Star Trek 515: Fair Trade

515. Fair Trade

FORMULA: The Chute + Business as Usual + Prime Factors

WHY WE LIKE IT: The alien make-ups.

WHY WE DON'T: Another lecture from Janeway.

REVIEW: As Neelix gets to the edge of his area knowledge, he allows his life to spiral out of control, desperate to stay useful to Voyager. So it's appropriate that a drug deal gone bad should be part of this kind of story. Eager beaver Neelix doesn't interest me much, but there might have been something in the shady past alluded to by fellow Talaxian Wixiban. Not explored enough, I'm afraid, and Neelix comes off as ethically a child. At least, that's how it comes off in the last scene where Janeway treats him as such. Of course, we've seen that scene before, haven't we? Janeway's had it with Tuvok and Chakotay already. The disappointed mother who chides severely, has a speech about trust, the sneaks in a smile at the end.

And it's not the only familiar thing in the episode. Crew members falsely accused of a crime? Tom Paris is about to start his own drinking game, I'm sure. The featured station is kind of like a Delta Quadrant Deep Space 9, with lots of alien make-ups we might have seen through the last three seasons (and new ones as well). Is the pusher a member of the same race as the psionic villain in Persistence of Vision? They really look alike, but the modus operandi is totally different.

Speaking of which, the episode introduces the Vulcan engineer Vorik, played by the same actor as Taurik, a quite similar character in TNG's Lower Decks. He'll be a recurring character through the end of the series, but I have to wonder why they didn't make him Taurik. I mean, really, are they that different aside from the haircut? The other introduction is the Nekrit Expanse, a region that will be in the background for a few episodes.

LESSON: When old friends come back, so do old debts.

REWATCHABILITY - Medium-Low: A fair story that suffers from over-familiarity and somewhat ham-fisted character development.


De said...

The Taurik/Vorik thing is somewhat annoying but at least they changed the makeup so he'd look different.

Fun fact for the day: Alexander Enberg (Vorik) is Jeri Taylor's son.

Matthew Turnage said...

I imagine they didn't use Taurik in order to avoid paying royalties to the writers of "Lower Decks" every time the character appeared.

Anonymous said...

Re: Taurik and Vorik: I always wondered the same about Tom Paris and Nicholas Locarno.

Jack Norris said...

The Trek head office at this time really seemed to have this problem with bringing back characters, choosing instead to introduce a character identical to a previous one, but insisting that it couldn't actually *be* that character for, well, no good goddamn reason I could ever see.
Whether it was more Berman or Braga who had a weird thing about this, I don't know.


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