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Tenebrae

Voyager Retrospectives - Homestead

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Having watched SFdebris' opinionated Voyager reviews on youtube (and having read some of his stuff on his site). Which you can all thank for the following...

 

Yup, the episode where they give Neelix the heave ho... And also the anti-penultimate episode of the entire series.

 

The teaser starts with one of the office party style things that seem to happen every week Voyager isn't headed for the maw of a spacial anomaly, with Neelix going around and irritating the hell out of everyone - especially the Doctor, who gets about half his lines for the episode here, who is probably just irritated because he's not able to eat or drink - especially Tuvok. After Tuvok recites the first words of a Vulcan on Earth Neelix -as usual - feels it necessary to be a douche by trying to get Tuvok to dance insisting "it's tradition"... Naturally, Janeway backs him up - because everyone likes winding up Tuvok... Fortunately for Tuvok, he doesn't have to dance for Neelix (who appears to be wrapped up in a curtain) because Chakotay turns up to say they've detected Talaxians 4.9 light years away.

 

Ok... that's just CRAZY - especially considering what's about to happen. Sure, we know that ever since 7 put up astrometrics that Voyager could find a neutron out of place on the other side of the universe but this really just smacks of idiocy... Sure they do it all the time but when you're paying attention and not just going with the flow the sheer stupidity of not only being able to detect LIFEFORMS but their SPECIES at 4.9 light years comes home... It's not even something halfway plausible like communications or hell, even ENERGY. Like a lot of Voyager, it just feels like the obvious was eschewed for the

 

Anyways, Neelix frets on the bridge - still wrapped in that big curtain - because the colony hasn't responded to hails... Voyager can't go into the asteroid belt because it's too big. Naturally, Neelix has to go knock on the door - so the Flyer goes in to see what's happening. Any apprehension Neelix has seems to evaporate once on board and he starts threatening that he'll make Tuvok dance if it's the last thing he does, Tom intervenes... presumably because it reminds him of all the bitchin' B'lana does at him.

 

He's presumably as glad as Tuvok when a bunch of pretty cool looking explosions start happening, ace pilot Tom fortunately manages to crash them into the Talaxian asteroid. Cut to Neelix waking up and seeing a Talaxian female... DAYUM, if there were any doubt these are some of the ugliest aliens in the universe and that Neelix was a cruel genetic mistake (I'd say just in the looks department but... no, pretty much all of 'em) then it must now be at an end because even Harry Kim would need beer astrometric sensors to find this lady attractive. Anyway, the fact that these Talaxians are a big bunch of cowards - you can tell Neelix will fit in - is hammered home and then the female - Dexa - leaves, activating a forcefield on the way out.

 

Meanwhile, Janeway is a bit worried about the Flyer having not checked in - apparently there's interference in the asteroid field... yes, the same one that they were able to scan specific lifeforms for from 4.9 light years away all of five minutes ago. Anyway, Janeway can't leave the Flyer there... just as she's about to launch a shuttle in after them, generic alien race #683 turns up and says they're mining yadda, yadda, yadda - as usual, Janeway ignores the warnings because, hey - it's not like they just lost a vessel a lot more powerful than a regular shuttle in there, right?

 

Back on the asteroid, Neelix talks to Dexa's kid - presumably they're of a comparable mental level - and brags about "his" ship Voyager... His mother and the head coward, sorry - Talaxian turns up. Blah, blah - free to go, etc. Dexa takes Neelix around the colony for a bit. Neelix seems amazed... why? He's supposed to be an old hat at this. It's a lot easier to carve out an asteroid than it is to build a space station from scratch - it's pretty much a sci-fi staple. Eh, maybe no one in the Delta Quadrant is smart enough to save themselves the effort by doing this. Dexa remarks on the geothermal energy - foreshadowing! - but the concept of an asteroid having geothermal energy is a total nonsense and it's used to melt the ice on the surface... uh, that's comets, Voyager writers. Comets are the giant snowballs, asteroids are the big lumps of rock... and if this big lump of rock has geothermal energy, surely it's not the best place to be digging your home in anyway because that energy would entail various bad things - lava, earthquakes etc. but no, it's just magical geothermal energy... just what you'd expect from a half-comet, half asteroid, really.

