While I'm slowing down a bit with Voyager, I do still really enjoy the crew and the storylines; which are fun, inventive spins on science fiction ideas and it feels like the episodes revolve more around concepts than around interpersonal drama and alien conflicts. Which I'm loving as it makes for some very interesting stories.
5. Hope and Fear
With the help of a linguistically talented alien, Voyager decodes a message Starfleet sent them months ago. The message tells them of a ship with new technology that can send them home quickly, and they just need to go to certain coordinates to pick it up. It seems too good to be true. The real situation behind the message was a surprise to me - while I didn't expect for Voyager to be able to get home, I was surprised that this episode turned into an evaluation of Janeway's actions from a previous episode. While I feel like Janeway's lax adherence to the Prime Directive is creating issues in more and more of these episodes, it's interesting how I feel like she made the right decision every time. Obviously I'm not a big proponent of the Prime Directive here, haha. Of course the consequences of her decision was very unfortunate in this episode.
3. Waking Moments
The crew start experiencing nightmares separately, and the same mysterious alien is in every one. This is Inception level storytelling, as it becomes unclear whether what is happening is real or a dream. I thought this was a fantastic story with a very ingenious solution. With such a difficult conundrum, I was so happy that the writers pulled out an equally inventive resolution that was believable. And while I do like Chakotay as a character, I do wish he was a bit more... well that he would show more mettle sometimes (he's just so nice!) since he's the First Officer and has to take charge, but in this episode he delivers!
2. Year of Hell (Parts 1 & 2)
A scientist and a member of the Krenium Imperium develops temporal technology and changes history in an attempt to bring his people back to glory and also to save the family he lost. Voyager is in the eye of the storm with these temporal changes, and fights to stay alive. Because time travel technology is introduced very early on, it's easy to relax while watching this, knowing that Voyager will be safe in the end because of some time reversal. But it is heart-wrenching to see just how low the crew of Voyager is brought before the end. Janeway becomes more hardened, the crew suffers casualties, Tuvok becomes blind, and Chakotay and Paris are taken. It's a really exciting ride of a story, especially when anything can happen. I also appreciate the continuity since this period that Voyager goes through is foreshadowed by Kes's time hopping adventure last season.
1. Scientific Method
The Voyager crew appear to be mysteriously afflicted by a variety of illnesses, and it is revealed they are being experimented on by aliens who are out of phase and therefore almost undetectable. Wow, the creepiness of aliens poking and injecting the crew as they are going about their business! I loved the idea of this episode - so clever, and a thoughtful look at scientific experimentation. It was so tense too when Seven was trying to find a way to reveal the aliens to the crew, without the aliens realizing she knew that they were there. I also love the moment when Janeway decides that the experimenting ends now, and does something drastic. She is my spirit animal. :D