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Star Trek Voy - Season 5 - Episode 16

Star Trek Voy - 5x16 - Dark Frontier, Part II

Originally Aired: 1999-2-17

Synopsis:
Janeway launches a mission to rescue Seven. [DVD]

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 6.34

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 18 4 2 5 5 4 4 8 14 25 23

Problems
None

Factoids
- The actors hired for Seven of Nine's flashbacks are the same actors hired for her previous flashbacks in Voy: Scorpion and Voy: The Raven.
- Borg species designation: 6961, Ktarian.
- Borg species designation: 10026, name unknown. Seven of Nine helped the Borg to assimilate them.
- Borg species designation: 5618, human. "Below average cranium capacity, minimum redundant systems, limited regenerative abilities."
- Borg species designation: 125, name unknown. The Borg Queen, or at least this particular Borg Queen came from this species.
- Thanks to the Borg transwarp in this episode, Voyager has shaved about 15 years off their journey. (or 20,000 light years.) This means Voyager has traveled the equivalent of about 47 years since it began its journey. (10 years [Voy: The Gift] + 5 years [Voy: Year of Hell] + 2 years [Voy: Night, rounded down] + 1 year [Voy: Hope and Fear, rounded up] + 10 years [Voy: Timeless] + 15 years [Voy: Dark Frontier] + 4 seasons of conventional warp = 47 years.)

Remarkable Scenes
- Seven's reaction to the Borg Queen: "I expected reassimilation, not conversation."
- Naomi trying to come up with plans to rescue Seven of Nine.
- Janeway: "There are 3 things to remember about being a starship captain. Keep your shirt tucked in, go down with the ship, and never abandon a member of your crew."
- The Hansens cataloging drones. I like how when they beamed one back it used the TNG style transporter effect. Nice attention to detail.
- Seven of Nine assisting with repairs to the shield generator. I love the blood curdling screams in the background...
- The sight of the mass assimilation process.
- Seven of Nine saving some of the aliens.
- Borg Queen: "Congratulations." Seven: "Regarding?" Borg Queen: "Assimilation is complete." Seven: "300,000 individuals have been transformed into drones. Should they be congratulated as well?" Borg Queen: "They should be. They've left behind their trivial selfish lives and they've been reborn with a greater purpose. We've delivered them from chaos into order." Seven: "Comforting words. Use them next time instead of resistance is futile. You may elicit a few volunteers."
- The Delta Flyer approaching the unicomplex.

My Review
It becomes clear in part two that this episode is focusing on Seven of Nine's conflicting families. Her human family, her family on Voyager, and her family in the Borg. If you can call the Borg a family. The Borg Queen and Janeway struggle for control over Seven, like two parents fighting over custody. The Borg Queen's motives were never made quite clear. She said something about "letting" Voyager have Seven of Nine so she could become an individual again. We're not sure how this was supposed to help the Queen assimilate Earth. But then, the Queen never seemed quite all there to me in the first place. I was pleased overall with how the episode progressed; it was nice to see the Delta Flyer flying at transwarp, and it was nice to see Voyager got something out of the transwarp conduit. Probably the most memorable part of this episode is Seven of Nine's witnessing the assimilation of species 10026. They resisted with 39 vessels, the same number of ships that the Federation resisted with at Wolf 359. Once again, we didn't get to see much of the space battle, but we did get to see much of the brutal assimilation process, which was very well done. A great two parter.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Kenobie on 2011-04-13 at 1:22pm:
    What kind of person gives this episode a Rating of 0. I would love to hear there reason. Personally I think that if you did not enjoy this 2 parter then you can't really be a fan of Star Trek.
  • From Tallifer on 2011-04-24 at 6:25pm:
    My favourite scenes were the scientific examinations of the Hansens. Like real life zoologists risking life and limb to study tigers up close. Except even more dangerous and thrilling.

    There were many other good things about this: the Borg harbour; Naomi Wildman; assimilation scenes; the wonderful queen.
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-09-07 at 3:31pm:
    One problem you missed: the Borg Queen states that Seven is the first Borg to become an individual. But we know that's not true. Voyager has encountered Borg individuals before, and so did Enterprise. Remember Hugh?
  • From Alan on 2012-01-22 at 6:17am:
    Good point Jeff, but what about Picard in 'Best of both worlds' in TNG season3. He was assimilated by the Borg , but was saved and turned back into a human.
  • From thaibites on 2015-01-02 at 5:55am:
    I thought this 2-parter was the best I've seen from Voyager yet (chronologically). The writing was crisp, the story moved at a brisk pace with very little padding, there was action, suspense, and mystery - outstanding! The scenes where the people were being assimilated were really disturbing because of the constant screams of agony in the background - very unsettling. Even the vile holodeck worked well in this episode.
    I'm a happy boy!
  • From Jadzia Guinan Smith on 2015-06-22 at 1:34pm:
    I have to second the sentiments above. How can someone possibly give THIS episode a 0? How can there be THIRTEEN such people? What are they smoking?

