(written from a Production point of view)
Assimilated by the Borg, Janeway, Torres, and Tuvok plot to release a virus into the Borg Collective which will allow members of Unimatrix Zero to retain their individuality in the real world and resist the Borg Queen. (Season premiere)
Tuvok, B'Elanna Torres, and Captain Kathryn Janeway have been assimilated as Borg drones aboard Tactical Cube 138, but their personalities remain intact thanks to a short-lived anti-assimilation inoculation developed by The Doctor. Tuvok and Torres are able to meet and start to head to the central plexus of their cube. Janeway, however, was separated from them and continues to be assimilated.
The USS Voyager follows the cube and monitors the crew's brain functions, but it has been awhile with no signal of the virus deployment. The cube is damaged, but should be operational within two hours. Chakotay orders Seven of Nine back into Unimatrix Zero so that they will know the moment when the virus is deployed. Seven is obviously still uncomfortable with them, as Axum has broken off the relationship, but Chakotay tells her to set the feelings aside.
In Unimatrix Zero, the Borg are continuing their attack, identifying individuals one by one. Korok and a Hirogen are coordinating defenses. Korok notices and informs Seven that Axum is not there, though he was supposed to be. He advises Seven to put her feelings aside, and treat her heart as another enemy. Another individual drone appears, but he does not remember where he was, so the virus has not spread, yet.
Back aboard Tactical Cube 138, Tuvok and Torres approach the plexus and, carefully, find they are able to pass through the security fields. They find Janeway already there, who has determined she can access the plexus but not without drawing attention. Torres identifies an alternate route 30 meters away and they start planning when Tuvok's mental faculties begin to degrade, and he starts to submit to the Borg Collective.
In Unimatrix Zero, Axum has set some traps and successfully killed one Borg. Seven, however, trips another of his traps in her search for him. She tells him Korok was concerned and, now that she's found him, she'll go back without talking further. Axum decides to go with her.
While Torres works on an access door to the plexus, Tuvok attempts to fight off the degradation by recalling facts about his individual life. Janeway orders him to stay focused. Torres is successful in entering the plexus and starts the transfer of the virus. However, Tuvok eventually loses the battle and becomes a full-fledged Borg drone, calling himself Three of Twelve. Through him, the Borg Queen discovers that the three officers are in the central plexus, but not before they manage to inject their virus into the plexus. A short and futile fight ensues as Captain Janeway attempts to run from Tuvok. Meanwhile, Voyager detects Tuvok's condition and arrives just in time to attempt to retrieve the away team, but it is unable to due to the shields that surround the central plexus. Chakotay then orders Tom Paris to fly them closer to the cube to get a stronger lock onto them. Back on the cube, Torres is able to evade capture by the other Borg drones, but Janeway is not so fortunate and is captured. The Queen watches Voyager on her viewscreen, proclaiming "Back so soon?!".
Chakotay orders Harry Kim to target the cube's shield generators and set the phasers to stand-by mode. Just then, the Borg cube fires a torpedo at Voyager. Kim informs Chakotay that the Borg somehow have access to Voyager's tactical controls (due to the Queen reading Tuvok's thoughts), which brings Voyager's shields down. Chakotay orders evasive maneuvers, but it's too late – the torpedo hits Voyager's starboard side. Kim reports hull breaches on decks 5, 6, and 7. Chakotay calls for a retreat, but Paris protests that they can't just leave the away team behind. Chakotay tells him that there's very little they can do right now, especially since the Borg have their access codes.
The Borg Queen now starts to realize that the Collective is losing voices, quickly numbering in the thousands. She even realizes one of the Borg adjuncts in her chamber has disconnected. She interrogates him and he eventually lashes out, threatening that she can't stop all of them.
Meanwhile, Janeway is taken to a hub and linked to it. A holographic representation of her normal, unassimilated self appears in front of the Borg Queen. She shows her the dead body of the drone she has just killed. The Borg Queen exposes that she is fully aware of Unimatrix Zero, the virus and what was accomplished, but that she also cannot yet foil the virus either. She points out the deaths of drones as being Janeway's fault for freeing them and orders summary destruction of some cubes that also have infected drones. Determined to eradicate the "individuality" virus that Janeway has injected into the Collective, the Queen gives Janeway an ultimatum: persuade the freed Borg to return to the Queen's control or see millions of innocent drones be put to death to cleanse the Collective of Janeway's actions. Janeway does not relent and tells the Queen that the only way she can do that is to destroy the entire Collective. Janeway insists that the Borg Queen should visit Unimatrix Zero herself.
