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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Star Trek VOY Season 5 - Top 5 Favorite Episodes

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , ,
I mentioned in my last post about Season 4 how Voyager seems more like a show about the story and science fiction concepts, which led me to thinking about something else about the show that I find interesting - that there are no established villains.  The Original Series had the Klingons, TNG had the Borg, and DS9 had the Cardassians.  Voyager does have villains, but as they speed through the Delta quadrant they leave behind many of them.  Species 8472 was the most chilling and the most promising of the villains so far (especially since the Borg can't conquer them!) but it's sad they can't be explored properly given the conceit of the show.  I suppose, I don't need a good villain but it does help to make a show better somehow.  I like that with an adventure based show that is long-running, there can be a touchstone of conflict by reintroducing a villain who is a great match for the protagonist.  It's good to have new villains, but nice to settle in sometimes with another round of protagonist vs. a good old, familiar antagonist.

Having said that, I can't really fault Voyager, especially with how this season shaped up for me.  When I checked my list, I found I'd noted 10 episodes as noteworthy for me from season 5!  I don't think I've ever had such a long list for Star Trek.  It was really difficult to whittle it down to 5 episodes, let me tell you, so I feel it's important to include my honorary mentions: Infinite Regress (Seven gets taken over by personalities made up of people the Borg assimilated), Bride of Chaotica (aliens in sub space believe a holodeck program represents real life), Bliss (Voyager believes they've found a wormhole home, but it's a trap), Think Tank (the one with Jason Alexander!), and Warhead (a warhead with artificial intelligence).  All such good episodes - it's the stories that are drawing me in with this series.  And by the way, I'm so not happy with my top three - I find it so difficult to order them, they are all three almost perfect stories to me!

5. Relativity


Seven of Nine is recruited from the future to prevent a bomb from going off on Voyager that was planted sometime before Voyager left the Alpha quadrant.  Another good old timey whimey epsiode, that features a flashback to the first season, which I thought was very fun.  Seven proves how valuable a member she is to the crew as well, since she is the only one who can undertake this particular mission.  It's interesting that this episode again explores Captain Janeway's decision-making, which maybe throws a negative light on her, but again, she is in a very difficult situation.  I did sympathize with her of course and not the bitter man who was trying to destroy Voyager.  

4. Night


Voyager must cross through a region of space that is completely black - there are no stars or visible light throughout, and it will take them two years to cross it.  It's interesting to me that with Voyager being a functional ship with lots of light and entertainment, that the crew would be so affected by going through complete darkness.  But after watching this episode, I did understand how it could get to them.  Also, I appreciated the darkness of Janeway coming out in the story too - it was saddening to see her so depressed, and what kind of effect that had on the crew.  The story also featured the creepiness of an alien that lives in the dark, so that was very exciting!

3. Timeless


Another episode featuring time travel, this was a particularly affecting story.  Voyager was destroyed many years ago, and only Harry Kim and Chakotay survived.  Even after all those years, Harry and Chakotay are determined to reverse history.  There's some darkness in Harry, as he bitterly blames himself for Voyager's destruction because of a miscalculation.  I loved seeing that side of Harry, and for the fact that he is ultimately the reason why Voyager is saved.  This is a heavy story, with such high stakes, and then the wonderful surprise of seeing Geordi, however briefly, trying to stop Harry and Chakotay.  I thought this was an excellently suspenseful story.

2. Equinox (Parts 1 & 2)


Voyager finds and rescues the crew of Starfleet ship that has also been stranded in the Delta quadrant.  That ship - the Equinox - has been under attack by aliens from another universe, and their ship and crew have been devastated.  Voyager is happy to help the Equinox get back on it's feet until they find out the secret the Equinox has been keeping.  This is a dark story!  The Equinox crew have resorted to doing something terrible just to get back home, and Janeway in her anger and betrayal starts to do some questionable things herself.  Seeing that side of Janeway was most shocking, and it's what made this episode really stand out for me.  Even though the whole story is so good and thought-provoking.

1. Counterpoint


While crossing through a region of space that is owned by the Devore, Voyager must submit to frequent and random searches because the Devore do not allow telepaths into their space.  Voyager is harboring telepaths secretly however, while the Devore inspector, Kashyk, seems to have a plan of his own.  There are so many reasons why this is my favorite episode from this season.  Kashyk is just the kind of wryly humorous and darkly appealing hero(ish) that I enjoy and Janeways flirtation with him is so fun.  They have lots of banter and chemistry.  Janeway is also doing something dangerous, and there's a lot of suspense in hoping that Voyager can get away with their deception.  The amount of deception going on in this episode is mind-boggling actually, since it's increasingly difficult to know who you can trust.  But Janeway handled things absolutely brilliantly, and the denouement of this episode was satisfying in the extreme!






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