Furious DisappointmentBy Fred Shedian
Posted at May 9, 2000 - 2:13 AM GMT
It is indeed a sad day when writers fail to use an idea to it's full potential. Instead of giving one hundred and ten percent, only eighty is provided. This makes for a story that had the makings of a classic, but falls short.
The recent Voyager episode "Fury" is a perfect example of this sad day. In the beginning of the episode, I was very interested....watching and waiting to see what the heck was wrong with Kes. During this time, I never imagined they would utterly destroy seasons of dedication and work by other writers, actors and directors. The innocent, peaceful, mysterious Kes that many had loved to watch turned into nothing more than a vindictive monster. I would consider this development a last ditch effort to improve the quality of the episode...but it was an effort that failed.
Overall, "Fury" is a decent episode. There have certainly been worse. However, no matter what the subject matter, the adventure seemed very rushed. During the first two minutes, this can be expected. However, once Kes had succeeded in returning to the past, the tone of the mission should have slowed slightly. It was at this point the show itself started to hit a lack continuity...again. The first example is when Kes first appeared aboard Voyager. Would not the internal sensors detected the presence of another life form aboard the ship as they have in pervious years? There should only be one Okompa aboard...not two. This makes me wonder if Tuvok's sleeping problem may date back a couple of years.
On a positive note, I did smile with the interaction between The Doctor and the future Kes. However, even this scene could have gone so much farther. Yet, due to the rushed state of affairs, none of it's potential was realized. The Doctor had been one of Kes's best friends, in some respects a father figure. If a side of compassion had been shown here by the future, hate filled Kes, the episode's emotional punch would have taken a dramatic step up. This could only have been accomplished in this scene, as the relationship between Janeway and Kes was never "that" close.
This remark brings me to another point...although I can understand the mutual admiration Kes and Janeway had felt for each other, I do not recall the "mother/daughter" relationship developing. During parts of this episode, it appeared the writers forgot they were writing for the Okompa...not the Borg. When the confrontation between these two finally takes place, a phaser is all it takes to kill the future Kes? I was under the impression she was now a being with extraordinary power...one who had tossed Voyager ten years closer to home at the blink of an eye. Yet a simple hand phaser is all that is used?
Finally, everyone's memory of the situation is suddenly removed? Janeway did not ask The Doctor to treat her, the crew gossip center didn't talk about reports on the bridge of their being "two Kes aboard" and certainly the younger Kes never heard this....and forgot the entire thing ever happened. Pardon, but personally if a future copy of myself tried to kill all of my modern day friends...I'd remember. Some have criticized the use of a hologram in main engineering, however here I cannot fault the writers. This episode takes place around the year 2376. Voyager has some 29th Century holo-technology, has had holo-imagers installed around the ship in previous missions and mobile holo-generators have existed since season four of NCC-1701-D.
If this episode had been a two part mission, many of the above issues could have been dealt with appropriately. The mission could have slowed down, allowing the audience to catch up and enjoy what they were watching. Perhaps then The Doctor and Kes could have had a five minute conversation...in it Kes shows some possible remorse about what she "is about to do" and some compassion for the "being" that acted as her mentor for so long. With luck, the entire introduction of Kes to a season one/two Voyager would have been handled differently. When she appeared, perhaps she lied and said she had come back in time to save Voyager from a pending threat? Possible arcs like this would have made the mission more enjoyable and given it the emotional punch it was aiming for.
With any luck, the next adventure (written by the talented Bob Picardo) will be what a Star Trek episode should be. I don't think this man would write something worse than Alice. We will have to hope, wait and see.
As always, feel free to offer your opinions and remarks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time...
Fred Shedian writes a weekly 'A Take On Trek' column for the Trek Nation.