May 27, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Weekend Trek “Macrocosm”

Janeway battles a giant virus that has infected most of the crew.

There’s this alien race in this one called the Tak Tak.  They’re overly dramatic and keep striking weird poses.  I sincerely hope we never see them after this episode.

Essentially, the episode opens with Neelix smoothing things over for Janeway with a Tak Tak representative, and there’s nothing about the Tak Tak that I like.  The poses are overwrought as is the way the character speaks.  There’s a flashy bit that goes down his face and covers his mouth down the middle, so I have no idea how he eats.  He’s overly sensitive, and that bugs the crap out of me.  I don’t even think the species name is all that clever.  He can go now.

OK, the Tak Tak make things worse at the end of the episode, but I suppose that had to happen.

No, the real thrust comes when Neelix and Janeway return to the ship and find it somewhat adrift, systems failing, and no signs of anybody.  There’s weird mucus-like gunk everywhere, and occasionally, the two hear something big roaming around.  My initial thought was a Janeway/Neelix team-up where they get the bottom of the mystery could be pretty cool if done right.  My second was to wonder where the Doctor is because, as a hologram, he might be OK compared to the rest of the crew.

Oh, but then some fleshy tendril made of bad 90s CGI comes through a turbolift door and sprays down Neelix.  He gets sick pretty darn fast, and at one point, corrects Janeway when she says he’s congested in his lungs by pointing out that Talaxians only have one lung.  He disappears, dragged off by something soon after, so if I thought a Janeway/Neelix team-up had some potential, then maybe a Janeway solo adventure has a different sort of potential.

Indeed, the episode must have read my mind because her next action is to head down to Engineering and find herself a box full of weapons and things.  She takes off her uniform jacket, standing there in a tank top, equips herself with what she needs including a phaser rifle and a knife, both of which she’ll use before the episode ends, and doing her best Sigourney Weaver, off she goes.  And keep in mind, aside from the tentacle that attacked Neelix, whatever is on the ship hasn’t even been all that visible yet.

Janeway does eventually find a lot of people, more or less unconscious, in the mess hall later, so that tells me that whatever happened will be fixed.  The show isn’t going to kill off most of the cast.  Eventually, she finds Sickbay, and the Doctor is in there.  Good.  Now someone can explain what’s going on.

And it’s a doozy of an explanation.  While Janeway and Neelix were gone, the ship got a distress call from a nearby mining colony.  They were sick and needed help.  The Doctor could have his first solo away mission, and he found an interesting form of viral infection.  Now, in the real world, a virus replicates by forcing infected cells to make more of a virus.  That’s what’s happening here too, but this time around, the virus tends to keep growing.  There are a ton of them around Voyager that act like mosquitos–Janeway was herself bitten–but because they love bio-electric fields, they also keep attacking the Doctor if he tries to leave Sickbay, and they swarm him faster.  If his mobile emitter is damaged, he could be in big trouble.  He does have an antigen that should wipe out the virus, and it does work on Janeway as she is in the early stages of the infection, but they’ll need to work together to get the stuff spread out across the ship.

That means splitting up, and Janeway has to go it alone in the end when the Doctor is trapped in a shuttlecraft.  She does a lot of smart things that allows Janeway to be the Ellen Ripley she usually doesn’t get to be here, including using Neelix’s tropical resort holodeck program to lure the bigger viruses away.  And yes, she does have to stab one with her knife, something that might have worked better were it not for that 90s-era CGI.  She sets off a bomb that cures everyone, and she even does so before the Tak Tak, big time jerks that they are, get a chance to destroy the ship themselves.  She’ll even share the cure with them.

And then she’ll spend a quiet moment in her quarters painting.

It’s like she’s a hidden badass who doesn’t want to show off what a badass she is.  I can respect that in a fictional character.