|||[Boldly Going]||| Star Trek: Voyager: Episodes 7.25/26—”Endgame”: a review of the series finale

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The character Harry Kim had a line in these series finale episodes that I’ve taken to heart: “Maybe it’s not the destination that matters. Maybe it’s the journey.”

I feel this way, in general, about this entire Boldly Going project, which I am now a stone’s throw away from completing. After watching “Endgame,” I am 100% complete on this viewing of TNG, DS9, Voyager and Enterprise. I’m also several episodes into the second season of TOS and halfway through the first season of Star Trek: The Animated Series. It is conceivable that the project will be 100% complete before the end of February 2019. And it’s been quite a journey.

The quote is particularly apt in regards to the series Star Trek: Voyager, which has been about a literal journey from the Delta Quadrant back home to the Alpha Quadrant. Throughout much of the series, the show has felt more episodic than serialized, although there was an understood story arc involving the crew of the USS Voyager searching for a way to shorten their journey home. In this respect, the entirety of the series has been about the journey.

But, here I have to respectfully disagree with Ensign Kim (who had his brief, shining moment as “Captain” Kim in our brief glimpse into a possible future). The destination matters. And the way the conclusion of our seven-year-long story played out was a satisfying one to me. In fact—and this approaches heresy in some quarters—I liked this finale as much as I did “All Good Things . . .” In the honeymoon glow surrounding me, since I just watched it this morning, I think I may have liked it even more than the TNG finale.

I realize this opinion isn’t shared by everyone. No opinion is.

You didn’t realize I just left this post for a few minutes, but I pulled up a few other reviews of these episodes. Unsurprisingly, some “fans” hated it. Others thought it okay, but lackluster. At least one reviewer went on at length about problems with time-travel paradoxes, even invoking Einstein. But, on the other hand, there were several reviewers who agreed with me.

I’m not saying that I’m the one who’s correct here. All Trekkies should celebrate infinite diversity in infinite combinations, after all.

I plan to review Season 7 in toto soon, but I’ll go so far as to say that not only was “Endgame” a fitting cap to the series, it was a consistent finish to what I thought was, overall, a very good season.

I don’t want to spoil this for you if this is your first journey with the Voyager crew, so I’m going to limit myself to the barest of outlines this time, with the warning that some SPOILERS will still crop up. I managed to ruin some things for myself, by accident, over the course of this project and would spare you the same if I can. Read the rest of this review after you finish watching the series.

I’ve done my due diligence. Now, I have to point out that this episode—like the TNG finale—seemed specifically designed to appeal to my sensibilities. I’m a sucker for time travel stories. I believe I’ve mentioned this before. In spite of every argument I’ve heard to the contrary, I, like the Vulcans, believe logic dictates that time travel is an impossibility. However, as a fantasy plot device, I love time travel. If that seems like a contradiction to you, I would posit that fantasy is, by definition, the fiction of the impossible, and, furthermore, much of Trek is science-fantasy, not hard science fiction. It took me decades to come to terms with this, so I’m not upset if you disagree.

This finale begins with the tenth anniversary celebrating Voyager‘s return to Earth after traveling through the Delta Quadrant for 23 years. Kathryn Janeway is now Admiral Janeway, Harry Kim is a captain, The Doctor is getting married to a lovely young human female, and Tom and B’Elanna’s daughter is a grown Starfleet officer. But, it turns out that both Seven-of-Nine and Chakotay are dead, and Tuvok is locked away after years of deterioration from a Vulcan neurological disease. Barclay is still an adopted member of the Voyager family, of course.

It turns out that Janeway isn’t entirely happy with how everything turned out, even though most of them eventually arrived home, and she decides to break all manner of Starfleet rules about time travel and return to the past to change the present.

And then . . . yadda yadda yadda . . . she’s successful, and Voyager makes it home earlier than the original timeline, with both Seven and Chakotay alive and Tuvok able to get the cure for his disease which was available in the Alpha Quadrant all along. The complications involve an epic clash with the Borg, with the Borg Queen played this time by Alice Krige. Some fans suggest that future-Admiral Janeway’s ultimate gambit is tantamount to genocide, something that the idealistic Captain Janeway would never do. I’m not certain this was truly genocide and that the Borg were wiped out. But, honestly, I couldn’t care less if they were. Others have pointed out that future-Janeway’s actions were very selfish, and, on this score, I must agree: they were. But, I’m not sure that makes them wrong. In her mind, Janeway was correcting decisions that she herself had made in error.

Even Bryan Fuller and Brannon Braga have gone on record suggesting that the ending to the Voyager story was perhaps too much sunshine and puppy dogs. After suffering through the end of DS9, I don’t agree with that assessment. A happy ending was very much in order and appreciated this time.

The finale did leave me wanting more, though.

That’s not a complaint.

This one makes the All-Time Best Trek list. 4.5 out of a possible 5 stars.

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