The Cynics Corner

Star Trek: Voyager

"Human Error"

by David E. Sluss

13 March 2001

 
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THE BOTTOM LINE
: An episode that serves little purpose other than to titillate and then to resoundingly reset itself.

CYNICS CORNER RATING: 5.0 (F+)

TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE OF THE WEEK: It's a little late to be addressing the effect "Unimatrix Zero" supposedly had on Seven, isn't it? Where in the last fifteen episodes or so do we see any indication that Seven has felt empty inside since Unimatrix Zero's destruction? Personally, I think that setting this story up in "Workforce," in which Seven existed with a more human identity for an extended period of time would have been more satisfying (and certainly more timely).

BUILT-IN RESET BUTTON OF THE WEEK: Pretty clever, these writers. They create a story in which Seven gets to explore her emotions, but build right into the resolution a bit of techno-B.S. that guarantees that she won't be changed as a result, namely the cortical node's heretofore unseen ability to hose down drones that begin to feel emotions. Now where the hell has this feature been all these years? Certainly not in episodes such as "Unity" and "Survival Instinct" which featured ex-drones with emotions. And Seven herself has experienced emotions, at least to an extent, in episodes such as "Retrospect," "Drone," "Infinite Regress," and, at least as far as the implant would notice, "Body and Soul." Then, of course, we have seen repeatedly that Seven knows all about Borg drone technology; indeed, she knows everything the collective knows, according to "Day of Honor." So why wouldn't she know about the emotional failsafe?

LAUGH LINE OF THE WEEK: Janeway: "I see no reason to alter course." Say what? Subspace radiation and metallic debris don't make her think twice about this area of space? I need to amend my court martial papers...

CONTRIVANCE OF THE WEEK: An alien weapons range; that's pretty kewl. They must be pretty crummy weapons though, considering the number of tests. And wasn't it thoughtful of them to put up a warning beacon, one that couldn't be detected except by special technobabble scans?

POOR PERCEPTION OF THE WEEK: You would think that the Doctor would be able to tell a real person from a hologram. In fairness though, it was the Chakotay hologram whom the Doctor seemed to mistake momentarily for the robotic real thing. Speaking of which...

MYSTERY OF THE WEEK: What "admirable qualities" does Chakotay have that make him a suitable specimen for Seven's experiment? And why is it that Voyager-bashing Beltran of all people got cast in the role of Seven's Stud? I seem to recall that Seven had run down a short list of dating prospects in "Someone To Watch Over Me," and I don't think Chuckles was on it.

CONTINUITY GLITCH OF THE WEEK: I mean the other kind of continuity, in this case an apparent F/X goof. Voyager's warp drive was out, but when the ship was hit just before Seven got the "I trusted you and you let me down" speech from Janeway, the visual showed the vessel at warp with the stars streaking by. Oops!
   

Previous: "Workforce, Part II"
Next: "Q2"
NEXT WEEK: Can the Q become any more pathetic; you betcha...

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This review is copyright 2001 David E. Sluss
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