Mark Watches ‘Voyager’: S02E17 – Dreadnought

In the seventeenth episode of the second season of Voyager, a mistake from B’Elanna’s past somehow ends up in the Delta Quadrant. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Voyager. 

This was a fun episode, and y’all know that I love anything focusing on B’Elanna. MORE B’ELANNA ALL THE TIME. Well, I should say it was a fun episode until it was A VERY STRESSFUL episode, but let’s be real: the whole thing rules because B’Elanna rules.

First of all, let us acknowledge what a BADASS she is for sabotaging a Cardassian missile and then reprograming it to be the literal best weapon the Maquis probably ever had. However, the conflict that arises from this is so fascinating! B’Elanna more or less has to fight her own mind once the Dreadnought misidentifies a target after REFUSING TO BELIEVE IT IS IN THE DELTA QUADRANT. Thus, all the failsafes that B’Elanna devised are now obstacles preventing her from stopping the decimation of a random civilization.

Yet aside from the logistical nightmare that this represents, it’s a very personal conflict for B’Elanna. On the one hand, the Dreadnought represents a time when she bitterly disappointed Chakotay by making a crucial decision without consulting him. While the two of them have certainly built up a strong relationship in the time since, that doesn’t make the reappearance of that mistake feel any better. Of course, the even bigger issue here is that B’Elanna had, most likely, dealt with the guilt and shame she felt after betraying Chakotay’s trust. And now, the Dreadnaught might hurt Voyager or the random planet it targeted. How could B’Elanna live with making a mistake like that?

So there’s an emotional intensity here that exists alongside the logistical intensity. It’s scary watching the Dreadnaught computer shut down every attempt that B’Elanna makes at disarming the missile itself. But it’s also distressing because you can see her guilt and terror building up as she fails each round, as she’s tricked by her own cleverness, as she must cope with the fact that she programmed this computer to be ruthless and suspicious and adaptive.

It’s entertaining, for sure. There’s a lot of other stuff here, too, like Tuvok’s dedication to Janeway. GIVE ME MORE OF IT, AS WELL. Janeway herself plays a fantastic role in this story because she has to contend with the fact that the Voyager still has a reputation for violence within the Delta Quadrant. It’s not exactly comforting to the aliens that are dealing with the oncoming Dreadnought that Janeway states she has good intentions. What does that mean to them when there’s a LITERAL WARHEAD about to hit their planet??? So, she has to demonstrate that she is acting in good faith, and Janeway, being the INCREDIBLE SOUL THAT SHE IS, goes above and beyond what is expected of her. She was willing to sacrifice herself and Voyager in order to save two million lives. JANEWAY FOR PRESIDENT.

So when is Jonas going to be ejected into space? He’s awful and he’s been getting away with his sharing of information for weeks now. He’s doing it out of spite, isn’t it? Like, what possible benefit will he get from being a mole??? I don’t really understand him, but the show isn’t giving me much to work with, you know?

Anyway, this was a solid episode that kept me on the edge of my seat. Bravo!

The video for “Dreadnought” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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