The Cynics Corner

Star Trek: Voyager

"Day of Honor"

by David E. Sluss

21 September 1997

 
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THE BOTTOM LINE
: The U.S.S. Voyager gets a new bumper sticker to go along with its shiny new paint job: "Practice Unexpected Acts of Kindness." Seven of Nine takes its simple but important message to heart, as Tom and B'Elanna struggle for life and love in the unrelenting vacuum of space. In short, it's an episode that eschews some cliches but embraces many more. Move along. Nothing new to see here.

CYNICS CORNER RATING: 5.5 (F+)

CLICHE AVOIDED OF THE WEEK: The Klingon ritual, thankfully, was aborted before it really began. Still, it would have been better to avoid it entirely. After being run into the ground in The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, I frankly couldn't "Kahless" about Klingon honor and tradition.

CLICHE AVOIDED OF THE WEEK FIRST RUNNER-UP: The Beverly Crusher "I have something to tell you -- oops, not anymore; we're saved, Jean-Luc!" cliche. I was so sure that Voyager's transporter would get the happy couple the instant before B'Elanna said the Big Words (no, not the Big Words [TM] that the previews show, the other Big Words), but the writers had something different in mind.

CLICHE AVOIDED OF THE WEEK SECOND RUNNER-UP: Well, since B'Elanna did say the Big Words, the back-up cliche would be the Tasha Yar "This didn't happen, Data" cliche. And why not? B'Elanna can legitimately claim that oxygen deprivation made her crazy. Another trap avoided; amazing. Still, there were plenty of pitfalls, and not all were avoided...

CLICHE UNAVOIDED OF THE WEEK: The stranded-bickering-pair-discover-their-true-feelings-for-each-other. As others have noted, this is by no means just a Trek cliche. In this case, the spacesuit schtick was supposed to make this feel new, but no amount of wrapping paper can disguise this lump of coal.

CLICHE UNAVOIDED OF THE WEEK FIRST RUNNER-UP: The warp-core breach avoided by just seconds! But wait, it didn't even explode when we punted it! Very funny, Vorrick.

CLICHE UNAVOIDED OF THE WEEK SECOND RUNNER-UP: The last-second rescue. To be really innovative, why not have a rescue with, say, one and a half minutes to spare?

BELATED CONTINUITY OF THE WEEK: Someone finally remembered Transwarp conduits, but will they be forgotten again? Funny that Seven of Nine can remember how to build this obscure Caatati <tech>, but that the entire Collective couldn't remember how to make their own transwarp conduits in "Scorpion, Part II." And speaking of which...

DISAVOWED EPISODE OF THE WEEK: That would have to be "Threshold." Perhaps the highest point in the series so far was Tom's comment to Seven of Nine: "I've never navigated in transwarp before!" The sigh of relief across fandom was deafening. Now let's work on decanonizing "Elogium," "Favorite Son," "Darkling," "Twisted,"......

DANGEROUS PRECEDENT OF THE WEEK: Seven of Nine's knowledge opens a bigger can of worms than Next Generation's Incredible De-aging Transporter. Does she really possess the knowledge and know-how of the entire collective? If so, we've got a real problem here. For a given Voyager difficulty, there are two options, neither good:

  1. Seven of Nine cooks up a <tech> solution that was assimilated from Species 2838 or whatever . This leads us to a situation like Batman's bottomless utility belt in the old TV show ("Only one chance in a million to save our necks, Boy Wonder!")
  2. Seven of Nine doesn't cook up a <tech> solution. Then we wonder, "Gee, the Borg are tuff enuf to solve that problem; why couldn't she?"

Do the Voyager writers have big enough feet to handle all the self-inflicted gunshot wounds? I dunno; Braga's limping...

KEEP YOUR TRAP SHUT OF THE WEEK: Tom and B'Elanna's "What else can go wrong? Yuk Yuk" in the shuttle.

FREELOADER OF THE WEEK: Is it Rahman, leader of the Caatati? No, it's Garrett Wang, A.K.A. Harry Kim, who hardly gets any lines anymore, but is presumably still being paid. Rumor Central says that Paramount suits wanted to give Wang the "Kes treatment" at the start of this season, but relented; I wonder if they wish they'd stuck to their guns.

ABSENTEE OF THE WEEK: The Doctor, too busy designing lingerie and swimwear for Seven of Nine to help with the Caatati's medical supplies.

FAUX VULCAN OF THE WEEK: The sucker Vorrick; "Captain, I'm pleased to inform you that the impulse engines are almost repaired." You're pleased? I think not.

SYMBOLISM OF THE WEEK: That warp core looked an awful lot like the Klingon pain sticks, albeit with blue highlights instead of red.... nah, that's giving the writers too much credit.

TEMPORAL ANOMALY OF THE WEEK: Tom and B'Elanna have thirty minutes of air. Then: Voyager is surrounded by Caatati ships, Janeway negotiates with Rahman, Seven of Nine agrees to build that <tech> thing, Vorrick and Seven of Nine build the <tech> thing, Voyager beams Rahman aboard, Janeway negotiates with Rahman some more, Rahman lets Voyager go (and presumably returns the warp core), Voyager finds and rescues Tom and B'Elanna. The time frame is pushing it, to say the least.

MISSED OPPORTUNITY OF THE WEEK: B'Elanna declines Neelix's generous offer and thus denies the viewers' vicarious wish that she M.F. Neelix for all of us. Even Tuvok had the decency to strangle Neelix for us in "Meld"; Get with the program, B'Elanna!
  

Previous: "The Gift"
Next: "Nemesis"
NEXT WEEK: Love that Rambo-esque preview (strangely devoid of Big Words [TM], though). And just like Sly, when Voyager says, "We'll give you a war you won't believe," we should take them at their word...

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This review is copyright 1997 David E. Sluss
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