 

We get the blatant romantic foreshadowing, "Oh, my husband's dead.", that puts a spring in Neelix's step... then it's back to the ship where they're about ready to go... after all, crashing into an asteroid at speed with no shields isn't the kind of thing that does any lasting damage to a ship. Turns out Dexa's brat was trying to stowaway... unfortunately instead of tossing him overboard, Neelix just takes him back to his mother - presumably showing he's cool with single mothers. This is when he finds Dexa, head Talaxian and this week's generic alien leader arguing. It turns out that evolution's greatest dead end - the Talaxians - managed to choose an asteroid field that was being mined. They'd been warned to move out but they disassembled their ships to make their home on the magical geothermal half-caste asteroid. If you didn't see asteroid full of Talaxians + generic aliens mining = conflict of interests, you may now reward yourself with a slap.

 

Naturally, Neelix decides to thrust his non-existent diplomatic skills - and Janeway's - into the breach and suggests that Voyager can negotiate... also getting Dexa to come along for the ride because her brat wants to see Voyager. That might be the closest Neelix gets to smooth. On Voyager, they hang out for a while - Harry, knowing the frustration of going 7 years without any tang, dives in to cover the fact he's got no rank and he's just the cook - and a bad one at that... Have a look at Talax in astrometrics - apparently Dexa et al left because of the occupation... Neelix wisely keeps his mouth shut about how he got the hell out of dodge to avoid military service. Neelix gets rid of the kid and puts the moves on Dexa. Just as well he didn't mention his mile long yellow streak - turns out hubby died being a hero, well farming outside the allocated area. That's probably enough for the Talaxian purple cross. If you didn't see Neelix + single Talaxian mother = romantic interest, you may now reward yourself with a slap.

 

As you'd expect, negotiations go about as well as you can expect when generic aliens and Janeway + Neelix are involved. The Talaxian asteroid is the most valuable, the aliens aren't interested in the magical geothermal energy (magical enough to be turned into fuel!) because they don't have an AC adapter or something - even though Voyager offers them one... quite frankly, why they'd be interested in the magical energy when they're mining is beyond me. Someone mining titanium isn't going to be interested in AC batteries... The best they manage is an extension of the deadline. Neelix feels he could have done better... yeah, a paperweight could probably have done a better job. Janeway can't intervene any further because she's deciding to pay attention to the Prime directive this week.

 

What follows next can only be described as one of those generic Star Trek conversations where one character imparts information to another that they shouldn't but of course, it's ok because it's all HYPOTHETICAL. Seriously, these were long in the tooth when Spock and Kirk were doing them in the Trek movies... It's just cookie cutter dialogue for the sake of filling screen time. Anyway, what leads to it is Neelix pointing out that there are several warp capable species near the planet they're moving the colony to, so he asks for defence tips. Tuvok points out what a bunch of losers the Talaxians are and that they'd be better just staying where they are. Once this genericness is out the way, we have some dialogue you can take in one of two ways...

 

Either you can see it as Tuvok FINALLY, after 7 years of barely containing his murderous urges towards Neelix, admitting that he's not an entirely useless meatbag... or, as I prefer to think of it - and as is far more likely - a way for Tuvok to get Neelix to either stay on the colony or die defending it... win-win!

 

Neelix flies over to the colony in his ship, explains his plan - use force field emitters to create a shield around the asteroid, powered by the magical geothermal energy (if you didn't see magical geothermal + foreshadowing = solution you may now reward yourself with a slap) - and that they've got nothing to lose, they shrug and go with it. The miners only come over at the last minute... and instead of targeting the shield emitters, start randomly dropping charges on the asteroid... yes, clash of the titans. With that kind of impeccable strategy, it's a miracle they don't target themselves with weapons and explode. Anyway, Neelix is flying cover but his weapons go offline. For no particular reason - he tries to get between a charge and the asteroid... there's heroic self-sacrifice, there's suicidal tendencies... and then there's just idiocy. They AREN'T targeting the shield emitters, they aren't targeting the ship PLACING the shield emitters, there's no evidence the colony is going to be structurally compromised by the one more charge... why is the furry cretin only NOW putting himself into a certainly fatal situation? 7 years ago was a good time, Neelix... now it's just... pointless. Anyway, it's moot because Janeway decided to come save Neelix - so much for the Prime Directive. The shield goes up - as it would have anyway - and the magical geothermal energy - remember, these are just emitters - they aren't plugged into anything... the magical energy transmits itself through rock TO the emitters.

