Star Trek: Voyager

Season 3 Episode 3

The Chute

5
Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Sep 18, 1996 on UPN
7.4
out of 10
User Rating
160 votes
9

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Stardate: 50156.2
Paris and Kim are sent to an Akritian prison after being accused of a terrorist bombing, where they are thrown in among hardened killers. When the crew of Voyager finds out that Paris and Kim have already been tried, convicted and sentenced, they set off in search of the true perpetrators of the crime.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Good, if basic

    8.0
    The second big Kim/Paris episode takes the two characters to the edge of madness in a prison story that features fine performances from the guest stars and main cast alike, but, like "Non Sequitur", is carried by Garrett Wang.



    For the most part, the story is the standard prison tale, with the falsely accused protagonists meeting various interesting characters and being laughed at for entertaining thoughts of escape. The show even finds a way to give the characters a sense of frustration, thanks to a sci fi gadget, that usually takes weeks of sleep and food deprivation to develop.



    Like Jonathan Frakes and Colm Meaney before him, Wang is great as the everyman dealing with a new reality that tests and defines his character in a way most Star Trek episodes don't. Robert Duncan McNeill, as always, uses Paris to make Harry more interesting than usual, but it's Don McManus giving a memorable performance as the calm but eccentric Zio, that brings out Wang's best and drives the plot.



    Meanwhile, Janeway deals with the stubborn, obstinate government official of the week (well played by Robert Pine, father of future Star Trek actor Chris Pine) in the expected B story where she attempts to recover her missing crewmen.



    Is it old hat to see an alien government wrongly convicting Starfleet officers and the Captain have to deal with the mess? Do both stories go in circles until the conclusion? Yes and yes. But does it all make for exciting television, and is it worth a look? You betcha. As a character piece, the episode accomplishes just what it sets out to do, and with a fun twist in the middle and some striking visuals, it's one of the season's finer episodes.

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  • The Chute

    9.0
    The Chute was a superb episode of Star Trek: Voyager and I really enjoyed watching this episode as we start off with Ensign Kim being thrown into a violent prison via a chute and luckily he runs into Lt. Paris who fights for him. It was neat to watch Kim and Paris interact in their new environment. Meanwhile Captain Janeway and the rest of the crew capture the real law breakers and try to find a way to trade them for Kim and Paris. This episode had some great character development and a pretty good story. I look forward to watching the next episode of Star Trek: Voyager!!!!!!!moreless
  • A great journey to the depths of desperation of Tom and Harry, who have been put to a brutal prison without laws for a crime they didn't commit.

    9.0
    A brutal prison with no laws, no guards, no medical assistance whatsoever, where the prisoners kill each other for food - well, if you dare to call some kind of edible bricks food, that is. Not a place where you would like to end up.

    Voyager finds out that Tom and Harry have been accused of a terrorist attack and have been put to prison. Dimploacy failed and even though they managed to find the real culprit, there was no way of getting their friends back without a fight.

    In the mean time, Tom and Harry went trough hell down in the prison. A little piece of electronic on every prisoners' head enlarged their aggresive behaviour and thinking clearly was harder and harder for both of them. Tom got hurt in a fight and they would both probably die by the hands of the others, but luckily there was someone who helped them. A man who learned to partially control the influence of the "clamp", as they called the bug on their heads. In a way, he seemed like some sort of a self proclaimed messiah - there even was a scene, not sure if that was intentional, in which looked like he had a red halo above his head. Easter egg? Maybe just accident. Anyway, he helps them survive long enough for Voyager to break into the prison and take them home. The experience had a great impact on Harry, though, as he was really out of control back there and almost killed Tom with a pipe.

    A great episode, with some superb moments - like when Harry thought he can escape, but discovered the prison isn't underground, but that the prison is in fact a space station and there is no way to leave.

    By the way, anyone has the same feeling as me that Stargate successfully replicated (pun intended) this episode? It was called Prisoners. Everything was there - secluded prison with no way out, aggressive prisoners, one philosopher who managed to get everyone's respect and can protect them, even the chute itself! :)moreless
  • Decent. Surprisingly violent for a Voyager episode.

    8.1
    When one of the prisoners' throats got slit on camera, I knew this was going to be different from the average Voyager episode. The writers did a nice job conveying the desperation of Harry and Tom's situation. The two of them also sold the experience well. One complaint - how long does it take to die from a stab to the chest, like a year ? While I have a general disdain for filler-type episodes, this is a pretty good one and quite far from the usual moral lesson agenda of Voyager. It's dirty, gritty, and a nice change of pace.moreless
  • This episode is Pretty Good.

    8.7
    This episode is Pretty Good! Tom Paris and Harry Kim are in jail for being accused of a bombing that happened on a homeworld. When Janeway and the crew find out about what happened to Lt. Paris and Ensign Kim, they find the real bombers and then, using Mr. Neelix's shuttle, they get Mr. Paris and Kim and they tell the people the real bomber. At first I really didn't like this episode and gave it a bad rating, but after watching over-and-over again, I have to say that I was wrong. This episode was great.



    8.7 for a very exciting Voyager episode!moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Goof: The food delivery chute goes up and down on a vertical axis, and should only be climbable by "chimneying" up it - in other words, by using pressure from his back on one side of it, and his arms and legs on the other side to hold himself in position while he inches his way upwards. However, he and his fellow prisoner crawl through the chute on hands and knees without touching theopposite side of the tube, which is impossible when moving vertically without any suitable hand or foot holds.

    • Trivia: Neelix's ship, which has been stored in Voyager's shuttlebay since the first episode, is seen for the first time in this episode.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Zio: You think they're just going to open the hatch and ask us if we'd like a ride home?!
      Kim: We'd have the element of surprise!
      Zio: (scornfully) And they'd have the pulse guns!

    • Kim: Right now I'm so hungry I could eat a bowl of Neelix's leola root stew.
      Paris: Me too! (pause) I never thought I'd say that.

    • Kim: I suppose you didn't find any food?
      Paris: Well, I found close to fifty good citizens in this quaint little community, but not a grocer among them.
      Kim: I take it that's a no.
      Paris: Yep, but if we ever do get our hands on some food, I found a lovely spot for a picnic.

    • Kim: Tom, listen to me. I...I almost killed you.
      Paris: What are you saying? You're the one that kept me alive.
      Kim: I was ready to hit you with the pipe. Don't you remember?
      Paris: You want to know what I remember? Someone saying 'This man is my friend. Nobody touches him.' I'll remember that for a long time.

    • Piri: With this ship, we can attack the prison and get your people out.
      Janeway: I'm sorry. That's not how we do things where I come from.
      Piri: Coward.

    • Paris: Promise me something.
      Kim: What?
      Paris: If things get worse, if it comes down to making a choice, don't worry about me, take care of yourself.

    • Janeway: I'm only in the mood for good news today, ambassador.

    • Kim: We've got to explain to someone that there's been a mistake.
      Paris: (Scoffs) Who did you have in mind?

  • NOTES (1)

    • There were 47 victims of the bombing.


      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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