Voyager undergoes repairs. Seven reports that the drones in Unimatrix Zero now can remember, so the virus has been deployed. Chakotay orders Seven to go back and see if any of the drones are aboard Tactical Cube 138, for they could help. The Doctor makes some modifications to her alcove beforehand, and, while doing so, talks to her about Axum and suggests to give their relationship a second chance. In Unimatrix Zero, the group discuss their predicament. Axum argues they need to strike the unicomplex in order to disrupt the Collective's communication so they can regroup. Seven also asks to help Janeway, Torres and Tuvok. Korok initially means to leave them, but Axum uses honor to convince him to help. He goes to find out if any of the drones are also on that cube.
After the group disperses, Seven approaches Axum, who is downtrodden because he's on the other side of the galaxy and cannot help locally, but there a few things he can do, including talking with Species 8472. After they both wish they could meet in person, Axum asks her if Unimatrix Zero is enough for her, and they kiss.
A couple of children are playing in Unimatrix Zero and one runs into the Borg Queen, who has agreed to visit the group. She persuades a child there that being part of the collective is good because they are all friends and reading each other's thoughts are "fun". The child shows the Queen to a plateau so that she has a wide angle view of Unimatrix Zero.
Back in reality, the Queen tells Janeway that she has visited Unimatrix Zero and will be releasing a mutated virus of her own to kill those drones connected to Unimatrix Zero unless Janeway convinces the freed Borg to return to The Collective.
Janeway appears holographically on Voyager and issues an order that "Unimatrix Zero can no longer exist". Seven and The Doctor are dismayed, but Chakotay knows that, while it seems that she is issuing a destruction order, as well as suggesting that the drones must return to the collective or be killed by the modified nanovirus, Janeway has found a loophole that the Queen never considered and is a necessary step to protect and retain the individualities of the drones who have been freed, as well as cutting off the Queen's only hub to release the virus.
Together, they mount an assault on the Borg cube that is holding Tuvok, Torres and Janeway. Korok is fortunately able to penetrate the outer shields. Unable to penetrate the inner shields, however, Voyager is not successful at beaming Janeway, Torres or Tuvok out. They continue their assault.
Meanwhile, Axum begins evacuating all drones from Unimatrix Zero as it is being destroyed by interrupting the interlink frequency; an effect that manifests itself in Unimatrix Zero as fire. He stays to wait until the very last moment. Seven enters to see him one last time, both promising to find each other, but it is determined that they are doomed to not meet again as they are spread too far away across the galaxy. They both exit and then the destruction of Unimatrix Zero is complete.
The Borg Queen detects the assault on the Borg cube bearing Tuvok, Torres and the captain, and orders it to self destruct. At the last moment before destruction, however, the shields go down and Voyager is able to beam the captain, Torres, and Tuvok to sickbay. Fortunately, Korok's sphere also survived. The Doctor removes their Borg implants and starts their recovery process.
- "Chief medical officer's log, stardate 54014.4. It's been 48 hours since the away team returned to Voyager. Thanks to the neural suppressant, I've been able to extract most of their Borg technology. The captain and B'Elanna are on the mend. But Tuvok will need a little more time to recover."
Seven pays a visit to Janeway in sickbay to report that Korok has contacted another renegade Borg vessel. With any luck, the new resistance will change the Collective.
"Assimilation turns us all into friends."
- - Borg Queen, talking to a young boy within Unimatrix Zero
"Yes, it's fun."
- - Borg Queen, referring to the ability of listening to the Collective's thoughts after assimilation
"I don't compromise with BORG."
- - Captain Janeway to the Borg Queen, after deceiving her by pretending to comply to a compromise
"Stay focused, stay Tuvok - that's an order."
- - Captain Janeway to Tuvok, who is having difficulty fending off the influences of the Collective
"My designation is Three of Twelve."
- - Tuvok, to Captain Janeway after succumbing to the Borg Collective
"Lieutenant. A first officer could get in a lot of trouble for talking to his captain that way."
"Well, I've learned from the best."
- - Chakotay, as acting captain, and Paris, as acting first officer
"Whenever you mention his name, your pupils dilate by nearly a millimeter, blood flow increases to your facial capillaries. Both are consistent with an emotional response."
"Axum and I apparently had a relationship."
"Oh. Romantic? (Seven hesitates) There go those pupils again."
