The following is a SPOILER Review. I tell you pretty much everything that happened in the episode, so if you want to be surprised when you finally see it, leave now. Otherwise, welcome aboard, pull up some shuttle debris and enjoy the ride.
I rate each episode based on how much I enjoyed it. I don't claim to be accurate or objective. But with luck, you'll enjoy yourself along the way.
So kick back and roast up a s'more. You may want to hit the bathroom first, because this is a long one. Fatherly Uncle Jim's got a story for ya, which may or may not resemble the episode that actually aired.
Voyager gets mugged. Leonardo gets hugged. Action Kate packs heat and hang glides. Now that's more like it.
Jump straight to the Analysis
Jump straight to the Analysis
Soaking wet and fuming, Leonardo and Janeway enter his workshop, the hoots and catcalls of the Florentine citizenry following after them, echoing across its cluttered walls. They carry pieces of what can only have been a hang glider. While Janeway shivers and glares down through the window at the jeering crowd below, the Maestro regales the hooting rabble with Italian imprecations. He calls them animals; they call him "a bird who cannot fly." "Better than a man who cannot think!" he retorts, reaching for a beautiful (and heavy) piece of pottery to defenestrate before a wide-eyed but speechless Janeway manages to wrest it from him.
Clearly, an experiment has gone awry, and neither is happy about it. Leonardo finally tunes out the rabble and turns to the postmortem on their test-flight of the glider. As Janeway towels off, still in her Starfleet uniform, Leonardo calms down, awakening to his mortality. And his fallibility. "Had not the river Arno taken us to its arms we would both have died," he says softly; Janeway compliments him on the wisdom of jumping off the bridge as a precaution. "Against death, yes," he says, voice a whisper. "Against humiliation...no."
The great Maestro--rather, his holographic image--sets his white-bearded jaw. "'The great bird will take flight and bring glory to its nest'--so I have bragged for months. Instead, we almost drown with half of Florence watching." We are led to understand that he doesn't take failure well.
His jaw sets; he tells Janeway they're heading to France--he's appreciated there. Janeway takes this in with interest--perhaps she has chosen to reenact this scene for a reason. "You're giving up--again." She points to some of the items in the workshop. "Your beautiful painting of the Adoration...the great bronze horse in Milan...the Battle of Anghiari...Unfinished, all of them. You were going to publish your notebooks; you never did. You have given up--abandoned your most important works."
The Captain who has struggled for over three years to stay on course for home against all odds cannot help but ask her childhood hero: "Why?"
She gets no answer. His internal struggle is evident, but at the moment of decision, he blinks and changes the subject to French bistros, where the wine flows like water and the women are hairy as wookies (I think--my tape got a bit garbled here). While the Maestro reminisces about a place called Sandrines in Marsailles, the workshop is rocked. Chakotay tells the Captain that they're taking fire. Janeway leaves the da Vinci program running as she exits, still dripping wet.
Leaving Leonardo to his decision--to get the heck out of Florence while the getting is good. "Earthquakes...and idiots," Leonard grumbles as he packs. "Florence be damned."
* * *
Dried off and well-coiffed, Janeway exits the turbolift onto the bridge, struggling to retain her footing under the ship-rocking weapons fire. Even so, she doesn't sound all that worried. A swarm of alien ships strafes Voyager like gnats, pinging her mighty shields with their puny girly-man weapons. Voyager hails them, but all she gets in response is more stings.
The ship takes no damage--but then the weapons begin spraying the ship with a wide beam. They scoot along Voyager's hull, probing her innards like a Velcro X-Ray. Wherever the scans pass, stuff disappears.
In Engineering, Torres watches a warp diagnostic panel vanish. Barrels disappear from a cargo bay. Doc's portable holo-emitter winks out from a tray of medical instruments. Doc doesn't notice its disappearance--though he stares in shock as a man-sized bio-bed goes bye-bye.
Torres hails the bridge with word that her equipment is going AWOL; Kim reports from Ops that items are dematerializing throughout the ship. The alien vessels are clearly stealing their stuff.
Naturally, Janeway reacts the way she does when a ship threatens her, her baby, her family, her shiny CGI hull. Hose 'em, she orders. "Fire at will." Tuvok plots coordinates--and half a galaxy and several centuries away, the guy who played Dr. Crusher's weenie kid gets reduced to component atoms while signing autographs at WesleyCon '97. Janeway commends Tuvok on his aim, but reminds him--again--that this is merely a figure of speech. Tuvok shrugs as the rest of the bridge applauds wildly.
[For those schooled by Outcome-Based Education: No. Not really. But big happy-faces all around for asking so nicely. Here's what reall happens.]
"Fire at will," says Janeway. "I have the will, but not the means, Captain," Tuvok says. [Yes, really.] "Targeting control is down." It seems that among the purloined paraphernalia is their main computer processor--the one they can't do diddly without. Weapons, navigation and propulsion systems depend absolutely on it.
Where there's battle, there's Action Kate. The mellow brunette (no, they're not ALL mellow--no offense to all you hell-bent-for-leather brown-tressed wimmenfolk out there) from "Reasonable Thoughts" has been beamed back to the wussy Kenny G universe that spawned her. The Big Chair is now occupied by its rightful heir--the gun-totin,' hiney-whuppin' Redhead that's used to shooting first and sorting through the rubble for answers later.
As backup systems come online, Janeway tells Tuvok to put those Vulcan brain cells to good use and hit SOMETHING. Nobody objects; Tuvok targets manually and within three shots manages to vaporize one of the little pickpockets. Dang that felt good...But I sure hope the computer they can't live without wasn't on that ship.
The other aliens bug out. Chakotay calls for damage reports and a full inventory.
"I feel like we've just been mugged," whispers Paris. He looks at Janeway. She looks at Chakotay. He looks at Janeway. J/C-ers look at Janeway looking at Chakotay looking at Janeway.
The senior staff meets. Tuvok explains that the aliens "were employing a high-energy transporter beam designed to locate objects of technological value, and remove them."
"They removed a lot," Chakotay says, reading off their losses as the officers shuffle uncomfortably. (P/Ters will note that Paris and Torres are sitting VERY close to each other.) "Five tricorders, three phaser rifles--" [Janeway screams: BETSY!!! Seriously, she does look devastated at the news that her pride and joy of hand-held high-energy mayhem is in the hands of another], "a couple of photon torpedo casings, two anti-matter injectors, a month's supply of emergency rations--"
"No great loss there," says Paris, trying to lighten the mood--and earning him a baleful look from just about everyone. Even so, the gallows humor receives more an "Oh, Tom, you scamp" look from Janeway than an actual Death Glare.
