The Art of War

Story: Warlord
Written By: Lisa Klink
Series: Star Trek: Voyager
Year: 1996

Kes gets possessed by a former dictator who has discovered a way to body swap. While I think Lien gives a great performance as the possessed Kes, I can’t help but feel like Trek has already traveled this road too many times before. Why do I feel like every other episode of Voyager is just a rehash of another Trek storyline? Probably because the franchise had run its course in terms of standalone episodic form, and now just the same writers were rehashing the same few storylines over and over. At the same time that Voyager had already begun to repeat plots from other Treks (not to mention already repeating itself) Deep Space 9 had already started to reach out with all new plots and character storylines that would eventually reach beyond anything Trek had done previously.
I’m increasingly taken aback with the frequency in which mundane tasks are applauded when Harry Kim achieves them. Seriously, he will transport people off a ship and Janeway will say, “I’m impressed!” WHY? He did his job. Then there are things like Kes saying, near the end of the episode, how this experience “affected her clostest relationships”, then immediately decides to remind the audience just who they are (by the way it was Neelix, the Doctor, and Tuvok). It just shows how well we don’t know the characters well into our third season. By this point in TNG we had figured out what Picard was all about. He was an explorer who liked old books and Shakespeare, and archeology. I guess Janeway likes math and science…and she seems into like Jane Austen stuff…but they have kind of lost track of the Janeway/Pride & Prejudice thing. Who is Janeway? Who is Kes? Is Neelix JUST the comic relief? Then why isn’t he ever funny? I feel like we’ve gotten to know Tuvok and the Doctor. With just a little bit of Torres and Chakotay (although from what I understand Chakotay gets totally lost in the mix as the series progresses). The characters are so boring and useless. They could be replaced by anyone.

I could’ve easily seen this episode working with any other character thrown into Kes’ place…the only thing you would have lost is the “Neelix really loves Kes” plot point (but lets face it who doesn’t want to lose that in EVERY episode?)

Again Lien does a good job, but the episode is a lame duck for the most part, just the same ol’ same ol’ being explored YET again in a franchise that is meant to showcase where no man has gone before.