Part I of II: The Summary

This episode opens up on the holodeck, in an Irish setting probably sometime in the mid-1800s. Tom Paris, in native dress, is strolling through an Irish town. He is stopped by a villager, who borrows some shillings. Harry is off to one side, chatting up a local Irish lass. The EMH rides by on a bicycle, dressed in priest’s clothing. All three of them congregate and head for Sullivan's, the nearby tavern.

Tom, in typical Tom-fashion, begins to collect bets on an arm wrestling contest between Harry and Ian (hologram), who has not lost in over two years. Harry surprises everyone by winning the arm wrestling. A uniformed Kathryn and asks the handsome barkeep if he has seen her friends. She locates Harry and Tom and tells them that there is a class nine neutronic wave front and that they are needed on the bridge. As they leave, Kathryn turns around to give the bartender "the look".

In the astrophysics bay, Seven explains that this wave front is probably caused by the collision of two stars. The radiation from this wave has already begun to effect the ship - Voyager is unable to jump to warp speed. The radiation will get much worse and the Doc will have to inoculate everyone. The wave will last about three days and Voyager will have to "toss anchor" and stay put until the wave is ridden out.

Kathryn goes to the mess hall to work on some reports and she is approached by Neelix. He asks her if she would like to go to "Fair Haven", the Irish town holodeck program that is Tom's latest creation. She declines, insisting that she has work to do. Neelix, as Morale Officer, asks/suggests to her, that the holodeck be kept operational for the duration of the wave. Kathryn thinks this is a great idea and grants her permission. The neutronic wave brings memories of summer storms in Indiana to the surface and Kathryn seems a little restless about Voyager having to stay. Neelix leaves her to go to the holodeck. She appears to reconsider and she also goes to Fair Haven. Back to the bar with the handsome bartender.

When she arrives, he is tidying up the place. He sees her and offers her a drink. She asks for tea and they begin to chat. Kathryn tells Michael Sullivan that she is just passing through Fair Haven, that she has been traveling for about five years. As she tells him her family's history of living in Ireland, she becomes uncomfortable, more so after he begins to call her "Katie". She says that she has to leave and in order to stop her, Michael challenges her to play a game of "rings". She declines and Michael, seeming to know her already, asks her if she is afraid to lose. She accepts his challenge and does lose. She then challenges him to arm wrestling and loses at that as well! A woman enters and Michael introduces the woman as his wife! Kathryn, for just a second, looks shocked. She leaves as soon as is polite to do so.

The EMH approaches Tom about expanding his role, explaining that priests had much larger roles in ancient Ireland. Someone else wants modifications made to the holoprogram. Kathryn enters the holodeck and calls up the character of Michael Sullivan. She modifies his (improves?) his character by making him more educated, darker, more complex - and single!

Seven and Tuvok dine together in the mess hall. Tuvok's vision is blurred and he appears to be ill with space sickness or Neelix's food again. The crew discovers that the wave is going to get worse and the radiation is also growing.

Kathryn goes back to the holodeck, this time in a dress of the appropriate century. She sees Michael reading at the train station and she joins him. They converse and soon leave the station together. They twosome run into Chakotay, who in a jealous rage, punches Michael and grabs Kathryn as if to kiss her. Well, that is what should have happened. What really happened? I would much rather tell this MY way, but…Chakotay seemed quite amused to see them together. Later, on the bridge, Chakotay brings up the subject of her embarrassment. She tries to tell him that Michael is just a hologram and that Chakotay is misinterpreting what he saw. Chakotay said that it didn't matter if Michael was a hologram - he never lets that get in his way when it comes to holopeople. (EWW! TOO much information, Chakotay!)

Kathryn goes back to Sullivan's and joins in the dancing. With charged electricity in the air (yes, Cilla has been reading Johanna Lindsey novels again), she removes all of the other holopeople and Michael kisses her. Later, off of the holodeck, Kathryn looks very disturbed and recycles old Irish poetry books. Neelix asks her to come to Sullivan's for a ring competition, but she declines the invitation. In Sullivan's, Tom notices that Michael is drinking - something he was programmed not to do. Tom asks him about this and Michael seems very upset. He starts a fight with Tom that ends up spilling into the streets of Fair Haven. In sickbay, while tending to bar fight wounds, Kathryn comes in and sees them. She asks what happen. Harry starts to tell her, but the EMH interrupts and asks if she would walk with him. He tells her how upset Michael was and that he has been in a tree screaming her name. She brushes the Doc off, but he tells her that he would be happy to listen to her if she needed to talk. At that moment, she decides to open up to the Doc about what is wrong. She tells him that she modified Michael, which the Doc had already noticed, and that they had spent time together. She was with him and realized that he was just light and air. That he was nothing. He was resting his head on her shoulder and snoring and she was about to modify him again. She just got up and left. She realized that he isn't a person if she can modify him whenever she wishes. The EMH tells her that since she can't have a relationship with her crew (and why the hell not?), that unless she wants casual dalliances with passing aliens, this might be her only alternative. She just wants to be loved.

The worst part of the wave hits and all power has to be transferred to the shields - including power . The Irish holoprogram is seriously damaged. After the storm, Tom comes to Kathryn to tell her that only about 10% of Fair Haven can be saved. He asks her if there were any parts of the program that she specifically wished to save. Kathryn and Tom share that special smile that the two of them often share.

