The following is a SPOILER Review. If you have not seen the episode yet and do not want to have the plot given away, stop reading now.
This is not just a review; it's a retelling of the episode from start to finish, limited only by my ability to remember the details. I do this for my friends in uniform and those living overseas or who otherwise do not have access to the episodes as they are aired.
A hero dies a thousand times, but in a one-hour episode Janeway only manages a half-dozen.
Jump straight to the Analysis
Jump straight to the Analysis
As Janeway strides through the corridors of Voyager on her way to the shuttle bay, Neelix joins her for a brief assessment of the previous evening's (unnamed) festivities. It was a fun time, they agree; Neelix wonders if they could make it a regular feature--once a month or so--and Janeway likes the idea. "You were especially good," Neelix adds giddily. "Well, it has been a while," she smirks. Neelix whispers a request: if we do it again, can you see to it that Mr. Tuvok pulls extra bridge duty that night? Janeway nods conspiratorially. "I believe that can be arranged. But we never had this conversation." Neelix understands, and asks what she's referring to as the turbolift doors close.
In the shuttle craft, Janeway and Chakotay head toward a brown marble of a planet and banter easily. Chakotay offers his review of the previous evening: Harry's clarinet solo went okay, but Tuvok's reading of Vogon--excuse me, Vulcan--poetry left something to be desired. But the undisputed hit of the evening was the good captain's ballet rendition of the dying swan. She said she learned it at age six, and it was the hit of her beginning ballet class.
Chakotay says he hopes she'll reprise that performance on future talent nights, but Janeway says the rest of the crew has to have their turns first--including a certain crowd-shy First Officer. Chakotay balks at the idea. Janeway says there must be something he can do that a crowd would enjoy--she suggests putting an apple on her head for him to phaser off. "I like that," he says; "if I miss, I get to be captain." They share a laugh. (Foreshadowing: a valid literary technique.)
Speaking of which, why the photon are the captain and first officer going on an away mission together? They do it a lot, but I keep asking myself this question. We saw in "Resolutions" that this is a bad idea--lose them both, and Talent Night will regularly feature Vulcan poetry. Talk about a morale killer. One 24th century innovation I think is a pretty good idea--especially in Voyager's situation--is keeping the captain safe. Action Kate may be dramatically satisfying, but is strategically unwise. Letting both captain and first officer head off into parts unknown by themselves is even more so, the romantic possibilities notwithstanding.
As if on cue, the shuttlecraft gets hammered by planetary storms, which appear out of nowhere. Naturally, the shuttlecraft Sacajuea (I'm probably butchering the spelling here) (and I must say I'm impressed--at the very moment when I'm wondering why the Voyager shuttlecraft seem never to have been named, I notice that this one has been) crashes. When Chakotay comes to, they're on the planet's surface, and the shuttle's in a bad way. Captain Janeway is unconscious and bleeding. Chakotay calls her Kathryn.
It's gonna be one of those episodes.
* * *
Chakotay whips out the medikit and runs a tricorder over her, and the prognosis is not good. The shuttlecraft computer reports toxic levels of escaping gases, so Chakotay escapes with her into the harsh and stormy planet's surface. He injects her with something from the medikit, but she's still not breathing. He performs CPR, commanding her--begging her--to breathe. (I thought Ed Harris did this better in The Abyss, but it's still decently done.) After a few moments she revives, and a relieved Chakotay holds her hand tenderly as he gives her an abbreviated status report.
She's still a bit woozy, but insists on helping in any way she can. They need to contact the ship, gather supplies from the shuttlecraft, etc. She decides to work on the homing beacon, which doesn't require heavy lifting. Chakotay, on his way back from the shuttle, reports scarring on the hull that resembles phaser burns rather than lightning. Vidiian, he concludes. Janeway wonders at this--haven't we moved past them by now?--but phaser burns don't lie. They decide that setting up a beacon may be a bad idea, since it might attract the enemy.
Too late. Vidiians are nearby, and they're approaching rapidly. Janeway and Chakotay move into a nearby cave, where they are soon surrounded. Chakotay is shot, and Janeway is strangled by a pizza-faced Vidiian.
In the shuttlecraft approaching the brown marble, Janeway and Chakotay discuss the previous evening's talent show, exactly as they had during the teaser. Before Janeway mentions the beginning ballet class, she stops. Whoa; deja vu. Chakotay also notices, and within seconds they remember everything that just happened, and do all they can to avoid the circumstances that led to the Time Loop. They steer clear of the planet and contact Voyager, and change their mission from planetary exploration to temporal anomaly search.
