Season One, Episode Ten: State of Flux

This episode begins with a mini-horticultural lesson on a strange planet, brought to you by Neelix. If you’re at home, this is a great time to go grab a beer or, this being Voyager, some Everclear. Luckily things get more interesting when Voyager picks up another ship in orbit. They do something wacky to disable its cloak and discover it’s a Kazon ship. Time to go back to Voyager…except, whoops, where’s Sesca?

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She’s probably not in Kerry’s pants. Nice try, Neelix.

Chakotay finds her in a cave. Unfortunately he also finds some Kazon, and one of them shoots him. But they get away, and he’s okay, and Sesca brings him mushroom soup. Sesca tells him she had to loot the food reserves to avoid Neelix’s shitty cooking, and Chakotay gets mad at her. She tries to sweet talk him with her body, but it doesn’t really work. I mean, come on, Sesca. Everybody know’s Chako is Janeway’s sugar muffin.

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Even her bun is inferior.

Before she leaves, Sesca threatens to seduce Ensign Kim. This hilarious image gets interrupted by a distress call from the Kazon ship. But is it a trap? Janeway decides to risk it. When a crew beams aboard, they discover lots of radiation and Kazon…parts. All saving one who seemed to survive. They take him to sick bay. Before they leave, B’Elanna notices something strange. Something strange other than Kazon parts. Apparently there’s some technology aboard the ship that only the Federation is known to use.

In sick bay, the Kazon is going to need new parts, even though he’s the only one who still had any. Meanwhile, Tuvok points out to Janeway that the most likely explanation for the Kazon’s possession of Federation technology is that someone on their ship has been selling secrets to the Kazon. Janeway is so disturbed she stops the elevator and gets all up in Tuvok’s face to tell him how disturbed she is.

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I mean, how can Sesca even think of competing with that? That bun takes no fucking prisoners.

Sesca is the prime suspect because of her disappearance on the planet. Chakotay isn’t pleased. In a staff meeting to get the technology back, B’Elanna sasses Janeway and she likes it. Sesca is not allowed on the team, and she confronts Chakotay in the hallway. And of course he tells her. Because it’s a *great* idea to tell someone under suspicion that they’re under suspicion.

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Girl, why don’t you take your inferior bun and your inferior attitude to the bridge like Chako asked you to?

We’re treated to a series of scenes whose sole purpose is to enhance the possibility that Sesca is a traitor. Then a new Kazon ship appears and – surprise – Sesca beams off Voyager to the original Kazon ship to get the Federation console against orders. She says she’s doing it to prove her loyalty (by disobeying orders, of course), but something goes wrong and she has to get beamed to sick bay.

Ensign Kerry from engineering is another suspect because the signal to the Kazon ship came from his station, so he’s confined to quarters. Chakotay and Janeway have a little lovers’ quarrel about it. The captain from the other Kazon ship beams aboard to see his sick bro. When Janeway refuses to turn over the damaged ship, he asks, “What gives you the right?”

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“Oh, I’m sorry. You must not have noticed my GIANT BUN OF AUTHORITY.”

But all goes awry; when Janeway turns her back for a second, the Kazon kill their sick buddy, obviously to protect the same information Janeway’s desperate to get: who gave them Federation technology? In the doctor’s office, Kes reveals to the Captain that Sesca’s blood does not match the genetic makeup of the species she claims to be. It seems like Sesca is actually Cardassian.

Chakotay is not happy. They all decide to wait and see if they can get more info from the console. Janeway radios B’Elanna to see how that’s going.

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“Good, Captain. We’re just about to give Kerry his enema, and then we’ll be on our way!”

Janeway wins a stare-down with the Kazon while they wait for the away team to return with the console. Turns out the technology was….a food replicator.

That’s right. A fucking food replicator used incorrectly blew alllll those Kazons apart and covered them with radioactive lava. Let’s just think about that for a second. Let’s think about how much better this episode would have been if they had just had the same malfunction on Voyager. Wouldn’t you rather watch Neelix get covered in radioactive lava? Show of hands?

Chakotay has an emotional conversation in sickbay, where he tells her she’s Cardassian. BECAUSE CHAKOTAY DOES NOT KEEP SECRETS, YOU GUYS. Sesca says it’s a side effect of a bone marrow transplant she had from a Cardassian woman when she was young. Chakotay says she has to wait until they finish checking what was stolen.

