Deadlock - The destruction of Voyager ?
edited: Sunday, May 13, 2001
By Rose G rose.moss@LineOne.net
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2001
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When Voyager is duplicated, both ships are placed in danger of destruction
Deadlock - The destruction of Voyager ?
by Rose Moss
February 24, 2001
Note. Paramount owns the Copyright to Voyager and its Characters. The following represents a purely personal viewpoint.
· Broadcast Date: Week of March 18, 1996
· Sequence 36 - Episode 137
· Guest Stars: Nancy Hower, Simon Billig, Bob Clendenin, Ray Proscia, Keythe Farley, Christopher Johnston
· Written By: Brannon Braga
· Directed By: David Livingston
The episode opens with Neelix asking a heavily pregnant Samantha Wildman to repair some equipment for him, but she goes into labour before she can do so.
On the Bridge, everyone is anxiously waiting for news of the impending birth. Tuvok, as a father of four observes that patience is necessary.
Captain Janeway wonders whether she should welcome the child or apologise to it. A fleet of Vidiian ships is sighted. Janeway orders Tom to take Voyager into a Plasma Drift to hide from them.
Samantha's labour is going badly, for as a part Ktarian, the baby's facial ridges have become embedded in her uterine wall. The Doctor orders Kes to beam the baby out. It is a girl, who requires treatment to stabilise her cell membranes, but a sudden loss of anti matter causes a power cut, which disrupts the treatment, so that the baby dies. Voyager is bombarded with plasma bursts from an unknown source, which cause heavy damage and casualties.
B'Elanna, Hogan and Harry go to seal a hull breach. on Deck 15
Hogan is injured by plasma burst, while a worse fate awaits Harry, who is sucked out into the vacuum of space, despite B'Elanna's frantic attempts to hold on to him.
Neelix tries to comfort the distraught Samantha Wildman.
Kes is despatched to treat the injured Hogan but disappears into some kind of special rift. B'Elanna throws a piece of metal tubing, which also vanishes. She notes that there appears to be air on the other side, so Kes might still be alive.
On the Bridge, a dishevelled and bruised Janeway is distressed to hear of the baby's death. The Bridge catches fire and the crew flee for their lives. As Janeway escapes, she catches a brief glimpse of what appears to be a mirror image of herself and her crew.
The scene changes Voyager's Bridge, as it usually appears, pristine and undamaged. Captain Janeway catches a glimpse of her other self and asks Harry to perform scans to search for special anomalies, explaining she just saw herself looking like hell She then leaves for sickbay' The Doctor is fussing happily over Samantha Wildman and her healthy child which he insists on calling our baby . Captain Janeway comes to congratulate Samantha and admire the baby. She then asks after the other patient in sickbay, a second version of Kes, who when she wakes up, explains she's come from another version of Voyager, which is being badly damaged by proton bursts. The metal tubing, found with her, confirms her story.
Janeway realises that the ship was duplicated within the plasma cloud, and the two ships simultaneously occupy the same space. The duplication has caused the power loss, for whereas matter can be duplicated, anti matter cannot. She decides the best course of action is to contact the other ship.
Janeway tells B'Elanna to stop the proton bursts, which they were using to try to restart the engines The two women work closely together to try to contact the other ship and eventually succeed. seeing their other selves on the viewscreen. They try to merge the ships but to no avail. Unless a solution is found, both ships will be destroyed. Janeway decides to visit her counterpart on the other Voyager. Kes, knowing she'll be needed to help the injured, insists on accompanying her back through the special rift on Deck15
The Two Captain Janeway's meet and argue passionately, over which ship should be sacrificed in order to save the other. Both are willing to make the supreme sacrifice for the sake of the others ship and crew. They discuss transferring both crews to one ship, but realise that would create an imbalance. The second Janeway returns to her ship to try to work out a way to avoid destruction.
The Vidiians appear again and attack. Voyager has no weapons to defend herself, but the other Voyager remains undetected. The Vidiians capture the ship and immediately start killing the crew to use for spare parts. A frantic Samantha begs the Doctor to hide her baby.347 Vidiians swarm through Voyager.
Janeway contacts her counterpart on the undetected ship and asks her to save Harry and the baby. Saying, Get your Crew Home! she breaks the Comm. link. and sets the auto-destruct sequence and orders the protesting Harry to collect the baby from sickbay and go to the other ship with her. He reaches sickbay and shoots the Vidiians as they butcher Samantha and Kes.
