Story: Worst Case Scenario
Written By: Kenneth Biller
Series: Star Trek: Voyager
Year: 1997

This episode starts off with a decent premise, Torres discovers this holonovel in the ships computer, about a Maquis uprising on Voyager. The holonovel becomes a bit popular among some officers before Paris reaches the conclusion...and he discovers the novel is incomplete. It is soon discovered that the anonymous author was actually Tuvok, who made it not as a novel but as a training exercise for junior officers, and that he had decided not to pursue when the two crews began to work together. Paris then attempts to complete the novel since the crew needs some new forms of entertainment, which sort of irks Tuvok since his work is being finished by someone else. We even get a great conversation in which Paris plays the part of the Voyager writing staff and Tuvok plays us as they discuss what works in a story: Tuvok prefers logical stories, Paris prefers making it up as he goes along with pointless twists.
It was all working. The jokes came out and I was laughing WITH the crew for once and not AT their ineptitude and rolling my eyes at their poor attempts at actual humor. This could’ve been a great comedy episode in which we get everyone trying to input their thoughts on the outcome of the holonovel until Paris and Tuvok just decide to either finish it themselves or drop it completely....but NO! The writers prove again that they are Paris and just throw in a pointless plot twist in which the holonovel becomes a holodeck gone wrong episode. Safety off. Can’t escape. SEEN IT. Janeway figures out a way to help Tuvok and Paris escape...and she even throws out a line that was clearly the fucking writers putting their middle finger up to fans like me: “who says the deus ex machina is dead?” FUCK YOU.

This show can’t do a comedy episode, everything has to turn into some life or death action schlock. It’s a real shame...Deep Space 9 had TONS of action-oriented episodes. But it was rarely schlock, the episodes action always worked. But it wasn’t ALWAYS the same third act. Often that show could have slower dramatic episodes, or lightweight comedy episodes. That cast could do all of it well and believably, and the writers and directors helped make it always interesting to watch. Voyager is the laziest piece of shit possible.

Sure I’ll give them that their stupid twist at least brought Seska back (in holographic form) for a decent ghosts revenge kinda thing, but I’m just so tired of this series never straying to far from formula. I liked the first half or so of this episode a lot, and if the holoprogram gone wrong plot had been in any other episode I might’ve liked it...but it just ruined what was really working for me by taking one tone and then slapping on a lazy as hell different tone that replicates the third act of so many other episodes.

NEXT TIME: Entering Borg Space