83 – Hunters

Grade: B+

Hunters (1998) on IMDb


Voyager receives a message through the communication network from Starfleet Headquarters. Most of the message includes letters from home and family members of the crew. But also embedded in the message are some encoded instructions. But as we cut away from Starfleet’s message, we see the same aliens who claimed to own the communication network have actually intercepted the message.


The episode starts off very well – with excellent music and a wonderfully tense atmosphere. Harry is excited about the possibility that they might be going home very soon. There is a lot of speculation about what the encoded message could contain, but there’s renewed energy and excitement among the crew. The writing in this episode is much, much better than it has been.

Actually, I really like this episode and I wish the entire series could be at this level. The characters here are dealing with issues that have defined them for this entire series. The writing is excellent, and this is the best episode I’ve seen in a long time.

Torres finds out that all of the Maquis rebels are dead. You can tell she takes this pretty hard, as does Chakotay. Harry is impatient to find out if he has a letter from home. Tom Paris gets a letter from his dad, and yet he really doesn’t want to read it. The way he explains it, he has so much more to live for on Voyager than he ever felt like he had on Earth. You can really tell he has come a long way from when he took the helm of ship 4 years ago. Janeway’s fiancĂ©e is now a husband as he has given up all hope of her return and married someone else.

On the other side, we have some really bad aliens. We can tell they’re vicious because of all their hunting “trophies” hanging around their ship. But they’re also a little one-dimensional at times, and the dialogue they speak is a bit clunky.

Aside from all of these character moments, we have some things that detract from the episode a bit. The Hirogen costumes look like cheap rubber suits, for example. There’s some technobabble here and there, and we have Janeway’s recklessness that saves the day, as is typical with this series. Overall, this is a great episode, though I think it could have been a slight bit better. Still, we don’t often see a quality effort like this from Voyager very often.

Of Note

Apparently, the communication device is 100,000 years old, and there is a Black Hole at the center of each device. Each one puts out 4 terawatts of energy.