The Cynics Corner

Star Trek: Voyager

"Counterpoint"

by David E. Sluss

18 December 1998

 
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THE BOTTOM LINE
: A surprise, with captain, crew, and writer(s) coming off as remarkably competent.

CYNICS CORNER RATING: 8.0 (B-)

FATAL FLAW OF THE WEEK: The most glaring flaw in this episode, outside of some truly eye-rolling technobabble in the discussion of the wormhole, was the casting of Ketchup, the inspector. Even by the standards of Voyager, which is often plagued by terrible guest stars, the actor portraying Ketchup, whose name I didn't make note of, was terrible, and absolutely unconvincing either as a "bad guy" or as a "good guy." And Janeway's "Masterful performance" line only draws attention to the fact that it was anything but. And while I'm clobbering actors...

WELFARE RECIPIENT OF THE WEEK: Alexander "Jeri Taylor's son" Enberg collects another Star Trek Welfare check this week, getting a credit, and standard SAG pay, presumably, for appearing onscreen for about five seconds and uttering not one single word. His presence was required by the plot, I suppose, since all the telepaths had to be hidden away, but if he has to be paid, why not at least make him work for it? Give him some menial task to do during the engineering scenes, or something. It's not that I care for Enberg (or his character), but I hate seeing the punk getting paid for doing nothing.

INNOVATION OF THE WEEK: Voyager managed to find a brand-new way to lose shuttles: by simply giving them away to down-on-their-luck aliens with a sob story. Just because they're well-groomed and have cute kids doesn't mean they're any more deserving of Starfleet tech than the Kazon were.

CONTRIVANCE OF THE WEEK: Pretty convenient for Ketchup to simply let Voyager go so as to not soil his record, eh? And not terribly convincing either, considering 1) His aide, Prax, seemed to be a by-the-book sort, and might not keep his mouth shut about the incident; 2) Capturing Voyager would probably be a feather in Ketchup's cap that could make up for losing the telepaths; 3) He knows exactly what technobabble procedure is required to find the wormhole's next location, and should be able to destroy it when it reappears, an even bigger feather in his cap. So, no, I don't buy that Ketchup would let Voyager go, but, hey, five minutes left, and we have to reset somehow, right? And how about Voyager still being deep in Devor (sp?) space, as they apparently must be, since the telepaths had to use a wormhole to get to safety? Presumably all the other inspection teams will be sitting around sulking until Voyager leaves their space...

DEAD HORSE OF THE WEEK: Does anyone but me think that Voyager's use of the in media res schtick is being run into the ground? It seems like half the episodes this season have used it.

CHEAP LAFF OF THE WEEK: It's pretty cheesy, but the alien scientist's inflatable nose was kind of a ... hoot, and almost (repeat, almost) made up for the unimaginative Forehead Alien make-up used on the other guests.
 

Previous: "Thirty Days"
Next: "Latent Image"
NEXT WEEK: The crew conspires against the Doctor, presumably to hide that annoying camera from him.

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