Star Trek: Voyager – S02E10, Cold Fire


Cold Fire is half fantastic and half greatly disappointing. It’s directly connected to the first (double) episode of the first season of Star Trek: Voyager, as we find another representative of the race of the Caretaker (the Keeper) who brought the USS Voyager into the Delta quadrant! But let’s begin with some plot.

Tuvok is training the beautiful Kes to use the powers of the mind which characterize the Ocampan race. Shortly afterwards, Voyager finds a space station similar to the one encountered in Caretaker, but smaller: perhaps there’s hope of returning to the Alpha quadrant! Once the Starfleet ship gets to the station, it turns out that it’s inhabited by two thousand Ocampas, something apparently impossible (everybody thought they were all on the planet protected by the Caretaker). Their leader is Tanis (Gary Graham). He seems friendly so… he isn’t, obviously (at least, it’s obvious to anyone who has seen a ton of Star Trek: the characters who seem friendly at first always turn out to be villains, and vice versa)! Anyway, she promises to put Janeway in touch with the Caretaker’s ex-companion, Suspiria.

Now… if you call a character like a Dario Argento horror movie full of blood and satanic rituals, she’s probably not good, right? Right, so no surprises there. But most of the episode focuses on Tanis teaching Kes how to use her great powers, powers that change her when she suddenly takes pleasure in killing all the plants in the Voyager greenhouse. This part of the episode works well. Unfortunately, as soon as Suspiria (Lindsay Ridgeway) shows up, all these good premises are thrown away with a predictable confrontation between Janeway and the powerful space being which ends in a western-style shootout, a hasty dialogue, and Voyager resuming her course towards Earth. Not cool!

I get that Voyager may have a bad reputation in the quadrant. But after Janeway immediately forgives Suspiria after she had tried to destroy the ship, Suspiria should probably change her opinion about our favorite starship! And why is Tanis practically trying to kidnap Kes? There are so many Ocampas he doesn’t care about on their home planet, why so much interest in Kes? And why does Janeway leave without even trying to talk to the rest of the Ocampas on the station? She could have tried to convince them that they are not hostile towards Suspiria, surely she could have tried to get her help with their voyage home?

In short, the ending is really disappointing. Too bad, because with little effort it could’ve been much better: I could think of several alternative and more satisfactory endings, why didn’t the writers (Anthony Williams and Brannon Braga) think of something better? That’s a shame. I hope that Suspiria and Tanis return in a future episode to do something more interesting, ciao!

PS: The Delta Flyers podcast shoutout: Garrett Wang revealed that the name of the Bolian race (the blue ones, if you get what I mean) comes from the director of Cold Fire, Cliff Bole, a true Star Trek veteran!

Previous episode: Tattoo

Next episode: Maneuvers

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