The Cynics Corner

Star Trek: Voyager

"Thirty Days"

by David E. Sluss

20 December 1998

 
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THE BOTTOM LINE
: Nothing special. A lot of questionable characterization, questionable tech, and questionable acting from the guest stars. And Paris got off easy.

CYNICS CORNER RATING: 6.5 (D)

RETROCHARACTERIZATION OF THE WEEK: So Paris is an Old Salt, eh? And just where exactly did this come from? In four years we've never gotten any indication that this was the case. Sure, we've never seen an ocean on Voyager before, but we have seen Paris playing pool on the holodeck, playing automobile mechanic on the holodeck, playing Captain Proton on the holodeck, etc. We've never seen him sailing the high seas on the holodeck. If his "first love" is the ocean, you'd think it would have manifested itself before this.

STARFLEET UNINTELLIGENCE OF THE WEEK: Yeah, this category is usually reserved for Deep Space Nine reviews, but there's a pretty egregious case here, as, once again, an unauthorized shuttle launch takes place. How the hell can that happen? Don't they lock the garage doors, or have them wired to alarms? How could Tuvok not find out that someone fired up the Delta Fryer until it was out of the hangar and out of tractor beam range? Maybe he should be tossed in the brig, too.

GRATUITOUS FX OF THE WEEK: Was any purpose served by the sea monster? Just checking...

INCONSISTENT TECH OF THE WEEK: Tuvok warns that they can't fire phasers at the Delta Fryer because it will cause a "hydrodynamic shockwave." Yet Seven fired phasers at the sea monster earlier in the episode with no catastrophic effect. So which is it? And are we to believe that the detonation of a photon torpedo won't cause a "hydrodynamic shockwave?" It did disable the Delta Fryer, after all, and since the explosion was closer to the refinery complex than it was to the Fryer, it seems possible that that was disabled as well, opening the possibility that Janeway failed to protect it. Who knows, maybe the unseen attack that took place during Paris' incarceration was revenge by the Monotones because Janeway destroyed their refinery...

CLICHE OF THE WEEK: Has there ever been a "submarine" show or movie in which the hull doesn't breach, spilling water all over the occupants? And of course, all it takes is a little hand-welder to make the Delta Fryer sea-worthy, not to mention space-worthy? Please...

TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER OF THE WEEK: Janeway saw fit to bless yet another under-teched race with Starfleet gizmos, namely the thruster and shield specifications requested by the Monotone politician. Janeway used to go all-out to keep Voyager's tech out of the hands of these Delta Quadrant bumpkins, but lately she's been giving it up to every Forehead Alien race with a sob story to tell. It's not even clear these people were warp-capable. Maybe Janeway should throw herself in the brig, too...

DEAD HORSE OF THE WEEK: Well, the Captain Proton program wore out its welcome even more quickly than DS9's Vic the Holosap. Sadly, we're only a few weeks away from an entire episode devoted to this crap.

BELATED APPEARANCE OF THE WEEK: It's a strange time to finally show the Delaney sisters. In the first couple of seasons, their names were dropped on a fairly regular basis, but I don't think they've been mentioned, since. The suits requested even more T&A, I guess.

DISCIPLINE OF THE WEEK: No, not the little femdom routine with Harry and the Delaney sisters (Braga's idea, I'll wager), but Janeway's punishment of Paris. I think that a one-grade demotion and thirty days in the cooler is little more than a slap in the wrist. Still, Janeway's getting better; she used to just give her errant officers (like Tuvok and Torres) the "I believed in you, and you let me down" speech. Now she gives them the "I believed in you, and you let me down" speech and a couple weeks in the pokey. I suppose credit is do for not totally resetting and whitewashing the issue, but it remains to be seen whether Ensign Paris will be any different as a result of this episode.

TEMPORAL ANOMALY OF THE WEEK: B'Elanna invites (or orders) Tom over for dinner. "Come to my quarters at 0700." 0700? For dinner?
  

Previous: "Nothing Human"
Next: "Counterpoint"
NEXT WEEK: Is he friend, or is he foe? Who cares? The real question is: Tongues or no tongues?

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This review is copyright 1998 David E. Sluss
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