that the chemistry between Dax and Worf was instant and believable? I know what happens later, which makes the holosuite scene all the more bittersweet. It was as if they were waiting for each other: Dax rebuffing all advances from her male colleagues, and Worf apparently no longer with Troi. In short, this was a damn good episode. Full five stars!
Title : A Time to Stand Rating : 3
Writers : Hans Beimler, Ira Steven Behr Year : 2374
Review : Sisko losing Command of the Defiant was a bit of a head-scratcher for me; I thought it was a form of punishment for losing DS9. Then we see a Jem'Hadar ship, no, THE Jem'Hadar warship from many episodes ago, waiting in a dock for him. I appreciate paying attention to details like this. I forgot all about the warship, and there it was, in one piece and read to go! On a mission! As much as I love TNG, it is things like this that I think makes DS9 a better written and better acted show. No longer is a lone ship fighting off the villain/disturbance/holodeck malfunction of the week. DS9's static position means we must be willing to explore more than just the ruptured EPS conduits (or some other damn thing, as Geordi once put it!). Excellent episode in a string of excellent episodes!
Title : Paradise Rating : 5
Writers : James Crocker, Jim Trombetta Year : 2370
Review : This is the episode where I felt I got a good read on Sisko's character. Thus far we have seen him as the reluctant Emissary, but beyond that he is merely reacting to whatever is going on around him. As Sisko crawled into the box, I actually said to myself, "This is something Picard would do." Well played, because I admire Picard's conviction to what he feels is right in all situations. Having said all of that, I have a YATI! Dax and Kira locate the Rio Grande, which is traveling at warp. Kira wants to beam over at warp (which we have seen done on a few occasions), but Dax comes up with this "better" idea about lassoing the Rio Grande and then using their own Runabout to drag the Rio Grande out of warp. They are successful in a typically dramatic way, but why could they not simply order the Rio Grade to disengage her warp drive? There are a several instances in just this episode alone that shows how the Runabout can carry out functions autonomously after getting orders over the comlink. Why the huge, crazy idea? Anyway, the nit is not enough to detract from the main story, so I am still comfortable with the 5-star rating.

© Graham & Ian Kennedy Page views : 6,631 Last updated : 16 May 2021