Voyager Torture features Vincent reviewing an episode of Star Trek Voyager that he’s seen for the first time and Chris Piers drawing an image based on that episode that he’s never seen.
Today’s episode opens up with Chakotay seeing something on a moon full of rocks that triggers a flashback. Let the torture begin!
“I can give you an official rubber tree people theory,” says Chakotay.
In our A story for this week Chakotay, the pretend native person, (I call him pretend, because his tribe is never specified) sees a native person symbol on a planet that matches one that he saw when he was kid. How could this possibly be?!
In our B story for this episode the Doctor is kind of rude (when isn’t he) and Kes says that if he could feel pain then he could be a better doctor as he would know what his patients are going through.
This episode alternates between a young Chakotay and his pop along with some other youngsters on an exploration in a jungle looking for evidence of a tribe that is related to their own. It flips back to current Chakotay and crew who find a warp trail going from the moon rock planet to another planet that’s amazeballs and full of all kinds of minerals. Chakotay grabs an away team which includes Neelix (boo!).
They can’t transport down because of techno babble, so they have to take a shuttle. On the way down Neelix says, “It takes more than a little thunderstorm to bother one of your mighty starfleet ships doesn’t it?” Yeah Neelix, I’m sure those shuttles will hold up. That’s why a couple of episodes ago you crashed on the surface of a planet in one.
Meanwhile, the Doctor sneezes. He programmed himself to get the flu, so he’ll be able to be a better doctor. Not really to sympathize with his patients though, he wants to show everyone that a simple illness shouldn’t slow you down. I wonder where this one is going…
Through the flashbacks we learn that Chakotay is more of a city kid that doesn’t really care about the outdoor crap and native junk his dad is showing him. He tells his pops that he wants to leave the tribe and join Starfleet, because he got a recommendation from Captain Sulu. This doesn’t go over very well.
I had to take a break here for a second because this led to me and my girlfriend pausing the episode for awhile to figure out how old Sulu from TOS would have been. I said it was possible that he would be alive, since McCoy was alive at the start of Next Gen. Using some birthdays we found online and Next Gen’s first episode as a yardstick, we put Sulu at 107 when Chakotay was 15, making it unlikely that Sulu would have been active and only a Captain. It must have been another relative. The short version of all this is, we’re fucking geeks.
I was kind of zoning in and out of this episode due to a combination of boredom and white guilt. It’s incredibly hard to watch an episode written by people with the cultural sensitivity of a hammer. It’s not until Neelix gets his eye nearly clawed out by a hawk that I started paying attention. Unfortunately, he does not die.
Anyway, it is revealed that Chakotay and his pop met some natives that had head ridges. If you have more interest in any of this, I’ll direct you to this episode of In Search Of.
The most important thing to gain from this is that the head ridge native who young Chakotay meets is played by Richard Chaves. You know, this dude from Predator:
In the present day, Chakotay ends up separated from the away team who are beamed up. A tree falls on him in the fakest way possible. He remembers when he was a kid you had to get nude for these aliens and so he literally strips down to nothing. He then finds this ugly onesie to put on and he walks into a cave that has lighting in front of it. I wish I was making all of this up.
He meets up with some aliens and they explain that they gave native peoples a gift, but white people without the alien gift wiped out the natives. Side note: Wouldn’t it have been cooler if Chakotay would have been a descendant of the space Native Americans seen in that one original series episode?
The most important takeaway from this is that the alien that Chakotay talks to is this guy:
Mr. Lippman, one of Elaine’s bosses on Seinfeld. Man. The casting on this episode is all over the map.
Oh yeah and the Doctor couldn’t handle being sick at all. Oh, the laughs.
Overall this episode was painful due to a triple punch of nonsense, boring-ass shit, and cultural insensitivity.
Least Annoying Characters:
Most Torturous Moment:
The big reveal that Chariots of the Gods is totally real, man.
Chris Art Accuracy: Either I didn’t describe this well enough or Chris took creative license, but Chakotay is fully clothed when the tree falls on him. Like usual, I much prefer this version and I totally don’t blame you for wanting to make this the wallpaper on your computer.
Torture Score: 3 out of 5 Neelixes