Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Voyager Re-Watch: Fair Trade, Alter Ego, Coda

Well, it's about time for an episode dump. Basically, my goal is to watch all of Voyager in 2015. That doesn't sound like too big a deal. And, really, it's not a big deal. The watching, anyway. I can watch several Voyager in a row and not tire of it but then I have to go write a post about each of the episodes and then I start feeling all this pressure about it because I want to make it good  and I want to say something original or whatever. But, the thing is, between family drama, family illness, medication induced depression, launching my second novel, prepping my third, and writing a whole other big, crazy project, I do get a bit bogged down. There are 114 days left of 2015 and (before this post) 116 episodes left to watch and write about so, like it or not, sometimes I'm just going to have to do an episode dump wherein I write about several episodes at once.

Here we go, then!

Fair Trade: 
Ok so in this one, Neelix is feeling super down in the dumps because Voyager is pulling into a part of space that he's super unfamiliar with. He hopes to improve his situation by buying a map of these here parts from a sketchy Talaxian he used to be in league with. The old friend betrays him, Neelix gets in way over his head, and he has to come clean about the whole ordeal and ends up scrubbing conduits or something as punishment.

I feel like this is one of the episodes where the Neelix character really begins to come into his own. He's no longer dating Kes (which they didn't show but I sort of feel like their break-up in Warlord was at least partially for realsies) so we can't rely on him to be a shitty, jealous boyfriend. He's not particularly annoying. He's just trying to make sure he still has a place on Voyager once they head out of his old stomping grounds. He's sympathetic and, in the end, he stands up and does the right thing, even when it means taking a huge, personal risk.

So this is the one where Tuvok steals Harry's holodeck girlfriend and she gets way possessive of her new Vulcan playmate and holds Voyager hostage. Ultimately it's about a lonely chick in a spaceship who's been doing way too much facebook snooping.

Alright, anytime Harry gets mopey over a girl I sort of switch off. First of all, whatever happened to Libby? Second, whatever happened to whatsherface Delaney Sister? This dude has always got it bad for someone and I guess that's kind of the running joke--especially when we get to Seven. Anyway, this episode is sort of a cross between the time Geordi totally lost it for the holodeck version of some science lady and the time some weirdo in a castle wanted to make Hoshi his princess. Actually, you know, I that castle weirdo had a super long lifespan, didn't he? He and this lonely snooping chick should totally hook up. I'm shipping them now. It's official.

Janeway bites it. And then she bites it again. Then she gets the Phage and she bites it slowly. Then she sees her dad who bit it a long time ago and she's all, "I'm not convinced I've bitten it!" And then he's like, "Oh, actually I'm an alien." And she's all, "Go back to hell, you coward!" That last line is real and she delivered it with the same exact intensity as Inigo Montoya when he uttered the famous, "You killed my father. Prepare to die!"

Anyway, I really like this one. It fits nicely in the classic mind-bender trope Trek episodes and I like the "what's really going on here" type of psychological mystery. Janeway is the perfect character to pull this off too. I feel like she's the very last person on Voyager to buy into her own demise. Janeway's totally committed to dying on her own terms and no alien-ghost-dad is going to convince her otherwise.

-Bonus Points for Chakotay's raw emotion at Janeway's death. Those are some legit acting chops right there.

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