Friday, July 31, 2015

Voyager Re-Watch: Innocence

Alright so, once again, Voyager is running low on supplies (probably because everyone in the Delta Quadrant has heard rumors from the Kazon about how mustache twistingly evil they are--I don't know why anyone would listen to the Kazon but there you go) and they send Tuvok and some Disposable Ensign down to a moon to look for... something? I was eating lunch.

Anyway, Tuvok and the Disposable Ensign crash the hell out of their shuttle and the Disposable Ensign is disposed of. Tuvok is doing some respectful burial stuff because he's good like that when a BUNCH OF FREAKING KIDS walk up on him. If I were Tuvok and a bunch of solemn as hell looking kids walked up on me while I was burying the guy who flew me down here, I'd have definitely screamed in a really undignified way. But Tuvok isn't me. He's really calm about the whole thing. Even when these kids tell him about some monster that's been eating their friends for dinner and soon they'll be next.

At first Tuvok doesn't believe any of this bananas mess but then some really suspicious activity happens and he comes around.

MEANWHILE--Because this show is called Voyager and not Story Time With Tuvok--The inhabitants of the moon's planet come up to Voyager for a look-see.

These folks (The Drayans) are pretty closed off from the rest of the quadrant and I can totally understand why (The Kazon, AmIRight?) They take a tour of the ship and then head back home. Later on Janeway gets a really angry call from this lady about how they need to get Tuvok off this moon etc etc. In the end, Janeway and Tuvok find out that these kids aren't kids at all. They old people. They're Benjamin-Buttoning through time. Or Merlining. Whichever. Anyway, this moon is where old people go to die and Tuvok just happened to be here and now he's going to escort the last grandma kid to her final hour.

Honestly, as hokey as all of this kind of sounds, Innocence is a pretty solid episode. I feel like aging backward is a trope that should probably be left either to the realm of magical realism or the written word or both. These kids are kids. They're kids who played bit parts in other 90s TV shows I watched. They're kids. They look like kids. They act like kids. I know they're "confused" but then suddenly one starts talking about her grandson and it's like, "You know, you could've mentioned that before, lady." But it's not terrible. It's fine. Crazy shit happens in the Delta Quadrant and there's plenty of other great stuff in this episode, namely with Tuvok, Janeway, and The Doctor.

Tuvok is great. Tim Russ always does a fantastic job but seeing him wheel out his Vulcan Dad Skillz is particularly nice. We know Tuvok is a husband and father and we know that being away from his family must effect him even if he doesn't manifest those thoughts/non-feelings in the same way humans might. But this is the first time we really get to see him be a dad. When Tuvok starts going on about the songs he plays for his kids, I always think, "Oh, no. Please don't sing." And then every time I love it. Daddy Tuvok has totally won me over.
Janeway is always fabulous. I love this big idea of Janeway showing these uppity Drayans around Voyager and no matter what she says about science and exploration they always have some snippy comeback and then Chakotay's all, "My people..." and they eat it up. Mainly this shtick works with the Drayans because both they and Chakotay are all about saying old timey spiritual stuff. These are the sort of folks who probably make their own artisinal kale infused potato chips because they think it's more "authentic."  So naturally they're instantly into some Space Indian with a probably meaningful face tattoo spouting the words of his people.

The Doctor has a great comedic scene within said tour. He's been working on his people skills and he still kinda sucks. Awkward silence ensues. Totally perfect.

Innocence is one of those episodes I never really think about. I don't look forward to it. I don't regret watching it. It's just a solid, season two (holy crap am I really still only in season two?!?) story with fine acting and some really nice, standout moments.


  1. I always love your commentaries! Yes, you're quite far behind (or I got overzealous) - I'm stalled in season 4 to wait for you!


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