Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Critical Care

**** (4 stars out of 5)
Having picked up his free dose of food poisoning from Neelix, a thief named Gar also picks up the EMH mobile emitter and sells the whole kit and caboodle to a sweaty bean-counter called Chellick. You may know him as Dr. Giggles.

Chellick is an administrator brought in to drag the struggling Dinaali world up by its bootstraps. To "trim the fat", as it were. For some reason, Chellick did not start either by pushing back from the supper table himself, or more relevantly, by wondering why a hospital should ever need to hover far above the suffering populace in a gargantuan metal spider.

The kidnapped Doctor makes token protests, but his Oath assures that he must lend a hand to both unctuous Dr. Dysek of Level Blue and overburdened Dr. Voje of Level Red. Although it's clear from the get-go that Level Red is where the NEED is greatest, Level Blue is where the ELITE are. Guess who gets all the best care?

A computer called The Allocator assigns Treatment Coefficients to everybody, and if you're not contributing enough to society, then your next stop is Level White. And they don't count being poor, handsome, or clever as contributing. Since Level White is the morgue, I'm guessing your final stop is Level Green- an old dumpster.

So, it's Michael Moore's Sicko in Space. And it's great. Every time I forget how amazing Robert Picardo is, they give him a chance to shine bright like a diamond. And without the odious Chellick sneered to life by Larry Drake, where would the hero get to spew his righteous bile?

"Critical Care" brings us all this AND Jerry Gergich's identical cousin, too? I knew you could do it, Voyager. You're doing Star Trek proud, after all. Because of your efforts, I've even allocated enough time for one more fat joke: when Chellick sits around Dr. House, he really sits AROUND Dr. House!

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