A Vidiian ship suddenly appears on sensors, and within seconds is firing on them. The shuttle is out-armed and out-shielded, and a few seconds later the shuttlecraft is a ball of fiery death.
In the shuttlecraft approaching the brown marble, Janeway and Chakotay return to the moment they'd been at moments before, just about to discuss the talent show. They don't even open their mouths before they remember all, and stare at each other in perfect understanding of their plight.
* * *
They wonder how to break out of the temporal anomaly, and come up with a possibility: a tachyon field. Two Vidiian ships appear on sensors, and they contact Voyager with an emergency come-get-us. They make the tachyon burst, and as the two Vidiian ships approach, ready to fire--they vanish. As Voyager approaches to pick them up, they breathe their relief; they were sick of talking about Talent Night. They share a chuckle.
Back on the bridge of Voyager, Tuvok welcomes them back. Janeway orders temporal scans, but the crew seems a bit confused. What's all this about temporal anomalies? Janeway slowly recounts what they'd just been through--they crash on the second planet while picking up some "nitrogenase compounds," they got attacked by Vidiians, and they'd reappear in the shuttle; they died several times before breaking the loop. Chakotay confirms the crash landing and the attack by the Vidiians, but he can't recall anything about a temporal loop. As he remembers it, they managed to escape and return to Voyager. Tuvok says they were taken to sickbay on their arrival, their injuries were treated, and they came straight to the bridge. No loop, just one crash, one battle, and one escape.
Janeway's eyes widen. She looks almost hurt as she asks Chakotay if he really couldn't remember about the repeated Talent Night conversation. He cannot tell a lie; no. Janeway concludes that she's the only one with the differing memory, and excuses herself to go to sickbay. But she still wants the temporal scans. She leaves Chakotay's side like she's being shot from a rubber band; her eyes lock with his until the last moment, by which time she's already half-way to the turbolift. It's one of her trademark moves, akin to Picard's "enigmatic gesture" made while saying "make it so." I get whiplash just watching it. As she leaves, the crew looks after her in concern.
Holodoc's prognosis is not good; she's been infected with the Phage. Chakotay doesn't have it, thank goodness. Doc can't explain how she got it, but he can confirm that she does have it. He also says one of the side-effects in the early stage is hallucination and dementia. He's kind, more so than usual--his bedside manner has improved tremendously. Kes is nowhere to be seen. He urges her to stay in bio-confinement for the safety of the whole crew, and gives her something to sleep. Forty hours later, she awakens, the disfiguring blemishes of the Phage on her face and hands. Doc gives her the bad news: there's no hope for a cure, and her future is bleak. He has concluded that euthanasia is the only reasonable course. Janeway doesn't accept this; she offers other possibilities. Doc says none are likely to help, and tells her the mercy-killing is underway. In panic, Janeway tries to delete the EMH, but the computer won't let her. Her last breath is an accusation.
Back on the shuttlecraft, Janeway and Chakotay don't even bother thinking about Talent Night; they're on familiar ground and know what's next. They're in a temporal loop, all right. They also see a brilliant light dead ahead, which they determine is the temporal anomaly. Chakotay suggests they fly into it, but Janeway refuses, despite his repeated arguments that it may be the only way to break out of it. The shuttle starts to break up.
Back on the planet's surface, Chakotay locking lips and pumping chest in a desperate effort to save Janeway, as he had on the very first go-round. This time, there are two Janeways--the dying one, and a healthy, standing Janeway, who looks on unable to interact with the scene before her. This time, the CPR doesn't work, and Chakotay finally gives up, weeping, clutching the dead Kathryn close to him. Janeway looks on in frustration.
* * *
Janeway puts her hand on Chakotay's shoulder, but she has no tangible form; her hand passes through the flesh of his arm. Janeway refuses to believe she's dead, and tries to talk with Chakotay, but to no avail.
In sickbay, Kes and Holodoc try to revive her, and briefly succeed, but she's soon flatlining again. Kes protests the extent of Holodoc's efforts when further attempts seem futile, but Doc continues a little longer until even his programming reaches the inevitable conclusion. Janeway sees the whole thing. Doc tells Kes to prepare for an autopsy, and Janeway follows her through sickbay and into the corridors, talking the whole time, determined to make Kes' psychic abilities work for her. She stands in front of Kes, allowing the young woman to walk through her--and Kes does feel something. She calls out to the Captain, then calls for a staff meeting. Janeway smiles, victory just around the corner.
