Poor Harry Kim, he just can’t be kept safe. After being mistaken for a corpse in Prime Factors, this time he goes missing in the holodeck! And I now that I’ve already said it, but I find it idiotic that everyone keeps on using the holodeck while at the same time there’s a lack of energy aboard the USS Voyager. Not to mention the fact that we are again faced with yet another “problem in the hologram room, the safety protocols have failed“. We’ve seen it a hundred times on The Next Generation (the first is supposed to be The Big Goodbye, Season 1) and Deep Space Nine (I still get the creeps thinking back to Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang, Season 7), and now it happens again in Voyager. Maybe I’m just a bit tired of this thing!
In the twelfth episode entitled Heroes and Demons, we lose track of Kim who enjoys playing the protagonist in Beowulf. Chakotay and Tuvok are sent to investigate and after some interactions with some unlikely holographic characters with fake beards and fantasy-like costumes (among which Freya, played by Marjorie Monaghan, stands out)… they disappear too! It turns out that the accident is linked to the study of a protostar conducted by Janeway and Torres who have teleported some samples on board.
There’s one thing, though, rescuing this episode from oblivion: in order to avoid another failed rescue attempt, Paris suggests sending the Doctor on the ground that he’s a hologram and cannot be transformed into energy which is what happened to Chakotay, Tuvok and, probably, Kim. Robert Picardo, as usual, elevates everything with his presence, and even this episode, despite the stupidity of the plot, manages to entertain and even excite thanks to the relationship between Freya and the Doctor (who in this episode has even a name!).
As for the finale… well, forget it. Once again the Voyager crew has meddled with things which should have been left alone and the protostar reveals itself as yet another form of life (a bit like what happened in The Cloud) who frees the three members of the crew once the Doctor understands that it/he/she just wants the pieces that were teleported onboard by Janeway and Torres. I don’t judge this episode as a complete failure simply thanks to the great performance of the legendary Robert Picardo, his character’s growth, and some nice interactions between Tuvok and Chakotay during their vain search for Kim. I hope that the next episode will get back to the high quality of the previous ones (Prime Factors and State of Flux, mainly), ciao!
PS: The Delta Flyers podcast shoutout: Garrett Wang had fun imitating Robert Picardo while reading the messages that the two exchanged before the recording of the podcast. Interestingly enough, Picardo remembered that he found guest star Marjorie Monaghan extremely beautiful, and this is not too surprising given that McNeill and Wang had noticed that she resembled Picardo’s ex-wife!
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