Okay…here we are at the start of Season Four! While the series has been hit or miss for the most part so far, THIS is the moment Star Trek Voyager begins to really find it’s footing. I’m not saying the series has been bad at this point, but honestly…there have been some rather big duds…
Be warned, This is a densely packed episode. So, shall we begin?
Originally airing on September 3, 1997 this is Scorpion Part II.
Captain’s Log Stardate 51003.7 Scorpion Part II
As Janeway attempts to make an alliance with the Borg to defeat Species 8472, it seems Voyagers only hope is to accept a new crew member who may end up posing a threat of their own.
With Voyager in tow, the Borg cube flees the destruction brought on by Species 8472. On Voyager, Commander Chakotay attempts to beam Janeway back but with no success. Soon they are contacted by the Borg Vessel where the Captain orders Chakotay to cease his rescue attempts. She informs Chakotay and her crew that she has agreed to remain on the Borg Vessel to work on the project and that Voyager also is to work in tandem with The Borg despite Chakotay’s reluctance. Ordering Tuvok to join her on the cube, she leaves no opening for disagreement with her instructions.
In sickbay, The Doctor shows Chakotay that he is having success in treating Harry Kim, by injecting the young ensign with the updated Nanopobes. It is a minor victory but one they desperately need. The Doctor voices his concern over the alliance with the Borg to Chakotay but the Commander does not betray his own feelings. He does, however, remind the Doctor to delete himself should things go south. After Chakotay leaves, Kes begins to have visions again, even seeing one of the alien species in the sickbay with them. Frightened at the vision, the Doctor finds her cowering against the wall shaking in fear as she tells him that species 8472 are watching them.
On the Borg Cube, Janeway and Tuvok begin work on the means to defeat Species 8472 but are shocked when drones forcefully attach devices to their necks. Upset, Janeway demands to know why and the Collective responds that this is so the humans can work more efficiently with the Borg. Janeway rejects the change in plans and demands a Borg representative similar to Locutus be activated or she will terminate the alliance there and then. The Collective accept her proposal and a before long a new drone steps from a an alcove indicating that it now ‘speaks for the Borg’. The drone identifies itself as Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix Zero One and begins to work with Tuvok and Janeway on the weapon. Soon they mutually decide to use Voyager’s Photon Torpedoes (of which there are only 27 remaining by my last count) but the Drone disagrees as the weapons would not have the range and force necessary. When Janeway challenges its assumption, Seven of Nine brings up a schematic for a new weapon that The Collective believe will be a better choice. Tuvok and Janeway object as this new device is essentially the atomic bomb in this war and would effect an entire Star System with no regard to innocent lives. Seven of Nine does not care siting that this is the most efficient means of unitizing the weaponized nano-probes. Tuvok informs Seven of Nine that such a weapon would take weeks to create allowing Species 8472 more time in their attempts at destroying the Borg. By creating smaller weapons, the Borg can use these weapons to cause Species 8472 to reconsider their actions. Although Seven of Nine clearly is not impressed with the suggestions, The Collective informs her to proceed with the Photon Torpedo option and she immediately accesses Voyagers inventory much to Janeway and Tuvok’s surprise.
Back on Voyager Chakotay learns that Species 8472 has begun accessing Kes’ memories and have begun using her to learn more about the ship and it’s crew. This makes them realize that they may already know about their plans to stop them. Chakotay contacts Janeway on the Cube, informing her of the aliens direct link with Kes, Janeway suggests that they change course as to avoid any contact with Species 8472. The Borg comply and Janeway asks Chakotay to keep her informed of Kes’ communication with the aliens. Soon Harry Kim returns to duty just as the ship detects a new singularity. Instead of attacking the Borg, the alien ship attacks Voyager clearly aware of the threat they pose. The Borg Cube defends Voyager and begins taking damage. Soon the Cube is destroyed and it seems as if Janeway and Tuvok are dead, however Chakotay is surprised when he is contacted by Tuvok from Cargo Bay 2. It appears that the Borg managed to beam the Captain, Tuvok, and a group of drones over to the ship just before it was destroyed. Chakotay heads to the Cargo Bay with armed guards and finds both Tuvok and Janeway unconscious with Drones working throughout the bay. Seven of Nine reminds the Commander of their deal and Chakotay reluctantly agrees to maintain the alliance.
