Star Trek: Voyager: Infinite Regress (1998)
Season 5, Episode 7
7 of...well, an awful large number
1 January 2020
The fun of these sorts of episodes, where one character is the primary focus of the plot and is given a chance to flex his/her acting muscles, is seeing how well the writers create opportunities with good writing, and how well the actor is up to the challenge of either doing justice to a good script or lifting a mediocre (or bad) script up. In this episode, the script was pretty decent, but not earth-shattering (see episode immediately preceding this one for an example of a great script that gave an actor a chance to match, and the actor pulled it off.) However, Jeri Ryan gave an almost-great performance. I say "almost" because her acting chops were never in question in this episode but, sadly, she doesn't really do voices. Which isn't a slam on her -- some people can do voices with amazing facility, others just aren't gifted at that particular skill, and there's only so much teaching can do to compensate for not being naturally adept at it.

In any event, Jeri Ryan absolutely does a fine job with the mannerisms and tics and behaviors of each individual personality/race. She may be eye candy, but she has the acting chops to rise above that, and the script was perfectly designed to let her show range and adaptability.

I do have a couple reservations about the script. First, once the Doctor identified the cause of the cube's destruction as a synthetic virus, every half-way awake viewer probably immediately knew that it was almost-certainly a deliberate infection designed as a weapon against the Borg, especially after hearing the history of the race involved and the nature of how the virus got aboard the ship. Yet it literally doesn't seem to even occur to any of Voyager's staff that this might be the case despite the fact that they literally helped take out Species 8472 with a similar plan, something that was referenced not 3 episodes back (presumably only weeks or possibly months ago in Voyager time) My other issues were: 1) Why did "blow that sucker up with photon torpedoes rather than beam it aboard" never seem to occur to them. It was obviously not well-shielded because they could beam it aboard, and this was prior to the Doctor declaring that it was too late to destroy it without harming 7; 2) That "can't escape because subspace" was ludicrous. If it could disseminate the virus so easily and unavoidably, it wouldn't even be necessary as a trap -- it could just go after all Borg vessels in subspace range, which meant that it wasn't so much a Trojan Horse as a continuous bomb.

Overall, it was a fun episode to watch, mainly for the chance to see an actor really put on a performance.
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