|VOY, Episode 7x25|
Production number: 271
First aired: 23 May 2001
|←||168th of 168 produced in VOY|
|←||168th of 168 released in VOY|
|←||628th of 728 released in all||→|
|A feature-length episode|
Kenneth Biller & Robert Doherty
Rick Berman & Kenneth Biller & Brannon Braga
Years after Voyager returned to the Alpha Quadrant, Admiral Kathryn Janeway resolves to alter the past in order to help her crew get home sooner. (Series Finale)
Antimatter fireworks light up the San Francisco night. The long-lost Federation starship USS Voyager, now returned from its 23 years of travail in the Delta Quadrant, buzzes the Golden Gate Bridge spanning San Francisco Bay, then climbs and twirls like a dancer among the fireworks. Huge, watching crowds cheer lustily.
But the whole thing is revealed to be recorded footage in a news transmission celebrating the tenth anniversary of Voyager's return. In her apartment, with lights off, Vice Admiral Kathryn Janeway looks at the transmission. She has the computer end the transmission, and looks sadly out of her window, a dented coffee cup from Voyager sitting on a nearby table.
A reunion of Voyager's crew takes place at Admiral Janeway's apartment. Present are several of her former senior officers, such as a graying Harry Kim, Voyager's former operations manager, now a captain. As Kim mingles, he encounters a little girl with short spikes on her forehead. Her name is Sabrina. She is the daughter of the now-adult Naomi Wildman, who was born on Voyager while the ship was in the Delta Quadrant. Kim smiles and greets her.
Janeway comes to him with two glasses of champagne. They go off together and begin talking. Not all is well with all the former senior crew. Janeway's face falls when Kim asks her about Lieutenant Commander Tuvok, Voyager's former chief tactical officer and security chief. Kim tells her that he plans to see Tuvok tomorrow, indicating that something is wrong with him. They also speak of a funeral, indicating that one of the former crew has died.
The Doctor, a hologram and Voyager's former chief medical officer, enters, with a blonde on his arm. An aging Thomas Paris, the former flight controller and medic, greets them. He is now a full-time holographic novel writer. The Doctor introduces the woman, a living Human, as his wife – Lana. And, he reveals, he has finally taken a name: Joe, Lana's grandfather's name.
Paris' wife, B'Elanna Torres, Voyager's former chief engineer, speaks with Janeway. She has become a Federation liaison to Qo'nos, capital of the Klingon Empire and homeworld of her mother's people, the Klingons. Janeway asks her about assistance she has requested of her for a certain Klingon man, one Korath, to try to get him a seat on the Klingon High Council. Torres asks her if her efforts to have this done have anything to do with the mission Janeway sent Torres' daughter, Ensign Miral Paris, on. Janeway avoids the question.
The guests are called to attention by Commander Reginald Barclay, one of the engineers who had been responsible for the Pathfinder Project, which succeeded in returning Voyager to Earth. They all raise their glasses and drink a toast to the success of the journey. Admiral Janeway includes another part to the toast: to those of the Voyager "family" not there to celebrate with them.
Days later, Barclay is conducting a lecture on the Borg to a class of cadets at Starfleet Communications. He introduces Janeway as the guest lecturer. As the one Starfleet officer in the entire service who has had so much experience with the Borg, she is the natural choice for such a lecture. The class goes well, until a cadet asks Janeway about Seven of Nine, a former Borg drone who served as head of astrometrics aboard Voyager. This makes Janeway's face fall. She quietly responds that she would prefer not to discuss Seven of Nine. The mood of the class falls considerably. A message then comes in for Janeway; she has an incoming communication from Miral Paris. Janeway leaves to answer it.
She takes the communication in her office. Miral informs her that she has seen "the thing" Janeway wants to acquire, and it does indeed work. Korath, she continues, is ready to hand it over, but wants to give it to Janeway personally. Janeway agrees and ends the communication, a somber look on her face.
A dark room. Lit candles. Lieutenant Commander Tuvok is here, kneeling on the floor amidst a sea of sheets of paper, writing on one furiously. Janeway enters. She greets him quietly. But in a fevered, hoarse voice, he asserts that she cannot be who she claims to be: the day of her visit is wrong. Janeway informs him that she is going away and may not return. She gazes at him sadly, but also with a glint of determination. She leaves a picture of the senior staff while still on Voyager.
Sometime later, Janeway is at home. The Doctor... Joe... visits her. He examines her, and pronounces her as healthy as she was when he examined her for the first time, 33 years before. But he is curious as to why, after giving him so much difficulty every time she was due for a physical for 33 years, she asks for one ahead of schedule; on his way over, he had thought she was ill. She responds that she is leaving, and wanted to get the appointment over with before she does so.
She invites him to sit, which he does. She then asks him about a certain drug: chronexaline. This makes the Doctor instantly on guard. He responds that it is being tested at Starfleet Medical to determine if it can protect biomatter from tachyon radiation. The results are promising. Janeway asks him to get 2,000 mg for her by the next afternoon. He agitatedly asks why. She tells him it is classified. His trust of her leads him to agree.
Janeway then meets Barclay at Starfleet Communications. He informs her that a shuttle is waiting for her, and gives her a PADD with certain downloaded information she has requested. He wishes to go with her, but she gently declines. She thanks him and leaves.
She is seen in an outdoor area. The sky is dark and gray. She speaks down to something on the ground. She kneels and rests her hands down. The spot she rests them on is seen; it is a gravestone: CHAKOTAY 2329 – 2394. This is the person whose funeral she and Kim had spoken about. He was her first officer on Voyager. "I know it wasn't easy living all these years without her, Chakotay," she says. "But when I'm through, things might be better for all of us." She rises and leaves.
Lieutenant Tom Paris is awakened by the urgent, insistent voice of his very pregnant wife, Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres, telling him "It's time." They are in their quarters aboard Voyager. He is at first reluctant to rise, but then realizes what she means: she is in labor. Immediately he is out of bed, fully awake, and contacts The Doctor. In his haste, he does not bother to dress, dashing hurriedly into a robe and accompanying his wife out the door and on the way to the Sickbay.
But it is in vain. The Doctor informs them that the labor is false. They are extremely chagrined; this has happened several times before. The Doctor explains that false labor is common in Klingon pregnancies. Paris asks about inducing labor; these false ones are robbing them of their sleep. The Doctor responds that this is unwise. Frustrated, Torres' Klingon temper flares; she shouts at him that she wants the baby out "NOW!". The Doctor merely lists her misdirected rage as another feature of Klingon pregnancies.
In her ready room, Captain Kathryn Janeway listens to First Officer Chakotay's report on ship's status. Nothing much is happening; the only two things he has to report are Paris' and Torres' latest false labor and a request by one Crewman Chell, a Bolian, to take over as ship's chef, a vacant position since the departure of Neelix, their former chef. (VOY: "Homestead") They laugh about his proposed menu choices, such as "Plasma Leak Soup", "Chicken Warp Core-don Bleu", and "Red Alert Chili". She asks him to have lunch with her, but he responds that he already has plans.
He goes to Cargo bay 2, quarters of the former Borg drone Seven of Nine. The two have begun a romantic relationship. She has laid out a picnic on the floor. He joins her with pleasure.
In the mess hall, former Borg drone Icheb is playing the Vulcan game of kal-toh with Lieutenant Commander Tuvok, the chief tactical officer and security chief. Ensign Harry Kim looks on. He tries to give surreptitious hints to Icheb, but Tuvok, aware of this, informs Icheb that Kim has never beaten him. He makes a move that half-wins the game, and then starts explaining the very patient nature of the game to Icheb. But then, to his great chagrin, Icheb makes a move and wins. Icheb humbly calls it beginners' luck. Kim is shocked and delighted.
Tuvok goes to sickbay and The Doctor examines him. Tuvok is very concerned; he attributes his loss to Icheb as a sign that a chronic Vulcan disease he has contracted has begun to affect his concentration. The Doctor concernedly confirms that the disease has begun to progress, and prescribes increased levels of medication that he has been administering to him. He suggests that Tuvok inform Captain Janeway, but Tuvok insists that he will do so only if and when his performance at his duties starts being affected.
