The Cynics Corner

Star Trek: Voyager

"Homestead"

by David E. Sluss

22 May 2001

 
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THE BOTTOM LINE
: A serviceable episode, and the only recent episode that seems like it ought to be airing at the end of Voyager's run, but nothing to write home about.

CYNICS CORNER RATING: 7.5 (C)

CORNBALL OF THE WEEK: Making Tuvok dance. But in all fairness, it worked, making for an understated farewell, in contrast to Voyager's usual "two-by-four to the head" method of storytelling. Call me a sentimental fool. I must say, however, that I couldn't help but think that Tuvok was showing Neelix the door, puffing him up with that B.S. about being "the most resourceful person I have ever known." Has Neelix actually shown himself to be all that resourceful, enough to impress a 130-year-old Vulcan? I don't buy it.

NEW GEOGRAPHY OF THE WEEK: I'm sure you saw this one coming: How did these Talaxians get to that asteroid, exactly? It would seem that Talax was taken over by the Haakonens no more than 22 years ago; in the first-season episode "Jetrel," it was established that the Talaxians only lost their world after the Metrion cascade was released by the Haakonens fifteen years previous. The Talaxians don't seem to have transwarp drive (or much of a shot of making it through Borg space for that matter, except to the extent that the Collective might not waste their time with them), and this asteroid is, what, 40,000 light years from Talax. Yeah, yeah, you've heard it all before...

TECHNOLOGICAL ANOMALY OF THE WEEK: You have to love Voyager's Writer Fiat Sensors, which despite the ubiquitous "interference" could detect lifesigns, and pin them down as Talaxians, even though they couldn't detect explosives in the asteroid field. I particularly enjoyed Seven bragging in astrometics about how wonderful the sensors are, even after they had failed to detect the mining charges, to say nothing of the miners themselves, who surely had to be nearby to collect the ore, if they're on such a tight schedule...

DESIGN ANOMALY OF THE WEEK: Is the Delta Flyer some kind of clown car with hidden doors in the floor? How could Brax have snuck aboard the vessel and hid in its cargo bay, walking right past -- Oh. Curly and Curly Joe. Never mind.

VOYAGER CLICHE OF THE WEEK: The Shuttle Crash. This one was a bit novel, though. The ship lands on an asteroid with no apparent atmosphere near a rock-face that is apparently fairly close to the entrance to the Talaxian's underground complex. But close enough that you can hold your breath and stroll to the door and back without a space suit?

VOYAGER CLICHE OF THE WEEK RUNNER-UP: Another problem related to the Prime Suggestion, for the third week in a row. You know, I for one would love to see the actual text of this revered document, because it never seems to be applied the same way. Most of the time it is invoked, including most of Voyager and all of the original series, it seems to mean that interference with pre-warp civilizations is a no-no. Other times, like this episode, Next Generation's "Redemption," and DS9's "Circle" trilogy, it forbids interference even when a warp-capable civilization wants help. So what's the bottom line? Don't interfere with anyone? Stay home, watch TV, have a beer? Fine by me.

CROSS-PROMOTION OF THE WEEK: Is there some super-enhanced DVD release of First Contact coming out soon?

ORPHAN OF THE WEEK: Is Naomi Wildman now living in her own quarters, as her mother, Voyager's crack whore, continues to service the crew on Deck 15? No wonder the girl turned out to be a brat.
  

Previous: "Natural Law"
Next: "Renaissance Man"
NEXT WEEK: Someone's out to sabotage Voyager... and it's President Bartlett, in The West Wing's season finale.

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This review is copyright 2001 David E. Sluss
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