Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Voyager 2x18 "Death Wish"


Arguably among the best Q episodes of any series, "Death Wish" is also one of the episodes where even Voyager skeptics begrudgingly admit to being exceptional.

Q, of course, is most famous for his Next Generation appearances, including in the first and last episodes, and a wonderfully complicated relationship with Picard.  "Death Wish" might simply have been another "Q-less," the episode of Deep Space Nine that tried to explain just how different Sisko really was from Picard.  Instead, it's much more than that.  In fact, it's the first of three appearances for Q in the series, something that would've been unthinkable had "Death Wish" not succeeded as wildly as it did.

It made a new context of the character.  Q is the same Q he always was, but he's thrust into an entirely new context.  He'd been existential before, but only for himself.  "Death Wish" forces him to confront the nature of the entire Q Continuum's existence.  Because Janeway doesn't hesitate in helping him on that journey, he takes a certain liking to her.  Unlike Picard, for whom he was trying to do exactly the same with humanity, the tables have been turned.  His shenanigans can't save him now.  "Death Wish" is the only time where a Q episode is completely serious.  That's got to say something.

Sure, it's about suicide, and that's what most people pay attention to, but it also helps show exactly what it really intended to, which is the particular character of Voyager.  Q in Next Generation was pretty cosmic.  Q in Deep Space Nine was meddlesome.  Q in Voyager was introspective.  That ought to tell you something right there.

franchise * series * essential * character

Notable guest-stars:
John De Lancie
Jonathan Frakes

Memory Alpha summary.

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