 

Janeway makes a log entry about how generic aliens have been foiled by the magical energy shield - yes, foolish generic alien miners. Your fusion power and anti-matter is no match for the awesome power of GEOTHERMAL ENERGY! BWHAHAHA! Neelix explains to Dexa's kid how he can't stay, heads back to Voyager. Janeway's waiting for him in the mess. She tells him they'll need him as Delta Quadrant ambassador - because living on a rock full of xenophobic cowardly Talaxians is the heart and soul of the Delta Quadrant. Again, you can read it as a friendly nudge or a thinly veiled "sling your 'ook!", I know what I prefer. Neelix walks out, the corridors lined with people who can't wait to see the back of the guy that's been poisoning them for the past 7 years... sad only that they're not jettisoning his body into the abyss, charred and desecrated from his agonising death.

 

All in all, it's pretty much what anyone who'd watched Voyager for 7 seasons would expect. The usual clunking scientific hilarity - though mercifully little treknobabble - and plenty of clichéd and clunking dialogue... much of which is faced with the impossible task of showing us that Neelix is pretty cool, sure - that's why Tuvok and Janeway couldn't wait to be shot of him. Tuvok should probably get a medal for making sure Talaxians remained confined to the Trek equivalent of the third world.

 

Neelix has probably always been the most universall loathed character... Kind of a failed comic relief... and I suppose one could say that TNG had Data and DS9 had Quark, they both had far more to them than that. Neelix is more of a cheerleader... and if I was one of the ensigns on the bridge, I'd probably be more than a little peeved this joker was sitting in on the crucial decisions when his "local knowledge" ran out by the end of season 2. The local knowledge that let him be ignorant about planet after planet and species after species... The knowledge that was so great, he managed to get himself lost and have his LUNGS STOLEN... Not to mention his run as chef... I guess the whole morale officer thing can't be blamed on him too much... Anyone with that job on a ship with a captain as utterly off her rocker as Janeway is doomed to failure...

 

Anyway, just had to say that.

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you know, i get the whole free speech thing, im all for it, but i do people have to be so negative, about something so, so, well hell, its a tv show! for the record, i do not like the new battlestar galactica series. (and by new i mean the one that doesnt have Dirk Benedict in it!) but i dont go to forums or sites, or whatever, and be neg about that community's topics or whatever. i dunno.. just kinda erks me..

 

guess im a live and let live kinda person. u know, i like mine, you like yours, you like crime, i like scifi, you like rap, i like rock, you are black, i am white(!)... you know what i mean!!

 

all that being said, had some good arguements.. well written! ha!

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There is a difference between fact and fiction - given the kind of stuff I like in a non-family friendly way, it's just as well I'm acquainted with that barrier... else I'd probably go insane - obviously...

 

But then, there's a difference between authentic and inauthentic, logical and illogical etc.

 

The geothermal energy was, from the outset, laughable... the moon is HUUUUUUUUGE - as far as moons go - and we're pretty damn sure it's dead... it's just very hard for small bodies to keep the love going! As I said... it's so damned magical, it manages to TRANSMIT TO THE TRANSMITTERS. Wow. The energy in this - don't forget, magical asteroid/comet hybrid - is transmitted THROUGH ROCK. Since when was geothermal energy even a big deal? Maybe if you had some magical Trek UBER planet that was oozing energy... but this is an asteroid! It's unlikely even a Talaxian uber genius - that probably equates to about capable of not killing themselves when using warp and stuff - could somehow make the teeny, tiny amount of energy the asteroid creates surpass that of a matter anti-matter reaction... About 4kg of matter and anti-matter = 100 megaton. To be honest, it would be hilarious if in Endgame we saw Neelix die when the miner came back to block the mother frakking science out of that little female dog.

 

Janeway... AS IRRATIONAL AS EVER. Ok... so, you decide you won't both intervening until the second your "beloved" crew member is about to be blown up? That's the kind of U-turn politicians dream of pulling off without anyone flinching.

 

Eh, I'll get back to this later.

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ya, you know, i think they did use the old excuse "..they are in space, in a different part of the galaxy, anything can happen!" .... sometimes "they" push that just too far. other times it works out great!

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There's a difference between a universe wherein certain things are possible that aren't in our own - that is to say, the Force, superpowers, FTL, giant monsters etc. - and there being absolutely no internal logic or rationality.

