Sunday, October 23, 2011

Star Trek: Voyager--"Live Fast and Prosper"

Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit. I have seen a VOY episode I enjoyed for the first time in about two weeks. I was beginning to lose hope there. “Live Fast and Prosper” is a fun episode involving the Voyager crew conning con artists. I cannot say the con game was masterfully done in the sense I figured right off the bat the climax was a ruse on the con artists that did not go far to conceal itself as such, but I went with it anyway and wound up having a good time.

After Tom and Neelix encounter a trio of con artists posing as members of a religious sect, the three of them decide posing as the Voyager crew would be more profitable. They steal the database from the Delta Flyer under Tom and Neelix’s noses so they can play the crew perfectly. They leave a trail across the Delta Quadrant of aliens angry over being treated out of valuable and paid for Fderation “memberships” that do not pan out.

The real Voyager tracks them down, but can only capture the one posing as Janeway. She will not reveal where all the items they stole are located, so the crew launches a scheme in which it appears she is allowed to escape so they will lead them to the treasure trove. It is a rather flimsy ruse a professional con artist should have seen through, but I tossed aside my cynicism enough to go with it. The con job works. All the stolen items and money are returned with the con artists being brought to justice.

Here is the $64,000 question: who has the worse reputation in the Delta Quadrant, the faux Voyager with their cheating aliens out of money and property or the real Voyager, whose actions have lead to genocide across 45,000 light years?? It is an amusing question to ponder in consideration of who is supposed to have had the most negative impact on others here.

“Live Fast and Prosper” is also legitimately amusing if you do not scrutinize it much. I think if one is going to write an episode centered around con artistry, it is probably wise to consuly someone who knows about that sort of thing to create a more convincing scam. Penn and Teller are science fiction fans who consistently work in television. It would have been neat to see what they could have devised. Regardless, the episode is frivolous fun very much worth watching.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

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