The Doctor, conspicuously absent from the room, pipes up from his wall panel display, pointing out in barely-contained panic that "you're forgetting the most important thing: my mobile emitter! Without it, I'm stuck in sick bay! I can't go anywhere." Harry fails to suppress a smirk. The rest shift in their seats, trying to look sympathetic.
"We'll do the best we can, Doctor but our top priority is the main computer processor," Janeway tells him crisply. She begins parceling out orders--Torres to counter the aliens' transporters, Harry to track the little buggers. End of meeting.
Seven of Nine is in the Astrometrics lab, working with typical efficiency. Harry walks in, and is surprised to see her. But as long as she is, he greets her, smiling warmly. "Seven! Hey..."
Seven continues to work, barely acknowledges his presence. "If you're here to fraternize I do not have the time." (May I take this to mean that when she does have the time, she doesn't mind fraternizing? I'm just asking.) Harry gets more or less to the point, mentioning that the captain assigned him to find the offending robber-ships. "I've pushed the long-range sensors as far as they'll go..."
"And now you believe the sensors can be extended by using the deep space imaging sensors," Seven says. Harry nods. "I've been working on that exact procedure for the past two hours." Harry is thrilled to hear it. "Let's have a look," he says, moving over to the panel she's working at.
She blocks his way. She stands as close to nose-to-nose with him as the contents of her catsuit will allow--it's both intimate and intimidating. He stares at her chest, realizes what he's doing, and his eyes careen upwards to look into her eyes.
"Do you doubt my ability to finish the task?" she demands.
Harry is instantly off on the defensive. He stammers out that he'd come here to work, but offered to help when he realized she'd begun the job already. "That's all. I offered to help." He backs up as he talks; his eyes are wide as dirigibles. He leans against a panel trying to look nonchalant, decides that must look dorky, and grasps his hands together in front of him.
As relationships go, this one doesn't look promising. She intimidates the snot out of him. (Too bad Tuvok is married.)
Seven considers this, then decides the offer is genuine. She tells him what she wants him to do. "An algorithmic feedback is interfering with the resolution. Decompile data banks 59 through 17 and attempt to isolate it." She moves over to another panel, her mind back on the task at hand.
Harry shuffles his feet, then pivots around, about to tell her something--probably a lecture about playing well with others. His mouth is opening, but she notices he isn't working yet and turns around and interrupts him. "Now. Or you should leave."
I pity the boy.
"O-kay," he says, moving over to the station. Of course, Harry can't help being himself, so while he works, he speaks his mind. Talking's easier when he can't see her. "I'm a pretty easygoing person. I mean, it takes a lot to..." Seven moves over to his station, and without a word pushes him aside to enter new commands into his panel. "--er, Ruffle my...Feathers. <cough> But that's...not true of everybody. You've got to learn how to phrase things a little more...Diplomatically."
Seven finishes what she's doing, stands up, pivots so she's nose to nose with him again, pivots again, and marches back to the far control panel, leaving Harry a drooling mess.
"Or not," he mutters to himself, shaking his head as he accepts the inevitable and gets back to work.
In this "totally reset" time line, Seven apparently hasn't made nearly as much social progress.
But then again, neither has poor Harry.
Captain's log, Stardate 51386.4. With ship's systems at nearly half capacity it's taken us ten days to track our stolen technology.
They're in orbit around a golden planet.
Harry says he's picking up Starfleet signatures from two of the continents. Chakotay asks if he's found the main computer processor; Harry says it's in a city on the northern continent. But there's too much interference to localize it from orbit.
Tuvok adds his tactical report. "Captain, I've identified nearly 27 kinds of alien ships in orbit of this planet." (For those looking for a 47 reference, I hasten to point out that gratuitous "27" references are the trademark of Weird Al Yankovic. I'm happy with either.)
(And for the record--I was at Round Table Pizza last night and the order number I was given was...47. Honest! Spooky.) "It appears to be an active center of commerce," continues Tuvok. We should be able to place an undercover away team on either continent without attracting attention."
Janeway's smile is dang near demonic. "That's good enough for now. Tuvok, you and I are going after the processor. Tom, Neelix, I want you on the other continent. Find out what you can. At the very least, try to get our emergency rations back." She clutches Neelix's shoulder, imbuing the Talaxian with motherly confidence. He beams. "Chakotay, you have the bridge."
Her hair is getting redder by the second.
Mos Eisley spaceport has nothing on this place.
Aliens of every shape, size and color do business with each other on dusty, bustling streets.
"It never fails to impress me," a civilian-attired Janeway tells a Babylon-Five-outfitted Tuvok as they walk the streets, scanners in hand. "No matter how vast the differences may be between cultures, people always have something that somebody else wants--and trade is born."
"Or more to the point, theft," notes Tuvok drily. The city is a technological as well as racial melting-pot, he says; the hodgepodge of energy readings makes tracking their own stuff difficult. But he does manage to zero in on one Starfleet signature...and it's coming right for them.
And it's speaking Italian.
"Catarina! Che maraviglia! Out of my way! Scusa... Mi scusate... Catarina! Welcome! Welcome to America!" The bearish Maestro, Leo da Vinci himself, clutches Janeway's shoulders warmly.
The captain notices the missing portable holoemitter, so treasured by Doc, worn as a necklace by the holographic Renaissance man. She and Tuvok share a wide-eyed look.
* * *
Leonardo asks Catarina what she thinks of the New World, but Janeway asks him the same question--and the Maestro seems keen to tell. "One moment I was packing for my journey to France--the next I was in this land of marvels. Possibly, upon leaving my workshop I was accosted by Spanish sailors. Rendered unconscious, delivered to a galleon in the port of Genoa, and carried like a sack of grain across the vast Atlantic."
(Confession: I didn't know if da Vinci was alive when the Mundus Novus was discovered, or if so, if he would have known of it as America. Turns out he did. A map referring to America was published in 1507, and da Vinci lived until 1519, 25 years after the first of Columbus' voyages. I just knew that history degree would be good for something...)
"Curious ears," Leonardo says, noticing Tuvok for the first time. Janeway introduces him as her traveling companion. "Oh, what the old philosophers say is true--'monstrous and wonderful are the peoples of undiscovered lands.' But tell me, Catarina...how did you come to the Americas?"
