Voyager rewatch 3.26 – “Scorpion” (part 1)

Harry thinks he’s found a new friend. Species 8472 disagrees.

So first, an apology: I’m in the middle of moving house, and also painting the house into which I’m moving. I feel like a very stressed hermit crab, and also painting is hard and everything hurts.

Accordingly, I’m doing this post in bullet point format, and hopefully I’ll be able to revisit and expand it sometime in the future.

  • “Scorpion” is a great Janeway story, in that it shows her at her best and her worst.
  • Like, I don’t think making a deal with the Borg is a terrible decision — although Chakotay is right to raise the ethical quandaries involved — but then she makes their disagreement personal because she cannot tolerate anything less than complete and wholehearted support.
  • This is not a bad thing, from a storytelling perspective! Janeway and Chakotay are as close in this episode as they ever get (yes, my shippy little heart was overjoyed), so naturally some sort of shake-up was necessary, and this stems naturally from who they are as people.
  • I find it interesting that, whereas Picard was framed as a Renaissance-style philosopher-king, Janeway chooses Leonardo, the ultimate Renaissance man, as her creative mentor/imaginary friend.
  • Neither approach is bad! I just find the contrast intriguing.
  • I still don’t understand the appeal of the holodeck, but I do love the scene where Leonardo frames himself as a destroyer as much as a creator, and offers some period-appropriate advice to Janeway.
  • The CGI for Species 8472 is dated, but they still look cool, and the whole “eating Harry alive from the inside out” is both inherently nifty, and a nice (“””nice”””) reframing of the concept of assimilation.
  • Species 8472 and their ships really do look like the Shadows from Babylon 5, though. Just saying.
  • I’m sorry, this is my BFF’s pet peeve and I would be remiss not to raise it: “da Vinci” was not Leonardo’s surname, it was just where he was from. Describing himself as “the great da Vinci” is like referring to myself as “the great Melbourne”.
  • Everyone gets a moment in this episode. Except Neelix. I mean, fair. But it’s really a Janeway story.

In conclusion

This is an outstanding bit of Star Trek which deserves more than 350 words in bullet point format. Five CGI aliens out of five.

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