Voyager Torture: Initiations (Season 2, Episode 18)

Vincent   May 26, 2014   Comments Off on Voyager Torture: Initiations (Season 2, Episode 18)

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Voyager Torture features Vincent reviewing an episode of Star Trek Voyager that he’s seen for the first time and Chris Piers creating a drawing based on that episode based solely on Vincent’s review and never having seen the show.

Wow this episode is ripe for a fan fiction rewrite. Chakotay captures a young boy who is on a quest to complete a manhood ritual and the two end up on a planet alone together. Yikes.

Basically I just told you the episode, but I’ll elaborate a bit more. Chakotay has to do some made up native American ritual (it may be real, but knowing the writers didn’t even specify what tribe he’s from, I’ll just assume it’s made up) that has him in a shuttle all alone from the Voyager. You know, just like all the ancient native Americans used to do, leaving their big spaceships to hang out in a little spaceship.

Of course he can’t complete his ritual, because some Kazon decide to attack him for being in their territory. A young boy volunteers in order to “earn his name”, basically become a warrior. This Kazon is played by Aron Eisenberg who also played Nog on DS9. You’ll instantly recognize him from his voice. Despite being able to tell who he is, he’s still one of the better parts of the episode.

Not-Nog attacks Chakotay and he fails. His ship is destroyed by Chakotay in his shuttle (has a shuttle ever before won in one on one combat) and Chakotay beams Not-Nog aboard before Not-Nog’s ship is destroyed. When Chakotay decides to bring Not-Nog back, they’re brought aboard the Kazon vessel. We learn that since Not-Nog has failed, he’ll never earn his name and he’s basically a super loser whose life is worse than death. Want to hear a fun fact? This episode was rewritten because they Kazon were originally coming off as warmed over Klingons. I don’t know what they changed, but mission failed. Every moment these Kazon appear on screen I feel like the writers are screaming, “I wish we had real Klingons!”

I can’t stress how lame the Kazon are as villains. They are so pathetic that they don’t warrant any kind of fear or danger. Their technology sucks and their very look inspires laughs. Their uniform looks like a dirty outfit from Dragon Ball Z, their prosthetics look like the make up person gave up half way before finishing Klingon makeup, and their hair looks like that of a homeless person walking around with leaves and twigs in it. I have no hope that this show can save Kazon, like Next Generation did with the Ferengi (who when first showed up were really pathetic, then turned into an interesting species)

Okay, done with that tangent for now. Chakotay escapes when the leader of this band of Kazon gives him a gun to kill Not-Nog. Another brilliant move by the Kazon. Chakotay takes the head Kazon hostage and makes for his shuttle. Not-Nog escapes with Chakotay because he’s pretty much got nothing else to lose. In a stunning act of stupidity, Chakotay doesn’t leave with his hostage, which allows the Kazon to fire upon his shuttle. Sigh.

Chakotay and Not-Nog are transported to the surface of a moon that looks like every desert planet that the original series crew stumbled upon. It’s not just any rocky desert planet, though. It’s the deadly Kazon training grounds! What follows is Chakotay hanging out in a cave with Not-Nog as they discuss their different outlooks on life and the Voyager crew tracking down Chakotay. They do, but are double crossed by the Kazon (surprise) who find Not-Nog and Chakotay. Chakotay acts like he’s Not-Nog’s captive and wants to have Not-Nog kill him so he can earn his name and go back to his people, afterwards to be revived by the Voyager crew. Instead, Not-Nog kills his leader and pledges allegiance to the former second in command and then they let Chakotay go.

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The episode ends with Chakotay performing his ritual in his own quarters, proving he could have done that in the first place without risking one of their (supposedly) limited shuttles.

Least Annoying Characters:

Chakotay (despite the ritual stuff), Tom Paris, The Doctor

Most Torturous Moment:

Having to accept that the writers are really trying to make the Kazon viable adversaries.

Chris Art Accuracy:

While they never got this close in the episode, the interpretation by Chris evokes more of a father son bond that I rather would have seen. Hell, the kid could have joined the crew and earned his manhood by killing Neelix.

Torture Score: 3 out of 5 Neelixes

3 of 5 Neelix