Janeway thinks furiously. "Oh, it's a long story. A Portuguese ship, some Turkish pirates, a couple of hurricanes...I'll tell you about it some other time."
I smell a holonovel....
Leonardo excuses himself; "There is a man I have been looking for. He has an apparatus that I need for my next invention. My patron is a demanding taskmaster....The prince of this city." He calls after his contact: Buon giorno, signori!
Janeway and Tuvok watch him go. "The Da Vinci character is interpreting this world through the limited capacity of his holodeck program," Tuvok notes. "He sees everything in 16th century terms," agrees Janeway. They deduce that the theft of their stuff must have included the da Vinci Holodeck program, which someone must have downloaded into the portable holoemitter. "But by whom?"
Da Vinci returns with a cool looking, familiar device. Tuvok recognizes it as one of their plasma injector conduits, and says so. This means nothing to the Maestro. "Call it what you will. With this machine I can make mercury flow in three directions at once."
The drenched and depressed program is nowhere to be seen; this Leonardo is surging with life and renewed optimism. "You must see my new workshop!" he tells Janeway. "Andiamo!" He scurries away, more agile than his many years would suggest possible. Janeway shrugs and they follow.
The new workshop looks a lot like the old workshop--only the experiments look about one millennia more advanced. Give or take a century. It's amazing the things the mind of da Vinci could have come up with given the right tools. We see some of them: helicopters, phonographs, halogen lamps, multiformat DVD players and a system that runs Windows95 without crashing.
While Leonardo shows Janeway around, he sketches a picture...of Tuvok's pointy ear. Which Tuvok endures.
"So, Catarina...What do you think of this place? My workshop in Florence was but a cave of ignorance in comparison." Janeway asks if this is the doing of his new patron. "He is the perfect prince," Leonardo says. "Intelligent--but not overly so. In awe of my talent, but not threatened by it. And above all, and most importantly his purse is inexhaustible!"
And in return? Tuvok asks. "I give him my ideas. I have even resurrected my great bird like the Phoenix of legend. They have materials here, Catarina, that are so strong and so light that surely my prototype will ascend to the heavens." His new glider model looks a good deal more sturdy than the last. More hawk-like. Janeway approves.
Tuvok gravitates toward a standard Starfleet hand phaser--not Action Kate's beloved Betsy, but still no slouch in the firepower department. Leonardo slaps it out of his hand. "Be careful! They have found a way to harness the energy of a thunderstorm and to expel it with great force. A pistole that shoots not a lead ball but a bolt of lightning." He demonstrates--and a globe shimmers into nothingness. Tuvok frowns; Janeway forces a smile and says she'd love to meet the Maestro's patron.
"And so you shall! This very evening. But I caution you...he is as ruthless as a Borgia."
Historical note: to be compared to a Borgia is not a compliment.
Another, completely unrelated historical note: The Gettysburg address begins, "Four score and seven years ago..." Lincoln was in on the conspiracy.
Sorry. It's the only way I can deduct my tuition.
First officer's log, Stardate 51392.7. Though we've yet to hear from the Captain and Tuvok Paris and Neelix have returned from their mission to the southern continent with some disturbing evidence.
Neelix and Paris and Chakotay sit at a table with an alien in a Starfleet uniform (red shoulders of Command) who doesn't look that happy to be here. They ask him questions; he demands to talk shop about warp coils. A collection of stuff he'd bought from people unknown sits on the table--a tricorder, and [we hear Janeway scream joyously] BETSY!!! Yes, the spank ray has come home to momma.
He's agitated. Understandable; outmanned three to one, the poor guy doesn't stand a chance. Kate's Boys are even playing well together today.
The alien finally stands gruffly, insisting this is all a waste of his time. Chakotay agrees, and tells him not to let the doors slam shut on his hiney on the way out.
The alien realizes his bluff has been called. "His name is Tau. He controls the seventh province in the north. He sells weapons and technology [which he confiscates from passing ships] using his translocator device. Which he also stole. It's made him a rich man."
Chakotay says there's a few items he'd like to get back. "Where can I find him?" The guy says he trades through a middleman, brushing the first officer off, eager to get back to the warp coils.
"You can keep what you've got," Chakotay says. "We'll call it even."
"This was a waste of my time," the weasel huffs.
"Not really," says Chakotay, smirking, adjusting the collar on the uniform. "These colors look good on you." He lets the guy grab the tricorder and phaser rifle and walk out the briefing room door.
WHAT? Didn't they spend two years running from and fighting with the Kazon because it's like a violation of every Starfleet protocol to let their technology fall into the hands of weasels like this?
Not only that--but you're GIVING AWAY BETSY?!?
Momma's gonna be maaaaad....
But I digress. Just chalk it up in the rapidly mounting "feels great - less intelligent" column of crew actions this week. We may have another "False Profits" on our hands....
It would seem that even scores of light years from home, there is the need for...cocktail parties. Where phony smiles and vapid observations exchanged in the name of commerce, and the wine flows like cliches from Review Boy's keyboard.
A businessman--a skinny, soft-spoken guy with hair like Tasha Yar's sister--ticks off a list of armaments he can provide his raptly attentive customer: "Torpedoes, plasma grenades...Particle beam rifles...I can even get a ceremonial spear if you're interested." The alien, in no mood for humor, says he isn't. "My point is, no matter what the weaponry, if you desire it, chances are I have it. Or I can get it." He speaks in reasonable, confident tones. The consummate salesman.
"Your prices are said to be unreasonable," the alien notes.
"'Unreasonable' is such a strong term. But if I can't sell to you, I'll sell to one of the other colonies in your system. A violent sort, your neighbors, aren't they? I'd hate to make your life difficult by offering my weapons to them. But if you don't give me a choice..." He smiles and shugs helplessly.
Brrr. Machiavelli would love this guy. Or Don King.
Only in America....
I wonder who this guy is.
Also at the cocktail party, unaware of the progress Chakotay and Paris and Neelix have made, Janeway and Tuvok mingle. Well, Janeway mingles. Tuvok cases the joint like Odo in Quark's. They've determined that their computer is not in the city. They note that Leonardo's "patron" is quite the businessman, and that they may have to do business with him.
Speaking of Leonardo, he beckons them over from a corner of the room to meet some folks. Janeway tells Tuvok to stall him while she chats up the local Borgia. Tuvok protests. "Make small talk," Janeway suggests.
Tuvok stiffens. "Vulcans do not make 'small talk.'" Janeway grabs him heartily by the forearms and shakes him with a smirk. "Improvise," she says, and takes off. It's an order.
