59 – Unity

Grade: B

Unity (1997) on IMDb


At the end of last week’s episode, Chakotay finds a dead Borg drone. At the start of this episode, he and Ensign Kaplan (never heard of her before – I wonder what’s going to happen to her) are returning to Voyager after an away mission in the Nechrid Expanse. They soon find out that they’re traveling in circles. They come across a message with a Federation signature sent from the surface of the planet. They land there, and are suddenly attacked by some hooded creepy guys with guns.


Brannon Braga is so predictable. Just one week after teasing us with the dead Borg drone, we get this Borg episode. Yeah, ok, so it wasn’t exactly the Borg, because it was former Borg, but still, it was disappointing to see Braga give up all his secrets so quickly. I just hate being manipulated, and being teased this way just makes it feel unorganic – it just reminds me that I’m watching a TV show.

But despite all of that, this really is a pretty good episode. In fact, this is my highest-rated episode since Future’s End. The best thing about this episode is the character-driven storyline. It was very good to see Chakotay do something significant. Here he has an intimate relationship with one of the survivors on the planet, and it’s much deeper than what we usually see on Star Trek. It’s a shame that we already know Voyager won’t take any significant risks – nobody is leaving the crew yet, and nobody will be joining them either.

But on the other hand, this was a very good episode anyway, even though there are not many surprises in the storyline. I actually disagree with Chakotay at the end of this episode when he says that he was wrong about these former Borg drones. These people were exactly what they said they were, and I didn’t see them as acting any differently than I expected.

One thing that I wish they had done was to actually board the dead Borg ship and see if they could steal some technology from them. Maybe they could have picked up a trans-warp module or whatever so they could get home sooner – or maybe just learned something about Borg shields.

Of Note

Before Chakotay knows the entire truth, one character tells him that they spent “hours of stargazing” to realize they weren’t in the Alpha Quadrant any more. I’m not sure it would have taken “hours” to figure that out, but whatever.

This was the second time Robert Duncan McNeill directed a Voyager episode. I think this was a much better episode than his previous attempt in Sacred Ground. But I don’t think the problem with that episode was the directing – I think it was the story. He had much better material to work with here.