"Voyager's second season combined everything we like about Star Trek and took it to new heights. This season is, in my mind, the show's best; it is certainly the last one where the writers had any kind of focus as to what was going to happen on the show. One great episode after another is what this season delivered, along with a deeper sense of the crew of this little ship, not to mention fantastic science-fiction. What more could a fan ask for?This season pulls off all of the exposition that the truncated first season did not. We only gleaned general facts about the crew from the first year, but everyone had an episode to shine here. My favorite episode here is "Projections." I'm a sucker for those "what-is-real?" storylines. It is a solid episode, with the Doctor being more than just smug and surly (although I love it, it can only go so far). Robert Picardo plays disturbed and confused, and Reg Barclay makes a guest appearance. Next is "Non Sequitur," a high-concept episode in which we see an alternate reality where Harry is an engineer on Earth and Tom is a billiards-shooting loser. Like the season that it is a part of, it is a great synthesis of sci-fi storytelling and character exposition. I also loved "Meld," a great Tuvok episode that guest-starred Brad Dourif as a psychopathic killer that Tuvok is obsessed with understanding. The episode examined the enigma of sociopathic killings and it did it in a very effective way. Dourif is one of the highest-caliber guest actors ever to appear on any Trek show, and he is able to be so completely menacing and convincingly psychotic, yet at the same time calm and rational, his performance is reminiscent or Anthony Hopkins' turn as Hannibal Lecter. He is completely mesmerizing. "The Thaw" metaphorically looked at how people allow fear to control their lives, with a surreal, Kafka-esque perspective that made it distinctive. "Resistance" added more dimension to Janeway by showing how far she was willing to go to save her crew, plus a genuinely potent emotional payoff at the end. The Kazon remain a persistent enemy, leading to the best Star Trek cliffhanger ever (Basics, Part I) that makes things really look hopeless for the crew. There was also a visit from Q in "Death Wish" to round out the season.In addition, there was lots of science fiction here, rather than the sprawling space opera the show would turn into later. Now, don't get me wrong, I love space opera, but not of the sprawling variety. The sci-fi episodes included "Twisted," with Voyager being reconfigured by an unknown force, "Prototype," a look at cyber ethics, "Threshold," which had Tom breaking a seemingly impossible barrier, with disastrous results. "Tuvix" is one of the most powerful episodes of the season, and although the setup sounds cheesy, even ridiculous, it is a fine morality play of the highest order. Basically, Neelix and Tuvok get infused due to a transporter accident, giving birth to a new, fully realized and sentient creature. The bulk of the episode's portent has to do with Janeway's decision: can she deny this new entity existence, effectively kill it, just to save her crewmen, and if not, will she be killing them? I hope it is obvious that this would bring up all sorts of moral questions that the episode sets out to answer. Although the ending is obvious, it actually makes the whole episode more agonizing. In the end, though, what impressed me the most was that there wasn't an ending where everyone was happy, or where they were even sure that they had done the right thing. This was (unfortunately) a rarity in TNG and TOS, where a Deus ex machina would often present itself at the last second, leaving the captain not to have to make a difficult and costly choice. It was here that I began to think that Voyager might become an equal to Deep Space Nine: it had here the maturity to allow its characters to have to make the hard choices, no tricks, no Q to rescue the planet from disaster, no Ensign Wesley to save the ship, no pressing the old reset button and turning back the clock, no easy way out. And for the time being, it did."
Ted | Pennsylvania, USA | 03/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Great season for voyager.Season 2 of Voyager was a good one in my opinion. With some great episodesThe 37's
Voyager encounters a trail of rust leading to a 20th century Earth pickup truck. The trajectory comes from a planet where the crew find humans cryogenicly frozen, one of which is Amelia Earhart and her co pilot Fred Noonan! It is later discovered that there are many thousands of humans living on the world.Initiations.