Machiavelli might have been impressed by Cap'n Kate, too....
Leonardo, drinks in hand, approaches, but calls after the rapidly departing Janeway. Tuvok blocks the Maestro's path and takes one of the proffered glasses. "Thank you. That is very considerate," he says with all the spontaneous warmth of a chilled carp. He asks in painfully stilted tones how da Vinci has been. "Bellissimo," says Leonardo, eager to move on to someone less like Tuvok.
"I wish to speak with you," says Tuvok, again impeding Leo's way.
"About you. You are most intriguing." Tuvok says this as convincingly as a tobacco spokesman says, "there's still no proof..."
Makes you long for the scintillating small talk of Commanders Data and Hutchinson in "Starship Mine." (Which, ironically, guest starred Tim Russ as The First Terrorist To Die. Which Tuvok wouldn't mind replaying at this moment.)
"You, signore Tuvok, are equally provocative. Where, exactly, are you from?" Leonardo asks, politely.
"Scandinavia," Tuvok says. (I dunno why, but this line cracked me up.)
Anyway. Suffice to say that Leonardo loves it here in Novus Mundus, Italy and Florence can kiss the tailfeathers of his hang glider, and he spends his time thinking of stuff and tagging along when his patron visits his "great fortresses."
I guess that last part was important.
As (delightfully) stilted as Tuvok is, Leonardo is positively animated by his change in location. It's no wonder Doc misses his portable holoemitter; the ability to move around does wonders for one's perspective.
Leonardo still wishes to speak with Janeway, so he excuses himself--or tries to. "This [cough] fascinating conversation...has left me as dry as Vulcan."
Tuvok's ears perk up. "Vulcan?"
"An island off Sicily. Have you been there?"
"No," says Tuvok, recovering well enough.
While the patron and a customer chat, Janeway--drink in hand--lounges seductively on a bench. (Well, she looked seductive to me, dangit.) The patron takes notice, and excuses himself from his conversation. He chats her up amiably.
"Enjoying yourself?" he asks, all charm.
"Not yet," Janeway coos.
"No? How can I change that?"
"By having exactly what I want and selling it to me at a low price," she purrs.
The patron smiles. "The former's quite likely--but as for the latter, I don't sell inexpensive merchandise."
Janeway delivers her cover story: she represents a colony 20 parsecs away (that's 65.2 light years) with an old computer that needs a replacement. The patron smiles; he's got just the thing, a recent acquisition from a little old lady that only used it to balance her checkbook on Sundays. That, and the occasional Carmageddon marathon with her bridge club.
They walk over to a wall. A little emblem on the lower-left reads, Intel Outside. Cute.
"Hello, computer, and how are you today?" the patron asks pleasantly.
"All systems functioning within normal parameters," a familiar voice replies.
"Verbal interface. Impressive," notes Janeway.
"Computer, tell us your technical specifications," the patron continues.
"Simultaneous access to 47 million data channels [yes, really], transluminal processing at 575 trillion calculations per nanosecond." Dang.
"Interested?" the patron asks. Janeway merely smiles. She's got replicators; she can churn out all the gold she needs.
"Operational temperature margins from ten degrees Kelvin to 1,790 degrees Kelvin," the computer continues.
"I could sell it to you" the patron says smoothly, moving in for the kill, "but I could hardly let it go for anything less than...a warship."
Janeway's eyes go a little wide. She tilts her head scoldingly.
He doesn't even blink.
"Or we could find something else in your price range," he suggests with mock helpfulness.
This is gonna be harder than she thought. This guy is master of his domain, the king of the New World. Coast to coast, L.A. to Chicago. This Western male is one smooth operator.
Okay, okay. Sorry about that; I'll stop. Put the phasers down, please.
My guess is that this guy is Tau, the guy spoken of by the weasel.
* * *
The next morning, Janeway and Tuvok look around Leonardo's workshop. Tuvok picked up on the fact that the Maestro's patron is Tau, and that he has holdings outside city limits where their computer may be held. Tuvok, examining da Vinci's maps, compliments Leonardo's attention to detail: "I must admit, your Mr. da Vinci is an astute observer of nature. These maps couldn't be improved upon by Voyager's topographical computer," he says.
"He was a Renaissance man, Tuvok," says Janeway, warming up to her subject. Leonardo is one of her childhood heroes, after all, and she's eager to explain why. "Interpreted, reinterpreted, deconstructed, fantasized about all through history. Vasari thought he was an angel. Freud thought he had a problem with his mother. James T. Kirk claimed he met him" [see "Requiem for Methuselah"] "although the evidence is less than conclusive." (Oh, and Bill Gates bought
one of his manuscripts, the Codex Leicester, for millions--and made it into a fascinating CD-ROM. If you suspect I'm a da Vinci fan myself, you guessed right.)
Speak of the Renaissance Man..."Buon giorno, amici," he says to them.
"Good morning, maestro. Did you sleep well?" [Did you dream of electric sheep? No wait...that's androids. And the blade runners that love them.]
"Too well, I'm afraid. My apologies, Catarina. The morning is half gone. Nevertheless, the images that come before the eyes upon awakening can be inspiring." He shows Janeway his most recent creation, the drawing based on Tuvok's ear. Janeway chuckles. So does Leonardo. Tuvok does not, though his eyebrows express some amusement over the transformation of his pointy lobes into the wings of a dragon. Or the wagging tail of a long-necked fox. Or something straight out of Where the Wild Things Are.
Leonardo looks for his pen. Tuvok reaches over and clicks a switch on the portable holo-emitter while the Maestro is in mid-sentence; he freezes in place. Tuvok suggests they return to the ship; they have the means to look for their computer. But Janeway seems to like the idea of working with da Vinci, and thinks he could be helpful in their quest.
"Inadvisable. Charming as your childhood hero may be the program was not designed for use outside the Holodeck."
Janeway gets a little irked. "This is Leonardo da Vinci we're talking about. Simulation or not, he's one of the greatest creative minds in Earth's history."
Tuvok tries another line of argument. "The program reproduces the entire range of Da Vinci's behavior--his genius and his notorious unreliability."
Janeway's voice takes on a familiar, hard edge. "We have an opportunity here." She takes a step back, crosses her arms, and sticks her chin out like a petulant child not about to let a grownup take her favorite toy away. "And I want to take advantage of it."
Sure, Tuvok's old enough to be her grampa. But she outranks him. And the episode still has a half hour to go. He sighs and clicks the combadge in his hand, beams up, and casts the captain a final disapproving frown.
