May 27, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Weekend Trek “Future’s End Part 2”

Henry Starling holds the Doctor as a hostage while planning his flight to the 29th century, a plan that will destroy the solar system.

Part 1 for this two-parter ended with Voyager scared off after people saw it from late 20th century Earth, Paris teaming up with Sarah Silverman’s astronomer, and Ed Begley Jr’s Henry Starling actually managing to capture the Doctor after he reversed an attempt by Voyager‘s computers to get the data he took from a time ship back.  Starling as purloined 29th century tech that is much better than Voyager‘s 24th century tech.  That’s a big problem.

I made note in that other write-up that it was nice to see Janeway and Chakotay not assume, like the crew of Picard’s Enterprise did when they met people from the 20th century, that the people they were dealing with were a bunch of primitive barbarians or something along those lines.  However, in an interesting twists, the real problem is that Starling somehow assumes Janeway and her crew are after the things he’s after for the same reason he’s after them:  pure greed.  He’s planning on going to the 29th century to swipe more tech in order to make more money in the 20th century.  He also has, despite his advantage in tech, a very large weakness in that as much as he has this advanced tech, he only has a so-so grasp on how to use it.

That means Voyager, with coordination from Tuvok, Paris, and Silverman’s Rain Robinson, are able to beam Starling into Sickbay for interrogation despite his blocker, but also that he can beam himself back later.  It means Starling can steal the Doctor and project the hologram into his office, make the Doctor feel pain, and even give the Doctor a mobile emitter to allow the Doctor be held hostage (the surprise of Paris and Tuvok), but can’t get him to talk about Janeway’s psychological state.  It means Starling knows how to fly the time ship and open a portal to the future, but not in a way that anyone would deem safe.  In short, he’s a greedy asshole who doesn’t care how much he doesn’t know so long as he gets paid.

Oh sure, he’ll speak of lofty goals and whatnot, but I think I know better on my end how that all works.

Here’s the thing:  there’s a lot happening here, but like just about any time travel story you care to name, it’s got some inconsistencies that will make things a little rough if you think about it.  The story ends with Janeway manually firing a photon torpedo to stop Starling, but then a separate timeline’s Captain Braxton’s showing up to send Voyager right back where it came from, citing a Temporal Prime Directive as a reason not to send them back to the Alpha Quadrant instead.  There’s lots of nice moments here.  Neelix and Kes were watching TV in Part 1, a moment that reminded me more of a joke plotline from Star Trek Lower Decks this past season, but that storyline pays off here as Neelix is able to use his knowledge of TV and Earth culture to help the ship stay hidden better going forward.  Plus, the Doctor has his mobile emitter now and can go pretty much anywhere, but he takes a welcome the Bridge with typical aplomb before asking where Engineering is so he can keep an eye on Janeway at the torpedo tube.

But then I had questions.  For one, what happened to the first Captain Braxton?  He was a seemingly deranged homeless man when Janeway and Chakotay found them.

Speaking of Chakotay, he and B’Elanna crash their shuttlecraft in Arizona and are captured by what looks like an anti-government militia.  I can accept that Tuvok and the Doctor can rescue them easily, especially since the Doctor can’t be hurt by gunfire, but how the heck did they know where to find Chakotay and Torres?  All they were told was “Arizona,” and I’m not even sure how they got there, to say nothing of the reported helicopters and trucks that apparently came with them.  I would wager it was a holographic trick, but I don’t think the episode really says.

B’Elanna and Chakotay were also tied up then.  How strong is B’Elanna?  I leaned from Deep Space Nine that Klingons are effectively as strong as Vulcans, and I was wondering if Torres could have just snapped those ropes holding her if she flexed hard enough.  Probably a good thing the idiots who caught her didn’t check to see if her blood was Klingon purple as her forehead confused them enough as is.

And hey, Starling was a rich man running a big tech company.  Won’t he be missed since he effectively disappeared?  And what about the smoking crater that was the truck Starling’s muscle was driving through the desert that almost took out Paris and Robinson?

I probably shouldn’t think too hard about it.  This was a nice two-parter, with some nice action scenes, a good use of the late 90s setting, and the show now has a way for the Doctor to go where he’s needed instead of always having to send people to him.