Season One, Episode Eleven: Heroes and Demons

This is a special episode in so many ways. It’s definitely the most ridiculous episode of the first season, and I would put it up there as one of the top five weirdest episodes Voyager ever did. As might be expected, it starts with Ensign Kim fucking something up. Janeway needs him to do some bitch work but when she tries to find him the computer tells her Ensign Kim is…not aboard the ship.

It’s like she knows what’s about to happen next.

He was last seen on the holodeck, and now the holodeck is conveniently malfunctioning. Chakotay and Tuvok go in to investigate. They find out that the program Kim was running is based on…Beowulf. That’s right. Of all the fun things Harry Kim could be doing on a holodeck (and please don’t try to convince me there’s no such thing as holodeck porn – come on), Kim picked Beowulf.

A Brunhilde from the Met circa 1957 pops up and holds them at swordpoint. Since the holodeck is malfunctioning, they can’t get rid of her, so they have to negotiate with her. She says she’s seen Beowulf and describes him as, “like no other: hair straight and raven black, eyes bright with fierce fire, the burning gaze of a hero.”

LOL

 

She also says he’s dead. She takes them to the hall of the king to find out how he died. When they tell Janeway she’s very upset. They figure out that the problem was caused by the research matter she and B’Elanna were beaming aboard the ship earlier. They’re interrupted by the appearance of “Grendel” and next thing we know, Chakotay and Tuvok are gone, too.

What to do? Anyone who goes into the holodeck now faces the risk of being de-materialized…well, almost anyone. We almost forgot about…

…this asshole.

The ship’s resident whiny hologram is going in. While prepping, he’s nervous, and has a heartfelt talk with Kes about how awesome he is but also how nervous. Little bit of a humblebrag thing going on. Kes suggests that picking a name might help him feel more like part of the crew.

Once in the program, he meets Brunhilde again, and when she asks him his name he tells her it’s….

Schweitzer. As in, Dr. Schweitzer. Leave it to Voyager to make an actual social and historical reference in the middle of a wacked out episode about Beowulf in space.

“Schweitzer” goes with Brunhilde, who is clearly developing the hots for him, to the hall of the king.

Image

Weirdness bar status: raised. Note the mushrooms in the doctor’s hand.

The king challenges the doctor to a duel to prove his worth, so he has to put his mushrooms aside to borrow Brunhilde’s sword. But when the king tries to kill him, it doesn’t work, because he’s a hologram. Everybody’s amazed and takes up a cry of “ALL HAIL SCHWEITZER!!!”

In case I’m failing to convey the ridiculous of this, it’s a space show taking place in a hall full of poorly-costumed Vikings hailing a German doctor and organist most famous for establishing a hospital in Africa. On what other TV show does this happen??

The Doctor has lots of new material for his ego-masturbation fantasies now.

After a long and boring dinner with the Vikings where the doctor just fucking revels in being adored, the doctor gets some pre-battle nookie snuggles from the warrior maiden.

Now he has some for his actual masturbation fantasies, too.

Grendel shows up as a photonic energy burst that ensnares the doctor and forces the crew to beam him back to sick bay – minus an arm. After they fix him, they notice a synaptic pattern in the energy, and decide to try to replicate it in some of the energy samples they beamed up to study that started this whole mess in the first place.

B’Elanna, why can’t you just have a fish tank like normal people?

The energy bursts out of the containment field and zooms into an instrument panel ala Ghostbusters. It immediately wreaks havoc, like a gerbil loose in the pipes. A gerbil that can dematerialize people. They realize it’s alive, and when it gets through the hull they watch it get absorbed by a giant energy…lattice. I don’t know. There’s a lot of technobabble in this part. The end result is that they figure out the “energy” of the three missing crew members are trapped in the lattice. Janeway hypothesizes that these photonic gerbils are retaliating by manifesting in the holodeck and stealing crew members.

The doctor goes back into the holodeck to release the remaning energy-gerbil back to its people. The Vikings confront him, believing him to be in league with Grendel and attack him. Brunhilde takes a knife to the heart for him. They have a hilarious goodbye when she wheezes, “Farewell, Schweitzer.”

The Doctor has to go back to the hall and retrieve the gerbil cannister, which looks like a radioactive French press, from the Vikings.

English majors have confirmed there were no radioactive coffee makers in the original Beowulf.

 

“Grendel” appears, the Doctor gives him back his friend, and all three of Voyager’s missing crew members are returned safely. Janeway gives a commendation to the Doctor, who decides not to retain the name Schweitzer out of respect for his dead holo-girlfriend.

My sentiments exactly.

WTF Award:

WTF? Were the costume guys on strike? The guy on the right has a beard that looks like they just shaved a Pekingese and pasted the hair on his face.

Body Count: 0, but Albert Schweitzer is definitely rolling over in his grave.

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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 4: Phage

Voyager is low on dilithium, and Neelix thinks he knows the place to get it – a rogue planetoid (just what is a rogue planetoid, anyway? Does it not follow planet laws?). Neelix is also being really annoying. He converted Janeway’s private dining room into a galley without asking her, and he insists on going along with the away team to mine the dilithium. Then he doesn’t listen to Chakotay and an alien steals his lungs. Yes, you read that correctly.

"The Lung Stealers" would make an okay band name. That's the extent of my caring about this.