But…turns out telling her was a crafty Tuvok plan. He told the same thing to Ensign Kerry. And the Kazon are closing in. Tuvok notices a security hack and starts tracing it. The code being used is Sesca’s….which means it’s Kerry…which means it’s Sesca. Yeah, I don’t know, either. They go into detail about the ruse but frankly it’s boring. Like Murder She Wrote in Space.

Sesca’s all “I was doing it for us! I was doing it to forge alliances to get us home! I was doing it because Janeway stranded us all here a billion miles from home!!”

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Look at that eyebrow of disdain.

Sesca beams herself to the Kazon ship, and Janeway recognizes that they can’t fight all the Kazon ships. She won this battle. The episode ends with a heartfelt conversation between Chakotay and Tuvok about what a dupe Chakotay is. So it’s a feel-good for everybody.

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I know, Tuvok. I know.

W.T.F. Award:

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WTF is this dead Kazon part doing with my 6th grade Christmas sweater?
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Season 1, Episode 6: Eye of the Needle

Harry Kim might have found a wormhole and everyone’s excited. Paris suggests they name it “The Harry Kim Wormhole,” coincidentally the name of my next cheap vodka cocktail. Then they get there and discover it’s the smallest wormhole ever – virtually microscopic. Insert your joke about the size of Harry Kim’s wormhole here.

Even Janeway is kind of embarrassed for him

They still might be able to send a message through it – if they can figure out where it will end up. They launch a probe into it, but the probe gets stuck. However, someone on the other side of that wormhole is scanning it, so they decide to try to send a message to whomever that is. Harry is in charge of the project, and he is really super excited about it. He tells B’Elanna that he used to call his parents once a week, even when he was on his training missions. Awwwwww.

He's so excited he has to go put on his big-boy pants

The test is successful and whoever is at the other end of the wormhole sends a signal back. Tuvok determines that it was sent from the Alpha Quadrant. Harry thinks he can set up a way to Skype through the wormhole.

Meanwhile, Kes is on a crusade to get the crew to treat the Doctor better. Janeway points out to her that most people complain to her about the Doctor being an asshole, and that she was thinking of reprogramming him. Kes’s doey eyes make Janeway feel guilty for not thinking of the Doctor as a person.

Voyager is able to communicate through the wormhole. Unfortunately, the wormhole connects them directly to the biggest asshole in the Alpha Quadrant, who refuses to believe that a starship from the Delta Quadrant could be communicating with him. I guess he’s never heard of the internet.

They keep trying to get him back, and when they do we get a glimpse of Janeway’s night life – and her night hair.

If she dressed like this all the time Voyager might have gotten better ratings.

She sweet talks the Romulan into considering a video chat session so he can see that she’s not lying about who they are. She definitely guilt trips him into sending their messages along by asking him about his family back home. B’Elanna interrupts with some exciting news: she thinks she can transport the entire crew over to the Romulan ship. Talk about house-crashing. Just in case you couldn’t see the lasers of hope beaming out of Janeway’s eyes, she looks longingly at a picture of her boyfriend and pregnant dog.

ACTING!

Kes is cramming the entirety of med school into her brain in about six hours. I’m sure she’s super competent. When she tells the doctor there may be a way to get to the Alpha Quadrant he whines some more about how no one tells him anything and he’ll be left behind.

They do the test transport with something that looks like a Klingon sex toy (B’Elanna’s, perhaps? It does “simulate most known organic compounds” according to Tuvok). The test transport is successful. Maybe everybody is going home!

"Do you guys mind if I keep this? I'd like to, ah, run some tests."

They do another test to transport the Romulan to Voyager with a troop ship to take Voyager back. It works. Everybody is pretty much packed and ready to go home. But Tuvok, who shits on happiness, feels the need to take a big ole’ dump on everyone’s hopes and dreams when he reveals that the Romulan might be from the Alpha Quadrant, but it’s the Alpha Quadrant from 20 years ago. So no one’s going home. The Romulan, in a better mood now that he has the “test cylinder” offers to take their messages home and deliver them 20 years in his future. So at least there’s that.

Oh, wait. No there’s not. Tuvok tells everybody that he checked the database and that Romulan scientist died four years before Voyager left earth. So the episode was a total waste of time and everybody on Voyager is devastated.

Except this asshole

Technobabble Award: “I’ll try extrapolating the vertiron X-effector.”

W.T.F. Award:

W.T.F. is Janeway doing with a Gramaphone? I am as confused as she is.

