A Plain and Simple Series, #31

Janeway's growth

(Cronan Thompson)


Serious stuff to follow... WATCH THE FUCK OUT

        I've seen gobs of character growth for Janeway.
For a very long time I denied what I saw as character
development and saw it more as quirks from the actress.
Not only was I wrong but I seriously underestimated
Mrs. Mulgrew's talent. The character developed by
writers with the inadvertant help of the writers is
complex one. Take, for example, her inability to set up
a system of principles or adhere to those Starfleet
established. The character is wishy-washy and confused.
No, I'm not saying this to piss people off. I am dead
serious. Let's take a couple of episodes. In "Raven"
she early on says that violating the space of another
race is something she does not wish to do yet in the
same episode this melts away when it becomes
inconvenient. The writers knew what she said, they
wrote it afterall. They knew her justification was nil
yet they went ahead with it anyway. "Scientific Method"
had the same type of thing so far as unintentional
character development. The story line centered around
speeding up or enhancing certian traits already present
to see how the crew would behave. Well guess what? When
turned to the Nth level Janeway confusion increases and
she begins to make decisions that are even more
suicidal than they were those before it.
        Mulgrew, even if she doesn't realize the
inherent silliness of her character, adds to it
immeasurably by adding little mannerisms like the
handwaving while talking and the teary eyed expressions
when seriousness is called for. In "Scorpion" when
Janeway is confronted with a dissenting opinion(from
Chakotay of all people) that the character is clearly
not ready to argue against, she nearly breaks into
tears. Instead of saying, "I'm the commander. I have
made my decision." she begs for his support. In fact
the lines as written could have been used to make a
case either way. They could easily be interpretted as
strong and stable words but Mulgrew got the waterworks
ready and got that strangled duck sound goin' deep in
her voice.
         Remember too the things we have learned in the
first episode. She was a low level captain assigned an
un-important mission who got in way over her head and
has since staggered about the Delta Quad with a crew
that was relatively inexperienced. That probably
explains their deovtion. Riker, fresh from the Academy,
helped a captain who was clearly violating the
Federations's laws in the events that lead up to
"Pegasus". He was ashamed of this yes but he was
inexperienced. He believed the captain to be honorable.
Voyager's crew believes the same.
        Objectivity is something they are not burdened
with. Until Seven arrived no one had it. Even the
Maquis crew transfered their faith in Chakotay to
Janeway and were cost what little they may have
had(Seska doesn't count cause she was smart enough to
have faith in neither). It's not like they had any
choice. They believed in Chakotay and he seemed to
immediately believe in Janeway. Later we would find out
this had less to do with confidence in her ability and
more to do with a childisih infatuation, but that is
information the crew, on the whole, are still not
privvy too. Seven's appraisal is similar to ours
because she too is removed from the unusual
circumstances surrounding the formation of the crew.
The herd mentality still exists in Star Trek's future.
Witness the crew of the Starship Voyager.
        One also doubts that those who question Janeway
would be tolerated. The peer pressure would be
intolerable. Imagine trying to question Hitler in Nazi
Germany while at the height of its power. Forget how
wrong she maybe or who dies because of one of her
decisions. She has set herself up as their only hope
for getting home. When the letters come she claims
responsibility. She had nothing to do with them
securing access to the relay nor were any decisions she
made instrumental in them decoding the messages yet who
got the credit? Janeway of course. Look at her smooze
the bridge crew with the news of the letters. She
doesn't have to say, "Yup, I did it." Neelix does that
for her. He's not bright enough to know what he's
doing. Now what happens when things go wrong? Hitler
had the Jews. Janeway has had the Kazon, the Caretaker,
the Swarm, the Vidiians and now the Hirogen. Just as
the Jews made the mistake of not being blonde with blue
eyes and holding beliefs that don't mesh with national
socialism, the supposedly Evil Alien Races they have
encountered made the mistake of not being born in the
Alpha Quad under the influence of Federation Values.
        Strange isn't it?
        To bring this to a close: Janeway has developed
alright. She is emotionally unstable and in way over
her head. She thinks herself a genius because those
around her allow her to believe just that. Her
character is delusional on many levels but so long as
the consequences are never to dire she will remain in
        She is Hitler with mammaries on a Starship.
        Of course these are the opinions of a man both
plain and simple.

There I go being serious again... maybe
if I'm lucky this won't become a trend

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