Friday, October 18, 2013
Voyager: One & The Omega Directive
I was going to do an Essentials List but a reader (thanks Rayna!) asked about my thoughts on the Season Four episodes, "One"and "The Omega Directive." I loved both of these stories so I definitely want to talk about them. However, I've just spent the last five hours packing up our house whilst watching the Dodgers eliminate themselves from the World Series so this'll be a bit short.
Both of these are Seven-sodes and feature her dealing with interesting aspects of her Borg-influenced humanity. In "One" she and The Doctor are the only two individuals immune to the deadly effects of an unavoidable nebula. Consequently, it's up to them to pilot the busted-up Voyager to the other side while the entire crew is in stasis. Seven has never been alone for any real length of time and both her humanity and her Borg nature rebel against the quiet desolation of the ship. Seven gets more than just lonely, she becomes psychotic in this eerie, compelling episode.
I don't get lonely. Or bored. I feel like (if I were a Borg-enhanced super genius) I would be more than fine steering the ship through a big ass purple cloud. But my personal speculations on whether or not I could hack it don't really come into play when I think about how much I love this one, how much I totally buy that Seven would be tripping balls out of loneliness, or how much I don't even mind that they pretty much did Find and Replace on the names in this one when it came to Enterprise and they did the exact same thing with T'Pol and Phlox. Thanks to the writing, directing and acting, I would watch Seven wander around corridors for HOURS.
Ok, The Omega Directive. This is another great one and it's a quite complex idea: Voyager comes into contact with the potentially dangerous Omega Molecule. Janeway has standing orders from Starfleet to destroy the molecule at whatever cost but Seven's got a problem with that since the Borg basically worship this stuff. Individuals or cultures worshiping some piece of technology isn't exactly new but the premise that a faithless, emotionless culture like the Borg would worship anything is interesting all by itself but the fact that Seven is passionate about it brings everything home. She is obsessed with the same perfection the Borg sought and believes that Omega is (or could be) the manifestation of that perfection. She is relentless in her attempts to harness and get a glimpse of her god.
This one is dryer than most of Voyager's episodes but I don't mind that at all. And, in fact, I love the raw conflict between Seven and Janeway. Their philosophical arguments about boundaries in science, about the thin line between awe of nature and the worship of it, and about the ethics of shutting down advancement in the name of safety are riveting for me.
Both of these are fantastic episodes and I highly recommend them--especially if you're into Seven's character arc and/or the whole "exploring my humanity" Trek Trope. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got a date with my pillow and some sleepy time tea.