In the astrometrics lab, Seven of Nine is playing kadis-kot with Neelix over a subspace communication signal. The Talaxian looks at her in his usual jolly manner from the lab's huge viewscreen, informing her of how his new life is going. (VOY: "Homestead") He happily informs her that he has is planning to ask Dexa, the Talaxian woman whose life he became part of, to marry him. He will thus become the stepfather of her son, Brax. Seven is pleased. She has come very far on the road to regaining her Humanity; she smiles at this news.
He asks her how her relationship with Chakotay is going. It was he who suggested the picnic as a date idea. She smiles again and tells him it went well; they both enjoyed it. She thanks him for the idea.
But then her console starts to beep insistently. She informs him that long-range astrometric sensors have detected high neutrino emissions and intermittent graviton flux consistent with a wormhole. This is extremely important; wormholes allow travel across thousands of light years in mere minutes. Neelix does not need to be told this, and offers to continue the game with her the next day. She agrees.
After completing her analyses, Seven requests a meeting of the senior staff to deliver the results to them. The news is almost beyond belief in tantalizing possibilities: all the readings are coming from a within a nebula in the region. And there is not just one reading, but hundreds; hundreds of possible wormholes in one place. The odds are fair that one of them could lead to the Alpha Quadrant, or at least take them much closer to it. A smiling Captain Janeway orders Lt. Paris to take Voyager to the nebula.
In Tuvok's patient room at Starfleet Medical's hospital, Joe (The Doctor) arrives, summoned by an attendant physician. Tuvok appears to be delusional. He is throwing his papers all over, pacing rapidly, sweating, and mumbling something repeatedly. Joe and the physician listen to him: "5331... 7153... 5331... Her disappearance remains a mystery!"
Joe understands what he is speaking about: Admiral Janeway was kidnapped by a group of aliens on stardate 53317.1, when she was still commanding Voyager in the Delta Quadrant. But she was retrieved, and Tuvok had led the rescue effort. The physician suggests that having Janeway visit him and show him that she is fine and safe would help, but Joe informs him of her recent departure. It is unknown when she will return. Tuvok firmly grabs his shoulders and rasps that she is not going to return. He lets go and continues pacing and muttering.
Joe goes to Starfleet Communications, and finds Reginald Barclay in a lecture theater. Barclay greets him happily, but when Joe informs him he needs to contact Admiral Janeway, he begins to act very nervous and evades the question. Joe presses him, informing him of Janeway's request to him for chronexaline. She had claimed the reason she needed it was classified, but he asked the Director of Starfleet Intelligence, and learned that she is not involved in any classified work. Barclay, never good under scrutiny, looks even more nervous.
Joe continues to push, noting to him the strangeness of Janeway's sudden departure without telling Barclay where she was going, after repeatedly saying how much she was looking forward to teaching at the Academy. At this, Barclay becomes so nervous, he begins to stammer, something which he has not done in years. This indicates to Joe that he knows much more than he is letting on; he indeed knows where she has gone and what she is doing. Joe sternly presses him for the information. Barclay, completely broken down, tells him everything.
A shuttlecraft, designated SC-4, is seen orbiting a barren, rocky world. Admiral Janeway beams into a cave on this world. She is met by Ensign Miral Paris and a group of Klingon men. The men act hostilely to her, but Miral angrily tells them off. They become subdued and retreat. Miral informs her that Korath awaits her. She believes she is going to accompany Janeway to him but, to her disappointed surprise, Janeway tells her no. She tries to argue, but Janeway brooks no argument. Miral acknowledges sadly. Janeway goes alone deeper into the cave.
She finds Korath tinkering with a Cardassian disruptor rifle. She asks him for what she came for; what he owes her, in return for getting him a seat on the Klingon High Council, according to the agreement they made. But he reneges, demanding also the shield generator on her shuttle as part of the deal. She sternly insists he honor the original deal, but he orders the Klingon men to escort her out. She leaves, stiff with anger.
On Voyager's bridge, Captain Janeway stands over Lt. (j.g.) Paris' shoulder as he flies the ship through the nebula. The gas clouds fill the viewscreen. The ship shakes a bit. Janeway orders a deflector shield status report. Lieutenant Commander Tuvok, at the Tactical station, reports the shields are holding. She hails Seven of Nine in astrometrics for a status report on the source of the neutrino emissions, but Seven reports that she still cannot pin them down. Janeway orders Paris to continue toward the nebula's center.
Then, however, the ship shakes again, more violently. Tuvok reports detection of a tritanium signature and gives its bearing. It may be a ship, but they cannot see it, and sensors cannot identify it. But it is far too close to them. Paris does his best to guess where it is to avoid running into it, but this is difficult, given that they do not know how big the object is.
Then the ship shakes a third time, vigorously. Ensign Kim reports with alarm the extreme proximity of yet another tritanium signature. This time, however, the object emerges out of the nebula gas clouds enshrouding it and is seen on the viewscreen. The officers watch in shock as the enormous, black, foreboding form of a Borg cube appears before them. Paris' piloting skill barely prevents a collision. Janeway immediately orders Paris to remove Voyager from the nebula. Paris obeys at once.
The drones aboard the cube voice their decision through the Borg Collective to pursue and assimilate Voyager and her crew. But, in the Borg Unicomplex, the Borg Queen is watching. She instructs them to leave Voyager alone, as the ship has not penetrated their security. But, she decides, she will keep an eye on her.
Voyager's senior staff meets in the briefing room. They tensely discuss the encounter with the cube. Tuvok reports that it apparently did not detect them. Paris is thunderstruck at this, as they came within a mere ten meters from it. Tuvok surmises that the nebula interfered with its sensors, as it did with theirs.
Ensign Kim insists that they should therefore return to the nebula; the wormholes that may lie within it, and the possible way home they could provide, cannot be passed up, and from what Tuvok says, they could avoid being detected by the Borg. But Seven of Nine advises against it, reporting that her analysis of the tritanium signatures indicates at least 47 cubes in the nebula.
Captain Janeway makes the decision: possible way home or not, it would be absolute madness to enter the nebula again. They escaped this time, but they all are fully aware of the Borg ability to adapt; the Collective may well be able to alter its ships' sensory capabilities so that the nebula no longer hinders them. Kim tries to argue, but Janeway firmly tells him the matter is closed.
Paris is on his way to a turbolift when Kim joins him. Kim shows him a PADD with a plan to use the Delta Flyer, one of Voyager's shuttles, to get Voyager past the Borg and find the wormholes. He tries to inveigle Paris into supporting it and going to the Captain with him, increasing the chances of her approving it.
But he is surprised at the reaction he gets from Paris, who has never been one to pass up a challenge due to risk; he wants nothing to do with it. He tries to change his mind, telling him he is not living up to his favorite hero, Captain Proton of those Adventures of Captain Proton holodeck simulations he enjoys. Does he not want to get home? But Paris is unmoved; he has a wife and child to be there for now. Wherever they are is home for him.
Chakotay goes to astrometrics, where Seven of Nine is working. He asks her to dinner. Smiling coquettishly, she accepts, joking that such an activity would be more suitable for a fifth date than a fourth. But they agree to skip ahead.
Before the date, however, Seven of Nine goes to sickbay. She speaks to The Doctor about the time three months before, when her cortical node, the processor that controls all her Borg implants, almost shut down and killed her when she began experiencing strong emotions. This is a failsafe designed by the Collective to kill drones who begin to experience such emotions, which could break their grip on the drone's mind, allowing his/her pre-assimilated individuality to reassert itself. The Doctor had told her he could remove the failsafe. (VOY: "Human Error") She had refused, but now she wants to go through with it. She does not tell him the reason: so that her attraction to Chakotay, which is growing as their relationship progresses, will not kill her.
The Doctor agrees to do the procedure. Previously, it would have taken several surgeries. But, in anticipation of her eventual change of mind, he has gotten the procedure down to one surgery that he could do anytime she wishes. They arrange a time: that evening, 1800 hours.
