88 – Vis a Vis

Grade: C-

Vis À Vis (1998) on IMDb


For whatever reason, Tom Paris is spending a lot of his time working on a 1969 Camaro rather than with his beautiful Chief Engineer girlfriend, B’Elanna Torres. The Doctor finds him on the Holodeck and tells him that he should work in Sickbay again, but Tom obviously is not interested. Luckily for him, Janeway suddenly needs him on the bridge.

Right after Tom appears on the bridge, a ship appears out of nowhere which has an experimental coaxial warp drive. How lucky that Tom knows all about this drive because it was in experimental stages when he was in the Academy. How lucky that he just so happened to be on the bridge when it appeared.

The ship is about to explode, but Tom knows exactly what to do to help keep the ship from exploding. Again, how lucky.


Here we have yet another mediocre effort from the Voyager staff. The episode is a string of plot contrivances and coincidence, as you can see from my summary. How lucky for Voyager, for example, that when the bad alien gets away, they have already installed their own Coaxial Warp Drive so they can catch up before it’s too late. And when it all seems lost, good thing there’s a second alien who shows up just in the nick of time to save the day.

One thing I hate is the idea that there is no other medical staff except the Doctor and Tom Paris, who is supposedly the best pilot on the ship. That doesn’t make any kind of sense whatsoever. But whatever.

I didn’t like any of the characters in this episode. Tom, the alien, Chakotay, Janeway, etc. None of them has a good scene or any decent character development. And the story is ridiculously contrived and stupid. Voyager’s writing staff must think very poorly of the viewers. Just look at the scene when Chakotay is reprimanding Tom. The only thing Tom wants to do is work on his car. Chakotay makes a huge deal of the fact that the Doctor wants Tom to work in Sickbay more. So Tom says he’ll go there and suddenly Chakotay tells him to work on his car instead. What the heck?

The bottom line is that this episode is just flat out lame and stupid. Skip this one.