The writers did a good job of choosing the theme for this episode: having the crew deal with the Maquis/Starfleet tensions. Unfortunately they demonstrate this theme through B’Elanna. The problem is we never really connect to, or even understand why B’Elanna is so angry. When the story starts with a furious B’Elanna attacking another officer, I thought this episode was going to be about B’Elanna learning to get along with people. But instead it’s about the rest of the crew coming to accept crazy B’Elanna. The way this happens is that she proves her expertise as an engineer. Unfortunately the technical problems she solves, and the way she overcomes these problems, are totally incoherent to the audience and depend on techno-babble more than even the most loyal Star Trek fans can tolerate. When the crew starts to get along at the end, it seems completely unearned. So yes, the theme is appropriate, but carried out poorly, giving this episode a 2.
Read something at Memory Alpha
Trek.fm gave it a 5/10
File under: Josh Clark (Lt. Carey)
File under: Martha Hackett (Seska)
File under: Tom Paris: Best Pilot Ever
The main proof that this episode fails in my view is that by the end, I like Carey the most. Seriously, he seems like a cool guy. First of all, his anger and frustration is easy to relate to. He has to deal with B’Elana who was kind of a jerk in this episode, unprofessional, and even violent. What makes it worse is that she’s being considered to be placed above Carey even though he arguably has more right to it. But Carey puts his pride aside, and learns to work with B’Elana. He is a great example of a humble team player. Wait we were supposed to like B’Elana after this episode?
Stay tuned, we’ll be discussing this episode more next week in our “Second Episode Conundrum” article.