I suppose the 19th anniversary of Voyager’s launch was as good a year as any to finally sit down and take a look at what I thought was so special that I donned the title ‘Trekkie’ way back when. This is a list of the ‘best’ or ‘most important’ episodes to watch if you’re not down for a full re-watch or merely want to get your feet wet. Not every episode of every show is stellar, we know this. Nor does every episode move the characters forward. Sometimes it is merely a monster (or alien) of the week. That being the case, this list could also be deemed ‘Cate’s favorites of Seasons 1-3’. Why Seasons 1-3, you ask? Well, this article idea hit me as I was finishing Season 3 … so there.
Caretaker Pt. 1 & Pt. 2
Yea, yea, okay. It’s a two part pilot, I know. Pilots are always the episode we muscle through and then stick to the ‘three episode’ rule before giving up. BUT, Voyager’s Pilot did a lot for the series. Aside from introducing us to characters, it introduced us to the relationships we would watch grow and change, the ones that would end, the ones that would never happen (no matter how hard we fans pleaded). The merging of the crews that happens at the end of Pt. 2 was uncertain and, hell, they were across the galaxy. What wasn’t interesting? While this particular episode was not my first episode of Voyager (I jumped on the bandwagon mid season 5), it is an important one and should not be skipped. I mean it.
Importante. We meet one of Voyager’s first and greatest (to date) adversaries in the Delta Quadrant, the Vidiians. These guys are UG-ly. I’m talking ‘who chewed you up and spit you out?’ ugly. They also have no qualms about organ harvesting, hence their threat. They will come back to haunt us again in episodes to come, so get used to them.
Eye Of The Needle
Kind of a fluff episode, but the crew get in contact with the Alpha Quadrant via a wormhole too small to fit through to get home (because how fun of a series would that be? Oh, we spent 3 months on the other side of the galaxy, but, yay, we’re home!). Watching what the crew choose to send home to their loved ones and the renewed hope they have afterward is rather sweet and gives us a bit of insight into their personal lives.
State Of Flux
Oh, Seska, you … This episode is important for Season 2. Voyager’s old adversaries, the Kazon from the Pilot, rear their ugly heads again. This time they have Federation technology from Voyger that Janeway never authorized. Who is the traitor? Get ready to hate her if you didn’t already. Chakotay’s relationship with Seska is probably one of my favorites aside from his relationship with B’Elanna.
Tom, B’Elanna, and Durst (don’t get attached) are captured by the Vidiians (told you they’d be back). All they want is B’Elanna’s Klingon DNA … or is it? This is a fabulous B’Elanna-centric episode that examines her (and, honestly all of our own) insecurities about who she is and her lineage. Great character-centered episode.
I didn’t select this one merely because it is a season premiere. My childhood fascination with Amelia Earhart is why I love this episode so much, I think. Voyager finds 8 humans, Amelia Earhart among them, in cryo-stasis on a planet. So, why not wake them up, right? Janeway’s childhood fascination with Earhart prompts the wake up (hey, girl, let’s be friends!) which leads to an interesting episode and an interesting decision at the end. Definitely a good watch.
Just how did Chakotay get that tattoo and when? Guys, I’ve watched the whole series and I still am not sure. However, this episode is an interesting step into what Chakotay believes and who his ancestors were. Maybe the tattoo is why Janeway cant stop touching him.
Chakotay disobeys orders. Well … he takes it upon himself to correct an issue that arises without consulting the Captain. Introduce a little tension between these two and see what happens … 😉
We get a glimpse at Janeway’s softer side in this episode. While on an alien planet, wounded, Janeway is taken in by a man who thinks she is his daughter. Their interaction gives us a look at who Kathryn is beneath the pips.
Because who doesn’t love a good Q episode? John De Lancie graces Voyager with his presence on the hunt for an escaped Q who wants mortality in order to end his life. Q’s battle of whits with KJ is fabulous and her obvious annoyance at him just makes it that much more fun of an episode. Listen for the ‘ship of the Valkyries’ line … my fave.
