Mark Watches ‘Voyager’: S02E25 – Resolutions

In the twenty-fifth and penultimate episode of the second season of Voyager, I now command this ship, and may there be happy sailing forever. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Star Trek. 

I really hope this show doesn’t ignore me and my very specific demands because I HAVE A GREAT NEED.

Captain Tuvok

First of all: YES. Yes. I do love getting to see different characters helm the captain’s role across the various Star Trek entities, and this is no exception. Tuvok makes a fascinating captain, and the writers take advantage of the opportunity to give us a fantastic story. Granted, I think “The Quickening” drops us into the action in a jarring way. Perhaps that was intended, but I admit that it allows the writers to spend way more time on the ramifications of the virus that Janeway and Chakotay have than on the set-up.

Which allows us to get a glimpse of the multi-week drama that comes from Voyager leaving the commander and the captain behind. I appreciate that even though they’re returned in the end, the two crew members are gone for nearly two months time. It gives the experience far more depth than I expected, and therefore, the emotional toll on the remaining crew makes even more sense. The near-mutiny that Henry Kim leads comes from the fact that they all get further and further away from both the people they left behind and a possible solution to that conflict. On top of that? Tuvok’s leadership style lacks any emotion, and it makes him seem cold and uncaring.

Of course, we know that’s not true. (And that scene with Kes is so goddamn powerful, too. I loved that we were reminded that he lost a very close friend in the process.) Tuvok may be able to control his emotions, but that doesn’t mean he can’t understand why they’re important. His decision to go after the Vidiians for possible help is evidence that he cares about the emotional well-being of his crew, especially since the majority of them want to put themselves at risk in order to save Janeway and Chakotay.

It’s a satisfying story about compromise and duty, and it’s also a great chance for many of these characters – Kes and Harry in particular – to shine.

Camp Janeway

Again, I found the opening of this episode quite jarring, but the story justified it once the writers moved into the experience of Chakotay and Janeway spending nearly two months isolated from their crew. But this isn’t just about isolation. After spending that much time trying to find a cure for the virus they’re infected with, they both struggle with hope. Should they entertain the hope of finding a cure? Getting home? Reuniting with their friends? Or should they plan to survive alongside each other?

I understood Janeway’s insistence in trying to find a way to cure herself. And it made sense to me why she was so uncomfortable with Chakotay’s behavior. Every time he made something that added comfort to their living arrangement, it felt like him conceding defeat or admitting that their predicament was hopeless. So I found it illuminating that these characters approached this conflict from such different places. How characters react to a conflict can be a brilliant experience for the audience, you know?

Now, I’ve been dancing around the obvious part of this, but I wanted to talk about why this story works just from a writing standpoint first. It’s a weird conflict that you know will be resolved positively in the end, so the tension and entertainment had to come from somewhere. And “Resolutions” finds that by sticking Chakotay and Janeway in an environment where their affection for one another can flourish, and OH LORD, DOES IT EVER. Look, I didn’t go into this show ready to ship Chakotay/Janeway (whose names make for difficult yet coincidental portmanteaus because LOOK AT THEM, THEIR NAMES ALREADY INCORPORATE THE OTHERS), but I’ll be damned if I ever disembark this ship. EVER.

How? How can I? This episode depicts two people who are not only attracted to each other, but who respect one another deeply. That’s more of the reason why I believe they have such good chemistry. It’s rare that I am into ships without friction, but here I am, ready to declare myself completely overwhelmed by these two. He built a headboard for her! He made her cry with a totally bullshit legend from his people (WHO ARE HIS PEOPLE, STOP DANCING AROUND THAT, VOYAGER) just so he could tell her that he would do anything for her! They planned on building more rooms! HE WAS GONNA BUILD HER A BOAT. HE BUILT HER A FUCKING BATHTUB WITHIN THE FIRST COUPLE WEEKS. Come on, the fics write themselves!

If there’s any flaw here, it’s in the distracting lack of any acknowledgement at the end of “Resolutions” that this actually happened. It’s like that one episode of The Next Generation where Picard and Dr. Crusher went through a somewhat similar experience, except instead of a bullshit copout, no one says anything. Perhaps their stoic return to the captain and first officer chairs in the final scene was them trying to say that they’re just gonna ignore everything, but I don’t know that I find that all that convincing. It’s a subtext I had to pull out of the text, you know? Does that really count?

Otherwise, I enjoyed this episode a lot. Whew, my emotions.

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

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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