Yeah, like that's gonna stop her.
Janeway taps the Play button on her favorite superannuated Renaissance Boy. He finishes his sentence, notices that Tuvok is gone, and asks where he went. Janeway says to the ship, too late to catch her mistake. She winces. Leonardo asks if the Portuguese are still in the harbor.
"Well...Not exactly...But they're nearby."
He accepts that. "Ah. Mad sea dogs, the Portuguese."
The lengths Starfleeters will go to in the name of Fun....
In Sickbay, Doc examines Seven. He seems more chipper than he was earlier--probably because he finally has someone live to talk with.
"So what's new?" he asks amiably.
"New?" Seven asks blandly.
"What's been happening on the ship?" he asks as he scans her.
"Nothing of consequence. The Captain and Tuvok are still searching for the processor."
Ironically, Tuvok and Seven together make for a good conversation. But neither are all that great at "small talk," as Doc is discovering to his increasing chagrin.
"What's...the mood?" Doc practically begs.
"If you're referring to the crew morale they seemed focused on their mission."
"Hmm. I heard there was something of a fuss in the mess hall last night," he says, silently pressing her for details.
"A trivial misunderstanding," she says, preferring not to elaborate.
Doc pronounces her healthy, her implants stable if prone to jiggling, but her optical interface is misaligned again. "I told you to come in for maintenance once a week," he scolds.
"So...what happened in the mess hall?" he says, returning to what he really wants to know.
"Lieutenant Torres and I were working on some Astrometric data. There was a disagreement."
Now Review Boy is interested, as are hundreds of P/T fans.
"I understand things got a little...heated," Doc says with twitching eyebrows. (Woo hoo! Cat fight!!!)
"Lieutenant Torres became emotional. She chose to display hostility rather than to counter my argument."
And they show this OFF SCREEN?!? The fiends!!!
"What did she say exactly?" Doc begs.
"It is irrelevant. Suffice it to say I was correct. She was not."
Doc finally loses his cool. "Details, Seven! I want specifics!"
"I see no reason to discuss these trivialities," Seven says as coolly as she says everything these days, with her trademark go-thither inflections.
Doc threatens her with a hypospray. "Without my mobile emitter I am a prisoner in here. I need to know what is going on beyond these walls, trivial or not."
Seven gives up and supplies details. "Torres referred to me as an automaton. She also employed a series of profane, Klingon insults. Shall I translate them for you?"
Doc beams. "By all means! I'd very much--"
Tuvok to Seven of Nine. Report to the Astrometrics lab.
Doc provides his own series of profane Klingon insults. "You may go."
"I'll be right there, Commander," Seven says, acknowledging the summons and leaving without another word.
"Come back whenever you feel like talking," Doc calls after her. "I'll be right here...All by myself."
Poor guy. And A Briefing with Neelix is in reruns, too.
Seven enters the Astrometrics lab. My gaze falls instantly on that stunning image of faraway stuff taken by the Hubble telescope not too long ago. Coolness.
Tuvok tells Seven what he's been working on. Seven tells him what she will do. Tuvok points her to Leonardo's maps, informs her that his coordinates are "pre-Cartesian," and instructs her to convert them.
The unavoidable comparison between this scene and the earlier one between Seven and Ensign Kim illuminates the obvious: she and Harry are horribly mismatched, at least professionally. Whereas she and Tuvok make a dang good team.
While they work, Seven actually practices her small talk. "It is puzzling that even a Vulcan would refer to a holographic character by name, as if it were alive. It seems somehow...illogical."
She casts Tuvok a deliberate, almost teasing look. He looks at her without comment, though his right eyebrow jumps off his forehead and onto the console near her, yapping like an uppity lapdog. He telepathically commands it to heel, and it obediently crawls back to its proper place.
Vulcan eyebrows are notoriously willful and emotional entities.
Anyway. The two work together, and soon pull up a nice topographical view of the outskirts of the city, and pinpoint five of Tau's fortresses. With little extra effort they nail the location of their computer--the Astrometrics lab is truly a wonder.
"Unfortunately, the building is surrounded by a dispersion field," Tuvok notes. "Transport will be impossible."
Seven points out that "if the Captain can get inside the facility and reach the processor itself, she may be able to assist us."
"If she were to initiate a power surge in the processor it might produce a signal strong enough for us to lock onto," Tuvok suggests.
"That is what I was referring to," Seven says, her eyes twinkling. Tuvok says he'll tell the Captain.
Okay, so maybe they don't understand each other perfectly. But if they did, we wouldn't have any idea what they were talking about. Besides, the banter is cute.
Seven/Tuvok fanfic authors, start your creative engines. Before I beat you to it.
In Leonardo's workshop, Janeway talks into her combadge, which she holds in her hand. She tells Tuvok that Leonardo has been to the building in question, and can help her get inside, where she'll slap her combadge on the computer for beamup.
A lone reviewer wonders why a heavily-armed security team doesn't just beam down as close as it can get to that building, kick every butt in its path, and do the job without endangering the captain herself--arguably as precious an asset to the ship as the computer core itself.
Ah well. I'm running out of chalk...but at we're having fun--right, kids?
Tuvok hangs up--and just as Janeway begins to think they'll soon be on their way, an armed Tau appears from an alcove, snapping his fingers and demanding her combadge, now well aware of who he has in his presence.
If looks could kill, there wouldn't be enough of Tau left to fill a petri dish.
* * *
Janeway takes a step back from Tau and his weapon, more as a show of her imperial indifference to his puny pocket pistol than of any trace of fear. She tells him her people have found a way to counter his pickpocket transporters, so he may as well give up and give her back her stuff.
Attagirl, Cap'n. Piss off the guy with the handgun.
Tau's former oily charm is nowhere in evidence. He sneers at her. "You're in no position to bargain. The only ones who will bargain will be your crew--and it will cost them a great deal to get their Captain back. I wonder what you're worth to them..."
While he preens, Leonardo sneaks up behind his patron and clocks him with a fire extinguisher. Or something. Tau drops like the Asian stock market.
Reminds me of a scene from STARSHIP TROOPERS. "You can't push The Button if your hand is pinned to the wall with a knife." Used first, and fiercely, the crudest blunt object trumps the most sophisticated phaser.
Janeway frisks Tau, grabs his weapon, but for some reason can't find the combadge that had been in his other hand. Her search for it seems ridiculously brief before she gives up on this rather important link to her ship. (Where did I put my chalk...?) She could at least have kicked him when he was down. Or shot him. Not sporting--but neither was his stealing all their cool stuff.
