And here it is, the season three finale of Star Trek Voyager which is a very important episode to the series. Not only does this episode serve as a season finale but it marks a the start of a major turning point for the series as a whole. Voyager finally comes face to face with…THE BORG. Only, they also face something The Borg themselves are afraid of… Originally broadcast on May 21,1997 this is Scorpion.
Captain’s Log Stardate 50984.3 Scorpion
Voyager enters Borg space only to find themselves in an unlikely alliance with the very species they have been concerned with meeting.
Unbeknownst to Voyager, Two Borg cubes are taken down by unknown entities…
As the Borg face a dire threat, Leonardo Davinci and Captain Janeway begin a friendship on the holodeck. Janeway’s time with the great master is cut short, however, when she is called away to engineering only to learn something she has been hoping they would avoid, Voyager is about to enter Borg Space.
Calling her senior staff together, Janeway informs them that they are about to face a threat like few of them have ever seen. However, it seems they might have a path through the territory that is inexplicably free of Borg. Dubbed ‘the Northwest Passage’ it seems this path is safe, but also quite dangerous as it is filled with gravimetric distortions. Seeing no other choice, the crew begin to prepare for this dangerous, Borg free path.
In sickbay, The Doctor examines the Borg Corpse they picked up some time back, so that he can devise a way to protect the crew from the nanoprobes injected by the Borg. Suddenly Kes begins to have violent visions of Borg Drones being torn apart and piled upon one another. Her visions persist for two hours as Tuvok attempts to find a way to help her. Things get worse when the ship trembles as 15 Borg Cubes close on Voyager causing the Federation ship to fall out of warp. Fearing the worst, the crew prepares for battle, but nothing happens. The 15 Borg cubes, save one which pauses to scan voyager before continuing on, speed by as if being chased, or chasing, something. Everyone aboard Voyager is shocked and relieved.
Confirming that the ship is undamaged, Janeway orders Voyager to resume course and begins to study everything they have on the Borg threat. This brief encounter has clearly shaken the Captain and she now realizes that she and the crew are far from ready to face this threat. Knowing this, she is faced with a choice, to keep pushing forward toward home or return to a safe area and remain safe but never see Earth again. Chakotay assures her that the crew has her back no matter what she chooses to do. Janeway’s studies are interrupted by Tuvok who has news about the Borg ships that passed them by…it seems they have unexpectedly stopped not far ahead.
Reaching the Borg ships, the crew is astonished to find that all 15 have been destroyed. It is clear that a battle has taken place between The Borg and some unknown enemy but the question remains, who or what could defeat The Borg so easily? While some of the crew are optimistic that this new Borg-destroyer could be friends, Chakotay advises against such a thought. Soon they discover that some of the Borg cubs have a strange Bio-mass attached to them that resists the ships transporters.
Leading an away team, Chakotay heads over to the cube with Tuvok and Harry Kim to find piles of dead Borg similar to what Kes saw in her visions. The soon come across a strange object that has created a hole in the Cube’s hull. Scanning it, they find it is organic based and is emitting antimatter particles indicating that it may have been a ship of some kind. The away team soon download the Borg’s database from a nearby distribution node hoping to learn more about this strange ship.
On Voyager, Kes has a terrible vision of Kim being attacked by something causing her to warn the crew that the away team must leave the Borg Cub at once.
Back on the Borg Cube, Kim calls Tuvok and Chakotay to him as he has found something on the ship that is NOT Borg. Just as they get near, Janeway orders the away team back immediately but it is too late as the unknown lifeform attacks leaving Kim on the ground screaming in pain. Kim is saved from death at the last minute when he is beamed back to Voyager.
On Voyager, Paris indicates that the alien ship has detached and is preparing to fire on Voyager. Kes begins having another vision and seems to be communicating with the aliens. The aliens fire and hit Voyager but Janeway and Crew manage to jump to warp, with the away team on board, before any further damage is done. Managing to escape, Kes informs Janeway that the aliens gave her a single message….’the weak will perish’.
Visting Harry Kim in sickbay, Janeway learns that the alien cells are killing the young ensign. The Doctor is unable to sedate Kim as the alien cells are impervious to nearly everything. It is clear that this is why the Borg have been so easily defeated by this threat but the Doctor believes that it is Borg technology that could save Harry Kim. He may be able to modify the Borg Nanoprobes to act as a trojan horse tricking the alien dna into letting them in. However, The Doctor fears he will not be able to make enough in time to save the ensign.
On the bridge it is revealed through the data collected by Ensign Kim that the aliens are known as Species 8472. It seems that the Borg have been fighting this enemy for the last five months and they appear to have originated from the Northwest Passage. No sooner do they learn this than they are alerted to a fleet of alien ships emerging from a nearby quantum singularity. With this new massive threat and additional communication from the Aliens through Kes, Janeway takes Voyager five light-years away to, hopefully, find another route or another option.
Unable to face the choice between facing the Borg and turning the ship around, Janeway heads to the holodeck to take solace in her new friend Leonardo sa Vinci. There da Vinci suggests taking her problem to the church and discuss the matter with God…only Janeway gets another idea.
