Endgame (Star Trek: Voyager)

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"Endgame"
Star Trek: Voyager episodes
Episode nos.Season 7
Episodes 25 & 26
Directed byAllan Kroeker
Story by
Teleplay by
Featured musicJay Chattaway
Cinematography byMarvin V. Rush
Production code271
Original air dateMay 23, 2001; 20 years ago (2001-05-23)
Guest appearances
Episode chronology
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Star Trek: Voyager (season 7)
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"Endgame" is the series finale of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: Voyager, episodes 25 and 26 of the seventh season and 171 and 172 in the overall series. It was originally shown May 23, 2001, on the UPN network as a double-length episode and later presented as such in DVD collections, but it is shown in syndicated broadcasts as a two-part story.

Plot[edit]

In the year 2404, the Federation and the re-assembled crew of Voyager are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the ship's return to Earth, 23 years after it was stranded in the Delta Quadrant. Kathryn Janeway – now an admiral – reminisces with her crew, but reflects on the high personal costs of the long journey. She launches a plot to undo some of them by intervening at a key point in their history, changing a decision she now regrets. She steals an illegal time travel device and – with the reluctant help of now-Captain Harry Kim – takes a shuttlecraft back to 2378, where she meets up with Voyager, still in the Delta Quadrant. She pulls rank on younger Captain Janeway and orders the ship to return to a nebula filled with Borg that they had passed a few days before. She provides advanced technologies that allow Voyager to survive the massive Borg defenses, destroy two Borg vessels, and enter a transwarp corridor, which the Borg use for interstellar travel. Voyager comes upon a Borg transwarp hub, which connects distant parts of the galaxy, and could save the ship from sixteen more years stranded in the Delta Quadrant.

However, Captain Janeway wants to use Admiral Janeway's future technology to instead destroy the transwarp network; this can only be done from its terminus in the Delta Quadrant. Admiral Janeway explains that 23 additional crew members will die on the remainder of their trip home, including Seven of Nine (whose death will emotionally devastate Chakotay), and that Tuvok will become mentally unstable from a neurological condition that could have been treated in the Alpha Quadrant. Troubled by the choice, Captain Janeway discusses the issue with the crew, who agree that destroying the hub – severely diminishing the Borg threat to the Alpha Quadrant – is more important. The admiral is inspired by their spirit, and works with the captain on a scheme to do both.

The admiral takes her shuttlecraft and enters the transwarp hub, arriving at the Unicomplex – the center of all Borg activity and the home of the Borg Queen.[note 1] She pretends to offer a deal in defiance of the captain's plans: her future technologies, in exchange for sending Voyager safely home. However, the Queen captures the admiral and begins to assimilate her into the Borg collective. Admiral Janeway then turns the tables by unleashing a pathogen she was carrying in her bloodstream into the collective, devastating it and killing the Queen. The Unicomplex suffers a cascade failure and explodes, killing the admiral as well.

Meanwhile, Captain Janeway and Voyager have entered a transwarp corridor, pursued by a surviving Borg sphere that is trying to destroy Voyager and crew in a last-chance attempt to create a time-travel paradox that will undo the devastating damage that Admiral Janeway has just done. Unable to fight back against the sphere's defenses, Captain Janeway takes Voyager inside it, destroying it from the inside just as they emerge from the collapsing transwarp corridor near Earth. They are met by a fleet of Starfleet vessels that had been sent to confront the Borg, which instead escort Voyager home to Earth.

Production[edit]

It was originally expected that a character would die in order to return Voyager to Earth, with Kate Mulgrew saying in an interview that one of the characters would die in one of the final frames of the series finale – but added that it didn't mean she was saying that it would be Janeway who would perish.[1] In 2015, Brannon Braga stated on Twitter that he felt that it should have been Seven of Nine who died in the finale,[2] and that he had written the episode "Human Error" specifically to set this up.[3]

Awards[edit]

This episode won two Emmy Awards, which only four other Star Trek episodes have done. It won for Outstanding Music Composition For A Series (Dramatic Underscore) (Jay Chattaway) and Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series, in both cases beating the Voyager episode "Workforce", which was also nominated in those categories. "Endgame" was also nominated for Outstanding Sound Editing For A Series.[4]

Reception[edit]

In 2015, SyFy ranked "Endgame" as one of the top ten episodes of the series.[5]

