Star Trek: Voyager

Season 2 Episode 23

The Thaw

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Apr 29, 1996 on UPN

Episode Fan Reviews (15)

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out of 10
197 votes
  • Should stay frozen...

    In fact put it as far back into the nether-regions of your freezer as you possibly can and just leave it there. If you are unfortunate enough to have already sampled it, throw it back in and try and forget about it.

    The episode starts off interestingly enough (not truly unique though) with the discovery of a batch of cryogenic preservation capsules, but it trips over it's own feet practically after taking one step. As soon as we get a glimpse into the "world" that the people in these capsules find themselves trapped, it is hard not to have the thought of `foolish` or `What Is This` pop into your head. From the out of place use of a multitude of colours, the presentation of the AI though acrobats, midgets and the insane, to the enviromental pieces looking like they come straight out of the movie Toys or a giants playpen, the viewer cannot help but seperate himself from what he is watching and from the any idea of theme that the writers of this episode were trying to get across. There just seems to be a insurrmountable clash between the message and theme of the episode and the way it is presented or manifested visually. This artifical world the characters find themselves in is supposed to be one of confusion, fear, insanity, desperation, hoplessness and death, and although what we are given visually can be said to represent some of these feelings or moods, they do so in a way that is lacks a punch or that fails to really get them across effectively. These moods would have manifested themselves more effectively a darker presentation, anything along the lines of what a horror movie usually presents you with in terms of image....dark, spires, dank dwellings, prisons, insane asylums etc. Even though some of that is not terribly original, it would still be more in line in terms of what most people would envision when they think of a hopeless situation in which one is faced with constant threat, terror and even death. A brightly lit room, full of primary colours, annoying chanting and screaming and body contortions lead by a clown that lacks any kind of physical deformity hardly puts a scare into you. Annoying to the point of insanity, yes.....terror inducing to the point of insanity, no. The whole weak and foolish presentation is reminiscient of "Move Along Home" from DS9 Season One and if you were unlucky enough to have sat through both that one and this one as I have, I can assure you I feel for you. The ending or solution to this episode, like the DS9 one, works, but again is unfulfilling or leaves you kind of scratching your head as to what the point of the whole thing was. True Janeway did trick Fear the clown and as a result managed to free her crewmates and the trapped inhabitants of the ice planet, but she did so in a way that did not really defeat her opponent. It leaves the viewer wondering if the strength of the emotion fear (and the corresponding character it was represented by) is as in fact as insurrmountable as it is made out to be. Tricking your way around something hardly qualifies as achieving a victory or overcoming something by addressing it head on. If there is anything positive to say about this episode I guess it is this question we are left with through just another instance of bad writing that is found all throughout it.
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