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Star Trek Voy - Season 5 - Episode 20

Star Trek Voy - 5x20 - Think Tank

Originally Aired: 1999-3-31

Synopsis:
A problem-solving alien comes to Voyager's rescue. [DVD]

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 6.53

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 6 2 3 2 3 6 9 17 18 11 9

Problems
- Chakotay speculates that the Malon or the Devore might have hired the Hazari in this episode. This is extremely unlikely though seeing as how Voyager is nowhere near their space as of Voy: Dark Frontier. Thankfully, Chakotay was wrong. Though it doesn't excuse is rather absurd speculation.

Factoids
- Jason Alexander of Seinfeld fame as George, plays Kurros in this episode.
- Borg species designation: 4228, Hazari. Technologically advanced and extremely violent. Usually hired as bounty hunters. They make excellent tactical drones.
- The Think Tank cured the Vidiian Phage.

Remarkable Scenes
- Tom's little fad.
- The planetoid explosion.
- Janeway discovering the true motivations of Kurros.
- Seven of Nine solving Tom's little puzzle.
- Janeway regarding how Seven solved the puzzle: "Seven, how'd you do that?" Seven: "I scanned the device. Its mechanism operates on a simple fractal regression." Tom: "You scanned it? That's cheating!" Seven: "Cheating is often more efficient."
- The Hazari attacking the Think Tank.

My Review
A decently intellectual episode featuring a group of people who solve other people's problems for a price. Except sometimes they create the problems which they are supposed to solve... Jason Alexander does a wonderful job as Kurros, showing us the same deceitful and conniving personality he showed us as George on Seinfeld. The issue of whether Seven of Nine would be better off with them is both unimportant and barely examined; it was obvious Seven was not leaving the ship. Rather, I liked how Janeway solved her little paradox by conspiring with her would-be enemy to undermine the objectives of the Think Tank itself. It is a little convenient that the Hazari actually cared so passionately about dethroning the Think Tank, but it's too much to the episode's disadvantage. I also like how Janeway's solution nicely paralleled with the little futuristic puzzle B plot. The episode is exciting up to the very end, I loved the battle scenes between the Think Tank and the Hazari. A shame they were so short!

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Jem Hadar on 2010-04-05 at 8:04pm:
    "Jason Alexander does a wonderful job as Kurros, showing us the same deceitful and conniving personality she showed us as George on Seinfeld."

    Typo, or funny diss? ;)

    I thought this was a very good episode with an interesting story.
  • From QuasiGiani on 2017-08-27 at 6:14am:
    Problem(s)?

    Okay, no we have a very problematic and frankly, therefore, boring episode:

    Why would such a powerful "Think Tank" ever need to bargain with anyone? For anything? They wouldn't.

    But let's ignore that hugely, unavoidably ridiculous mess for just a mind-numbing minute...

    Howzabout:

    Why would they ever stop monitoring Voyager and allow that silly collusion and planning session to catch-them-up-and-out? They, of course, wouldn't.

    Howzabout:

    Why would they need to have Janeway allow them access to the "databank" as Kurros requested just before or after he told Janeway he'd just then and there tapped into it? They, of course, wouldn't.

    Howzabout:

    Why would these geniuses, who apparently did just huddle-up while the plans were being attached back on Voyager, _all_ fall to utterly moronic pieces the moment they lost their ability to communicate with each other? They wouldn't.

    Dopey episode. Glaring.
  • From Axel on 2018-06-09 at 11:13am:
    I don't quite understand a couple of QuasiGiani's complaints. Why does this think tank bargain? Well, because they aren't some kind of non-profit research institute. Their whole purpose is to market their problem-solving services in exchange for resources, new technology, knowledge that advances them or can be used to bargain with later, and even new members. Such a group would only ever need to bargain. I think they were desperate to get Seven on board because her collective knowledge would be worth the risks they might have to take.

    As for what happens at the end, I guess there's a key fact to remember about think tanks: despite their genius, sometimes they get things wrong. This particular group also obviously had a lot of hubris and had also become used to working as a group; their collapse at the end didn't seem all that far-fetched to me.

    To me, the main drawback of this episode was that the issue of getting Voyager back to the Alpha Quadrant never comes up. Once Janeway leaves the decision up to Seven, it would've been fitting if either of them had raised the possibility with the think tank about somehow getting help so Voyager makes it home sooner.

    Overall, though, I liked this one. It was an interesting premise and had some nice twists even if they made the think tank a little too obviously sinister.

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