(written from a Production point of view)
Years after Voyager's return to the Alpha Quadrant, Admiral Kathryn Janeway resolves to alter the past in order to help her crew get home sooner. (Series finale)
Fireworks light up the San Francisco night. The long-lost Federation starship USS Voyager, now returned from its twenty-three years of travel 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.
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 serving as a reminder of what happened during their long journey home.
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 officer, 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 Tom Paris, the former flight control officer 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 after thirty-three years: Joe, Lana's grandfather's name.
B'Elanna Torres, Voyager's former chief engineer and wife of Tom Paris, 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, about her involvement in the Unimatrix Zero Borg Resistance Movement with Admiral Janeway. 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 amid a sea of sheets of paper, uncrumpling and then 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, thirty-three years before. But he is curious as to why, after giving him so much difficulty every time she was due for a physical for thirty-three 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 the hologram to sit and chat, which he does, and she then proceeds to ask him about a certain drug: chronexaline. At the mention of this, Joe becomes apprehensive, but he tells her that it is being tested at Starfleet Medical to determine if it can protect biomatter from tachyon radiation and that the results so far have been promising. Janeway asks him to get 2,000 mg for her by the following afternoon. Shocked, Joe asks Janeway why she needs the chronexaline, but Janeway tells him that that information is classified. Joe's faith in his former captain leads him to acquiesce to her request.
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. Trust me." 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 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 Crewman Chell, a Bolian, to take over as ship's chef, a position vacant since the departure of Neelix, their former chef. They laugh about his proposed menu choices, such as "Plasma Leek 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. Icheb then leaves, as he is due in astrometrics. Kim then sits down at the table feeling lucky. Tuvok, unsettled by his loss, excuses himself. Kim is annoyed, thinking Tuvok is just being a bad loser, and says that it's just a game.
Tuvok goes to sickbay and The Doctor examines him. The Doctor explains that Icheb is exceptionally bright and that he just may be a better player. But Tuvok 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. He happily informs her that he 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 wormholes. 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 the center of a nebula in the region. And there is not just one reading, but hundreds; hundreds of possible wormholes in one place. If confirmed to be wormholes, they've found the most densely concentrated source of them. 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, The Doctor (Joe) arrives, summoned by an attending 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 that he needs to contact Admiral Janeway, Barclay begins to act nervous and evades the question. Joe presses him, informing him of Janeway's request to him for chronexaline two days ago. 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 Barclay 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 see 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. 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 it.
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 and is now three light years away. Paris is thunderstruck at this, as they came within a mere ten meters of it. Tuvok surmises that the nebula interfered with the sensors of the cube, as it did with Voyager's.
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. Kim tries to change Paris' 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, shut down and almost killed her when she began experiencing strong emotions. This is a fail-safe designed by the Collective to kill drones who begin to experience such emotions, which could break their grip on a drone's mind, allowing his/her pre-assimilated individuality to reassert itself. The Doctor had told her he could remove the fail-safe. 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 fail-safe 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.
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 unintimidated, 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." Armor plates emerge from the ablative generator and 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 Negh'var warships attack, but do no damage whatsoever to the ablative armor. 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 Sovereign-class, Intrepid-class, and Nova-class. It is in fact, an advanced redesign of the Nova-class, designated the USS Rhode Island, at vector 121 mark 6. 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.
Admiral Janeway sternly tries to assert her superior rank, but to no avail; Captain Kim tells her that Barclay informed Joe 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 an anguished 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.
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.
The Rhode Island returns. 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 observed 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.
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, having given it up long ago. 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, such as her favorite coffee cup getting dented. The fact that they do return home someday is of great comfort to Janeway. Voyager even becomes a museum, from 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 she entered three days ago. Their suspicions, she says, were 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 sixteen 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.
- "Captain's personal log, stardate 54973.4. We've begun outfitting Voyager with Admiral Janeway's upgrades. As soon as the major modifications are complete we'll reverse course and head back to the nebula. Though I've had some strange experiences in my career, nothing quite compares to the sight of my future self briefing my officers on technology that hasn't been invented yet."
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. 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, sitting on a biobed. The two Janeways are present as The Doctor treats her. She has regained 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 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, and it encases 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 prolonged assault starts to tell; Tuvok reports port 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. Two torpedoes streak out from the aft launcher. They hit and instantly destroy 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 dying star, orbiting 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 straight for it.
But Captain Janeway belays the order, and demands that Admiral Janeway tell her what the structure 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 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. 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 keeps him alive after that is the will to get 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 twenty-two 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. There is a cure in the Alpha Quadrant, but by the time they get there, the disease will have progressed so far that it will become incurable, his logic will be severely damaged, and he will become senile. He will thus spend the rest of his life in a mental hospital. 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, no other Vulcan will do. 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, reminding them that she chose to strand Voyager in the Delta Quadrant in order to protect the Ocampa. 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 chance to save countless lives if they sacrifice it. 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 and Voyager 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 to Captain Janeway 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 her counterpart 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.
Captain Janeway asks why they have to settle for just destroying the hub, when there's got to be a way to destroy it and still use it to return Voyager home remembering that she and the crew did something similar before. 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 "it's about time you showed up; I'm not getting any younger." Captain Janeway smiles and sits with her. She seriously asks her "you're sure you want to do this?" Admiral Janeway responds quite wryly: "No", but she reminds her it is the only way, and that "Voyager isn't big enough for 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 "I'm glad I got to know you 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, agitated, paces about. 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 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 apparent 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 scoffs, telling Janeway that it 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 twenty-six-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 compliments 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. The whole maneuver had been a set up, and the Borg Queen had taken the bait. By assimilating Janeway, the Queen had contracted the neurolytic pathogen she carried in her bloodstream. That pathogen is now in her, and racing throughout the Collective. Janeway had done it in order to break the Queen's control over the manifold shielding around the transwarp conduits. Now Voyager, with its transphasic torpedoes, can tear it apart. The Queen 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 and the pathogen, 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 she has no future, Admiral Janeway will never have existed, and everything that she has done today will never happen. 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 thirty 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, 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 just prior to this include a Galaxy-class, an Akira-class, a Defiant-class, a Nebula-class, an Excelsior-class, a Miranda-class, a Saber-class, and a Prometheus-class. Admiral Paris has a channel opened to the fleet and orders it to use all necessary force against any Borg vessels that emerge.
The sphere that was chasing Voyager emerges from the collapsing transwarp conduit in front of the fleet that now comprises twenty-seven ships. Immediately the ships open fire but cause no significant damage. On Voyager's bridge, the officers are quiet, expectant. Janeway asks Paris where they are. His answer: "Right where we expected to be." Seven of Nine then confirms that the transwarp network has been destroyed. Captain Janeway 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. Then shock is immediately replaced by overjoyed amazement. Out of the explosion flies Voyager, safely back in the Alpha Quadrant.
On Voyager's bridge, Captain Janeway and the bridge officers watch the fleet before them, silently. They are stunned speechless by what they've just accomplished. After seven years and a seeming eternity of struggling for survival in the most distant reaches of the galaxy, the crew of Voyager has achieved the impossible; they are finally home. 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 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:
"Set a course… for home."
The fleet is seen in formation around Voyager, escorting her, slowly, toward Earth.
"It's you who underestimated us."
- - Admiral Janeway, to the Borg Queen
"My invitation must have gotten lost in subspace."
- - Tom Paris, when The Doctor and his new wife Lana arrive at the party
"You wish to ensure the well-being of your collective. I can appreciate that."
- - Borg Queen, to Admiral Janeway
"Nobody can guarantee what's going to happen tomorrow, not even an admiral from the future!"
- - Chakotay, to Seven of Nine
"I haven't told anyone, but I'm thinking of asking Dexa to marry me."
"She'd be wise to accept."
- - Neelix and Seven of Nine
"You're sure I can't talk you out of this?"
(Admiral Janeway looks at him)
"Right, stupid question."
- - Harry Kim, to Admiral Janeway
"Mr. Paris. Voyager's pilot, medic, and occasional thorn in my side…"
- - Tom Paris and The Doctor
"You can't blame a hologram for being curious."
- - The Doctor, to Captain Janeway
"Can she stand?"
"Then I suggest you report to sickbay."
"What about B'Elanna?"
- - The Doctor and Tom Paris, in response to another false labor from Torres
"I want this thing out of me, now!"
- - B'Elanna Torres, after experiencing false labor again
"That baby's as stubborn as her mother."
"Harry's starting a pool to see who can guess the actual date and time of birth."
"Tell him to put me down for next Friday, 23:00 hours."
- - Janeway and Chakotay, on Tom and B'Elanna's latest false labor
"Try to relax, lieutenant."
"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
"I might actually win."
"The baby pool. Today, 1500 hours."
"I'm so glad I could accommodate you."
- - Paris and Torres, upon finding out that Torres is giving birth for real
"Don't celebrate yet. Klingon labor sometimes lasts several days."
(Torres screams and seizes him by jacket collar)
"Of course, I'm sure that won't be the case here."
- - The Doctor and B'Elanna Torres, during her labor
"Let's get this show on the road."
- - B'Elanna Torres, about to give birth to her child (also her last words in the series)
"I decided I couldn't get married without a name."
"It took you thirty-three years to come up with Joe?!"
- - Tom Paris to The Doctor, regarding the name he chose for himself
"Don't you want to get home?"
"I am home, Harry."
"Captain Proton would never walk away from a mission like this."
"Captain Proton doesn't have a wife, and a baby on the way."
- - Harry Kim and Tom Paris, discussing using the Delta Flyer to fly into a Borg infested nebula with transwarp conduits
"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
"I told them I had to bring you back to Starfleet Medical for treatment of a rare disease."
"I hope it isn't terminal.
"No, but it has been known to affect judgment!"
- - Captain Kim and Admiral Janeway
"Three days ago, you detected elevated neutrino emissions in a nebula in grid 986. You thought it might be a way home. You were right. I've come to tell you to take Voyager back to that nebula."
"It was crawling with Borg!"
"I've brought technology that'll get us past them."
(Captain Janeway looks very skeptical)
"Oh, I don't blame you for being skeptical… (smiles) but if you can't trust yourself, who can you trust?"
- - Admiral Janeway and Captain Janeway
"And of course there's Tuvok."
"What about him?"
"You're forgetting the Temporal Prime Directive, captain."
"The hell with it."
- - Admiral Janeway and Captain Janeway, about the crew's future
"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
"I would prefer it if you not speak to me as though we are on intimate terms."
"We are on intimate terms!"
- - Seven of Nine and Chakotay
"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
"What do you want?"
"Do I need a reason to visit a friend?"
"We're not friends."
"No… we're more than that. We're family."
- - Seven of Nine and the Borg Queen
"Wherever I end up… I'm going to make sure it's within transporter range of you."
- - Chakotay, discussing the future with Seven of Nine
"I don't know how you do it. All those voices talking at once. You must get terrible headaches."
- - Admiral Janeway, to the Borg Queen about the Collective
"What the hell is it?!"
"It's a transwarp aperture, it's less than a light year from Earth."
"How many Borg ships?"
"We can't get a clear reading, but the graviton emissions are off the scale."
"I want every ship within range to converge on those coordinates, now!"
- - Admiral Paris and Barclay
"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
"We did it."
- - Captain Janeway, after not only destroying the Borg hub, but also, completing the journey home
"Thanks for your help, Admiral Janeway."
- - Captain Janeway, after getting home
"Sorry to surprise you; next time, we'll call ahead."
