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Star Trek Voy - Season 4 - Episode 09

Star Trek Voy - 4x09 - Year of Hell, Part II

Originally Aired: 1997-11-12

Synopsis:
The destruction of Voyager changes history. [DVD]

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 7.67

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Problems
None

Factoids
- This episode is a candidate for my "Best Episode of Voyager Award."

Remarkable Scenes
- The doctor: "I told you eight minutes on that deck. Not eight and a half, not nine, and certainly not twelve!" Janeway: "Would you rather have an indoor nebula?"
- Annorax serving a dinner of "lost histories" to Chakotay and Paris, comprised of "artifacts" of extinct civilizations.
- Annorax: "Beyond study and instrumentation, there is instinct. Not everybody has the ability to truly perceive time. It's colors, it's moods."
- Seven regarding Neelix' new endurance drink: "It is offensive. Fortunately taste is irrelevant."
- Tuvok discussing with Seven her questioning the captain's orders.
- Chakotay's simulation, wiping out a comet and because of the comet's history, wiping out 8,000 civilizations.
- Janeway going into deflector control despite the fire.
- Janeway discovering the watch Chakotay replicated for her. He disobeyed orders by not recycling it.
- Chakotay: "You're trying to rationalize genocide! One species is significant! A single life is significant!"
- Annorax: "When I tell you that time has moods, a disposition to be intuited, I'm not speaking metaphorically." Chakotay: "What do you mean?" Annorax: "Anger is one of its moods. Anger and the desire for retribution. Vengeance. Time itself is trying to punish me for my arrogance. It has kept me from my wife; denied me my future!"
- Tom: "This guy thinks that time has a personal grudge against him! That's called paranoia, Chakotay, with a hint of megalomania!"
- Janeway's reason for staying on Voyager while everyone else leaves: "Captain goes down with the ship."
- Tuvok: "Curious. I have never understood the human compulsion to emotionally bond with inanimate objects. This vessel has done nothing. It is an assemblage of bulkheads. Conduits. Tritanium. Nothing more." Janeway: "Oh you're wrong. It's much more than that. This ship has been our home. It's kept us together. It's been part of our family. As illogical as this might sound, I feel as close to Voyager as any other member of my crew. It's carried us, Tuvok, even nurtured us. And right now it needs one of us."
- The final battle with Annorax' ship.
- The free view of space with the front portion of Voyager's bridge ripped off.
- Janeway: "If that ship is destroyed, all of history might be restored. And this is one year I'd like to forget... Time's up!"
- Voyager crashing into Annorax' ship.

My Review
Well, first let's talk about what I didn't like. Putting everyone off the ship except the main characters was a petty trick and I didn't see much point to it. Additionally, the coalition Janeway formed with the aliens seemed a little convenient. I realize a great deal of time has passed, but it would have been nice to see at least a little bit about how this coalition was formed, or even a few sets aboard the alien ships, or at least see a few of the aliens themselves! Finally, it was obvious from early on in the first episode that this was a reset button episode. That said, this has to be one of the best reset button episodes ever done. And now let's talk about Annorax. We learn the weapon ship was constructed by Annorax because he wanted to use it against his people's greatest enemy. When he did, the Krenim were instantly awesomely powerful again, but a rare disease broke out and devastated them. Annorax failed to consider a key antibody his enemy he erased from history had introduced into the Krenim genome. Additionally, every time he made a temporal incursion, he could never restore the colony on Kyana Prime, no matter how close he got to a complete restoration of the Krenim Imperium. And Annorax had no plans of stopping these incursions until his wife was restored. Ironically, the only way to restore 100% of what he had lost was to erase the timeship from history and undo all the changes he had done. The final scene is the best scene. Annorax is on Kyana Prime, with his wife, making temporal calculations, presumably building his weapon again. But his wife asks him to stop for a moment and enjoy the day. This signifies that Annorax will build his weapon again and repeat his mistakes, but his wife will delay him long enough for Voyager to make it past Krenim space... A brilliant ending.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From gategod on 2011-07-04 at 12:34am:
    You do relieze that at the very end we see Annorax reset back to where he would have been if the time ship never existed. Yay great, makes sense right? Oh wait he was on the time ship and time passed for nearly 200 YEARS! Time past outside the time ship 260 some odd days when they were looking for Voyager and inside it past 260 some days... THEREFORE if the time ship never existed he would go back in time 200 years. Therefore... he should be dead at the end of the episode and instead they've jumped the culture forward or backward or some strange thing to make him still alive so that we could have the unique ending... Why not just say "200 years ago" as a little title before that scene, otherwise it is pointless and wrong!

