In Resolutions there are certain things that work, and many others that don’t. Which is something that actually defines the whole Season 2 of Star Trek: Voyager, which offered us some quality peaks (like Deadlock and Meld) together with some terrible episodes (above all, Elogium, Parturition, and Threshold). But let’s get to Resolutions!
Chakotay and Janeway are abandoned on a planet because they are contaminated by an incurable virus. The planet’s atmosphere inhibits the devastating effects of the virus allowing both of them to live normally, but if the two continued their journey on the USS Voyager they would soon die. After a month of unsuccessful attempts at solving the situation, Janeway entrusts Tuvok with the command of the ship and orders him not to think about them anymore and, above all, not to contact the Vidiians who might have a cure. It would be too dangerous. And here’s a first problem: who believes that the two highest-ranking officers disappear from the series at the end of the second season? Nobody does. It’s obvious that the ship will come back to save them, and it’s hard to get invested in the story, given this premise.
Then, while Chakotay behaves sensibly that is, building things to try to live comfortably for the rest of their lives on the planet, Janeway does research to eradicate the virus. Ok… I understand that it’s good for her to keep herself busy, but even if she found the cure what could she do? The USS Voyager would be unreachable by then! Plus, this obsession makes her do and say nonsensical things. For example, she is interested in this monkey who periodically approaches her: “She could help me find the cure, maybe she has antibodies against the virus”, she tells Chakotay. But why should the monkey have antibodies on a planet whose atmosphere naturally defends against the effects of the virus??? Not to mention the scenes with this monkey, all terrible and all developing in the same way, with Janeway holding out her hand towards the monkey and the animal going away after a few seconds. Wow.
Meanwhile, on Voyager, Tuvok faces the thankless task of commanding a ship whose entire crew has no faith in him and believes that the Vidiians should be contacted straight away. The theme of the emotionless commanding officer had already been addressed in The Next Generation in the excellent start of the fifth season, Redemption Part 2, when Data is entrusted with the command of the USS Sutherland. In fact, even The Original Series touched upon the subject with Spock in The Galileo Seven! Here we have Voyager’s answer: an emotionless being is not fit to command a starship. Tuvok is forced to make a choice against his will to avoid a mutiny and contacts the Vidiians and falls into a predictable trap. Fortunately, Danara Pel (Susan Diol, already seen in Lifesigns) helps our heroes and things work out for the best!
In short, where are the positive elements mentioned at the beginning of this review? As mentioned, Chakotay’s behavior is absolutely credible and in line with the character. Then, the development of the relationship between him and the captain is nice, with a little more time something nice could be born between the two, but back on the ship Janeway is quick to make it clear that she won’t allow anything so sentimental to exist. And finally, the beginning of the episode proves that the writers know that it’s a bit silly for Starfleet crewmen to descend on planets without proper protective suits (one exception is the fourth episode of The Original Series, The Naked Time), thus exposing themselves to any type of contagion. It would be inconvenient every time to put the actors in hazmat suits, and that’s why it’s rarely done, but at least here we feel the risk of Starfleet protocol!
To conclude, Resolutions is probably a forgettable episode which, however, offers some points of interest. There’s also a space battle, although not the most memorable one. Ciao!
PS: The Delta Flyers podcast shout out: apparently, Kate Mulgrew enjoyed shooting the episode, while Robert Beltran didn’t appreciate all those sentimental developments coming out of nowhere. Neither of them was happy with the final result, though, since nothing of the episode led to anything of relevance in the rest of the series.
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