In sickbay Chakotay finds Tuvok well but it seems Janeway is in serious condition. Knowing that she will be forced to undergo a dangerous surgery, Janeway orders Chakotay to honor the alliance with the Borg no matter how much they push him. Handing over command of the ship, she is forced into a coma so the Doctor can treat her wounds. Clearly not happy at the situation, Chakotay returns to the Borg where he informs them of Janeway’s condition and that he will still honor the alliance. Seven of Nine insists that this is no longer acceptable as they no longer have the resources of the Borg Cube. She demands that he reverse course and take them to the closest Borg Vessel which is five days away from their present location. Although Chakotay indicates that he has no intention of complying, Seven makes it clear that this is not an acceptable answer. Now in a stale mate, Chakotay leaves agreeing that he will ‘think about it’.
Calling the staff together, Chakotay informs them that he intends on ending the alliance as things have gone out of hand. There are mixed emotions to the decision but he makes his orders clear informing them that he plans on dropping the drones off at the closest planet with the nano-probes and heading out on their own. Dismissing his staff, he then calls Seven of Nine to his ready room where he informs her that they need to part ways. She is not pleased with the decision but Chakotay reminds her that he will decompress the cargo bay if she tries anything. Chakotay then heads to sickbay and tells the now comatose Captain of his decision, knowing that she will likely not forgive his blatant disregard of her final orders.
In the Cargo Bay, Seven of Nine is informed by The Collective that the war is going poorly. The Collective instructs her to take over Voyager and fly the ship into Species 8472’s space in order to destroy it from within. She goes into a Jefferies Tube to begin her mission.
Finding a suitable moon, Voyager stops and they begin preparing to remove the Borg. Soon they discover that the Drones have gained control of the ships deflector dish and are opening a quantum singularity with it. Chakotay orders that the Cargo Bay be decompressed and all of the drones but Seven Of Nine are swept into space. Knowing that there is still a single drone on board, there is nothing they can do as the ship is pulled into the alien’s space.
Seven of Nine contacts Chakotay and informs him that they are in fluidic space and that Species 8472 will be retaliating in three house, seventeen minutes. Chakotay and Tuvok re-pressurize the Cargobay and head to the drone to find out what it knows. While it is clear that she is very knowledgeable on Species 8472, Seven refuses to reply causing Chakotay to press further. She finally admits that the Borg attempted to invade Fluidic Space but were resisted by this new species. She indicates that this made the Borg even more infatuated by this new species as it was the apex of biological evolution. She then informs them that their only course of action now is to release the nano-probes via the torpedoes or they will all die. Before he can respond, Chakotay is called to sickbay.
Arriving in Sickbay, Janeway is furious at Chakotay and demands answers. Informing her of his decisions and his new knowledge he anger is lessened when she discovers that Voyager is being used to fix something the Borg started. He encourages Janeway to cut and run, deactivating the Drone and leaving fluidic space but Janeway informs him that they will re-initiate the accord. They will fight along side their new allies. Chakotay informs Janeway that the Borg can not be trusted and, after a heated debate, the two agree that they need to work together in order to get out of their current situation.
Returning to the Bridge, Janeway informs Seven of Nine that Chakotay has been relieved of duty and placed in the brig. She informs her crew that they will be fighting the aliens in their own realm showing Species 8472 the power they have against them. After modifications are made to the ship by the Borg, and having prepared 13 torpedoes with the new nano-probes, they learn that 4 vessels are incoming. Kes informs the Captain that she can hear them claiming that Voyager has contaminated their space and that they will purge the galaxy. Janeway attempts to defuse the situation but it is clear that this alien species is not backing down. The aliens attack and Voyager fires four torpedoes. They all strike true and, when it appears they have not been effective, they explode showing that Voyager and the Borg can now fight back. Janeway orders Seven of Nine to reopen the singularity to allow them to go back home.
As soon as they return additional alien ships attack forcing Voyager to fire again, showing the aliens that they can and will defend themselves. The remaining Alien ships retreat and Seven contacts the Collective informing them of her success. Janeway insists that the Borg now honor their part of the pact and, of course, the Borg refuse indicating that they will now be assimilated.
Janeway is more than prepared though when she contacts Chakotay with one word. ‘Scorpion’.
In the cargo bay, Chakotay begins his attempt to the reach the Human inside Seven of Nine by linking with the Borg Drone. We see brief glimpses of Seven’s past of her as a child being assimilated and visions of her pre-Borg life. There he learns that her name is Annika and, after a brief fight and a power surge from B’Elanna, they are able to sever the link between her and the collective. Seven of Nine is taken to the sickbay and Voyager resumes course.
