Future´s End, Part TwoBy Michelle Erica Green
Posted at January 13, 2004 - 2:29 PM GMT
See Also: 'Future's End, Part Two' Episode Guide
Neelix and Kes have discovered via Earth television that even the legitimate news organizations are aware of Voyager's presence, and know they must correct the timeline. Janeway sends Chakotay and Torres in a shuttle to track the timeship, which will indeed destroy the solar system in the 29th century if it arrives without proper calibration. Paris, Tuvok, and Rain arrange to meet Starling in an attempt to kidnap him, but are thrown off when they realize that he has the Doc with him, using a portable emitter. Voyager has difficulty locking on to Starling, but the Doc lands a few good punches.
Rain escapes and drives Paris in pursuit of the timeship while Tuvok and Doc head off to rescue Chakotay and Torres, who have crashed in Arizona as a result of interference from Starling's device and are being held by militia members. One of Starling's cronies activates the timeship and beams him off Voyager through the shields, leaving the megalomaniac free to aim for the 29th century, where he intends to steal more technology. Tuvok and the Doc rescue Paris and Torres from the horrified anti-government bigots as Starling blasts out of the roof of his Los Angeles office, necessitating that Paris leave Rain and go back to fly Voyager.
Returning from the shuttle, Chakotay takes the bridge as Janeway prepares to manually fire a torpedo at the timeship, which is destroyed. A time rift opens, and the timeship comes out...with Captain Braxton aboard, looking as he did when they first saw him. He announces that Voyager is an anomalous temporal element and that, according to the Temporal Prime Directive, he must return them to their proper time...and place. Janeway is saddened, but in high spirits at a party later in the mess hall, as they toast the Doc's newfound freedom via the futuristic holoemitter and the safety of the future.
As I expected, Part II did not quite live up to Part I, but it wasn't too bad. There were some preposterous scientific developments and a bit too much running around; I lost track of who was supposed to be doing what where. But I did laugh, admire the characters, and pick up some interesting background, so I'd rate this episode pretty highly.
Another good Janeway episode, though she was shipbound for this one - I thought it was foolish of her to manually fire the torpedo herself, when she could have sent a far less vital crewmember who was already right there in to do it. Her desire not to make a crewmember do something she wouldn't do herself is admirable, but not very logical. I was more impressed with her standoff with Starling, who claimed he wanted to better mankind at the same time he was declaring that millions of deaths in the 29th century weren't his problem.
Even though it was pretty static and struck me as filler, I enjoyed the scene with Chakotay and Torres in the shuttle discussing their plans if they got stuck on 20th century Earth. Now THAT would make a more interesting premise for a television series than Voyager - Starfleet crew stuck in past forever with that blasted Prime Directive to uphold! Chakotay fantasizes about becoming a famous archaeologist, except of course he wouldn't be able to make any discoveries, and talks about where he learned to fly...for a man supposedly from Dorvan 5, he sure spent a lot of his youth on Earth. I hope this series gives him a consistent backstory sooner or later.
Not sure what to make of the business with the militia, which was a little too scary to be funny - when the Doc and Tuvok arrived to mount a rescue and the leader said a black man and a weird guy were there, you could almost hear the terms which couldn't be uttered on television. Yeah, it was fun seeing them get blown away and humiliated, but hardly consequential. Tom and the astronomer's farewell was pretty annoying too - we're supposed to believe that she has a hard time finding someone in her own century who can relate to her but Tom's the equivalent of Starman? Yeesh.
And I got a big kick out of Neelix and Kes watching soaps though, and making obvious statements about ongoing narrative which Voyager's writers would do well to listen to!
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.