Star Trek 615: Shattered

615. Shattered

FORMULA: Relativity + a purée of various episodes through the years

WHY WE LIKE IT: Cool premise.

WHY WE DON'T: A glorified clip show.

REVIEW: In many ways, Shattered is a sort of anniversary special. Maybe it's because it was the first episode to air in the 21st century, maybe it's not by design. In any case, the ship being split into some 37 time zones is a cool idea to celebrate the show's history and its greatest hits. That is to say, if Bliss and Macrocosm can ever be counted among Voyager's best stories. Unfortunately, the episode never really rises above that "remember this?" atmosphere.

There are some cool moments, like seeing Seska again, or Naomi and Icheb growing up, and it's nice that they thought of giving Chakotay a starring role, but... Yeah, it's either incomprehensible to the casual viewer or redundant to the loyal Trekkie. Worse still, they keep having to explain the temporal situation to everyone they encounter. None of the bits really give us anything new. The Captain Proton section, while fun as always, is pure indulgence. There's a great hurrah at the end when the characters from different times come together to fight Seska, but it's otherwise quite low on content. Even Tuvok's death lacks any kind of punch.

But I guess you need that scene to justify Janeway's second thoughts about her Maquis mission. Because yes, this is yet another one of those episodes that strives hard to show that she DIDN'T make a bad decision 7 years ago when she stranded Voyager in the Delta Quadrant. There's a lot of second (first?) guessing here, but ultimately, it was all worth it if an ex-con could find love, right? the usual ridiculous pandering to the altar of the Great Janeway. The more they try to convince us about her greatness, the less I believe it, personally.

On top of all that, Shattered is very poorly written. There's entirely too much wand-waving, even for Voyager. The paradox isn't clearly thought out and the characters thoroughly inconsistent about whether or not they respect the temporal Prime Directive. We've got the Doctor able to create technology that applies the "same principles" as his anti-temporal serum (wha?!?). We've got Chakotay refusing to talk about his temporal adventure as if it would compromise the timeline when it's all stuff from the past anyway (and they've always treated the future as fluid in any case). Hey, so long as the premise is cool, eh?

LESSON: There's no time like the presents.

REWATCHABILITY - Medium-Low: I'm tempted to go lower, but I admit to a couple of cool moments. Shattered is painfully low on content however, and that's not cool at all.


Austin Gorton said...

"Hey, so long as the premise is cool, eh?"

Sadly, I think that sums up far too many of Voyagers episodes, at least in the minds of the writing staff.

I just keep imagining that various writers come up with "cool" ideas, then when they're breaking the story, and someone else points out continuity/character/plot inconsistencies generated by that "cool" premise, they all just shrug and say "but the premise is cool, so it doesn't matter."

mwb said...

Don't you have to have some episodes worth remember for a retrospective to be watchable?

I snark, but that is exactly part of the problem. It highlights the flawed whole only too well.


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