Voyager is trapped in the 90’s as Janeway tries to prevent a catastrophe from taking place centuries later. Originally airing on November 13, 1996 this is Future’s End Part 2.
Captain’s Log Stardate 50312.5
With the Doctor stolen and Voyager stuck in 1996, Janeway must find a way to prevent Henry Starling from using his stolen Timeship.
Paris, Tuvok and Rain Robinson find themselves still on the run as Paris attempts to work on the radio of Rain’s van in order to contact his crew. After a brief conversation as to who Tuvok and Paris really are, it is soon clear the radio will not be an effective tool. No sooner does Tom give up than Tuvok returns with ‘breakfast’ in the form of chili burritos, soda and footlong hot dogs. Suggesting they use the radio dish at the Griffith Observatory, the three decide to head over as soon as they finish eating.
On Voyager the crew come to the realization that if Starling does use the time-ship, he will ultimately rip apart the space time continuum effectively destroying 29th century Earth. They have limited opportunity to prevent him from using the ship but, having already been seen by the local populous, they can not risk taking Voyager into the atmosphere a second time. Although Neelix does inform them that most of the news sources claim the footage of Voyager is a hoax, Janeway is concerned that they could come in contact with the primitive military of the 20th century.
They are soon contacted by Tuvok who assures Janeway that he and Paris are alive and well. Although the connection is bad, they inform the Captain of their association with Rain and her connection help in the matter. Janeway agrees that they should reveal themselves to Rain in order to find an ally in the 20th century.
The Doctor find himself summoned by Henry Starling at the Chronowerx office much to his dismay. It seems that Starling has been doing his research on the Doctor and knows more about the Doctor than he should. Although the EMH demands to be returned to Voyager, Starling refuses wanting some answers. Starling confides in the Doctor that he believes that Janeway is lying about the damage to the future using the Time-Ship will cause. He is convinced that Janeway wants it for herself. The Doctor demands once again that he be returned to Voyager indicating that Starling has no way to hurt him, unfortunately, The Doctor is wrong.
Showing the Doctor he means business by invoking pain in the Doctor, Starling makes it clear that he is in control. Starlings torture of The Doctor is interrupted by a call from Rain who acts as if she is scared and needs his help. She begs him to come get her and, even though he believes it’s a trick, he agrees to go get her. Taking the Doctor with him using a mobile emitter made from 29th century tech, Starling and his security chief arrive at the rendezvous indicated by Rain.
As Rain, Paris and Chakotay make their plans to capture Starling, Torres and Chakotay take a small shuttle into orbit masking it’s readings to appear as a regular plane. The two discuss laying low if they get stuck in the 90’s wondering what they would do for the remainder of their lives. Approaching the location of Rain and the team, it soon becomes clear their plan is not going to work when Starling takes Rain to his car instead of her van. Chakotay attempts to beam Starling out of his car but nearly fails when Starling activates a safety device causing the shuttle to malfunction. Rain escapes with the Doctor just as Starling vanishes however, it seems his interference has caused too much damage and Voyager has to take Starling from the shuttles transporter buffer as the shuttle loses altitude.
With Starling captured on Voyager, Janeway is now facing another problem as the shuttle containing Chakotay and Torres has crashed. Soon B’Elanna and Chakotay find that they have been captured by what appears to be members of a militia who believe that they are government test pilots planning to attack their compound. Sending Tuvok and The Doctor to help free her people, Janeway begins interrogating Starling. Starling admits that he plans to steal tech from the future to use in the present as he has been doing for the past thirty years. With this knowledge, and the knowledge that the time-ship is booby-trapped, Janeway locks Starling up behind a force-field and begins her plans to take down Chronowerx for good. In Arizona, the militia begins planning for an invasion from the ‘Government’.
At Chronowerx, Security Chief Dunbar activates his own transporter taking Sterling back to the office much to Janeway’s dismay. As Sterling begins transporting the time-ship to a new location, Tuvok and The Doctor stage a rescue of their captured crewmen. After taking several shots, the Doctor stuns their captors and frees Chakotay and Torres.
Paris and Rain give chase following Sterling’s truck. It soon becomes clear that they have been made when Dunbar begins firing at them. Using his own phaser, Paris takes out the transports wheel only for Dunbar to turn around and drive toward their van. Just as the truck is about to hit them, Chakotay arrives and destroys the truck…however the time-ship is missing. It seems Starling is still at Chronowerx.