- - Captain Janeway, to Admiral Paris after Voyager's rather dramatic return to the Alpha Quadrant
"Sickbay to the bridge. Doctor to Lieutenant Paris. There's someone here who'd like to say "Hello".
- - The Doctor, upon Torres giving birth to her and Paris' baby (also The Doctor's last words in the series)
"Set a course… for home."
- - Captain Kathryn Janeway, after Voyager's triumphant return. (This was the last line of the series. It was also the last line spoken by Captain Janeway in the show's pilot episode, VOY: "Caretaker".) – file info
Story and script
- In the years prior to the writing of this episode, an ultimately undeveloped two-parter was to have seen Voyager apparently return to Earth with a fireworks display, as happens in the first few moments of this installment. It was Brannon Braga who thought up that idea. As the story proceeded, the vessel was to have been revealed as a biomimetic duplicate of the actual Voyager. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 31, No. 11, p. 49) One reason this story concept was abandoned was that the writing staff thought it would undermine the actual return of the real Voyager to Earth, which the creative team, even then, intended to eventually have happen. (Star Trek: Action!, p. 6)
- Another early-proposed element of this outing was the birth of a baby parented by B'Elanna Torres and Tom Paris. Even before production on season 7 of Star Trek: Voyager commenced, the series' writing staff knew they wanted to feature this event prior to the series ending its run. (Star Trek Monthly issue 80, p. 68)
- To prepare for the conclusion of Star Trek: Voyager, Executive Producers Rick Berman and Kenneth Biller started thinking about the finale right from the seventh season's beginning, as they knew it would be the series' last season. (Star Trek Magazine issue 179, p. 27) The episode was "based on a story that Rick Berman and I and our old pal Brannon Braga cooked up. Rick and I have been talking about the finale through the whole season, and we brought Brannon in to consult and he was extremely helpful. The three of us cooked up this story in meetings." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 133, p. 17) After seven long years, this episode represented, finally, an opportunity to establish whether Captain Janeway and her crew would return home after being stranded in the Delta Quadrant. (Star Trek Magazine issue 121, p. 77) Berman later stated, "There was a lot of thought that went into, 'Are we going to bring these people home or not?' and 'Who is going to live and who is going to die?'" (Star Trek Magazine issue 179, p. 27) There was never any doubt of whether they'd return to the Alpha Quadrant by the end of the show's run; still to be considered was how and when they would make the return trip, as opposed to if they would manage it. (Star Trek Magazine issue 164, p. 72) From the very start of the season, the writing staff and everyone else involved with the series hence contemplated how and when the ship might ultimately reach home. As regards this dilemma, the writing staffers wondered how to both satisfy and excite the audience while also surprising the viewers. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 33, No. 5, p. 38)
- As had been the case with the previous two Star Trek series – Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – the Star Trek: Voyager creative team had the luxury of cancelling the show themselves. (Star Trek Magazine issue 121, p. 77) As had been the case with TNG, the decision was taken with Star Trek: Voyager to conclude the series with one final episode. Whereas DS9 had been granted the luxury of a multi-part ending, Voyager fans would have to be content, for better or worse, with this two-hour series finale. (Star Trek Monthly issue 89, p. 57) Unlike the previous two series finales, however, this episode was written as a two-parter rather than a single episode. Like its pair of predecessors, though, this series finale was given a single production number and was assigned one director for the entire project.
- One of the primary goals in crafting this episode's plot was to create a story which would be "epic" in scope. (Star Trek Magazine issue 121, p. 77) In fact, the installment's writers wanted it to at least match, if not exceed, the quality of previous Star Trek series enders. "I think we had some big shoes to fill," related Rick Berman. "If you look at the final episodes of ST:TNG and ST:DS9, they have a certain sweeping heroic quality to them. I think they focused not only on our characters, but also on an action/adventure story on the grander Human scale. We wanted the same thing to be true of the last episode of Voyager." The writers not only attempted to make this a very ambitious, epic adventure but also a summation of the series at large. Brannon Braga offered, "What we've tried to do is create an episode that taps into the core emotions that have been at play since the first episode, in terms of the crew getting home and what it means to them, how they might do it or not. We knew that we wanted a really great villain involved. We had to make sure it had scope. We've worked on a couple of these series finales now, so we kind of know the ingredients we want to put in there." (Star Trek Monthly issue 80, pp. 4, 40 & 78) Despite that, Ken Biller conceded, "No matter what story we chose, it would be hard [to avoid it resonating with the events of the series' pilot episode, 'Caretaker']. We always knew there were different directions to take." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 133, pp. 19 & 21)
- One direction that the writers never seriously considered was revealing that the events of the series had actually been merely a dream. "Although we certainly joked about that: 'It's all a dream – they never left!'" remembered Ken Biller, laughing. (Star Trek: Communicator issue 133, p. 21)
- For the antagonist in this episode, the writers definitely had one particular group in mind. "We always knew that the Borg would have something to do with it," Ken Biller recalled, "because they've been Voyager's nemesis throughout the series and we figured they should figure a role in the finale." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 133, p. 18)
- It was Rick Berman who suggested this episode involve time travel, which invited analogies between "Endgame" and the final episode of TNG, "All Good Things...". The writers were mindful of the fact such comparisons would inevitably be made. Recalled Ken Biller, "I said, 'We don't have to shy away from that. It's a different set of characters, and a different show, and ultimately it is a different story. The only thing that it has in common is that they do involve time travel.'" (Cinefantastique, Vol. 34, No. 1, p. 40) The decision to use time travel as an essential aspect of this episode's plot was made very quickly. (Star Trek Magazine issue 121, p. 77)
- Work proceeded on determining the destinies of Star Trek: Voyager's main characters. "We always knew we were going to resolve the Tom and B'Elanna pregnancy. We started to come up with storylines for the different people," Ken Biller remembered. "We decided that a big epic show could use some romance." The writer-producers realized this episode could be influenced, if they chose, by previous hints of a romance between Chakotay and Seven of Nine, earlier in the series run of Voyager. "Why not just go for it? That's what we did," Biller offered. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 34, No. 1, p. 40) The writers reused another character, Korath, from Star Trek: The Experience. (Star Trek Monthly issue 81, p. 10)
- Robert Picardo had a hand in indirectly influencing how this episode depicted his own character of The Doctor. He explained, "The finale […] was really plotted out by Rick Berman and Ken Biller. But I think what happens specifically to The Doctor is a reflection of themes that I've been part of helping to suggest and establish [during the series]." (Star Trek Monthly issue 80, p. 61)
- Kate Mulgrew was involved in selecting the story choices used in this episode. (Star Trek Magazine issue 169, p. 20; ) At a point when she was unaware what Janeway's fate would be, Mulgrew expressed her hopes for the series finale. "I think Rick Berman and Brannon Braga know where I stand, but ideally I'd like to see a very poignant ending," she explained. "I don't think this one should have a red ribbon on it. I think it should be unprecedented and bold, and rather stunning. What that means I do not know, but I don't think it should have a fluid ending." Mulgrew was specifically pleased to learn there was strong fan support for the possibility that Janeway would go down with her ship. "That's the truest to the entire story, and that's the way it should be," she opined. "I hope that we don't wuss out. It should have a very strong, stunning ending. The viewers have invested in the characters, and it's payoff time." (Star Trek Monthly issue 74, pp. 21-22) Mulgrew voiced at least some of these wishes to the show's creative personnel. "I said, 'I think Janeway has to go down with the ship, but not at the full cost of her being,'" Mulgrew recalled. "We had to figure out how to do that." (Star Trek Magazine issue 169, p. 20)
- The way in which the writing staff tried to work Kate Mulgrew's sacrificial notion into the episode was originally somewhat different from how it turned out, involving a concept that went on to be cannibalized for the two-parter "Unimatrix Zero" and "Unimatrix Zero, Part II". (Star Trek Magazine issue 171, p. 52) This idea had Janeway boldly surrendering to the Borg, allowing them to assimilate a battle-damaged Voyager and its crew. (Star Trek Magazine issue 171, p. 52; Star Trek Magazine issue 114, p. 38) The Doctor would then activate a reverse assimilation virus. (Star Trek Magazine issue 114, p. 38) Bryan Fuller continued, "As we were assimilating the Borg ship from the inside, and re-assimilating ourselves, we would use a Borg trans-warp conduit to get back home. The idea was this great final image of the Borg armada approaching Earth, and then out of the belly of the beast of the lead ship came Voyager, destroying all of the other Borg in its trail. It felt like an epic conclusion to Janeway's journey with the Borg, and freeing Seven of Nine. That got abandoned somewhere along the road." (Star Trek Magazine issue 171, p. 52)
- A complex quandary was whether to return Voyager and crew to their original setting. Brannon Braga remembered, "The biggest decision, of course, was whether or not we actually wanted them to get home. That was a decision that really came down to the wire." (Star Trek Monthly issue 80, p. 78) The writers made a determination pertaining to this issue, which was quickly reversed once the story developed. (Star Trek Magazine issue 121, p. 77) Only at the end of the writing process did the writer-producers realize the audience needed to see Voyager's return to the Alpha Quadrant, in a turn of events which wiped out the alternate timeline while also returning Captain Janeway and her crew home. "I think that was a clear, thematic decision," Ken Biller reflected. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 34, No. 1, p. 40) Kate Mulgrew's idea that Janeway make a partial sacrifice, to save Voyager, in this installment led to the concept of Admiral Janeway making such a sacrifice whereas the usual version of the character persisted. (Star Trek Magazine issue 169, p. 20)
- All things considered, working out this series finale's story took a huge amount of time. Shortly after the episode was written, Rick Berman recalled, "Ken Biller, Rob Doherty, Brannon [Braga] and myself have worked for weeks on a very complex storyline." (Star Trek Monthly issue 80, p. 4) Biller, speaking in March 2001, stated that the meetings to devise the narrative had taken place "over the course of the last several months." He proceeded to comment, "The actual specifics of the story for the finale were still in play and in flux, I would say, up until (early February). And then we pretty much locked down what we wanted to do. But we bandied it about throughout the year […] We've gone back and forth about certain things, how we are going to solve them." Indeed, the entire episode was still able to be radically altered right up until the end of the scripting process. (Star Trek: Communicator issue 133, pp. 17 & 18)
- Rob Dougherty, a story editor on the series, was brought into the process by Ken Biller, because he "wanted a collaborator to write the teleplay with," in Biller's words. (Star Trek: Communicator issue 133, p. 17) This episode marked the final Star Trek contributions from not only Biller and Doherty, but also from fellow writer-producer Michael Taylor.
- The details of this episode's story were kept under tight wraps. Eager to retain the episode's multiple surprise aspects, the creative staff didn't want any of the big events depicted to be publicly revealed too quickly. (Star Trek Monthly issue 80, p. 39) "They [the producers] wanted to keep the storyline a secret, so it was all done on a need-to-know basis," Richard Herd analyzed. (Star Trek Monthly issue 81, p. 49) Ken Biller admitted, "I'm sure there are images in the promos that will tantalize people, but I'd like to keep as much of it secret as long as I can." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 133, p. 17) One plot point the episode's writers wanted to keep secret, if possible, is that Voyager returns home. (Star Trek Monthly issue 80, p. 78)
- On Tuesday 13 March 2001, Ken Biller was still working on the script (the episode was intended to enter production on the following Monday) and was interviewed by Larry Nemecek for Star Trek: Communicator issue 133, p. 17. "Actually, the only reason [the script]'s not finished yet," Biller explained, "is it's a two-hour script and we're trying to prep (design and plan) both hours at the same time […] Since we have the same director for the entire finale – Allan Kroeker – once he starts shooting he has no more prep time!" On the other hand, the remaining scenes were not massive, and the various departments had been given enough time to prepare for the start of production to go ahead as per scheduled.
