Review of Prey

Star Trek: Voyager: Prey (1998)
Season 4, Episode 16
7/10
7 of 9: The Teen Years
29 December 2019
As other reviews here clearly demonstrate by their insistence on taking sides and declaring absolutes, this was an episode fraught with difficult and complex decisions. On one hand, we have the Starfleet ideals (which, some people seem to be forgetting, aren't atypical of any Star Trek series, and captains like Picard and Sisko have made very similar decisions. Granted, Kirk might not be a great example of that, but TOS was less fraught with these sorts of situations, especially when Kirk could just punch and sex his way through the galaxy instead.) On the other hand, the practicalities of being alone out in space (which occurs for most Starfleet vessels, actually, not just Voyager...how many times does the crew of a given ship on a given series depend on being rescued by Starfleet rather than getting themselves out of the predicament du jour?)

I'm not going to bother taking a side here. I'm neither a Starfleet, nor a hapless extra just waiting for the command decisions that will get me killed, not a Twitter god with legions of fans anxiously awaiting my opinion on an issue brought up in some sci-fi episode from 20 years ago. I can go on about how ideals aren't ideals if you throw them away at every dangerous turn, or about how sometimes you have to just bite the bullet and do the safest thing, but I won't because reading the other reviews on the topic here has bored me to death with their declamations and certainties and barely-suppressed rage for some reason. Instead, I just want to take a moment to point out that 7 of 9 at the end of the episode sounded *exactly* like an angry teenager lashing out at her parents and trying to gain the moral high ground after doing something the parents disapproved of. Which is fair -- 7 has only been fully human for a very short time. And Captain Janeway did exactly what a parent should do in that situation -- refuse to argue the point because there's no way the teenager won't continue to feel like she (or he) is being picked on and treated unfairly, no matter how specious the argument might be. Regardless of how you feel about the rest of the episode and the decisions made, Janeway made the right call there.

Incidentally, Tony Todd should be in every episode of every Star Trek. We had a vicious, nigh-impervious alien species that wants to wipe out all other species on Voyager, and Candyman was still the scariest being on board.
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