B’Elanna deals with personal issues as Tom works to build a new shuttle. Originally broadcast on October 28, 1998 this is Extreme Risk.
Captain’s Log Stardate undetermined: Extreme Risk.
Paris builds a new shuttle to chase down a probe but B’Elanna begins showing signs of depression that may be becoming self destructive.
After taking unreasonable risks in the holodeck in an orbital skydiving program, Torres meets with Seven of Nine who is working with the Engineer to launch a multi spacial probe. It is clear that B’Elanna is not feeling well but ignores the problem.
The probe is launched but is captured by Malon’s who refuse to listen to Janeway’s warnings about the dangers of the gas giant they were scanning. The Malon ship is destroyed rendering the probe out of reach by any standard shuttle or even Voyager itself. Paris soon presents his solution in the form of The Delta Flyer, a new shuttle that may be able to withstand the pressures of the Gas Giant. Janeway approves and they soon begin construction with the desire that it be completed in a weeks time. As Tom works on his project, he notices that Torres is more despondent than usual but is unable to help. She is soon seen in yet another program with the safeties off risking her life.
This continues to happen through the story as the crew encounter more Malon, Torres keeps getting more frustrated and upset, and Tom keeps working on the Delta Flyer. They get the flyer done and Torres is diagnosed with clinical depression by the Doctor. Chakotay soon learns that Torres is struggling with the deaths of their Maquis friends having realized that she has no feelings for their loss and is desperate to feel something. She fears that she has lost her family with her friends dead but Chakotay reminds her that the Voyager crew is her family now.
Soon the ship is attacked by the Malon but they are stopped by the Delta Flyer and Torres manages to save the ship before a hull breach. In the end she goes and has Banana Pancakes at the mess hall.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
This is by far the weakest B’Elanna Torres episode of the series so far. Not of any fault of Roxanne Dawson because she is always stellar, but the writing of this one is just…well not good. Nor does the story really make sense as it seems super sudden and rather forced. Torres learned of her Maquis Friend’s deaths last season from a communique from Star Fleet, but so far she has shown no signs at all of grief, not even a hint or a change in her character or mannerisms. It’s almost like they didn’t plan for this story and THAT is where the problem lies.
The story itself is fine, showing a crew-member suffering from stress and clinical depression is a worthy tale. In fact, it works terrific as a stand alone episode, however, you can’t just make a character suddenly have issues without building to it before hand. It doesn’t work and comes across as just bad writing. This issue alone derails the episode and makes it lesser for it’s lack of continuity. Once again, we see yet another missed opportunity in a series that should be able to do better.
On another note, we get the first appearance of the Delta Flyer moving Paris’ story-line further finally showing his engineering and mechanical skills at work. We have seen hints of these skills in the holodeck with his car programs and he has mentioned the need of a new shuttle a few times so far, so, while the Torres story had nothing to build on, the Paris story really brings his character forward. The irony is, these stories should have played off of one another better as Torres and Paris, being in a relationship, could have had a real conflict resolution tale. Instead, Torres goes back to her ‘shut off her lover’ mode and confides in her friend, Chakotay, instead. It’s frustrating to see the writers dismiss their relationship so easily and, once again, miss an opportunity to give them a bonding moment that could have really moved their relationship further. Suffice it to say, their relationship is far from over, but this could have been a much better story for the two of them.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- 0 photon torpedoes fired, 0 remaining.
- +1 shuttlecraft lost or destroyed, -1 remaining
- We see a Cardassian in this episode, although it is a holodeck simulation.
- Interesting note, the gear that B’Elanna wears to go orbital skydiving was originally made for Star Trek Generations and was seen only in a deleted scene. The original scene was of Kirk participating in Orbital Skydiving as he deals with his retirement. This is the first time we see it in action implying that the tech has not changed in nearly 100 years.
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 Five Premiere: In The Flesh
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Late To The Game 11/9/2020
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