Taking her idea to the crew, she informs them that she want to make a deal with The Borg. She intends to offer them the Doctor’s findings in the altered Nanoprobes hoping they can use them as a weapon against Species 8472. In exchange, she will demand that The Borg allow Voyager safe passage through their territory. In order to prevent the Borg from simply taking the tech, she asks the Doctor to download all of the data to his holo-matrix and to delete his program should the Borg attempt assimilation of Voyager. With the plan in place, Chakotay is skeptical warning Janeway to be careful making a deal with the Devil. He makes his stance clear that he is against this move but agrees to back her up no matter what she does. Pressing forward, Janeway takes Voyager into Borg Space.
Immediately Voyager is stopped by a Borg Vessel threatening to assimilate them but Janeway alerts them that they may have a means to defeat Species 8472. After a brief discussion the Collective agrees to hear her demands. Beaming to the Borg Cube, She informs them that the Borg are to allow Voyager through their space and, once through, she will provide the Borg with the technology. The Borg refuse, indicating that it would take too long as their space is too vast to traverse quickly. Janeway agrees to a compromise suggesting that the Borg and Voyager collaborate on a weapon as Voyager travels through their space. As she lays out the plan, the Cube shakes violently and Voyager detects that more of Species 8472’s ships have launched nearby threatening the system.
The aliens attack the nearby assimilated planet and the Cube, with Voyager still attached via a tractor beam, heads into warp fleeing the destruction behind them…only Janeway is still on the cube…
To Be Continued…
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
As I mentioned in the opening, this episode marks the beginning of a massive turning point for the series Star Trek Voyager. In this single episode, The Borg’s territory in the Delta Quadrant is established and Species 8472 introduced giving the series a much bigger threat than they have ever faced before.
Sure, we have seen Star Fleet face the Borg many times before, from the Battle of Wolf 359 to the Battle of Sector 001 (in First Contact) but, even then, we have never seen an entire sector of space dominated by the Borg, nor have we really seen this many Borg ships in one place. That, combined with a species who can actually, effortlessly, defeat the Borg and this is a volatile combination the likes we have never really seen. How could something defeat the Borg and, if they were able to do that, could there ever be a chance for an alliance? Unfortunately, it is not that simple as this species…well it seems to just want nothing but the destruction of everything in it’s way.
One interesting thing to note, however, is that Kes makes mention that she has been in contact with Species 8472 ‘for some time now’. While we have only seen a couple of instances of this communication, this line indicates that she has been receiving telepathic communication well before this episode. Unless she misspoke, this seems to be a major omission on Kes’ part. Why would she not inform Janeway or Tuvok of this communication she has been having ‘for some time’, they could have prepared better at least, maybe learned a few things along the way. I know I am probably reading too much into this but it seemed like an odd thing to say…especially for Kes.
Additionally, we get a few moments of strain between Janeway and Chakotay in this one. He is adamant that dealing with the Borg directly is a bad idea yet backs Janeway’s plan in front of everyone. This disagreement is where the title, ‘Scorpion’ comes from, as Chakotay tells the story of the Fox and the Scorpion. I won’t recall it for you here but, in a nut shell, he warns her that the nature of the Borg is to assimilate anyone and everyone and he fears that, no matter what Janeway proposes, the Borg will betray them. She knows that this is a possibility but refuses to accept it knowing that there may not be a new path home and that Species 8472 may become a larger threat. The thing is, neither were in the wrong and it is this confrontation that sparks a long running distrust between the two. While it seemed that Chakotay would follow Janeway into the pits of hell…this might not always be the case.
One other thing… Lets talk a little about the possible fate of one Ensign Harry Kim. So far, much like it was for Chief O’Brien on DS9, Harry Kim seems to be the target of every possible terrible event the writers can come up with. So here we are again with yet another Harry Must Suffer episode. I have to be honest, the first time I saw this episode, I thought we may have actually witnessed the death of our un-promotable young crewman. I mean, with all this guy has gone through I would not have held it against actor Garret Wang to take this opportunity to step back from the series and head elsewhere. The thing is…it’s not Harry Kim that leaves the series…but I am getting ahead of myself. God Speed Harry Kim! See you next season!
Overall, this is a fantastic season finale that not only marks the first appearance of Borg Territory and of Species 8472, we also get the very first time the Borg and the Federation attempt to negotiate. Janeway indeed has the upper hand here and, unless something unexpected occurs…well I guess we will have to wait and see huh? This episode also manages to set up the next several seasons, establishing some much needed tension and even paving the way for a fantastic new character we haven’t met yet… Until then….
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- 0 photon torpedoes fired, 27 remaining.
- 0 shuttlecraft lost or destroyed, 3 remaining.
- Janeway does a solid imitation of Picard and, allegedly, Captain Amisov while reading their logs.
- We are introduced to Janeway’s new program involving Leonardo da Vinci. da Vinci is played by the incredible John Rhys-Davies. This will not be the last we see of da Vinci and his tutelage of Katarina.
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 Four Premiere Scorpion Part Two
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 9/4/2020
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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