Our dear holo-Doc falls in love. With a Vidiian.
Babies! Well, baby. Voyager gets caught in a spatial scission that duplicates the ship and causes some major issues. Ensign Wildman has her baby while both Captains must work together to reintegrate Voyager into one ship. The interacting between both Captains is worth watching this one.
The Captain and Chakotay contract a deadly virus that can only be suppressed by the atmosphere of the planet they contracted it on. This means buh bye, command duo and hello Tuvok in charge. If you wondered what my first OTP was … watch this episode. Kate Mulgrew is a loud resounding ‘no’ where this relationship was concerned … and yet, I can’t help but watch and think, ‘but you created it! Stop touching him!’
The Kazon, with the help of Seska (hiss), take over Voyager and strand her crew (complete with command duo because Tuvok disobeyed orders in Resolutions) on an alien planet. Peachy end to a season, huh? Get used to the two part Finale/Premiere concept. Star Trek loves it.
Again, not just because it’s a premiere. They get Voyager back and we get to witness the end of Seska, but also Chakotay’s issues with Seska’s child potentially being his. Tender moments between the command team become the norm. Knock it off already.
One of the steamier episode of Voyager. B’Elanna is having some rather saucy dreams about an alien lover on a planet they are visiting. Mm hm. The Captain lets her hair down at one point too. Literally.
Futures End Pt. 1 & Pt. 2
Voyager is thrown back in time to 20th Century Earth (it was the 90’s, after all) in pursuit of a timeship. When they encounter Henry Starling (I cant help but think of this guy as a comic villain with that name) who steals the Doctor, they must stop him before he can use the timeship to alter the timeline. This is fun if only for the clothing, Tom’s libido, and them trying to fit in in 20th Century San Fran. Think of it as Voyager’s nod to ‘The Voyage Home’.
The Q and the Grey
I love me some Q. Q on Next Gen was a spoiled kid trying to burn an ant with a magnifying glass. Q on Voyager is hilarious. In this episode Q tries to woo our dear Captain into mating with him. Even if he knew how, we know her answer. What follows that not-so-subtle proposal is shear hilarity. My fave, Suzie Plakson, plays Q’s wife and I love watching John de Lancie and KM act off each other. So fun.
Guys … it’s their fault. The Captain dies on an alien planet and gets to witness her own funeral as well as the crew grieving. Hint: she’s in the rest of the show, so don’t worry. Interesting look into the events of death and … that relationship we wont talk about.
Oh, boy. Pan Far runs ramped on voyager. Well, not ramped, but, our resident half Klingon gets a taste from Vorik who tries to own her. Nice try, idiot. Good Tom/B’Elanna episode if you’re a shipper. Also a good study of Vulcan and Klingon mating practices if you were interested.
Worst Case Senario
Seska attacks from the grave. B’Elanna uncovers a hidden holodeck program that stages the user as a member of the Starfleet crew approached by Chakotay about a mutiny. Word travels fast and soon eveyone on board is trying it (including the Captain). Tom and Tuvok team up to add to the story and are trapped in an almost Saw-like holo-program controlled by a now dead Seska (who never really could accept that Chakotay didn’t love her).
Oh, hey, The Borg! What’s up, guys? Worried about that alien species that you cant assimilate who keep killing you yet? No? Well, guess what! Janeway walks out on a limb and offers help to The Borg to fight species 8472 and gain safe passage through their space. Because that wont backfire, right? Her and Chuckles have a tender moment in her ready room that still has my yelling ‘stop touching him!’ at the screen. In her defense, he does keep calling her Kathryn with that sexy voice of his.
And there we have it. The best of Seasons 1-3 with some of my favorites sprinkled in. You now have the answer to the almighty question: Who were Cate’s original OTP? File that one away for the future!