"Day of Honor"

Season Four, Episode 3
Written by Jeri Taylor
Directed by Jesus Salvador Trevino
Main Cast:
Kate Mulgrew as Captain Kathryn Janeway
Robert Beltran as Chakotay
Roxann Dawson as B'Elanna Torres
Robert Duncan McNeill as Tom Paris
Ethan Phillips as Neelix
Robert Picardo as The Doctor
Tim Russ as Tuvok
Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine
Garrett Wang as Harry Kim

Guest Cast:
Alexander Enberg as Vorik
Alan Altshuld as Lumas
Michael Krawic as Rhamin 


B'Elanna is having a bad day. Not only is she unhappy that Chakotay is assigning Seven of Nine to work in Engineering, but she must undergo the "Day of Honor", a Klingon ritual where a warrior must assess their actions and behaviour over the past year. But things get even worse when a failed experiment into using transwarp goes awry and she is forced to eject the warp core. She and Paris take a shuttle to salvage the core, but are beaten to it by the Cataati, an alien race who were nearly decimated by the Borg and who Voyager had just given assistance to. Their shuttle is attacked and they both escape out into space before it is destroyed. They send a distress signal to Voyager but Janeway has her hands full with the Cataati, who demmand she hands over Seven as a prisoner. But it is Seven that works out a solution to the Cataati's fuel shortage and Voyager heads off the rescue Tom and B'Elanna. It's in the nick of time, too -- just before they are rescued, B'Elanna tells Tom she loves him. 

I'm gonna keep this review relatively short. My one-word summation of Day of Honor would have to be...alright. There were some good moments, mainly towards the end, but the whole premise is a little patchy and I'm not convinced that there was any real pay-off to any of it.

First of all, the titular Day of Honor ceremony. Was there actually any point to it? Did it actually contribute anything to the actual plot? Was it even entertaining? I'm afraid the answer is "no" on all three counts. I've never found Klingon rituals all that riveting and this was no exception (and I must say that the guy who played the holodeck Klingon was just the pits). It was mildly interesting to see B'Elanna finally decide to stop running from her cultural heritage as she has done since childhood, but she didn't really care about this Day of Honor ritual so why should we?

The plot takes a different twist when B'Elanna is forced to eject the warp core and she and Tom must take a shuttle to retrieve it. I guess the big question here is why send a shuttle? Why didn't Janeway just turn the ship around the retrieve it. Would have been a lot easier, but I guess we wouldn't have had much of a plot that way. And even as it stands the plot is minimal: B'Elanna and Tom end up stranded in space (in space suits of course) running out of oxygen. It's then that B'Elanna confesses that she's in love with them and they are rescued. It was amiable stuff and Roxann Dawson is always entertaining, but...is it enough to justify an episode? I tend to think not. As a sub-plot perhaps but I really don't think this is substantial enough to sustain an entire episode. Paris and Torres seem to make an likeable couple but their relationship just doesn't have the depth or emotional punch to light up the screen. Remember in DS9's Heart of Stone where Odo told Kira (who was actually a changeling) he loved her? That had a lot more power than B'Elanna's admission here. I guess we'll just have to see where their relationship goes from here.

As for the Cataati sub-plot all I can say is that I'm glad to see the Borg haven't been entirely written out of the picture. About all the story does is help integrate Seven into the crew a little more, which is fine, if hardly earth-shattering. Speaking of Seven, I must once again comment on that costume -- it's distracting!! Every scene she appeared in seemed to feature a number of full body shots and it was nigh impossible to keep the eyes from wandering. Yeah, Jeri Ryan looks a million bucks, but they really need to put some clothes on the lass! I couldn't believe my eyes the first time I saw a photo of Seven in that silver catsuit and I still can't. Come on, guys, this is Star Trek. A little decorum, please!

So, in the end, what have we got here? An entertaining but surprisingly insubstantial episode. There are some nice touches but very little to actually sink your teeth into. Dawson gives a strong performance and the space shots are beautifully done but the script really needed a little more focus and emotional punch. I'm baffled as to why the Pocket Books people saw this episode as interesting or special enough to do a novelisation of it. I can think of a dozen other episodes that are far likelier candidates for the novelisation treatment.

Rating: 6

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