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YMMV / Star Trek: Voyager S6 E18: "Ashes to Ashes"

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  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Several backstories for the Kobali have been proposed by both fandom and licensed works, considering that reproduction by necromancy seems impossible to be a naturally-evolving trait, and apparently they also had no difficulty traversing the 30,000 lightyears crossed by Voyager since Lynsday Ballard died.
      • Some believe it makes more sense to speculate they're members of an insane cult that was driven off their homeworld and now is constantly moving, to avoid the countless alien authorities who've taken exception to them profaning their dead. Given Janeway's rather dubious track record over the course of the series, one could even suggest they're following in her wake! Jim "Reviewboy" Wright seems to support this interpretation.
        For a species that depends on corpses to replenish the gene pool, following Janeway around is a no-brainer; she's a one-woman Baby Boom.
        Heck, Action Kate may well be the Kobali Messiah.
      • Alternatively, they were never a naturally-evolving species in the first place, but rather a Frankenstein-style artificial population that broke away from their creators and established their own civilization.
      • For its part, Star Trek Online gives a handwave that the Kobali were messing with "forces beyond their control", implying they screwed up their own genome somehow.
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    • Speaking of Star Trek Online, the game's reintroduction of the Kobali and Lyndsay Ballard/Jhet'leya in 2014's Delta Rising expansion caused a lot of flame wars on the game's forum. Their reproduction via reanimation and modification of the dead led to them being accused of mass rape and brainwashing, and Jhet'leya's "father" in the episode was accused of emotionally abusing her by trying to guilt-trip her into returning home. It's to the point where many consider them the real villains of that storyline, even though the Player Character is required to ally with them against the Vaadwaur.
  • Ass Pull: Lyndsey Ballard was notoriously made up just for this episode rather than using one of the many, many minor crew members who we’d seen die at this point — albeit given their very similar backstories, there's been long-time speculation that Ballard may have originally been intended to be Ahni Jetal from "Latent Image" before being changed to an entirely new character.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • The story could have been significantly more impactful had Ballard been a member of the crew we had actually seen and gotten to know at some point in the past. Instead she was a one-off character so insignificant that not only was her entire tenure on the crew occurred off-screen, but the show's writers couldn't even keep their own continuity straight.
    • The continuity problems themselves could have led to a Spotting the Thread moment, revealing that Ballard wasn't who she claimed to be as part of some other plot.