The Doctor however, being in love with her, hints that with the failsafe removed, if she wants to begin exploring “more... intimate relationships," he is at her disposal. Aware of his feelings she gently tells him thank you, but no; she is already getting help in that regard. Disappointed, he guesses the Chakotay hologram he discovered she had been exploring relationships with. He is surprised when she says that it is not, but she does not tell him it is the real Chakotay. (VOY: "Someone to Watch Over Me", "Renaissance Man")
Admiral Janeway returns to Korath's cave. She tells him she has reconsidered his offer. But she wants to see the device he is supposed to give her first. He angrily shows outrage over her questioning of his honor, but she, completely not intimidated, comes up to his face and coldly responds that were he really honorable, he would not have changed the terms of their deal. He backs down and shows her the device. She inspects it, approves it with a smile... then slaps a transporter relay on it and taps a controller she has in her hand. She and the device disappear in a transporter beam, back to her orbiting shuttle. Furious, Korath orders his minions to stop her. They open fire, but hit only the cave walls.
As soon as she is aboard, she instructs the computer to "Deploy armor." Plates of ablative hull armor immediately run over the entire shuttle, encasing it. She then orders the computer to take the shuttle to a set of coordinates that she supplies. Korath hails her and, enraged, swears a blood debt on her. She brushes him off dismissively, cuts the communication and instructs the computer to engage warp six. Two Klingon Negh'Var-type ships attack, but do no damage whatsoever to the ablative shell. The shuttle races away at warp speed.
It arrives at the coordinates Janeway gave the computer. But the computer alerts Janeway of an approaching ship. The ship is seen approaching. It is a Federation starship bearing resemblance to the Template:ShipClass, Template:ShipClass and Template:ShipClass. It is in fact, an advanced redesign of the Nova-class, designated the USS Rhode Island, registry NCC 72701. The ship hails. Captain Harry Kim appears in the viewscreen and respectfully but firmly instructs her to open the hull armor and prepare for transport. He is arresting her.
- Note: When the Rhode Island intercepts SC-4, the view of the interior of the shuttle shows that the armor is still deployed (you can see the honeycomb plates against the window), yet the external view shows the shuttle without the armor deployed.
Admiral Janeway sternly tries to assert her superior rank, but to no avail; Captain Kim tells her that Barclay informed Joe (The Doctor) of what she is up to, and Joe told him. Thus he knows he has full authority to order her to stand down and arrest her, and she knows he knows. He repeats the order. She agrees, on the condition that he let her explain why she is trying to do what she is.
She beams over to the Rhode Island. She and Kim talk in Kim's ready room. Kim insists that she "has no idea what the consequences will be" if she succeeds. She asserts that it is the only way to prevent what will happen if nothing is done. To her surprise, Kim tells her he has not informed Starfleet of her action, but warns her of the consequences should Starfleet find out. Janeway reminds him of the time that he, still an Ensign on Voyager, wanted to enter the Borg-infested nebula because of the promise of a way home it held. He reminds her that she stopped him. But she says that, given what happened later on, if she knew then that these things would happen, she would have indeed taken the risk.
Kim sighs. He is well aware of the events she speaks of, and understands fully her rationale. He is torn between his loyalty to those he served with, alone and cut off from Starfleet for all those years, and his duty as a Starfleet captain to uphold the law.
Seven of Nine beams with a floral bouquet into Chakotay's quarters. He is expecting her. She explains that she did not think it would be discreet to be seen carrying flowers to the First Officer's quarters. Her smile at him, sensuous and romantic, a demeanor she has never shown, shows clearly that the Doctor's surgery was successful. She is now enjoying the full emotional pleasure of their relationship. She grabs and kisses him. He, of course, returns it. They separate briefly, joke about the apprehension that usually accompanies a first kiss, and then kiss again. Then a hail comes from Captain Janeway, ordering all senior staff to the bridge. They obey, jocularly promising to deactivate the com system next time.
They arrive on the bridge. A strange, swirling anomaly is on the viewscreen. Janeway informs them of the anomaly's nature: a temporal rift, given the tachyon levels it is emitting. Chakotay takes his first officer's seat and Seven goes to the auxiliary tactical console. The officers set about trying to determine the rift's source.
Admiral Janeway and Captain Kim have beamed over to Janeway's shuttle. He has made his decision: his loyalty to his former Voyager crew has won out, though he remarks that he will be demoted back to ensign if it is discovered that he helped her. He helps her install the device taken from Korath and reminds her that she will not be able to return once she "goes through". She is well aware of this and it does not alter her determination in the slightest. She looks at Kim like a mother about to say goodbye to the son she had raised into a grown man. They embrace and Kim beams back to the Rhode Island. The starship departs.
Janeway sits at the conn, ready to go. She has the computer activate the device she obtained from Korath: a chrono deflector. A beacon-like projection atop the shuttle begins to glow green. But then two Klingon ships come out of warp speed and begin firing on her. She tries to deploy the ablative shell, but it has been knocked off-line. She urgently hails the Rhode Island, informing Kim of her situation.
2378 On Voyager's bridge, Tuvok reports detection of nadion discharges from weapons fire on the other side of the temporal rift. Janeway orders it shown on the viewscreen. The signatures appear Klingon. Janeway orders red alert.
2404 The Rhode Island returns. Interestingly, though the shuttle is without its ablative shell, the Klingon ships, though much larger and with much more firepower, have to fire on it multiple times before they start to cause damage. Kim advises Janeway to beam over, but she sternly tells him no; she merely wants him to keep the Klingons off her. He complies, and the Rhode Island's fire causes them to back off. Janeway instructs the computer to "activate the tachyon pulse" and direct it to a set of spatial and temporal coordinates she supplies it. The computer obeys. A green beam is emitted from a beacon-like device atop the shuttle, opening up a temporal rift, which looks much like the one Voyager's bridge crew is looking at in 2378.
This explains the reason for her secrecy, her not wanting Ensign Miral Paris to get too involved, Barclay's nervousness at Joe's questioning, Joe's horror at finding out what she is doing, Kim's initial determination to stop her, and Kim not informing Starfleet. She is going back in time to 2378, to assist Voyager in returning home sooner, to prevent the misfortunes that occurred to crewmembers in the years up to 2404. In short, she is grossly violating one of Starfleet's highest laws: the Temporal Prime Directive.
The shuttle enters the rift.
2378 Tuvok reports a vessel coming through the rift: a Federation vessel. Every officer stares at the screen at this. The shuttle emerges from the rift and comes toward Voyager. A hail from it comes through. Janeway orders it answered. She and the other duty officers watch in confused shock at the white-haired woman, looking exactly like Janeway but older, in a Starfleet uniform that looks strange, but recognizable.
Admiral Janeway, in a no-nonsense tone, immediately orders Captain Janeway to have Voyager's navigational deflector emit an anti-tachyon pulse to close the rift. Janeway, extremely wary of who, or what, she is looking at, does not. Tuvok reports two Klingon ships coming through. Admiral Janeway sternly repeats the order. Captain Janeway, not trusting her but wary of the Klingon ships, orders it done. The rift is sealed. Captain Janeway glares at Admiral Janeway and demands to know "what the hell is going on." Admiral Janeway answers evenly that she is here to bring Voyager home.
Admiral Janeway beams aboard Voyager. Captain Janeway, Tuvok and Chakotay are in the transporter room to meet her. Janeway greets her warily.
The two Janeways go to Captain Janeway's ready room. Captain Janeway offers Admiral Janeway coffee, but she declines. She stands at the window and starts commenting on some of the things that have happened in the years between Voyager's encounter with the Borg-infested nebula and her decision to alter history to get the ship home sooner. The fact that they do return home someday is of great comfort to Janeway. Voyager even becomes a museum, which the sun can be clearly seen in San Francisco. But she becomes uncomfortable with talk of the future, and especially uncomfortable with the seemingly cavalier attitude her future self seems to show toward Starfleet regulations, such as the Temporal Prime Directive. To Captain Janeway, these regulations are nigh sacrosanct. She firmly tells her to stop telling her about future events.