Season 1, Episode 3: Time and Again

Lieutenant Tom Paris has a mission. And that mission is banging one of the Delaney sisters. He’s trying to talk Harry into banging the other one. Harry is more interested in doing his job and pining after his old girlfriend back home. What a lame-o.

Harry is considering not being lame. But only considering.

Then Voyager gets hit by a huge shock wave. It looks like it  was from a huge explosion on a nearby planet. Janeway and her peeps beam down to investigate. It’s unspoken, but we can assume Paris is disappointed that this tragedy interrupted his plans to get it on with some hot twins.

On the planet they discover that an entire civilization has been wiped out by the explosion, which seems to have come from their power source. Weirder: back on the ship, Kes is crying her eyes out because she says she saw it happen. Turns out, Kes might be telepathic. Like a good supportive boyfriend, Neelix doesn’t believe her.

The planet is messing with the away team, too. “Subspace fractures floating like icebergs across the planet’s surface” (uh-huh) are sucking them in and out of the present and the past. Janeway and Paris find themselves trapped in the past, in a square full of people in rainbow suits. A little kid sees them appear and freaks the hell out.

He's never seen hair like Janeway's before

A creepy dude comes and comforts the kid. Janeway tells a dirty lie about just coming around the corner, and soon she and Paris are pretending they’re just out-of-towners on vacation. The locals look at them like they’re wearing Hawaiian shirts on Nantucket.

Somewhere this guy has a van with blacked out windows

Back on Voyager, there’s a whole lot of technobabble about subspace fractures and subspace beacons but nobody knows how the hell to get Janeway  and Paris back. Kes goes to have the Doctor check her out and he uses it as an excuse to whine some more about how nobody takes him seriously. He’s mad because no one told him she was new so that he could put her brain in the database. The number of jobs in which I would be comfortable allowing them to scan my brain would be exactly zero, BTW.

Janeway and Paris are trying to fit in with the planet’s society and figure out a way to get home. The little kid who saw them appear is not having it. He even called the transport officer to confirm that they didn’t come in that way. He’s all  “the only people who came in had a kid with them.” So Paris tells him that they ate the kid. No, I am not making that up.

Janeway changed her hair so as not to scare the natives. Paris got a man purse cause he's always wanted one.

Back on Voyager, Kim and B’Elanna invent something that looks like a bug zapper. They claim it will allow them to get Janeway and Paris back to real-time. So Chakotay, Tuvok, Kim, B’Elanna, and Kes beam back down to the planet. Kes says she can reach out and touch dead people. No one cares.

Janeway and Paris get involved in a scuffle outside a local power plant, which lands them in trouble with the rainbow dudes. The rainbow dudes think that the two of them are spies, and interrogate them. Then that annoying little kid shows up again to whine some more. His plan backfires because he gets stuck next to Paris.

This kid is so afraid Paris is going to eat him

The interview is going really badly, so Janeway decides to f*ck the Prime Directive and tells them everything, including that they are probably going to cause a giant explosion that kills everybody on their whole planet. They don’t believe her. The bug zapper almost finds them, but the rainbow dudes herd them out of the room to the power plant before this episode could mercifully end fifteen minutes early.

The weirdest thing about Voyager is how balls-to-the-wall it goes when an episode deals with time travel. This is no exception. Janeway tells Tom that the reason she decided to tell them everything is that she realized the two of them are responsible for the explosion. Tom doesn’t get it, and neither do I. Anyway, there’s a gun battle in front of the power plant. Tom winds up taking a bullet for the bratty little kid.

This is point where I noticed that EVERYBODY on this planet has a man purse, not just Tom

Janeway follows the rebels into the power plant to stop them from causing the explosion. In real-time, creepy telepathic Kes reports that Janeway died in the explosion. B’Elanna thinks they can use the bug zapper to get them out just before the explosion happens. In my favorite moment of the episode, Tuvok points out that there’s no logic in the plan whatsoever, but basically says, “but I don’t have a better idea, so f*ck it.”

OOPS! Turns out that illogical rescue plan is what causes the explosion in the first place. Janeway clues into that just in time to stop it with her phaser. And somehow, this magically causes everybody to disappear and go back to Voyager and Tom is arguing with Harry about banging some twins and its the beginning of the episode, guys, minus the horrible explosion. Only Kes remembers. And the viewers. The explanation for all of this is…there isn’t one.

This is when the director told the actors the plot

Best Line: “So? Where’s the child?”

“We ate him. Because we are demons, and we eat children. And I haven’t had my supper yet.”

