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Star Trek Voy - Season 7 - Episode 18

Star Trek Voy - 7x18 - Human Error

Originally Aired: 2001-3-7

Seven experiences more emotions. [DVD]

My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 4.43

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- The teaser of this episode is the shortest ever on Voyager at only 43 seconds long.

Remarkable Scenes
- Seven's opening piano performance.
- The doctor: "Rock-a-bye baby, in the spacedock. When the core blows, the shuttle will rock. When the hull breaks, the shuttle will fall. And down will come baby, shuttle and all."
- Seven discussing hairstyles with Torres...
- Seven: "Slice these vegetables transversely in five millimeter increments."
- The metronome scene.
- Seven's medical emergency and the doctor stumbling on her fantasy.
- Seven disarming the alien weapon.

My Review
Great continuity with Voy: Unimatrix Zero. I was wondering if they'd pick up on Seven's behavioral changes whilst within Unimatrix Zero and thankfully they did. Unfortunately this episode ends with the biggest anticlimax in Voyager history for which I subtract points. I couldn't believe the way the episode just ended well before it began. I was totally enthralled in the story of Seven of Nine finally becoming truly human, jumping over that last hurdle to humanity. But instead of letting the doctor treat her and instead of picking up on the real Chakotay's advances, she dismisses them both right out of hand so she could remain a workaholic. How sad. This episode parallels TNG: Lessons in that it features some more extremely beautiful piano music. I'll never forget the Moonlight Sonata scene in the Jeffries Tubes in that episode. Likewise I'll never forget the metronome scene between Seven and holographic Chakotay here. With only eight episodes left, the plot thread left wide open in this episode is at the top of my list for loose threads to resolve. Never end a story this way!

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From JemHadar359 on 2008-04-07 at 11:55pm:
    I'm not sure off the top of my head, but wasn't the teaser for "Scorpion Part I" shorter?
  • From Nicholas on 2009-01-17 at 8:21pm:
    I found one thing puzzling.

    Apparently Seven has this Borg implant that causes her to shut down whenever she is about to experience higher emotions. As this has never been noticed before, is the breakup with her holographic toyboy more emotional for her than ANYTHING she has experienced over the last three and a half years, including Icheb nearly sacrificing himself for her, One, John Kelly, all her mother-daughter moments with Janeway, memories of her parents and so forth?
  • From g@g on 2012-01-28 at 3:58am:
    You know what, this episode rocked. Somehow I didn't feel totally let down by the "anticlimax." The episode is called "Human Error," afterall. All things cannot end well, and people can't always make the right courageous, well-balanced decisions. Human beings, even ex-borg, don't progress linearly - there are a lot of steps backward, and the end is rarely certain or even clear.

    Anyway, I'm rambling, but I second the reviewer about the most memorable piano scene and the other good qualities, and disagree about the ending being thoroughly lousy (especially in hindsight, having scene where this all leads in the season finale).
  • From Dstyle on 2015-08-07 at 4:41pm:
    I agree with the previous comment: to consider the ending to be a disappointing "anti-climax" misses the point of the ending. It's easy to take emotional risks when you have nothing on the line; it is far more human to be nervous and guarded in real life. We saw this once already in this episode, when Seven socialized and gave a toast at the holographic baby shower, yet made a weak excuse to miss the real one.

    I found the ending to be highly relatable: how many times, as a young teenager dealing with new and confusing emotions, did I imagine scenarios where I would approach my love interest boldly and confidently, only to waver in real life and avoid the encounter entirely? I imagine anyone who was a teenager had similar experiences. This is Seven's middle school dance, except she's at the dance with adults who all already know how to navigate these types of situations.
  • From McCoy on 2017-11-10 at 3:52am:
    It wasn't anti-climax. It was true and totally in-character for Seven (in time she became my favourite character). I have a social phobia diagnosed and I know, what I'm talking. This episode was about me and all people suffering similar problems. "Happy end" would be out of place here.
  • From Lloyd on 2017-12-31 at 11:26am:
    I agree with the anti climax was horrendous.. but i still loved this episode..!
    I really have no idea why the writers decided to do that - not further this storyline.
    Some storylines benefit from leaving it open ended - the desire to see more are what make some epsiodes great. But not this one! Being left wanting more is infuriating and completely unsatisfying.
  • From Graham Bessellieu on 2019-09-07 at 11:12pm:
    This is an excellent and essential episode for Seven of Nine's character development! The romance with Chakotay is captivating and endearing.

    While I agree that it leaves the viewer hoping for her to break through that final barrier, perhaps it just goes to show how difficult it is to break the habits of her programming.

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