the story: Seven is recruited by a 29th century Starfleet officer to thwart the destruction of the ship.
what it's all about: "Relativity" is what happens when a franchise has been going a long time, and one of its signature elements, in this case time travel, becomes something that needs to be addressed in a practical manner. And actually, you can extrapolate the entire concept of Enterprise's Temporal Cold War from this episode. (Also worth noting: the Department of Temporal Investigations, from Deep Space Nine's "Trials and Tribble-ations.")
It's also a sequel to the third season event two-parter, "Future's End," in which the character of 29th century Starfleet officer Captain Braxton is first seen. Thanks to these appearances, Braxton is kind of the Mudd (original series), Moriarty (Next Generation), Eddington (Deep Space Nine), or even Duras (the Enterprise one) of Voyager, someone true fans of the series will certainly appreciate but casual ones probably won't really know about.
But yeah, it's an episode with time travel, that like the later "Shattered" revisits various points in the series (an idea first featured in Next Generation's "All Good Things..."), which itself is fun to watch, but merely watching it all play out (although the basic idea is very similar to Deep Space Nine's "Visionary") is its own reward, the concept of Starfleet in the future having taken to patrolling time travel as part of its duties. It just seems natural, once you think about it. Two centuries after Braxton, Daniels (Enterprise) is learning time travel basics in grade school, and his involvement in the concept is even more complicated...
- franchise - A statement on where all that time travel logically leads to.
- series - Braxton returns to avenge his experience in "Future's End."
- character - Janeway and Seven become embroiled in his plot.
- essential - An excellent reward for franchise and series fans.
Bruce McGill (Braxton)
Josh Clark (Carey)