Later, while Janeway is relaxing in her new holo-program, she is informed by Chakotay that is seems The Doctor has been able to regenerate much of the Borg Drone and has hopes that he will be able to fully free her of her Borg self. Chakotay apologizes for seemingly disobeying her orders but she assures him that she respects his decisions and is pleased that they ultimately made it past this event as a team.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
Holy Crap was this a dense episode but man was it a solid one. When this first aired no one, I mean NO ONE knew what to expect from this season premiere. For all we knew Harry Kim was a dead man and the ship’s crew was sure to be cut down significantly by the time they finished with the Borg. To our surprise, not only were they able to stop Species 8472 (for now) but they saved Harry AND gained a new crew-member! I mean, I know, ‘what did you expect?!’ but seriously, this was a lot of unknown territory as it was clear this series was getting darker and darker as it went on.
Now, Lets talk about that new crew member, Seven of Nine. Keep in mind, when this was first broadcast, this was the first time since Locutus and Hugh that we have really encountered an ‘individual’ drone and none of us really had any clue that this drone would eventually become part of the crew. So having a Borg drone with an attitude pop up out of nowhere was exciting and rather surprising. The rumors flew, some thought that she was, in fact, the Borg Queen in disguise, or maybe planted on Voyager to spy on them. Although those rumors were not all that far off…things took a significantly different turn. Seven of Nine has since become one of the most beloved (or hated depending on who you talk with) characters in Star Trek and has even returned in the recent series Star Trek Picard, continuing her journey past the end of this series. It is so fun seeing her journey once again from the beginning and I really look forward to experiencing it with you.
How about the Borg themselves? Although Species 8472 appear to be defeated (heh), you know the Borg will not let a Federation ship go without some serious retaliation, not to mention Voyager essentially kidnapping one of their drones. Plus, they did make mention that Borg Space was vast and this indicates that Voyager is pretty deep within the Collectives designated space so this ship is far from safe… I mean, I know what happens but you’ll just have to wait…
Speaking of Species 8472, how cool was it that this was a species from Fluidic Space. I mean, think about that for a moment, unlike our universe, this is a universe that exists in a fluid not unlike that of a Universe Spanning Ocean. What this also means is that Voyager may have damaged that universe in ways they could never imagine when they launched those torpedoes. If this space is literally connected through a fluid, the nanites that were released in those torpedoes would keep spreading like a pollution in our own ocean. So that could mean that other species in this space would be affected and possibly killed by this contaminant. It would be as if someone injected a small amount of poison into a persons body damaging it forever and weakening it horribly. Come to think of it…what if fluidic space was not really space at all but the inside of a giant being and Species 8472 was nothing but the white blood cells in this creature? Imagine our white blood cells were more aggressive attacking viruses by travelling outside of our body’s in order to prevent disease…yeah….that’s pretty much exactly what these aliens were and Voyager just poisoned some giant being without even realizing it. Bad Voyager.
So, how about Kes’ mental powers? We all knew that her species had latent abilities that were pretty Jean Gray like but for her to become basically a conduit for an enemy is nuts. I for one was looking forward to seeing more of these incredible powers as Voyager continued through the Delta Quadrant. I mean, if she could mentally communicate with other species, what else could she do? Sadly…well just wait until the next episode…
Now, what about Chakotay and his apparent insubordination. Before going into a coma, Janeway made it clear that Chakotay had to ‘make this accord work’ as Janeway felt it was their only chance to survive this part of the Quadrant…the think is…she also said something else just before slipping away. ‘Get This Crew Home’. While it was clear that Chakotay wanted nothing to do with the Borg or the accords they had agreed upon, he was in command and following her requests until it appeared to him that the Borg would prevent Janeway’s last command, Get this crew home. So, in a way, he did not fully disobey orders but followed Janeway’s orders to a tee. He was doing all he could to get the crew back to the Alpha Quadrant no matter the cost.
Overall, this is a solid season premiere establishing that this season was going to be much more energetic and interesting with some significant changes to the status quo. This is along the same lines as Season 3 for TNG and interestingly, all it took were a handful of Borg Drones to get things going.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- 5 photon torpedoes fired, 22 remaining.
- 0 shuttlecraft lost or destroyed, 3 remaining.
- The ship gets a bit of an upgrade using some Borg technology.
- We get a small taste of Janeway’s interest in Seven of Nine’s humanity throughout this episode. This is just a touch of foreshadowing of her continued attempts to fully reintegrate Seven into human life.
- This is not the last we will see of The Borg or Species 8472
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: The Gift
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 9/7/2020
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.
“Star Trek and all related marks, logos and characters are solely owned by CBS Studios Inc. This fan production is not endorsed by, sponsored by, nor affiliated with CBS, Paramount Pictures, or any other Star Trek franchise, and is a non-commercial fan-made production intended for recreational use. No commercial exhibition or distribution is permitted. No alleged independent rights will be asserted against CBS or Paramount Pictures.”