Business is war.
Janeway says Tau will be fine, and tells Leonardo to follow her. He says he's not going anywhere.
Here's where 24th century galactic and 15th century European mindsets collide in a big, big way. Janeway, the captain and master of her own destiny, used to giving orders, finds herself arguing with a holographic Renaissance man who has never considered that possibility. Not in that way.
"I must be here when he recovers his senses. I will try to explain. If I am lucky, he will not have me executed," Leonardo says, still stuck with his worldview.
Why she doesn't mute, freeze or minimize Leo and take off with him while Blackbeard is still unconscious is beyond me. She sees this as a Teaching Moment, apparently. "Your new world is a prison! You are under his control," she shouts.
"When are we not in prison? Hmm? When our lives free from the influence of those who have more power than us? If this new world is a cage, than it is a cage of gold. Of marvels--of opportunities. If this prince is violent, so violence can be tempered."
Wait until you see a violent Starship captain, dude.
"But you can't stay here forever, Leonardo. Europe is your home."
"Europe is despicable!" da Vinci rages. "Here I am free to do what I wish--free from judgment, free to fail--without a sense of shame--without...without the taunts of the ignorant."
Is that America the Beautiful I hear in the background? It's a heck of a speech, passionately delivered, and it does my heart proud to hear America described so glowingly--but, seriously, remember the pirate, okay?
"Leonardo," Janeway pleads, "whether you want to admit it or not they do need you back home. In Florence, Milan, Avignon--they need your genius. They need your heart..."
Janeway, who has passed herself off so far as da Vinci's starry-eyed apprentice, lets a bit of the captain show through. He responds to power--she gives him some. "And right now I need you, too. So come on."
Leonardo sees her in a new light. "I will not go. For Florence or Milan or Avignon.
"But for you, Catarina...For you, I will go." He grasps her warmly by the arms. She smiles. They have their tender moment.
Then they make tracks.
"I've lost the Captain's combadge signature," Kim reports from the ship. (Yeesh.)
"Scan for the holo-emitter," orders Chakotay.
"It's 4.7 kilometers outside the city." (No, I'm not making this up.)
"So Leonardo's on the move. Is the Captain with him?" asks Paris.
"Her combadge may have malfunctioned. Or she was discovered." (Now that's a combadge trick you don't hear about every day--it turns off when discovered. Or the guy holding it gets conked with something heavy.)
Kim asks if he should beam up da Vinci. Tuvok says Janeway may need his help to get their computer back.
Chakotay tells Kim to keep a lock on the emitter and stand by. He stands and looks forward, his face lined with concern for Kathryn.
The "fortress" looks like any good-sized Earth power plant. Only the alien signs and unfamiliar alphabets (and teams of armed Tau-like aliens) distinguish it from other multistory masses of tubing and scaffolding.
And that's the problem. Leonardo can't distinguish this from the other half-dozen such edifices on this planet. Meaning he can't remember how to get inside. But he does appreciate the design. "Catarina, observe the construction--like the veins and arteries of a great animal. Now, this is the way to build--using nature as your guide."
Janeway is fed up. "No more lessons. I need to get into this building and I need to get into it now."
Leonardo takes umbrage. "That is not the way an apprentice should address her master."
Janeway puts her foot down and says they have to get inside. Leonardo says they'll be trapped. She says inside is the means to contact the "Portuguese ship" for a rapid rescue. Putting 24th-century technology into his terms is getting tiresome, and the strain is showing on her face. Every time she uses a new term, he demands to know (and it's only natural for him to do so) what it means--and how it works. His insatiable curiosity, allowed to roam free, is an indulgence she cannot afford at the moment. She promises to answer his questions later. For now, she insists, they must find their way inside.
Given the task and its urgency, Leonardo focuses. And he guesses correctly that the construction of the building is modeled after the mind of its creator, Tau. "Shadow and sunlight." Thieves like the shadows, so the entrance is downstairs.
Down they go...and there it is.
They go inside.
Kim reports that the mobile emitter is no longer on his sensors. They realize that da Vinci is now inside the building--and that 30 armed pirates are on their way there. Chakotay orders all power diverted to the transporters, and Action Chak waits, the very picture of concentration.
Inside the "fortress," da Vinci feels lost. Janeway assures him that her trusty compass (tricorder) will lead the way. They eventually run into a treasure trove of Starfleet merchandise--"Phasers, Warp plasma injectors, A site-to-site transporter."
And their computer.
"Computer, do you recognize my voice?" Janeway asks. It responds in the affirmative. "Well, that's a start," Janeway says to herself.
"Che bella! There's a mechanical woman inside." da Vinci says, startled.
Janeway instructs the computer to overload the relays in a big way. The computer objects. Janeway makes it an order. The computer complies without further argument, while da Vinci gapes.
"We wait for the Portuguese," says Janeway, smiling, practically hugging her computer.
It kinda looks like NOMAD. Spooky.
On the ship, they detect the growing power surge. Chakotay tells them to be ready with the transporter.
The interior of the bulding is being scoped out by the aliens in a big way. They're closing in.
Janeway tells Leonardo, spooked by what he's just seen and backing away slowly, to step closer to the computer. "Step close, Leonardo. We're going for a ride."
"I don't understand," he says, voice hollow.
"Trust me," she says, smiling.
But they have to move away from the computer as shots ring out. Janeway, packing some heat of her own, fires back (woo hoo!).
While they fight, the computer core gets beamed up. Had they been near it, they would have been beamed up with it--but where's the fun in that? They're on their own again, but at least the mission to recover the vital core is accomplished. They'll find another way home.
But first--the thugs.
Janeway circles around to flank. One of the aliens catches Leonardo off guard and shoots him in the back.
But Leonardo doesn't have a back. So the beam of violet death passes right through him, doing no harm.
As Leonardo reels from even more weird revelations about his situation and himself, Janeway returns the favor Leonardo did her, and buffaloes the alien with the butt of her weapon.
Janeway summons Leonardo over to the site-to-site transporter. He's still stunned, though. "Catarina, what just happened to me? I was shot...Yet I live. Such things are not possible."
Janeway tells him that the device in her hand will whisk them away, in the blink of an eye, to a place kilometers (which should stump him--the metric system wasn't invented until long after da Vinci died) away. He naturally asks how; she says later; he says now.
