I’ve suffered through two five-Neelix rated episodes in a row. If I wasn’t writing about Star Trek: Voyager to entertain you readers I’d have quit this show by now… but I plod on. As I started this episode I turned to my girlfriend and said, “Hey, maybe this will be a good one. There’s been two or three of those. And it’s a Tuvok episode, so it’s possible this will be a good one right?” She said nothing and in her silence I knew the truth.
“Innocence” opens up with Tuvok on a moon with a dying crewmember. Their shuttle crashed and thankfully the one that was a regular cast member isn’t hurt at all. After the dude croaks, Tuvok catches three alien kids spying on him. They’re stuck on the moon too! Oh no!
We cut to a badly damaged Voyager recovering from both the critical damage to the ship and the emotional fallout of losing one of their own (who was replaced by a copy). Just kidding! Almost everything on the ship is fine. You’d think that they would explore a really interesting plot?
The ship does need some something or other and that’s why Tuvok and others were flying around looking for whatever the hell they need (it’s completely irrelevant). Janeway and crew are meeting with a new alien species, the Drayans. Almost nothing is known about them as they’re a very insular species. They show up and they’re real tight asses, but not unfriendly. They also happen to be the same species as the kids that Tuvok has found. These people wear long, unappealing black robes with veils that remind me Muslim clothing, but in this day and and I’m not sure if I can even make that comparison. As far as alien makeup, Voyager goes all out in this episode. They basically make a triangle on their foreheads and… that’s it.
Back on the moon, Tuvok has stowed away the body of the crew member killed at the top of the episode. He put a “stasis field” around him. They don’t explain what that is, so we can only assume that it protects the body somehow. Perhaps from decay. Couldn’t they adapt that technology to protect them from stuff in the field? Anyway, Tuvok explains to the kids that he can probably fix the ship. The kids then tell him of some monster that has been taking other kids away during the night. They’re the only ones left.
There’s some cute interactions with Tuvok and the kids as he is being all Vulcan and they’re being all kid-like. Can a single Vulcan dad raise three kids on his own? Tune in to “Everyone Loves Tuvok.” While working on the shuttle, Tuvok picks up a ship on the scanners which turns out to be Drayan. The kids are freaked out and tell Tuvok that the Drayans are actually trying to kill them! They bring them to this moon in order to give them to the monster!
He believes them enough to hide in some bushes with the kids as the Drayan search party looks around the shuttle. And to help prove the kids are right the search party is both armed and has their weapons in their hands, ready to shoot. Tuvok then resolves to bring the kids with him back to Voyager.
Back on the Voyager the crew realizes Tuvok is missing so they head over to the moon where they find a Drayan ship in orbit. They have a conversation where the Drayans say they found Tuvok’s shuttle and they’ll handle things from here, since this moon is a sacred place for them. And of course the Voyager crew can’t get a transporter lock on Tuvok so they’re not sure how to handle this situation.
As night falls Tuvok is watching the kids who are trying to sleep by a fire. There are active search parties looking for them and they’re trying to avoid detection so Tuvok hangs out at the shuttle and builds a fire. These Drayans are complete idiots for not having anyone hang back at the shuttle, which is the most obvious place to return to. And Tuvok doesn’t button up the shuttle to keep the kids safe from the monster, because it’s warm next to the fire. Well that really works out in the morning when two of the kids have disappeared.
Tuvok goes into a nearby cave to look for them and finds a bunch of piles of empty clothes. The kids are probably dead, but there’s no way to tell for sure what happened.
On Voyager, Paris reports that the Drayans have seen another search party and they wonder why it’s hard to find Tuvok. I’m wondering the same thing since he’s been hanging on the same set… I mean, by the shuttle the whole time. Tuvok then manages to get a signal through to Voyager and he explains he’s worried about the last kid’s safety. Janeway decides to send a shuttle down to get Tuvok and the kid despite the protests of the Drayans who send a shuttle to pursue them. Oh and Janeway goes down in the shuttle, because fuck it she’s Janeway and she has to do everything hands on because she’s so super awesome. Chakotay doesn’t really protest like Riker would when Picard wanted to leave the ship. I think it’s because he knows if she dies she won’t be around to order them to self destruct at the drop of a hat.
There’s some urgency to take off for Tuvok because the kid reports a search party is coming for them! Except we never see the search party. They even show the shuttle taking off and, nope no search party in the shot. This series is so friggen cheap.
Oh, before I forget. There’s a moment where Tuvok yells at the kid to get away from a console and seconds later it explodes. Did he know that it was about to blow? If so, why doesn’t he warn any crew members if he has this kind of foresight the numerous times this happens on the Voyager?
Tuvok ecounters some problems in the air and is forced back down. Everyone lands and they have a big old confrontation. The Drayans explain that yes, they do bring these dumb kids here to die. And here’s where Janeway tells Tuvok he can’t bring the kid back because of the Prime Directive and that they aren’t allowed to interfere with other cultures right? NOPE. She doesn’t bring it up once. Miss “I could get us home, but I’m too stubbornly dogmatic to the Prime Directive” doesn’t mention it once. It’s pretty convenient.
No, instead of getting that speech we find out…
wait for it…
this is a good one…
…that the kids are actually really old and their society ages backwards and they’re just returning to their energy form on this moon.
Yes. This society somehow magically ages backwards. And when they get “younger” looking they get confused and forgetful. But instead of acting like old people who are confused and forgetful they act exactly like children. And what’s even better is that as soon as this big twist is revealed, the little kid that’s with Tuvok suddenly stops acting as kid like as she had been earlier, because really we don’t have to bother anymore now that the audience knows the shocking reveal!
How fucking stupid. I can’t believe I’m wasting my life watching this series.
Least Annoying Characters:
Most Torturous Moment:
The twist. The episode was hovering around 2 Neelixes until that moment.
Chris Art Accuracy:
I’m going to invent a time machine to have Chris get a job as the costume designer for this series, because he made the guards look really cool. Too cool for this show. It was a treat seeing this image.
Torture Score: 5 out of 5 Neelixes