It’s the Odyssey meets Moby Dick in the episode that originally aired on February 10, 1999, this is Bliss.
Captain’s Log Stardate 52542.3 Bliss
The crew finds a wormhole that could take them home but it may not be exactly what they hope it is…
After Tom and Seven take Naomi Wildman on a mission in the Delta Flyer, Voyager finds evidence of a wormhole that could take them all back home. Taking the ship to the location of the wormhole they begin making scans only to discover that it will take them directly to Earth. Everyone is excited with the exception of Seven, who feels it is too convenient. Her concern is dismissed as trepidation in returning home when the ship begins getting communication from Starfleet. The news is continuously positive for the crew, practically giving them their deepest wished. Chakotay has been pardoned of his crimes with the Maquis, Janeway’s fiance has broken off his engagement with another woman, Paris gets a job as a test pilot in Australia and Starfleet assures them that the wormhole is indeed safe.
Seven becomes more and more concerned that the ship is being led into a trap and soon comes into contact with an alien named Qatai who confirms her suspicions. Just as she is about to learn more her communications are cut and Tuvok informs her that they are heading into the worm hole.
As the ship enters the wormhole, Seven learns that it is really a large creature that is planning to eat the ship. Using a psychic blast it uses it’s siren’s call to lure ships in order to consume the crews. She and Naomi find a way disrupt the connection to the being with the help of Qatai, an alien who has been hunting the creature for some time. With the crew under the spell of this alien telepathic space worm-thing, Seven finds that the worm thing is affecting her as well and she struggles to save the ship and crew. Seven soon saves the ship by making the ship ‘taste bad’ to the alien worm-thing and it basically spits them out.
In the end the crew awakens surprised that they are not home as they imagined. After briefing Janeway about the events that have taken place, Seven sees Qatai off as the old man continues his hunt for his white whale.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
Like I said in the intro, this is basically a blend of Moby Dick and the Siren’s story from the Odyssey. That being said, although it was a really simple plot, it was actually a pretty fun story praying on the hopes and dreams of the crew itself.
One of the things that plagues this series is that, even though they are in a fully uncharted part of space Voyager rarely meets with any really unique alien life. Sure, they encounter alien clouds and the like but most of the aliens they encounter are run-of-the mill aliens with the typical forehead appliances. So, having an Alien that is basically a space Siren that eats ships by luring them in with pleasant thoughts is pretty cool. I love how we never see the initial contact between Voyager and the alien wormhole, giving the viewers a reason to consider that the wormhole could indeed be real.
Seven of Nine saving the ship is not something new since her arrival, but this episode really manages to use her Borg nature to it’s advantage allowing her to serve as the wax placed in Odysseus’ ears in his Siren encounter. This episode reinforces how well written Seven of Nine is in regards to this series and how, she may border on overuse at times, her presence really enhances the series overall. I also love how the character of Naomi Wildman is used in this series. The fact that she was literally born in the Delta Quadrant gives her a unique perspective in the series. She has no ties to Earth and is not swayed by any desire to return making her one of the few not affected by the alien’s lure. I almost wish they had expanded on this allowing the series to go further than it did. Imagine if the ship had become a generational ship with Naomi growing up to be the Captain with the children of the crew under her command. While it was good to eventually see this ship return home, I really wish they had explored the character of Naomi Wildman a little more. Heck, SHE would be a tremendous character to bring back for the second season of Star Trek Picard. What is she up to these days? Did she join Star Fleet or is she a member of the Fenris Rangers? Who knows, but her character is one that should certainly be explored further.
Overall, this is a really clever episode using mythology and classic literature in a very fun and unique way. Playing on their desire to return home is both cruel and perfect all at once making for the perfect bate to capture the crew of the USS Voyager.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- 0 photon torpedoes fired, -3 remaining.
- 0 shuttlecraft lost or destroyed, -4 remaining
- We see that Neelix wishes to be an Ambassador for the Federation.
- Tuvok continues to wish he was back with his wife.
- We never see nor hear from the alien worm-thingy nor Quati again. I do hope that Alien-Ahab manages to take down his white whale.
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: Dark Frontier
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Late To The Game 12/4/2020
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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