Part 1 of 2: The Summary

The story opens with a scene of a wizened old curmudgeon flying into the jaws of a giant hookworm... or so it looks. Next thing we know, Voyager is all gaga about a wormhole and a way home, complete with messages from Starfleet, friends and family --- all of which present the Best of All Possible News for everyone. As Janeway says before she becomes swayed, "What’s wrong with this picture?" What’s wrong indeed, for only Seven of Nine (choke, gag, bleck!!!), the Doc and Naomi Wildman tend to toss off the utopian feeling. Yep, it’s going to be one of "those" episodes.

The closer that Voyager gets to this sudden stroke of good fortune, the happier the crew gets, and the more suspicious our little trio gets. In fact, they have never even seen a wormhole; the image they get is of the giant jaws awaiting its dinner. Their cautious spirits in turn gets them put off-line, in the case of the Doc, and Tuvok informs Seven that she’s going into stasis (I’ll go along with that...) But Barby Borg isn’t going to be put to sleep very gently. In fact, she puts up force fields, gains Naomi as her ally, and then plays Terminator by zapping all of engineering and taking over the ship. Only Mama Kate can finally stop her, with a massive shock that knocks her off her high heels and right onto that hard little derriere of hers.

By this time, all of Voyager’s crew has been sent to Dreamland by Jaws, with everyone dreaming of their favorite sugarplums (this includes an erotic scene of Vulcan foreplay between Tuvok and T’Pel; shouldn’t this have been given a TV14 rating?) Except for Seven. She doesn’t believe in sugarplums. This leaves only little Miss Precocious, Naomi Wildman, to save the ship. She comes out of hiding, awakens Sleeping Beauty, and they finally make contact with our Cuddly Curmudgeon, whom we find out is Ahab after his Moby Dick of a monster (even the Doc identifies this analogy later, after he is once more inactivated.) In the meantime, Voyager has joined the lovable alien as the entree portion of today’s dinner for the "monster".

Qatai and the Doc determine that a good old fashioned emetic, concocted from phaser fire and anti-matter is just what the doctor ordered. At first, Doc and Seven think that one good burp has released them, but our grizzled grandpa says it is yet another deception. Quite so, confirms the Doc. A second dose finally does cause a good expelling reaction, as we see the two vessels ejecting from the fleshy cavern of the bioplasmic organism.

Voyager’s crew awakes, a bit unhappy that they are still in the DQ. Seven promises the Captain a full report. The closing scene shows Qatai taking yet another stab at his nemesis, zooming right back into the valley of death.

Part 2 of 2: The Review

Hey... wake me when it’s over. "Bliss " this ain’t; it’s another episode of "The Seven of Nine Show"! (Guess the rest of the cast was needed for cons and the Rosie O’Donnell Show). I made a few references to "Star Wars" last week, and I’ll continue with this very boring episode. First off, the whole thing seemed like a rip-off of the bit in "The Empire Strikes Back" when the Millennium Falcon seeks refuge in a cavern on an asteroid, only to find out that they’ve flown down the gullet of a leftover from "Dune". And speaking of the Millennium Falcon, Qatai’s ship certainly could be its twin, with the way it kept falling apart and he kept banging on it to "fix" it.

Other copycat tactics abound with this ep. Is it me, or is Naomi Wildman turning into a worse pest than Wesley Crusher ever was? Yuk! Tom lets her take over the helm of the Delta Flyer? I think not! We loose too many shuttles on this show as it is. And just what was the Doc doing teaching her about "pheromones and pitcher plants"? Isn’t she a little young for these lessons? Then again, maybe she had seen her mom and Neelix, and asked questions. Also, we had better stop the bonding between Naomi and Seven before the assimilation is complete; I’d hate to even begin to imagine a Borg-in-Training on the ship.

And Chakotay and Seven are getting way too close for comfort lately. First off, the Up Close and Personal shot of the two of them in Janeway’s ready room in "Chaotica" and then in this one, as he’s telling her she must be put into stasis, his hands were all over her back as he was "guiding" her. Double yuk! He looked like he wanted to be put into stasis with her... in the same box. I refuse to even think about going there.

Once more, TPTB need to keep themselves straight on what they’ve written. Janeway finds out that Mark has "called off the engagement", when last year at this time we found out he was married?!?!?! Ah, well; perhaps this was part of the happy factor --- not even having him married. Then again, if this truly is her deepest and fondest desire, maybe there isn’t any hope for the Chakman and her. (But damned if I let that bottle blond get him! BTW --- where’s the Clairol stash on Voyager? Just wondering...)

One good thing about the episode --- Seven can’t do it alone like Janeway can ("Year of Hell"; "Macrocosm"). She had to have help from the Doc and a kid ("And a little child shall lead them.") So, guess she isn’t as almighty as she wants to be. But, it did disturb me that the Doc asked for her approval before beginning his phaser firing; since when does the broad have seniority over him? After all, he still dresses her!

This episode seems to be just another excuse for us to see how Barbie runs... and never bounces. I hope her feet were killing her after all her prancing around. The usual yin and yang banter between her the Doc was even missing. The crowning blow is that Seven tells Janeway when she will have her "report" ready. Oh, major faux pas! Do you think that KJ would let anyone --- even her lap dog --- get away with a "later alligator" answer to "what the hell happened"? I think not!

And as for the mentoring of Naomi --- Sam Wildman, you really have to watch your kid more. Even Neelix is a better role model than the pouty pundant. The little girl is going to be asking for a Delta Quadrant plastic surgeon to do more than get rid of her Ktarian horns before she’s seven or nine (oops... sorry about that!).

The best thing about this show is that its over. The bad thing is that we have to face a lot more of the Duo Orbs in Blue next week. At least there will be a couple more powerful women in it to downplay her presence.

This week’s rating: 2 of 9. And it’s that only because the doc ("I’m a doctor, not a dragonslayer") was in it.

Can I wash my hands now? Actually, a nice long cleansing shower is more what I need.