My Endgame Experience

I had a bit of a celebration tonight. In about 12 weeks I crammed all seven seasons of Voyager into my head. It was like drinking really strong coffee. And tonight, well, I grabbed a bottle of Prosecco, a big bowl of popcorn and a fresh supply of tissues to watch the ever-dreaded last episode of Voyager. I read an insane amount of fanfiction in the last weeks and I couldn’t help but notice the frequent scornful references to “the disaster that was Endgame“. I was curious and very worried: No matter how good a film is, a screwed ending can ruin it. I loved Voyager so far (in good times and bad), and I practically prayed the homecoming would be satisfactory.

I think I am so attached to Star Trek because it’s so positive. Endgame, however, started out pretty depressing. The outlook for the characters isn’t so terrible, but it certainly could have been a little nicer. The Doctor with a blonde girl half his age? B’Elanna, Tom and Harry were alright but what happened to the others? Where was Naomi? And Icheb?! The mood that was set said clearly: things change in the future, and not everyone has a happy ending. True – but just not the kind of happiness I’d expect from a series final! This is Star Trek, after all! They’re allowed to be a bit cheesy at times!

The episode reminded me alot of Timeless, obviously: Yeah, we’re glad we’re home – but some didn’t make it, and we’re all traumatised. I am a little disappointed they chose the ‘same’ idea for the ending and had it resolved via time travel. I did like the “to hell with the temporal prime directive” speech, though. Yeah! Finally! I was also totally fooled by Janeway making a deal with the Borg Queen (yes, I am that gullible) and I thought the whole episode was really exciting and had me grappled with suspense. No matter how illogical and weird the plot was. Now on to the juicy details:

Romance

I actually cried when Janeway visited Chakotay’s grave. I am a hopeless JetC follower, and although I know it was unrealistic, I never lost the feeling they should have gotten together in the end instead of Chakotay and Seven. That wasn’t really any more realistic! I won’t even dare to comment on Janeway’s possible thoughts of regret or whatever it was she was meant to feel when her older self told her about the marriage. I shudder at the thought. Then again, Seven behaved so differently in the last couple of episodes (mainly of course in Human Error)! It was only after she started smiling that I came to like her more. She finally let her hair down. How could I hate her after that! And the scenes with Chakotay were nice, after all. Although illogical. Sigh.

Time Travel

Generally, time travel plots are my favourite. They make good stories because they can go the extra mile the show normally wouldn’t go: character deaths, Voyager destroyed – all sorts of irreversible tragedies are possible with the reset button at hand. But as much as I enjoyed The Year of Hell, Timeless and Future’s End, the solution to Endgame seemed a bit of a cheat. Why couldn’t they have found a ‘natural’ way to get home? A boring old wormhole wouldn’t do the seven year journey justice, they needed something drastic, Voyager needed to go out with a bang. But then why include time travel? It is a very depressing thought they wouldn’t have made it without that kind of ‘unfair’ help.

The Family

Throughout the series, they emphasise the fact that Voyager’s crew has become a family. This is probably one of my favourite bits about it: They’re stuck with each other – and they made the best of it. Harry gets the nicest speech at the end:

“I think it’s safe to say no one on this crew has been more… obsessed with getting home than I have. But when I think about everything we’ve been through together, maybe it’s not the destination that matters. Maybe it’s the journey, and if that journey takes a little longer, so we can do something we all believe in, I can’t think of any place I’d rather be, or any people I’d rather be with.”

To the voyage! B’Elanna also says something about not being quite sure what to think about getting back home, and Tom also thinks of Voyager as his home – that was really nice, because obviously those two have found something they didn’t have back home and wish to preserve it. I loved the fact that B’Elanna gave birth as they entered the Alpha Quadrant. That was simply beautiful.

But the other characters were not as well wrapped up as the happy Paris family. I totally agree with what Robert Beltran said about the negligence his character received. All he did in the last two seasons was sit around. And then they throw in that love story all of a sudden. I can only shake my head in disbelief.

Home

The reception was nice, with Admiral Paris sneaking glances at his son, and the entire bridge crew gaping the viewscreen. Nice action-explosion-moment when the Borg sphere explodes, by the way. But why the sudden stop? I want the party! The tears! And please, some final character moments – what happens to them now?! Next Generation did a far better job with All Good Things… in giving us a positive outlook on the future. Apart from Nemesis (kill off Data! How dare you!), the films helped with that develoment as well. But Voyager was more or less discarded – and it deserved a little more TLC I should think. They could have ditched quite a few boring/weird episodes (like Memorial, Threshhold, The Fight and so on) and included more good storytelling and character moments. When Neelix left, for example, that was really touching. And they should have put in some more command team moments!

The Series

I was surprised how attached I got to the characters on Voyager. I wish they had explored their possibilities a little more though. Where’s the “Dad, this is B’Elanna and Miral.” and what ever happened to the Maquis? They left so many questions unanswered and so many storylines open. I believe this review puts together a few valid and humorous points. Despite all my criticism, I enjoyed Voyager and am glad I’ve seen it all now. So I raise my almost empty glass to another great Star Trek experience. Thanks. To the voyage!

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