Its another imprisoned officer story. Originally broadcast on September 18, 1996, this is The Chute.
Captain’s Log Stardate 50156.2 The Chute
Tom and Harry find themselves in a prison where the inmates are going insane as Voyager desperately tries to find a way to prove their innocence.
This one is pretty cut and dry. Harry and Tom find themselves in a prison after being accused of setting off a trilithium bomb by the Akritirians. They are implanted with a neural implant called ‘the clamp’ that makes the prisoners paranoid and violent. So, of course Harry and Tom need to find a way out. Discovering they are on a space station with no way out, things go from bad to worse as ‘the clamp’ continues to drive them insane.
As they work on escaping Voyager works on proving their innocence but are soon informed that Voyager will be impounded and the crew will be imprisoned as well because they are believed to be working with Open Sky. Janeway refuses and things get messy.
Just as things look bleak for Harry and Tom, Voyager finds a way to find the real culprits and offers to work with the Akritirians for a prisoner exchange. It doesnt go as planned so Janeway, remembering Neelix’s ship in the hold she mounts a rescue operation and forcefully rescuing her crew members.
In the end, Tom and Kim (who is not the original Kim remember), solidify their friendship as Kim saved Tom during their time in prison.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
Eh. It’s okay. I mean its your typical ‘Crewmember is accused of a crime and must be saved’ story. I swear it really does feel like this is an overused trope seeing as they have already done it on this show, also with Paris. Remember when Tom was accused of killing someone’s husband? Yeah. I guess he just has a guilty face huh.
The thing that makes this episode work, despite itself, is the relationship between Tom and Harry. We have seen this relationship develop since episode one and frankly, even though this universe’s Harry is dead, that relationship seems to have transcended even dimensions. Garrett Wang really stands out giving Harry Kim some serious growth as a character. Once again though, despite his valor and even rescue of a fellow crew-member, he is once again not even considered for a promotion.
One other thing that this episode shows is that Janeway will still stop at nothing to save her crew. Even after she nearly lost them all in the finale of the last season she is still determined to keep them all alive, you gotta admire that.
Overall, this is very much a filler episode. Not much to see and really doesn’t impact the long game. Not the worse, but certainly not the best.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- 0 photon torpedoes fired, 29 remaining.
- 0 shuttlecraft lost or destroyed, 5 remaining.
- This is the first time we see the outside of Neelix’s ship. The last time we saw it he was practically living in a storage shed. Looks like he cleaned up a bit.
- We learn that Neelix is actually a pretty decent pilot but when he suggests he take over Tom’s duties…well…it doesnt go over as he expected.
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Late To The Game 7/13/2020
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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