114 – Think Tank

Grade: C+

Think Tank (1999) on IMDb


A blue-skinned alien is wandering around on a ship. Suddenly he meets Kurros, the representative of the Think Tank. The blue-skinned alien tries to negotiate for lower terms on some kind of debt that he owes to this group, but when those requests are denied, he gives in to the original demands.

Later, on Voyager, Janeway is wasting time with some kind of mind teaser game. Seven offers to help, but Janeway refuses, saying she would rather solve it herself. Suddenly, Harry Kim finds a planet with lots of dilithium, but when they try to harvest it, the planet explodes and a ship of Bounty Hunters attacks Voyager.


I didn’t find this episode to be all that impressive. There’s a twist near the end of the episode that honestly, should not come as a surprise to anyone. I don’t want to ruin it for you, so stop reading now if you don’t want to be spoiled.

Actually, if you can’t figure it out by the time you reach the scene when it is revealed, then you probably just need to watch a few more episodes. Really, I blame the writing in this episode, though, because as soon as you hear the Doctor say “brace yourself,” you know that can’t be the only shock.

But this twist is enough to ruin the entire episode for me, however. Are these aliens really all that smart, or are they just causing the problems that they have been claiming to resolve?

Another plot hole that I can’t just ignore is that when Janeway finds out who is behind the problem, she contacts the bounty hunters and they agree to attack the Think Tank rather than Janeway. What motive would the bounty hunters have for attacking the Think Tank? All they have to do is turn Voyager over to them and then they would be handsomely rewarded.

Probably the most memorable part of this episode is that the Think Tank asks for Seven of Nine in exchange for their help. Seven ultimately refuses, of course, but it seems a lot like the TNG episode The Most Toys when Data is kidnapped. One difference is that in Think Tank, they don’t actually kidnap Seven, but they happen to create the problem in the first place in an effort to have her join them. Speaking of which, I thought it was weird that Janeway didn’t try harder to convince Seven that she should stay on Voyager. Oh well.

This is nowhere near my favorite episode. The acting is OK, but the writing is actually pretty weak. I didn’t actually see any evidence that these people were all that smart. All we know is that they claim to have solved all these problems. I found it especially ridiculous that they claim to have cured the Vidiian phage. For one thing, the Vidiians are at least 30,000 LY away, and Voyager is at least three years removed from their territory. Really, Janeway should have asked the Think Tank how they could have visited the Vidiians so recently, because maybe they have some kind of warp accelerator or something that lets them travel much faster than Voyager. But it was an easy claim for them to make because they know Janeway can’t verify it. This should have been a major red flag for Janeway, but she’s pretty gullible.

Of Note

Even though he’s covered in makeup and prosthetics, Jason Alexander is still very recognizable in this episode as the main villain of the Think Tank. It’s not that he reminds you of George Castanza, but he has the same voice and similar mannerisms – only to a slightly lesser degree. He did a great job with the role, but it’s a shame that the episode really doesn’t accomplish anything at all.