A futile journey.  Originally broadcast on November 27, 1995 this is Resistance.

The Episode:

Captain’s Log Stardate undetermined Resistance

Janeway has to team up with an old, and somewhat confused, revolutionary in order to free her captured crew-members.

The Story:

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Janeway and crew are haggling with a vendor named Darrod over some black market Tellerium when Mokra Soldiers raid the market arresting Tuvok and B’Elanna.  Just as they are closing in on Janeway, however, a man arrives and rescues her.

Back on the ship we learn that Voyager is in need of Tellerium in order to keep the warp core running.  Unfortunately they are so low that they must stop using their shields until some can be found.  Hoping Janeway has had some success, they are shocked when Neelix contacts them to inform them of the abduction but informs them that he has obtained the needed Tellerium.  Using their limited power to beam Neelix aboard they begin injecting the Tellerium into the engine as they begin planning how to rescue their crew members.

With the engines back online due to Harry Kim’s efforts, Chakotay takes Voyager to the planet to confront the Mokra concerning their kidnapped crew-members.  Contacting the Mokra government, Chakotay finds the Magistrate to be interestingly amiable despite Neelix’ misgivings.

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Back on the surface Torres and Tuvok find themselves in a holding cell wishing they new if their fellow crew-members are safe or not.  As the two deal with their captivity, Janeway awakes to find herself in a small shelter with a man named Caylem who believed she is his daughter Ralkana.  Despite her objections it soon becomes clear that Caylem is convinced that Janeway is really his daughter who he has not seen in many years.  She soon learns that citizens on the planet are forbidden from having any communications devices so her chances of contacting Voyager soon get lower. Caylem confides in Janeway that they need to go save her mother from the Mokra Prison but Janeway is reluctant to participating in a jail break.  Just as she begins to learn more about Caylem’s wife, Mokra soldiers arrive causing the two to flee.

On Voyager Augris meets with Chakotay and, although Voyager’s reputation has once again preceded them, Augris claims that he will remain diplomatic. Augris soon agrees that he will help them find their people but it will take some time. Chakotay and Neelix begin planning alternative methods to rescue the away team. Soon, however, they find that the Mokra are more than prepared for any rescue attempt as their prison is well protected against sensors making transporting in or out far too dangerous.

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On the planet, Tuvok and Torres find themselves being interrogated by the same Mokra agent that met with Chakotay, Augris.  Insisting that the Voyager crew-members are there to assist the resistance it soon becomes clear that they will not be freed anytime soon as Tuvok is taken away for ‘questioning’. Torres continues to try to find a way to escape but soon the cries of Tuvok echo the halls as he is being tortured.

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Soon Janeway finds that Caylem is really quite skilled in his methods of resistance by acting like a fool to detract the guards. She soon decides to use the delusional man to help her find a way to contact her ship but finds herself sympathizing with him after learning his story. It seems that he feels responsible for her ‘mothers’ abduction due to a botched attempt at a resistance movement.   Going to the market to meet with Darrod’s weapons contact, Janeway and Caylem trade a valuable necklace for some weapons but soon find themselves setup when undercover Mokra agents arrive.  Recognizing their highly polished black boots, Janeway spirits her and Caylem away from the trap just in time.  Soon she gets an idea of how to get into the prison. Disguising herself as a prostitute, Janeway gets the attention of one of the guards knocking him unconscious and claiming his weapons.  Soon however, she abandons Caylem by blocking his route with a force field hoping to protect him from harm.

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Tuvok is returned to his cell after being tortured leaving Torres to feel guilty in his pain and suffering. They soon notice that Darrod has been taken prisoner. Back on the ship Harry devises a way to trick the Mokra sensors allowing them to beam an away team down but, after being contacted by Augris, find themselves facing the threat of ground based Ion Cannons. Soon however, they detect a break in the system when Janeway disables the power grid from within.  Taking the opportunity Paris leads a rescue team as the ship takes cover from the Ion Cannons.

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On the surface Janeway and her missing crew, along with Caylem, find themselves captured again.  She learns that Caylem has attempted this rescue before but has always been kicked out to show the futility of going against the Mokra Order.  It seems that Caylem’s wife and daughter has been dead for many years. Augris informs Caylem of this fact indicating that Janeway will die due to Caylem’s continued resistance.  Not taking the news well, Caylem attacks Augris and stabs him to death before being killed himself by one of the guards. Rushing to his side, Janeway comforts the old man telling him that she and her mother forgive him allowing him to die in peace.

Returning to the ship with Paris’ rescue team, Janeway finds herself mourning the loss of a man she had just gotten to know.

Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:

Although essentially the lead actor of the series, it is rare to get a Janeway specific episode.  Honestly, I can’t think of a better one even with a few of the issues I will discuss below.