While Chakotay is performing a ritual for his dead father while alone in a shuttlecraft, he accidently encroaches Kazon space and is attacked by a kazon adolescent. He fires on the kazon ship and beams aboard the youth, but is taken hostage when returning him to his people.Projections
The doctor's program is activated during an emergency and the doctor learns the the crew has abandoned ship. Torres, Janeway and Neelix are still on the ship and when they vanish, the doctor thinks he may be dreaming.Elogium
Kes prematurely ungergoes elogium, the ocampa equivelant of puberty. This is the only time her species is capable of reproducing and she considers the possibility of having a child with Neelix.Non Sequitur
Harry Kim wakes up on Earth and discovers that he never served on Voyager. Twisted
During Kes' birthday party, Voyager encounters a spatial distortion which envelops the ship disables the propulsion system and then starts to distort the ship. The crew believe that it will destroy the ship within hours.Paturition
While on a mission to look for food, Paris and Neelix crash land on a planet. While voyager is searching for them, Neelix and Paris discover a nest with eggs in it. One of the eggs hatch and a humanoid life form emerges.Persistence of Vision
While preparing for a meeting with the Botha, Janeway suddenly believes that she is a character from a holonovel Tattoo
Chakotay discovers very familiar symbols on an alien moon which remind him of ones he saw as a child in the Amazon rainforest. He later discovers the same race of aliens that visited his people thousands of years ago.Cold Fire
The Caretaker's remains begin to show signs of activity and suspect that his 'widow' may be nearby. They later encounter a space station with Ocampa living on it.Maneuvers
A former crewmember and Cardassian spy, Seska returns to Voyager and announces plans to unite the Kazon to make an attack on Voyager.Resistance
While searching for a fuel source, Janeway encounters a strange man who thinks she is his daughter.Prototype
After the crew discover a dormant humanoid robot. When Torres reactivates it, the robot kidnaps her.Alliance
After repeated attcks on Voyager by the Kazon, Janeway comsiders the possibility of a parley.Threshold
After Tom Paris becomes the first human to pilot a ship past the speed of warp 10, he mutates into a strange life form.Meld
When the body of a crewman is found, and an autopsy reveals it was murder, an investigation implicates a Voyager crew member as the prime suspect.Dreadnought
The crew find a massive WMD with a Cardassian design. Torres disovers that it had a program malfunction straying it off course and it is headed toward a heavily populated planet.Death Wish
A sucidal member of the Q continuum seeks asylum on Voyager and requests that he be permitted to kill himself.Lifesigns
A dying Viidian scientist is brought aboard Voyager and the doctor transfers he memories into a holographic body.Investigations.
When Paris is kidnapped from a Talaxian freighter by the Kazon, Neelix discovers that a traitor on board may have tipped them off.Deadlock
Voyager is attacked by a Vidiian ship, killing several people. Janeway later finds that they are unharmed and suspects the ship and its crew were somehow duplicated before the attack.Innocence
After crash landing on a small moon, Tuvok finds some frightened children who are stranded there.The ThawVoyager encounters some dead aliens who died of fright. Soon after the crew encounters what scared the aliens to death and may be the next victims.Tuvix
A transporter accident fuses Tuvok and Neelix into a single person with a unique personality. He refuses to let the crew restore the other two because it would kill him.Resolutions
After Janeway and Chakotay contract a incurable contagious disease they have no choice but to be left behind on an alien planet.Basics Part 1
In the season cliffhanger, Seska returns, hijacks voyager and intends to maroon the crew on a nearby planet."
Long awaited and well worth it.
Adam Dukovich | 03/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Voyager was a new direction for Star Trek- away from the Federation, with none of the usual aliens, and without the possibility of help from home. That makes for some very interesting plot developments.Some of the best examples of which are in the second season. Most of the episodes of this season were great, and particularly noteworthy mention are "The Thaw", "Tuvix", "Cold Fire", "Threshold", "Non Sequitur", and of course the season finale "Basics,p.I". If you're already a voyager fan, you know what I'm talking about. If not, I think you'll be one after seeing a few episodes. I highly recommend the second season to help get you addicted!"