- When Director Allan Kroeker arrived to commence his pre-production work on this installment, he was surprised no script was yet available, even though Ken Biller usually paid a lot of attention to delivering scripts on time. "This one was delayed because it had to be decided how the series would end," explained Kroeker. During lunch, Biller relayed the episode's story to Kroeker and the First Assistant Director, Jerry Fleck. "When the script arrived, we were duly impressed," Kroeker pronounced, "because the script followed – down to a tee – every beat Ken had described to us [during the episode's production meeting]." (Star Trek Magazine issue 121, p. 78)
Cast and characters
- Though the entire cast and crew usually received a copy of each Star Trek: Voyager script before the making of its related episode, the drastic security measures to maintain the secrecy of the events meant only the cast of "Endgame" had its script. Secrecy was so tight, in fact, that even the actors didn't receive full copies of this episode's teleplay. "We were getting pages sent out piece by piece in top-secret envelopes," divulged Tom Paris actor Robert Duncan McNeill. (Star Trek Monthly issue 80, p. 22)
- Mere weeks before participating in the making of this series finale, Kate Mulgrew was still uncertain if Voyager would finally reach Earth. (Star Trek Monthly issue 80, p. 30) She was happy with this episode while acting in it. During a break in the filming, Mulgrew stated she expected viewers to be "unsettled by what the writers have come up with," but characterized the series' outcome as "profoundly clever and very moving." (Star Trek Monthly issue 80, p. 4) In this episode, she loved playing both Captain Janeway and Admiral Janeway. (Star Trek Monthly issue 94, p. 41) Mulgrew enjoyed this episode in general. She said, "The sharp edges of loneliness, I think, were very much in play for Janeway [generally]. And that made the ultimate sacrifice that much more delicious. The admiral sacrificed her life so that the captain could persevere. That's who I really was as Janeway […] I was very proud of 'Endgame', partly because I had a hand in the choices, the story. I loved it. There's no way you're going to satisfy everyone after a seven-year investment […] It's heartbreaking, an ending of any kind. But I thought our finale was a pretty good way to say goodbye."  Of how Janeway's sacrifice was finally executed in the script, Mulgrew also noted, "I thought it was splendid." Mulgrew's most lasting memories from the final days of filming were "mostly how hard it was to say goodbye." Towards the end of the shooting period, she recalled some very memorable advice which Patrick Stewart had given her in the first week of production on Voyager's first season. "He said, 'If you do this well and approach it with vigor and discipline, this will be the work that will make you the proudest of any work you will do.' And that's exactly how I felt the last days, with tears running down my cheeks […] I remember thinking how foolish Human beings are. We think it's long, but it's nothing. It's a moment. I was very proud." (Star Trek Magazine issue 169, p. 20) In retrospect, Mulgrew enthused about the finale, "Every aspect of it pleased me. It's beautiful […] I just loved the story, and was really determined to do it well. I feel certain that we did. I would be so disappointed if it were less than great." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 34, No. 1, p. 29) Mulgrew cited this episode as the one which "most exemplified Janeway as a captain." (Star Trek Magazine issue 128, p. 27) She concluded, "I think in the end it was just about as excellent as it could have been under those extraordinary circumstances." (Star Trek Monthly issue 85, p. 23)
- Whereas Susanna Thompson had previously portrayed the Borg Queen on Voyager, this episode features a return of Alice Krige to the role, she having originally established the part in the film Star Trek: First Contact. "When they asked me to do the finale," Krige explained, "I believe it was because Susanna was doing something else. I was very happy to go back and join everyone." (Star Trek Magazine issue 169, p. 52) Though she chose not to be influenced by Thompson's portrayal of the role (none of which she watched), Krige did take some inspiration from the Voyager scripts which the Borg Queen had been written into, including the new teleplay for "Endgame". 
- With numerous years having passed between the production of First Contact and her work on this episode, Alice Krige found that appearing in this installment vastly differed from her previous Star Trek appearance. The amount of difference actually led Krige to unexpectedly become panic stricken, very shortly before reprising the role of the Borg Queen. (Star Trek Magazine issue 169, p. 52) "It was very different in that this time (on Voyager) I was actually working with two women (Kate Mulgrew and Jeri Ryan)," she said. "There's a very different energy to that; delightful and just as interesting and just as challenging, but quite different."  Krige also stated, "I was thinking, 'Oh goodness. That kind of sexual tension that existed between Data and the Borg Queen, and indeed Picard and the Borg Queen, I am now doing it with two women!' I called one of the producers and said, 'Now what?' And the producer, with good insight, said, 'Don't worry. Just think of the Borg Queen as omni-sexual.' Well, it just became very interesting. The thing about the Borg Queen, Data, and Picard is it's all about power. There really was no reason why she wouldn't use the same energy on Seven of Nine, to manipulate her. With Janeway, it was two fairly formidable opponents coming up against each other." (Star Trek Magazine issue 169, p. 52)
- Richard Herd, who portrayed Admiral Paris, was delighted to have been written into this series finale. "I had always hoped to be in the final episode," he said, "but I didn't know anything for sure until just before we shot it [owing to the project's secrecy] […] I feel very fortunate to have been a part of it, especially if you think about how many other guest stars have been in the show before […] And now, thanks to 'Endgame', I'm a part of Star Trek: Voyager history." Herd expected this outing would "gratify and satisfy" long-time viewers. (Star Trek Monthly issue 81, p. 49) He admitted that his "only frustration with Voyager" was with the episode's conclusion. The actor went on to explain, "I was hoping […] when I finally had a chance to see my son, that we'd have had a few sentences. I was hoping to say, 'It's been so long' or 'Welcome home, son.' But we never had that opportunity to talk, just to stare at each other."  However, regarding the fatherly bond, Herd concluded, "You'll find other things in the finale that offer a wonderful resolution." (Star Trek Monthly issue 81, p. 49)
- Robert Beltran speculated that he may have inspired the romantic storyline between his character of Chakotay and Seven of Nine. "Because Jeri Ryan and Brannon Braga were going out together, and the fact that Chakotay never really had a romantic interest, I challenged Brannon through Jeri to get our characters together. I said, 'Jeri, I know there's no way that we'll ever get a scene together where we kiss, because Brannon would never allow that.' She laughed and said, 'I'm gonna tell him you said that,' and I said, 'Yeah, you do that.' So I think that was his way of saying, 'You think I'm jealous?' you know." (Star Trek Monthly issue 98, p. 40) A noted critic of the writing and characterizations on the show, Beltran had several gripes about the final episode. He complained that the episode was written with a lack of care, too quickly wrapping up some well-established story arcs. Additionally, Beltran theorized that the episode was written out of frustration over Voyager's audience ratings, stating about the writers, "They took it out on us by saying, 'This show's no good. Let's get it over with as quickly as possible so we can fix it for the next one.'"  Beltran also rhetorically asked about the installment, "This is what we're going out with?" and claimed the episode made him feel vindicated about his belief that the writers were "idiots," saying it was unfortunate that the fans were "going to have to sit through it."  On the other hand, Beltran also cited this episode as a highlight for showing some personal aspects of Chakotay's life, particularly the relationship with Seven of Nine. Moreover, the actor remarked about this romance, "I'm glad they've done it […] What you get in the finale is pretty sudden, but it's good stuff. I just wish they'd done it earlier, so we could have had more time to explore the relationship between them." (Star Trek Monthly issue 81, p. 20) Beltran also considered it "just unfortunate" that the romance wasn't gradually developed and critiqued, "It's just too bad they [the producers] just sort of threw it together at the end." (Star Trek Monthly issue 98, p. 40)
- Garrett Wang had mixed feelings about this feature-length episode. "I think the first hour of the finale was fantastic, very exciting, well written, good pacing," he commented. "Everything was great about the first hour, but then the second hour it just seemed like it tied up all of the loose ends very quickly. So, the second half of the finale I was not happy about, and I especially didn't like the fact that we ended the series in Earth's orbit. We don't even step foot on Earth. Hello! After seven years, I think the fans wanted to see us actually step foot on terra firma." Wang went on to say that, if he had been running Star Trek: Voyager, he would have kept the series finale's first half exactly as it is but ended the series with a caption reading, "To be continued at a theater near you," an advertisement for a two-hour Voyager movie that he would then have done.  In addition, Wang once joked that the series finale of Voyager should have included his character of Ensign Kim having a passionate affair with Captain Janeway. (Star Trek Magazine issue 175, p. 65)
- Roughly six months after appearing herein, Roxann Dawson expressed satisfaction with how this episode wrapped up the series. "My only criticism, if I have one, is that I wish we had started to deal with the ending a little bit earlier, instead of just in that last two-hour episode," she commented. "I thought that would have been nice, but I think the producers dealt with it very well. I liked the ending." (Star Trek Monthly issue 87, p. 23) In a 2015 interview, Dawson commented that – even though she could see merit in the idea of at least part of an episode dealing with the Voyager crew being home again – she considered the absence of such footage as "not really a regret." (Star Trek Magazine issue 180, p. 26)
- While working on this installment, Robert Picardo was pleased to discuss and promote the series finale. He specified this was "because I want a lot of people to see it and I want it to be a gratifying conclusion to something I've enjoyed a great deal." Picardo felt that thinking about the possibility of him later appearing in the Star Trek franchise helped him to prepare himself for his final day before the cameras. He reckoned, "I think the fans of The Doctor in particular will smile." (Star Trek Monthly issue 80, pp. 59 & 61) As well as appreciating this episode, Picardo observed that Admiral Janeway's alteration of the timeline left uncertainties about what eventually happens to The Doctor, such as the potentialities of his relationship with Lana and other characters. "Whether or not The Doctor really gets that particular blonde babe remains unclear," Picardo pointed out. "Who knows, maybe in the new possible future he'll wind up with Seven of Nine." Thinking further about the fact the timeline was altered, the actor remarked, "That was OK. This is science fiction." Picardo, who had experience of interacting with himself by playing The Doctor and Dr. Lewis Zimmerman, went on to enthuse, "I really liked the finale. Kate just did a superb job talking to herself […] I thought Kate was absolutely seamless. You really bought the different versions of her. I thought the two hours were very exciting […] The moment of emotional payoff was a little truncated. Other than that, the finale was a nice pay-off to the series." (Star Trek Monthly issue 90, p. 22)
- Tuvok actor Tim Russ regarded the end of Voyager with calm calculation, doing his utmost not to let any emotion or sentiment cloud his judgment. "I feel it's time to wrap the show," he said, during a break from filming "Endgame". "Better to go out while you're still strong […] It feels like the end of a long journey, not unlike the show's concept." He thought this series ender was indeed strong. "I think it's going to be a great final two-part show," Russ commented. (Star Trek Monthly issue 80, p. 71) Even though some of his fellow cast members were somewhat dissatisfied with the focus of "Endgame", Russ didn't share their feelings, instead retaining his optimism about the episode. "I thought [it] […] was brilliantly done," he remarked, "because the writers did it in a non-linear fashion. It wasn't what people expected in terms of a plot sequence. They did it in reverse, basically." Because it was told in a way he believed to have been unexpected, Russ considered this episode's plot as being "consistent with the way the writing is on Star Trek." The actor was not overly concerned that the series finale didn't especially concentrate on the ensemble, focusing more on the two Janeways. Russ treasured the unusual way in which the Tuvok of the future was depicted and the fact that the Vulcan's mental downfall was a motivating factor for Admiral Janeway's attempt to return Voyager earlier than in the two characters' own timeline. "That was a great twist. It was something totally unexpected, and I thought it was really brilliantly done." Russ was also of the opinion that, due to the admiral's actions, Tuvok's fate was likely changed. "So again, true to form, everything comes out positive in the end." (Star Trek Monthly issue 85, p. 32)
- By the time of filming, Jeri Ryan understood the requirement of and reasoning for the secrecy which surrounded the making of this installment. (Star Trek Monthly issue 80, p. 39) Ryan took a long time to watch "Endgame". She considered the episode "bittersweet." (Star Trek Monthly issue 85, p. 19) The actress found the romance between her Seven of Nine character and Chakotay "frustrating." Ryan stated, "I don't think it was a bad idea. Just the way they did it came out of left field. I think Robert [Beltran] and I had kind of a hard time with that." (Star Trek Magazine issue 143, p. 51)
- Robert Duncan McNeill changed his opinion of the intense secrecy. "At first, I was annoyed," McNeill professed, "but then I realised as I was getting the [script] pages that I was more excited about getting this script than any other script I've had in a while. I thought, 'If I'm getting so excited reading it, it's going to work with the audience.'" (Star Trek Monthly issue 80, p. 22) As it turned out, McNeill deemed this installment a fitting end to the series. "I think the last episode is very bittersweet," he proclaimed. "It's got a lot of action and a lot of surprises, but I also think it honours every character in the show in their own special way and gives us a chance to kind of peek into the future and see what kind of directions they will be heading in their lives. It kinda bookends our journey in many ways. And I think it resolves the show for everybody in a really heartfelt way. Also, it's a sci-fi show, so there are a lot of surprises and a lot of action and a lot of twists and turns. It's not all tears and goodbyes and end of show. There's a lot of heart, but there's also a lot of surprises and a lot of action." (Star Trek Monthly issue 80, pp. 67-68)
- During filming of this episode, the cast members frantically sought each other's autographs. They did this so they could later auction signed items for charities. (Star Trek Monthly issue 80, p. 61)
- There were mixed emotions among the cast members during the making of "Endgame". "There was a sense of sadness that something very good was ending," observed Richard Herd. "I think the actors also felt very fortunate to have been a part of a series that lasted seven years, and were pleased with the growth of their characters over that time. But there was also a feeling that it was time to move on and pick up their lives. So I don't think people were too upset, but at the same time, they certainly weren't jumping for joy." (Star Trek Monthly issue 81, p. 49)
- One performer in this series finale, Jessie, was suffering from cystic fibrosis when he featured in this installment. He was provided the opportunity to appear as a "wish" from the charity Make-A-Wish Foundation. (info from Lisa Vanasco)
- Even before production on this episode began, Kate Mulgrew predicted the timing of the filming's conclusion. She reckoned, "I think we'll finish in April  […] We'll have lots of stuff to do to really wrap it all up. We're going to have to do all the second unit work and all the post-production, so I can't see it being completed until the middle or the end of April." (Star Trek Monthly issue 74, p. 21)
- As well as directing this series finale, Allan Kroeker also directed the series finales of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Enterprise. This was also the final Star Trek episode that Production Designer Richard James worked on.