Admiral Janeway turns her attention to her stated reason for being there: to get Voyager home. She bluntly tells her past self how to do that: the nebula. Their suspicions, she says, was correct: it does indeed hold a way home. They must return to it and use it. Janeway is shocked; how could she even suggest such a thing when the nebula crawls with Borg? Admiral Janeway informs her that her shuttle has technology that will allow Voyager to get past them.
Captain Janeway is extremely skeptical. And what is more, from the little that her future self has told her of the future, it sounds as if the future will be bright: they will indeed return to Earth, she will be promoted and successful defenses against the Borg will be developed. So why is her future self trying to change that? For that matter, how is she to know for certain that this is indeed her future self, and not some alien impostor trying to fool her and lead her and her ship and crew to destruction?
Admiral Janeway knows her thoughts exactly. She offers to submit to a DNA and engramatic scan to prove that she is exactly who says she is. She also offers SC-4 for examination to prove that it is indeed a future Starfleet vessel, with Borg-defeating technology. As for why she is doing this, since Captain Janeway is adamant about not hearing more about the future, she only says that the future is not as rosy as it looks. In the 23 years between the nebula and the return to Earth, the crew will suffer many casualties.
In sickbay, Captain Janeway and The Doctor discuss the scan results, as Admiral Janeway sits elegantly on a biobed. The scans show that she is indeed Kathryn Janeway, decades older.
But he has found a piece of microtechnology in her cerebral cortex. It is not alien, though; it bears a Starfleet signature. Admiral Janeway, overhearing the conversation despite the distance between her and them, informs The Doctor that he invented it, or will invent it. It is a synaptic transceiver; it allows her to pilot a vessel equipped with a neural interface. The Doctor becomes very excited to hear this, and eagerly asks her what other inventions he will come up with. Captain Janeway, however, sternly orders him to stop asking. He backs off sheepishly.
Seven of Nine then enters. As soon as Admiral Janeway sees her, her face takes on a mix of great happiness and grief. She greets Seven. Her expression makes Seven very uncomfortable; she answers with a silent, curt nod. She reports to Captain Janeway on the inspection of the shuttle's technology. It is, she notes, very impressive, primarily designed to defend against the Borg, as Admiral Janeway said. Janeway asks if any of it can be used on Voyager. Some of it, Seven responds: the ablative armor shell and the weapons. Janeway considers; no matter what, they could always use better defenses and weapons. She orders Seven to see about the appropriation.
But then she hears a voice, calling her by her full Borg designation: Seven of Nine, tertiary adjunct of Unimatrix Zero One. It is not in her mind; it seems to come from everywhere. It sounds somewhat different, but it has the same ageless quality as it had the last time she heard it. Instantly she knows what is happening: the Borg Queen is again contacting her using her neural transceiver, as she did once before. (VOY: "Dark Frontier") She can no longer control her, but she can contact her in this manner if she so chooses. It is one of the banes of her existence as former drone, and a way has not yet been found to stop it from happening.
She opens her eyes to see the interior of the Queen's chamber in the Borg Unicomplex. The Queen smiles and approaches, her malevolence even more pronounced in her gentle, non-threatening manner.
Seven angrily demands to know what she wants. The Queen informs her of her awareness of the future Janeway's arrival and asks Seven the reason for it. Seven responds that it is none of her business. The Queen smiles in response and mentally brings up an image of Voyager on her viewscreen. She tells Seven she knows where they are going, and 'suggests' they change course. Seven demands to know why. At this, the Queen comes up to her and caresses her face. She responds that she will assimilate Voyager and all aboard if they do not change course.
Seven angrily insists that Voyager is no threat; "We simply want to return to the Alpha Quadrant!" The Queen responds that she has no problem with that. But make no mistake, she warns: "If you try to enter my nebula again... I'll destroy you." She then ends the communication, but just before doing so, to accentuate the warning, she sends an EM surge through the signal into Seven's cortical node. Seven wakes up, in her alcove aboard Voyager, badly shaken and in great pain, then collapses, unconscious.
Seven is in sickbay, lying on a biobed. The two Janeways are present as The Doctor treats her. She regains consciousness and informs them of the Borg Queen's warning. Captain Janeway is confused: what is so special about this nebula that the Borg would protect it so? It cannot be the wormholes; Borg transwarp drive is fast enough to reach anywhere in the galaxy in reasonable time, as evidenced by the appearance of Borg vessels in any quadrant.
However, Admiral Janeway confidently assures her the Queen will not be able to make good on the threat. Captain Janeway is far from convinced, but her future self explains that the technologies and weapons on the shuttle were developed by her, from the greater experience she had with the Borg before returning to Earth. They work. Janeway, though uneasy, decides to continue going along. She orders the course maintained, but at constant red alert, and orders nonstop scans for Borg activity.
Chakotay enters astrometrics and requests a status report from Seven of Nine. She responds that no Borg vessels have been detected for a radius of ten light years. Chakotay voices his confidence in the combined talents of the two Janeways against the Collective. The conversation then turns to what each will do when they get back to Earth. Each is unsure, but they are sure that whatever it is, they will be happy once it keeps them near each other.
Chief Engineer Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres barks orders in engineering; the engines must be running flawlessly if Voyager is going to enter this Borg-infested nebula again. Paris enters and, as the flight controller, dependent on the engines to execute commands he inputs at the helm, asks her for a systems report. She provides it and voices excitement at finally returning home after all the failed opportunities they have had. Like Chakotay and Seven, they also speak of what they will do when they return. And, like them, they agree that whatever it is, they will be fine as long as they are together.
Voyager approaches the Nebula once again. All senior officers are at their posts on the bridge, while Torres is at hers in engineering. Captain Janeway orders the newly-installed ablative armor deployed. It is seen encasing the ship. Janeway orders Paris to maintain course, and Voyager enters the nebula. Admiral Janeway stands looking on. In her chamber in the Borg Unicomplex, the Borg Queen watches Voyager enter the nebula. Her eyes narrow as she inclines her head, mentally ordering all cubes in the nebula to intercept the starship.
A cube closes on Voyager and begins firing. But the result is astounding. Its weapons have no effect, beyond degrading the ablative armor by a few percentage points. Another cube joins in, then a third. But the armor integrity does not go under 90%. Captain Janeway orders the course maintained. The cubes desperately try to adapt to the shielding, firing disruptor beams and torpedoes, and locking onto it with tractor beams. No vessel in history, aside from those of Species 8472, has ever survived Borg weapons or failed to be stopped dead in its tracks by a Borg tractor beam. But this time, all fail.
However the combined assault starts to tell; Tuvok reports armor integrity has dropped to 40%. Janeway decides that this is the time to test the new weaponry. She orders Tuvok to target the lead cube and fire a "transphasic torpedo" at it. Tuvok obeys. A single torpedo streaks out from the aft launcher. It hits and instantly destroys the cube. Janeway orders the same thing done to another cube. Tuvok obeys, with the same result.
The Borg Queen watches, shocked beyond measure. The cubes are making headway against Voyager, but with those torpedoes, many cubes will be destroyed before Voyager is. Assimilation is out of the question. She sharply turns her head and has the remaining cubes withdraw.
Janeway orders Paris to continue toward the center of the nebula. They arrive at the center. The clouds suddenly clear away. What they see is even more astounding: a planet-sized ball of energy, on which is an enormous, dark, web-like construct. A few cubes flit around it. Captain Janeway asks her future self what it is. She does not respond, and instead orders Paris to head for the structure.
But Captain Janeway orders him to belay the order, and demands that Admiral Janeway tell her what the object is. Admiral Janeway merely responds that it is "the road home." But Seven of Nine explains it further: it is a Borg transwarp hub. Captain Janeway remembers that Seven once told her that there are only six of them in the entire galaxy. This greatly angers her: why did her future self not tell her this was here? She orders Paris to take them out of the nebula immediately. Admiral Janeway tries to use her greater rank, sternly repeating her order to him. But Captain Janeway rises, comes up to her face and angrily tells her that she is on her bridge, and she will remove her if necessary. She repeats her order to Paris to take Voyager out of the nebula. Paris considers and obeys her; she is his commanding officer, not Admiral Janeway. Admiral Janeway shakes her head in frustration.
