Welcome back to Underrated Trek,where I take a special look at Star Trek episodes that I loveâ€¦which may not be the most popular or even liked by most. Today I wanted to take a look at a special episode of Star Trek Voyager that is generally considered a disapointment. Why do I like it? We’ll get into that. Let’s talk about the season 6 clunker :
This was the 23rd episode of the 6th Season. This is generally considered a bad episode, even by the creators themselves. I kind of liked it, but have to acknowledge the big criticsim. Remember how they treated poor Tasha Yar in “Skin of Evil”? Well, what they do here to Kes is just pure awful! As you may know, Kes was in the first three seasons of Voyager. But the writers had trouble figuring out what to do with her character, and fianlly swapped her for Jerri Ryan. She had a great sendoff only to be returned in this episode. Let’s take a closer look:
Voyager encounters a shutttle in distress, and a scan of the ship reveals the occupant to be Ocompan. An aged Kes appaears on screen asking for help, and when Voyager drops the shields Kess proceeds to ram Voyager, storm down to Engineering, kill B’elanna Torres, and use the warp core to travel back in time!
Kes arrives just two months after Voyager was stranded in the Delta Quadrant. Disguised as, er, herself, she secretly communicates with the Vidians and tries to arrange an ambush. She hand Voyager over to them if they allow her and another safe passage. Tuvok begins to get odd visions he can’t explain which are blamed on tachyons. When the Vidiians attack sensors reveal not one but two Kes’s.
Janeway confronts the old Kes, who explains that she is seaking revenge because Voyager abandoned her. She blames for the trouble she has been through. Janway is forced to kill Kess to defend herself while Voyager escaoes the Vidians. Adfter she revived, the young Kes is informed of what happened and Janeway asks her to help make sure it doesn’t happen again. Six years later, the events start as before but this time they are ready and a hologram of the young Kes makes the old Kes stop. Janeway then offers to help her get home, which she does.
Jennifer Lien is of course the guest star, and honestly I wonder why she came back after getting the script. Though I give her credit for agreeing to come back, she showed more loyalty to Voyager than Teri Farrell would show to DS9! Despite the script it was nice to see Lien one last time and I think she did a really good job.
As always lets dive into the good stuff first. The opening scene is pretty impressive. The battle with the Vidians is also really well done. In fact I think it may have been one of Chakotay’s better scenes. I love how they escape the Vidians, it’s a little different than the standard space fight and one of my favorite Voyager battles. Also, the story with Tuvok and his premonitions is very good for the most part. True, it’s no mystery to us but the episode does a great job of remebering that Tuvok would have no idea what he was seeing. It add a nice tough of suspense to the episode, and the first thing Tuvok does is refer to the Delta Flyer which did not exist at the time. He apologizes, not sure where thet came from but I swear the creators did that on purpose to see if the audience would notice the discrepancie. And Jennifer Lien did get one or two good moments, including the scene with her and Tom Paris in the shuttle. I also like the moment where Kes and Janeway confront each other. I think that scene works overall.
Man, why did they have to ruin Kes like that? I mean Kes may have been boring but she was also a very sweet person. Why would she turn all bat shit crazy like that? It doesn’t even make sense why she would hate them so hard! Why not just have an episode where she really needs their help? Maybe if they had done that they would have had to actually come up with something original. And wouldn’t it have been nice to know WHAT happened to her? The whole final scene feels flat and then at the end of the episode Kes doesn’t interact with anyone, except Neelix and even that is lame. My favorite part is when Kes says she could get home but her people wold not accept her, why? Even she couldn’t explain that one. Must not have been a big deal because five minutes later that’s what she does! They had a great opportunity having Lien back but the script just squanders it.
I gave credit to Tuvok’s story but when you think about it, it is never explained how he is getting these premonitions. Yeah we know its tachyons, but how are they affecting him??? And why did Kes kill B’elanna? WHY??? Of course she lives again in the end but the whole thing just feels sooooo forced. At least in “The Changeling” Nomad killing Scotty sort of had a point. You know, I really need to do a list of all the Star Trek charcters that have died and come back to life. Finally, one thing I would have liked is more Seven and Kes screentime. The only interaction is Kes blasting Seven aside, and then Seven doing nothing while Kes interacts with the warp core.
“Fast Forward” Moment:
That opening with Janeway teasing Tuvok regarding her “discovering” his birthday. Gee, she’s only the captain and been his friend for ages. How did she find that out? Lame. And the bestpart? We get to see it twice!!!
I was not sad when Kes left, I did not think her character worked either and was very happy with Jeri Ryan and her Seven character. Yeah she was eye candy but she was also an interesting character, finally. But I can talk more about that another time. Though I did like in a few Kes episodes for me Voyager was so much better without her. And I think that’s why I don’t hate this episode as much as others. If I loved Kes I would probably hate it too. Forgetting who the character is, the episode is pretty good and keeps the suspense going. The action is decent and for Voyager it could be a lot worst. The story works and it is nice to see the old Vidians one last time. So no, I don’t hate this episode but I get why so many people do.
Next time Underrated Trek takes a break so I can discuss the best Star Trek speeches ever! And yes I am open to suggestions.