The Cynics Corner

Star Trek: Voyager

"Barge of the Dead"

by David E. Sluss

12 October 1999

 
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THE BOTTOM LINE
: Klingon Klaptrap in the Delta Quadrant proves to be a bit less eye-rolling than expected. While heavy recycling is in evidence (think "The Inner Light" meets "Coda"), the episode does not foul up too horribly.

CYNICS CORNER RATING: 7.5 (C)

BUDGET-CUTTING OF THE WEEK: I guess that hiring an extra as an Ensign Expendable in B'Elanna's shuttle was too expensive. Still, it seemed ill-advised and contrary to Starfleet policy to send B'Elanna solo on this probe recovery mission. Oh, and while I'm at it...

CONTINUITY OF THE WEEK: The reference to the multi-spatial probe is one of those little touches that proves our beloved writers pay attention to the details, and serves as a warm reminder of classic episodes from the past like "Extreme Risk" and "Gravity."

RED HERRING OF THE WEEK: The plot device of the Klingon artifact astonishingly discovered in the Delta Quadrant served as a clever way to throw viewers off the track. Considering the remarkable number of Alpha Quadrant connections Voyager has already found in the Delta Quadrant, it seemed perfectly plausible that such a thing would be found. I'm convinced...

LAUGH LINE OF THE WEEK: Torres shouts hopefully, "Computer, end program" when she first finds herself aboard the Bilge of the Dead. It only shows that people in the Star Trek universe are so conditioned to holo-disasters that they can believe that any unfortunate occurrence just might be holographic in nature. It's worth a laugh, even though it lends to the recycled feel of the episode, as this was pulled once or twice in The Next Generation.

KLINGON KLAPTRAP OF THE WEEK: Klingon beliefs once again take an excessive turn as we learn that not only are Klingons liable for the sins of their parents (c.f. Next Generation's "Sins of the Fathers" and its sequels) but also for the sins of their children. Tough crowd! And it's hard to believe that B'Elanna, indoctrinated as she was by her mother, was unaware of this little factoid until she looked it up, and, for that matter, that Worf never brought it up when his son Alexander was screwing up all over the place, like in Deep Space Nine's "Sons and Daughters." Still, it's gratifying to know that that posturing oaf Worf is condemned to hell because his son is a bumbler and a lousy warrior.

HEAVY HAND OF THE WEEK: The portrayal of Janeway as "mother hen" to her crew has never been portrayed subtly, but it's rarely been bludgeoned as it was this week. Yeah, we got the message in the first Torres/Janeway ready room scene, and we got it again in the second Torres/Janeway ready room scene. The symbolism in the climax, in which B'Elanna's mother appears in Janeway's uniform and says "Request denied," was laughably over the top to say the least.

HEAVY HAND OF THE WEEK RUNNER-UP: Strangely, Roxann Dawson's "What do you want me to be?!" monologue had me thinking of Shatner...

HEAVY PROP OF THE WEEK: Speaking of that scene, I have to say that Dawson looked extremely awkward swinging that Bat'Leth around. Tim Russ fared better, though I felt that his twirling of the Bat'Leth showed evidence of digital enhancement.
 

Previous: "Survival Instinct"
Next: "Tinker Tenor
Doctor Spy
"
NEXT WEEK: Jeri gets nekkid in a shameless male demographic stunt; I can't believe this episode wasn't held until November...

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This review is copyright 1999 David E. Sluss
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