The senior staff is gathered in astrometrics. Admiral Janeway is also present. Seven of Nine has a graphic of the transwarp hub up on the astrometrics lab's viewscreen. She explains that the hub links with thousands of transwarp conduits whose exit points are all over the galaxy, in every quadrant. The graphic shows this clearly. The officers are amazed. It is the conduits, and not transwarp drive, that allows the Borg to reach anywhere in the galaxy in minutes. Tuvok comments that this is the single most significant tactical advantage the Borg have. Chakotay comments further that with this in the nebula, it is no wonder the Borg Queen wants to keep them out.
Captain Janeway, however, is interested in only one thing: destroying it. She asks for recommendations on how to do so. Admiral Janeway looks on, fuming. She listens to them discuss different ideas: destroying the interspatial manifolds shielding each aperture; destroying the structure from the other side after they reach the Alpha Quadrant. She finally loses her patience and angrily tells them why none of the ideas will work: the Borg Queen herself controls the manifolds, and would adapt almost instantly against any attack launched against them.
As for destroying the hub from the Alpha Quadrant, this is also is impossible, she asserts: the only thing in the Alpha Quadrant is transwarp conduit exit apertures; destroying them will not harm the hub. She criticizes them for wasting time while the Collective is undoubtedly studying their ablative armor and transphasic torpedoes, working on how to adapt to them. She glares at her past self and urges her to return now and use the hub to get home, before it is too late.
Janeway glares back, orders the officers to find a viable way to destroy the hub, then takes her future self out into the corridor. Outside, she demands of her why she did not tell her about the hub. Admiral Janeway responds that she remembers her, and therefore Captain Janeway's, self-righteous and stubborn nature. It was this, she contends, that made her put strangers ahead of her crew's welfare and destroy the Caretaker's array to protect the Ocampa, stranding them in the Delta Quadrant seven years ago (VOY: "Caretaker"). She did not tell her about the hub because she knew she would do so again.
Captain Janeway asserts that by destroying the hub, they would severely cripple the Borg. Millions of species, countless lives, could be saved from death or the horror of assimilation because the Borg would no longer be able to reach them. Admiral Janeway angrily responds that she did not spend the last ten years looking for a way to get Voyager home sooner so her past self could "throw it all away on some intergalactic goodwill mission!" Captain Janeway retorts that she cannot believe she will become so cynical. She is resolute: if her future self got Voyager home, that means she will too. If it takes a bit longer...
But her resolve is badly shaken by what Admiral Janeway says next: Seven of Nine is going to die. She will be mortally wounded on an away mission and manage to return to Voyager, where she will die in her husband's arms. And who will be the husband? Chakotay. The only thing that will make him keep his will to live after that will be getting Voyager home. But once that has been done, he will not live long, dying well before his time.
Though shaken, Captain Janeway reasons that she can avoid this happening now that she knows about it. But Admiral Janeway is not finished. She tells her she will lose 22 crewmembers between now and the return to Earth. Then she mentions Tuvok. This stuns Captain Janeway even more. She demands, Temporal Prime Directive or not, to learn what happens to him. Admiral Janeway reveals his degenerative neurological disorder to her. He has not told her about it, but if not cured, it will slowly destroy his logic and make him senile. He will spend the rest of his life institutionalized when they get home. There is a cure in the Alpha Quadrant, but by the time they get there, the disease will be too advanced. Captain Janeway stares at her, horrified. Her future self asks her pointedly if she is willing to pass up a chance to prevent any of these tragedies from happening for the sake of Starfleet principles.
Captain Janeway is seen sitting with Tuvok in her ready room. She asks him about his disease. He admits to having it. She asks him about the cure. He explains that it is a procedure called fal-tor-voh, and it requires a mind meld with a family member. This confuses her: if so, then why did he not object when she ordered him and the other senior staff members to find a way to destroy the hub. He responds with the words of history’s most well known and respected Vulcan: "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." The chance to save countless lives from the Borg is worth his mental degeneration.
Meanwhile, in Cargo Bay 2, Admiral Janeway tries to encourage Seven of Nine to raise objections to Captain Janeway about trying to destroy the hub. She has told her of her future fate, and how it will affect Chakotay, as an incentive . Seven is very shaken, but reasons that even her death and Chakotay's heartbreak are worth the chance to cut off the Borg from ready access to the rest of the galaxy. Admiral Janeway asks her if that is really so; she will be sacrificing her life and the welfare of people she knows; people she loves and who love her; for the sake of nameless, faceless, hypothetical millions. Seven does not answer; in a tight voice, she asks to be excused so she can return to her work. Admiral Janeway sighs in frustration.
The senior staff is again gathered in the briefing room, along with Admiral Janeway. Tuvok and Seven put forward an idea: the use of transphasic torpedoes, fired from inside one of the conduits, programmed to detonate all at once. This should cause a cascading collapse of all the conduits, destroying the hub. The Queen would not be able to stop it. However, to avoid the massive shock wave from the explosion, Voyager would have to get out of the hub in ten seconds.
The officers silently consider the idea. Then all eyes turn to Captain Janeway; the final decision is hers. She addresses all of them, speaking of the decision she made that stranded Voyager in the Delta Quadrant. With a glare at her future self, she states that she does not regret that decision. But, she continues, back then, Voyager was only a starship to her. Now, however, the ship and crew have become her home and family.
And now, once again they have a golden opportunity to get home, and also have the option to sacrifice it for a noble reason. This time she is not making the call on her own. Each of them, she tells them, has a right to a voice in this, and can speak for the crewmen and junior officers under them. She invites any of them who oppose the idea to speak up. A single voice, she says, and she will scrap the idea. They will use the hub to get home instead. Ensign Kim answers with his own speech. He speaks of all they have been through together, and muses that perhaps it is not the destination that matters; perhaps it is the journey itself. If that journey takes longer so they can do something that they all believe in, so be it. All the officers nod in agreement. The decision is thus unanimous: they will destroy the hub. Admiral Janeway watches the solidarity in wonder and, despite her disagreement, approval.
The two Janeways share coffee in the mess hall. Admiral Janeway apologizes for lying to her. She admits that she has indeed become rather cynical. She had forgotten how much the crew enjoyed being together, and how loyal they were to her. Captain Janeway thanks her, responding that she, Admiral Janeway, was only doing what she thought was right for the crew. Having remembered her old idealism, Admiral Janeway is infected with it again, and decides to help them destroy the hub.
But her past self has an idea: why can they not do both: destroy the hub while using it to get home? She and the crew did something similar before. (VOY: "Night") Admiral Janeway responds that this may indeed be possible; she had thought of a way once, but had considered it too risky. Now, however, in her old mindset, it seems worth the risk.
Sometime later, she is in SC-4's cockpit, finishing preparations. Captain Janeway arrives with a hypospray. Admiral Janeway jokes that it is about time she showed up; she is not getting any younger. Captain Janeway smiles and sits with her. She seriously asks her if she is "sure she wants to do this." Admiral Janeway responds affirmatively: it is the only way, and "Voyager isn't big enough for the both of us." Captain Janeway administers the contents of the hypospray to her and wishes her luck. Her future self reciprocates the wish, telling her she is glad to have gotten to know her again. This elicits a full smile from Captain Janeway. She leaves.
SC-4 leaves Voyager's shuttlebay. It heads into the nebula and approaches the transwarp hub. It goes into one of the transwarp apertures and vanishes.