The senior staff assemble and discuss Kes' recent encounter. They come up with a collection of wild-eyed, long-haired, science-fiction possibilities--goofy on the surface, but most traceable to past Trek episodes. Occam's Razor has no meaning on a Starfleet vessel; the simplest explanation is rarely the correct one. If someone looks dead, they're probably just in another dimension or phase-shifted into subspace, transmogrified into computer code, conscious on the Holodeck, floating through the ship in a Cathexis soul-cloud, just waiting to be retrieved. Goofy, maybe, but history is an unconventional teacher. Never rule out the exotic when there's precedent.
Because in Trek, nobody truly dies unless contract negotiations fail.
As the crew breaks to check in on the raucous frontiers of mortal understanding, Janeway--the upright Janeway--smiles knowingly. "Now that's more like it," she says.
Torres and Kim work from the physical end of things in Engineering, as Janeway plays backseat consultant. Her people are competent, though, and follow her suggestions without hearing them. The captain, whatever her state, seems in good hands.
A light, not unlike the temporal anomaly that killed her and Chakotay in the shuttle earlier in the scene, appears in one of the doorways. Out walks an older, but stately figure, a grey-haired man in an older-style admiral's uniform (but newer-style Federation combadge). Janeway stares, mouth agape. "Daddy?" she whispers.
Viewing audience...meet Admiral Janeway.
* * *
After the initial shock, Captain Janeway's skepticism kicks in. "Who are you? Are you responsible?" she demands. He says he is who he appears to be. "My father died over fifteen years ago," she insists. "Yes, drowned under a polar ice cap on Tau Ceti Prime," he confirms. She still won't accept it; he tells her he raised her to be a skeptic, but in this case things are as they appear: she's dead. Whenever someone dies unexpectedly, he says, they stick around for a while, refusing to accept their condition. He says he did the same thing after his death, and recounts the things he said he saw when he followed her around; he saw her depression, the days spent in bed trying to sleep away the trauma of his death.
Janeway is still skeptical, refusing to believe she's dead. She asks about the light, and he says it's another state of consciousness, a place of peace and happiness and contentment, where the women are strong, the men are good looking and all the children are above-average. She says she won't go easily; he says she will go eventually. It's inevitable; she'll ultimately realize that everyone has moved on, and there's nothing left to hold her here, as he found fifteen years earlier.
Maybe so, says Kathryn, but she's not ready just yet. Kes is trying to reach her metaphysically, and Janeway intends to be there to answer. Through the exchange, Janeway's dad doesn't seem all that happy to see her, or she him; you'd think their reunion would be a bit warmer. But that's just me.
In Tuvok's quarters, he and Kes meld for the purpose of calling out to Kathryn. She is there, and does her best, but unlike before, Kes feels nothing, senses nothing. Neither does Tuvok. Janeway whispers--why? I'd be shouting up a storm. And why Janeway doesn't walk through them again--the only thing that caught her attention before--I hesitate to ask. Tuvok and Kes finally give up; it's been three days, and neither the physical nor metaphysical searches have yielded any success. Kes bids Tuvok goodnight, and Janeway watches as Tuvok notes in his personal log that Janeway's death is official, and he has lost an irreplaceable friend.
Admiral Janeway joins her in Tuvok's quarters. "It'll be easier tomorrow," he promises. "The memorial service," Janeway whispers.
At the memorial service, Torres is speaking. "I didn't like Janeway at first, didn't trust her, didn't want to serve under her. I thought she'd made the wrong decisions, and that she'd set me up to fail when she made me chief engineer....I was wrong." Torres' words are high praise, a fitting eulogy, just what anyone would want to hear about themselves. Chakotay asks if anyone else would like to speak, and Harry Kim volunteers. Harry says Janeway would want them to remember the good times--like an away mission when they found edible fruit, and Harry ate half a kilo of blueberries and his hands and face were stained with the succulent juices. Janeway had sat beside him, her face and hands just as stained. "She put her arm around my shoulder, and she said, 'Ensign, these are the times we have to remember, it's..." he can't finish. Janeway is shedding tears, and Paris puts an arm around Harry and leads him away.
