|Star Trek: Voyager episodes|
|Episode nos.||Season 3 & 4|
Episodes 26 & 1
|Featured music||Jay Chattaway|
|Cinematography by||Marvin V. Rush|
|Production code||168 & 169|
|Original air dates|
"Scorpion" is a two-part episode of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: Voyager that served as the last episode of its third season and the first episode of its fourth season (the 68th and 69th episodes overall). "Scorpion" introduced the Borg drone Seven of Nine and Species 8472 to the series.
Set in the 24th century, the series follows the adventures of the Starfleet and Maquis crew of the starship USS Voyager after they were stranded in the Delta Quadrant far from the rest of the Federation. In these episodes, the Federation starship Voyager makes a "pact with the devil" (i.e. the Borg) in order to combat a new enemy which poses a serious threat to both.
The title is an allusion to the story of the Scorpion and the Frog, which Chakotay tells Janeway (replacing the frog with a fox) as a warning against attempting to cooperate with the Borg.
Voyager is approaching a sector of space occupied by the Borg. The occupation covers thousands of star systems, but they find a narrow path through the sector that the Borg avoid due to the numerous gravimetric distortions within it. The senior staff agree that it is better to ride through this path, dubbed the "Northwest Passage", than to face the Borg directly. Captain Janeway orders preparations for a Borg encounter. While helping the Doctor craft antibodies to disable Borg assimilation, Kes has a brief vision of a pile of Borg corpses. She starts to experience several more, all based around the destruction of Borg and Voyager.
As they near the Northwest Passage, 15 Borg cubes travel past them at high speeds. Shortly afterwards, scans indicate that the cubes have been destroyed, while a bioship is attached to a portion of a Borg hull. An away team transports over to discover a pile of Borg corpses, just as Kes had seen, and alien roars elsewhere on the ship. As they try to scan for the source, Kes has another vision, this time of Ensign Harry Kim being attacked. Janeway orders an emergency beam-out just as an insect-like creature strikes at Kim. The bioship detaches from the hull and fires at Voyager as they flee the area, the near-miss negatively affecting the ship. Kes reports hearing a voice say, "The weak will perish".
Janeway orders the crew to continue course for the Northwest Passage. Analysis of the Borg's logs shows that the alien species is catalogued as Species 8472 and has defeated the Borg many times before. The Doctor is able to eliminate the alien infection in Kim's body using modified Borg nanoprobes. Eventually Voyager reaches the Northwest Passage, only to find a fleet of bioships waiting. After moving to a safe distance, the senior staff discuss their options. Janeway proposes an alliance with the Borg to face a common threat, offering the Doctor's cure for the Species 8472's infection as a bargaining chip. The staff is dubious but agree it is their only option.
Voyager travels to a nearby Borg-occupied world, and is met by a Borg cube. Janeway announces their intentions, and the Borg beam her to their ship, where she begins negotiations. Suddenly, a fleet of bioships appears nearby and lays waste to the Borg planet. The Borg Cube, with Voyager in tow, narrowly escapes its destruction.
The Borg accept Janeway's offer of the modified nanoprobes in exchange for safe passage through their space, and she and Tuvok begin discussions. However, the Borg find verbal communication to be inefficient and attempt to attach a neural probe to Janeway. Janeway stops them, and instead suggests they choose a representative Borg for her to speak through. A drone calling herself Seven of Nine emerges as the chosen representative. As they discuss the integration of the nanoprobes into weaponry, a bioship appears and opens fire on the ships, injuring Janeway. The Borg transport Janeway, Tuvok, Seven, and several drones to one of Voyager's cargo bays before ramming the bioship, destroying both of them. Janeway's injuries are so severe that she needs to be sedated and undergo urgent neurosurgery; before she is, she makes Chakotay promise to maintain the alliance.
Seven learns from the Collective that Species 8472 have killed millions of Borg in the middle of their sector, and demands Chakotay direct Voyager to help. Chakotay refuses, since this would significantly deviate from their course, and states his intentions to strand the Borg on an M-class planet to be picked up later. Seven is able to access the ship's deflector dish from the cargo bay and uses it to create a subspace rift. Chakotay orders the cargo bay depressurized, jettisoning all the drones except Seven into space. Though the crew regain control of the dish, the rift has grown large enough to draw Voyager into it.
