voyager

Voyager

Episode 127: Harry Kim Must Suffer

STILL AN ENSIGN

Man, has this guy been through a lot.

Ensign Harry Kim of the Starship Voyager. Operations Officer of the only Starfleet vessel in the Delta Quadrant. In seven years, he has seen a lot of things happen.

The problem is, they’ve happened to him. Harry could be the most abused character in the history of Star Trek and, this week, Dan and Bill will take a look at the oft-tortured and long-suffering ensign. They’ll discuss some of the more creative ways he was tortured and consider why he wasn’t promoted once by Captain Janeway.

Plus, there’s news on a new book on TOS, award nominations for Star Trek: Discovery, a brand-new podcast from Dr. Trek, and we’ll fondly remember DeForest Kelley who would have been 98 years old this week.

It’s all in Episode 127 of Your Independent Star Trek Podcast!

FIVE YEAR MISSION

We can’t thank FIVE YEAR MISSION enough. We are truly grateful to them for allowing us to use their music for every episode of Trek Geeks. You really should check them out–they’re writing and recording one original song for each episode of the classic Star Trek series from the 1960’s.

Warp on over to their website at FiveYearMission.net and check out all of their fantastic albums! You can hear them all: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, The Trouble with Tribbles, and of course, the amazing Spock’s Brain! Plus, they’re wrapping up Year 4 right now!

Please show them some support and download all their music!

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Direct Download Linkhttp://traffic.libsyn.com/trekgeeks/TGP_Episode127.mp3

Episode 115: Workforce

A DIFFERENT LIFE FOR THE CREW

Bill was watching BBC America recently and came across two Voyager episodes he’d never seen.

It was the season 7 two-parter, “Workforce,” in which the crew finds themselves kidnapped by an alien race and put to work in their industrial plants.  Their memories have been altered and they have no memory of the life they know.

We’ll examine this episode in true Trek Geeks style and tell you the things we liked, as well as some of the things we didn’t. Plus, we’ll take a look at some central questions this episode raises for us.

Believe it or not, there’s one aspect of this story on which Bill and Dan disagree! Find out what it is in this week’s episode.

Plus, there’s lots of news regarding Star Trek: Discovery, brand new pins from our friends at FanSets, and the very first installment of Discovering Trek: A Star Trek Discovery Companion has been released and you can subscribe right now!

All that and more in Episode 115 of Your Independent Star Trek Podcast!

FIVE YEAR MISSION!

We love FIVE YEAR MISSION and we can’t thank them enough for allowing us to use their music on Trek Geeks each and every episode. We’re huge fans and we hope you’ll become one, too–they’re writing and recording one original song for each episode of the classic Star Trek series from the 1960’s.

Warp on over to their website at FiveYearMission.net and check out each andevery one of their incredible albums! You can hear them all: Year OneYear TwoYear ThreeThe Trouble with Tribbles, and of course, the amazing Spock’s Brain! Plus, don’t forget that they are working on Year Four right now!

http://traffic.libsyn.com/trekgeeks/TGP_Episode115.mp3

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Supplemental #10: Geek The Stump – Again!

PAYBACK!

A message from Dan Davidson, co-host of Trek Geeks: YOUR Independent Star Trek Podcast

“Not too long ago, oh about the time the Patriots were hoisting their 5th Lombardi Trophy, my illustrious Executive Producer decided to subject me to a “Superbowl Sized” Stump the Geek episode.  I wasn’t at the top of my game, however I fared OK.  I told him that he would pay…and well, the time has come.

Ahhh Bill, my old friend.  Do you know the Klingon proverb that tells us revenge is trivia that is best served cold? It is very cold….is spaaaaaacccccceeee.”

On this Supplemental Episode, Dan rolls out another special edition of “Geek the Stump,” where the tables are turned and Bill has to answer Trek related questions with a completely made up point system!  Can Bill hold his own?  Will Dan throw in a couple softball questions to make things easier on his best friend, or will he show no mercy to retain his title as ultimate Trek Geek Trivia Champion?

