Star Trek 621: Workforce, Part II

621. Workforce, Part II

FORMULA: The Killing Game + First Contact (episode) + Frame of Mind

WHY WE LIKE IT: Some cool tactics.

WHY WE DON'T: The plot holes.

REVIEW: We get out of Part I's cliffhangers not with cheap shots, but with actual tactics, the characters using the heads. In fact, there's a lot to recommend in the ECH's propensity for interesting strategies in this episode, though now that I look at it too hard, I've ruined the "shoot your torpedo with a phaser to detonate it" gambit - can't they be rigged to explode at the right moment? But he also hides the ship in a crater, and Harry later uses escape pods as bombs. Good work from the skeleton crew.

Beyond that, however, the writing starts to get lazy. The more we're shown of the labor conspiracy, the less believable it is. We're meant to believe Dr. Kadan could process some 150 people at a time without the help of subordinate doctors (who apparently don't know what he's doing), and in a very short time (despite being extremely sophisticated in results). Who's involved is nebulous, but the conspiracy seems to include a Director of Security and a mid-level management Shift Supervisor. It's a wonder he wasn't discovered before given how he's easily found out by one of his staff here, unless he brainwashes everyone who finds out?

B'Elanna is brought back to normal, but it takes days. Once they beam up everyone else, we're simply told that their recovery is proceeding apace. So more than a hundred happy workers were kidnapped from their lives and jobs and there wasn't some kind of riot? Janeway, for one, has to give up the love she found on Quarra. A moment with some poignancy. Her moving in with Jaffen did include a couple of very dubious moments however. For one, she beats out every other Star Trek character for boring hobbies (including Troi and chocolate), by collecting spent plasma relays. What the heck is that about? Jaffen is surprised at how much stuff she has, so my big question: Where did all this stuff come from? In the middle of a labor shortage, the economy's going well enough that the conspiracy can fill hundreds of apartments with furniture, clothes and junk that's meant to be personal to the occupant? Or does Janeway like to overpack when she's heading for the escape pods? Oh, and let's not forget the dermal regenerator's new power, making plastic surgery magically disappear!

So while I wouldn't call the episode bad - it's certainly help by its longer set-up - it IS rather badly plotted. The characters are fine, and come together nicely despite their missing memories, and their plans a workable and even ingenious... It just fails Part I's promise.

LESSON: A brainwashed worker is a happy worker.

REWATCHABILITY - Medium: When they forget stories have to make internal sense, they turn perfectly entertaining episodes into ordinary ones (at best!).

4 comments:

Jeff R. said...

Come on...Voyager established way back in the pilot that the very idea of a "timer" is technology so far lost to the modern Federation that it couldn't possibly even occur to the crew that such a device might exist...

Siskoid said...

That's true.

My bad for forgetting the timerless cobalt device. In many ways, Voyager' premise is predicated on the lack of timer technology.

mwb said...

"WHY WE DON'T: The plot holes."

Isn't that redundant in a ST:V episode? And yes, you are quite right.

It's embarrassing how badly the ST franchise often uses its own technology.

It's one of the reasons I rank the Stargate franchise above ST because they have more reasonable tech continuity.

Toby'c said...

If you were talking about using a time bomb to destroy the array after using it to get home, I feel compelled to point out that it would have taken them hours to figure out the technology without the Caretaker's help, and they were being attacked at the time.

 

Blog Archive

Category

5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Class Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers FW Team-Up Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Shut Up Star Boy Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Streaky Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zero Hour Strikes Zine