Chakotay echoes Harry's sentiments, and says they'll honor the captain one last time. They release the pod containing her body, and thankfully nobody plays "Amazing Grace" on bagpipes. Chakotay says she would want them to remember the good times, and Neelix has provided some food for a post-service get-together, so they can celebrate her life. As the crew departs, Chakotay stands alone and uncomforted, as the two Janeways look on. "It's over, Kathryn," Admiral Janeway says. "There's nothing left for you here. Come with me." Captain Janeway doesn't move a muscle.
* * *
"The only thing that keeps you is your refusal to leave," he says. "Everything you said may be true, but I'm not ready to accept it," she says. He calls her Little Bird, his childhood name for her, and notes that she's always been this way--give her a choice between an easy road and a hard rocky one, and she'll take the rocky road every time. (And why not? It's my favorite ice cream too.) Kathryn sees herself here; she can't imagine going anywhere else at the moment. She can't bear to leave her crew--her family--behind. She thinks she'll be able to help in some way, be Kathryn the Friendly Ghost, something. Anything.
Admiral Janeway increases the pressure on her, telling her of the agony that awaits her if she stays behind--the unbearable loneliness, the impotent spectator nature of this existence, watching them move on as she stands still, in a state of damnation. Better to move on now, he insists, and spare yourself the pain; I went through it, I know whereof I speak.
She's thinking beyond herself, she's concerned with the lives of her crew. She wonders at the infinite possibilities of life Kes has before her; she yearns to see what happens between Tom and B'Elanna, "whether they'll ever stop sparring with each other and develop a real friendship," (she says, not knowing what we know, having just seen the preview for the following week's episode--a sweat-dripping, bodice-ripping, hair-gripping, ugly-bumping, Borg-spotting, lust-triangle boinkfest in which Tom and B'Elanna's "sparring" takes on whole new meanings).
Admiral Janeway's voice takes on a hard edge. "You'd be an observer, not a participant," he notes. "I'd rather be here in spirit than not at all," she counters, angrily. "A captain doesn't abandon ship." He pushes; she wants to know why he's pushing. "I'm staying here," she says with characteristic determination.
The scene changes with a flash of light. She sees Chakotay, Tuvok, and Holodoc hovering over
her, but she doesn't see herself as she did the last time she was on the planet. The prognosis
seemed a bit better than the last time, too. The light flashes and she's back with the Admiral, and
she notes something significant had happened. He insists it was likely a hallucination like the
others. She notes the differences between the scenes (I'll pick nits on this later) and is convinced
that what she just saw was the Real Me. Admiral Janeway tries to argue with her, but Kathryn is
nothing if not blessed with a duranium will. She begins to see through his arguments. "My
father would never talk to me like this; he never tried to shield me from life; he would never try
to shield me from death." She gives him a hard stare and speaks with a voice that makes
absolute zero feel downright balmy in comparison. "You're not my father," she says evenly, her
eyes shooting compression phaser blasts.
A new awareness dawns. "You're not part of my mind; you have a specific agenda. Who are you?" she demands, and will accept no answer but the truth.
"I'm trying to help you; stop fighting me," he says.
"Are you an alien being? Is that it?" she says, her face a mask of determination.
The flash of light, the change of perspective. Whatever Holodoc is doing, it's working. Tuvok notes that there is an entity of some sort in her cerebral cortex, impeding her treatment. Chakotay offers telepathic hugs, urging her to hang on.
Janeway returns to the Admiral's presence. "I was right. You are an alien."
"This is what my species does," the Admiral notes, as a yellow and red cloud of churning light appears behind him. He explains in staccato rhythm that they arrive before the moment of death, to guide the way for the newly-departed into their "matrix." He's done it many times, he says, and their methods are designed to ease the transition. Janeway wonders aloud why she wasn't told this from the beginning. He answers that this method has been effective with most folks; she is a uniquely stubborn creature, though, far more so than anyone else he's ever encountered. His voice, his face, his tone are almost demonic now; when he talks of the peace waiting for her inside the light, one has a tendency to disbelieve.
The flast of light, and back to the planet's surface. The alien, they note, is getting stronger. Chakotay urges her to fight. Flash back to the Admiral. "They're telling me to fight," Janeway says. The Admiral tells her it's hopeless. Janeway points out that he's the one sounding desperate. She doubts his intentions; "you don't strike me as the good Samaritan type." He tries to give her doubts, to suggest that entering the light is inevitable. Her response is scornful. He says it is just a matter of time before she tires of the debate. "I'd prefer to argue for eternity than go in there with you." She accuses his kind of preying on the weak and vulnerable, and mocks his promises of everlasting joy. He grabs her, but she guesses correctly that he can't force her to enter the Matrix; he needs her to go voluntarily. And the Matrix will freeze over before she acquiesces.
