94 – Hope and Fear

Grade: C

Hope And Fear (1998) on IMDb


Janeway and Seven are wasting time on the holodeck playing some sort of game in which they shoot a disc with phasers. It has been five months since they received an encrypted message from Starfleet Command, but they have not been able to decode it. Luckily, Paris and Neelix have been collecting supplies from some friendly aliens on a planet. Then Neelix brings an acquaintance aboard, who just turns out to be a linguistics expert, and who speaks more than 4,000 languages. Maybe he can help decrypt the message.


This is an episode that really should have been a whole lot better, but I found it to be far too contrived and predictable. Janeway herself thinks this could be a trap, but she decides to go through with it anyway just in case. The fact that the message was so encrypted that nobody had a chance to decode it until they just so happened to meet this linguistic expert really should have been a red flag, but I guess I can excuse that since they’re so excited about finally getting home to Earth.

I didn’t like the ending – especially the confrontation on Arcturus’s ship. He’s being held back by two useless security officers – one of whom is a woman. I don’t remember seeing a female security officer before – I’m not saying they shouldn’t have one, but I am saying it’s rather convenient and predictable. Arcturus easily overpowers both of these useless officers, all while Tuvok just stands there and does nothing.

In all, it just seems like an episode that went through the motions, rather than one that really could have stood out. Lately, I think the Voyager staff has really just mailed in their work. This episode is nothing special.