- Depicting the future alternate timeline of this series finale presented tasks for creative personnel such as Set Designer Tim Earls. "The challenge with 'Endgame' was trying to project the design and technological advances of Star Trek Voyager's time period a few years into the future," Earls related. "Projecting advances by a few centuries is a little easier because almost anything is possible. Future Janeway's apartment [including a small wall console], her desktop monitor and Starfleet shuttle were three of the elements I worked on for that episode." (Star Trek Magazine issue 121, p. 83) Set Decorator James Mees stated, "'Endgame' was huge. There was a lot of emotional stuff going on; people wanted to make everything perfect because it was the last [one]. I think our sets turned out quite well." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 3, Issue 3, p. 85)
- The making of this series finale was so shrouded in secrecy that few managed to gain access to the Paramount sound stages used and even fewer saw a complete script for the installment. Even members of the production crew receiving script alterations were granted only the necessary pages, in envelopes marked personal and confidential. (Star Trek Monthly issue 80, p. 39)
- This episode was filmed over a time span of about two-and-a-half weeks. (Star Trek Monthly issue 80, p. 4) The duration of the shoot was exactly fifteen days. (Star Trek Magazine issue 121, p. 79) The episode's shooting schedule included sixteen days, though.
- Production on this episode was scheduled to begin on Monday 19 March 2001. The first scene shot was the one in which Chakotay and Seven of Nine share their first couple of kisses in Chakotay's quarters but are then called to the bridge. That scene was filmed on Paramount Stage 8 and required a permit for candles to be involved in the scene. Filmed next was the conversation between Janeway and Chakotay in which, in the captain's ready room (on Stage 8), they talk about the false alarms in B'Elanna Torres' pregnancy and discuss Chell's cooking. (Information from shooting schedule)
- While production on this installment was under way, Kate Mulgrew and Allan Kroeker labored over long hours. Mulgrew recollected, "We worked so hard […] because we were alone for most of it." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 34, No. 1, p. 29)
- The first scene scheduled to be shot with Kate Mulgrew portraying Admiral Janeway was planned to be filmed on 22 March 2001. (Information from shooting schedule)
- Kate Mulgrew's dialogue for this episode was intense and usually any time she had away from the set, she was in the make-up trailer, her hair being coiffed for her next shot. (Star Trek Monthly issue 80, p. 42) Despite finding it easy to adopt the persona of Admiral Janeway, Mulgrew found it difficult to portray the two versions of Janeway interacting with each other. (Star Trek Monthly issue 94, p. 41) She was tasked with memorizing the timings and dialogue for both sides of these scenes, for which extensive motion-control technology was used. (Star Trek Magazine issue 121, pp. 79 & 80) Mulgrew noted, "[It was] very difficult, a lot of […] split-screen, highly technical stuff, which is often threatening to the creative process." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 34, No. 1, p. 29) The actress elaborated, "They were technically the most challenging scenes of my life. And that too was interesting to me. I was playing to nothing […] I had to really believe that she is there while I was looking at a dot or maybe there's a stand-in or something. But that's the work of the imagination, which is exactly what we're paid to do, right?" (Star Trek Monthly issue 94, p. 41) Filming the two Janeways involved a complicated shooting schedule. Mulgrew stated, "I didn't have the luxury of shooting Admiral Janeway completely, and then Captain Janeway completely, because we were working together in so many scenes. But I embraced the challenge." (Star Trek Monthly issue 85, p. 23) The production of these scenes proved time-consuming and technically difficult. Explained Allan Kroeker, "The process of filming her interacting with 'herself' was feasible, firstly because of Kate's discipline and precision as an actress, and also thanks to our […] Visual-Effects Team, namely [Visual Effects Producer] Dan Curry and [Visual Effects Supervisor] Ron Moore […] When I was planning my shots, Dan Curry urged me to stage the choreography of the two Janeways as if there were two actresses in the scene. He said, 'Just think of how you would want to shoot it, how you would want to tell the story.' Dan and Ron would then figure out how to transpose my choreography into motional control. I was able to have the actors move around the set, cross each other, even touch each other. This would require a lot of meticulous frame-by-frame rotoscoping, because we didn't have the time to shoot it on a green-screen stage, adding motion control plates of the set afterwards: It all had to be accomplished on a set with no green screen." (Star Trek Magazine issue 121, p. 79–80)
- The scene in which Captain Janeway and Admiral Janeway have a talk in the captain's ready room, shortly after the latter's arrival aboard Voyager, was shot on 28 March 2001 and was the first scene to be filmed on that day. (Information from shooting schedule) Kate Mulgrew came up with the idea of Admiral Janeway passing a coffee cup to Captain Janeway, an in-joke to acknowledge the long-running significance of the coffee cup in Janeway's ready room. "As we were blocking the scene, she suggested she do this," Kroeker recalled. (Star Trek Magazine issue 121, p. 80)
- The scene in which Admiral Janeway gives a Borg-related lecture to a class of cadets, including Jessie's character, was filmed on 30 March 2001. (photo gallery, VOY Season 7 DVD)
- Conversely to the increased secrecy, this episode's production schedule allowed for more reportage than was usual for the series. "The daily routine is a little busier because of [additional] press [reporting]," stated Tim Russ, midway through production, "and there is more secrecy surrounding the shooting days." At one stage during a break from the installment's filming, Jeri Ryan gave an interview to journalist Ian Spelling while sitting in her trailer on the Paramount lot, dressed in a bathrobe which covered her Seven of Nine catsuit. After a while, there was a knock on her trailer door; a production assistant had come, bearing a large stack of photographs and other Voyager memorabilia for the actress to sign. Other interviews during production on this episode involved David Bassom talking to both Robert Duncan McNeill and Tim Russ, individually, for Star Trek Magazine. Both McNeill and Robert Beltran were interviewed merely a few days away from the end of this installment's filming, Beltran by Ian Spelling for Star Trek Magazine. In common with Ryan, Beltran's interview was cut short by the arrival of a first assistant director, though in Beltran's case, this was because he was needed back on set for a scene rehearsal. Additionally, Abbie Bernstein interviewed Robert Picardo for the same publication, on the episode's third-to-last shooting day. It was, by Picardo's estimate, his twenty-fifth interview within the past month pertaining to the imminent conclusion of Star Trek: Voyager. "I identify with the sets that are about to be torn down," Picardo laughed, detailing the mood during production. "There's a tremendous flurry at all nine of us [the regular cast]: 'We're losing you as a group, we want to chip off one little piece to hold onto.' There are a lot of serious conversations about how people are going to miss each other and how odd it's going to be after seven years to say goodbye to this extended family, not only within the cast but well beyond, to the people behind the camera." (Star Trek Monthly issue 80, pp. 34–36, 59, 67, & 70-71; Star Trek Monthly issue 81, pp. 18 & 20) Allan Kroeker was likewise conscious of there being an emotionally charged atmosphere on the set, even for those individuals who seemed otherwise detached from the filming, with everyone well aware that the final moments were ticking down. "There's a powerful melancholy in the air," the director remarked, "it pervades the entire shoot, as we progressively 'wrap' sets, even props, and finally retire characters who will never be seen again." (Star Trek Magazine issue 121, p. 79) TV Guide, while on set, interviewed Beltran and Picardo. (Star Trek Magazine issue 121, p. 78)
- The scene in which, following Seven of Nine's collapse, she and a protective-feeling Chakotay have a discussion, in astrometrics, about how they won't allow their romantic feelings for each other to affect their professional relationship was filmed on 2 April 2001, the same day as Robert Beltran was interviewed for Star Trek Magazine. (Information from shooting schedule; Star Trek Monthly issue 81, p. 20) Whereas his interview was in the afternoon, efforts to film the scene had been made by that time. (Star Trek Monthly issue 81, pp. 20-21)
- The next sequence to be filmed on that day was the one involving both Janeways, Chakotay, Seven of Nine, and Tuvok in astrometrics. (Information from shooting schedule) It was regarded to be of major importance and the shooting company devoted much time to it. The required footage was being filmed while Ian Spelling was still on a set visit for Star Trek Magazine. Saying a quick hello to Spelling as she headed to the set, Jeri Ryan stressed to him the need for secrecy. Meanwhile, on Stage 16's astrometrics set, Allan Kroeker prepared to film scene 44D, a close-up of Chakotay from the aforementioned sequence. The crew first filmed a master shot with all the actors in it, then concentrated on shooting isolated close-ups. Beltran knew his lines verbatim, so he coolly mumbled them and employed plays on words while camera move rehearsals were taking place. During actual filming, however, Beltran took the scene seriously and had no problems with it. After just a few takes, Kroeker voiced his approval and the film crew moved in to prepare the next shot, Scene 44E – a close-up of Tim Russ. (Star Trek Monthly issue 80, p. 39)
- Having traveled in a golf cart from his office to the set, Ken Biller sat on a bench just outside Stage 16, where he thereafter chatted with Ian Spelling. Back on the set, Tim Russ went before the camera. Following each take, he sprawled out on the floor, relaxing and conserving his energy. Allan Kroeker didn't take long to capture the shot the way he wanted it. Russ took the bench outside, where Biller had been sitting, and was interviewed by Spelling. (Star Trek Monthly issue 80, pp. 39–40 & 42)
- Garrett Wang had arrived at the set earlier, to have make-up applied. (Star Trek Monthly issue 80, p. 41) This was for his only scheduled performance of the day: the scene in which Captain Kim bids Admiral Janeway farewell and beams from her shuttle to the Rhode Island. (Information from shooting schedule) With that done, he was now in his trailer. There, he awaited his call to the set, killing time by studying his lines and autographing photos, scripts and other Voyager memorabilia for co-stars, friends and fans. He, too, chatted to Ian Spelling, for Star Trek Magazine. The writer next paid a short visit to Stages 8 and 9. On the way, Spelling passed other stages, where sets for the forthcoming series Enterprise were under construction. As part of this endeavor, various pieces of futuristic-looking sets were piled in nearby alleys. Several of the sets on Stages 8 and 9 had been struck, but the Voyager bridge set remained intact, though unlit at that time. In one corner, a second-unit crew filmed pick-up shots for the earlier seventh season installment "Natural Law". (Star Trek Monthly issue 80, p. 41–42)
