134 – Memorial

Grade: C+

Memorial (2000) on IMDb


Chakotay, Neelix, Paris and Kim are returning from an extended away mission in which they collected a lot of dilithium ore. Everything seems normal at first when they come back, but then suddenly all four of them start having the same hallucination or dream in which they have participated in a battle.


Well, at least this episode is smarter than the previous ones have been. It starts out very well – we have very few clues as to what’s happening to the crew and why Kim, Paris, Neelix and Chakotay have been having the same disturbing dreams.

There are some obvious parallels here to real atrocities that have been committed in our past. But personally, I don’t like stories that are too obvious – I like to draw my own conclusions and I don’t want someone as morally ambiguous as Janeway giving me a lecture about what I should or should not remember. The point here is that if we forget about our mistakes, we’re probably going to repeat them. That’s probably an axiom that is worth exploring in Star Trek, but I don’t really want to have someone spell it out for me.

One of my very favorite episodes of any Star Trek at all is Duet – that’s the Deep Space Nine episode when a Cardassian gets cosmetic surgery so he will look like a war criminal and then deliberately goes to Deep Space Nine where he can be captured and executed because he feels so guilty about what his people did to the Bajorans. Now THAT’s good drama. It doesn’t hit you over the head; it’s character-driven; it makes a strong statement; and it was extremely enjoyable and memorable. I could watch that episode any day of the week, pretty much any time, and never get tired of it.

At the end of this episode, Janeway makes a decision to keep the memorial up and running because she wants to make sure everyone knows about what happened there. Somehow that’s supposed to prevent people from doing something similar again. However, everyone on the crew is going insane with these horrific memories for the first 40 minutes. There’s no resolution to this episode, because by the end, nothing is better. They understand now what’s happening to them and why, but it will take forever for people to forget about this planet and the atrocities that were committed there. Not only that, but they actually believe that they were the ones who did it. To me, that sounds like a weapon of mass destruction. Voyager’s crew doesn’t deserve to have memories like that. Would Janeway approve of taking Seven’s memories of assimilating other aliens and implanting them into other characters just so that everyone knows what it’s like to assimilate someone else? It’s ludicrous. I’ve said this a hundred times before, but I can’t stand Captain Janeway. She’s the worst Starfleet captain of all time. It’s decisions like this one that make me say that.

I loved B’Elanna Torres in this episode, and I thought Roxann Dawson did a tremendous job, despite the minor role. B’Elanna obviously loves Tom, despite all his ridiculous weaknesses. The scene between them when he is just yelling at her is pretty difficult to watch, actually, but it works very well. I enjoy watching relationships being portrayed realistically. Star Trek doesn’t usually do that sort of thing, but at least Voyager has done a pretty good job with the Tom and B’Elanna saga. Of course it helps that Tom and B’Elanna are in general two of the most realistic characters in the entire series.

OK, so overall, it was a good episode, but not a great one. Could have been much better.

Of Note

Tom Paris says there were no remote controls in the 1950s, and yet the remote that he is holding in his hand is a replica of one that was sold in 1956. Oops.