The second part of a double episode rarely manages to live up to the first, and this time the task was particularly difficult given the very strong first half of Scorpion. Despite this, I found the second part absolutely satisfying, it’s a great resolution of one of the most tense cliffhangers ever seen in Star Trek history.
But first… what about Jennifer Lien relegated to an Also starring role in the opening credits and Jeri Ryan appearing out of nowhere even before Garrett Wang as Seven of Nine? What’s happening, or going to happen (or rather, happened already), to my favorite character since season one, Kes? If it’s a joke, it’s not funny…
Regarding the second part of Scorpion, it contains many of the elements that made the first one spectacular: a lot of action, decisions with heavy repercussions, an unprecedented conflict between Chakotay and Janeway, and the Borg, who have always been an excellent ingredient to make an unforgettable story.
What I liked most probably was seeing Chakotay take the reins of the situation, with Janeway in a coma in the infirmary. He disobeys the captain’s orders, breaking the alliance with the Borg and acting decisively to try his luck alone towards the Alpha quadrant. And what an interesting twist the one revealed by Seven of Nine, admitting that the Borg themselves began the war with the aliens to assimilate them and become even more powerful! But Janeway, once awakened, and even with this additional information in hand, thinks that the pact must be honored. So, exactly like she said some time ago (in the episode The Swarm), bye bye Prime Directive, a Starfleet starship is ready to provide the Borg with Federation technology in order to defeat another race and forget about the possible consequences for the entire quadrant . Cool! Only one goal remains: to go home!
The great thing is that neither Janeway nor Chakotay is really right because… there is no right solution. Chakotay’s plan to go solo to the Alpha quadrant would have probably failed, but at the same time going back 40 light years into Borg territory, which Chakotay flatly rejected, would have been just as dangerous! This type of choice goes well with the moral dilemma of a pact to be honored and the potentially terrible consequences of such pact with the Federation’s most terrible enemy!
In short, Scorpion Part 2 starts the fourth season of Star Trek: Voyager with a blast, and thank goodness! The third season had struggled to find its purpose, its pace, as highlighted by a series of very weak episodes right at the end of it. Needless to say, I have huge expectations now, I hope they won’t be disappointed! But the loss of my favorite character (it would be useless to fool myself about it) doesn’t contribute to increasing my expectations. I hope her replacement is worth it, an ex-Borg can potentially give rise to interesting narrative arcs. Ciao!
PS: The Delta Flyers podcast shout out: Garrett Wang started the episode dedicated to Scorpion Part 2 with an amazing letter written by a listener who spent several days in isolation in a hospital due to Covid-19 and kept his morale up thanks to listening to Wang and McNeill talking about the Voyager episodes.
Previous episode: Scorpion Part 1
Next episode: The Gift