"Leonardo, you've always said that it's a poor apprentice who can't surpass her master. There are things in this world that I understand, and you don't." He finally sighs and complies. Janeway works the pieces into place, and soon they're enveloped in a transporter beam.
"Madonna mia!" da Vinci mutters as they dematerialize. Janeway only smiles.
The ship bustles with activity as the computer returns home--but the captain does not. Kim reports that 13 ships are on their way up from the planet. Chakotay barks orders--to reinstall the computer processor, to move to a higher orbit, to keep scanning for Janeway.
Now there's the Chakotay I like to see.
* * *
The hills are alive with the sound of kvetching.
Janeway and Leonardo scramble up hill and down dale, avoiding the no-doubt approaching pirate militia.
Leonardo is babbling from all his eyes have seen the past few hours. "My mind cannot accept the evidence of my eyes," he pants.
"I'll explain later. We've got to keep moving!" says Janeway, hand weapon at the ready.
But even as they flee from their pursuers, da Vinci insists on stopping, on having is questions answered. Fortunately, the guards are Union, and it's just about time for their raktajino break.
Janeway accepts the inevitable. "Let me ask you something. If you were something other than a human being...If you were a different kind of animal...If you were a small bird, a sparrow...What would your world be like?" Leonardo thinks, and describes life as a sparrow. A nice, simple life--a life of snacks (insects), shacks (nests) and chicks. Or whatever girl sparrows are called. Janeway asks if the sparrow would be into politics, sculpture or mathematics; Leonardo says his mind would be too small for such things.
Even with the best of teachers? Janeway asks. "If Aristotle himself were to perch on my branch," Leonardo replies, "and lectured till he fell off from exhaustion... Still the limits of my mind would prevent me from understanding."
Janeway drills her point home. "And as a man can you accept that there may be certain realities beyond the limits of your comprehension?"
"I could not accept that...And I would be a fool."
I don't know if all that's happening is beyond Leonardo's comprehension--but it certainly is too much to sparrow--I mean swallow--in the midst of a run for their lives. Leonardo finally realizes that now is not the time to get all the answers. All he needs to know for the moment is that Catarina is someone he can trust--and she's saying they need to make tracks.
Break's over. The militia is back on their trail.
Leonardo tells Janeway that he knows the best escape for them. Follow me, he says. They head upward.
Back on Voyager, Torres says the computer's back on line, and all their systems are up to speed. Chakotay gives her an attaboy and turns to Kim, who now has da Vinci back on sensors and who asks if they can dip into a lower orbit for transport.
"Ready for some fancy flying?" Chakotay asks Paris.
Like he had to ask. Helm Boy grins.
Da Vinci assures Janeway that escape is very near. Janeway wants to believe that--and whispers a plea to Chakotay to hurry up.
As the ship descends, the aliens arrive, already tossing weapons their way. Chakotay orders red alert, as Paris continues to call out their descending orbit.
"When Petrarch climbed Mount Verdoun and saw all Europe below him he knew he was witnessing the birth of a new age," exults da Vinci between mighty gulps of breath as they reach the top of the mountain. "He was witnessing the Renaissance. The rebirth of our world! So, Catarina, at this summit here--you and I will be reborn."
Janeway sees what Leonardo means. The glider. And it's a beauty, a sight to behold.
It's also at the top of a very high cliff--with nothing but open air in front of them...and nothing but rocky death below them. "This could be a problem," Janeway notes.
And not a moment too soon; they hear the advancing search party.
On the ship, Kim reports that they're still too far away for a transport, and that the captain and the hologram are on the top of a cliff.
You can't stop me, folks, I'm outta control...
"Talk about a cliffhanger."
Ha. I said it.
Janeway notes with approval the improvements Leonardo has made. Greater wingspan, new angle of attack, stationary wing...and some nice solid light duranium alloy.
"Unfortunately, the river Arno is quite absent. This time, if we fail only the stones will break our fall....Catarina, this time it will work."
The whine of a phaser passes nearby. Janeway looks back to see Tau and a flunky taking aim.
"Let's find out," she says, strapping in.
"I'm reading weapons fire on the surface near their position," Kim announces. "We're running out of time, sir."
"700 kilometers," Paris shouts. 200 kilometers away.
"Hold on, Kathryn, just a few more seconds," Chakotay breathes.
"Andiamo!" Janeway shouts (is that Italian for "Geronimo"?) and off they go over the edge.
And they soar.
Tau and the flunky look on in frustration as the hologram and the captain take flight.
"Catarina, we're flying! Like the birds!" da Vinci shouts.
"Like the birds!" Janeway says, her hair reddening in the unfettered, uncaged breeze of absolute winged freedom.
I hope this person won't mind me quoting them. "If the sight of da Vinci and Janeway soaring off into the wild blue didn't rekindle your sense of wonder (and that's always been what ST did best, if not often enough), you don't have one to be rekindled."
Amen to that. For all my complaints about this episode, scenes like this are why I watch Star Trek. I teared up something fierce.
Tuvok reports that he's got a fix on the captain. "They are... in mid-air, on what appears to be a crude gliding apparatus."
Don't let her hear you say that.
Paris announces that they've reached the target height. Kim locks on to the whole shebang--hologram, Phoenix (not a bad name for the glider, don't you think?), and all.
"Energize," says Chakotay.
Janeway and Leonardo soar on wings of angels--and fly straight into space as the beam takes them. Tau can only gape in frustration.
You messed with the wrong woman, dude.
Captain's log, Stardate 51408.3. We're back on course to the Alpha Quadrant... With the ship's computer and the Doctor's emitter returned to their proper places, I've set aside some time to check on the Maestro.
Leonardo is packing up. Janeway asks where he's going. "France," he says.
"These Florentines do not deserve my genius. I have written to the king of France telling him of my adventures in the New World and inviting him to soar with me from the towers of his castle."
Interesting. The last time they were here, da Vinci wanted to escape to France out of self-pity. His destination is the same--but his attitude is at a much higher altitude.
Janeway isn't quite prepared for all this--this isn't how the "real" Leonardo lived. He's been changed by his experience. But at the same time, there's something to be said for it--now she--and we--get to see him on the Road Not Taken. She offers objections, but he counters them all with renewed enthusiasm.
"Machines that fly through the air! Lightning flung from one's hands! Mechanical women who live in boxes! These things I have seen! And these things I must recreate. And who knows? Possibly improve upon."
Chutzpah, thy name is Leo. But if anyone can...
"Leonardo, I think that little flight of ours went to your head," Janeway says, part scolding, part amused.
