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Star Trek Voy - Season 7 - Episode 22

Star Trek Voy - 7x22 - Natural Law

Originally Aired: 2001-5-2

Synopsis:
Seven and Chakotay are stranded. [DVD]

My Rating - 1

Fan Rating Average - 4.9

Rate episode?

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

Problems
None

Factoids
Borg Species Designation: 312, name unknown. They used Tetryon based technology.

Remarkable Scenes
- Tom getting stuck with piloting lessons.
- The Ledosians attacking Voyager.
- Tom diverting from his "training" to go on Janeway's "mission."

My Review
Another disappointment. I expected since the teaser that this episode would make Seven begin to pursue the real Chakotay, but it never happened. Additionally, I'm disappointed at the unprecedented level of arrogance displayed in this episode. What right did Voyager have to make decisions for the Ventu? If I were Janeway, yes, I would have wanted my deflector back. But I would have shared with the Ledosians how to defeat the barrier. It just made no sense that the Ventu should be shielded from "medicine, infrastructure, and education" based on some misguided belief that their primitive culture should be preserved. The Ledosians had every right to be angry.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Kenobie on 2011-05-09 at 11:51am:
    There was a plant\fruit that made a yellowish rock produce fire. Hmmm... How unlikely would something like that really be? Just imagine that there are fruit juice's that create fire when coming into contact with a certain type of rock. How many natural forest fires would that produce.
  • From Jadzia Guinan Smith on 2015-07-18 at 4:36pm:
    A pretty boring episode. I gave it a 3. I can even see someone finding it dull enough to give it a rating of 1 – but I disagree with almost ALL of the specifics of your review.

    You are conflating the Ventus' right to have opportunities for contact with outsiders with the Ledosians' "right" to exploit the Ventus' world and impose their own brand of technological "advancement" on them by force. Those are two very different things.

    What exactly gives the Ledosians "every right to be angry"? NOTHING was taken from them! They didn't breach the shield, Voyager did! How did they suddenly develop "rights" over something that Voyager made possible? Oh, and by the way, they ATTACKED Voyager after agreeing to allow the shield repairs. It was Janeway who had a right be angry! She had no obligation to share any technology with the Ledosians and every right (and maybe even a duty) to repair the damage she caused to the shield in order to get her people and her deflector out.

    However, I do agree that there's a weird sort of reverse snobbery (or the "noble savage" conceit) in deciding there’s value in the Ventus' way of life. But it’s not particular to this episode – it’s pretty much the nature of the Prime Directive. Part of me has always been troubled the paternalism implied in it. Civilization has always benefited from trade and travel and contact with foreigners. The accidental and spontaneous inputs of the universe are ultimately responsible for all change, whether cosmic, or biological, or technological, or social. Still, it is also sort of understandable that they have concerns about overwhelming an unprepared society with technology beyond its comprehension. Either way, it’s probably a little late to start questioning the Prime Directive! But it’s hard to see the justification in your indictment of the “arrogance” in this episode without the indicting the directive itself.

    In any case, if you pay close attention, Janeway's decision is NOT based on a positive, substantive judgment that “their primitive culture should be preserved.” It’s based on a policy of non-interference, in this case involving a need to undo her own crew's prior interference. You ask "who is she to decide"-- and I think she would agree with you. She DIDN'T decide. She didn't impose any new order on this world. She just left things as much the way she found them as possible.

    The thing about difficult ethical questions is that they don't always have a neat little answer; sometimes Star Trek writers are too ready to produce such "answers" and be smug about it too. In this case, I thought they did a decent job of articulating the lingering dilemma through Seven's uncertainty. I found Janeway's attitude to be pragmatic rather than arrogant, even if a little unsatisfying.

    BTW: I was SO RELIEVED that they didn’t turn this episode into a Seven-Chakotay “getting to know you” thing! I was dreading that.... Voyager focuses way too much on crew-member romantic entanglement. I can’t believe you WANTED another soap opera episode! Ugh.
  • From Hugo on 2016-04-14 at 3:32am:
    Great analysis and comment, Jadzia!

    This ep was too slow for my tastes. The b-plot wasn't that interesting, but slightly amusing and it tied up with the a-plot nicely in the end.

    I am interested in learning who erected the barrier, and why.

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