Friday, August 5, 2011

Star Trek: Voyager--"Fortunate Son"

Lisa Klink. Are there two more frightening words to put side by side in the English language? If so, I would like to hear them. Klink is responsible for some of the worst episodes of modern Star Trek. So much so that unlike Brannon Braga and Kenneth Biller, her two closest rivals in the Cellar Dweller Writing Club, she has mercifully faded into the background after VOY. What a legacy of horrible episodes she left as a legacy. Case in point: “Fortunate Son.”

“Fortunate Son” features everything that is bad about VOY: Hard Luck Harry, implausible alien villains. Bad science, techno babble, and sex presented as a fourteen year old virgin’s fantasy. Add to that the realization a reset button is going to have to be hit at some point because of the premise of the story itself, and you have an awful installment of VOY.

Harry has been suffering frequent bouts of déjà vu lately as the ship enters a new area of space he could not possibly know anything about. When they encounter a Nizari ship, he instinctively opens fire on them out of a hunch they are going to attack first. No one knows quite what to make of his actions, but he begins physically changing as they approach the planet of the Taresians, a place with which he feels familiar.

The Taresians greet Harry as a long lost child. They insist he is and always has been on of them. He was allegedly sent to Earth as an embryo to be impregnate a host mother. He has had an instinct to return ever since. The Taresians must have some very fast ships. Naturally, no one from Voyager asks if they can use the technology to get home as quickly as Harry must have traveled. It must have slipped their minds.

Here is the best part: the Taresians are 90% female, so they revere every male who comes home. The entire planet has a 9 to 1 orgy ratio. Harry indulges in what what one can only consider is the previously mentioned fourteen year old virgin’s fantasy of what female attention is all about. It has been a while since I have mocked the allegedly homosexual undertones of Harry, particularly in his relationship with Tom, but I cannot let the opportunity pass here without comment. Harry likes servant girls waiting on him hand and foot, enjoys having his shoulders rubbed, and does not mind pretty girls sitting on his lap. But he still spends most of his time chatting up another guy who is a long lost Taresian. This guy is much more inclined to engage in bumping and grinding with all these pretty women. When it comes time for Harry to retire to the bedroom with three women, he already suspects something is up. He ties one of them up and conks another on the noggin with a flower vase before escaping. Wvidence of hostility towards the sexuality of women? Nah. It is probably just Klink being dumb.

Harry is right. The Doctor has figured out the Taresians injected Harry with a retrovirus weeks before that altered his DNA and compelled home to return “home.” the Taresians feed off the cells of males in order to survive, so that is how they lure men into the spider’s web. If they have enough genetic know how to pull such a thing off, you would think they could solve their problem far easier. One also wonders why they genetically program the men to have an intense hatred for the Naziri. No one ever explains what their conflict is all about.

Voyager beams Harry to safety before he gets his cells devoured. End of the story. If there is any point to this episode, I missed it. We knew right off the bat Harry was not really a Taresian, so not only do we know there are not going to be any character revelations, but the entire episode is going to lead to nothing but a return to the status quo. There is always a chance the journey can be worthwhile, but that is not the case here. “Fortunate Son” is an attempt to play up the juvenile sex quotient yet again, and it fails big time to distract from the major flaws of the episode. It is one of VOT’s worst episodes.

Rating: * (out of 5)

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