Launching the Time-Ship, Sterling heads into space but Voyager’s weapons are still off line. Paris and Rain say their fair wells with a kiss just before Paris is beamed aboard the shuttle. Knowing what is happening, Chakotay gives chase and with the rift opening in a few moments they come up with a plan. Beaming the Doctor over to Voyager, he and Ensign Kaplan head to the Torpedo bay to prepare their one shot at destroying Sterling’s ship. In the moments just as it is almost too late Janeway launches the torpedo into the rift and is knocked out by the nearby explosion.
Demanding that Janeway head to sickbay, the Doctor finds himself ignored. Janeway asks if there is any chance to reopen the time rift just as the time rift opens on its own. To their surprise it is Braxton and the timeship, but this Braxton has no memories of the events that recently transpired. He has been asked to return Voyager to the Delta quadrant despite the ability to take them home as taking them home would alter history.
Later, in the mess hall, the crew celebrate their future. The Doctor, having kept the mobile emitter finds himself with a new unexpected freedom. The crew have managed to survive yet another major adventure and one that has brought them all a little closer.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
I have mixed feelings about this second half of the story. On one hand it ends as we all would expect it to, with the timeline more or less restored and Voyager on it’s way. Some of them are worse for wear but overall, everyone is great. The problem is…the episode felt a little crowded.
The part that really throws me off is the inclusion of the Arizona Militia members capturing Chakotay and Torres only to be taken out with the use of futuristic weapons. I mean, sure when they wake up no one will believe their story but…seriously did they have to even have that segment? In a lot of ways it almost felt like that part was tacked on just to give Chakotay and B’Elanna something to do even though they had plenty to do on the ship. Even if Torres and Chakotay still took the ship to beam Starling up they could have had similar issues without them having to be rescued. Heck that whole segment of beaming Starling up only to lose him again seemed a little out of sorts and rather pointless to be honest.
Then there is the rather tragic use or rather non-use of Rain Robinson. Sarah Silverman’s character really deserved better than to just be left behind with a kiss in the middle of nowhere. I mean…seriously, her van had broken down and they were on a road she clearly mentions is not traveled very often. So, although she helped rescue the future, she just gets left to walk home…however long that walk is.
The one thing that came out of this episode that was cool was that of the mobile emitter for The Doctor. For far too long The Doctor has been confined to either Sickbay or the Holodeck, now he can finally make house-calls and even go on away missions. Will this mean he will be treated like a member of the crew…well we will have to wait and see won’t we? That being said, the continued use of the 29th century tech poses a bit of a problem. How can Janeway and the crew use it without realizing that they are indeed polluting their own timeline. In face, when they finally return home they will be in the possession of future tech that could have tragic consequences for all of time. Plus, it’s continued existence proves that, even though they stopped Starling, the events of this story took place creating some interesting paradoxes…one involving that of Captain Braxton.
In the end of the episode, when Braxton appears he makes it known that he has never encountered Voyager despite having tried to kill them ultimately living his life on Earth homeless and destitute. This new Braxton has no reason to exist as Starlings death did not change those specific events. Instead they should have had someone else appear just before Braxton attacked Voyager explaining to him what had happened. So, despite the implication that events were ‘reset’ they really weren’t. Everything happened meaning Voyager, Braxton and the rest did indeed pollute the timeline and there is no way to prevent it at this point without major consequences. So, I go back to my theory from the last episode review. This episode is responsible for the alteration in the timeline that caused the Eugenic’s Wars to either be less of a catastrophic event or caused them to be shifted to a later date. The appearance of the Botony Bay model and photo from the last episode could serve as proof that things had changed and those were merely colonists and not Khan and his people. Maybe that’s where Elon Musk is getting his tech from….hmmmmmm.*
Overall. Not a bad episode. Lots of action and a fun story but boy does it have it’s problems. Then again, what’s perfect. At the end of the day, it was fun right?
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- 1 photon torpedoes fired, 27 remaining.
- 0 shuttlecraft lost or destroyed, 5 remaining.
- We never find out what happened to Rain Robinson, honestly she should have just gone to the future with them and became a series regular. I mean, they are about to make a major cast change anyhow…
- We never see Captain Braxton again…although he is watching…I just know it.
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: Warlord
*Disclaimer Elon Musk is not stealing tech from the future. For the love of God I was just kidding!!!!! Don’t disappear me Elon, please!
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Late To The Game 7/27/2020
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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