Torres’ Bad Day

Story: Day of Honor
Written By: Jeri Taylor
Series: Star Trek: Voyager
Year: 1997

What in the hell? Three well made and enjoyable to watch episodes of Voyager in a row? Hell if you go back to season 3’s finale this is the 4th good episode in a row. I may have had my issues with The Gift (mostly just the fact that a character I liked left and that it was shoved into a little B-story), but the Seven storyline really was enough to outweigh the bad. On this episode I could’ve sworn someone who never wrote for Voyager before wrote it. But its Jeri Taylor! She helped develop the whole show! So lets go, paragraph by paragraph, what they got right.
Number one, actual legitimate character growth. The first example is Paris and Torres longtime somewhat flirt hinting at something more relationship finally takes the bold step towards an actual relationship. It isn’t terribly hacky either, it feels like Torres bad day was enough to finally let her open up and not push Tom away. I bought it. And because I know that their relationship eventually does lead to something bigger I have to call it LEGITIMATE character growth. This wasn’t just for the episode and left to be forgotten later like much of Voyager’s so called character growth. Secondly we have Seven trying to find her place on Voyager and learning to cope a little better without the Hive mind of the Borg. It’s clearly the b-story, but it works and the character legitimately grows from her experience.

Number two, a well integrated A-story and B-story script. So often in Voyager the B-story is just some little fluff thrown in for filler that has little to nothing to do with the A-story. Or conversely, Voyager has been known to have an all too small yet interesting B-story that gets little screentime in favor of a less interesting generic and hacky A-story. This episode flowed well because the A and B stories connected and naturally flowed from one scene to the next. This is what DS9 or TNG often were able to pull off all the time, why had it been so elusive on Voyager?

Number three, it had an engaging story. The plot involving Torres having a bad day worked. As things continue to get worse for her it goes from being a sort of humorous bad day, to a seriously shitty day as she is stuck floating in space losing air with Tom. But its not just an episode where they kick her for no reason (as much as I love DS9 I can’t say I was ever truly behind the O’Brien Must Suffer episodes), no she has to have just the most unbelievably worst day possible in order to finally break down her walls and tell Tom she loves him. Out of a crappy day, she got something important: a relationship. I bought it: hook, line, and sinker.

Theres more to enjoy too, from realistic and relatable dialogue, to a little bit of exciting action as they are forced to evacuate Engineering and dump the core, to having a well rounded group of aliens looking for help and supplies becoming a sort of pathetic threat (pathetic in that they clearly are just at the end of their rope). The saddest part about this episode is that if Voyager had gotten its act together like this in the 3rd season, I wouldn’t need to explain all the little details they got right in this one.

Man...I couldn’t be happier watching Voyager with episodes like this. And man...I know this ain’t gonna last!

NEXT TIME: Genocidal War