After just demoting Paris for violating the Prime Directive in the last episode, Janeway violates the Prime Directive…for love. Originally broadcast on December 16, 1998, this is Counterpoint.
Captain’s Log Stardate undetermined
While in Devore Space, Voyager must hide their telepathic crewmembers as they attempt to smuggle refugees out of a place where they will are considered illegal.
As the ship passes through Devore space, it is frequently stopped for inspection to ensure that they are not harboring any illegal telepathic crew-members. Janeway has arranged for any of the telepathic crew, including Tuvok, Vorik and Jurot to be hidden using the transporter, while claiming that they all died during their travels. Unknown to the Devore and the regularly visiting Kashyk, they are also hiding 12 refugees hoping to get them out of Devore space and to freedom. Things get tricky, however when the Doctor notes that each time the use the transporter, the people being held in the confinement beams are slowly showing signs of cell degradation.
Soon they are confronted by a Devore vessel which contains Kashyk but in civilian clothing. He informs them that he knows about their plans and warns Janeway of an upcoming trap. His only cost for the info is to also be taken safley out of Devore space. Janeway gets the refugees to agree to the plan and, as she works with Kashyk, the two begin to fall for one another.
Kashyk leaves and soon returns as his military self only to reveal that, even though he has fallen for Janeway, he has no plans to let the refugees go. Only, Janeway was prepared and tricks him into destroying a fake wormhole allowing the refugees to escape using two of Voyager’s shuttles. Although Voyager clearly broke their laws, Kashyk allows them to leave as revealing this incident would harm them both. Voyager heads on with Janeway somewhat saddened by the not unexpected betrayal.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
As a stand alone episode, this one is pretty good but seeing that Janeway just punished Paris for violating the prime directive only to do exactly that herself, I have a little bit of a problem with this one. I mean, yes, I get that she felt in necessary to save some refugees from their fate but…isn’t that a bit hypocritical of her considering her recent decisions? Heck, in the process she even authorizes the kidnapping of an alien as well as offers fuel for his ship that he could never have had access to. I mean, seriously…violation after violation!!! This fact is even mentioned in the episode and Janeway basically replies that, she would rather ask forgiveness than permission sometimes, facing the consequences when they come. Seriously?!
That being said, my wife made a good point when we discussed this and she surmised that maybe Janeway is trying to keep her crew from any blame when they return to the Alpha Quadrant, maybe she wants their records clean so that they can go about their lives and she would face any and all repercussions. If that is the case, well, I have to appreciate that. Still, she isn’t very consistent with her judgments, including barley even chastising Tuvok for stealing long range transporter tech but still…it’s admirable.
All that aside, this is a pretty solid episode that gives Janeway a chance to take the lead. Kate Mulgrew does a tremendous job as the stalwart Captain doing her best to get her crew, and her cargo, to a safe location. I love how they use the transporter to hide people in the buffers and it is even noted that this is not a permanent solution as it could actually kill the people they are trying to save. While it is painfully clear that Kashyk is going to betray them as his turn on his people is far too convenient but it is still a fun one.
Overall, not a bad one off episode. It’s a well told story and one that is worth watching despite the contradictory nature of our ship’s Captain. From now on, it is in my head cannon that she is simply trying to protect her crew from future punishment, but it is something that really should have been established and reinforced through the series as it would have made her character that much better.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- 1 photon torpedoes fired, -3 remaining.
- 2 shuttlecraft lost or destroyed, -3 remaining
- We finally get more of the Flotter and Trevis vs the Fire Ogre story. So…yay…
- I find it interesting that Kashyk’s name is awfully similar to the name a certain planet filled with hairy giants in another scifi universe…
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: Latent Image
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Late To The Game 11/25/2020
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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