My #StarTrekVoyager rewatch S4E08, “Year of Hell, Part 1”
Ninety seconds in and it’s already dark. Red from That 70s Show is playing with time to achieve a “Target Event.” Now he’s set to wipe an entire species from existence. At least they didn’t waste any time getting to the plot.
Now Seven and Kim have upgraded their Mapquest and the Doctor takes the opportunity to be pompous. The plot intrudes, As they enter Zahl space they encounter a Krenim who’s a Jackass. We meet a swarmy but nice Zahl wearing a leisure suit. He’s erased by a temporal wave, and the Krenim become more powerful and bigger jackasses. Things get worse for Voyager.
This is the plot. Lather, rinse, repeat. Red has gone completely Ahab and things get terrible for Voyager fast. In a painfully obvious bit of foreshadowing Janeway’s lucky teacup breaks. Ugh.
Yeah, yeah, the crew is clever and resilient. There’s a nice moment of levity with Paris that I won’t spoil. I’m wondering why the computer can’t manifest multiple EMHs. Voyager’s new shielding protected it from a temporal wave that would have fixed the ship. C’est la vie.
It takes them a long time to figure that out. I know, that’s for the audience. But Red sees them as a problem now. Watching the hull peel off is compelling and dramatic. Turns out the better bit of foreshadowing in the tea cup scene was Chakotay’s plan. The crew has to abandon the ship leaving only the senior staff.
To be continued. I can see why this 2-part story is so well-regarded. It’s well-plotted & keeps the extraneous nonsense to a minimum. It also ramps up the tension in a smooth believable way. Very effective. I hope part 2 is as good.
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