Mark Watches ‘Voyager’: S05E24 – Relativity

In the twenty-fourth episode of the fifth season of Voyager, THIS SHIT IS COOL, I WASN’T READY, LET’S DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Star Trek

OH MY GOD, I DON’T CARE THAT THIS IS NOT 100% UNIQUE, THIS WAS A WILD RIDE. Like, I never thought we’d see a sequel to the “Future’s End” arc ever? I know it wasn’t my favorite part of the show, and for all its problems, it’s clear that the writers for this season decided to take all the awesome parts of the story and make them into a time-travel-thriller. YES. LET’S DISCUSS ALL THE REASONS WHY THIS EPISODE RULES.

  • My god, that cold open is so amazing. Once I figured out that we were seeing Voyager right at the start of the series, I was excited. AND THEN THAT REVEAL WHERE SEVEN STANDS UP WAS SO SHOCKING AND CONFUSING.
  • What I enjoyed about this script is that at no point do the writers waste time. It is not the bloated, misdirected, and aimless story we got in “Future’s End.” Every scene exists for a purpose; we are told information in a timely manner, but without ruining the pacing or the suspense. It was a great deal of fun to try to figure out why Seven was suddenly in that scene! I appreciate we weren’t told everything upfront.
  • Even better: I forgot about Braxton, and the actor playing him this time around was different, so even then, I didn’t quite know what was going on. Thus, the reveal that this was the Relativity from the 29th century, here to repair time, was immensely satisfying. I’M GLAD MY MEMORY OF THAT ARC WASN’T GREAT.
  • I cannot get enough of the set and costume design of the Relativity ship and crew. Everything about it was brilliant, especially since it reminded the audience of the Federation through small visual cues, yet still existed as its own thing.
  • A time bomb. A LITERAL TIME BOMB. Someone appreciate that pun with me, PLEASE.
  • I also technically count this episode as a heist story. All the elements of it are there. It’s a one-person crew (Seven of Nine) who must infiltrate a group in order to steal/disable something without being detected. Thus, it’s a scenario ripe for suspense, and I was not disappointed at all. It wasn’t long until I was shrieking at my TV, hoping that Seven wouldn’t get calm.
  • Yet it’s that personal touch that makes this such a special episode. Look, episodic television has to be a challenge, at least in the sense that writers are often controlled in what they can write. This is not the first time travel plot, and at some point, a reset button will most likely need to be hit. Kudos to the writers, then, for finding a way of working within these constraints and still making this episode entertaining and challenging.
  • BECAUSE IT’S ALL BASED ON JANEWAY’S INTERACTIONS WITH TIME TRAVEL. Without her stranding Braxton in the 90s, and without the events of “Timeless” earlier this season, you simply don’t have this episode, where Braxton voices his frustration for having to clean up after Janeway’s messes THREE TIMES. It’s a neat way for the show to demonstrate awareness of its own time travel stories while moving into something new.
  • And trying to catch a saboteur in the moments before they place a time bomb (ha I still love it) on Voyager is one hell of a cool story. The timing has to be perfect, and watching the Relativity crew – along with Seven – struggle to get things right was a goddamn treat. There’s more than the threat of discovery within this conflict, too: Seven can only travel four times at most before the time travel begins to affect her mental and physical health.
  • With these rules in place, “Relativity” builds a credible mystery with a thrilling pace and then reveals that
  • BRAXTON SABOTAGED THE SHIP.
  • IT WAS BRAXTON FROM THE FUTURE THE WHOLE TIME
  • OH MY GOD IT’S A REVENGE HEIST
  • I AM SO PLEASED WITH EVERYTHING HERE BECAUSE BRAXTON IS SHOWN THAT WHILE JANEWAY MIGHT BE MESSY WHEN IT COMES TO TIME TRAVEL, HE’S STILL WRONG.
  • This is the most complicated cat and mouse I’ve seen in a while, and I don’t care, I loved it so much.
  • SEVEN AND JANEWAY GET TO KEEP THEIR MEMORIES. THEY AREN’T ERASED.
  • THANK YOU. WHAT A REFRESHING ENDING.

Oh my god, I want another sequel, please.

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

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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