Hopefully you’ve seen my first list. Here is the second part. Episodes 10-1. I do have a special place in me for this show, and hopefully some of you do as well. Let’s not waste any time and get right down to it.
10. The Void
This is an episode that is actually a lot more compelling than you think. Becoming trapped in a part of space where alien vessels steal and kill each other to survive. However, Captain Janeway figures out a way for them to create alliances with a large amount of the aliens in there, to help each other. This results in them having a rather sizable fleet with them, which is the reason I like this episode – seeing Voyager and their fleet of ships. What can I say, it’s a cool image. But there is more to this episode than that. The void itself, along with why they are there is pretty damn cool. How it all is resolved is even moreso.
9. Death Wish
Another one of those REALLY profound episodes that examines the value of a life and what truly counts as living, this episode also brought the Q into this series. The fun nature of episodes with the Q is one thing, but when you truly look at the Q Continuum and see just how empty the lives of these being truly is, it creates a very interesting dynamic. You also learn about how the Q society works, and who Q really is. While he passes himself off as a careless playboy, the Q was once a more dynamic person, fighting against the status quo in his world. But, following being punished for his actions, Q is now on the opposing side of a case involving the fate of another Q, which Janeway acts as the judge. This episode brings Q in, establishes his relationship with Janeway, asks some pretty intense questions and is a lot of fun. What more could you want?
Talk about a mind-fuck! When Voyager enters a nebula that nearly kills the crew, there are only two members who are unaffected – the Doctor and Seven. It is determined that the rest of the crew should go into a kind of hypersleep until they are clear of the nebula, which is going to take a LONG time. Seven is the only person who can maintain the vessel, but the prolonged isolation makes her start to crack. One of the first episodes that really dives into who and what she is, the levels of darkness here are pretty damn profound. Once she starts to hallucinate, Seven becomes trapped against her own mind, with there being only time and her, since the Doctor is trapped inside of sickbay. Not at all a feel-good episode, this one is pretty damn intense, and it never stops being that way.
7. Dark Frontier (Parts I and II)
This was one of those episodes where the darkness that it tackles can actually make this show a little hard to watch. Following an incident where Seven comes back into contact with the Borg, she is forced to relive memories of what she has done. This compels her to go back to the Collective, to figure out why she feels as she does. What follows is one of the darkest looks into this character. Since it doesn’t spoil much, following the Borg enslavement of a planet, Seven has to go and assist with processing. Hearing the cries and screams of the billions they are assimilating is actually kind of gut-wrenching. These episodes are aptly named and really cut into the heart of this character and how much she is suffering due to her losing something that was her entire life. It also gives us a new and neat look at the Borg Queen as well, which was a nice addition from the Next Generation film “First Contact.”
6. Living Witness
I do loves me some what-if stories. This episode begins with a recreation of what an alien race believes Voyager and their crew was like, along with how this ship changed their culture, from the perspective of several hundred years later. What they believe Voyager to be was awesome! I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it, but trust me, this is worth it. However, there is a copy of the Doctor’s program in some of the “artifacts” they have, who has the real story. The contrast between what is true and what wasn’t is a pretty neat dichotomy and it makes for a very fun episode. It’s only a pity that they hadn’t run with the alternate universe Voyager. Maybe have the actual Voyager face off with the other one. Oh well, perchance to dream.
5. Equinox (Parts I and II)
Seasons 5 and 6
A two-part season finale and beginning, this was an AWESOME episode. Voyager comes across another Federation starship that ended up in the Delta Quadrant – the Equinox. The crew of this ship is initially very kind toward Voyager, but you soon seen that there is a darker side to them and what they have done. It culminates on a great cliffhanger ending. Plus, you get to see some of Janeway’s darker side as she sees that even with the uniform and what Starfleet is meant to represent, it is still very easy for their own people to become corrupted and villainous to save themselves. How it all ends is one of the biggest highlights of the series, with one character showing, in his last moments, how change is possible. Intense stuff.
4. Scorpion (Part I and II)
Seasons 3 and 4
One of the series biggest accomplishments is the introduction of Species 8472. An alien race who is able to go toe-to-toe with the Borg and win. They are an awesome monster that I would have let finish the Borg, but that’s just me. Especially when you find out how they came into contact with them. When Voyager comes into Borg space, they find themselves getting between these two forces who are bent on destroying one-another. It leads to one of the best pieces of dialogue between Janeway and Chakotay, debating what is to be done with a piece of knowledge they get about one of them. How it all pans out is pretty damn awesome, also bringing in a new character into the fold. All-in-all, neaer-flawless episodes that made for a great cliffhanger for a season.
3. Year of Hell (Parts I and II)
This episode had a lot of great things. The first is a REALLY cool premise. Having been teased in a prior season episode, this follows Voyager through a conflict with a powerful alien race, on a mission to get through their space. However, there is another force at work, able to change things in ways you can’t begin to imagine. With Kurtwood Smith guest starring as a commander who is on a mission of his own, reshaping the entire quadrant as he sees fit, the stakes on this episode are huge! Plus, you get a lot of really interesting bits of know-how about the crew and who they are. While the conflict introduction is kind of silly (for real, the Day of Hell? That’s an awful thing. But it’s not over-the-top corny), it still becomes pretty damn intense. How it all turns out is even moreso. Definitely an awesome pair of episodes.
2. The Killing Game (Parts I and II)
Another awesome species in the show was the Hirogen. While they are very much like the Predators in the series by the same name, they are still REALLY cool. In this episode, they have taken over Voyager and are using their hologram program to have the crew engaging in battles with the toughest enemies they could find in the Federation database. With the crew being kept in the dark perpetually and the Doctor the only one able to do anything, it becomes a very neat game of cat-and-mouse over how to solve this little problem. This episode is all about deception and intrigue, which you know I like. Plus, it gives a species who was already cool their due. While they may not be the species they are modeled after, they are pretty damn awesome all the same.
And my favorite episode of Voyager is –
1. Unimatrix Zero (Parts I and II)
Seasons 6 and 7
The Borg have always been a really cool species. there is something about them that just so fascinating. The Federation’s attitude about them is odd, to me. It’s like they don’t see them as a threat that needs to be purged. The Borg cannot be negotiated with. They cannot be reasoned with. They consume and consume until there is nothing left. But, in this episode, you see that not all Borg are in league with their comrades. There are some who maintained their individuality in a special place that they all go to when recharging. But when the Borg Queen gets wind of what is happening, she is quick to try and destroy it. Since Seven was a part of this community, naturally, she is in the crosshairs. It becomes a race against time to find a way to save her friends and to use them as a means to fight back against the Collective. These episodes were intense, showed a lot of neat history about Seven and gave us a new perspective on Borg culture. What’s not to like?
Until next time, a quote,
“There’s a story I heard as a child, a parable, and I never forgot it: A scorpion was walking along the bank of a river, wondering how to get to the other side. Suddenly he saw a fox. He asked the fox to take him on his back across the river. The fox said, ‘No. If I do that, you’ll sting me, and I’ll drown.’ The scorpion assured him, ‘If I did that, we’d both drown.’ So the fox thought about it, finally agreed. So the scorpion climbed up on his back, and the fox began to swim. But halfway across the river, the scorpion stung him. As the poison filled his veins, the fox turned to the scorpion and said, ‘Why did you do that? Now you’ll drown too.’ ‘I couldn’t help it,’ said the scorpion. ‘It’s my nature.’ -Commander Chakotay, Scorpion (Part I)