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Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!
“Endgame” is the final episode of Star Trek: Voyager, and the internet tends to hate it to the point that some idiots call it “Endshame” (ugh…I really hate the internet sometimes). I don’t. Granted, it isn’t a perfect episode, but I really feel it is one of those episodes that kind of knew what it was doing and never pretended to be anything more. And, arguably most importantly, the episode really encapsulated with what Star Trek: Voyager was all about.
In the episode, a time traveling Admiral Janeway from the future comes back to “present day” Voyager to not only help them destroy the Borg and get the crew home (which will subsequently save the lives of several Voyager crewmen including Seven of Nine and Tuvok). Lots of explosions, time paradoxes, super-uber-ships, face offs, and the feeling of family all get screen time in the show. And, really, for a show like Voyager, this is kind of what you expect. Especially after seven years.
Now, a lot of people like to criticize “Endgame” on how illogical the story is, and how forced some elements of the plot are. For example, why does future Janeway come back seven years into their journey instead of day one or some other time? True, she is going to save several lives, but a lot of crewmen died throughout the series. How come their lives are unimportant enough? Or the fact that future Janeway looks exactly like present-Janeway just with white hair (seriously – they didn’t even try to give her any elderly make-up. Or how the romance between Chakotay and Seven comes out of nowhere and established in this episode only because it is a key factor in the episode.
Yeah, all of those are legitimate complaints and criticisms. I can’t really argue with any of it. But, again, if a final episode is to at least partly reflect a series as a whole, than “Endgame” does it in spades. Voyager was pure action. Many of the episodes were not all that philosophical or deep as compared to some of the other Trek series (which is not a bad thing), but the producers really knew how to put on a spectacle. “Endgame” does a really good job with it.
Plus, in Trek circles, Voyager featured the Borg and time travel as story devices again and again. Throwing them in the final episode makes perfect sense. I would be disappointed if they didn’t do that.
In some ways, “Endgame” is kind of like a Fast and Furious film. It is goofy, over-the-top, and somewhat nonsensical, but a lot of fun with stuff happening that is just cool. Admit it – it was pretty cool when Voyager flew out of the exploding Borg ship at the end.
And finally, there is much complaining on how the episode ends just as Voyager returns to Earth and that we never get to see their reunion with Starfleet or their family. Couple of things about that: One, it would have been incredibly boring if the whole episode was just the characters sitting around talking to other people we’ve never seen before. Second, why did this need to be seen? We never saw their families or loved ones in any major capacity before they became stranded. Who cares about them now?
And, we did get a reunion scene. The very beginning takes place in the future ten years after Voyager returned. We saw where the characters’ lives took them and got some closure from it. There was even a video shown with Voyager flying over San Francisco with fireworks going off. Did we really need to see it again? And before you say “It was an alternate future, OMG!”…would it have been that much different? The answer is no.
Voyager’s final episode was fine for Voyager. It isn’t the greatest episode ever produced for Star Trek. Not even in the top five. As a way for the series to close out on, it works. It has all the hallmarks of what made Star Trek: Voyager the show it was. For that, I give it a thumbs up.