Two things happened to me on my trip to Fred Meyer:
1) I lost my medical benefits flex card.
2) I saw How William Shatner Changed the World, Starring William Shatner, Based on the Book by William Shatner or: the most Shatner you can get for $12.99. (Then I didn't buy it, because it's also the most Shatner I can get for $2.99 on Amazon.)
Since I'm already mourning my freedom to purchase prescription medications with pre-tax funds and my standing in the William Shatner Fan Club by not immediately purchasing and watching that movie, I think it's time to play a final dirge for the holodeckathalon!
Voyager, Season 7:
"Flesh and Blood"
A Bajoran, Human, Cardassian and Borg walk into a holographic bar...
Remember that time Janeway gave a Hirogen a holodeck-generating computer to hang on his bulkhead as a war trophy? No? Well, APPARENTLY the Prime Directive or whatever the hell that thing was that Season One Janeway always nattered on about (something about not giving aliens technology that would radically alter their civilization?) would have been a good idea for Season Four Janeway to follow, because the Hirogen created a bunch of super-smart holograms that are now waging a holy war against the "organics" who "enslave" "men of light." Let's be clear: the Hirogen are big jerks who seriously get off on torturing other beings, and they designed these holograms to not only be sentient, self-aware beings, but also to feel heightened amounts of pain and fear. So the holograms are more than a little justified in their desire to escape and exact a little revenge. The Hirogen tell Voyager to back off their hunt, despite the fact that the holograms are beating the snot out of the hunters. Chakotay, Tuvok and I all feel that Janeway should just fly off toward the Alpha Quadrant, content to let the holograms and the Hirogen solve our problems by killing each other. Season Seven Janeway does not choose this course of action.
She's got an airlock with your name alllllll over it, pal.
Janeway ends up deciding to take on the Hirogen and the SS Holoship. The Doctor decides that she's being lifeformist and defects to the holograms, and then immediately regrets it when the holograms kidnap B'Elanna. Everyone behaves, if not sanely, at least within the bounds of insanity that we have normally come to expect from them, and I happen to like the Hirogen, so I cheered to see them again. And B'Elanna's new holographic Cardassian bestie is awesome! They were doing so well until the episode went off the rails a little bit toward the end, and you know that happens because the Doctor shows up with THIS FUCKING GUN:
Go ahead. Make my day.
It possibly took me longer to select that caption from a list of about twelve thousand possible jokes than it took to write the entire rest of this post.
Hologram Chakotay: like regular Chakotay, except getting some.
Taking after Janeway, Seven of Nine decides to check out a holographic boyfriend from the ship's library. To further assimilate the captain's personal life (see what I did there?), she chooses Chakotay as the object of her affection. Taking after Reginald Barclay, Seven shirks her duty shifts, social engagements and sleeping habits to hide out in the holodeck with a fictional version of the crew who all think she's cool. Girlfriend, we need to have a serious conversation about role models.
Seven, I am disappoint.
That being said, she does seem to be the first person ever to realize that tromping around the ship in replicated costumes for holoprograms is ridiculous and programmed her changes of appearance right into the holoprogram, so Seven is still smarter than everyone.
Now, about three of you are going to disown me for saying this (grav_ity may actually summarily defriend me, and then refriend me just so she can defriend me a second time), but I like this episode and think it was well done. I mean, clearly it was a Sweeps Month ratings grab - Jeri Ryan's exposed cleavage paved the way for the one time I managed to collect a bunch of friends from my freshman dorm to watch Star Trek. Jeri Ryan and Bob Picardo are great, and I'm sure it was nice for Robert Beltran to do something besides stand in the back of a scene rolling his eyes and waiting for Kate to shut up so he can say "I'm on it" or "Yes, Captain." And really, I actually buy everything in this. Seven is an emotional adolescent with an abusive history and major attachment issues, and her two mentors are a) a hologram, and b) a woman who dates holograms. The writers took a shocking turn for the mature by choosing to not ritually humiliate Seven in front of the entire crew, instead letting the Doctor handle it in a sweet and encouraging way (even though he's obviously disappointed at not being her sex hologram of choice). The reveal at the end that the Borg have basically physically and permanently broken Seven's ability to have emotional relationships broke my heart a little, I admit.
Look holoChakotay, I'm really happy for you. Imma let you finish, but the Goddess of Empathy was the best inappropriate holographic lover OF ALL TIME!
So now that we have reached the end, what have we learned from this marathon of holographic crack exploits?
1) Always, always, always lock the holodeck door.
2) Seriously, never use the command "override" to the holodeck computer, especially when immediately followed by "safety protocols."
3) Chances are that right now a) there is a holographic version of you and b) it's having more sex than you.
4) 90% of all holodeck crack shenanigans in the history of space can be somehow blamed on Barclay, Tom Paris or Julian Bashir.
5) No matter how thorough your marathon, there is never any reason to watch the Enterprise series finale.