 

I was bemoaning Cloverfield's idiotic characters... running pretty much into harm's way with a camera glued to your hand isn't really something a sane person would do. Every instinct in your body in that kind of situation would be screaming RUN THE OTHER WAY - ex-girlfriend or not. It's the biggest sign of lazy/bad writing there is, logical motivations are over-ridden because THE STORY DEMANDS IT!

 

Anyway, the point is - just because you're in a situation that isn't regular Earth, doesn't mean you've got carte blanche to make people act in stupid ways etc.

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I was bemoaning Cloverfield's idiotic characters... running pretty much into harm's way with a camera glued to your hand isn't really something a sane person would do. Every instinct in your body in that kind of situation would be screaming RUN THE OTHER WAY - ex-girlfriend or not. It's the biggest sign of lazy/bad writing there is, logical motivations are over-ridden because THE STORY DEMANDS IT!

not always true. i myself have witnessed three fires (two VERY large), one tornado, and one police/swat shoot out! in all instances either me, or me mate, had a camera. and in all instances, i (we) instisted on getting closer.... i admit that we were not the smartest group around, but the footage we got! better than porn! but, i suppose thats all pretty rare tho... nevermind. ur right! lol!

 

Anyway, the point is - just because you're in a situation that isn't regular Earth, doesn't mean you've got carte blanche to make people act in stupid ways etc.

we have a winner! ding ding ding! i completely agree. thats always, always, always been the issue especialy with scifi.

 

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On this site we have a history of being really gruelling towards trek that we find less than admirable. I have often bashed VOY along with tons of other members like Tenebrae on VOY's shortcomings and weaknesses.

 

When it comes to this episode, I think that Neelix's departure from the show was inevitable as he'd be the only Talaxian within 30,000 light years of the Federation so for him to be with his own kind was fairly important to him and for the end of the show. It gave his story a happy ending.

 

Now Tenebrae raised a very good point about Janeway's lack of leadership and judgment. He practically called her a politician, which made me laugh for a few minutes because it was so true. 'oh we're just helping a friend' well if so what happened to non-interference? Indeed a politician's dream come true.

There is a difference between fact and fiction - given the kind of stuff I like in a non-family friendly way, it's just as well I'm acquainted with that barrier... else I'd probably go insane - obviously...

 

But then, there's a difference between authentic and inauthentic, logical and illogical etc.

 

The geothermal energy was, from the outset, laughable... the moon is HUUUUUUUUGE - as far as moons go - and we're pretty damn sure it's dead... it's just very hard for small bodies to keep the love going! As I said... it's so damned magical, it manages to TRANSMIT TO THE TRANSMITTERS. Wow. The energy in this - don't forget, magical asteroid/comet hybrid - is transmitted THROUGH ROCK. Since when was geothermal energy even a big deal? Maybe if you had some magical Trek UBER planet that was oozing energy... but this is an asteroid! It's unlikely even a Talaxian uber genius - that probably equates to about capable of not killing themselves when using warp and stuff - could somehow make the teeny, tiny amount of energy the asteroid creates surpass that of a matter anti-matter reaction... About 4kg of matter and anti-matter = 100 megaton. To be honest, it would be hilarious if in Endgame we saw Neelix die when the miner came back to block the mother frakking science out of that little female dog.

 

Janeway... AS IRRATIONAL AS EVER. Ok... so, you decide you won't both intervening until the second your "beloved" crew member is about to be blown up? That's the kind of U-turn politicians dream of pulling off without anyone flinching.

 

Eh, I'll get back to this later.

 

I wonder, will there be more of this Janeway criticism? If so I think I will enjoy reading it. I think I've mellowed over time though, I won't go too far bashing Janeway on her lack of leadership skill.

 

Now Chakotay, he got the skills when it comes to leadership.

 

I hope I haven't offended anyone here because that is not my intention at all. If so I sincerely apologize.

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Chakotay is too mired in his hilariously overplayed American Indian cliche to be taken seriously. 99% of the time, he'll just do what Janeway tells him... most of the time he disobeys her is when she's off somewhere else or in a coma etc. Scorpion is a great example, as soon as she's out of commission, he turns around and does the exact opposite but you don't see that kind of spine when she's awake - well, not most of the time anyway.

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