Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Voyager 3x6 "Remember"

rating: *

the story: Torres relives the genocide of an alien culture.

what it's all about: It's surprising how often Star Trek uses the trope of aliens projecting memories onto various crew members.  Sometimes it's hugely effective ("The Inner Light" from Next Generation), sometimes it's not ("Memorial," a Voyager episode I rate as one of the franchise's worst for the sheer generic nature of its storytelling).  "Remember" has a story to tell, and it's a good story to tell but the episode really doesn't know what to do with it.  After Deep Space Nine did so much with the memory of past atrocities in such spectacular fashion (right from the start, with "Duet" in its first season), it's really hard to accept it in such simple alien-of-the-week context.  Even the choice of character to experience the tragedy, B'Elanna Torres, seems completely random.  Torres became a ready source of excellent storytelling; she was capable of selling just about anything.  If you like this episode, it's because of her.  But really, there's no point in her being at its center other than the way it ends, attempting to find a hopeful solution about the alien culture becoming willing to accept its actions.  You could've had Kes or Tuvok, and their receptiveness to the projected memories would've made complete sense, but...

Well, anyway, it's the kind of episode that probably plays well better when you're watching it than when you think about what it really accomplishes.  You can celebrate the message, but the manner of delivery leaves a lot to be desired.  On the whole, sloppy storytelling.

criteria analysis:
  • franchise - There's a Star Trek tradition being upheld here.
  • series - This is one of those episodes that could've been done in any of the shows, one of the basic complaints about Voyager that usually doesn't have this much merit.
  • character - Torres is wasted in this, unless you think she really does charm everything she touches.
  • essential - Nope.
notable guest-stars:
Bruce Davison

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