May 27, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Weekend Trek “Rise”

Tuvok and Neelix need to take an elevator into space.

Oh hey!  Alan Oppenheimer as an alien ambassador!  That guy probably voiced half of my childhood, or at least the stuff from Filmation.  He was Skeletor after all…

Actually, I was ready to rip this episode something of a new one given what looked like a lot of really funky stuff going on with the plot that either didn’t make sense or didn’t work for me…until the end of the episode where Neelix explained everything to a female alien he had befriended, and all the weird stuff that wasn’t working for me made a whole lot more sense.  I suppose I could have been thinking more about there being something of a mystery going on when I was sitting there, thinking I was oh-so-clever that the obvious murderer was the least obvious suspect.  I was right, of course, but the point stands.  The timid guy that wasn’t openly threatening everyone for most of the episode was the villain.

But that’s besides the point.  Given the context of everything that happened, I think it is safe to say that this was a fairly tightly-knit episode, and included a team-up between the closest the series has to two characters that don’t get along, namely the eager-to-please Neelix and the taciturn Vulcan Tuvok.  Paired off on a  rescue mission to find a missing scientist on an alien colony, the two crash land with the timid guy who isn’t really timid, and then manage to find the scientist, an angry miner, and a woman hiding out in the space elevator the five need to escape.  The other option is to wait for a signal to get through to Voyager and hope Janeway can beam them aboard before the next asteroid hits.

Yeah, that’s the problem:  asteroids that don’t break right keep hitting this colony world.  The only thing to do is figure out why.  The scientist knows why, but he will only report directly to the ambassador no matter what reassurances Tuvok gives him.  Neelix sees the space elevator and says he used to work on devices and can fix it, allowing them to get up high enough that their personal comms can contact Voyager.  Neelix is actually being a bit charming here, working well with at least the woman, and he only really restrains himself when Tuvok basically tells him to.  “Mister Vulcan” is the one person on the ship Neelix would like to get some respect from because apparently everyone else has.

What follows is a series of weird accidents and behaviors.  The scientist tries leaving before the elevator is ready, a move that would strand the others on the surface and surely kill them all.  Neelix’s experience is largely with models, but he is the only one who knows how to pilot the elevator, and it does seem to work.  Tuvok’s investigative skills come into play when the scientist is murdered by an unknown assailant (it was the pretend-timid guy), and before he dies, the scientist insists there’s something on the roof, something Tuvok reluctantly goes to look for only when Neelix insists his instincts say there must be something up there and it isn’t all a lack of oxygen.

There is some small gadget up there, and Janeway is trying to stop some invaders that just showed up because…well, like I said, I thought the episode was a mess.

Then everything got explained, and it all made sense:  the asteroids were the invaders’ way of dealing with invasions is to fake natural disasters (like asteroids) and drive the residents away before taking over.  The scientist had figured much of that out and knew there was a secret agent working for the invaders.  He was gathering information in secret, and that was what was on the roof of the elevator and why he tried to leave early.  He only really trusted the ambassador.  Neelix and Tuvok managed to work together to stop the not-so-timid guy, get the data to Janeway, and then get her to drive to the invaders away.

That worked out a lot better than I thought it would.  The only really weird coincidence was that Tuvok and Neelix not only had the spy with them but they crash landed and found the exact guy they needed to without too much effort.

And then there was a charming little scene where Neelix seemed to get over his need to impress Tuvok, even suggesting the Vulcan always has to have the last word in a manner that made Tuvok pause.  So, an episode I wasn’t thinking too highly of turned out a lot better than I expected.

If Voyager gets more episodes like this one in, I will be a lot happier with this series.