97 – Extreme Risk

Grade: C+

Extreme Risk (1998) on IMDb


B’Elanna is on the Holodeck, jumping off a ship and free-falling onto a planet’s surface. She requests for the safeties to be turned off so she can have a more thrilling experience. Chakotay has a conversation with her, trying to find out what’s wrong and why she wants to injure herself. Meanwhile, Voyager tries to recover a probe that has gone missing, just to find out that there are Maylons around who also want to claim the probe as theirs.


This episode really has two stories – first of all, B’Elanna blames herself for surviving while all of her Maquis friends have been killed. Second, Voyager races to build a new shuttlecraft called the Delta Flyer, just so they can recover a probe that they don’t want to end up in another aliens’ hands. I guess the building of the ship is interesting, though I didn’t find it to be all that compelling. B’Elanna’s troubles seem to be coming way too late in the series. This episode was probably supposed to air much earlier in the series, but since Roxann Dawson was pregnant, maybe they put it off for a while.

I don’t really like how this episode ends, actually. It’s too simplistic for my taste. I like knowing more about these characters, but this story is far too superficial. B’Elanna is only half-Klingon, and she has never seemed to be like other Klingons we have seen in this franchise. For one thing, she doesn’t like being Klingon – she usually seems embarrassed by it. For another thing, she doesn’t follow the Klingon rituals or practices, and yet every now and then, someone has to make a wisecrack about liking pain sticks. The series wants it both ways – they have written her character to be almost anti-Klingon and yet every now and then they re-write her character to supposedly need to return to her Klingon roots. So the inconsistency of her character bothers me.

But something else bothers me too. She gets over her pain far too easily, by just rigging up some force field that happens to save the ship. Now everything is OK again and she can have banana pancakes and smile about it. I’m confused. Isn’t she supposed to like some kind of inedible object for breakfast instead of a soft human food like bananas? Whatever. Skip this insulting episode.

Of Note

At one point, B’Elanna actually asks Chakotay if he’s the new ship’s counselor. It’s a clever inside joke. Chakotay’s character has become practically useless in this series. Janeway ignores him, he has no real function on the Bridge or anywhere else on the ship, for that matter, so maybe he is the new Ship Counselor.