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Star Trek: Voyager – Cathexis (Review)

This September and October, we’re taking a look at the jam-packed 1994 to 1995 season of Star Trek, including Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager. Check back daily for the latest review.

Cathexis has a vaguely interesting premise, but it gets a little bit too caught up in science-fiction high concepts and New Age mysticism.

Once again, there’s a sense that the wrong writer has been assigned the wrong brief. The New Age spirituality elements of Chakotay’s character were largely championed by Michael Piller; the “romantic period mystery” story for Janeway clearly comes from Jeri Taylor. The only part of Cathexis that clearly comes from credited writer Brannon Braga is the somewhat generic Invasion of the Body Snatchers plot line – and, as such, it seems to be the only thread in which Braga is particularly interested.

So we get a bunch of half-hearted New Age stuff unfolding, with Chakotay’s wandering spirit represented by a camera with a blurry filter swooping through familiar sets. Once again, Chakotay’s Native American heritage becomes a launching pad for some ill-advised mysticism and exoticism, which Cathexis never even bothers trying to explain.

Frankly, I'm surprised Tuvok put up with this for so long...

Frankly, I’m surprised Tuvok put up with this for so long…

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The X-Files – Born Again (Review)

Born Again is a very bland episode of The X-Files that really suffers from being broadcast this late in the season. Indeed, the first season of The X-Files seems almost obsessed with life after death and reincarnation – we’ve already had episodes like Shadows, Lazarus and even Young at Heart. We’re three episodes from the end of the season, and we’ll still find room for one more “vengeance from beyond the grave!” story before we close up shop. Born Again isn’t bad so much as it’s just bland.

I don’t hate Born Again. In fact, it’s the episode that I remember least from this first season – the only evidence I had that I had seen the episode before came from a vague creeping feeling of familiarity while I was watching it. Even now, as I sit down with my notes to type a review, I’m not sure I can tell you that much about it.

It's only a paper giraffe...

It’s only a paper giraffe…

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