Star Trek: Voyager

Season 1 Episode 16

Learning Curve

7
Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM May 22, 1995 on UPN
8.2
out of 10
User Rating
194 votes
7

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT

Stardate: 48846.5
In order to bring some rebellious former Maquis crew members into line, Tuvok gives them a crash course in Starfleet discipline and protocol.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • We had it coming

    7.5
    First of all, what's up with this reviewer "TrueTvWatcher"? His/Her reviews sound almost computerized, replicated, with just one or two touches of personalization to not raise flags and only good reviews are given... hhhhmmm I'm watching you closely TrueTvWatcher



    Okay on to the review (and maybe some spoilers too)

    Tuvok has to get these Maquis crewmemebers in line because their behavior is unacceptable to Starfleet's high level of decorum and such. So, you we all knew this episode was coming, the unrefined brute Maquis vs the polished honorable Starfleet crew. Who better than tightly wound Tuvok to whip them into shape but it might the teacher that learns from his students.

    I agree with other reviews that this episode came too late in the season and that it's a theme that is regrettably not fully explored in the following seasons. Voyager would have been a more exciting series if the Maquis were able to have more pull and more story lines than they were allotted. Dalby was a character worthy of further exploration, he's certainly a stronger more compelling character than the likes of Series Regulars like Tuvok and Harry Kim (bless his gorgeous heart).



    Pretty hard to believe that they ended the season with this sorta middle of the road episode.



    moreless
  • Learning Curve

    10
    Learning Curve was a perfect and entertaining episode of Star Trek voyager! I really enjoyed watching this episode because it had a lot of character and plot development as Lt. Tuvok was assigned to bring some of theMaquis crew members up to par with Star Fleet Protocol in order to help things run more smoothly upon the ship. It was awesome to see the character interactions and how the characters each responded to their new training. Tuvok even had character growth. I loved how Dalby said "If you can learn to bend the rules, we can learn to follow them". This was a unique season finale in that there wasn't much action from outside sources but from within. I look forward to watching the next season of Star Trek Voyager!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • They finally confront the issue of Maquis and Starfleet difficulty to work together, while ending the season in unexciting episode.

    7.0
    Though I'm glad that we finally get to see that this melting together of Maquis and Starfleet is somewhat addressed, it was an episode we should have seen much earlier in the season. As some frictions are becoming apparent Tuvok is tasked to train selected members of the Maquis. The idea being to help them understand what drives the Starfleet personnel and hopefully by that help them further integrate and accept themselves as part of the crew. On the side we finally witness Neelix cooking result in some rather unfortunate side effects for the ship. I am just surprised that he hasn't killed anyone yet :)



    While the episode was needed in order to help us understand that the Maquis and Starfleet still have problems, this episode was pretty boring. Tuvok, as nice as he is as Kathryn advisory, is simply too boring to hold up an entire episode. His logic is at times so childish, that even Neelix understands better what is going on by simply observing Tuvok. The four candidates from the Maquis did little to help us understand them, but rather left you to think that they were in general pretty pathetic lot. The Maquis should be hardened rebels, and shouldn't sound like complaining idiots. They should also be at times much smarter than Starfleet, and that status not only left to B'Elanne and Chakotey. It was alright to watch, but did not leave you excited to see the season return.



    SEASON 1: Few words about season 1. It had all the elements of a show that had nowhere to go. Having come up with a simple idea in order to allow for different kind of universe, i.e. sending them light years away from home, the season still used conventional Star Trek stories. There was not a single story (beyond the caretaker) that required them to be far away from home! No new elements are explored, and the few races we encounter weak and boring at best. If this series wouldn't have had Neelix and the Doctor I would have disliked it from the start. Now I know it does get better, but it still leaves me to wonder what the script writers were thinking during this first season. It was like they had no spunk, but just went by some formula writing, never stepping out of their comfort zones. Having ended the season on this episode, I'm surprised that it got enough following to carry on to season 2.moreless
  • An enjoyable episode that plays itself more for fun than drama.

    7.5
    One of the most biting criticisms of Star Trek: Voyager was the manner in which the Maquis and Starfleet crews melded so seamlessly together. This episode perhaps then is not the best to dispel it. First and foremost, the Maquis are freedom fighters. Men and women of principle, who for the most part have been in direct conflict with Starfleet. It may be true that many of its member are former Starfleet officers, but the ease by which many integrated themselves into Voyager's crew.



    So when we meet the supposedly worst of the worst of the Maquis, those who continue to rage against Starfleet and its regulations, it is hard not to see them as weak. Indeed, many of the Maquis crewmembers outside of Chakotay, Torres and Seska are only faintly drawn. In Learning Curve we are show 4 members that range from the stupid to the insanely angry.



    The Bolian Chell is frankly annoying. A fact that seems to include all Bolian characters on Star Trek. It is a surprise to think that he is the only Maquis member introduced in this episode that makes a repeat appearance later on in the series. As a character, he is a virtual dead end. He seems to resent the rules and regulations of Starfleet, not because he opposes them or their ideology, but because it requires hard work.



    Crewman Henley is slightly more detailed. She is uncomfortable in the Starfleet atmosphere, perhaps indicating she has had not prior relationship with the organisation. She appears more soft spoken than most and seems more frustrated at her inability to adapt and operate at a level of competency she is accustomed to. The Henley character is certainly one that could have easily continued as a recurring character, but sadly the beginnings of a decent character ended with this episode.



    Gerron is your typical angry Bajoran. Something that we have seen numerous times in all kinds of situations. The moment you see him you know immediately that something will happen to him. When it does happen, you can't help but feel the episode is just writing by numbers. His most redeeming trait is his relationship with Crewman Dalby.



