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The Trek Nation - Fury

Fury

By Michelle Erica Green
Posted at January 13, 2004 - 10:29 PM GMT

See Also: 'Fury' Episode Guide

Chakotay interrupts Janeway's private birthday party for Tuvok to summon the captain to the bridge, where Voyager has received a distress call from a small craft. An aged Kes appears on the viewscreen, asking for help. But instead of docking, she rams Voyager with her ship, beams herself aboard, and kills Torres to get to the warp core, from which she draws power. Kes shimmers, then reappears as her younger self several years earlier - from the first weeks of Voyager's journey through the Delta Quadrant. Going to sickbay, this new Kes takes a hypo which she uses to stun the Kes of that era. Then she takes over that earlier Kes' life, hiding the unconscious girl in the airponics bay.

As Chakotay and Janeway discuss the Vidiian threat and recall a sexy Academy cautionary tale, Kes enters with coffee and overhears Janeway talk about Tuvok's plan to enhance Voyager's shields. At a conference, Tuvok suggests using the Delta Flyer, drawing blank stares from the newly united Starfleet and Maquis officers. Later the Vulcan sees visions of Naomi Wildman, and of Borg regenerating in their alcoves in the cargo bay, neither of which existed at that time. Meanwhile Kes destroys the dinner Neelix has left for her and hails the Vidiians, demanding safe passage to Ocampa for herself and one other in exchange for the body parts of Voyager's crew. They are not her crew, she asserts; they abandoned her a long time ago.

Tuvok reports to the captain on his visions, which seem to be premonitions. Janeway has a full-time scan established on Tuvok. Because it's a matter of ship's security, she also demands that the Doctor tell her whether Ensign Wildman is pregnant, although it's against medical regulations for him to reveal that information. On the bridge, Tuvok hallucinates the collision with Kes from the future and goes to engineering, where he relives Torres' murder and the aged Kes drawing power from the warp core. In sickbay, the Doctor asks Kes for assistance in caring for the Vulcan, but Kes overloads his neural stimulator, causing synaptic shock. Janeway studies Tuvok's scans and realizes Tuvok was affected by a surge in tachyon particles, most likely caused by temporal displacement.

Kes tells the Vidiians she can't transmit information until they approach Voyager since the captain is suspicious. The Vidiians attack, cutting an access route through Voyager's hull. Chakotay discovers that the environmental controls have been routed through airponics, then discovers that there are two Ocampa life-form readings from that area. Janeway rushes down to find the older Kes taking the young, unconscious Kes away. The telepathically advanced Ocampa calls her younger self a prisoner, saying that Janeway corrupted her and encouraged her to develop her mental abilities before she was ready, until she had nowhere to go. Janeway promises to help, but Kes sends surges of energy to neutralize her. The captain is forced to fire her phaser on kill, watching as the duplicitous Kes collapses and morphs into her aged form. On the bridge, Chakotay rescues Voyager from the Vidiians.

Janeway tells Tuvok that since they don't know exactly when the future Kes will reach Voyager, they have to be ready. In sickbay, she tells the younger Kes about her unfortunate future. Six years or so later, Tuvok's birthday is once again interrupted by a hail about Kes' distress. Janeway gets everyone off the engineering deck before Kes blows the bulkheads, then rushes down herself, ignoring Chakotay's curiosity about how she knew what would happen. In engineering, Kes finds that the warp core no longer functions, and is greeted by a holographic projection of her younger self reminding her that she made the decisions to leave Ocampa and Voyager herself. Janeway enters to ask whether the aged Kes remembers making the recording, and repeats the hologram's suggestion that Kes find another way home. Kes remembers making the holorecording and agrees to leave peacefully. Neelix greets her in transporter with a gift of leola root, looking upset as Janeway as the Ocampa leaves once more.

Analysis:

I have vivid memories of Kes' joyous birthday party from the ancient episode "Twisted," so it was uncanny to see Kes' vengeful return begin with a quiet birthday party for Tuvok. "Fury" is one in a long line of Trek evil-twin episodes; we've already seen the dark side of Kes in "Warlord" and "Cold Fire," and one possible future of Kes from "Before and After." I wish I could say "Fury" added something to our understanding of the show or the character, but my primary reaction to it was similar to that of Janeway and Neelix's at the end: I'd rather have remembered Kes as she was.

The episode raises more questions than it answers. If Kes always did have memories of having made that recording for her future self, why didn't she do something sooner to change her fate? If Janeway helped make the recording, why didn't she also talk to Kes at some point in the middle about the future towards which they were hurtling? If Tuvok, who taught her to control her telepathy, shared those memories, why didn't he encourage Kes to study whatever kinds of control or inner peace the future Kes would lack? Above all, why didn't Kes herself consider going home after the incident less than eight weeks into their journey, when it would have been a lot less complicated to do so?

And the moral is what - that the captain fails everyone sooner or later, or that sooner or later everyone comes to blame the captain for their fates whether she deserves it or not? In this case the attack by Kes is patently unfair, but Janeway doesn't seem all that convinced of her own assertions that Kes freely chose the life she led on Voyager. To Janeway, Kes always was a child, just as Seven of Nine is now. The free will issue is rather sticky. Worse, from a captainly perspective, Janeway isn't on the bridge during the crucial battle while her entire crew is at risk from the Vidiians (which at least has the side benefit of allowing us to see the long-lost commanding Chakotay, rather than the clueless version currently on the bridge).

It was good to see Joe Carey again, and I liked the banter from the Doctor reliving his first-season angst about being turned off and not having a name. I also very much enjoyed the ready room scene between Janeway and Chakotay, who had all the warmth and eye contact they've been notably lacking for the past few seasons. But the problem with exercises in nostalgia is that they make the viewer...well, nostalgic. I'd trade the Borg for the Vidiians, I'd trade short-hair Janeway for bun-of-steel Janeway, and I'd trade Seven of Nine for the original Kes any day. What would really be nice is if the show could find some way to integrate these things, rather than simply discarding the old to try new things that just make the continuity fractures worse.

Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.


Michelle Erica Green reviews 'Enterprise' episodes for the Trek Nation, for which she is also a news writer. An archive of her work can be found at The Little Review.