- In the astrometrics set on Stage 16, Kate Mulgrew apologized for struggling with some particularly intense lines of dialogue she had to deliver, right then, as Admiral Janeway. (Star Trek Monthly issue 80, p. 42; Information from shooting schedule) At one point, Mulgrew uttered the words "in the plexus." She did this repeatedly, over several takes. Eventually, a script supervisor advised Mulgrew the term was "nexus" rather than "plexus." (Star Trek Monthly issue 80, p. 42) The line, as scripted (and eventually included in the episode) was, "The shielding for those manifolds is regulated from the central nexus, by the Queen herself." Replying to the script supervisor, Mulgrew attested that she thought she had used the correct noun. While the actress raced back into the make-up trailer so her hair could be sorted, Kroeker conferred with the script supervisor, also listening to a playback of the scene to double-check Mulgrew had indeed said "plexus." The director decided the issue was trivial, because the film crew had recorded the line multiple times while covering the scene from other angles. Moments later, Robert Beltran, Tim Russ, and Jeri Ryan (the latter wearing a white robe over her Seven of Nine costume) were outside, gathered on the same golf cart Ken Biller had used and making small talk among themselves. A group of about fifteen tourists, most of whom were Japanese, suddenly noticed the trio. They excitedly congregated with the actors, but the fun was interrupted by an assistant director, who declared that Russ and Ryan were needed back on the set. Departing with words of good humor, they left Beltran surrounded by the enthusiastic fans, though he also returned to the set in a few moments. (Star Trek Monthly issue 80, p. 42) Once the group discussion in astrometrics was filmed, the scene involving Captain Kim's return to the Rhode Island was shot straight afterwards. (Information from shooting schedule)
- On 4 April 2001, Star Trek: Voyager's final briefing room scene was shot. (Information from shooting schedule) The filming of the scene was an example of what Robert Picardo described as "goofiness," which he theorized was "because people are simply letting off steam." On the occasion of filming the last briefing room scene, there was much levity. "Robbie McNeill was being particularly funny, doing comic business. The prop man handed him a cup of coffee before the coffee was actually put in it, and he was pantomiming. He did every piece of schtick you can do with a coffee cup, including [miming] spilling the hot coffee all over Captain Janeway [Kate Mulgrew] in the middle of a very emotional speech. He did 25 pieces of business with the coffee cup […] He was not exactly helping Kate rehearse her work properly," Picardo chuckled, "but by allowing us all to laugh and have release, he was giving voice in a way to all of the strange, complex feelings that everyone was experiencing." (Star Trek Monthly issue 80, pp. 59-60)
- Though the hijinks ensued anyway, the content of the briefing room scene was felt to be particularly poignant, as it included Harry Kim's speech to the senior staff in which he expresses how much he values them and their surroundings. Acknowledged Robert Picardo, "[It] applied to us as actors as well as the characters […] Of course, giving it when we're all about to say goodbye to each other, it had a particular resonance." (Star Trek Monthly issue 80, p. 60)
- Alice Krige was scheduled to start her work on this episode on 5 April 2001. (Information from shooting schedule) It was the night before she began to be involved in the installment's production, as she was preparing for her scenes, when she suddenly became worried about the differences between the Borg Queen's pair of adversarial relationships in First Contact compared to those in this episode. (Star Trek Magazine issue 169, p. 52)
- The scenes in which officers at Starfleet Communications, such as Admiral Paris, witness Voyager's return to the Alpha Quadrant were shot on Stage 16, on 5 April 2001. (Information from shooting schedule) Stated Richard Herd, "When I was looking at him [Tom Paris], all I was doing was looking at a piece of masking tape on the wall that they could match with Robbie's eyeline. But it worked." 
- Alice Krige found that her part in this episode's filming schedule was "very intense," later reporting, "We filmed my work on Voyager on two very, very long days, because I had to fly to England to start another project. We did two 20-hour days." (Star Trek Magazine issue 169, p. 52) Krige was delighted that this episode, however, reunited her with several Star Trek production staffers. "What was lovely was there were members of the First Contact crew," she reminisced, "who were either on the lot, working on other things, or who were on Voyager, and everyone came in to say hello. That was lovely." 
- Alice Krige's final day of working on this episode (6 April 2001, according to the shooting schedule) coincided with long-time Star Trek makeup artist Scott Wheeler's last day of doing makeup on Star Trek. Krige reflected, "He said to me, 'This is the best I've ever done the Borg Queen make-up. I finally got it just how I want it.'" (Star Trek Monthly issue 94, p. 24)
- The sequence in which the Borg Queen faces destruction was, originally, storyboarded by Allan Kroeker and Dan Curry. They felt it important for the scene not to be too effects-driven, wanting to ensure the characters were the focus of attention. (Star Trek Monthly issue 82, p. 16) Members of the visual effects team at Foundation Imaging were on-hand to personally witness the action on the set, while the sequence was in production. Robert Bonchune believed this arrangement was a good idea, especially for John Teska and Sherry Hitch, who were to work on the visual effects for the sequence. "I had no doubts about what material we would receive from Paramount," Teska clarified, "but because we were so close to the ending and so anxious to make sure that everything came out correctly, it was just good to have multiple eyes there [on the set] to look over each other's shoulders. And for me, it was even a bit of nostalgia, because it was really going to be my last chance to go to the set and see the actors working." (Star Trek Monthly issue 82, p. 19)
- Just as Kate Mulgrew had predicted, this episode's production period ended in April 2001. (Star Trek Monthly issue 74, p. 21; "Broken Bow" text commentary, ENT Season 1 DVD) Principal photography of the installment officially wrapped on Monday 9 April. The schedule left only two days of second unit filming and a few weeks of post-production work. Tuesday 10 April and Thursday 12 April were scheduled for the second-unit work. Of all these days, Robert Picardo was due to work only on Monday and Tuesday. Expecting the second unit to shoot some scenes that had been pushed from the first-unit schedule owing to the busy shoot, Picardo clarified that the second-unit days weren't for capturing the usual establishing shots normally covered by this term, saying, "They're first-unit [main cast] scenes, but it's a very complicated finale and we're a little behind." Regarding the latter of his two working days, Picardo remarked, "That's the last time I'll be putting on a Star Trek costume and standing with my shoulders forced back and my hands searching desperately for pockets that don't exist." (Star Trek Monthly issue 80, pp. 4, 59 & 61) Similarly, it was after Allan Kroeker called cut for the final time on "Endgame" that Robert Beltran would remove his own costume and wash off his facial tattoo for the last time. (Star Trek Monthly issue 81, p. 18)
- While speaking with Scott Bakula during a panel at DragonCon 2010, Garrett Wang recalled that – during production of the final scene of "Endgame" (and of the series) – Kate Mulgrew was in a bad mood, which set the tone for all the actors on the set and made the entire cast's energy level go down. Also, during the filming of reaction shots on the bridge when Voyager arrived at Earth, Wang made the choice to cry as an expression of Harry Kim's joy at returning home. 
- Robert Duncan McNeill regretted that some of the main cast were absent for the end of production. He remembered, "The last day of shooting on that episode was very bittersweet because our entire cast wasn't there […] So on that final day of Voyager there were only a few of us left because the rest of the cast had already shot their final scenes. I wish we had had the chance on that last day, or even with the last scene, to have scheduled it in such a way so that all the actors could have been there." (Star Trek Magazine issue 157, p. 28–29)
- It was on the very last day of production when Kate Mulgrew remembered the advice Patrick Stewart had given her. Completing her work on this final installment of Voyager was exceptionally difficult for the actress. "It was almost impossible to do that last scene with Picardo," admitted Mulgrew. "It was very difficult to do that Alzheimer's scene. But they kept me alone for about a week to do a lot of pick-ups on my Captain's chair and on the Bridge. It was 'Cut. Print. Thank you very much, Captain.'" (Star Trek Magazine issue 169, p. 20) Mulgrew elaborated, "It ended so abruptly, and with so little ceremony, and with no ritual. I was just standing there on the bridge all by myself, shrugged my shoulders and said, 'Well, my heavens, I guess that's it,' and walked off." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 34, No. 1, p. 29)
- Voyager was coming to an end just as filming of Enterprise was being readied. Allan Kroeker recalled, "There was a big push for me to finish the scenes quickly so they could start tearing down the sets." (Star Trek Magazine issue 121, p. 79) Shortly after the filming of this episode, the standing sets for the interiors of the starship Voyager were disassembled. Michael and Denise Okuda witnessed the engineering set stripped to its skeletal frame, which had been standing ever since Star Trek: Phase II. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture BD and DVD audio commentary) The dismantling of the sets was not easy for the actors. "Imagine trying to rehearse a scene amidst the sounds of de-construction," Kroeker mused, "watching walls of your home being carried off the stage as you are trying to find your lines." (Star Trek Magazine issue 121, p. 79)
- The production of this episode included testing a pre-echo effect for the temporal chamber aboard a Suliban helix for ENT: "Broken Bow". The effect was tested on the set for Voyager's bridge. ("Broken Bow" text commentary, ENT Season 1 DVD)
- A lot of work was done to conjure up the epic aspects of the production. Visual effects was one example. (Star Trek Magazine issue 121, p. 79) Effects-wise, "Endgame" was a particularly demanding episode, requiring the tireless efforts of the producers, all the visual effects artists at VFX house Foundation Imaging, as well as other effects houses. "The team effort here was beyond belief," remarked Rob Bonchune. "So much good work was done by a lot of different people, and without the help of [visual effects producer] Dan Curry, or [visual effects supervisor] Mitch Suskin, or [supervising producer] Peter Lauritson, none of it could have happened." "Endgame" demanded Foundation produce significantly more high-quality effects shots on an unusually restrictive budget. Although the duration that the company was normally allotted for an hour segment containing twelve to eighteen effects shots was three weeks, Foundation had less than a month to complete its work on the double-length "Endgame", each hour of which included at least double the usual quantity of effects shots. "I think there were 72 effects shots that involved us," estimated Bonchune, "including all the Borg assimilation tubes and everything that John Teska and [compositors] Sherry Hitch and Pam Vick did for the Borg Queen sequences. Most of the crew worked 12- to 16-hour days for almost four weeks […] Considering the number of shots and the time [constraints], Peter [Lauritson], Dan [Curry] and Mitch [Suskin] were really accommodating; they gave us leeway to work things out, and without that leeway it would have been a much tougher process. This could not have been done if not for everybody agreeing on the look of everything quickly." (Star Trek Monthly issue 82, p. 16)
- The interior of the wormhole-filled nebula featured in this installment proved extremely challenging for Foundation Imaging to depict. Mitch Suskin contributed some suggestions as to what he thought it should look like, though it was Foundation animator Bob Quinn who eventually devised the nebula's appearance, using a nebula background Foundation had taken from a real NASA image. (Star Trek Monthly issue 82, p. 18)
- The ablative armor used by shuttlecraft SC-4 and, later, by Voyager was a relatively straight-forward effect, devised by Foundation Imaging's Russ Isler. Rob Bonchune initially chose orange for the coloration shown when the armor is being engaged, though this changed to blue on Mitch Suskin's request. (Star Trek Monthly issue 82, p. 18)
- As only a practical model of the Negh'Var warship was available, Foundation Imaging suspected Paramount would opt for the Vor'cha-class to be used here instead, since Foundation already had a CG model of it. However, Foundation was mistaken; Paramount fully intended this episode to debut a new CGI version of the Negh'Var warship, so paid Foundation to build such a model, which Foundation's Trevor Pierce then did. (Star Trek Monthly issue 82, p. 18–19) As it happened, this is the only production to feature the CG Negh'Var warship.
