So here we are, the season finale of Star Trek Voyager Season 2. With a few duds along the way this is sure to be a good one right…I mean this is the finale….anyhow. Originally broadcast on May 20,1996 this is Basics Part I.
Captain’s Log Stardate undetermined. Basics Part I
Voyager faces it’s biggest threat when the Maquis capture the ship while the crew is on a mission to save Chakotay’s son.
While Tuvok works with a recovering Lon Suder, who has taken to grow orchids, Voyager receives a message, via a signal buoy, from Seska indicating that Chakotay’s son is in danger. Concerned that his alleged son will become a Kazon slave, Chakotay asks Janeway for advice. Janeway comforts her second in command assuring him they will help in any way. Retiring to his quarters, The Commander has a vision where his own father encourages him to rescue the boy.
After making their plan of attack to mount a rescue, the crew follow the warp trail from the signal buoy only to find a damages Kazon shuttle with a single Kazon inside who claims that Seska has been killed. Tierna the Kazon reluctantly gives the crew the command codes for the Kazon defense net convincing Chakotay that he is on the level. Meanwhile the Doctor detects that Tierna has a disease known as polycthemia. Now armed with the codes, the ship heads into Kazon space only to face one of the factions loyal to no one. Making it out alive, the ship continues on as Janeway discusses a possible future with Lon Suder as it seems he wants to work with Kes in the hydroponics bay. Janeway agrees to discuss the matter with Kes although she is unsure.
After subsequent attacks on the ship, they begin noticing that the Kazons are all attacking the secondary command processors making them suspicious that something is going on. The Doctor, still wondering why Tierna has polycthemia, finds his patient unwilling to talk. Chakotay questions Tierna about the strange attacks but finds him just as aloof. After another similar attack, Janeway orders the ship to turn back toward the Kazons to determine why they are being attacked by rouge Kazon ships. Finding themselves facing eight Kazon ships, Janeway implements a plan devised by Harry Kim using holographic ships, that manages to divert half of the enemies away.
As Voyager battles the Kazon, Tierna reveals why he still has polycthemia by using himself as a suicide bomber and causing an explosion that ruptures a plasma conduit damaging the ship’s systems. In the process the explosion also frees Lon Suder from his cel.
The holographic ships vanish and Paris takes a shuttle to get help from the Talaxians. Soon Voyager finds itself being boarded by the Kazon and Janeway discovers she is unable to activate the ships self destruct mechanism due to the damage caused in the secondary command system.
The crew find themselves captured and find that Seska, the child and Culluh himself arrive to meet their enemies. Cullah informs Chakotay that the Kazon will raise Chakotay’s son. Seeing that the crew is being rounded up, The Doctor sets his program to deactivate for 12 hours to avoid capture. Cullah and Seska note that Paris and Lon Suder are the only crew missing, and take Voyager to a hostile planet known as Hanon IV where they abandon them without gear or supplies.
Now in dire straits and awaiting rescue, the former crew of Voyager begin looking for food and water to survive although it is clear that this is not a hospitable planet.
Back on Voyager, the Doctor reactivates himself as it is revealed that Suder is hiding on the ship. Seska and Culluh now have Voyager.
To Be Continued…
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
For a season finale, this one is pretty great but also…VERY contrived. Let’s explain.
So, since Seska left the ship literally EVERYONE on Voyager knew that she was not trustworthy there is no reason that anyone, ANYONE, especially Chakotay believe her. I know he had a freaking ‘Vision Quest’ but seriously, is he really going to risk the lives of the entire ship over the off chance that both Seska is being honest for once or that Chakotay’s visions are accurate? Heck, Janeway made her position clear in Tuvix on how she feels about the ‘needs of the many vs the needs of the few‘, so there is no reason that she would even consider this dangerous and highly suspect mission. So, basically, not only does Janeway and Chakotay fall for yet another lie from Seska, they then risk everything for a child that is very likely not Chakotay’s kid and they don’t even give the crew a choice in the matter. I think the latter is what irks me most, in every other super dangerous situation Janeway makes it clear that the crew’s safety is of the utmost importance but here, eh, let’s risk everything for some rando child. WOW, just WOW.
I actually remember the first time I watched this episode yelling at the screen ‘NO, SHE’S LYING TO YOU WHY ARE YOU LISTENING TO HER!!!’ Of course no one listened…but still.
To be blunt, the episode should have gone like this.
The other major issue with this episode is the bomb that the Kazon brings with him on board. The transporters should have detected this anomaly and, even if it didn’t, the Doctor has proven himself far more skilled at figuring out medical issues that he seemed to be in this. I have to say, I am really dissapointed in how the writers left such a convenient and rather annoying plot hole in this story but, that seems to be the theme in this one.
All this aside, and it is hard to put aside, the episode itself is a fun action packed romp that lands the crew in a pretty serious situation at the end. For a cliffhanger it’s pretty effective having left us wondering what was in store for the crew in the next season. You have to understand, this was new ground for us back when this first aired and we honestly thought that the series might take a radical direction…despite the rather convenient way this entire thing played out. Heck, several of us thought that it was too convenient and that Janeway allowed the Kazon to capture Voyager for some unknown reason. Did she? Well we’ll just have to wait for the next review to discuss the actual resolution. Thankfully you don’t have to wait an entire summer for the conclusion.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- 0 photon torpedoes fired, 29 remaining.
- 0 shuttlecraft lost or destroyed, 1 possibly destroyed, 4 or 5 remaining remaining.
- There is a silly scene where the Doctor finds himself projected into space by accident. It was kinda out of place…
- we do learn that the self destruct on a ship needs the secondary command system intact to work. Seems like a design flaw…
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: Season Three Premiere Basics Part II
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Late To The Game 7/6/2020
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.
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