    Borg queen assembly, transwarp in action, Seven's "betrayal", Seven's resistance, the Hansens, Janeway at her courageous best... the queen and Janeway fighting over Seven, Naomi (who has quickly grown into an impressively strong performer and can hold her own alongside anyone), all moving, exciting, terrifying, touching, blood roiling... amazing. But, the most poignant moment for me was when Seven received Janeway's transmission "we're searching for you, try to hang on" and involuntarily responded "Captain"... wow. It was so overwhelming, I had to hit pause!

    If it wasn't for a slight, continuity-related discomfort, this two-parter would be a 10. But as is, it's a 9 or 9.5, for sure.

    Also, a bit of a treat for me, was seeing an episode of this magnitude where the major players were all women, without gender being an issue. The hero, the villain, the prodigal (and brilliant) protégé, all smart, all bad ass, all morally and emotionally deep (and/or complicated).... it’s not often you see such robust and dynamic women characters in a story with no male leads unless sex/gender is an explicit issue and/or the women are totally androgynous. This storyline could have easily fit male “action” stars, but just happened to be female ones. These are strong and capable women, but not “masculine” ones. And the great this is, it doesn’t matter at all to the storyline whether they’re men or women! I love that! Don’t get me wrong, I love my guys (Data, Spock, Picard, Tuvok, Doctor, Giordi, Worf, Wesley, McCoy, Trip, Odo, Kirk, Sisko,... etc. etc.... all of them), but it’s really, really, great to see the girls get a fair shake too. Here is gender equality as a matter of COURSE, not a matter of “exception”! At long last!!! Thank you, Star Trek!
  • From Dstyle on 2015-07-07 at 10:04am:
    Do you want to know why someone would rate this episode so low? It completely defangs the Borg.

    So a lone, isolated Federation ship is stranded in the Delta Quadrant, cut off from the support and resources of the Federation (which incidentally lost a whole fleet of ships at Wolf 395 to a single, undamaged Borg cube), and yet somehow this lost Federation ship is able to fly a shuttlecraft undetected into the heart of Borg territory and get within transporter range of the Borg Queen? No thanks. I like my Borg terrifyingly unbeatable. Janeway, like the Hansens, got cocky: they should have been crushed like bugs.

    Also, you'd think the Borg would have at some point assimilated a species that could move a little quicker, wouldn't you think? The Borg move like shuffling 1930s movie monsters.
  • From Jadzia Guinan Smith on 2015-07-12 at 11:03pm:

    Two words my sibling: David. Goliath. Most of us just can NOT root for David to keep losing so that Goliath can keep terrifying us to ecstasy.

    Yes,the Borg are great when scary, but only cuz it's so much more awesome when our intrepid heroes find a way to best them! They were 'beaten' in Best of Both Worlds, too, and First Contact. Did you have problems with those too? Or is it just that this is a lone ship in the delta quadrant? It is the essence of heroic tales the bad guys are bigger and badder, not so that they can beat the good guys in the end but so that it's that much more satisfying when the good guys beat them!

    Also, a 'low score' is one thing, but a zero??
  • From Rick on 2017-05-22 at 7:30pm:
    I agree with Dstyle (although its not a 0, Id give it a 5, which is really bad for me). The motivations of the Borg make no sense and the worst part for me is how the Delta Flyer got away. They are numerous cubes chasing them but none of them go to transwarp to catch and destroy them and voyager. Why not? Only one tiny ship sneaks into the Delta Flyer's transwarp conduit, but why dont all the other ships create their own? It makes absolutely no sense. The cubes shouldve followed the Delta Flyer and destroyed them all. You cant just outrun the Borg.
  • From Mike on 2017-06-07 at 12:15am:
    I've just never understood why they ever had to come up with a Borg Queen. I didn't like it in First Contact, and I hated it even more in this series.

    The obvious answer is that they are expanding on the notion that the Borg are like bees, and giving us a villain with a face. The Hansens even say in this episode that the Borg Queen acts like the queen of an insect colony. Except that in colonies of ants or bee hives, queens don't coordinate and direct the activities of the others. They are there almost entirely for reproduction, to birth the colony's offspring. Bees and ants activities are directed by instinct and a web of communication. In other words, they act collectively, just like the Borg did when they were first conceived. They were interested only in assimilating technology and life forms. They were apolitical and amoral, with no ambitions or quest for power and resources, no cause or culture. You couldn't negotiate, make peace, or reason with them. The only way to defeat them was to somehow use their collective communication and existence against them, which is exactly what happened in TNG: Best of Both Worlds. The existence of a Queen gives the Borg a leader with almost personal, individual motives. It takes away what made them so ominous, and it also makes them much easier to defeat. THey were better when they were faceless drones.

    Anyway, that's my anti-Borg Queen rant. I do like this episode for what it does with Seven's character. The dilemma she faces of hearing the collective calling her back and choosing whether to remain with her family on Voyager was a great premise for the story, and it works well overall. The assimilation of Species 10026 definitely brought back that ominous dimension to the Borg. It was so brutally efficient and so unconcerned with the individuality of the people...and left you with the eerie reminder that they've done this to thousands of worlds.

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