Star Trek 567: Gravity

567. Gravity

FORMULA: Final Mission + All Our Yesterdays + The Motion Picture's Vulcan sequences

WHY WE LIKE IT: Noss.

WHY WE DON'T: Too few flashbacks.

REVIEW: Gravity has a number of interesting threads, but one too many for any of them to be fully explored. The first of these is the flashback to Tuvok's youth. Giving credit where it's due, Trek has never really done this before (not without a time travel element). The problem with it here is that we don't flash back ENOUGH. Narratively, these sequences should act as counterpoints to the present day story, weave in and out of it. At the rate shown, not only are they a little jarring (i.e. you had time to forget about the entire thread), but Tuvok goes from angry young man directly to cured in between flashbacks. There's no sense of build-up as he's deprogrammed and brought in line with his usual characterization.

In the present, his emotionlessness is brought into play by the character of Noss, who is one of the more interesting love interests we've seen in Voyager. Totally atypical with her short hair and strange intonations, she makes the mistake of loving a man who cannot love at all because if he did, it would be the end of him. In the end, he does share himself with her via mindmeld, and I guess that's as far as the a Tuvok romance can go.

Distracting from the Tuvok story is the whole idea that his away team is trapped in a solar system that's down in a subspace layer accessible only through a gravity well that's about to be destroyed by local aliens. First, that is some crazy-ass science. No one can just be shipwrecked anymore - it's got to be in another dimension. It seems quite the stretch just to introduce a temporal element in there so that Tuvok and Noss could get to know each other for two months. It's a chance to see the multispatial probe used for real, but otherwise, a lot of technobabble and manufactured tension.

The climax just throws too much at the characters to be credible. Not only are the aliens going to close the gravity well early, but the aliens trapped on the planet with Tuvok also decide to attack Noss' compound at the same moment, just so it comes down to the last second. No wonder we don't have time to get back to young Tuvok very often.

LESSON: The recipe for spider sammiches.

REWATCHABILITY - Medium: Too heavy a script jeopardizes what's actually good about it - a sweet anti-romance and exploration of Tuvok's character and Vulcan discipline.

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