"And my heart," Leonardo agrees. "My oldest memory, Catarina...is of a great bird perched on my bed, its feathers open towards me as if summoning me. Now, you yourself have accused me of giving up--of failing to complete my projects."
"I was trying to encourage..."
"No, no. You we're right! All my life I have wanted to fly. Perhaps my failure to do so has caused my heart to remain in flight. Leaping from one thing to another. Never satisfied. Never complete."
Janeway begins to understand. "And now that you've actually flown..."
"Now, who knows what I cannot accomplish."
It's hard to argue with that.
"I'd like to find out," she says, smiling."Give my regards to the king of France."
He asks if she'd walk him to his carriage; she beams and extends her arm. As they walk out, he asks if she speaks French; she replies in French. He says he could always use an assistant...
As they leave, the camera focuses on a sketch of a bird in a gilded cage, left behind in the cluttered cage of a Florentine workshop.
Where to begin?
Let's start with the obvious.
This is another of those "head/heart" episodes.
The head feels like banging against a bulkhead at some of the boneheaded antics of the captain.
How to describe Janeway's actions here, given the gravity of their situation? "Highly illogical," to put it charitably. She seems to lead with her heart in this episode--someone steals their stuff, so she orders them destroyed--and with it, the stuff they stole, even though one of them is carrying a computer core they absolutely cannot live without. She insists on personally leading one away team into known hostile territory, unarmed. She gets caught up in the romantic notion of Kate and Leo's Big Adventure, saving the day with her childhood hero. And rather than treat da Vinci as he truly is--a holographic program--she treats him like a sparrow struggling to keep up with an Aristotle, when far more direct means are available to them.
And the idea of Chakotay just handing a compression phaser rifle to a disgruntled would-be warp coil customer, and then letting him CARRY the thing away with him (let alone take it at all), is inconceivable. (Had I been that guy, I'd have pointed the thing at Chakotay and done some hard-core negotiating.)
The mind reels.
And yet--the heart soars.
This is Classic Original Series Trek. The story is almost an excuse. As Joe Bob would say, there's no plot to get in the way of the story. And the story is essentially a What If--the same one asked by Janeway before the whole incident with the pirates began. She asked why the man--so accomplished, yet with so many loose ends at the end of his impressive life--left so many things unfinished.
This episode was one possible answer. And from a purely emotional standpoint, it's a winner.
Paris and Torres got a nice understated Briefing Room scene together.
Paris got to be the hero, both at the controls and as a negotiator. Paris got to be the smart-alecky jokester a time or two. Neelix got to be involved in a nice gang-up-on-the-local-weasel scene.
Torres got to be good at her job completely apart from Paris.
Janeway and Chakotay got to think of each other a lot, and count on each other away from each other.
Chakotay got to act captainly, and look competent doing it.
Janeway and Tuvok got some nice scenes together. And he got in some good lines.
Tuvok and Seven had a nice scene together.
Seven and Harry had a nicely painful scene together.
Doc and Seven had a nice scene together.
Tuvok and Leonardo had a couple of great scenes together. Tuvok trying to make small-talk was priceless. "Scandinavia" indeed.
Seven referred to a nicely unpleasant scene she had with Torres.
Janeway made a reference to Kirk's encounter with Leonardo, who turned out to be an immortal named Flint in the third season TOS episode "Requiem for Methuselah"--who had also been Beethoven in another "life"--another one of those episodes best watched with the heart instead of the head....and an episode where a mechanical woman lived in a box, though the packaging was quite a bit nicer.
Leonardo referred to "Mechanical women who live in boxes" and gawk in amazement at the wonders of realities even he had never before dreamed. Program or not, he's real enough for even Tuvok to refer to him by name.
Janeway and Leonardo got to have their Excellent Adventure, and they went from drenched and humiliated to airborne and exultant.
You get the picture. There were a ton of quality character moments in this. The weakness was also the strength--this is Pure Trek. Not the cerebral, logical stuff that holds together under scrutiny, but the heartstring-tugging wonder-inspiring stuff that explores the human condition, expands the boundaries of the possible, and makes you proud to be a sentient being.
I wondered in the beginning why Janeway was reliving this scene with da Vinci. Was it to find out why he quit so often? He was clearly in no mood to talk then--and at the end, he finally was. He had the answers to her question, but he had also diverged from the original Leonardo, and was now embarking on an entirely new path--a path Janeway had no control over. I found it interesting that she'd find herself in the presence of someone whose life she probably studied in depth much of her life, learned every detail--and thanks to the miracle of modern technology, she now found herself in the situation that everything she knew about the man is now about to be sacrificed, because of her, on the altar of the unknown. When next we see Leonardo, he'll likely be a very different person. And as he suggests, he may well improve upon what he's already seen.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but consider this: Moriarty, the nemesis of Sherlock Holmes, achieved sentience on TNG. Pulled from the 19th century (and the status of Fictional Character), Moriarty adapted mighty well to his knowledge of the 24th century. If the mind of Leonardo could be brought up to speed on the technology of the 24th century--and surely he could grasp it--and then be given free rein to "improve," there is no telling what benefit he could prove to the ship. His is a clearly sophisticated program--feed it the right inputs, and he could produce technological wonders as far in advance of 24th century science as his biological counterpart was of his own time.
The acting was well above average. John Rhys-Davies is a wonder; I've always liked him, but he does a particularly stellar job here. He's got a lot of range to play this time out, and he does it beautifully. He also brings out the best in Mulgrew and Russ.
Picardo is also a standout--he has to be the opposite of da Vinci, as a program who has grown used to the freedom of mobility and who chafes under the limits of Sickbay that once were a comfort to him ("Projections"). His scenes are amusing, but also sympathetic--I genuinely feel for his predicament.
The rest of the cast was also fine. They were playing to type--but after the turmoil of the last few weeks, we need to recapture our bearings. We're (at least I'm) still trying to figure out who these characters are in the aftermath of Year of Hell. This episode confirms some of what we saw last week about our characters, and lays some concerns to rest--Torres still has some violent memory engrams left, Janeway still knows how to pick up and use a weapon, etc.
Because of the myriad frustrations, I can't give this a full four stars. But I really did love this one, and I tend to lead with my heart. So call it a 7.75 on a 0-10 scale, or (* * * 1/2). With a pair of wings to wear proudly on the lapel.
Next Week: a repeat of "Displaced."
If you want a second opinion, check out Julia's, or head on over to the lounge where Kris and some of her pals offers their musings from the Rec Room O' Reviews.