Star Trek 611: Inside Man

611. Inside Man

FORMULA: Hope and Fear + Pathfinder

WHY WE LIKE IT: Barclay and Deanna.

WHY WE DON'T: The Ferengi haven't changed one jot.

REVIEW: Pathfinder sends Voyager a holographic (and uninhibited) version of Barclay, but it's hijacked by Ferengi who reprogram it in a dastardly plan to bring Voyager home with all hands lost. They'd get their hands on the ship AND millions of valuable nanoprobes. It's an outrageously clever plan that even includes paying a dabo girl to "fall in love" with Barclay and get his secrets. Unfortunate then that in the end, Barclay is able to play on the Ferengi's gullibility to save the day. (Though his gambit is a good one too.)

There are really two problems with this idea. The first is that the Ferengi are exactly as they were in TNG (skipping right over DS9). Even if I like the idea of casino ships, I have to wonder what happened to Rom's reign as Grand Nagus. Nothing seems to have changed, and even if some DaiMons split from the Alliance, some words of acknowledgment would have been appreciated. The other problem is that while we generally like these Barclay/Troi stories, they take something away from Voyager itself. Make no mistake: the two TNG alumni are the real stars here, saving the ship from certain destruction though THEIR actions.

Not that there aren't scenes of interest in the Delta Quadrant, but they're mostly comic fluff as the corrupted Barclay hologram entertains the crew and frustrates the Doctor. If he's to be believed at all, he mentions Voyager's place in the collective imagination, and that Seven will be welcome as a beacon of hope for anyone who's lost someone to the Borg. They're building anticipation for the series finale there. Tom's become jaded to Gilligan's Island Syndrome, so he and B'Elanna torture poor, naive Harry about it. All in good fun, but I would still rather watch Deanna threaten Barclay's cruel girlfriend.

Now I don't really know what the original hologram's message was, but he was never sent again, despite Barlcay's addition of security protocols to his matrix.

LESSON: Bandwidth. Bandwidth. Bandwidth.

REWATCHABILITY - Medium: Fun for fans of Star Trek: Pathfinder, but a little slim on the Voyager side.


De said...

The DS9 disconnect might have been due to Ron Moore and Brannon Braga not getting along too well.

The "Ferenginar" story in Worlds of Deep Space Nine offers a plausible explanation for the Ferengi behavior in this episode.

Will said...

That always bothered me about Trek was that all members of a planet all behaved the same. It's like all Russians were like Stalin or all Americans are like Donald Trump. Unless there was some genetic engineering you are going to have misfits, non-conformists & rebels.

LiamKav said...

You did have rebels and outcasts, most of which ended up on our ships. Worf, Jadzia (sort of), Quark, Rom...

The "all members of an aliens species" thing is a storytelling shorthand. And the ones who rebel stand out even more because of that.


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