Soooo, Janeway takes some people back down to the planet to get Neelix’s lungs back. They find a hidden tunnel and investigate. Meanwhile, the Doctor things he can make a pair of holographic lungs for Neelix to use. When Paris points out that holograms are not actually made of matter, the Doctor slaps him like an angry ex-girlfriend.There is conveniently no time to explain the science behind any of this, of course.

Kes looks the way I would look if someone suggested a holographic lung transplant for my boyfriend

Janeway and crew discover that the tunnel leads to the place where the alien keeps the organs he’s stolen. They chase the alien but he gets on his ship and leaves before they can catch him. The holographic lungs the Doctor created for Neelix work, but he can’t move more than two microns in any direction. Neelix’s biggest concern is that Paris might be hitting on Kes, though. Neelix describes him as “one big hormone walking around the ship.” I concur.

Tuvok and B’Elanna explain to Janeway that the alien’s weapon is a super-sophisticated medical scanning device that can also magically remove organs. It looks like Batman.

No, really. It looks like Batman.

Voyager follows the alien ship to an asteroid. Janeway decides they’re going in, and the walking hormone maneuvers the ship through a giant crater. Neelix starts freaking out because he can’t move, and the Doctor has to sedate him. We’re all grateful for that. But the Doctor takes the opportunity to whine some more to Kes about how terrible his holographic life is. Kes could point out that some people on the ship currently DON’T HAVE LUNGS, but she’s nice, so she tries to boost his ego instead.

The crater leads to a freakish hall of mirrors:

"Harry Kim and the Chamber of Low Production Value"

It also starts draining power from the ship. Chakotay figures out they could use their phasers to scan the interior of the cavern and find the real alien ship. When they find it, they beam the two aliens aboard. They are not pretty.

Nobody ever told me about Retin-A

They tell Janeway they are a race called the Videans and that they steal organs because they are afflicted with a phage that destroys theirs. Janeway feels sorry for them, but not enough to let them keep Neelix’s lungs. Personally, I think the aliens are a lot less annoying than Neelix, but I guess she’s got to be loyal to her crew. But one of the aliens is currently using Neelix’s lungs so she would have to kill him to save Neelix.

The moral quandary stresses Janeway out and she yells at the Videans for awhile. The Videan with Neelix’s lungs is grateful to her for not killing him, so he volunteers to take a look at Neelix to see if he can help. In what is the most satisfying moment of the episode, they one-up the whiny Doctor (who is really super annoying in this episode) by telling him they can just transplant one of Kes’s lungs to save Neelix. So it’s a happy ending. Except Neelix is still alive.

The Batman Device can smell your fear

Technobabble Award: “From what we can tell, it uses a neuro-resonator to stun the victim while a quantum imaging scanner begins a microcellular analysis of the entire body.”

Best Line Award: “We don’t know how it happened, but someone has surgically removed his lungs.”

W.T.F. Award:

What. Is. That.

Body Count: Sadly, none.

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 2: Parallax

The drama llamas are all over Voyager in this one. B’Elanna was having a bad day at work, so she did what most of us do when we’re having a bad day at work: she punched her boss and broke his nose in three places. No big deal. Except to Tuvok. He wants to put her in the brig. And the other Maquis, who want to revolt. And Chakotay, who wanted her to be Chief Engineer before she threw a tantrum. It’s a Bad Day for B’Elanna.

Janeway meets with her senior staff to discuss things like power, food, and replacing all the people that died horribly in the first episode. Neelix and Kes awkwardly crash the party.

Tom is texting Harry about how awkward he feels

In the middle of this meeting all hell breaks loose. The ship gets hit by something with a “gravometric flux density of over two thousand percent.” Janeway says that if she’s not mistaken it’s a Type 4 quantum singularity. I really wouldn’t know if she was mistaken. It seems like there’s a ship trapped in the event horizon. B’Elanna thinks she knows how to get it out.

Janeway and Chakotay have a lover’s quarrel about integrating the Maquis crew into officer positions. The Doctor whines to Kes about how he’s the embodiment of modern medicine and doesn’t feel like treating pimples. Kes interrupts his pity party to point out that he’s growing shorter. Ensign Kim is too busy to fix it because Voyager is getting sucked into the quantum singularity. The Doctor whines some more and shrinks some more.

The singularity wreaks all sorts of havoc. People are getting sick, the Doctor is becoming miniscule, and when they try to leave they keep returning to their previous coordinates.

The Doctor is becoming a conehead

When B’Elanna figures out a way to decode the message from the ship they saw earlier, they realize that the other ship is…wait for it…Voyager. That’s right. They’re talking to themselves. Janeway and B’Elanna geek out when they realize they are seeing a reflection of themselves from the future. Or something. No one else really cares about anything but leaving it.

Chakotay is like, "Can you believe these nerds?"

Janeway and B’Elanna take a shuttle to the crack in the singularity to make it bigger so Voyager can get out. In telling you this I am skipping over 20 minutes of technobabble about decaion beams and warp particles. Things get even weirder when they have to choose which Voyager is the real Voyager and which one is just a reflection.

Yo dawg, I heard you like Voyaging

They figure it out and Voyager barrels its way out of the singularity and B’Elanna becomes the new head of engineering and everybody is happy. Except the Doctor, because nobody is paying attention to him. Nobody cares, though. All in all, this is not one of Voyager’s better episodes.

My sentiments exactly

Best Line #1: “Now I know how Hippocrates felt when the king needed him to trim a hangnail.”

Jeeze, Doctor. Somebody call the Whambulance.

Best Line #2: “We found the crack. That’s all that matters right now.”