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Written in part by famed Star Trek Novelist Michael Jan Friedman, Resistance seems to take a nod from the classic Cervantes novel Don Quixote.  Don Quixote tells the tale of a delusional man on a futile quest to revive chivalry in the world. In many ways Caylem serves at Quixote with Janeway as his version of Quixote’s companion Sancho Panza.  Now, the interesting take on this story is how Caylem’s quest is not an idealistic one, it is one with a singular purpose, to save his wife from imprisonment.

In the course of the story we find that Caylem’s continued efforts have been futile as he has been at it for some time always being turned back time and again. It seems that his real daughter also met her death following along in one of Caylem’s crusades which is likely the final cause in the man’s delusional state. Enter Janeway into the quest. 

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When Janeway is found by Caylem, his mental delusions go into overdrive as he sees his own late daughter in Janeway.  What it is about her that connects to his daughter we never learn but gleaning from the conversations it was probably her attitude and personal strength.  At first Janeway dismisses the man as simply a local nut but, as the story progresses she find him to be an enduring man on a personal journey to save his family.  His love for them is as great, or greater, that her love for her crew and finds herself in a parallel journey.  They both need to get into the prison to save those they care about.  In the short time they are together Janeway finds a deep appreciation and connection with the lonely lost man finding herself in a place to give him comfort in his greatest moment of need. Sadly, I get the notion that at one point Caleb’s efforts to save his wife were genuine at one point, but in the end, his efforts were to join her and his daughter in the death he knew in his heart they had already succumbed to.

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While it is easy to dismiss Janeway as a stoic and sometimes abrupt Captain, it is episodes like this that remind us of just how much Katherine Janeway cares about those around her.  She has a great weight on her to get her crew home and every loss, no matter how small, is one more brick on her already taxed shoulders.  It is truly amazing that such a deeply sensitive and caring person does not break through the course of the series making her a rather impressive Captain.  Although we do see the chinks in her armor at the end her tears quickly fill up those gaps making that armor even stronger.

Now, while the emotional journey is a fantastic one, I have to address an elephant in the room.  Voyager essentially broke the Prime Directive and kick started a full blown revolution on this planet.  Seriously.  Hear me out.

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The Mokra make it clear that they are a totalitarian government who are doing everything they can, including torture, to prevent a rebellion.  The implied leader of this organization is Augris who, in the end, dies at the hands of Caylem.  However, it is due to Voyager attempting to subvert Mokra law in order to get vital supplies that ultimately causes Augris’ death.  This death will have a lasting impact on this planet and could lead to the uprising that Augris was attempting to stamp out.  Now with a power vacuum and the word out that the Mokra have been wounded, it is only a matter of time before the populous rises up in an attempt to overthrow their oppressors.  Now, what does Voyager do after directly impacting the lives of everyone on the planet?  Do they stay and attempt to fix what they broke, no…they leave.  They literally go, ‘we got what we want so bye!’ completely ignoring their responsibility for the potential slaughter at the hands of the Mokra that will clearly come not long after their departure. Sure, this would have expanded the story and would have impacted the series in a significant way but, honestly, if you do something this drastic…you kinda have to face the fallout.  Needless to say, no one on the crew of Voyager bats an eye at the greater impact they just had outside of the death of Caylem. Seriously Janeway? For shame.

All that aside, As I have said before, Kate Mulgrew is a phenomenal actor and paired with incredibly talented Joel Grey (Caylem) this episode becomes one of the most emotionally rich and satisfying episodes this season. Besides the fact that they just left an entire populous to die, emotionally, this is Voyager at it’s best.

Gleanings and Cool Bits:

  • 0 photon torpedoes fired, 37 remaining.
  • 0 shuttles lost/destroyed, 5 remaining.
  • We learn that warp engines require Tellerium in order to maintain the antimatter reaction rate.  Basically, they need an oil change.
  • Voyager’s reputation is once again brought up. It seems someone is sewing the seeds of hate for our Intrepid little ship.
  • We never hear from the Mokra order again despite their hatred for Voyager and their attempts to crush the local rebellion.

Thanks for reading the Retro TV Review,  I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you, one episode at a time every Monday, Wednesday and Friday!  Next Review: Prototype

If you would like to read more reviews I have a weekly series called Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday and for more retro TV goodness check out the rest of the Retro TV Reviews here.

As always, please feel free to comment below and share your experiences with these episodes as well. If you just happened by, tell me what you think! Don’t Forget To Follow me if you like the blog!

Late To The Game 6/3/2020

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If you can’t tell from our black on black leather uniforms, we are members of an oppressive totalitarian government but sure, we’ll ‘help you’ find your friends.  Of course we will.

Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available.  Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.

Star Trek and all related marks, logos and characters are solely owned by CBS Studios Inc. This fan production is not endorsed by, sponsored by, nor affiliated with CBS, Paramount Pictures, or any other Star Trek franchise, and is a non-commercial fan-made production intended for recreational use.  No commercial exhibition or distribution is permitted. No alleged independent rights will be asserted against CBS or Paramount Pictures.”

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