The churning light takes on a hellish tint, and Daddy Dearest does all but sprout horns and a tail. He pushes her away as the light shifts even further into Beelzebub Red. "You're in a dangerous profession, captain, and you will inevitably die. And I'll be waiting. Your consciousness will nourish me for a long time. I'll swallow your soul."
"Go back to hell, coward," she spits, igniting the floor beneath her as he high-tails it back into the churning red Matrix. Where the light dissipates, a golden fiddle rests against the bulkhead. ("Janeway tighten up that bow and play your fiddle hard / 'cuz Hell's broke loose in Sickbay and the Devil deals it hard....")
Once again, the forces of evil have been bootie-whupped by a redhead.
Flash back to the planet, where Doc, Tuvok and Chakotay are again hovering over her. The alien presence is gone, and the Captain is recovering nicely. The original scene in the teaser was the only one that actually happened, though Doc says they almost lost her a number of times. She tells them about the alien, who wanted to take her somewhere else. "An afterlife of some sort?" Chakotay asks. "Maybe...but not the kind of afterlife I want to spend eternity in."
Captain's log, stardate 50518.6. The doctor's pronounced me fit, but I have a feeling it will take a while to work through the emotional issues from the experience.
Chakotay appears in her office, bearing flowers. She's touched. He suggests she get some rest, but she says work is the best therapy for her. She'd rather not be left with only her thoughts. Chakotay compares the alien to a spider luring a fly into his web.
Janeway posits that out-of-body experience could somehow be related to this alien and his Matrix. Chakotay doesn't buy into it, and Janeway hopes she's mistaken; she'd like to think it's a creature confined to, and unique to, the Delta Quadrant. She hopes never to see him again. Chakotay says that after butting heads with Action Kate, even the Devil's gotta think twice before trying it again.
Janeway laughs. "Hey, it's not every day you cheat death." (Not until you hit syndication, anyway; we have to settle for weekly.) She suggests they go for a moonlight sail on Lake George to celebrate; a loaf of bread, a bottle of champagne, and each other. They leave her office skipping like schoolkids.
I'd say their relationship is progressing nicely. Perhaps even a little midnight "CPR" will enter
into the festivities--when it's not a matter of life and death, lip mashing and chest massage are
considered a right successful date.
Let's see. We had time loops, out-of-body experiences, alien possession, Vidiians, shuttle crashes, the violent forces of planetary nature, death, near-death, talent shows, Vulcan poetry, running gags, memorial services, moral dilemmas, mind melds, and so on.
That's a lot to throw into an hour of television.
To a very large extent, almost everything that happened...didn't happen. The CPR, the brushes with death, all the acts and reactions of the various characters--it was all in her head. This gives us an interesting peek into the mind of the captain, though it's technically not an accurate representation of the characters. They were acting as she would expect them to--or as the alien would make her see them do. The memorial service, for example, went how she would want it to. The doctor, so eager to kill her in the Phage scene, went beyond the call of duty in another scene to save her.
This one kept me guessing. My first thought was that this was a time-loop episode, but they caught on much too quickly. Since the loop kicked in each time with the death of Janeway, I then thought this might be a "life flashing before your eyes" episode, which is pretty much what it was. Janeway "dies" but never for long. Each time, she corrects prior mistakes, but the result is the same. The universe is conspiring against her, and her death seems its only goal.
After traditional "deaths" fail, Janeway finds herself in an out-of-body experience. The effort is not so much to kill her, as to convince her that she is already dead. Every hope--every effort--leads to a dead end, until Janeway has nothing left to cling to but denial.
The arrival of Admiral Janeway was never convincing, to her or to me. It's clear the goal this season is to incorporate as many details of Jeri Taylor's Mosaic into the episode canon as possible, so if you want to have ideas of what will appear in the future...read the book. The third season has already introduced a number of Janeway background info from the novel. The Admiral Janeway of "Coda" is, at least on the surface, the Janeway of the book. The details recounted do match, but also had me doubting from the beginning whether this Janeway was genuine. We do now have a face for the name, and a few more Mosaic details confirmed, but otherwise it doesn't matter that this Admiral Janeway was a facade.