Janeway and Chakotay wait calmly. When the Vidiians storm the Bridge, Janeway calmly welcomes them as the ship explodes.
On the other ship, a troubled Janeway is discussing her counterpart's fate with Tuvok. The ship is badly damaged and repairs will take days.
A delighted Samantha thanks Harry for saving her baby. He finds the situation weird and discusses it with Janeway who tells him. We're Starfleet Officers. Weird is part of the job.
Weird is a good description of this highly confusing and harrowing episode. It bears some similarities to Deep Space Nine's Visionary where O'Brien dies and is replaced by a version of himself from a few hours in the future and Parallels from The Next Generation in which multiple universes converge, each with same crew leading different lives. Such concepts do have some basis in theoretical physics, though only at a quantum level, at least at our present degree of knowledge.
The first time I saw Deadlock I felt shocked and saddened by it, before realising the characters I knew and loved, would be back next week for further adventures. Or would they? As both Voyagers are the one that viewers know and love. Whichever crew lived, we've still seen characters we care about, die horrible deaths.
In Science Fiction, writers are able to get away with the old adage Of having one's cake and eating it as we can see Voyager and her crew be destroyed and yet still be able to watch their further adventures. Whether one sees this as a clever plot device or a cynical play on the viewers emotions, is a matter of personal choice.
Samantha Wildman, The Doctor, Harry and B'Elanna all had some good and well-acted moments, but it was very much a Janeway episode and Kate Mulgrew's acting was superb especially in her determination and tragic heroism in the face of an impossible dilemma. At this stage in the series, she was less comfortable in switching from the commanding to concerned matriarch persona, but in arguing with herself, working frantically with B'Elanna to find a solution, pleading with her counterpart to get Voyager home, and welcoming the Vidiians regally to the Bridge, she was magnificent.
When Janeway and Chakotay sat calmly on the bridge waiting for the ship to explode, they reminded me of the Norse myth of the gods calmly awaiting Ragnarok, as described in Wagner's Ring Cycle. Janeway's regal demeanour when the Vidiians storm the bridge made me think of Shakespeare's Cleopatra taking her own life to defy her captors.
Janeway's sense of guilt runs right through the episode, from her concerns at the beginning to whether she should apologise to the new born baby to the scene near the end with Tuvok, where she agonises over her counterparts fate. She feels deeply for each member of her crew and is the most obviously distressed at the death of the baby and Harry being sucked out into space. The lack of reaction from some of the other characters was rather worrying.
The contrast between the two Voyagers's for cleverly depicted and initially it seemed the first Voyager was doomed, while everything was perfect on the second. As the plot progressed, the situation gradually changed, with the second ship doomed, while the first could be repaired in a few days
After seeing the Vidiians in a more sympathetic light in Lifesigns, here they are shown as totally evil, devoid of compassion and worse than vultures, which do at least wait for their prey to die before dissecting them.
Having one Janeway with a cut on her face and the other without, helped the viewer to easily distinguish between them, rather like Gwyneth Paltrow's character in Sliding Doors
I wondered if Samantha accepted the other baby rather too easily, but what mother after seeing her baby die, would not welcome a second chance? However, in real life it would take much longer to come terms with.
The scenes at the end felt as if they were the wrong way round, as the scene in sickbay had a feeling of having taken place earlier before Janeway and Tuvok's discussion.
I found myself wishing Janeway could have blown up the ship, before the Vidiians started butchering the crew, but realised that would appeared rather premature and not given Harry time to escape with the baby. Harry's loyalty and reluctance to leave his Captain was touching.
The special effects were visually stunning, especially when Harry gets sucked through the breach in the hull and later when the Vidiian ship seizes Voyager.
Not for the first time, the number 47 appears, as 347 Vidiians storm the ship. This number crops up throughout the series for some unknown reason.
Overall, this is an action packed, thought provoking adventure, which show Janeway and her crew pushed to the brink facing an impossible dilemma, which gives Kate Mulgrew ample opportunities to display her considerable acting talents, but the harrowing story and highly complex plot, make it too uncomfortable for more than occasional viewing. I admire Deadlock but find it hard to enjoy.
If you enjoyed reading this please check out some of my other Voyager Reviews on this site.