Section I of II: The Summary

Harry Kim, gung ho as ever with Starfleet duty, has the night watch command on Voyager. The helm discovers a distant distress call and Voyager is diverted to intercept the call.. Commander Chakotay places Harry in charge of the away mission, since he was the one who found it. Harry, the Doctor, and a nameless "red shirt" investigate the source of the distress signal and find an oblong silver object with bionueral circuitry. It is able to communicate its panic to the doctor. The doctor tells the away team that it is concerned because it can't see and doesn't know where it's arms or legs are. It feels paralyzed. The object is beamed aboard Voyager and Torres, Harry, and the Doctor begin working on it immediately and discover that it is a "smart bomb" -- a weapon of mass destruction Torres attempts to disconnect the weapon component from the sentient circuitry. The weapon senses this, activates itself, and takes over the doctor. The weapon holds the ship hostage with the threat that it will detonate the bomb if Janeway doesn't comply exactly with it's wishes. It's mission is to get to it's target and detonate. Unfortunately, it's not that simple. The weapon finds it has missing data and with Torres' help, locates those files. It learns that the target -- the violent enemy -- is no longer a target. The people that created this weapon and others like it, are no longer at war with this dreaded enemy. The weapon refuses to believe this, thinking it's some ploy of the enemy's. In this data, is also a notation that thirty four weapons were accidently deployed, including this one.

Harry is finally able to teach the weapon compassion, understanding, and sacrifice by communicating with it and attempting to make it understand that it can grow beyond it's programming, using the doctor as an example. The remaining weapons locate Voyager and surround it, to get their "brother" to join them in their pursuit of the enemy. The weapon aboard Voyager attempts to reason with the others, but fails. Finally, it asks Harry to trust it. It will destroy the other weapons so the "enemy" may live. Harry beams the weapon off Voyager and it goes with the rest until it's surrounded by no ships or planets and then detonates, destroying all of them.

Section II of II The Review

Interesting episode. Sort of. As usual, there was nothing very original in this episode of Voyager. The good doctor vs. the bad doctor (taken over by something) is becoming a tired theme. Thankfully, Robert Picardo can carry this off with his usual aplomb. Also, as always, Seven was an integral part of saving the ship (even though it didn't actually work in this one). I know I've said it before (hey, if Voyager can copy itself, so can I!), but I really miss Wesley Crusher. He may have saved the ship in every episode, but at least I didn't have to look at his butt crack each week. Another thing that is being repeated every episode is the Doctor comparing someone else's bedside manner to his own and stating that his is better. This is SO stale now. It was funny the first four hundred times, but…

A few catty comments about hair, makeup, and the appearance of the cast:

1. Robert Duncan McNeil: combing your hair forward does not make people think that you aren't balding. Clue in. Those lovely bald boy bangs don't fool anyone. They are just an arrow saying "bald man here".

2. Robert Beltran: stop reaching for those potato chips and maybe think fruit and veggies. When Chakotay was dressing in the hallway after Harry had come to notify him of the location of the distress signal and the change in Voyager's course, Chuckles looked FAT and out of shape. And then he wonders why he doesn't have many lines. Take a clue from Tom Cruise and Mel Gibson. If you are going to be a bad actor, at least look good doing it. Just a tip.

3. I have begun to notice that all of the aliens now look the same, which is too bad. Star Trek aliens used to be amazing, creative, and innovative. In the last two season of Voyager, they are all looking like they are related. Is the Delta Quadrant the West Virginia of space? No branches in the family tree? Even their clothes all look the same and also are similar to the crew's off-duty wear. What? Only one intergalactic Wal-Mart? The blazers, pants, and shirts all have the same lines, color hues, and shape. This actually also applies to DS9. It's as if Garrek is the only tailor in the entire universe. I am sure that there are other styles out there.

4. Where was Tuvok?

5. I'm not even commenting about Kathryn's hair and makeup. I already called E!'s Fashion Emergency. Maybe Leon and Emme can help. I've given up.

I thought, initially, that this was going to be the same old Harry is the innocent ingenue and wide-eyed youth episode. It certainly began that way. But as the episode plodded along, Harry seemed to step away from that and grow a bit. From "Caretaker" to the beginning of "Warhead", that character has not been stretched all that much. No growth, nothing. In this episode, though, he showed he has grown up. Initially, he was treating his night command as a youth would, not someone who is now…thirty? He checked in every five minutes with the bridge while commanding the away mission. This is not something that a mature 'fleet officer does. Later in the episode, he reasoned with the weapon and finally made it understand and grow beyond his programming. It was as if Harry also grew beyond the script. I hope that we see more of this Harry Kim and less of the child that should have been discarded a long time ago.

I thought this episode was an interesting parable for the warlike nature of our society and what happens to those who can't let go. I am quite positive that this was not intentional. I would never assume that Berman and crew could be that creative and interesting. Nonetheless, this is what I took away. The smart bomb, like the soldier in our society, only knows war and killing. Suspicion and hatred and bigotry. What happens when we have peace? What happens to those that can't or won't accept that change? We saw some of this in "The Undiscovered Country". In "Warhead", the weapon finally overcomes his war-like nature at the risk of his own "life". Interesting thought. Also, interesting enough, the viewers did not get to see the people of either side of the old war. Perhaps because war has very little to do with people and more to do with the machine of hate. We never do learn what this war was about. Much like our own conflicts. We can't really remember what those are about either.

The smart bomb brought up another interesting point. He points out that Voyager wouldn't break the prime directive if the situation falls within Starfleet's own peaceful moral code, but if it does not they are happy to break it. If Voyager was truly following the prime directive, would it have tried to stop the weapon? Why not call the owners of the weapons and let them deal with the problem? The prime directive doesn't seem to be used very well. Or at all.

Problems with this episode:

1. I was confused about when the bombs had been detonated. The war had been over for three years, this bomb crashed (went off course, whatever) and the other bombs were within 2 light years of their target and they stopped to look for the missing one? Why? That makes no sense.

2. Why would this bomb think it had arms and legs? Why would it know that the enemy was a horrible, ruthless people? Why would it need to know that to do it's job?

3. Why would the night shift be a dull and quiet shift? Do the Delta Quadrant natives all observe the same day/night shifts that Voyager does. They only attack during the day? That doesn't make sense.

4. How could Harry read the text from the weapon's files? It's in the weapon's native language!

5. Why did Harry act as if he has never been in command before? He has been, about two years prior to this. Continuity, people!

Rating: Overall, I thought this was just a big hodgepodge of other episodes and not a very good one either. I am convinced that the writers are all turning in lame scripts in an effort to get fired. No J/C, no J/P, no nothin'. I can't believe I skipped Ricky Martin's favorite 20 videos to watch this crap. When will Cilla learn? This episode does earn an extra point for Seven's failure to save the ship, so I give this ep a 4.7 of 9.