Monday, July 2, 2012

Voyager 2x25 "Resolutions"


Fans of Voyager wanted Janeway and Chakotay to get together.  Maybe that's part of the thing that helped tank interest in the series, because that's a romance that resolutely never happened, even more certainly thank Picard and Crusher.

"Resolutions" is the closest the series ever came to explaining why.  Contaminated and left to fend for themselves on an alien planet and likely to remain there the rest of their lives, Janeway and Chakotay get a close-up look at everything that stood in their way, and why their relationship quickly evolved to the state it remained in from the very beginning.  Simply put, they work well together, and they each have necessary skills the other needs to survive, but they mean nothing more to each other than that ability to survive.

At first, neither knows what to make of the situation.  Both of them thinks they know what needs to be done, and so they get at it, quite separately.  Then they begin to notice how they can provide additional comforts to one another, and that it's not so bad being close to each other.  They develop a kinship and a bond and mutual contentment, but the name of the episode is "Resolutions," and resolve is the necessary ingredient that makes the whole thing work.  If they weren't stuck in this situation, they'd be exactly the same on the ship.  Chakotay had more passion with Seska, at many points during this very season.

For that reason, because it's exactly the same relationship they always have and they don't really address what all the fans wanted to badly, Janeway and Chakotay don't really reveal anything different in "Resolutions," so in many regards it doesn't really stand out.  I could make the argument that it's essential for all the things and reasons I've already outlined, that it explains everything about them without having to come out and say it, but I guess you don't have to worry about it if you don't want to.  The writers already made that call, several times over.  In fact, they avoid their problems more than they try to solve them, that's what really happens here.  Every time there's a big decision to be made any other time, they butt heads.  Without having to say so, Chakotay is really saying he's fine with this and he'll make good and try and help Janeway make good, too, because the roles are really reversed, and he's too polite to say so.  But the funny thing is, even in the dominant position, he's submissive, because he doesn't like a big fuss anymore, especially when it isn't necessary.  So it looks like the episode says less about him than it does Janeway.  It's like the opposite of "Tattoo."

franchise * series * essential * character

notable guest-stars:
Simon Billig

Memory Alpha summary.

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