- This episode contained so many effects shots that there wasn't enough money in the budget to cover the price of creating a brand new starship for Harry Kim to command in the alternate timeline. Although illustrator Tim Earls created a concept sketch for a possible design of starship for Captain Kim, it was rejected due to there being insufficent funds available, so Rob Bonchune volunteered to create a modified version of the USS Equinox, from the two-parter "Equinox" and "Equinox, Part II", to be used as Kim's ship instead. Explaining why he took it upon himself to make the modifications, Earls noted, "It was already overwhelming with everything we had to get done for the final episode, but I felt that they could not turn it down if I volunteered to do it in my free time." Earls proceeded to do so, ultimately creating the USS Rhode Island. (Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection, issue 98, pp. 10 & 11)
- In common with the ablative armor, the Borg transwarp hub – designed by Foundation Imaging's Jarrod Davis – turned out to be considerably easy to do. Though it was one of multiple effects which Rob Bonchune was at first nervous about, Paramount once again requested merely a coloration change, this time even more minor than that made to the armor. (Star Trek Monthly issue 82, p. 18)
- The dismemberment of the Borg Queen, similar to the Negh-Var class, was a redone effect; even though Borg Queen destruction effects had been created for earlier productions, the Borg Queen's destruction in "Endgame" was an entirely new effects sequence. As with the nebula, the Queen's destruction was difficult to portray. John Teska and Sherry Hitch were instrumental in devising the sequence. "It was definitely a challenge," reported Teska, "because this time I couldn't just dust off the stuff we had done before […] So we slaved on that for quite a little while, getting everything to track in exactly right." (Star Trek Monthly issue 82, pp. 16, 18-19)
- A scene deleted from this episode depicted Chakotay having dinner with both the captain and admiral versions of Janeway. They spoke about their adventures and, when Captain Janeway was out of earshot, Admiral Janeway leaned over to ask Chakotay about his personal life. Chakotay acted surprised, though the admiral assured him, "There's no need to be coy with me, Chakotay. I know exactly what's going on." Chakotay was clearly reticent to discuss his personal life while his captain was nearby. Scripted stage directions indicated that he glanced towards Captain Janeway, who was standing at a replicator. "Don't worry. She doesn't know yet," the admiral stated. "So… how are things with Seven?" Chakotay smiled and replied, "Great." The script revealed that the admiral was "warmed to see Chakotay at such a happy time in his life." This scene was filmed, though edited from the final version of the episode. (Star Trek Magazine issue 121, p. 78)
- Also during editing, the reaction shot of Garrett Wang crying tears of joy was moved to the announcement of Miral Paris' birth. This was an editing arrangement that displeased Wang. 
Continuity and trivia
- This is the only Star Trek: Voyager installment for which Alice Krige portrayed the Borg Queen, as previous Voyager episodes in which the character appears featured Susanna Thompson in the role.
- 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 obliterated.) Larry Nemecek once speculated the producers of VOY may have fully intended for this uncertainty, keeping open the options for bringing back the Borg in the future. (Star Trek Monthly issue 98, p. 37) Chronologically, this episode marks the last appearance of active Borg connected to the Collective. Borg would make an appearance on Star Trek: Enterprise in "Regeneration", set in the 22nd century, and inactive Borg feature heavily in Star Trek: Picard, set in 2399.
- 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 played a different character, an unnamed waiter, while Picardo played the USS Enterprise-E's Emergency Medical Hologram, a separate program 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 (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.
- In common with this episode, "All Good Things..." also depicts a future timeline in which the series' main characters are shown in unusual circumstances. In both installments, the respective series' captain acts as the catalyst for events. Whereas Picard was an unwilling culprit in "All Good Things...", however, the future Janeway in "Endgame" chooses to violate the Temporal Prime Directive in a deliberate attempt to tamper with time. (Star Trek Monthly issue 89, p. 57)
- The unauthorized reference book Beyond the Final Frontier (p. 354) points out that Admiral Janeway's purposeful effort to improve history by altering an entire timeline is precisely the crime Annorax is guilty of in "Year of Hell" and "Year of Hell, Part II". The book goes on to refer to this series finale as "a mish-mash" consisting of the "Year of Hell" story, "All Good Things…" and VOY: "Timeless".
- The Starfleet uniforms seen in this episode's altered future timeline were also seen in the future timeline of "All Good Things...", and in DS9: "The Visitor". The future combadge was seen not only on those occasions but also in "Timeless".
- The registry number of the USS Rhode Island, 72701, was a deliberate homage to the registry number of the USS Enterprise, 1701, and the person who picked it, Matt Jefferies. (Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection, issue 98, p. 11)
- Kim actor Garrett Wang, who usually wore a gold uniform (and had previously worn a blue uniform in "Author, Author"), donned the red command division uniform, becoming the third of three Voyager cast members to wear all three department colors on his uniform; the others were Robert Picardo (EMH, ECH, and Lewis Zimmerman) and Robert Duncan McNeill.
- The phasers used in the future timeline appeared later as the standard sidearm (though painted somewhat differently) 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. (citation needed • edit) The genesis of the idea of a romantic involvement between Chakotay and Seven is suggested in the episodes "Human Error" and "Natural Law", produced prior to when "Endgame" was filmed. In fact, Voyager's writing staff did not decide on Seven and Chakotay becoming a couple, in this outing, until after "Natural Law" had been written, though Star Trek Magazine writer Nick Jones once suggested this choice may have been inspired by the final scene in that earlier installment. (Star Trek Monthly issue 81, p. 13)
- This episode marks at least the third 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. It has been suggested the Borg Queen was also destroyed in VOY: "Dark Frontier", when the Borg ship chasing the Delta Flyer appears from the trans-warp conduit in pieces. The Borg Queen was present at the Unicomplex when Janeway and Seven of Nine made their escape, but there is no firm evidence either way as to whether she was on board the ship which pursued them.
- Several notable photos appear in the future scenes of this episode. In Admiral Janeway's apartment, there is 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 says simply, "Regeneration cycle incomplete." (VOY: "The Haunting of Deck Twelve", "Infinite Regress")
- "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 neurolytic 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 is the only instance, so far, of the Borg Queen assimilating someone directly.
- Whereas this episode features Admiral Kathryn Janeway from an alternate timeline, Kathryn Janeway from the prime timeline appears with the rank of admiral in Star Trek Nemesis.
- This episode does not address all the continuity issues important to the series of Voyager. In Star Trek Magazine's "Ultimate Guide", writer John S. Hall listed several of these. He asked, "What would become of The Doctor, as a sentient hologram with a mobile emitter in the Alpha Quadrant? Likewise, how would Seven of Nine be received by Starfleet – as a valued commodity, or a subject for dissection? Would her relationship with Chakotay go anywhere? And what would be the fates of Voyager's Maquis crewmembers? Would they receive amnesty for their crimes against Starfleet, or be locked up for them? Also, after seven years of self-sufficiency in the Delta Quadrant, would the Voyager crew reintegrate effectively with Starfleet, or would there have been difficulties?" (Star Trek Magazine issue 164, p. 72–73)
- This episode featured the last on-screen Star Trek credits for Michael Piller and Jeri Taylor. Also, during the episode's end credits, the word captain is misspelled as "captian", in the credit for Transportation Captain Stu Satterfield.
- This episode also marked the final appearances of the Original DS9 Starfleet uniforms used throughout the series and early DS9 as well as Star Trek Generations, which were first seen in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine premiere episode, "Emissary".
- Janeway's line to the Borg Queen "Just enough to bring chaos to order" references and reverses the Borg Queen's dialogue in Star Trek: First Contact in which Data asks if she is the Borg's leader and she replies "I bring order to chaos."