Season 2 On the way
Azrial Guhnn | Boca Raton, Florida United States | 03/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I personally found season 2 to be excellent. So much happens and you get even more familiar with the crew. You see how the Maquis and Star Fleet work together more and more. Not to mention the arrival of Seska again with the Kazon. Just wait until you see Basics Part I where Voyager is stolen by the Kazon and the crew is stranded on a volotile planet. And to top it all off Voyager's best hope lies in a The Doctor, a murderer, and Tom Paris. There is so much to look forward to in season 2. And if this is your first time seeing it your in for the greatest ride fo your life.But wait it gets better hwne season 3 arrives :)"
Trying to Find Its Way
George | Massachusetts | 07/24/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"As a preface to this review, I should say that I have been a huge fan of Star Trek Voyager since the original broadcasts of the very first season. When I was away from a television set for a year, I even had a friend videotape all the episodes I missed so that I could see them when I returned to civilization.
But I have to admit that season two is my least favorite of Voyager. There are certainly some great episodes, but many left me frustrated and disappointed.
The height of the season, and the first real standout episode in the series, is Death Wish, with the amusing John De Lancie reprising his role from TNG, along with Jonathan Frakes as Riker. The plot, about right-to-death issues, adds a very serious foundation to all the fun. And Kate Mulgrew finally breaks out of her shell here and shows what she's made of as an actress.
The 37's is another solid episode, connecting Janeway to her childhood hero Amelia Earhart; Resistance gives Mulgrew a chance to act with the excellent and Oscar-winning Joel Grey. Meld affords another great guest star, LOTR's Brad Dourif, the opportunity to brighten up--or really darken--the season. This episode also provides fascinating insights into the emotional turmoil beneath the surface of Lt. Tuvok. Lifesigns lets Robert Picardo's character The Doctor take a very significant step toward becoming human, by falling in love. The Thaw, with another refreshing guest star (the guy who played Lenny in Laverne and Shirley), is the first of what I like to call Voyager's bizarro episodes. These are absurd and really wonderful, in the spirit of the original series. Deadlock I love, and it gives Janeway an excellent chance to get to know herself better, and the season ends with the strong cliffhanger Basics Part 1.
Somewhat weaker, but still good, installments include Initiations, Projections, Elogium, and Non Sequitor, all of which could have been much more engaging. Persistence of Vision seems great until the alien's last line, which makes me wonder why I sat through the last forty-five minutes. The Kazon arc stories Maneuvers, Alliances, and Investigations also should have provided more compelling viewing. Certainly Martha Hackett is more than adequately treacherous and villainous as Seska, but the Kazons just don't seem very interesting. A missed opportunity: the show could have allied Seska with the Vidiians. Just imagine the creepy romantic scenes between her and some gross Vidiian captain. And how would she have kept that race from harvesting her body parts? We'll never know. Resolutions, the season's penultimate epidsode, deals with a plot thread I never really warmed up to: the almost romance between Janeway and Chakotay. I just see him with someone else, and her with someone else.
Weaker episodes are, unfortunately, many: Twisted, Parturition, Tattoo, Cold Fire, for example, all of which had interesting premises but poor executions. Roxann Dawson, who plays Torres as both fiery and brainy, gets substandard material to work with in both Prototype and Dreadnought, which basically have the same plot, if you think about it (robot, or computer, gone out of control). The entire series' bottom of the barrel is Threshold, which even its writer Brannon Braga candidly admits in one of the easter egg clips. Poor Robert Duncan McNeill, who tries to give this turkey some real emotion! Many people love Tuvix, I know, but perhaps I don't because I'm still mad at Janeway for destroying a new life form in order to get two valued crew members back. I understand her decision, but it still feels like murder somehow.
The additional material on this set is particularly entertaining, with interviews with Martha Hackett, Ethan Phillips, and Tim Russ, who even sings, quite well, in another hidden extra--though it's not that difficult to find. In Braving the Unknown Michael Piller is very honest about creative difficulties during the season, and perhaps this tug-of-war explains the uneven quality of this year of Voyager. The visual effects bit taught me the lesson that even a lackluster episode such as Threshold involved the incredible talents and work of many people, in this case to produce the CG alien babies of Janeway and Paris.
And if that last little plot point isn't enough to convince you that this season is Voyager's least strong, then I'll just give up. Still, the characters and actors grew and developed, the episodes hosted some amazing guests, and much was set up that would be developed in later seasons.
Those who are not Voyager fans should not start with this season, but perhaps with the superior third. Once you've seen enough excellent stuff, come back to this set to complete your knowledge of the fascinating Delta Quadrant world of the good ship Voyager."