After the exciting events of Unimatrix Zero parts one and two we continue our story where Voyager teams up with the Borg Rebellion in order to crush the Borg Queen once and for all. Or, that’s what it would have been had this been Deep Space 9, in it’s place we do get another Borg-centric episode but one that deals with a malfunctioning part in Seven’s brain.
Originally broadcast on October 11, 2000 this is Imperfection.
Captain’s Log Stardate 54129.4 Imperfection.
One of Seven’s implants fail and the Doctor must find a way to save her life before the malfunction gets too severe.
The former Borg Twin, Azan and Revi, along with Mezoti leave the ship after the crew find the Twin’s parents. With only Icheb remaining (and that Borg Baby we never hear from again) Seven finds she is experiencing unexpected emotions and goes to the Doctor about her ‘crying’. The Doctor assures her that she is fine but before long Seven begins to discover other issues only to faint and begin convulsing in the mess hall.
In Sickbay, Seven learns that her body is rejecting her Borg Implants but he isn’t sure why it is suddenly happening. Janeway agrees to see if she can find replacement parts for Seven in some Borg Cube Debris, however, when they find one they run across aliens who claim that the Borg debris is theirs. After a fight and successfully retrieving a node, the Doctor discovers that her systems will not accept the new ‘inactive’ node. Icheb, having done the research, volunteers his cortical implant citing that he can live without it as his body has not grown fully dependent on it. The Doctor refuses, Icheb removes it anyhow to prove his point and they end up implanting it in Seven, saving her life.
In the end, Seven survives and tells Icheb that she would like to help him pass the astrometrics portion of the Starfleet Entrance Exam when he decides to enlist. She cries, only this time it is not a malfunction.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
I really thought we had already covered the ‘Seven gets emotional’ story when Icheb found his parents. I mean, she had the full range of emotion from sorrow to anger so why is crying such a big deal for her now. Imperfection really dives in exploring Seven and her feelings of mortality. This isn’t the first time she has faced death but it is the first time she has with a much greater understanding of what it is to love and be loved in return. She worries that her departure will cause her to simply cease to exist as there really is no such thing as a ‘Borg Heaven’. The thing is, this episode isn’t really about Seven, it is about Icheb and his journey to joining Star Fleet.
While it appears that I glossed over this in the description, the episode pretty much does as well choosing to focus on Seven and her reluctant acceptance of ‘Death’ with Icheb’s growth almost sidelined in the overarching tale. Icheb is determined to join Star Fleet in order to continue his education and, in a way, to emulate those who rescued him. This determination is further enhanced when he is more than willing to sacrifice himself for his ‘mother’ showing that he not only has the skills but also the ideals of Star Fleet within him. Icheb’s journey is far from over in this series as his mission to join Star Fleet is more than just a passing whim. This is sort of a bittersweet start as, if you have watched Picard, you know the ultimate fate of this first step.
Overall, this is not a bad episode but does feel a little out of place after the events of the season premiere. It is almost like nothing they experienced even mattered, had Seven’s Malfunction been a result of their encounter with the Borg, then it might have made more sense, but this specific story could have happened pretty much at any point in the series. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good and Icheb really shows how great a character he is, but it could have been so much more impactful in the overarching storyline.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- 0 photon torpedoes fired, -19 remaining.
- 0 shuttlecraft lost or destroyed, -6 remaining, oh and somehow they get the Delta Flyer back even though it was destroyed…and this is even mentioned in the episode.
- I do find it funny that Janeway feels she can rush off on the Delta Flyer by herself and her crew have to insist that they join her. I mean, what Captain does this? Basically abandons her ship to go find parts? no. not acceptable.
- There’s a pretty cool space battle between the Delta Flyer and the Alien Salvagers.
- We never learn any more about the alien salvagers although they do kinda resemble Kazon in a way.
- Neelix and Seven play a rousing game of Kadis-Kot.
- I love the discussion about death that Seven and B’Elanna have. It really shows how much these two characters have grown to appreciate one another.
- There is a slight mistake showing Paris wearing a wedding ring, only he hasn’t gotten married…yet….
- So, do Cortical nodes have a halflife? Like, are they more like a car battery or some kind of power source? Does future Seven have to stock up on replacement nodes or did Icheb’s simply have a longer charge on it?
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: Drive
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Late To The Game 3/5/2021
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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