Chakotay enters astrometrics and finds Seven of Nine there as usual. But her greeting to him is decidedly frosty. He asks her about SC-4. She informs him of its departure into one of the conduits. He notes with amusement her refusal to look at him and her formal manner with him. He thinks it is a joke; they are accustomed to such playacting with each other. But he realizes she is not joking. He concernedly asks her what is wrong. She turns away and goes to another console, still not looking at him, but he follows her and asks again. She responds that she is "just busy", but he does not accept this. He pushes for an explanation. She still refuses to look at him and informs him that she has decided to "alter the parameters" of their relationship.
She moves back to the first console, but he doggedly follows, demanding why. She explains that, given the dangerous nature of their work, it is possible one of them could be killed. This would cause pain to the other, and so it is best to cut the emotional attachments. The reason why she says this is obvious: Admiral Janeway's words to her about their future marriage, her death and his broken heart.
Chakotay, not knowing any of this, becomes angry: he firmly responds that he cannot shut off his feelings with some switch as she apparently can. This makes her face him. She struggles to hold back tears as she, without being specific, tells him what Admiral Janeway told her: his feelings for her are fated to cause him great pain. Her voice breaking, she tells him she cannot let this happen to him, and tries to leave, all but running away.
However, he grabs her and turns her to face him again. Looking directly at her, he tells her that no man has absolutely certain knowledge of what will happen in the future. What is certain is what they have with each other here and now. He will not let her end it because of "what might happen in the future". He caresses her face as he tells her this. She reaches up and takes his hand. Holding it against her chest, she sighs with relief. They stand together, foreheads touching, eyes closed in intimate silence.
In sickbay, things are a lot louder. Chief Engineer Torres has again gone into labor. But this time it is very much for real. She bears down, growling in pain, teeth gritted, Klingon temper flaring. The Doctor tells her to try to relax, but she angrily has none of it. Paris flits about agitatedly. Then Captain Janeway hails him from the bridge, ordering him to report the conn station; they are ready to get underway. He begins to tell her what is happening and that he thus cannot come, but Torres insists he go; his skills will be needed if they are to survive and succeed. He hesitates, all his husband instincts telling him to stay with her. But he knows she is right. He acknowledges Janeway, kisses Torres, touches her pregnant belly and rushes out.
In the her chamber in the Borg Unicomplex, the Borg Queen listens with her eyes closed as the Collective informs her of Voyager's course. But then a voice not of the Collective, coming from in front of her, makes her open her eyes. Standing in front of her is Admiral Janeway. She flippantly asks the Queen how she deals with "all those voices talking at once" in her head without getting terrible headaches. The Queen's head immediately tilts to one side, looking as if she is communicating with her drones. Admiral Janeway tells her not to bother calling drones to assimilate her.
The Queen walks toward her. With a malevolent smile, she responds that she does not need drones to assimilate her. She raises her fist to the future Janeway’s neck and extends assimilation tubules into it. But nothing happens. In a glib, taunting voice, Admiral Janeway tells her she is not physically there with her, but is in her mind; she is using a synaptic interface. She is seen in SC-4, a device before her forehead. She advises her not to bother tracing the signal; it is beyond her abilities for the moment.
The Queen steps away from her and strolls slowly around her. She asks her what she wants. Admiral Janeway's response is shocking: she is here to make a deal. Sounding very disdainful of her younger self, she informs the Queen of Captain Janeway's plan to attempt to destroy the transwarp hub. This plan, she knows, and the Queen scoffingly tells her, is certain to fail. But she is bent on trying, and with Voyager's new ablative armor and transphasic torpedoes, which the Queen remembers with agitation and dismay, the Borg will suffer heavy casualties.
The Queen retorts that they will adapt. But, as they both know, until they do, Voyager will be nigh unstoppable. But, Admiral Janeway tells her smoothly, she is willing to reveal to her how to adapt to the shields and weapons immediately. The Queen, in return, must do one thing: have a cube tractor Voyager and drag it through the appropriate conduit, back to the Alpha Quadrant.
The Queen scoffs at the idea that the "incorruptible Kathryn Janeway would betray her own crew." Admiral Janeway corrects her: not betray them, but save them from themselves. Captain Janeway's arrogant, self-righteous attitude, and the crew's blind loyalty to her, she asserts, is keeping them from taking a golden opportunity to get home just to deal a crippling blow to the Borg. "But you'd never try to harm us," the Queen responds sarcastically. Admiral Janeway responds that she is being pragmatic; she simply wants to return the crew home to their families.
The Queen phrases it in Borg terms: She is seeking to ensure the welfare of her collective. She can appreciate this, she tells her. She will help. But the price will be more than what she is offering. She wants SC-4 and its database. Admiral Janeway balks at this, and responds that giving the Borg 33-year advanced technology would change the future to an unknown degree; she is not willing to do that. The Queen retorts that she is already willing to do so by helping Voyager return to Earth earlier. Admiral Janeway falls silent for a bit, then agrees to her demands, but insists that she will get the shuttle only after Voyager is returned to the Alpha Quadrant.
But at this, the Queen smugly responds that she, Admiral Janeway, underestimated her; while they were talking, her drones succeeded in tracing her synaptic signal. Aboard SC-4, Admiral Janeway immediately orders the computer to shut down the interface and deploy the ablative armor. But it is too late. A tractor beam lances out from a part of the Unicomplex and seizes SC-4, bringing it out of the stealth mode it was in. It was hidden right in the midst of the complex. Admiral Janeway is beamed into the Queen's chamber, for real this time. She looks around in alarm.
The Queen smiles and complements her on her cleverness, hiding "right on her doorstep". She asks her what her plan of attack was. When Admiral Janeway does not respond, she strides up to her and violently plunges her assimilation tubules into her throat. Admiral Janeway sinks to the floor, gagging, as the millions of Borg nanoprobes injected into her system begin their work. The Queen watches triumphantly.
Voyager, having reentered the nebula, races toward the transwarp hub. Captain Janeway orders Paris to take them to the aperture her future self had specified the first time, and enter it. He obeys.
In the Queen's chamber, the Queen strolls around Admiral Janeway's collapsed form, watching her being assimilated, smiling. She hears the Collective as it informs her of Voyager's entry into a transwarp hub which leads to the Alpha Quadrant. She prepares to send a fleet of cubes in after it to assimilate it and the crew.
But then she staggers violently as the sound of the Collective's voice is momentarily replaced by a horrid screeching. She struggles to regain her feet, a blank look of uncomprehending shock on her face. It happens again, and then again. The third time sparks and explosions fly in the chamber. Admiral Janeway, her face marred with emerging Borg implants, looks up at her weakly and sneers: "Must be something you assimilated." More explosions occur. The Queen, wracked with pain, realizes that for yet another time, Kathryn Janeway has outsmarted the Borg. It was all a set up to make her assimilate her, and the neurolytic pathogen she carried in her bloodstream. That pathogen is now in her, and racing throughout the Collective. She did it in order to break her control over the manifold shielding around the transwarp conduits. Now Voyager, with its transphasic torpedoes, can tear it apart. She looks at Admiral Janeway in shocked horror. Now it is Admiral Janeway's turn to smile triumphantly.
Voyager races along the transwarp conduit. Seven, at auxiliary tactical, reports that Admiral Janeway succeeded; the conduit's shields are weakening. Janeway orders Tuvok to fire the torpedoes. He does; three of them streak out from the aft launcher, back along the conduit. They hit the aperture and destroy it, beginning the cascading destruction of the entire hub.
The Queen watches on the viewer, stumbling with the pain of the pathogen. She tries to tell herself Voyager will not survive the shock wave, but Admiral Janeway tells her that they will; she and her past self have made sure of that. "It's you who underestimated us" she sneers, pulling herself to her feet.
The Queen is wracked with another spasm, as bigger explosions and showers of sparks fly in the chamber all around. The entire chamber vibrates. She is now cut off from the Collective. And the Collective, because of the pathogen, is now cut off from her and itself. Suddenly she feels something wrong in her arm. She looks at it. It sparks and begins to separate from her body. She fearfully tears it off and throws it away.
