22 – Twisted

Grade: C

Twisted (1995) on IMDb


Voyager throws Kes a surprise birthday party. Kim seems eager to please Tuvok, but it’s because he wants to go to the birthday party. Suddenly, there is a strange ring-shaped anomaly in front of the ship. They can’t do anything else but go through it, and it causes all kinds of spatial distortions.


OK, first of all, right off the bat I thought this would be a mediocre episode. Kim describes the anomaly as ring-shaped, and that they’re surrounded. But in case Kim and Tuvok have forgotten, rings are open at the top and bottom, so why not go up or down? Well, frankly, it’s because it wasn’t written in the script, so just go with it.

Actually, I thought the idea was a reasonably good one – that there is something outside that is distorting the ship and they don’t know how to combat it. I also liked some of the various character moments – especially when it appeared that they would be killed in the Holodeck.

But I’ll tell you what didn’t work. The storyline moves at snail-like speed. Nothing happens in this episode for about 36 of the total 42 minutes. Then at the very end of the episode, all we get is “we have a lot of data that has been added to our computer and there was a lot of data downloaded from our computer.” OK, so now what? This thing passes through the ship and dumps a bunch of stuff into the computer and what are we supposed to do with that? Will this data ever be used or referred to again?

I doubt it, since this was originally supposed to be a 1st season episode, by the time the 2nd season came around, the writers had already forgotten about all the extra data that has been added to the computer. What would have been really cool to see is somewhere down the line that this data actually helped them avoid certain ships or certain aliens, or maybe it would have told them about locations of wormholes or whatever. But no, instead we get just some off-hand remark that goes nowhere. Such a wasted opportunity there. No imagination from the writers, unfortunately. But that’s what you get when you focus on just doing one show at a time rather than an entire series.

Of all the Star Treks, Voyager is the one that needs series-long story arcs the most. Deep Space Nine did a fantastic job with story arcs throughout the entire series. Sure there were bottle episodes that were self-contained, but DS9 was by and large about characters, not about events. Voyager is about events – and mostly about 45 minute events that come and go like a headache. One episode has almost nothing to do with any other episode, and that’s a shame.

But anyway, back to this mediocre episode.

This episode isn’t one of Janeway’s finer moments. She inexplicably spouts off some comment about Kim and how proud she is of his progression, but he’s still an Ensign, and he will be for years to come. And she just blurts this out for no reason. Again, this happened because it’s in the script, but there’s really no reason for her to say what she said right then.

Later, when Janeway is on the Holodeck, she suddenly sits up and screams something that nobody can understand and then quickly lies back down on the sofa. I almost laughed out loud when I saw this because it’s truly a hilarious moment. I’m certain it wasn’t meant that way, but it really came off funny.

There’s a strange scene when Chakotay and Tuvok exchange mutual insults and praise to each other, but I have to agree with Chakotay: Tuvok is arrogant and narrow-minded. I honestly don’t think he’s a particularly good Vulcan.

So that’s about it. This is one episode that if you never saw, you’d be just fine. You can still enjoy the entire series without seeing this one.

Of Note

Apparently, when this episode was completed, it was considered to be so bad that some people thought it would never be shown on TV. I’ve seen worse. At least it wasn’t as bad as Threshold.

Another interesting point is that when they finished filming and editing this episode, they realized it was about 8 minutes too short. So they had to pad the run time by adding the scene when the French woman attacks the Doctor. They also added several extra scenes of the crew wandering around in the hallways looking for various rooms.