"Your diagnosis is accurate."
- - The Doctor and Seven of Nine
"Stardate 38774. Vulcanis Lunar colony. The time and place of my birth."
- - Tuvok
"My daughter's name is Asil. She was born in the city of... T'Paal."
"We share your memories. You're part of us now. Don't resist."
- - Tuvok and Borg Queen
"The Borg have our access codes."
- - Chakotay
"They developed a nanovirus that can kill every Borg with a mutation. They're prepared to release it inside Unimatrix Zero unless all the drones there return to the Collective for reassimilation."
"That is not compromise. That is surrender."
"I won't be responsible for any more deaths. At least they'll survive as drones. Tell them that Unimatrix Zero can no longer exist. That's an order. Have I made myself clear, commander?"
- - Janeway, Seven of Nine, and Chakotay
"If I ever imply that it's been easy on you these last few years, remind me about today."
- - Janeway, to Seven of Nine
"Spatial grid 94, cube 630, complement 64,000 drones. But I can no longer hear three of them. No doubt they've joined your resistance. Are they trying to sabotage the vessel and liberate others? I don't know. Because I can no longer hear them. Initiate self-destruct!"
"An effective solution, don't you agree? Spatial grid 091, sphere 878, complement 11,000 drones. Only one is silent. But I have no choice. I must silence all of them."
- - The Borg Queen to Janeway
- Filming for this episode and VOY Season 7 began on 22 June 2000. Principal photography for this episode was finished on 30 June 2000. Weeks later, second unit shoots were done on Stages 8 and 16. These shoots were completed by 1 August 2000.
- The shot of Voyager near a sun at the end of this episode is reused from VOY: "Heroes and Demons".
Continuity and trivia
- Tuvok reveals the time and place of his birth in this episode: "Stardate 38774, Vulcanis Lunar colony". This would make him 113 years old. However, in "Fury" Janeway specifically stated in reference to Tuvok's age that it was "Not long until you hit the big three digits." Janeway may have been referring to his age in Vulcan years (which would have been 95 at the time).
- Janeway tells the Borg Queen "I don't compromise with Borg". However, in the third-season finale "Scorpion", she forged an alliance with the Borg.
- Axum mentions that his ship is on the "border of fluidic space" and that he'll "try to contact species 8472". Voyager previously encountered Species 8472 in the third-season finale "Scorpion".
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, Paramount Home Entertainment): Volume 7.1, 19 March 2001
- In feature-length form, as part of the UK VHS collection Star Trek: Voyager - Movies: Volume 4 (with "Dark Frontier"), release date unknown
- As part of the VOY Season 7 DVD collection
- As part of the Star Trek: Fan Collective - Borg collection
Links and references
- Robert Beltran as Commander Chakotay
- Roxann Dawson as Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres
- Robert Duncan McNeill as Lieutenant junior grade Tom Paris
- Ethan Phillips as Neelix
- Robert Picardo as The Doctor
- Tim Russ as Lieutenant Commander Tuvok
- Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine
- Garrett Wang as Ensign Harry Kim
- Ryan Sparks as Alien Child
- Andrew Palmer as Errant Drone
- Clay Storseth as Alien Man
- Majel Barrett as Narrator
- Patrick Barnitt as a Borg drone
- Tarik Ergin as Ayala
- Sue Henley as a Borg drone
- Dieter Hornemann as a Borg drone
- Irving E. Lewis as a Borg drone
- Tom Morga as a Borg drone
- Louis Ortiz as Borg Queen's drone
- Stephen Pisani as operations division officer (unconfirmed)
- Keith Rayve as
- Pablo Soriano as a Borg drone
- Unknown performers as
47; Asil; Axum's vessel; battle; battlefield; bed chamber; Beta Quadrant; biosignature; Borg Civil War; central plexus; Cube 630; evasive maneuvers; facial capillary; fluidic space; Grid 091; Grid 94; Grid 96; Grid 182; heart; hoverball; interlink frequency; Klingon; Milky Way Galaxy; mutant; nanovirus; neural suppressant; sanctuary; shield modulation; shock wave; Species 8472; Sphere 878; spinal clamp; subvocal processor; T'Paal; Tactical Cube 138; tactical control; transwarp; unicomplex; Unimatrix Zero; Vorothon Gorge; Vulcan; Vulcanis Lunar colony; warrior
- "Unimatrix Zero, Part II" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Unimatrix Zero, Part II" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Unimatrix Zero" at Wikipedia
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