Kathryn, in a heartbreaking scene, goes to see Michael to tell him that she is leaving. He wants to know why and she tells him that just has to go. He doesn't think this is a good enough reason and wants to know if he is not her type or if her friends do not approve of him. She relents a bit and tells him she might be passing through in about seven weeks (the amount of time it will take Tom to fix the holoprogram). She tenderly kisses him on the cheek and ends the program. She makes one last modification to the program - that Kathryn Janeway is not allowed to make anymore modifications. And she saves Michael's program into the ship's computer.

Part II of II: The Review

Overall, I thought that this episode was at least well written. The dialogue was very good and there was some great character developments. The characters seemed to be, with one exception, more true to themselves then they have been in the past, and the dialogue actually seemed to have a point. It wasn't just random words spoken until the next action scene. B'Elanna, Tuvok, and Seven were either missing entirely or had one scene. This only bothers me with two of these characters.

I do have a problem with something the doctor said to Kathryn. He said that since she can not have a relationship with anyone in her crew as they are all subordinates, that the holoman may be her only alternative. Was he saying this only because he wants to bag Boregasm? Was this self-motivation on his part? How can another hologram advise her on what to do with a hologram? Why can't she have a relationship with her crew? I think someone had better run as fast as they can to the Alpha Quadrant and tell that to Captain Picard. I may have been dreaming, but he most certainly kissed Beverly Crusher in "Attached' and confessed his love for her. He tried to start a relationship. He also had a brief affair with the woman who played the piano. And then there is Captain James "wine 'em and do 'em" Kirk. Who on his crew did he NOT sleep with? What is this nonsense that the Doc was spouting?? Was that Rick Berman's way of telling us that any Janeway/Chakotay relationship was totally out of the question? As if we haven't been told that twenty other times. No need to contradict Trek lore just to make that point, boys!

I was also vaguely offended that a hologram was running out spouting religion and offering to hear confessions. The Irishman who broke the Fifth Commandment (Thou shalt not kill??) receives his penance from a soulless man? I'm not Catholic, but if I had more energy today, I might be offended by that. Maybe not. It was just enough to raise my eyebrow a bit.

What was with that scene with Tuvy and Boregasm? That scene had NO point whatsoever. Was that just to show off the lovely Seven? The second wave of the class nine neutrino wave could have been worked in or told from a hundred other ways and places. Was that necessary? And speaking of pointless, why of why must Kathryn look terrible all of the time? Not only do they put her in that horrible dull lipstick, but now she is in gray? How horrid! Just hand the woman a hefty bag and get it over with. Stop torturing Cilla.

Nice touch of the Irish music played as the soundtrack when anyone was in Fair Haven. Very Riverdance, but I suppose it was the best they could do. I did like the new holoprogram though, and I hope it gets fixed. I really enjoyed the original Sandrine's, before they made it into that beach thing where I was forced to see Neelix's feet, and have missed it ever since (Sandrine's. Not Neelix's feet.). I also that the acting in this episode was better than usual from everyone. Even Chakotay. He appeared FAR less wooden and I remembered why I had, at one time, thought he was handsome. Kate's acting was among the best. One of the nicest touches on her part was the way she walked around like a cat in heat.

Which brings me to the main problem that I have with this episode. The Kathryn Janeway that we have come to know would never have done this. Captain Janeway does not live in a world of make-believe. I realize that she has to "get some" every now and then and it has been over five years, but this was completely out of character for the scientist she is. It was ridiculous to see her having real emotion for this hologram. When there is a ship function, is she going to ask the EMH if she can borrow his holoemitter for the night? Are they going to reprogram Michael so that he is aware of Voyager and who he is? This is insane and takes the Captain further away from who she was. How could her crew respect a woman who can only have a relationship with a fantasy? How could you follow someone's orders who can't have relationships with real people and must rely on a man of light and air? And how could she actually believe he loves her and that she could love him. He does not exist and in his current state, he is truly something that she made up. At least before she modified Michael, he was something that someone else made up. I do not see how he could ever be real to her. Is this her way of still not cheating Married Mark back in the Alpha Quadrant? I would like to not think that is the reason. If she is that lonely, then she should take real steps to change that. This is a band aid cure. How will she ever be happy with this? It also brings up the ethical question of deleting holocharacters. Are we now treating them as sentient life forms? If so, every time a character is deleted, including Michael's wife, a murder as been committed.

Some other problems:

1. When Kathryn needs to get Harry and Tom from the holodeck in the beginning, why does she not just use their comm badges?
2. Why did the Captain arrive on the bridge JUST as the wave was about to hit? Hello? Aren't you the…uh…Captain? Should you not have been on the bridge a lot earlier than that?
3. Barclay becomes dependent on the holodeck and they name an illness after him. Kathryn falls in love with a hologram and it's just fine. What is wrong here?
4. Why was the Holoprogram not backed up? I find it hard to believe that the holodeck would self-destruct if not shut down properly! What is this? Are they using Windows in the Delta Quadrant? No wonder things never work properly. This explains SO much. They are on hold with Microsoft technical support waiting for help as things are shutting down left and right.
5. I ask this all of the time, but just to hear myself type, I ask again: Why do we never see anything but earth history???
6. Just a comment - Kathryn's two kisses with Michael were quite possibly the two worst television kisses in history. It looked like she was kissing her pillow. Only with less chemistry.

Rating: Good dialogue and character development. Bad story and horrible Janeway. No Seven (a great thing), hardly any Tuvy (very bad). Anti J/C. I give this a Four of Nine.