W.T.F. Award:

W.T.F. is up with these purses?

Body Count: Like 6 billion. Or none. I’m still mad about this time travel thing.

Season 1, Episode 1: Caretaker, Pt. 1

Voyager is for real channeling Star Wars at the beginning of this, complete with text scrolling up the screen and a space battle with lasers. Tuvok and the Maquis (band name, anyone?) get caught by a “massive displacement wave” (on second thought, that’s a much cooler band name) and the screen fades to white. After the opening credits we descend upon the Federation Penal Settlement (band name #3) where Tom Paris is looking pretty hot. No wonder Janeway wants him to tag along to find the Maquis ship.

Janeway is rocking a severe bun:

Girlfriend's gotta use a ton of hairspray

It’s also Harry Kim’s first day of work, and in true Harry Kim style, he gets himself into trouble 3 seconds after he appears on screen by pissing off a Ferengi. Paris sweeps in and saves his ass, and now they’re BFFs. Man-style.

Janeway is Skyping with her boyfriend and we learn that she has a pregnant dog. Harry shits his pants when he sees the bridge. We see some new characters who are shortly going to die so they can be replaced by bigger actors. And they’re underway.

It's like the Ferrari of spaceships

Tom and Harry have the first crisis of their budding bro-ship when Harry learns that Tom lied about killing a couple of his colleagues and then got caught aiding the Maquis. But Harry decides that other people don’t get to choose his friends. He’s a big boy now. And saving Harry from buying some overpriced Ferengi trinket > manslaughter.

Voyager gets sucked into the same displacement wave that caught the Maquis ship. We can tell that it’s bad because of what happens to Janeway’s hair.

Utter devastation

Also, some people are dead and there’s a fire in sick bay and the warp core might explode. Amidst all this chaos Janeway somehow finds the time to get her hair back into a perfect bun. That was probably part of her Captain test. We get to meet the Doctor for the first time, too. Then shit gets seriously crazy because everybody gets transported to a farm in Iowa and Walt Disney’s grandmother offers them lemonade and sugar cookies.

Ya'll have some cookies!

Paris kinda wants one

All the neighbors come for the “Welcoming Bee.” There’s a dude playing a banjo. There’s dancing. There’s a big friendly dog. This is Lawrence Welk’s wet dream. Tom and Harry discover some weird readings in a barn and turns out there’s an alien passageway in the back of it. Or it could be that weird tunnel in the Detroit Airport. Either way it’s somewhere they don’t want to be.

This way to Terminal E

B’Elanna, Chakotay, Tuvok, and inexplicably, Harry, are suspended in a weird medical laboratory having painful tests done on them and the rest of the crew gets to go back to Voyager. This begins my theory of Ensign Kim. The theory is pretty much that if something is going to get f*cked up, nine times out of ten it’s going to happen to Harry Kim.

Chakotay and Janeway decide to work together to get Harry and B’Elanna back (it’s never explained how Tuvok and Chakotay are suddenly OK and not in the Detroit Airport anymore). Tuvok’s like, “Oh, BTW, I was a Federation spy this whole time, NBD” but it doesn’t really matter now because clearly some more important shit is going down.

Chakotay, Paris, and Janeway go back to Grandma Disney’s house to try to figure out what the hell is going on. They interrogate the old banjo player.

This image sets the bar for weirdness in future episodes.

He’s grumpy and says they can’t give him what he wants and sends them back to the ship. Meanwhile, Harry wakes up in the Mayo clinic with disgusting lesions all over his body. So does B’Elanna, but she’s more angry about it and punches all the doctors.

Janeway is feeling guilty because Harry’s mom asked her if he could bring his clarinet and now she’s gone and lost her only son. We learn that Harry went to Juilliard. Good to know Juilliard is still around several centuries from now.

SO here’s the cliffhanger: What’s Janeway going to do? Where are Harry and B’Elanna and what’s going to happen to them? Who IS the old man with the banjo?

Technobabble Award: “What’s the warp core pressure?”

“21oo kilopascals.”

“Lock down the magnetic constrictors!”

“If we lock them down, we might not be able to re-initialize the dilithium reaction!”

Most Ridiculous Line Award: “Do you always fly at women at warp speed, Mr. Paris?”

“Only when they’re in visual range.”

W.T.F. Award:

WTF is that thing?

BODY COUNT: at least 5 ( first officer, head of engineering, doctor, nurse, and pilot) but it’s okay because we never got to know them and they’re going to be replaced.