Voyager finds itself in "fluidic space", where Species 8472 originate. Seven asserts to Chakotay that since he refused to help, Voyager must face Species 8472 alone, revealing that the Borg started the war with them. Their argument is stopped when Janeway announces she has recovered and takes command of Voyager again. She has Chakotay placed in the brig and continues work on the weapon, as several bioships are detected heading towards them. The modifications are completed in time, and they are able to destroy the attacking ships.
Seven reverses the process that drew Voyager into fluidic space, but the ship appears in the middle of a bioship fleet. They quickly reapply their modifications to a large-scale weapon that destroys most of the enemy fleet. Seven then turns on the Voyager crew and tries to assimilate the consoles. The crew have prepared for this — Chakotay uses a neural relay to distract Seven long enough for Torres to electrify the console, knocking Seven out and breaking her connection to the Collective. Voyager resumes its course for the Alpha Quadrant.
The review in Entertainment Weekly praised Kate Mulgrew's performance in the first part of "Scorpion", saying that the "quietly desperate" character "adds a vitally important emotional core to the ensuing star wars". Furthermore, it added that being a female starship captain added a sense of unique "loneliness" to the character amongst the Star Trek series as the crew wasn't "male-bonded".
The Hollywood Reporter ranked "Scorpion" the fourth-best episode of all Star Trek:Voyager in 2016. And they ranked it 37th out 100 of the best of all Star Trek television episodes at that time. In 2017, Den of Geek rated the pair of "Scorpion" episodes among the top 50 Star Trek franchise episodes overall. In 2015, SyFy placed it among the top ten episodes of the Star Trek: Voyager series. In 2012, it was placed among the top 5 episodes of the series. In 2017, Netflix announced that Scorpion, Parts I and II were in the top ten most re-watched Star Trek episodes, also the episode after Scorpion, "The Gift" was in the top ten— when excluding the first two episodes of each series.
ScreenRant rated the Species 8472 bioship the most deadly spacecraft of the Star Trek science fiction universe in 2015, noting its destruction of 15 Borg Cubes as well as working with other bioships to make more powerful combined beam capable destroying an exoplanet. In 2012, Den of Geek listed this as an honorable mention for their ranking of the top ten episodes of Star Trek: Voyager.
SyFy recommend "Scorpion" as the first episode in their Seven of Nine binge-watching guide.
In 2016, Empire ranked this the 14th best out of the top 50 episodes of all the 700 plus Star Trek television episodes.
In 2018, CBR rated "Scorpion", as the 8th best multi episode story arc of all Star Trek.
In 2019, Nerdist suggested watching this two-part episode as part of an abbreviated watch guide featuring USS Voyager's confrontations with the Borg. IGN recommended "Scorpion, Part II" as an episode to watch before Star Trek: Picard.
In 2020, SyFy Wire ranked the Scorpion episode pair the seventh-best episode(s) of Star Trek: Voyager, they regard it as the action-packed turning point "for the series and franchise" featuring the introduction of Seven of Nine, many Borg cubes, and species 8472.
In 2020, Space.com and Tor.com recommended watching these episodes as background for Star Trek: Picard.
In 2020, The Digital Fix said that "Scorpion" was the best episode in season 3 of the show.
In 2020, ScreenRant said "Scorpion, Part II" was the third best, and "Scorpion, Part I" the second best episodes of Star Trek: Voyager, based on IMDB ratings of 8.9 out of 10, and 9 out of 10, respectively.
"Scorpion, Part I" was released on DVD on July 6, 2004 as part of Star Trek Voyager: Complete Third Season, with Dolby 5.1 surround audio. The season 3 DVD was released in the UK on September 6, 2004.
In 2017, the complete Star Trek: Voyager television series was released in a DVD box set , which included parts I and II.
"Scorpion" was included as part of the DVD set collection, Star Trek: Fan Collective – Borg released on March 7, 2006.
"Scorpion, Part II" was streamed for free on April 5, 2021 as part of the First Contact Day event on Startrek.com, along with several other episodes and roundtable discussions with Star Trek actors.