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"Star Trek: Voyager" Warlord (1996)

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21 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Jennifer Lien steals the show

Author: belechannas from United States
9 January 2011

A truly breath-taking acting performance here by Jennifer Lien.

Normally her Voyager character Kes is underplayed, sympathetic and innocent (and she is always very effective, if rarely exciting as a goody-two-shoes).

This episode, however, turns the angelic Kes on her head, and she really sells an entirely different and conflicted character with a combination of incredible energy and nuance.

The story itself isn't anything special (which accounts for the good-but-not-great 8/10 rating), but in my opinion this is one of the best performances by any regular cast member in any Star Trek series.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Kes the warlord!

Author: Tweekums from United Kingdom
18 August 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As this episode opens it looks like we are in for a light hearted episode; Neelix has developed a relaxing holodeck program based on a Telaxian beach resort but Tom and Harry have a few ideas to make it better… Bikini-clad women for a start. Things get more serious soon enough though when a ship Voyager is trying to help explodes, they beam out three personnel over to Voyager but one soon dies in sickbay. Kes soon makes friends with the two survivors. When a representative of their planets beams up to Voyager to thank them for helping Kes kills him and escapes along with the two survivors and overthrows the planet's ruler; it turns out the man who died was Tieran, a former ruler who somehow transferred his consciousness into Kes. While Voyager tries to rescue Kes she is fighting back herself in an attempt to regain control of her mind and body.

This was a really good episode; it was great to see Jennifer Lien get to show a greater acting range as she plays Kes while possessed by Tieran, she came across as surprisingly forceful as Kes tried to retake control. There were scenes that rather surprised me, particularly when Tieran used Kes's powers to attack somebody causing him to bleed profusely from his eyes and nose.

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10 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

She is the best actress from all the Star Trek episodes

Author: Kenneth Massey ( from Las Vegas
3 September 2010

I got a chance to see Jennifer Lien at the Las Vegas convention August 2010. Seeing her with the crew reminded me of my favorite Voyager episode, "Warlord". The episode was well written. The music and camera angles were fabulous. The scenes were right out of our typical everyday struggle within ourselves....shall we fall to our desire to control others or shall we compromise with the good within us. Each scene stretched her talents to massive audition proportions. If only the directors could watch this episode. We'd see her on the BIG Screen with consistency. The scene that hit me personally was when "Kes" and "Nelix" were discussing, "..her desire to make friends without his involvement". The, "Kiss with Tuvok", scene was very surprising! The "Warlord" episode showed her to be a great convincing talented actress. It also showcased her then as she is still today...a beautiful, talented and versatile actress. I hope to see her in some major movies.

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One of my favorite Voyager episodes

Author: Hillius from United States
12 August 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Voyager comes across a disabled ship about to be destroyed and beams the three crew aboard. One perishes and transfers his consciousness to Kes. Kes now as the dead warlord and his crew escape and take over the rule of the alien world by killing the ruling member, his servants and son. The remaining son arrives on Voyager wanting help to stop the warlord (occupying Kes) by any means possible. Tuvok unsuccessfully tries to rescue Kes and it is left to her to fight the warlord off mentally. Eventually the remaining son & Voyager crew successfully defeat the warlord & his allies and the warlord's consciousness is ultimately destroyed using a medical device from Voyager. The episode ends with Tuvok helping a rattled Kes resettle her emotional and mental state following her release from the warlord's mind.

Having watched this episode again after becoming a fan of Game of Thrones, I can't help but draw parallels between Warlord Kes & Jack Gleason's tyrant king Joffery. Jennifer Lien does an incredible 180 from her usual soft spoken, very kind character when possessed by the warlord and she not only shines, but sparkles playing the tyrant ruler showing her exceptional acting prowess. Warlord Kes is violent, cruel, irrational and even provocative with a side dish of a schizo-spectrum disorder. It is excellent to watch as over the course of the episode she slowly struggles as she regains control of herself by battling the warlord's mind.

One can watch an actor play a similar role across episodes and the viewer can become settled or even bored by the character, but the great thing about Star Trek is the possibility of the same character acting in bizarre ways allowing the player to show their superb acting range. Another Voyager episode I really enjoy this on is Living Witness where people in a distant future envision an evil version of Voyager played out so well by a new evil Janeway and crew.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Kes could use a bit of Dale Carnegie ("How to Win Friends and Influence People") in this one...

Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
17 February 2015

When the show begins, Voyager discovers a ship that's about to explode. Naturally, being galactic goody-goodies, the ship swoops in to rescue the three person crew--even though they were at serious risk for being killed in the process. One of them seems beyond help but the other two are fine. What Voyager does NOT realize is that the dead crew member is a megalomaniac jerk who is a disposed despot. In his dying moments, he secretly places his consciousness into Kes. Soon, Kes and the two survivors steal a shuttle and head back to the home planet to take over and take revenge on everyone. Soon authorities who are seeking the despot arrive. When they hear what has occurred, they want to work with Voyager. Voyager wants to rescue Kes and the authorities just want to kill her...just in case.

It's nice to see Kes behaving like a sociopathic jerk--it was a welcome relief to her usual nice persona and must have been fun for Jennifer Lien. Her husky voice, promiscuity, nasty demeanor and overall yechiness was a nice change of pace, that's for sure. So is the show worth seeing because of this? Yes, but logically, I would have just shot Kes/despot in the face and points to the usual problem with "Star Trek: Voyager"--they cannot ever make a sacrifice and they always wait to have a magical solution. Additionally, seeing Kes and the despot arguing with each other inside Kes' head is pretty dull--and very talky. But, on the other hand, the blood out of the eye socket and fun over-acting was pretty cool and on balance it's pretty good.

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Surprisingly Subversive Episode

Author: alexwoolcott from Canada
14 August 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

An early episode of Voyager that accidentally touches on a rather subversive topic, "Warlord" is fairly interesting and features a strong performance from Jennifer Lien. Someday, Lien is going to win an award for Best Underused Actress ever - a talented girl, she was forced to play Kes more or less like a soft spoken Vulcan for most of the show.

Finally, in "Warlord" she gets to have a little fun. Without giving too much away, a dying warlord transfers his consciousness into Kes and uses her body to stage a coup on his planet. Here's where the subversion kicks in: the Warlord is a man, but he seems to adjust to his new life inside a woman's body without the slightest problem. With hardly any effort, he uses his new body as a sexual weapon - far from a "warlord", he is more like a femme fatal, trying to use his new body to seduce everyone in sight (At one point, the possessed Kes even kisses Tuvok). The warlord's wife is naturally a little disturbed by this, and frankly the Warlord doesn't seem all that interested in her even though she seems to be the only woman on the whole planet.

I suppose you could chalk this up to lazy directing, but let's give them the benefit of the doubt. The show comes pretty close to giving us a lesbian kiss and the Kes / Tuvok kiss is reminiscent of the Kirk / Uhura moment thirty years before. Voyager never really broke new ground as a show, but it's nice to see them inching towards doing the thing that Star Trek was pretty much created to do: using science fiction to comment on our own culture.

I'll warn you: there's the usual laziness in this episode that was typical of Voyager throughout the entire seres. Voyager tended to shy away from any real creativity regarding creating alien cultures: the make up is lazy and the alien "society" is pretty much a carbon copy of our own, right down to the notion of the first born male heir inheriting the throne.

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4 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Kes Goes Lesbo

Author: Bolesroor from New York, NY USA
2 February 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Kes- who typically has no character to speak of- is possessed by a violent warlord and becomes a loathsome and despicable monster.

Yes, Kes is inhabited by a crazed man, and spends the episode dripping with testosterone and anger until the eventual undoing. The Doc's medi-babble is really starting to annoy me here: Isn't the migration of Tieran's soul into Kes' body more spiritual than scientific? Nope. Not when Doc can lecture us about weakened neural patterns and synaptic stimulators. Turns out ANYTHING is medically possible on Voyager, but the Doc only finds out about it AFTER it's been done.

Kes, meanwhile comes close to kissing a woman as she re-takes her throne and rules brutally over her subjects before the eventual return to herself. Who else wanted to see a soft, sweet, sopping girl-on-girl make-out session? Put your hands down.

In the blink-and-you'll-miss-it conversation that occurs afterward she apparently breaks up with Neelix, though that fact is not clearly stated and never even referenced again until the episode "Darkling." Cheap... pathetic... dark days for all.


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