    In fact Crewman Dalby is your typical Maquis. He hates Starfleet and what it represents. His history which deals with the rape and murder of his partner by Cardassian soldiers is surprisingly compelling. His anger seems more than just an excuse. It feels real and raw. His protection of the younger Bajoran Gerron says more about him. Dalby is honourable.



    It is Dalby and his attitudes that allows Tuvok to come to an understanding that his rigid interpretation of Starfleet rules and regulations cannot work when faced with certain members of the Maquis. In a way, Tuvok's relationship with the four Maquis crewmembers represents more of the struggle between the two crews. Chakotay and Torres slipped back into Starfleet with relative ease. Perhaps it was that both Chakotay and Torres, whilst leaving Starfleet, always desired to return.



    The other plot point of the episode involves Neelix poisoning the ship. It was practically bound to happen, I'm just surprised the writers didn't hold off until a later season. Either way it is a decent B-Story. The bio-neural gel packs always seemed a really interesting idea. That they lead to an illness in the ship itself is refreshingly original. The solution to curing the ship is almost typically Star Trek. Using not advanced medical knowledge, but good old fashioned medicinal practices.



    The two stories work well together and come together at the end flawlessly. A textbook example of weaving two seemingly disparate storylines into one cohesive one.



    Learning Curve may not be the best example of Voyager, but it is solid and enjoyable. Sadly the episode acts as a dead end to the Maquis saga and from this point onwards the only references to the Maquis came from the ships encounters with Seska, the murderer Lon Sudar and out-of-character episodes.



    That the network decided to hold on to the last couple of episodes of the first season and effectively made this the final episode of the shows first season. In that respect it is not the strongest.



    It is a shame that some of the character introduced and themes explored in this episode did not return as the series continued. It was a promising end to the season that was not elaborated on. A missed opportunity in many respects.moreless
  • Janeway is on the holodeck when things begin to malfunction. Janeway consults with the bridge on what is going on. It seems someone has shut down power to certain areas of the ship in order to do repairs. Dalby is a lot of trouble, but he has his reasons.moreless

    9.2
    Janeway is on the holodeck when things begin to malfunction. Janeway consults with the bridge on what is going on. It seems someone has shut down power to certain areas of the ship in order to do repairs. Dalby is a lot of trouble, but he has his reasons. He changes the Jell Packs without asking Janeway. It seems as if the Jell Packs are going out. Jell Packs power most of the ships system Because of Dalby not following Starfleet protocol. Janeway suggest a training camp run by Tuvok, to get the new crew members up to Starfleet protocol.moreless
Derek McGrath

Derek McGrath

Chell

Guest Star

Lindsey Haun

Lindsey Haun

Beatrice

Guest Star

Armand Schultz

Armand Schultz

Kenneth Dalby

Guest Star

Majel Barrett

Majel Barrett

Computer Voice

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (3)

    • This episode appears to be the point when friction between the Maquis and Starfleet crews is finally reconciled.

    • Trivia: Degaussing is the process of decreasing or eliminating an unwanted magnetic field. The term originated during World War II when British ships would degauss their hulls in order to avoid mines.

    • Nitpick: Tuvok says he's arranged for Deck 13 to be free of personnel during their run. However, he and the Maquis crew members clearly run past several other crew members while on Deck 13.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Dalby: Lieutenant, if you can learn to bend the rules, I guess we can learn to follow them.

    • (Neelix explains Tuvok's difficulties by comparing flexible flower stems to rigid ones)
      Tuvok: You are saying the Maquis crew is rigid and infelxible, that they will never adjust to Starfleet rules!
      Neelix: No, Mr Vulcan, I'm saying that you are rigid and inflexible. But maybe if you learned to bend a little, you might have better luck with your class.

    • B'Elanna: Chell! What are you doing?
      Chell: Mister Tuvok ordered me to degauss the entire transporter room.
      B'Elanna: But you're using a micro-resonator.
      Chell: I know.
      B'Elanna: Why don't you use the magneton scanner? You'd be done in five minutes.
      Kim: Tuvok told him to use the micro-resonator.
      B'Elanna: But he'll be at it for hours!
      Chell: Mister Tuvok estimated 26.3 hours.

    • (while climbing a ladder)
      Tuvok: Crewman Gerron. What is the problem up there? Keep going!
      (Gerron continues and Chell sighs)
      Chell: Maybe he'll slip and plunge to his death.

    • Tuvok: We'll be taking a ten kilometer run. I've cleared Deck 13 of personnel for the evening. Make sure your packs are secure to avoid chafing.
      Chell: Couldn't I just carry Henley? She weighs about the same.

    • (talking about a bio-neural gel pack)
      The Doctor: The patient is sick.
      B'Elanna: Can you be more specific?
      The Doctor: To discuss the patient's condition in front of the patient would be a serious breach of professional etiquette. (gets a look from B'Elanna) It's been suggested that I cultivate a greater sensitivity to my patients needs. (to the gel pack) Don't worry, my little friend!

    • B'Elanna: Get the cheese to Sickbay. The Doctor should look at it as soon as possible.

    • Neelix: What tells me what's making you miserable is that cloud of doom that's rising from you like a ground fog.
      Tuvok: I cannot imagine that there are visible emanations which allow you to determine my mood.

  • NOTES (2)

    • The character of Mariah Henley was named for Sue Henley – Kate Mulgrew's stand-in and the actress who played Ensign Brooks.

    • Lt. Tuvok reports that there are 47 bioneural gel packs left.


      Writer Joe Menosky (and those he inspired) began including references to the number 47 in almost every episode of Star Trek since season four of The Next Generation. It is an in-joke, referring to The 47 Society at Pomona College in California, which Menosky attended.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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