Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Voyager, Season 7: Drive, Season 7
Airdate: October 18, 2000
147 of 168 produced
147 of 168 aired


While giving the Delta Flyer II a dry run, Tom and Harry come across a hot-rodding pilot on her way to an interstellar race.

On this week's episode of "Who Wore It Better..."


Matthew: Here we have the classic A-plot/B-plot structure. I would say the A-plot is Tom and B'Elanna's relationship, the B-plot being the space race. I say this because, despite plenty of screen time being devoted to it, I don't really particularly care about the race itself or the fragile peace between 4 races I've never heard of (though one is the Terellians? Do they care if they've run out of names? Perhaps it's an intentional joke?). I enjoyed the joke of Harry finally pursuing a woman who wasn't a Borg, dead, etc. I was a bit unclear on the saboteur's modus operandi. Her plan seemed too complicated by half, and I failed to understand why she bombed her co-pilot's console.

Kevin: This is going to end up being a short review because I'm largely going to respond "Yeah...I agree." It's not scintillating writing, but...yeah...I agree. If we got more time with a character who cared about the race for their own reasons, maybe it would resonate, but as it stands, it's just Alien of the Week with the McGuffin of the Week.

Matthew: Anyway, the main story is clearly Tom and B'Elanna. I will stipulate to theirs being by far the best and most realistic relationship in Star Trek. But there is some silliness that helps this plot transpire. B'Elanna has to be extremely upset but not communicate this in any way to Tom. I did find it sweet that she tried to create a huge getaway weekend for them on the holodeck. Ultimately, Tom's proposal of marriage, though amusing, seemed like a bit of a bone-headed move in context. Are they really ready? Marriage isn't a solution to a fight. They seriously need to sort out their communication issues.

Kevin: This is just classic television relationship writing, where marriage is the only goal of a long term relationship and if you love each other, you'll get married and never fight because you love each other. It occurred to me at some point in adulthood that proposals in TV and film are always surprises and that's a terrible idea. I kind of wish they had just dispensed with the race plot and fine tuned the relationship discussion. I don't even need Tom to have been neglectful to set up a conflict. A nice slice of life episode focusing on a couple I care about managing a relationship with you live and work together confined to a space the size of a large condo building is all I need.


Matthew: Whatever writing issues I have with their relationship, both of the principals totally sell it. I completely believe them as a couple, and both Tom's slight self-absorption and B'Elanna's cool detachment (masking deep sensitivity) are well modulated and portrayed. Their chemistry is why the relationship works regardless of who's writing.

Kevin: I feel like the rate of 'checking in' on this relationship or at least acknowledging its existence has been spotty, so while I don't have any complaints about the acting choices, they do feel like slight gear shifts. Dawson sells feeling neglected, but it's a shift from the last time we saw her and Tom act together.

Matthew: Oh, Garrett Wang. His delivery of "What the HELL is going on?!!?!?" elicited a chuckle from both people viewing the episode this last time. I did believe, however, that he was moon-eyed over his love target. Her performance was kind of "meh" for me, though. I didn't buy that she was even a little interested, which she ought to have portrayed to make Harry less of an adolescent dupe.

Kevin: This is actually getting worse that it ever got with LaForge, though maybe not as bad as Bashir, but the running joke has run out of steam. There's "a little shy," then there's whatever weird pathology leads Harry to only be attracted to women he can't or shouldn't have.

Production Values:

Matthew: Loads of CGI here to comment on. The ship shots were pretty decent, as were the astronomical phenomena and race markers. Less good was the shuttle bay interior. The technology has just not advanced far enough to depict a realistic, well-lit space, let alone human workers moving within it. Maybe a long shot of a Borg cube interior can work, but it just doesn't fly here. 

Kevin: The ship shots were great, though it's kind of hard to portray a race in space, with no markers to indicate relative speed.

Matthew: I don't know how I feel about the race uniforms. I think it looks best on Harry and B'Elanna. Tom's mini-paunch is not flattered by the color blocking.

Kevin: They felt like riffs on the Starfleet uniform, which is fine, but yeah, after your late twenties, jumpsuits are not your friends.


Matthew: This episode is a bit of a trifle, but I can't stay mad at it. Despite a rather pointless race plot, I think the acting brings it up to a 3.

Kevin: I flirted with a 2, but that felt churlish. It's a tepid 3, but a three nonetheless, for a total of 6. There's just enough chemistry and history to keep this from being a bad episode, leaving it just a somewhat bland one.


  1. I don't know why I'm always falling for Cyia Batten's bad girl characters... But for once I feel like I'm naturally in Harry's corner here. :)

    1. I think this is the least of her three Trek appearances, but it probably has more to do with the writing than anything.