Second Union

Second Union


“Mr. Kim, we’re Starfleet officers. Weird is part of the job.”

“Deadlock” is, unquestionably, the first great episode of Star Trek: Voyager. It was when, I speculate, the writers stopped following the formula of classic Star Trek and truly began to understand the bizarre predicament of the little ship they shot into the heart of the Delta Quadrant. The first couple of seasons the show was fraught with challenges to improve upon The Next Generation, but instead found itself re-sequencing variations on earlier themes. It was Next Generation-lite until “Deadlock.”

This is an episode that takes interesting chances, such as killing off a major character and then replacing him later. Samantha Wildman (Nancy Hower) had been established in the earlier episode, “Elogium,” to be pregnant. She goes into labor while trying to fix Neelix’s replicator, but there are complications due to a power drain from unknown pulses of proton bursts while in Vidiian space. The pulses cause microfractures damaging the hull and injuring members of the crew.

Kes (Jennifer Lien) races off to treat the injured but she vanishes. Wildman’s baby dies and Harry (Garrett Wang) gets sucked out into space through a fracture in the hull. Things go to hell in a hurry, but … we go back to the ship and everything seems fine. Nothing has happened. While waiting for Wildman to deliver her baby, Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) spots what appears to be her own ghost walking around on her bridge. She notes that her ghost “looks like hell,” and she starts an investigation. Meanwhile, a “duplicate” Kes appears on the ship and is taken to sickbay.

It appears there are two Voyagers (one of the ships is firing the proton bursts that are damaging the other ship), both slightly out of phase, and at least one of those ships has attracted the unwanted attention of the Vidiians, a race of diseased scavengers who steal organs from other species. Janeway (with B’Elanna’s help) manages to bridge communications between both ships and, for once, Janeway has to deal with her own obstinance. Both Janeways don’t want to put their respective ships in danger, nor do they want to endanger their counterparts. The argument is rendered pointless as the Vidiians attack, but both ships aren’t sure which ship the Vidiians can see.

The ship that is in better shape provides cover for the crippled ship. That ship’s Harry (along with the alternate Wildman baby who lived) transports to the other Voyager. The Vidiians board that Voyager and proceed to take everybody’s organs, but they are unaware Janeway has rigged the self-destruct. The ship explodes taking the Vidiian ship with it. This is a fun, insane episode that goes far beyond anything we’ve seen in previous series and was the first step toward making Star Trek: Voyager truly unique.

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