The Cynics Corner

Star Trek: Voyager

"Infinite Regress"

by David E. Sluss

3 December 1998

 
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THE BOTTOM LINE
: A lot better than it looked from the preview, but that isn't saying much, is it?

CYNICS CORNER RATING: 6.5 (D)

POOR CONCEPT OF THE WEEK: "Borg multiple personality syndrome?" Puh-lease. How do these story ideas even get past the embryonic stage of development, let alone make it onto the screen? Fortunately there was also a...

SAVIOR OF THE WEEK: Jeri Ryan did one hell of a job pulling this off. Her portrayal of the alternate personalities was impressive (with the exception of the Vulcan, who was difficult to distinguish from Seven's "real" personality). It made the episode a lot more credible than it otherwise would have been.

SURPRISE OF THE WEEK (REDUX): Naomi Wildman appears again, and once again did not annoy me! I'm not sure I like the idea of her being Seven's sidekick, but for the moment, I'm willing to see how it plays out. Prediction: I'll bet that by the end of 1999, we'll have had either a future/alternate timeline show with Naomi all grown up and running Voyager or a holodeck disaster show in which Naomi is playing Captain on the bridge simulator, and has to save the real ship. Any takers?

NAMING CONVENTION OF THE WEEK: Did anyone but me think it was strange for the Borg to have given the "central processing unit" of the ship an exotic-sounding name like "vinculum?" It seems like they always refer to everything in the most banal way possible. It's not that the word is inappropriate; in fact, given its function, the name seems reasonable enough. It's just hard to imagine the Borg using it.

CONTRIVANCES OF THE WEEK: Considering that Seven said that the vinculum's signal "permeates subspace" so that moving away from it would not help her condition, it was pretty damn convenient that Voyager was so close to it, and not 10000 light years away. Otherwise Seven would have been up the proverbial crick, right? And if proximity is irrelevant, then why did she feel worse when she was standing next to it in engineering? It's also not clear why, if the effects of the corrupted vinculum are not impacted by distance, the Shower Curtain Men insisted on having it put back in the debris field. Wouldn't it be able to do its business no matter where it was? Why, when Voyager beamed the vinculum out into space, did the SCM stop their attack? It seemed to me that the technobabble procedure Torres and company used deactivated the vinculum, making it worthless as a weapon against the Borg. Wouldn't the SCM be a little upset about that?

ARTISTIC OVERINDULGENCE OF THE WEEK: I'm not a fan of "mindscape" sequences to begin with, but the mental rescue of Seven by Tuvok was over the top. It was too long, and shot in too bizarre a fashion. Did the director think he was shooting a music video?

AVOIDED PONTIFICATION OF THE WEEK: Once the SCM's plan to infect the Borg was revealed, I had a bad feeling that we were being set up for another "moral dilemma" story about how wrong it would be to wipe out the Borg (a la TNG's "I, Borg"). Fortunately this didn't come to pass. Still, it seems like a follow-up to this is warranted. It'd be nice to know whether the SCM succeeded.
 

Previous: "Timeless"
Next: "Nothing Human"
NEXT WEEK: Holographic high jinks, with a message.

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This review is copyright 1998 David E. Sluss
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