108 – Bliss

Grade: B+

Bliss (1999) on IMDb


An unknown alien is under attack. He appears to be going into some sort of gas cloud, but from inside his ship, it looks like a cave. Later, Voyager has found a wormhole not too far from their current position that not only leads directly to the Alpha Quadrant, but actually to right up to the Earth itself.


Right from the very beginning of this episode, we know this is not actually a wormhole. Janeway and her crew don’t know that, however. So there’s no real mystery here except that we don’t know when (or if) they will find out, and what they will do about it once they know.

As the episode goes on, I was reminded of the TNG episode The Game in which all the adults were addicted to some electronic game while Wesley Crusher and Robin Lefler (Ashley Judd) refuse to play it. In Bliss, it is determined that the Doctor needs to be deactivated, and only Seven and Naomi Wildman seem to be normal.

Speaking of which, I wasn’t terribly impressed with how Naomi and Seven figure out that the rest of the crew are being emotionally manipulated, and perhaps even hypnotized. They only agree that the crew seems to be “overly happy” with the prospect of getting back to Earth. But this isn’t shown, really. When I see this episode, I can’t tell that anyone is “too happy” with going home – they seem to be acting normally to me. I mean, how else would you expect this crew to react when they think they can finally get home?

It turns out that this wormhole is an illusion and that the ship’s crew are all having the same hallucination. The only reason Seven and Naomi can tell that there is a problem is because neither of them are excited about going back to Earth. The story deals with this at least to some extent by having all of the other ship’s crew force Seven to work toward going home. THAT’s actually the weird part of this episode, and yet Seven already had her concerns and doubts well before this.

Despite all of this, it turns out to be a pretty effective little episode. I liked the interactions between Seven/Naomi and the alien. The twist at the end was also nice, even if it wasn’t totally unexpected. I enjoyed this one.

Of Note

Near the beginning of this episode, Janeway says, “a direct route to Earth’s doorstep out of the blue. What’s wrong with this picture?” Yet she does nothing to dissuade her fears – either that or else the hallucination is strong enough to do so.

In a fourth season episode called Hunters, Janeway finds out that her fiancée has married someone else. And yet in this episode, she receives a letter indicating that he has broken off his engagement. Oops.