172 – Endgame, Part 2

Grade: C-

Endgame (2001) on IMDb


Captain Janeway creates a temporal rift and goes back in time and space to help bring Voyager home 16 years ahead of schedule. She has brought back technology that will help Voyager in its journey. But will Captain Janeway be able to work with Admiral Janeway?


After a promising set-up, part 2 was just lame – especially the atrocious last 10 minutes. We didn’t even get to celebrate with them once they made it back to Earth. It really felt weird. I wish they had extended this into a three-part episode, with part 3 showing their arrival back to Earth and how the characters deal with it. I’m especially curious how Seven would be treated, and how easily she would acclimate to society. It would be interesting to see how Icheb and Neelix would adapt to Earth life, for example. Yeah, I know Neelix now lives on an asteroid 35,000 LY away, but whatever.

This final episode pretty much sums up what I feel about this entire series. I wish I could go back in time and re-do the entire thing. For example, if Janeway could go back to this particular point in time and force Voyager to go into the Borg conduit to get home after only 7 years, why couldn’t she go back to Episode 1 and convince herself to use the Caretaker’s Array to get home immediately? This episode doesn’t try to answer that question either. Maybe future Janeway could have said “I tried that before, but it’s too far away for the temporal coordinate technology” or whatever.

Here’s something else. If Janeway could go back in time and prevent her own past from taking place, she wouldn’t have needed to go back in time and prevent her own past from happening. In other words, the fact that it took 23 years to get home is what motivated her to go back into the past and help speed things along so that they could get home sooner. So if she succeeded, wouldn’t that mean that she wouldn’t have been motivated to go back in the past and help speed things along? So doesn’t that mean that Voyager wouldn’t have had help and would have taken 23 years to get home?

And so on. So we’re in a continuous loop that has no resolution. But here’s another question. Why did Janeway pick this particular moment in history to try and change things? Why didn’t she go back to the moment that Janeway decided to destroy the array in the pilot episode instead? Why didn’t she try to talk her past self into using the array to get back home?

Well, anyway. I guess this is a semi-fun episode regardless. It could have been better, and I really expected a much better ending to this saga, but I guess that’s how it goes.

I would have liked to see an ironic twist to this episode. Like maybe Future Janeway goes back to try to cut time off their return, but instead, Voyager ends up returning after 23 years anyway, even though it feels like only 7 years to the crew of Voyager. So in other words, she tries to mess with the timeline, but can’t. I don’t know, I guess there really isn’t a better way to get them home now, but I know I didn’t like the way they did it.

But this just exemplifies the danger of having a time-travel episode to begin with. If Janeway is successful in bringing them back home early, the question then becomes why didn’t she try to bring them home after being gone just one year? Or gone at all? Why was Janeway so concerned about Chakotay, Seven and Tuvok, but not the other officers who died along the way? Even if Janeway succeeds, the writers run the risk of making the whole series irrelevant. In many ways, it’s almost like the “it was all a dream” cop-out ending that nobody likes. In most ways, there is no significant difference between showing one character waking up from a dream and allowing the character to go back in time to change the past in order to change the future. The movie “Next” has both of these endings, so that’s why everyone hated it. Voyager only has one of these endings, and it still turned out awful. I really wish they could have brought Voyager home without resorting to a time travel story.

Of Note

This episode ends with the same last line as the pilot episode – with Captain Janeway saying “set a courseā€¦for home”.

Also, the producers supposedly considered leaving Voyager stranded in the Delta Quadrant to end the series, but this idea was obviously scrapped. Honestly, I’m not sure how I would have taken that. I know I didn’t like how it ended, but if they had ended it with them in the DQ, at least that would have been unpredictable and unexpected.

One thing is for sure. I hated the way this ended. Even though they mention the parties, parades, celebrations, and festivities, that was all referencing the previous timeline – not the new one that Admiral Janeway created – it ended with just a thud. I would have wanted to see how Seven of Nine reacted to being home – how people reacted to her. Did Icheb like Earth or did he decide he wanted to go back to the DQ? There are literally dozens of things I’d want to see now that Voyager is home, but oh well.

I would have even liked seeing Starfleet rename the ship Voyager after they made it back. It would have been weird to have the series named something other than the name of the ship, but whatever. If there’s anything we can say about Voyager, at least it’s predictable.