Second Union

Second Union


It’s talking to me, do nothing!

This episode of Star Trek: Voyager is a mess in execution, but still carries with it some very interesting ideas. Let’s say the U.S.S. Voyager is an aluminum can and you take that aluminum can and start crumpling it and distorting the shape. Then you’d find all the corridors and adjoining decks flattened. As all the decks bend and become joined with other decks, whole sections of crew and ship vanish, save for our main cast who are gathered in the holodeck to celebrate Kes’ second birthday. Tom Paris replicates her a cute locket, which inflames Neelix’s feelings of jealousy.

The big problem is that the premise isn’t strong enough to carry the story without providing the crucial detail at the end: a mission of exploration conducted by aliens. When I was a kid, I was fascinated by electronics, electrical machines, processors, and motors. In order to fully investigate such pieces of technology, I would rip open those machines to see how everything worked. I was ten years old, though. That was my excuse. The aliens in this episode do the same thing, and in exchange, they provide information of their own for Voyager’s hungry memory banks. Because the episode is shot from the point-of-view of frustrated and confused crewmembers, the viewers become equally confused and frustrated.

A good portion of the running time is spent watching crewmembers wander corridors until they eventually vanish. Janeway crosses paths with the crumpling effect and is rendered incomprehensible. Kate Mulgrew gets high marks for selling her delirium, and the early-era series tension between Chakotay and Tuvok is interesting, but “Twisted” reminds me more of a tired seventh season Star Trek: The Next Generation episode than a fresh new series taking flight. Reportedly, “Twisted” was one of four episodes shot during the first season but held up for broadcast until the second season at the request of UPN.

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