Thursday, 13 February 2014

Review: Voyager 2.8: Persistence of Vision

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Janeway is trippin'
Image from Trekcore
Star Trek Voyager - Season Two, Episode Eight - Persistence of Vision
Written between 1st and 5th July 2013

Remember that Holonovel of Janeway's that I mentioned back in Cathexis? This week is the payoff, and boy is it a good one. While people being hypnotised/given delusions is nothing particulary, the typically Voyager way that the show goes about things makes for a very interesting episode which is both rather delightfully weird and one which further develops all of our characters, from the stressed and overworked Janeway to the developing confidence of Kes. Plus, everyone gets to do insane acting, which is fun to do and watch.
      Janeway is stressed when she has to organise a trip through Bothan space (a Star Wars reference) and she becomes so testy that The Doctor commands her to take some time off. She begins hallucinating images from her holodeck program elsewhere on the ship, and once they make contact with the Bothans everyone on the ship begins to hallucinate wildly. Paris sees the disappointment of his father, B'elanna apparently dreams about bonking Chakotay and while trying to fight to stop the hallucinations Kes sees a somehow scarier version of Neelix than we see usually.
     Janeway's relationship with Earth boyfriend Mark whom she left behind in the Alpha Quadrant gets its first real address here, and the way that she in partcular has dealt with losing the love of her life has been rather interesting. In fact, we haven't really been able to to tell - Janeway has kept that side of her rather under wraps, and seems happy to go off galivanting. This is interesting though, as it shows that Janeway is prepared to put her crew before her own interests, and she has been avoiding thinking about her fiancĂ©e because of her own self-inflicted guilt about said neglection.
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Hallucinatory Ships...
Image from Star Trek.com
     With that depth of character in mind, I do wonder what was going on with the rest of our cast this week. Paris' hallucination was understandable, but the raunchy scenes with B'elanna and Fantasy!Chakotay came out of the blue, with this being the only episode in which B'elanna expresses any sort of romantic inclination towards Chakotay at all. As such, it creates an uncomfortable five or so minutes. Kes is super-magical and so somehow is able to resist the hallucinations, seeing her having to fight off an evil(er) version of Neelix who somehow manages to be just as ridiculously controlling as the real one in what is a wonderfully ironic final set of scenes.
     Even if some of the character work was weird, this episode was fundamentally well constructed, and its central mystery that allowed for explorations of our characters and for quite a few what-the-fuck moments carried the episode over the bumps in its script. It was fun to watch, at any rate, and the way the episode's twists and turns played out certainly made it memorable.

Thanks.

NEXT WEEK: The famously not-racist program is astoundingly rascist. It's Tattoo.

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