    I don't know why you think that is a brilliant ending, can't you see the major plot hole. If they have been on the ship for 200 years or however long it was, then if time gets reset 200 years would pass once he was back on his homeworld so by the time voyager is there... he is already DEAD! The scene they showed of him is thus WRONG! ahhh lol anyways i just couldn't get past that and no one seems to mention it ever. Please let me know if you can agree with that?!
  • From Kethinov on 2011-07-06 at 7:29pm:
    I always just assumed the scenes with Annorax at the end were set 200 years ago, although I do agree with you that the lack of a caption indicating this leaves it rather annoyingly open to interpretation.

    My interpretation is that the temporal incursion within the ship created an alternate timeline in which Annorax failed to achieve his breakthrough to create the weapon ship in the first place, because in this timeline he gave his wife the attention she deserved and began to neglect his work.

    Fast forward 200 years, the Krenim's demeanor is all different now because Annorex never invented that weapon and the enemy they were fighting continued to exist.

    Overall, I stand by the ending. I thought it was fantastic.
  • From JR on 2012-06-12 at 1:02am:
    I thought it was pretty good two-parter overall. I really did not like how there was seemingly no recollection by the Voyager crew of Kes' "Before and After" warning about the Krenim and the 1.47 variance.

    Up until the very last scene I was expecting that the first meeting with the Krenim would somehow reset. In this last iteration we would witness the crew react quickly to the realization that these aliens were Krenim, and utilize the 1.47 variation that they know about via Kes. That is, I expected the last scene would have been Voyager taking no damage from the chroniton torpedo, disabling or destroying that Krenim warship, and then detouring around Krenim space.

    It was set up so carefully and to not utilize it...looking back, it really seems the writers/producers did not want to mention Kes/Jennifer Lien ever again.



  • From Rick on 2014-01-21 at 3:48pm:
    I think the best way to view the ending is that the temporal incursion erased the temporal core from history. Therefore, Annorax never invented it and because he never invented it he spent more time with his wife. This is similar to what kethinov said above but I reversed the cause and effect because the temporal incursion erased the temporal core, it did not cause him to want to spend more time with his wife. I disagree, however, with what Kethinov wrote in his review about Annorax eventually building the weapon again. Annorax's temporal core has been permanently removed from history.

    The temporal incursion only incurred within the temporal core though. If it occurred throughout the ship then none of the people on the ship would exist. Rather, the temporal shockwave hit the rest of the ship and the other ships, which allowed them to exist as if the temporal ship never existed. Took me quite a few years to figure this out and I probably still have a few things wrong, but Im getting damn close to a perfect solution.
  • From pbench on 2015-09-03 at 11:26am:
    was pretty amazing seeing voyager smash into the ship. i knew it was going to happen and it still made me say "daaaaamn" out loud.

    however i was frustrated by the way chakotay and tom acted onboard annorax's ship. as i said in my comment on the previous episode, more rich character development/clever writing opportunities dropped for weird uncharacteristic banter.

    chakotay, the way he has been portrayed throughout the series, is extremely loyal, or has become extremely loyal to captain janeway, and aboard this ship--with all his training, everything he's been through and seen--he basically immediately falls for annorax's siren song. it just seemed preposterous to me--i mean i get the plot device of him being persuaded and then disappointed but it was just inappropriate, completely. when tom & chakotay first had their little spat in front of annorax i thought for sure we would get a later scene of them conferring and agreeing to do a good cop/bad cop routine, one of them getting in annroax's graces and the other being the fall guy. i thought, what a brilliant way to mess with the viewers' expectations--because i was insantly cognizant of how chakotay, beyond being strategic, was being more sycophantic than usual. instead we get pithy lines about "you don't understand him", etc. are you serious? CHAKOTAY? with his life story, his experience of the world, hell as a supposedly earth-indigenous character (and that's its own can of worms obviously) who should have a very well-oiled and effective bullshit meter is suddenly waxing (shittly) philosophic about how this guy is misunderstood? when his entire mission is to return to the ship?

    let's say he does buy some of annorax's story--the point is, chakotay never loses sight of the mission. he would never have sympathised with, and only have taken advantage of annorax's narcissism in a better story, in my opinion. have the morality play, fine, but this is not the way to do it, at all. if anything they could have shown tom & chakotay colluding at different ends of the tactical spectrum. but the idea of chakotay being whisked away by the concept of playing with time...it just seems so patently naive and against his morals and everything he's come to stand for, it felt cheapening for him to get enthusiastic about it like that.

    was very disappointed, and felt like it left a taint on the whole episode, which i still enjoyed immensely but had me shaking my head and confirming yet again what i have come to believe about voyager: it has a lot of strong actors and some good writing, but just freely gives away their potential seemingly at random, which is why it can never be my favorite star trek.

    oh yeah and the kes thing. *face palm*

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