Reception and aftermath
- Prior to this episode's first broadcast, rumors circulated that Star Trek: Voyager would end with a ten-episode arc depicting the Voyager crew undergoing extreme hardship before finally returning home (à la "Year of Hell" and "Year of Hell, Part II"). It was also rumored that the crew would settle on a planet or that they'd be destroyed. (Beyond the Final Frontier, p. 354)
- In April 2001, Entertainment Tonight featured a behind-the-scenes insight into the making of this episode. The report gave US television viewers their first glimpse of the series finale. Also, Kate Mulgrew's sentiments, speculating that the installment would likely unsettle viewers, were filmed for the program. A subsequent report by UPN 9 News revealed that the makers of Star Trek: Voyager were taking drastic measures to ensure the events of this outing were kept secret, prior to its initial broadcast. (Star Trek Monthly issue 80, p. 4)
- A few days after Kate Mulgrew and Robert Duncan McNeill filmed the last scene of Voyager to incorporate both their characters, most of the series' principal cast (except for Ethan Phillips and Jeri Ryan) took time away from production on "Endgame" to journey on a three-hour morning charity cruise. The trip was on board a three-deck harbor cruiser in Marina del Ray and was the second annual Random Flight Champagne Brunch Cruise, which included 150 Voyager fans aboard the ship. The most pricey item sold in a charity auction held as part of the cruise was a tour for four visitors to the otherwise closed set of this episode. The same Voyager cast members who went on the cruise guested, that afternoon, at the Grand Slam Convention finale, which Robert Picardo noted would be their final public appearance while the series was in production. Also during the convention appearance, Mulgrew made it clear she was sworn to secrecy on the subject of Voyager's finale. She clarified that, if she discussed any aspect of the finale, "Rick Berman will have my head. A headless Janeway would be very unattractive." However, Mulgrew did promise, "Everyone in this room will be satisfied and moved." While the actors were accepting questions from audience members at the convention, someone asked whether B'Elanna Torres would give birth in the course of the series finale. The performers replied with some lighthearted banter, which involved McNeill claiming Tom Paris would actually give birth during the episode and Picardo rhetorically asking, "Let's put it this way – would you make a major character pregnant and leave her pregnant at the end of the series?" (Star Trek Monthly issue 80, p. 21–25)
- After the completion of this episode's principal photography, many cast and crew members were invited to celebrate the end of the series at the "Star Trek: Voyager Series Finale Wrap Party". The gala event was held on Wednesday 11 April 2001, at W Hotel in Westwood, California, and was attended by five hundred guests. These included Voyager's main cast, Brent Spiner, Armin Shimerman, Rene Auberjonois, Ira Steven Behr, John Logan, John de Lancie, and Majel Barrett. (Star Trek Monthly issue 80, pp. 4 & 59) Even though the cast and stage crew of Star Trek: Voyager held the party on 11 April, all the Voyager post-production crews proceeded with their work on this episode well into May, which included editing, scoring, dubbing, and visual effects. (Star Trek: Communicator issue 133, p. 15)
- Ken Biller was very pleased with this episode, thinking he and the other creative staff had succeeded in making it "epic in scope." Before production on the outing wrapped, Biller stated, "It is a slam-bang adventure full of emotion and resonance for the series as a whole […] There is something wonderful for everyone in the cast. Every member of the cast will be prominently and integrally featured in the finale […] I think the finale will move and surprise people. And I hope to God I'm right." (Star Trek Monthly issue 80, p. 39–40) One regret Biller had, though, was there hadn't been time to feature a Maquis trial at the end of the series. (Star Trek: Communicator issue 133, p. 23)
- Rick Berman similarly had high hopes for this episode, commenting, "I think the final episode, which we just finished editing, is going to be really wonderful." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 133, p. 10) He also remarked, "I'm very excited [about it] and I think the story we finally came up with is a great way to send the crew off." (Star Trek Monthly issue 80, p. 4) His happiness with this outing remained. Years later, he reminisced, "I was pleased with how the series ended […] It's always sad to end a show, but I felt good about how we did it." (Star Trek Magazine issue 179, p. 27)
- Brannon Braga was ultimately dissatisfied with this installment, complaining, "I don't remember the finale well enough… I think I have a story credit on it, so you'd think I'd remember it. I don't know that the Borg were super impactful there. I think Seven of Nine should have bit the dust. I think there had to be a real sacrifice for this crew getting home; a real blood sacrifice […] She dies getting her family home. I think, then, you have a finale." 
- Although Bryan Fuller thought this episode "turned out really satisfying," he also deemed it as seeming somewhat unoriginal, remarking, "For me, it felt a little too reminiscent of 'All Good Things...' […] It felt like our finale was trying to do 'All Good Things...' again." (Star Trek Magazine issue 171, p. 52) He clarified, "There were some new twists, but that show had been done on Voyager and on Next Generation. It was 'Timeless' and 'All Good Things'… it was an amalgam of things that had been done before. It goes back to that Star Trek reliance of telling the same story […] But the finale did everything it set out to accomplish. My big complaint was that it was derivative." (Star Trek Magazine issue 114, p. 38) Fuller also felt that the story originally considered for the series finale would have worked better and was "a little bit cooler." He went on to opine, "It felt like a much more personal, specific story for Voyager than the finale we had […] The other story would have been a little more original to us." (Star Trek Magazine issue 171, p. 52)
- Allan Kroeker was overjoyed by this episode's teleplay. He raved, "I was glad for the direction the script of the finale took. It finally took our characters home, but also provided a glimpse of our heroes in the future, even if that future never happened – it was like an alternate history – and that the finale didn't waste any time having the characters say goodbye to each other after seven years. I thought Ken wrapped it up pretty well." (Star Trek Magazine issue 121, p. 79)
- Michael Piller stated about this installment, "I loved the finale. I thought it was full of the kinds of story that I love to tell." (Star Trek Monthly issue 104, p. 41)
- Tim Earls cited this as one of "the most satisfying episodes on which to work." (Star Trek Magazine issue 121, p. 81)
- Foundation Imaging's VFX artists who worked on this episode were happy with the illusions they devised. Rob Bonchune commented, "If you look at the quality of that final episode, it looked as good as any other episode we did." John Teska implied that the Borg Queen dismemberment effects fortunately didn't draw too much attention to themselves, stating, "When I was watching the show, I was more interested in the dramatic theme that was playing out than the fact that her lips were falling off." (Star Trek Monthly issue 82, p. 16)
- In the lead-up to the initial US broadcast of this episode by UPN, Mayor of Los Angeles Richard Riordan announced that Wednesday 23 May 2001 – when the installment would first air – would officially mark "Star Trek: Voyager Day." Riordan publicly endorsed the premiere screening of the series finale in recognition of the show's "message of universal harmony among diversity." (Star Trek Monthly issue 82, p. 9)
- On 23 May 2001, three Star Trek: Voyager actors celebrated the US premiere of "Endgame" by visiting Star Trek: The Experience attraction in Las Vegas, the same resort which featured the character of Korath. Roxann Dawson, Robert Beltran, and Garrett Wang were there to sign autographs and answer questions about the finale. The episode itself was screened in various areas of Star Trek: The Experience, including in Quark's Bar. (Star Trek Monthly issue 81, p. 10)
- "Endgame" was watched by 8.8 million viewers and caught a strong 13% share. (Star Trek Magazine issue 121, p. 28) The installment achieved a Nielsen rating of 5.5 million homes, and a 9% share. These figures represented Voyager's largest audience since "Scorpion, Part II" and made "Endgame" the seventh highest-rated broadcast in UPN's history. The installment's ratings success enabled UPN to finish third among the US television networks in the 8-10 pm time slot, ahead of ABC, CBS, and WB. This episode also won, outright, the time slot in the key demographic categories "Men Aged 18-49" and "Men Aged 25-54", and came second in the "Adults Aged 18-49" and "Adults Aged 25-54" demographics. The executives at UPN were thrilled with these statistics. Referring to "Endgame" as "the right kind of Star Trek programming", UPN President Tom Nunan publicly declared, "The Voyager finale bodes extremely well for Enterprise's premiere next fall." (Star Trek Monthly issue 82, p. 8)
- One person who viewed this episode's first broadcast was Kate Mulgrew. "I watched it on television with my husband and my stepdaughters the night it aired," she said. "I was very moved and I understood that night that I was having a cathartic moment. I had tears and all that because I realized that I was saying goodbye for the first time in a genuine and emotional way. So my viewing of the finale was colored by that every time somebody came on the screen. I was experiencing the realization that I wouldn't see Tim [Russ – Tuvok] and Robbie [McNeill] and Bob [Picardo – The Doctor] again for a while and possibly forever […] At the same time I liked 'Endgame' and was very proud of it […] The special effects made it work. You really thought Captain Janeway was there with Admiral Janeway." (Star Trek Monthly issue 83, p. 24)
- One particular grievance which Trekkies voiced about this episode pertained to its conclusion. Addressing this issue, Robert Picardo stated, "The only complaint I heard from some of the fans, which did have a certain validity, was that the emotional climax of us coming home was dealt with so precipitously at the end that you kind of felt like you almost missed it." (Star Trek Monthly issue 90, p. 22)
- This episode won two Emmy Awards. Only four other episodes of Star 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. Coincidentally, it was Scott Bakula who handed out the music award and James Cromwell who presented the award for visual effects. (Star Trek Monthly issue 86, p. 8) "Endgame" was also nominated for Outstanding Sound Editing For A Series.
- To mark the world première of this series finale, TV Guide published a special commemorative issue. As sold by newsstand vendors, the magazine was printed with three different covers, featuring Kate Mulgrew as Captain Janeway, Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine, and Alice Krige as the Borg Queen respectively. A fourth edition was available exclusively online and had a wrap-around cover, picturing Captain Janeway alongside Chakotay, Neelix, Tom Paris, B'Elanna Torres, and Tuvok. (Star Trek Monthly issue 81, p. 9)
- This episode aired to generally positive reviews. Entertainment Weekly rated it "B+" and speculated that Robert Picardo's "wittily prissy" characterization of The Doctor, the "satisfying payoff" to B'Elanna Torres' pregnancy, and Janeway's final stand would appeal "to fan and casual viewer alike." The Birmingham News similarly urged viewers not to miss the series finale, noting the installment "will end with you wanting more." The Kansas City Star meanwhile stated that "Voyager goes out the same way it came in, and in much the same manner it existed for seven years: it was pretty good science fiction TV." (Star Trek Monthly issue 82, p. 8)
- Shortly after this episode received its first US airing but before it was broadcast in the UK, Star Trek Magazine described it as "a memorable climax" and "a moving, exciting and surprising conclusion." (Star Trek Monthly issue 80, p. 12) Furthermore, Star Trek Magazine writer Nick Jones believed the events of "Endgame" lent "extra weight and poignancy" to various other episodes within the series and regarded the romance between Seven of Nine and Chakotay as "one of the nicest surprises of ST:VOY's finale." (Star Trek Monthly issue 81, p. 13) When this episode was released on VHS in the UK and Australasia, the same publication rated it five out of five Starfleet arrowheads, a score defined as "top notch." The magazine critiqued, "One thing 'Endgame' doesn't scrimp on is space-bound excitement […] The action barely lets up. The only complaint you could level at it would be that it ends rather abruptly, but seeing as we experience what life might be like for ST:VOY's characters in the future at the beginning of the episode, it seems churlish to gripe about that. 'Endgame' is a slam-bang finale in the grand Star Trek tradition, and a fitting end to a high quality show." (Star Trek Monthly issue 89, p. 57) Also in the pages of Star Trek Magazine, Larry Nemecek commented, "Dramatically, it made a fitting addition to the USS Voyager's triumphant return home to do in the Borg Collective in the process." (Star Trek Monthly issue 98, p. 37)
- Star Trek Magazine's "Ultimate Guide" included reviewer John S. Hall complaining, "[The romance between Seven] and Chakotay, of all people […] came across as stilted and out of character for both parties involved. While Robert Beltran and Jeri Ryan appeared to be doing everything in their power to make the pairing credible, it just didn't work in the amount of screen time that it received. Indeed, the abrupt resolution of Voyager, within the closing moments of 'Endgame', is likely the weakest aspect of season seven. While brimming with spectacle and many fan-pleasing moments, the series finale left far too many unresolved questions and plot strands […] In the end, viewers were left with the impression that just getting Voyager back to Earth was good enough, thank you very much […] One suspects that the writers' hearts just weren't in it anymore […] so perhaps not as much time and attention was spent on Voyager's finale as could have been. If indeed this was the case, then Voyager's cast and fans were dealt a disservice […] By focusing on style and substance, the producers cheated everyone of the coda that the show deserved […] Voyager just… ended. With quite a bang, yes, but it should have been so much more." However, the same issue of the same magazine contrastingly cited this episode as the best installment of the seventh season and remarked, "Time travel, alternate future timelines, and the Borg – what's not to love about 'Endgame'? Well, there is the blossoming romance between Chakotay and Seven, but never mind! Bravura performances by Kate Mulgrew, the return of Alice Krige's sublime Borg Queen and a fast-moving script combine to give Voyager a spectacular finale." The magazine also referred to Krige as the "Best Guest Star" of the season and commented about Mulgrew's performances, "'Endgame' wouldn't be half the story it is without her cynical, driven, tea-drinking Admiral Janeway." (Star Trek Magazine issue 164, pp. 72, 73 & 75)
- Star Trek author Kirsten Beyer gave the installment a mixed review in Star Trek Magazine issue 166, p. 80. She reported, "'Endgame' gives us everything that was best and worst about Voyager. In the 'best' category, we have the glimpses of our crew many years later, stunning and brilliant effects sequences (see: extremely cool ablative armor), the return of Alice Krige as the Borg Queen, and some truly stunning character work by the entire cast, but most notably Mulgrew portraying both the captain we all know and the 27 year older Admiral Janeway who is, in some ways, unrecognizable. As for the 'bad', the absolute out-of-the-blue romance between Seven and Chakotay is near impossible to swallow." Beyer thought a "much worse" issue was that the Voyager crew dismisses their Starfleet principles – which they maintained over the stretch of the series – when presented with the opportunity to return home in this episode. "It's too sad to think of Kathryn Janeway as a leader who not only dedicated herself to getting her people home, but once she had done it, spent the next 10 years figuring out how to do it better," Beyer continued. "The episode attempts to justify it, particularly in the heartbreaking case of Tuvok, but even that doesn't mitigate the extremes to which Admiral Janeway went here, or the lines she finally crossed. But perhaps the worst of the bad here is that, once again, we beat the Borg." Beyer thought it "amazing" the Borg Queen doesn't defeat Voyager immediately upon being given the chance and thought the Borg were consequently difficult to take seriously. She concluded, "In the end, we got the moment we had been wanting for seven years and on a purely emotional level, it delivered. But in the final analysis, 'Endgame' didn't really earn that moment. It's almost worth it for that final shot of Voyager approaching Earth. Almost." Beyer later concluded, "It was such a troubling episode on so many levels." 
