Star Trek 488: Resistance

488. Resistance

FORMULA: Second Skin + The Homecoming

WHY WE LIKE IT: A touching guest performance.

WHY WE DON'T: Stupid, stupid guards.

REVIEW: The heart of this story is Caylem, a senile yet wiley old man so desperate to save his family from the clutches of the fascist Mokra regime, he's ready to believe Janeway is his daughter bent on the same mission. Joel Gray delivers a touching performance, pathetic but not helpless in the face of adversity. It sometimes seems like he's convincing himself of his beliefs, but no, he's too far gone to really know what's going on, and Janeway finally tells him what he wants to hear, as little joy and peace as he lay dying.

For the Voyager crew, it's another rescue mission (I'm about to start counting the number of times B'Elanna gets captured and held). The half-Klingon is her usual wall-pounding self, but Tuvok screaming under torture makes for a more interesting moment. I'm not sure it's a good idea to degrade Janeway by having her pose as a prostitute to get into the prison, though I suppose it plays into her role-playing abilities (it seems strange to think of her that way, but she takes on many personae in the course of the series, and usually plays them to the hilt). Unmemorable parts for everyone else.

Augris is a wonderfully slimy villain, cruel but able to be charmed and amused, but he's not very well attended. If there's a problem in this episode, it's that the guards are incredibly dumb and useless. I should think that Caylem would have been killed long ago if he jumped these jackbooted thugs as often as he does in this episode. Just why the resistance hasn't toppled the Mokra Order yet remains a mystery. There certainly don't seem to be many of them about.

The alien city is well designed as far as claustrophobic streets go. Vaguely North African. But it's a small world indeed when the official contacting Voyager walks the streets of the city Neelix's contacts live in. And the corridors of the prison are very empty indeed, even in the middle of a jail break with all force fields down. Augris eventually shows up with a couple of goons, both of which promptly skulk away once their boss is downed. Perhaps necessary for Caylem and Janeway's drama to play out, but it robs the plot of any urgency.

LESSON: Rumors fly faster than warp speed. Second episode in a row where Voyager's reputation precedes it.

REWATCHABILITY - Medium: Not bad by any means, with good guest stars and heroic moments for Janeway and Tuvok, but it's not one of those memorable episodes. At all.


De said...

This is one of the those episodes that I'll watch whenever it's on Spike because the performances were so good on the part of Joel Grey and Tim Russ.

But you're right, the plot is pretty forgettable.


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