Wednesday, September 26, 2012


** (2 stars out of 5)
Evidence mounts that Chakotay's tribe was descended from the Rubber Tree people of the rainforest. And the Rubber Tree people were themselves hybrid descendants of an alien race known as the Sky Spirits. If that makes no sense to you, don't worry. It doesn't get better, but don't worry.

A long time ago, endorsed by a dude called Captain Sulu, Teen Chakotay joined Starfleet over the objection of his tradition-minded father Kolopak. When the Cardassians killed Kolopak, Chakotay honoured him by getting his face tattoo and fighting back. That's the good part of the story.

Now, on a world in the Delta Quadrant, a tree falls on Chakotay with nobody around to hear it. If you wish, like I do, that the rest of the episode never happened, you could pretend that the tree knocked him out and everything else was a fever dream.

Meanwhile, The Doctor, evidently short on compassion (to an absurd degree for someone who just endured a physically painful existential crisis in 'Projections'), programs himself with flu just to spite all those sick and/or pregnant whining whiners. Like that whining Neelix with his eye gouged out by a hawk! Wimp!

The first officer shows his respect for the Sky Spirits by disarming and disrobing. This is only unusual when it turns out they themselves are dressed and toting weapons. 45,000 years ago, it seems the Sky Spirits "genetically gifted" and inspired a group of Earth's pre-verbal nomads to settle America.

The gods of the Indians are real! And, sadly, they're just more white guys with guns. Pretty underwhelming for Star Trek gods. Remember Apollo, the narcissistic date-rapist? Kukulkan the winged-serpent with all the lab animals? Indolent or malignant trickster-gods like the Q?

Now we're left with Benevolent Blonde Baby-Daddies without whom the Native Americans would apparently still be shivering in a snowbank.

"Tattoo" is tough. I mean, I'm all for 'interspecies genetic bonding' but with PRE-VERBAL strangers? Respect for one's ancestors is exactly why I wouldn't say they needed to breed with space aliens to achieve things.

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