Star Trek 556: Drone

556. Drone

FORMULA: (The Offspring x The Child x Tuvix) + I, Borg

WHY WE LIKE IT: Let's crush a Borg Sphere!

WHY WE DON'T: Dialogue that reads like a dictionary, but a plot that doesn't read like any kind of science textbook.

REVIEW: Voyager does The Offspring with Seven in Data's role, but the way to get there requires a lot of wand-waving. Just because Borg nanoprobes assimilate 29th-century technology doesn't mean they would create a 29th-century Borg drone. Not unless the emitter also had transporter, shield, cloning and other appropriate technologies. The other suspension of disbelief issue is generated by Janeway's decision to let the drone grow to maturation. This is incredibly risky, but she gets that crazy look in her eye as she imagines herself teaching it human values, etc. Are they writing her with immense hubris on purpose?

For Seven, whose attempts at integrating have been less than successful (note the smiling scene at the beginning), One is a source of both jealousy and pride. He's better at it than she is because he was a blank slate. Being capable of emotion, the necessary tragic ending will leave a mark on Seven, and this is not only well played by Jeri Ryan (who's usually good with this stuff), but well written. The repeated "you are hurting me" (this time, emotionally) is heart-wrenching. One has a sweetness that ingratiates him to the audience and makes us care for him as well (perhaps quite a feat given that the actor last played a Nazi in The Killing Game).

Of course, his presence alerts the Borg and a sphere (the first since First Contact) makes an appearance. But One is so advanced as to be unassimilatable and the Borg ship gets crushed inside the protonebula is a very, very cool ending. I have to say though that I'm pretty sure nebulas don't and can't form the way it's shown. I mean, really, doesn't this show have science advisers? Watch that scene in the shuttle for the first mention of the Delta Flyer. The idea gets put in Tom's head here.

LESSON: What many words mean.

REWATCHABILITY - Medium: For the second time, I want to give an episode Medium-High, but the science is so ridiculous and Janeway's actions so outrageous, that I find myself too distracted to really like it.

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