The Cynics Corner

Star Trek: Voyager

"Endgame"

by David E. Sluss

31 May 2001

 
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THE BOTTOM LINE
: A big "Up yours" card from Voyager's staff to Voyager's viewers.

CYNICS CORNER RATING: 5.0 (F+)

LAST THINGS FIRST OF THE WEEK: Okay, let's talk about that ending. Despite the various rumors floated over the last several months (the Land of the Lost ending, the ten-episode-arc ending, etc.), what could be more fitting for Voyager's end than two hours of contrived hoohah with a rushed resolution in the last two minutes? Still, even by Voyager's standards, this is lame. Janeway says, weakly, "We did it" and "It will all be in my report" (minus an 18,000-minute gap detailing Janeway's court-martial offenses over the years, no doubt), and that's it; roll credits. They don't even set foot on Earth, much less address the status of the Maquis crew members (hinted at darkly in last season's "Life Line"), Seven's reaction to arriving home, Homesick Kim finally seeing his parents, or anything else. Paris' father is on the viewscreen right in front of Paris, and they don't exchange a single word! Get a clue, Powers That Be, there ain't gonna be any movies, and the next series is a prequel!

RECYCLING OF THE WEEK: You can't help but notice that this episode, with its fanboyish use of future versions of most if the characters, bears a certain similarity to Next Generation's finale, "All Good Things..." The recycled future uniforms, communicator pins, and cheapo age make-up (especially on Paris and Barclay) don't help matters any. And there are any number of other things. A number of characters are no longer in Starfleet; one of them is a writer. One of male characters has a mental illness; one of the female characters is dead, causing heartache for the bloated first officer. One of the least likely crew members has become a Captain. Some kind of tachyon beam is used to create a temporal rift. Need I go on? It's been obvious to me for a long time that the Star Trek staff is nearly devoid of new ideas. Does anyone remain unconvinced? Bring on Enterprise...

CHEAPO SET OF THE WEEK: There has always been plenty for me to complain about on Voyager, but production values have rarely earned my scorn. I have to say though that the Chakotay cemetery set was terrible; all that was missing was a styrofoam rock from the Original Series. But then Chuckles was probably dead for a few days before anyone noticed the difference, so it may have been a rush job.

TEMPORAL ANOMALY OF THE WEEK: Well, it looks like the Borg Collective checked out for good, but you never know anymore. The Borg Queen seemed to think that if Captain Janeway died, Admiral Janeway would never exist and would never come back in time and destroy the Borg. But the same reasoning applies to Captain Janeway successfully making it home early and never becoming the "cynical" (ha!) Admiral Janeway, doesn't it? But then, how would Voyager have gotten home early? Hell, maybe this is the Land of the Lost scenario...

TEMPORAL ANOMALY OF THE WEEK RUNNER-UP: The Queen wants Admiral Janeway's future tech. I wish someone would remember that, thanks to First Contact, the Borg can travel through time whenever they want to, and collect whatever goodies they like. Then again, maybe it's better to forget about that...

CLIQUE OF THE WEEK: There's something really cavalier about the way Admiral Janeway seems to include only Voyager's senior officers as "family." She seemed to have come back in time to save Seven, not the other twenty or so people who supposedly died in the intervening sixteen years. "Our family's not complete anymore, is it?" No, but she's apparently not counting people like Durst, Hogan, Jetal, and Ballard, who weren't part of the family. Then there's poor Joe Carey, who only missed the temporal rescue by a month or so. Tough break...

EUNUCH OF THE WEEK: The Borg Collective, of course, who continue to be the Keystone Kops of the galaxy. Naturally, they defy their hive mind premise; at one point early in the episode the Borg Voice orders the collective to pursue Voyager, and the Queen has to belay the order. Say what? Or better yet, say nothing - she shouldn't have to say a damned thing. Then you have the Borg infected yet again with a pathogen, like in "Collective" and "Unimatrix Zero, Part II." Aren't these clowns supposed to be able to adapt? Finally, it turns out that there's a transwarp aperture practically on Earth's doorstep. I guess they either aren't that interested in assimilating humanity or they're too stupid to just send a few dozen ships directly to Earth.

STORY NON-ARC OF THE WEEK: So Seven and Chakotay hooked up after all. If that was the plan all along, then why was "Human Error" reset so resoundingly? Wouldn't Janeway's motivation, and the various romance scenes, have been a little more convincing if it had been set up in advance?

NAME-DROPPING CONTINUITY OF THE WEEK: Those cadets sure seemed interested in "Unimatrix Zero," didn't they? But why would the writers bring that up, since it had nothing to do with this story. If anything, the Borg seemed just fine (at least by the low standards of previous Borg appearances on Voyager), suggesting that the little insurrection mounted by the Unimatrix Zero drones accomplished absolutely zippo. So why mention it at all?

HOLLOW MILITARY OF THE WEEK: Starfleet's presence in Sector 001 must be pretty thin if the Pathfinder Project at the Communications Research Building is the command center for planetary defense against the Borg...

STOOGE OF THE WEEK: There weren't any female Stooges, but if there were, and if it weren't the last episode of Voyager, I'd have to give Seven a stooge name. Given the presence of dozens of Borg cubes in the nebula and numerous wormhole readings, shouldn't Seven have deduced that there was a transwarp hub? For that matter, since she supposedly retains all of her knowledge from the Collective (according to "Day of Honor" and various other episodes), shouldn't she have known for a fact what was in the nebula?

MYSTERY OF THE WEEK: Admiral Janeway comes back because she knows that there is a Borg transwarp hub in the nebula. If, in her timeline, Voyager never went back to the nebula, how did she know the hub was there?

KLINGON KLAPTRAP OF THE WEEK: I'm not sure why it would be Klingons of all people who would have this Temporal Hat gizmo. I guess there are plenty of costumes and prosthetics sitting around the Paramount lot. Speaking of the Temporal Hat...

PLOT DEVICE OF THE WEEK: The Temporal Hat can cross time and space in an instant. That's pretty convenient; it's too bad Admiral Janeway didn't think about some other ways to use it. For example, why not just use its technology to get Voyager home? No muss, no fuss. Or, since the Admiral never intended to return to her time, why didn't she go back to the Caretaker's array, run interference with the Kazon so that Voyager could get home, and then destroy the array herself? Or how about going back to the Badlands and intercepting Voyager and Chakotay's ship before they even get to the Delta Quadrant? Sure, any self-respecting Trekkie Rationalizer can talk his or her way out of it, but the device is a real Pandora's Box of plot holes.
  

Previous: "Renaissance Man"
NEXT WEEK: There are no more next weeks, at least not for Voyager, but check out the Season Seven Review (along with the Fourth Annual Cy Awards). 

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This review is copyright 2001 David E. Sluss
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