Thursday, September 14, 2017

Voyager 5x21 "Juggernaut"

rating: **

the story: B'Elanna tries to control her anger while dealing with repair work on a Malon ship.

what it's all about: The Malon, in the fifth season, became the second-most unlikely recurring aliens of the series (the sixth season had the "Potato Heads").  Debuting in "Night," the season premiere, they were basically galactic polluters.  Yet in "Juggernaut," it's not really polluting that defines them so much as their generally disagreeable nature.  Enter: B'Elanna.

And duck for cover!  The episode is basically an excuse to illustrate her poor temper, and how she tries to get it under control.  There are plenty of episodes that explain why she has a poor temper, but this isn't one of them; instead, we just get to see her angry for the sake of being angry, and it's actually a refreshing change of pace.  Maybe those who can't fathom having such a bad attitude won't get it, but seeing someone grapple with this as the whole point of an's cathartic. 

And, as you'll see under the guest-stars listing, there are plenty of otherwise familiar faces hiding beneath the lumpy Malon makeup, so that's certainly one of the episode's pleasures, too.

criteria analysis:
  • franchise - Casual fans might be baffled by the Malon phenomenon.
  • series - But it's nice continuity all the same.
  • character - B'Elanna Torres is one of the most fascinating characters in the whole franchise.  Here's an episode that doesn't even try to prove why, and she's still fascinating.
  • essential - Sure it doesn't try to resolve anything, but that doesn't mean it's not worth watching.
notable guest-stars:
Ron Canada
Lee Arenberg
Alexander Enberg

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