Then she realizes that the drones aboard one sphere can still hear her. She instructs them to alter course into Voyager's conduit and destroy Voyager at all costs. The sphere is seen detouring from the conduit it was in into the one Voyager is racing along. The Queen smiles desperately, for the Collective had assimilated the armor technology, but then one of her legs stops working and falls off. She collapses, never to rise again. As Admiral Janeway watches her, the dying Queen looks up at her and tells her, and also tells herself, that Captain Janeway is about to die; if that happens, Admiral Janeway will never exist, and everything that she has done will be undone. She then dies, her mechanical body separating from its cybernetic torso in death.
Admiral Janeway can only hope she is wrong. The entire chamber explodes, incinerating her. The explosion cascades throughout the entire complex, killing the trillions of drones there, shattering the already broken hive mind.
At Starfleet Communications on Earth, senior Starfleet official Admiral Owen Paris watches a transwarp conduit opening on a viewscreen in alarm, along with Lieutenant Barclay and other Starfleet officers. The opening is less than a light year from Earth. They all know of only one race that uses transwarp conduits. Admiral Paris tensely orders every Federation starship scrambled to the opening to combat whatever Borg vessels emerge from it.
As the transwarp hub is destroyed, the single Borg sphere catches up with Voyager in the conduit. It fires on it repeatedly. On Voyager's bridge, Tuvok reports the imminent failure of the aft ablative armor. The sphere opens a huge hatch to engulf them. Kim reports hull breaches on several decks. Chakotay asks how long until they come to the nearest conduit exit is. Seven tells him it is 30 seconds away, but it will deposit them back into the Delta Quadrant.
Janeway watches the viewscreen and the conduit stretching away. Her jaw sets with determination and she orders Paris to make a certain heading adjustment.
In the Alpha Quadrant, a fleet of Starfleet vessels of all classes converges on the conduit opening. At Starfleet Communications, an admiral informs Admiral Paris of the fleet strength: eighteen ships in all, with nine more en route. The ships seen include a Template:ShipClass, a Template:ShipClass, a Template:ShipClass, an Template:ShipClass, a Template:ShipClass, and a Template:ShipClass. Admiral Paris has a channel opened to the fleet and orders it to use all necessary force against any Borg vessels that emerge, though he knows grimly how futile this would be.
The sphere that was chasing Voyager emerges in front of the fleet. Immediately the ships open fire. On Voyager's bridge, the officers are quiet, expectant. Janeway asks Paris where they are. His answer: "Right where we expected to be." She instructs Tuvok to enact a previously given order she issued to him. He obeys.
Within the sphere, Voyager fires a single transphasic torpedo. It streaks out and hits the sphere's interior, causing it to explode from within. The fleet and, at Starfleet Communications, the gathered officers, watch dumbfounded as the sphere suddenly explodes, seemingly for no reason.
But what they see next shocks them even more. But the shock is soon replaced by overjoyed amazement. Out of the explosion flies the USS Voyager, safely back in the Alpha Quadrant.
On Voyager's bridge, Captain Janeway and the bridge officers watch the fleet before them, silently. None know what to say. They have done it. Finally, after seven years, they have done it; done the impossible. They have returned. Janeway mutters a quiet thank you to her future self.
A hail comes in. Janeway orders it answered on-screen. The wonder- and joy-filled filled faces of Admiral Paris and Lieutenant Barclay appear. Other officers stand behind them, beaming. Janeway quietly apologizes for the surprise. Admiral Paris welcomes them back. He begins to ask about what happened with the sphere, but Janeway respectfully interrupts, telling him it will all be in her report. He responds that he is looking forward to reading it, and ends the communication.
The Doctor hails the bridge from the Sickbay. The cooing of a baby is heard. Paris turns around in surprised joy; he had completely forgotten. In sickbay, The Doctor hands the newborn, Paris' new daughter, to her mother, and grins as he tells Paris that there is "someone here who would like to say hello."
Janeway also beams as she gives Paris leave to go and join them. He rushes off. She quietly invites Chakotay to replace him at the helm, which he does with pleasure.
And finally, she walks to her seat, sits slowly down and, swallowing back emotion, joyfully gives the order she has waited seven long years to give, using the very same words she used to give that order to Paris at the start of their journey:
The fleet is seen in formation around Voyager, escorting her like a long-lost daughter, slowly, toward Earth.
And so it ends.
"It's you who underestimated us."
- - Admiral Janeway to the Borg Queen
"Oh, if you tell me to relax one more time I'm going to rip your holographic HEAD OFF!"
"I hope you don't intend to kiss your baby with that mouth."
- - The Doctor and B'Elanna Torres, while Torres is in labor
"Joe? It took you 33 years to come up with Joe?!"
- - Tom Paris, to the Doctor, regarding the name he chose for himself
"I think it's safe to say no one on this crew has been more... obsessed with getting home than I have. But when I think about everything we've been through together, maybe it's not the destination that matters. Maybe it's the journey, and if that journey takes a little longer, so we can do something we all believe in. I can't think of any place I'd rather be, or any people I'd rather be with."
- - Harry Kim, to the Voyager senior staff
"You're an impostor!"
"No, Tuvok. It's me."
"Admiral Janeway visits on Sunday. Today is Thursday. Logic dictates that you are not who you claim to be."
- - Tuvok and Admiral Janeway
"If you can't trust yourself, who can you trust?"
- - Admiral Janeway, to Captain Janeway
"Don't get too comfy. Klingon labor can sometimes last several days. (Torres screams) Of course, I'm sure that won't be the case here."
- - The Doctor, to Torres during her labor
"To quote Ambassador Spock; the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few."
- - Tuvok, to Captain Janeway
"Must be something you assimilated."
- - Admiral Janeway, to the Borg Queen
"You've infected us... with a neurolytic pathogen!"
"Just enough...to bring chaos to order."
- - Borg Queen and Admiral Janeway
"We did it."
- - Kathryn Janeway, after seeing a fleet of Starfleet vessels on the main viewer near Earth
"Sorry to surprise you, next time we'll call ahead."
- - Janeway, to Admiral Paris after Voyager's rather dramatic return to Earth
"Mr. Paris, what's our position?"
"Right where we expected to be."
"The Transwarp Network has been obliterated Captain"
"We'll celebrate later. Mr. Tuvok?"
(Tuvok fires a torpedo inside the Borg Sphere, and it starts to explode)
(The Sphere explodes and Voyager bursts out of the wreckage triumphantly)
- - Janeway, Paris, Seven of Nine, and Admiral Paris
"Thanks for your help Admiral Janeway."
- - Janeway
"What was that about?"
"He said your demeanor was disrespectful."
"I hope you told him I didn't mean to be rude."
"I told him that if he didn't show you more respect I would break his arm."
(smiles and laughs) "You are your mother's daughter."
- - Admiral Janeway and Miral Paris, after Admiral Janeway beams down from her shuttle.
"You know what, I shouldn't be listening to details about the future."
"Oh, the almighty Temporal Prime Directive – take my advice, it's less of a headache if you just ignore it."
- - Captain Janeway and Admiral Janeway, in Captain Janeway's ready room after Admiral Janeway comes aboard
"Set a course, for home."
- - Captain Kathryn Janeway, after Voyager's triumphant return back to Earth. (This was the last line of series. It was also the last line spoken by Captain Janeway in the show's pilot episode, VOY: "Caretaker".)
"It's a transwarp conduit, it's less than a light year from Earth."
"How many ships?"
"We can't get a clear reading but the graviton emission are off the scale."
"I want every ship within range to converge on those coordinates now!"
- - Barclay and Admiral Paris
- The director of this episode, Allan Kroeker, also directed the series finales of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Enterprise.
- Although dealt a crippling blow, it is unclear if the Borg have been defeated once and for all, as the pathogen may not have had enough time to spread (Michael Okuda claims in the Star Trek: First Contact Special Edition DVD that they weren't). Chronologically, though, this episode marks the final appearance of the Borg, although they went on to make a controversial appearance on ENT: "Regeneration".