In 2016, the fiftieth anniversary of the franchise,[6] multiple publications included "Endgame" in episode rankings. The Hollywood Reporter rated "Endgame" the 54th best television episode of all Star Trek franchise television prior to Star Trek: Discovery, including live-action and the animated series but not counting the movies.[7] They also ranked "Endgame" the 6th best episode of the Star Trek: Voyager series.[8] SyFy ranked "Endgame" as the third best finale of Star Trek series up to 2016.[9] SyFy ranked "Endgame" as the 8th best time travel plot in Star Trek.[10] Empire ranked this the 48th best out of the top 50 episodes of all the 700 plus Star Trek television episodes.[11] Radio Times ranked the return of the USS Voyager to Earth as the 30th greatest moment in all Star Trek, including films and television up to that time.[12]

In 2019, Nerdist rated Captain Kathryn Janeway one of the top seven time-traveling characters in all of Star Trek for her role in "Endgame".[13] The same year, Nerdist also suggested watching "Endgame" as part of an abbreviated binge-watching guide featuring USS Voyager's confrontations with the Borg.[14] They also ranked it as the 5th best time-travel episode of all Star Trek in between "Tomorrow is Yesterday" (#6) and "All Good Things..." (#4).[15]

Also in 2019, SyFy recommend this episode for its Seven of Nine binge-watching guide.[16]

In 2021, ScreenRant ranked "Endgame" the sixth best episode with the Borg, based on an IMDB rating of 8.6 out 10.[17]

Novelization[edit]

A novelized version of "Endgame" was adapted by Diane Carey, and published in 2002.[18] Some related Star Trek episodes were also novelized, including the Star Trek: Voyager television premiere "Caretaker", which was released as a 278-page novel called "Caretaker", and as an audiobook in 1995 by Simon & Schuster.[19]

Two additional novels based on Voyager's return are Homecoming and The Farther Shore, both by Christie Golden.[20]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Alice Krige returns to the role of the Borg Queen for the first time since Star Trek: First Contact. The character was portrayed by Susanna Thompson in four previous Voyager episodes.

See also[edit]

  • Endgame (Stargate SG-1) (this is also the title an episode of a similarly named TV series that aired the following year)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Trek to Break Final Taboo?". Dreamwatch (73): 18. October 2000.
  2. ^ @BrannonBraga (May 10, 2015). "True. I thought 7 of 9 should sacrifice herself to get her crew home. She was a tragic character. Bad idea?" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  3. ^ @BrannonBraga (May 10, 2015). "Human Error – the last Voyager I wrote – was intended to set up her death. She learns she can never be fully human" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  4. ^ "Dispatch: "Endgame" Earns Emmys for Visual Effects, Music". Star Trek.com. September 10, 2001. Archived from the original on October 6, 2001. Retrieved September 5, 2014.
  5. ^ Granshaw, Lisa (January 16, 2015). "20 years later: Our top 10 episodes of Star Trek: Voyager". SYFY WIRE. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  6. ^ "Fans celebrate Star Trek's 50th anniversary". TechCrunch (in American English). Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  7. ^ ""Endgame" – 'Star Trek': 100 Greatest Episodes". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  8. ^ ""Endgame" – 'Star Trek: Voyager' – The 15 Greatest Episodes". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  9. ^ Roth, Dany (January 26, 2016). "These were the voyages: Every Star Trek finale, ranked". SYFY WIRE. Retrieved July 4, 2019.
  10. ^ Granshaw, Lisa (November 15, 2016). "Ranking the 15 best Star Trek time travel episodes". SYFY WIRE. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
  11. ^ "The 50 best Star Trek episodes ever". Empire. July 27, 2016. Retrieved June 29, 2019.
  12. ^ "The 50 Greatest Star Trek moments of all time – 3". Radio Times. Retrieved July 4, 2019.
  13. ^ "The 7 Best Time Travelers In STAR TREK". Nerdist. Retrieved June 23, 2019.
  14. ^ "A Guide to Binge Watching 7 Great STAR TREK Arcs". Nerdist. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
  15. ^ "The 10 Best STAR TREK Time Travel Episodes, Ranked". Nerdist. Retrieved July 27, 2019.
  16. ^ Fleenor, S. E. (April 16, 2019). "The Seven of Nine binge guide". SYFY WIRE. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
  17. ^ "Star Trek: 10 Best Borg Episodes (According To IMDb)". ScreenRant (in American English). April 3, 2021. Retrieved April 7, 2021.
  18. ^ Carey, Diane; Golden, Christie (December 18, 2001). Endgame. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9780743453899.
  19. ^ Graf, L. A. (February 1995). Caretaker. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 9780671521424.
  20. ^ "Book Review & Summary: Star Trek Voyager Novels: Homecoming | The Farther Shore". www.kickinglettuce.com. Retrieved July 15, 2019.

External links[edit]