Star Trek Reviews

Return to season list

Star Trek Voy - Season 6 - Episode 14

Star Trek Voy - 6x14 - Memorial

Originally Aired: 2000-2-2

The crew experiences strange visions. [DVD]

My Rating - 3

Fan Rating Average - 4.86

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 9 5 19 8 8 9 8 9 8 13 6



Remarkable Scenes
- Torres and her television set from the 1950s complete with commercials.
- Neelix freaking out after Naomi burns her hand.
- The Delta Flyer crew reconstructing their memories.
- Seven of Nine trying to cheer up Neelix.
- The crew discovering the source of the memories.
- Chakotay: "Words alone cannot convey the suffering. Words alone cannot prevent what happened here from happening again. Beyond words lies experience. Beyond experience lies truth. Make this truth your own."
- The debate about whether or not to leave the memorial running.

My Review
Chakotay, Tom, Harry, and Neelix reconstructing their memories reminded me much of TNG: Schisms. In fact, most of the episode is a rehash of several others. Other notable examples are the monument being kind of like the probe in TNG: The Inner Light, and the forced war experiences being kind of like Chakotay's experience in Voy: Nemesis. The rehash itself is only slightly boring and annoying, but the episode starts to really miss the mark with the ending. Nobody should be forced to experience something they don't want to. Janeway's decision was wrong. So given all of this, it's hard to give this episode much of a rating.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Pete Miller on 2007-01-11 at 4:46pm:
    You're right about this episode being a giant melting pot of a lot of ideas from previous episodes. There are all kinds of borrowed themes from episodes like Schisms, The Inner Light, and even several of those dark DS9 war-guilt episodes. That's what kept this episode from being good. As a matter of fact, that's pretty much what kept Voyager itself from being good. It's one big rehash for the most part.
  • From David in California on 2008-03-18 at 12:59pm:
    I completely agree that Janeway (urged on by Neelix) completely failed to understand the moral issues of the situation. Choosing to ignore some basic, clear violation of people's rights such as forcing them to undergo this trauma (and failing to do something simple one can do to prevent it) on the grounds that it's for some "good cause" or to "teach a valuable lesson" is bizarre, IMO.

    And in this case especially useless, because Janeway herself recounted that there were similar historical instances in human history (which apparently nobody really "forgets" even though nobody is forced to experience them firsthand or Janeway wouldn't know of them!) But more importantly, it's apparent in the Star Trek Universe that just about every sapient species also has similar historical atrocities and tragedies in their past. So what's so damned special about this species' specific experiences that makes it so vital to the understanding of others? This idea, I submit, is simply stupid--not just a point of controversy or difference of values or disagreement over the issues covered in the story. I submit it's a huge gaping plot-hole which renders the premise of the episode absurd.

    As to the issues actually raised in the episode, the common sentiment that the only way to know something is wrong/bad and to avoid it is to remember some specific instance of it happening and then somehow you automatically, by that alone, realize it's "bad" because, presumably, you feel the bad feelings, is silly.

    Questions of right and wrong, good and bad, ought-to and ought-not-to, are not just down to feeling an emotion. Some people's emotions are twisted--feeling "good" when they cause harm to others, such as a sadist or powerluster or whatever. Rather it's some degree of thinking which is needed to lead one to decide "not to repeat this mistake again". What I just typed is a cognitive proposition, not a feeling, even if it's accompanied by various feelings. You gotta figure out what your values are as a person or society, and then consider the "good" to be supporting them and the "bad" to be opposing them--the "right" to be acting in line with them and the "wrong" to be acting against them. All that is done with thinking, ultimately, and the emotions that come about are results, not causes.

    So I'm triply (if I'm counting right) opposed to the ideas the writers are moving from here, and to what Janeway did as a character.

