104 – Counterpoint

Grade: B+

Counterpoint (1998) on IMDb


Starting in the middle of the story, Voyager is surrounded by Devore ships. We don’t know anything about these people, but the situation is tense. They send boarding and inspection parties all over the ship. We don’t know why they are there or what they are looking for, but we know they have been there before – just from what Janeway says.


This episode probably has the most bizarre opening of any that I have seen so far. In fact, I think it would be highly unlikely that any episode could have such a jarring opening. We have no idea why Voyager is allowing them to board the ship or what these inspections are all about.

What makes this even more weird is that there is no damage to the ship – at least none that we can see. So it looks like up to this point, Janeway gave up the ship without even a fight. I guess she learned from the experience of the Hirogen that sometimes it’s better to give up a bit of freedom than the entire ship.

At first, I didn’t think I would like this episode, but it continued to slowly get better and better. The ending twist is a doozy, but just when you think you have it all figured out, there’s another twist. Maybe some people can predict how this is going to end, but I personally thought it was pretty unpredictable. For that reason (and because of other situations and scripting), I think this is one of the best written Voyager episodes that I’ve ever seen.

There is some foolishness here and there, however. The supposed romance between Janeway and Kashyk is a little off-putting, but it’s not terrible. I’ve seen worse before, even in series that are better than Voyager.

There’s even a scene in this episode that takes place in the shuttle bay. I don’t believe we’ve seen Voyager’s shuttle bay yet.

In the end, what makes this episode one of the best of the series is the characterizations, the script makes sense and doesn’t insult your intelligence, and the plot twists at the end. This is one of the best that this series produced. I would rate it #1 except there is a bit of foolishness in it and a few scenes that aren’t terribly logical. But overall, you could do much worse than this one.

Of Note

The main villain in this episode is named “Kashyk”, which is very similar to the Wookiee home planet of Kashyyyk. It’s probably intentional, though the alien has nothing in common with Chewbacca.

At the end of this episode, Janeway loses two shuttles. That’s right – lost two more shuttles. I’m not sure where they could have put all those shuttles. The Delta Flyer is still around someplace, and Kashyk’s shuttle was also in the shuttle bay at some point.