Imagine discovering that a virus has leaped from the microcosm to the Macrocosm causing it to be able to be seen by the naked eye. How much easier would it be to chase down and destroy, or would it be a threat worse than before?
At the time of writing this review, we are well into the lock-down caused by a virus of our own. While we can not see this particular virus by the naked eye, it has been quite deadly on it’s own. Hopefully ,by the time this particular article is released, we are in a much better place but, until then, Originally broadcast on December 11, 1996, this is Macrocosm.
Captain’s Log Stardate 50425.1 Macrocosm
Janeway and Neelix return to the ship only to find it has been overrun by a giant microbe!
After completely embarrassing herself in a rather difficult trade negotiation with a race known as the Tak Tak who speak in body language (she put her hands on her hips). Janeway and Neelix return to the Voyager only to find no one answering their hails. Concerned, the two land the shuttle only to find the crew is nowhere to be seen.
Exploring the ship, Janeway surmises that it has been at least 11 hours since whatever has taken the crew attacked. Soon they begin to hear a buzzing sound followed by a loud crash. Rushing to the location of the noise, they find a slime filled hole in the transporter pad. Things get worse when the ships Main power shuts down and the warp engines begin to heat the ship up. Arming themselves, the two head to the bridge only to find themselves attacked by some kind of tendril on the turbo-lift, squirting Neelix with liquid. Rushing for the Jefferies Tubes, Neelix begins to get sick. Heading up a nearby Jefferies tube to get a medical pack for Neelix, Janeway rushes back when she hears him scream. Returning, she finds that he has been taken and she is now alone.
Equipping herself with additional gear, Janeway prepares for the worst. Heading to the bridge, she sends out a distress call and discovers that the missing crew is being held in the mess hall and cargo bays. Just as she is about to leave, she is stung by a small bug but kills it with a slap. Heading to the Mess hall she finds several of her crew-members unconscious with strange growths on their bodies. Before she can investigate further she is attacked by a large creature and, after defeating it, realizes that she is becoming ill herself. Heading to Sickbay, she finds the Doctor is still active and ready for anything.
Explaining what transpired while Janeway was away, The Doctor informs her that Voyager responded to a distress call from a nearby mining colony. As he was the only one immune, The Doctor was sent on the away mission only to discover a virus that would uses its victim’s growth tissues to enlarge itself, creating deadly, and nearly unstoppable creatures. Upon returning, Chakotay refused to allow live samples of the virus on the ship. After decontaminating the samples, the Doctor began his research but did not realize that some of the virus had escaped the process. Before long they began infecting the ships bio-neural gel packs and soon the macro-virus began infecting the ships crew. Before things got completely out of hand, Kes and the Doctor had begun working on an antigen. With the Antigen ready, and Janeway as patched up as possible, the two split up to disburse the antigen to the crew.
Just as Janeway is about to initiate her plans, The Doctor finds himself trapped in a shuttle by an attacking virus and, to make things worse, the ship is unexpectedly attacked by a Tak Tak ship. Indicating that Voyager must be purified, the Tak Tak captain explains that they had encountered this Virus before never finding a cure. Janeway pleads with the Tak Tak captain, explaining that a cure had been found but she needs time to release it. He reluctantly agrees only giving Janeway an hour to act. Using the Virus’ attraction to infrared, Janeway activates the resort Holo-program and manages to lure the virus’ to the holodeck.
With the Virus distracted, The Doctor and Janeway manage to clear the ship of the macro-virus and share the cure with the Tak Tak captain. With the crew quickly recovering, Janeway allows both herself an her crew to take some much needed R&R.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
This is one of my favorite ‘monster of the week’ episodes, giving both Janeway and The Doctor some solid screen time. Neither of these characters really get a chance to work together or, really interact directly all that much so to see them work together to combat an enemy force was delightful.
For the EMH, well, It seems the Doctor’s first away mission was both a success and a failure depending on how you look at it. Using his mobile emitter, we finally get to see the Doctor head off on his own to well, do some doctoring. Unfortunately things do not go as planned and that simple away mission leads to the very thing they were trying to prevent sending him in the first place. I mean, we wouldn’t have had much of a story had that not happened but still… seems rather convenient that it was The Doctor who mistakenly caused this outbreak on the ship doesn’t it? Regardless, it was cool to see him in action off the ship again and getting a chance to work directly with Janeway really gets him closer to being recognized as an actual crew-member and not just an enhanced EMH.
One thing that really stands out is that this episode shows just how tough and sturdy Janeway is, not only as a Captain, but also as an individual. Ultimately, this is HER episode and Kate Mulgrew really shows just how awesome she can be in this role. Channeling her inner Ripley, Katherine Janeway shows she is will stop at nothing to defend her crew, even if that means she has to take matters into her own hands. Much like that of Picard in First Contact, we see a raw version of Janeway ready for action at a moments notice. Frankly, I thought she was pretty bad ass. Say what you want about her rather capricious attitude toward the Prime Directive and Starfleet itself, if you want something done, get out of her way and let Janeway do it. Now if the writers can keep this up…
All in all, this is a solid, fun and intense episode that really gives us some much needed character development for Janeway. Without giving any additional back story we got to see one of the many reasons why this Star Fleet officer was chosen to take this ship on this journey. Janeway is a leader through and through and one I know I wouldn’t want to go up against.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- 0 photon torpedoes fired, 28 remaining.
- 0 shuttlecraft lost or destroyed, 5 remaining.
- We actually see Neelix step up in this one showing that, while he might not know much about the space around him, he does have some serious people skills. There is also a fun foreshadowing in Janeway referring to him as Ambassador Neelix, stranger things have happened huh?
- We also learn that, in addition to being a bad ass, Janeway is also a painter. I wonder if this will be an important plot point to the speculated Star Trek Janeway series. An old painting of Janeway’s arrives and reveals that Harry Kim has a daughter from an alternate universe he never knew about….nah.
- While we never really get to see more of the Tak Tak culture, they do pop up from time to time in the background later on. Seems their body language doesnt keep them from traveling around.
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: Fair Trade
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Late To The Game 8/3/2020
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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