    Now, frustratingly, whenever you see me chime in here with lengthy criticisms of an episode, it's not that I found it particularly bad as compared to others where I don't bother to comment. It's always when there are some aspects of the episode I really liked, and so I feel strongly about the producers getting it wrong in other places. Wasted potential rather than just a "meh" reaction. Here, the intense performances, the conflicts played out between the crewmembers, the action, and the kind of New BSG style of addressing issues of morality in war are all huge positives for me, so to have it all break down in ways I strongly take issue with prompt me to post these commentaries.

    Finally, I just want to note that by titling this episode "Memorial" they removed any possibility of suspense or mystery as to what is going on. I can't believe this was done. Ok, it's not the most difficult of plot mysteries to solve and maybe most people would have gotten it more easily, but still. You don't title your story with a word which puts across clearly the "reveal" of what's really going on no matter what. It's bad form even if you think nobody in the audience will be in suspense anyway. For me personally, I figured things out a good deal before I think I would have by simply knowing the title.

  • From Tony on 2008-08-30 at 11:35pm:
    Heloooo. Am I the only one to notice that Janeway set warning beacons around the Monument so no one would have to experience it if they didn’t want to? How is she forcing people to experience it?
  • From Jem Hadar on 2010-05-16 at 3:44pm:
    If they need to go through that space?
  • From Lee on 2013-04-24 at 9:12am:
    I actually only wanted to comment because of one thing. I'm fairly certain that probably no one noticed this and / or no one cares for it. The guns of those alien people sound awesome! You know, I never really liked the sound of phaser rifles or the Jem'Hadar guns, but the gun sounds in this episode have the right amount of "brunt" to it, like a cannon firing, but also still sound like energy / particle weapons.

    But since I don't want to spam like this, here my review: I, like many others, didn't really like the episode. I liked the acting of everyone really much and the plot wasn't necessarily bad, but it all doesn't make too much sense and once again Janeway totally misses the point and comes to a stupid decision. Overall sub-par.
  • From Hugo on 2015-05-24 at 3:19pm:
    Like someone said, the title gave away the whole mystery. I support Janeway btw, in the spirit of the Prime Directive, one shouldn't just interfer when passing by.

    Also - wasn't this one of the 10 lamest teasers ever in Trek?

    One interesting point that I saw on the discussion page about the Memory Alpha entry for this ep - they never question the "truth" in what the memorial tells them - maybe there is another side to the story...
  • From Mike on 2017-07-16 at 2:12pm:
    Assuming the warning buoy actually makes it clear to passers-by what they are about to experience, I don't have an issue with Janeway's decision. The probe in TNG: Inner Light certainly didn't give any warning about what it did, and you could argue it's just as invasive and traumatizing since it makes a person think their previous life was a hallucination.

    But, along with the aliens in Inner Light and whoever built the archive in TNG: Masks, this is yet another story about a civilization that likes to interface and take control of ships/people in order to preserve the memory of their cultures. While not entirely original in its plot, it was a pretty decent episode and worth watching.
  • From QuasiGiani on 2017-09-19 at 11:38am:
    Just about everything is trivial in the long-run.

    War-crimes are not.

    Neelix made the right call; and Janeway did the right thing.

    (though there are a lot of unresolved or unexplained things about just how defective the system had become as compared to what it would be restored to; and just how effective the warning system would be... "problems"... but, assuming the "eractics" were truly fixed, and the buoy would work it's purpose... Janeway did the right thing)

  • From McCoy on 2017-10-18 at 11:27am:
    Of course Janeway did the right thing! What's wrong with you, peaple? You don't understand and that's why there are still wars across the world. Know something is one thing, but experience it is totally different. (And it concerns not only war, but other things - you will never understand what means to love someone if you never loved yourself).
    You know why we didn't had atomic war yet? Because during cold war people still remembered what a real war means. Now we are slowly forgetting... I know what I'm talking about. My grandmother still lives and she survived II world war in Poland. We have no idea what people of that time experienced. We can listen them but we will never fully understand. Really. We have NO IDEA!
    Great, moving episode, and with good use of sf.

Prove to me that you are a real person and not a spam robot by typing in the text of this image:

Return to season list