Friday, 20 June 2014

Review: Voyager 2.26: Basics (Part One)

File:Voyager landing.jpg
Voyager leaves our intrepid heroes behind...
From Wikia
Star Trek Voyager - Season Two, Episode Twenty-Six - Basics (Part One)
Written 1/12/13

And so the first of Voyager's finale/premiere two-parters has arrived, as we end the season on a cliffhanger which is both brilliant and terrible in all the myriad ways in which Voyager excels at being. This story sees the last blast for the Kazon as well as a revisitation of a lot of the plotlines which ran through the first two seasons, and it marks the end of Voyager's rocky beginnings - well, the next episode does, at least. Season Two has been very up and down - compared to its predecessor, it's had much higher highs and much lower lows. But that doesn't stop me from loving it just as much as I always have done.
     Like in Maneuvers, Seska sends Voyager a ridiculously obvious trap, this time pulling at her lie that she's given birth to Chakotay's child. After some spirit searching with his dad, Chakotay agrees to go to the co-ordinates in order to "save" his son. They pick up one of Seska's aides on a damaged shuttle, who supports her story. Despite Voyager's precautions against attack, the aide is actually on a suicide run and blows himself up, leaving the ship open to attack from the Kazon-Nistrim, accompanied by a very-much-okay Seska. They take over command of the ship and, not counting The Doctor and psychopath Lon Suder, they leave the entire crew of Voyager on a small planet occupied entirely by Dinosaurs and primitive hominids.
      The episode is very epic 'n' all, but despite the narrative significance of the Kazon finally getting their hour in the sun, it made very little sense when you thought about it for any length of time. Not does Voyager's involvement in the conflict depend on them falling for the same trick twice, as well as then being out-maneuvered and out-witted by a race of people who, despite having the capacity to travel through space, is unable to adequately find water. Basically, it relies on the idea that the crew of Voyager are just immensely, immensely stupid people. Which doesn't help a lot of viewers, who probably think that already.
http://static3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080813121808/memoryalpha/en/images/2/23/HanonIV_surface.jpg
...in the setting of The Flintstones. From Wikia
     I suppose a lot of the episode's weaknesses come down to the fact that the Kazon seem inserted into the story in the place of a generic alien race, and as a result the plotlines that they're desperately trying to tie up and make into a neat finale never really mesh together. I'm more stunned into disbelief at the crew of Voyager ever letting themselves get into this situation than I am excited and suspenseful. The result is an episode which is very self-important and busy, while simultaneously not really getting much done in terms of characters besides make us wonder why we care about them at all. Which isn't really a good thing.

Thanks.

IN TWO WEEKS: Season Three kicks off with the resolution we all need, Basics (Part Two).

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