The Cynics Corner

Star Trek: Voyager

"Shattered"

by David E. Sluss

18 January 2001

 
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THE BOTTOM LINE
: This kind of episode should be a special event (excuse me, a MAJOR STAR TREK EVENT), but temporal anomalies and retrospectives are so common on Voyager that this episode can't really be anything but standard fare.

CYNICS CORNER RATING: 7.0 (C-)

MINOR MIRACLE OF THE WEEK: Despite his big mouth and limited talent, Beltran got an episode. And he was serviceable; he sort of acted and stuff.

RECYCLING OF THE WEEK: This episode almost plays like a retread of Next Generation's series finale, only here we might call it "All Bad Things..." since it highlighted many of the worst things about Voyager rather than the best things. In principle, there's nothing wrong with a retrospective, but why focus on things like the Kazon, the Macrovirus, the Pitcher Plant incident, and Dr. Chaotica schlock? And this episode also follows a Voyager mini-trend from last year of revisiting past events rather than showing us something new. The good news, such as it is, is that unlike episodes such as "Fury" and "The Voyager Conspiracy," "Shattered" doesn't arbitrarily rewrite history or muck up continuity too badly. The episode fortunately shows us so little of the various timeframes that serious glitches don't become apparent, and the temporal reset button is hit in such a way that everyone forgets how much they wanted to fool around with history, except inexplicably for Chakotay, who despite being a temporal blabbermouth throughout the episode plays it close to the vest in the end.

AMORTIZATION OF THE WEEK: Since the Kazon aren't exactly fan favorites, I have to assume that their appearance here was designed to make use of two years worth of Kazon costumes and feathered headdresses.

WELFARE RECIPIENT OF THE WEEK: Martha Hackett reprises her role as Seska for the first time since "Worst Case Scenario." But where's poor Josh Clark?

VOYAGER CLICHE OF THE WEEK: These anomalies just seem to find Voyager, don't they? And this one's a doozy. Let's remember that its effect spanned not only a quarter century of time but also 70,000 light-years, from the Badlands in the Alpha Quadrant to the Kazon boondocks of the Delta Quadrant. But in all fairness, Janeway does the smart thing and hightails it away from the anomaly almost immediately.

VOYAGER CLICHE OF THE WEEK RUNNER-UP: The holodeck malfunctions so that we can get five minutes of Chaotica schlock. And I love the fact that Chakotay and Janeway don't even attempt to shut it down before being captured; instead, despite the urgency of their task, they scour the holoenvironment for the rock under which the control panel is hidden.

OUT OF CHARACTER CHARACTERS OF THE WEEK: Icheb a slacker, not wanting to write a paper? Seska a tech-head, able to understand Seven's Borg temporal mechanics solution and modify it? Still-assimilated Seven, nearly as helpful and friendly as everyone else? The latter is especially odd. And if Seska could figure out that future-Chakotay's presence was proof that the Kazon failed to keep Voyager, then Seven could figure out that the Borg's plan, in "Scorpion, Part II," to ultimately betray and assimilate Voyager was doomed to fail as well. That would make it unlikely that she would be so eager to help, especially considering that the Borg have no qualms about tampering with history to get what they want, according to First Contact.

FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING OF THE WEEK: The gelpacks were actually useful, rather than being a nuisance or a menace.

ILLOGIC OF THE WEEK: Chakotay reasons -- a scary sight -- that the Doctor's serum is what allows him to cross into the other timeframes. It turns out to be true, of course, but with there was no real evidence at first. Indeed, it would have seemed more likely that the shock from the warp core that put him into temporal flux in the first place would be responsible. Then, of course, Chakotay takes Janeway to astrometrics; I guess he'd have been up the proverbial crick if that part of the ship had been in a timeframe before astrometrics had been built...

TEMPORAL ANOMALY ANOMALIES OF THE WEEK: Even within the wacky parameters of this episode's premise, and Voyager's science in general, there are oddities. Chakotay notes that "technology" won't pass through the barriers between timeframes; so why does his communicator remain? How exactly could Chakotay have been beamed from engineering in the present to sickbay in the past, across a barrier, when he hadn't been treated yet, and when even communications signals couldn't pass through the barriers? And why exactly did Chakotay retain his memories, and why did Janeway know that he would?

NAMING ANOMALY OF THE WEEK: As in "Fury," Kes' race were referred to here as the "Ocampans" rather than the Ocampa.

DRINKING ANOMALY OF THE WEEK: Chakotay's precious cider. How and when exactly would he have had a chance to get it from his doomed Maquis raider to Voyager way back in "Caretaker?"
  

Previous: "Flesh and Blood"
Next: "Lineage"
NEXT WEEK: Oh, baby! Let's hope this one doesn't go out with the continuity bathwater like that Borg baby...

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This review is copyright 2001 David E. Sluss
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