The Cynics Corner

Star Trek: Voyager

"Dragon's Teeth"

by David E. Sluss

14 November 1999

 
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THE BOTTOM LINE
: If you like your heroes stupid, this is the episode for you.

CYNICS CORNER RATING: 4.5 (F)

BLUNT INSTRUMENT OF THE WEEK: The jury's still out on the Voir Dire, but the foreshadowing of future conflicts with them was about as crude as it comes. "I doubt we've seen the last of them"; I'm surprised Mulgrew didn't look directly into the camera as she uttered that line. Fortunately the scene was filmed in color, so that viewers wouldn't mistake it for Chaotica holodeck schlock.

RECYCLING OF THE WEEK: It's nice to know that all of Deep Space Nine's leftover Cardassian prosthetics aren't being wasted...

STARFLEET UNINTELLIGENCE OF THE WEEK: Life in the Delta Quadrant is hard, but it's even harder when you're stupid. Only Chakotay, the Maquis Meathead, sensed that waking up the Voir Dire might not be such a good idea, with his subtle-as-a-two-by-four-to-the-head fable of the Dragon's Teeth. Janeway and the others couldn't be troubled to search all those Starfleet and Borg databases for information about the aliens before waking them, even though such a search took only a few minutes once Seven got around to it. It's true that Seven erred by waking up the first guy, but it's Janeway who agreed to revive the others; it's on her shoulders that the blame for any consequences should rest, despite her attempts to shift the blame to Seven.

WELFARE RECIPIENT OF THE WEEK: Naomi Wildman was the only person on the ship besides Chakotay who realized that the Voir Dire were Not What They Seemed. Nevertheless, her bit role here was totally unnecessary, and so Scarlett Pomers has become another enrollee in Star Trek's Welfare Program. And is Naomi's mother Voyager's crack whore or something? Why is she never taking care of her kid?

P. T. BARNUM WAS RIGHT OF THE WEEK: A principle reason that Janeway agreed to help the Voir Dire in the first place was the promise that Voyager would be able to travel 1,000 light years using the subspace corridors. Unfortunately, Janeway doesn't do the math and realize that since the corridors took the Voir Dire to "Talaxia" (a repeat of the naming blunder in "Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy," by the way), which is now about 30,000 light years away, Voyager ought to be able to get a hell of a lot more mileage than that.

NEW HISTORY OF THE WEEK: In this episode, we are told that the Borg were lamers nine hundred years ago. Shockingly, that doesn't seem to jibe with what we've previously been told about the Borg. I can't pin down an episode, but I'm fairly certain that the Borg have been assimilating their way through the galaxy for thousands of years. And Voyager's demolition of the Borg continues...

EUPHEMISM OF THE WEEK: Coldly logical Tuvok claims during the early stages of the battle with the Voir Dire that several of their ships were "disabled." On the other hand, the F/X shots clearly show those ships that Voyager fired at blowing up, which strikes me as being a bit more than merely "disabled." Yes, this is a rather trivial nit, I suppose, but it doesn't seem that Tuvok would spout HMO-style "negative patient outcome" talk.

CONTRIVANCE OF THE WEEK: Voyager is flying through a highly radioactive, excuse me, radiogenic atmosphere, performing evasive maneuvers, and being fired upon by dozens of Voir Dire vessels. And yet they are able to beam Tuvok down to the planet and (presumably, though it's not actually shown) back. Apparently, this week's transporter system is the one that can beam through shields and that doesn't fail to function whenever there's a high wind or when someone flushes the john...

CONTRIVANCE OF THE WEEK RUNNER-UP: After 900 years, the Voir Dire tracking satellite is still functioning and hasn't been poached by the races who destroyed the planet? Riiiight!

DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE WEEK: Voyager landings used to be treated like Events saved for special occasions and accompanied by bombastic music, sort of like the Enterprise-D's saucer separation ("The Arsenal of Freedom" aside, of course). We don't even get "Condition Blue" anymore...
 

Previous: "Riddles"
Next: "One Small Step"
NEXT WEEK: Voyager searches for a lost Mars probe; I guess somebody at NASA goofed up with the iso-units again...

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This review is copyright 1999 David E. Sluss
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