- Similarly, author David A. McIntee made comments about this episode in Star Trek Magazine issue 143, p. 79. He thought the ending of the installment (and of the series) was impacted on by the fact that, in the series in general, Voyager's final destination had been somewhat unclear, whether it specifically be the Alpha Quadrant, Federation space, or Earth. He wrote, "Given this rather uncertainly-placed set of goalposts, it's perhaps no real wonder that there's little of a triumphant or even really climatic build-up to the end of the journey; essentially […] [the conclusion] somewhat undermines the magnitude of the distance that had separated the ship from home. Since they had been drawn to the Delta Quadrant in one leap, it probably isn't too surprising that they got home in a similar fashion […] The familial tug-of-love between Janeway and the Borg Queen over Seven – and, by extension, the integration of Seven into Humanity, and Janeway's vendetta with the Borg – was rounded off in spectacular fashion in 'Endgame'."
- Star Trek Magazine additionally highlighted a couple of scenes from this episode. It included the kissing scene between Chakotay and Seven in a list of "Star Trek's sexiest scenes." (Star Trek Monthly issue 82, p. 47) The magazine cited the meeting of the two Janeways, via viewscreen, as Star Trek's thirtieth greatest Star Trek moment of all time. (Star Trek Monthly issue 83, p. 29) The same publication also approved of the line wherein Captain Janeway, skeptical she will ever turn out as cynical as Admiral Janeway, suggests the admiral's identity be reconfirmed, the magazine citing this dialogue as "the Number One Janeway Reprimand". (Star Trek Monthly issue 94, p. 64)
- The book Star Trek 101, by Terry J. Erdmann and Paula M. Block, lists this episode as one of the "Ten Essential Episodes" from Star Trek: Voyager.
- The unauthorized reference book Beyond the Final Frontier (p. 354) states, "So it ends, not with a bang but with a temporal anomaly. Janeway's actions seem selfish […] and [the installment] seems determined to be as undramatic as possible. It would be quite clever to start with Voyager getting home… as long as the rest of the episode wasn't trying to generate tension from whether they will. It looks lovely, but feels like a rehash of better episodes. It's full of technobabble, it throws character developments around at random… as such, it's the perfect send-off for a series that promised so much, but delivered so little. We could have at least seen them set foot on Earth."
- Cinefantastique (Vol. 34, No. 1, p. 40) rated this episode 3 and a half out of 4 stars.
- Following the making of this episode, most of the remaining behind-the-scenes crew continued their roles for the first season of Star Trek: Enterprise.
- Robert Picardo pointed out that the individual fates of the main characters in this series finale effected whether any of them could subsequently appear in the Star Trek films. (Star Trek Monthly issue 80, p. 61) Robert Beltran had a hunch, while working on this episode, that it would be the last time he would play Chakotay. (Star Trek Monthly issue 81, p. 20) However, Kate Mulgrew of course went on to reappear as Kathryn Janeway, as an admiral from the prime timeline, in Star Trek Nemesis. Additionally, Mulgrew, Picardo, and Alice Krige reprised their respective roles in the attraction Borg Invasion 4D, set in 2379. As well, Jeri Ryan returned to play Seven of Nine nineteen years after "Endgame" in episodes of Star Trek: Picard.
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, Paramount Home Entertainment): Volume 7.13, catalog number VHR 5183, 25 February 2002
- 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
- Robert Beltran as Chakotay
- Roxann Dawson as B'Elanna Torres
- Robert Duncan McNeill as Tom Paris
- Ethan Phillips as Neelix
- Robert Picardo as The Doctor
- Tim Russ as Tuvok
- Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine
- Garrett Wang as Harry Kim
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 Starfleet physician
- Grant Garrison as a 25th century Starfleet 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 Star Fleet Admiral
- Iris Bahr as a Female Cadet
- Ashley Sierra Hughes as Sabrina
- Majel Barrett as Computer Voice
- David Keith Anderson as Ashmore
- Adam Bargar as a 25th century Starfleet cadet
- Yvette Callum as a Starfleet officer at party
- Griffen Christopher as a 25th century Starfleet cadet
- Carolyn Corley as Miral Paris (infant)
- Mathew Corley as Miral Paris (infant)
- James Dao as a Pathfinder officer
- Julie David as a command division officer
- Irina Davidoff as a female Pathfinder Admiral
- Mike Davis as a 25th century Starfleet cadet
- Andrew English as a security officer
- Tarik Ergin as Ayala
- Angela Giampietro as a 25th century Starfleet cadet
- Devin Green as a 25th century Starfleet cadet
- Glen Hambly as
- Jessie as a 25th century Starfleet cadet
- Jessica Kanan as a 25th century Starfleet cadet
- Trey King as Bolian waiter
- Joyce Lasley as Lydia Anderson
- Johnny Linares as 25th century command division ensign
- Tiffani LoBue as a Pathfinder officer
- Dino Maye as a 25th century Starfleet cadet
- Carter Mitchell as a male Pathfinder Admiral
- Darius Montgomery as a Pathfinder officer
- Tang Nguyen as a 25th century Starfleet cadet
- Louis Ortiz as Culhane
- Peter Osinoff as a Starfleet officer at party
- Lucy Rizo as a Pathfinder officer
- Linnea Soohoo as a science division officer
- Lisa Vanasco as
- May Wang as a 25th century Starfleet cadet
- Breece Wilson as a 25th century Starfleet cadet
- Unknown performers as
- Female Vulcan 25th century Starfleet cadet
- Fifteen Human party guests
- Holographic Borg
- Human spectators
- Klingon guard 2
- Male Vulcan 25th century Starfleet cadet
- News speaker (voice)
- Technicians in EV suits
- Three male and female 25th century Starfleet cadets
- Two Borg drones
- Two Rhode Island Starfleet officers
- Starfleet command officer
- Two Starfleet sciences officers at party
- Voice of the Borg
- Craig Appel as a Borg drone
- Brenda Kaye as Human science officer or Vulcan science officer
- Stephen Pisani as operations division officer
- David Keith Anderson – stand-in for Tim Russ
- Amy Kate Connolly – stand-in for Kate Mulgrew
- Stacey Elder – stand-in for Roxann Dawson
- Sue Henley – stand-in for Kate Mulgrew
- Dieter Hornemann
- Brita Nowak – stand-in for Jeri Ryan
- Louis Ortiz – stand-in for Richard Herd
- Lemuel Perry – stand-in for Tim Russ
- Erin Price – photo double for Kate Mulgrew
- J.R. Quinonez – stand-in for Robert Picardo
- Keith Rayve – stand-in for
- Joey Sakata
- Richard Sarstedt – stand-in for Robert Beltran
- Curtis Wong
- Stuart Wong – stand-in for
2329; 2378; 2394; 2400; 2404; ability; ablative generator; Alcatraz; alternate timeline; Alpha Quadrant; anticipation; anti-tachyon pulse; assimilation; bearing; biobed; biomatter; biradial clamp; Borg; Borg Collective; Borg drone; Borg Queen; Borg transwarp network; Brax; Captain Proton; Caretaker's array; Cardassian; central nexus; cerebral cortex; certainty; Chell; Chicken Warp Core-don Bleu; chronexaline; chrono deflector; corruption; cortical node; course; cup; curator; déjà vu; Delta Flyer; Delta Quadrant; demotion; Dexa; diaper; director; disruptor; elopement; Embarcadero Center; emotion; fal-tor-voh; false labor; Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Building; Federation; Fen Domar; Ferengi; Ferengi charged with corruption; fly boy; four-year mission; Gateway, The; gesture; golf; graviton flux; green; Grid 362; Grid 986; Grid 986 nebula; guest lecturer; heart; House of Korath; illumination; inflammation; interspatial manifold; Joe; kadis-kot; kal-toh; Kellidians; kilometer; Kim, Mary; kiss; Klingons; Klingon Empire; Klingon High Council; liaison; living room; logic; luck; lunch; mess hall; meter; microcircuitry; Milky Way Galaxy; milligram; mixed marriage; nadion pulse; nanotechnology; nebula soup; neural interface; neurological condition; neurolytic pathogen; neuropeptide; neutrino; Oakland Shipyard; Okaro; party; Pathfinder; phaser, type 2; planetary catalog database; Plasma Leek Soup; pool; pragmatist; Presidio; psychology; pun; red; red alert; Red Alert Chili; regeneration cycle; San Francisco; semester; senior officer; shield generator; sickbay; Species 8472; Spock; stammer; Starfleet Academy; Starfleet Command; Starfleet Intelligence; Starfleet Medical; stealth technology; Sunday; synaptic interface; synaptic transceiver; tachyon radiation; tachyokinetic energy; Temporal Mechanics Department; Temporal Prime Directive; temporal rift; Thursday; toast; transphasic torpedo; transwarp; transwarp aperture; transwarp hub; transwarp network; tricorder; tritanium; unicomplex; Unimatrix 01; Wildman, Naomi; Vulcans; Wednesday; wormhole; year
Akira-class (starships); Bonchune, USS; Borg cube; Borg sphere; Challenger, USS; Defiant-class (escorts); Excelsior-class (starship); Galaxy-class (starships); Miranda-class (starship); Nebula-class; Negh'var-type (warships); Nova-class; Prometheus-class; Prometheus, USS; Rhode Island, USS; Saber-class (starships); SC-4; Sphere 634; Steamrunner-class (starships)
USS Voyager flight path references
- "Endgame, Part I" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Endgame, Part II" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Endgame" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Endgame" at Wikipedia
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