"Favorite Son"

Season Three, Episode 20
Written by Lisa Klink
Directed by Marvin V Rush
Main Cast:
Kate Mulgrew as Captain Kathryn Janeway
Robert Beltran as Chakotay
Roxann Dawson as B'Elanna Torres
Jennifer Lien as Kes
Robert Duncan McNeill as Tom Paris
Ethan Phillips as Neelix
Robert Picardo as The Doctor
Tim Russ as Tuvok
Garrett Wang as Harry Kim

Guest Cast:
Cari Shayne as Eliann
Deborah May as Lyris
Patrick Fabian as Taymon
Kelli Kirkland as Rinna
Kristanna Loken as Malia


Undergoing a bizarre transformation, Harry Kim instinctively leads the ship to the mysterious Taresian homeworld, a planet almost exclusively populated by women. Once there, he is told that he is part Taresian and is required for reproductive purposes. 


Yet another miserable episode. That makes three in a row; and we're talking seriously bad episodes here. That makes upwards of three hours of my life I have wasted watching absolutely dreadful episodes of Voyager. If I didn't have the foreknowledge that things would be getting better, then I think I'd be seriously considering abandoning the series at this point.

I won't say much about Favourite Son, simply because it's already received far more of my time than it deserves. Marvin Rush's directing is an improvement on Robert Scheerer's pathetic efforts in "Rise" -- not that that's saying very much. The acting isn't quite as bad as it was in Rise, but that is equally saying very little. Garrett Wang does a reasonable job, but I still find Wesley Crusher a far more interesting character than Kim (though, once again, that's not saying much). On the whole, the execution was a definite improvement on that of Rise.

But the storyline is almost enough to make Rise look like Shakespearean drama. It actually starts off quite interesting, and Kim's strange "deja vu" is reasonably compelling, until we meet "planet of the amorous bimbos" and things turn into a cliched, predictable, cringe-worthy pantomime. Not only do we get stupid science that's just about on a par with Genesis and Threshold, but the ending is predictable from almost the offset and the whole thing is really rather embarassing. The notion of a female-dominated society where the women consume their men like vampires in order to procreate is dumb with a capital D. And even more dumb is the fact that they tamper with the genetic DNA of men from other species to lure them to their planet and make it look like they are of the same species.

As I said, it starts off interesting -- almost reminiscent of when Odo finally found his people, only with far, far less depth or intrigue (for a second, one of the bimbos lifted a quote right out of The Search; "you are the first to return to us..."). But from then on it goes majorly downhill. The fact that Kim is supposedly of a different species isn't nearly as fascinating or disturbing as it ought to have been and feels rather mundane if anything. And when it becomes evident what exactly the episodes is about, I wanted to go home...immediately. I didn't need nor want to see the rest of the episode, because I knew what was gonna happen and I didn't like any of it. It's a juvenile, absolutely ridiculous pile of nonsense -- and above all, there's absolutely no point to any of it. Did we doubt for a second that Kim was somehow being tricked? Did we doubt for a second that he'd be back on Voyager and back to normal by the end of the episode? Did any of this actually mean anything for the character -- was there any character development that made the whole thing worthwhile? No, no, nope, no. I rest my case; Favorite Son stands charged as being completely puerile garbage, embarassingly stupid and so very utterly pointless to boot. Very poor.

Rating: 2

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