Considering it nearly all came from the mind of Janeway, her image of Chakotay is significant. These two are clearly closer than they're willing to show us much of on screen, and the pragmatist in me is glad they're understating the relationship. I've seen too many good shows torpedoed because two major characters get romantically involved to such an extent that the relationship overshadows everything else. As long as they can keep the professional separate from the personal, I don't mind a bit. I think they're a very cute couple. Chakotay's efforts to save Janeway on the planet's surface (successful and unsuccessful) were quite touching.
Likewise, the memorial service was touching, and I'll admit to shedding a tear or two. Torres' comments were plausible and honest, the sort of thing I'd expect from her at a real memorial service. Harry's halting memory of a communal away-team fruit binge also rang true, and it's a great image. I'd have liked to have heard from Tom Paris, but I did like it when he comforted Kim when he couldn't finish.
The alien: unconvincing. He was never Admiral Janeway to me; he was always just a little too cold and distant. The Light he urged her toward never struck me as particularly welcoming, despite the words. He also had the wrong combadge.
The "afterlife" concept introduced here didn't do much for me either. Just what I want to think about at the moment of death: it could be a soul-sucking matrix. The concept was explored in TNG's "Time's Arrow" and it didn't do much for me there, either. There wasn't even a cool dragon-headed cane or headless Data or Mark Twain to liven things up a little.
The one thing that struck me as really awkward was when Janeway noted the "change in perspective" toward the end of the episode, when she sees Chakotay and Tuvok and Doc hovering over her. She notices that it's a different look from the other scenes, when she saw herself dead--or when she was in the shuttlecraft with Chakotay. It was a different perspective to US, but for us to truly see what she sees throughout the episode would be a directorial nightmare. When she looks up to see Doc, it's the only time we get a first-person view. Every other scene is a third-person wide-angle shot. It's fine for us to notice it, but it seemed an odd way for her to pick up on it.
As I said, this episode borrows liberally from other Trek episodes, particularly TNG. It's easy to see the similarities and call it a rehash, but I saw it more as a conceptual Frankenstein's Monster--taking other ideas to build a brand-new episode that is not enough like the others to be legitimately called a rehash of any one of them.
Admiral Janeway says to Kathryn at one point, "If you had a choice between a smooth and a rocky path, you'd choose the rocky one every time." This episode has a similar feel--it's a very rocky road in parts, but even though it's a long, strange trip, it ultimately satisfies. Like a coda in music, that branch to a divergent subroutine in the score, where anything can happen, and the next verse may take you somewhere else entirely. (It's been a while since I did a piece with a coda, so if I'm wrong on this--I initially confused the coda with the fermata, that single note that can stretch into eternity--please forgive.) In the theme song of Janeway's life, we hit the point in the score where she's stuck--whatever bars she plays, she ends up at the same point eventually, until she manages to break free with a defiant blues riff, when she bids dat ole devil goodbye.
The appearance of the Vidiians pissed me off at first; I was glad it was all in Janeway's mind, alien-induced or not. "We're past their space, aren't we?" she asked, and I offered a fervent amen to that hope. They're a species I will be happy never to see again, and I was relieved when it turned out to be a mental construct.
This is a bit of a messy episode, but it shines on the characterizations. Janeway's refusal to say die, her tenacious grasp on her continued existence, rings true. So does Chakotay's concern, Torres' appreciation, Kim's fond memory. It was a frequently touching episode, and Janeway carried the episode nicely. Her verbal battles with the Matrix Entity were also nicely done, showing the steely side of her character. You do get the feeling she could stare in the face of hell itself and it would blink. Velvet and steel; it's a nice combination, and Kate Mulgrew does a great job of projecting both. I don't know if the new hairstyle has anything to do with it, but her personal, personable side has really begun to assert itself in earnest this season; her relationship with Chakotay probably has a lot to do with it. She doesn't have the same "loneliness of command" that Kirk, Picard, and Sisko have endured. I think it's been a process, begun with "Resolutions" and ended with "Flashback," that have brought this about.
On a 0-10 scale, I'll give this one a 7.00, or (* * *). Not great and a little confusing in parts; but overall it's quite watchable, and the character moments were genuinely moving at times.
Next week: Vulcan Pon Farr, Klingon Blood Fever, and Terran tumescence vie for a Piece of the Action.