- Robert Picardo (the Doctor), Ethan Phillips (Neelix), Dwight Schultz (Lt. Reginald Barclay) and Alice Krige (the Borg Queen) all previously appeared in Star Trek: First Contact. Phillips was the only one to play a different character, having previously portrayed an unnamed waiter. Picardo plays an Emergency Medical Hologram, although it is understood that the USS Enterprise-E's EMH is separate from Voyager's EMH.
- Tarik Ergin (Ayala) is the only actor, besides the regulars, to appear in both this episode and the pilot "Caretaker".
- Kate Mulgrew (Captain Kathryn Janeway), Robert Beltran (Lt. Commander Chakotay), Tim Russ (Lt. Commander Tuvok) and Robert Duncan McNeill (Lt. Tom Paris) are the only actors to appear in every episode of the series.
- The Starfleet uniforms seen in the altered future timeline were also seen in a similar future timeline in the final TNG episode "All Good Things..." and in DS9: "The Visitor".
- The phasers used in the future timeline would appear later as the standard sidearm (though, painted slightly different) aboard the USS Enterprise-E in Star Trek Nemesis.
- This episode introduced a seemingly out-of-place romantic relationship between Chakotay and Seven of Nine, and ended with little closure. This may have something to do with the fact that both the TV series Star Trek: Enterprise and the film Star Trek Nemesis were in preproduction at the time. Also, writer Ken Biller admitted to waiting until "the last minute" before starting the final episode. However, in an interview on his website, Robert Beltran says that he requested the inclusion of the relationship, in order to give him something to do. The validity of this assertion is questionable however, as the genesis of the idea of a romantic involvement between them is suggested in the episodes "Human Error" and "Natural Law" prior to when "Endgame" was filmed.
- This episode marks the fourth destruction of a Borg Queen. The first occurred in TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds", according to a line made by Captain Picard in Star Trek: First Contact. The second was in the aforementioned film, in which Data destroyed the Borg Queen by releasing warp core plasma coolant. We can assume the third to have taken place at the end of VOY: "Dark Frontier", when the Borg ship chasing the Delta Flyer appears from the trans-warp conduit in pieces. As the Borg Queen was present at the Unicomplex when Janeway and Seven of Nine make their escape, it is fair to suggest, she could have been on board the ship which pursued them.
- Kate Mulgrew (Kathryn Janeway), Robert Picardo (The Doctor) and Alice Krige (the Borg Queen) reprised their respective roles in the attraction Borg Invasion 4D set in 2379.
- Although difficult to hear, the name of the doctor being paged as Admiral Janeway leaves Tuvok's hospital room sounds like Doctor Pulaski. This would suggest that the good doctor has made quite a career for herself after leaving the Enterprise-D.
- Several interesting photos appear in the future scenes of this episode. In Admiral Janeway's apartment there's an image of Harry Kim and Tom Paris in black and white as their Captain Proton counterparts, and in Captain Kim's ready room is the same picture B'Elanna Torres looks at of her and Paris on their honeymoon (the image was seen in "Workforce, Part II"). Also, the photograph Janeway leaves Tuvok is actually a publicity image for Season 6.
- When the Queen interrupts Seven's regeneration, the computer voice says "Warning, regeneration cycle incomplete." In previous episodes, it said simply "Regeneration cycle incomplete.". (VOY: "The Haunting of Deck Twelve", "Infinite Regress") This may be because the cycle was interrupted due to a power surge as opposed to a simple "waking up" early. However, in at least one other occasion the computer did include "Warning." (VOY: "Child's Play")
- Robert Beltran, a noted critic of the writing and characterizations on the show, said of the final episode: "This is what we're going out with?" 
- Endgame includes the ninth and final time Janeway "dies" in the series. On this occasion, her older self dies after infecting the Borg Queen with the neurolitic pathogen, and consequently destroying the Borg Unicomplex. The events of this episode also represent the tenth time (aside from the series premiere) that the Voyager crew has a possibility of returning home, but is the only attempt that proves successful.
- This episode is chronologically the latest Star Trek episode to appear on television, with the exception of certain episodes in Enterprise that show events taking place after in the far future.
- In this episode, Kim tells Janeway that altering the timeline is too risky. This is ironic, considering that it was Kim, along with Chakotay and the Doctor, who altered the timeline to save Voyager in "Timeless".
- This is the only instance, so far, of the Borg Queen assimilating someone directly.
- This episode won two Emmy Awards. Only four other episodes of Trek have won this many. It won for Outstanding Music Composition For A Series (Dramatic Underscore) (Jay Chattaway) and Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series, both times beating VOY: "Workforce", which was also nominated in those categories. "Endgame" was also nominated for Outstanding Sound Editing For A Series.
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, Paramount Home Entertainment): Volume 7.13, catalogue number VHR 5183, 25 February 2002.
- The episode is in its feature-length form, although the sleeve suggests the two-part version (using "Endgame, Part I" and "Endgame, Part II" on the standard cover). The sleeve itself is reversible: standard Voyager layout on one side, special "Feature Length TV Movie" packaging on the other.
- The volume also contains a three-minute feature previewing Enterprise.
- As part of the VOY Season 7 DVD collection.
- As part of the Star Trek: Fan Collective - Borg and Star Trek: Fan Collective - Time Travel collections.
Links and References
Special Guest Star
- Richard Herd as Admiral Owen Paris
- Vaughn Armstrong as Korath
- Manu Intiraymi as Icheb
- Lisa Locicero as Miral Paris
- Miguel Perez as a physician
- Grant Garrison as a cadet
Special Guest Appearance By
- Amy Lindsay as Lana
- Matthew James Williamson as a Klingon
- Joey Sakata as Engineering N.D.
- Richard Sarstedt as a Starfleet Admiral
- Iris Bahr as a cadet
- Ashley Sierra Hughes as Sabrina
- Majel Barrett as Computer Voice
- David Anderson as Ensign Ashmore
- Tarik Ergin as Ayala
- Angela Giampietro as a cadet
- Glen Hambly as a Starfleet ensign
- Dino Maye as a cadet
- Peter Osinoff as a Starfleet officer at party
- Lisa Vanasco as a Bolian attendee
- May Wang as a cadet
- Unknown performers as
2329; 2377; 2394; 2400; 2404; ablative armor; Alcatraz; alternate timeline; Alpha Quadrant; anti-tachyon pulse; assimilation; biobed; biomatter; biradial clamp; Borg; Borg Collective; Borg drone; Borg Queen; Borg transwarp network; Brax; Captain Proton; Caretaker's Array; Cardassian; cerebral cortex; Chell; Chicken Warp Core-don Bleu; chronexaline; chrono deflector; cortical node; Delta Flyer II; Dexa; diaper; Director; disruptor; fal-tor-voh; false labor; Fen Domar; golf; graviton flux; Grid 986; Grid 362; House of Korath; interspatial manifold; Joe; kal-toh; Kellidians; Klingons; Klingon Empire; Klingon High Council; liaison; mess hall; Milky Way Galaxy; nadion pulse; nanotechnology; neural interface; neurolytic pathogen; neuropeptide; neutrino; Oakland; Okaro; Pathfinder Project; phaser, type 2; Plasma Leak Soup; pool; Presidio; pun; Red Alert Chili; San Francisco; sickbay; Species 8472; Starfleet Academy; Starfleet Command; Starfleet Intelligence; Starfleet Medical; synaptic transceiver; Spock; stealth technology; synaptic transceiver; tachyon radiation; tachyokinetic radiation; Temporal Mechanics Department; Temporal Prime Directive; temporal rift; transphasic torpedo; transwarp; transwarp aperture; transwarp hub; transwarp network; tricorder; tritanium; unicomplex; Unimatrix 01; Wildman, Naomi; wormhole
Template:ShipClass; Bonchune, USS; Borg cube; Borg sphere; Challenger, USS; Template:ShipClass; Template:ShipClass; Template:ShipClass; Template:ShipClass; Template:ShipClass; Negh'var-type; Template:ShipClass; Prometheus, USS; Template:ShipClass; Rhode Island, USS; Template:ShipClass; SC-4; Sphere 634; Template:ShipClass
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