Find out in this special Supplemental Episode of Trek Geeks!

SPECIAL THANKS


We love FIVE YEAR MISSION and we can’t thank them enough for allowing us to use their music on Trek Geeks each and every episode. We’re huge fans and we hope you’ll become one, too–they’re writing and recording one original song for each episode of the classic Star Trek series from the 1960’s.

Warp on over to their website at FiveYearMission.net and check out each andevery one of their incredible albums! You can hear them all: Year One, Year Two, Year Three, The Trouble with Tribbles, and of course, the amazing Spock’s Brain!  Plus, don’t forget that they are working on Year Four right now!

LISTEN NOW

Direct Download Linkhttp://traffic.libsyn.com/trekgeeks/SE010.mp3

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Episode 92: Equinox

A DARK SECRET

EquinoxThis week, we’ll take a look at the fifth season cliffhanger/sixth season premiere of Star Trek: Voyager!

“Equinox” premiered in May of 1999 and told the story of a second Starfleet ship stranded in the Delta Quadrant, the U.S.S. Equinox, and its crew has been doing some very dark things to get home.

We’ll discuss the events of this episode and some of the fantastic character moments and Captain Janeway’s obsession with going after Captain Ransom and whether or not that was in character for her.

We’ll also talk about the genocide committed by the crew of the Equinox and whether there was any possible justification for their actions. Plus, we’ll look at whether Chakotay should have relieved Captain Janeway of her command in this episode.

Plus, we’ve got LOTS of news on Star Trek: Discovery including leaked photos and brand new casting information!

It’s all in episode 92 of Your Independent Star Trek Podcast!

FIVE YEAR MISSION

Spock's BrainWe love FIVE YEAR MISSION and we can’t thank them enough for allowing us to use their music on Trek Geeks each and every episode. We’re huge fans and we hope you’ll become one, too–they’re writing and recording one original song for each episode of the classic Star Trek series from the 1960’s.

Warp on over to their website at FiveYearMission.net and check out each and every one of their incredible albums! You can hear them all: Year One, Year Two, Year Three, The Trouble with Tribbles, and of course, the amazing Spock’s Brain!  Plus, don’t forget that they are working on Year Four right now!

These are the Five Year Mission songs you’ll hear in this episode of Trek Geeks!

Themes
The Cage – [Track 1] – Year One
The Trouble With Tribbles 6 – [Track 6] – The Trouble With Tribbles

Bumper Music
Arena – [Track 3] – Year Two
A Piece of the Action – [Track 15] – Year Three

LISTEN NOW

Direct Download Link: http://traffic.libsyn.com/trekgeeks/TGP_Episode092.mp3

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Episode 82: First Officer Thunderdome

LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE!

First Officer ThunderdomeThey’re the second in command on their respective ships, carrying out the orders of the Captain—they’re the First Officers and they play a critical role in Star Trek.

In this week’s episode, we’ll take a look at the five First Officers to date and talk about several key areas where these individuals excel and, in the end, only one will be left standing!

Plus, we’ll talk about the latest news in the Star Trek universe from our good friends at TrekNews.net, and we’ll also tell you how “The Trial of the Century” went during the 24 hour fundraiser by the amazing folks at The G&T Show!

Five officers enter–ONE OFFICER LEAVES!  Who will be left standing in Episode 82 of the Trek Geeks Podcast? Find out and LISTEN NOW!

SPECIAL THANKS

Five Year MissionWe can’t thank FIVE YEAR MISSION enough. We are truly grateful to them for allowing us to use their music for every episode of Trek Geeks. You really should check them out–they’re writing and recording one original song for each episode of  the classic Star Trek series from the 1960’s.

Warp on over to their website at FiveYearMission.net and check out all of their fantastic albums!  You can hear them all: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, The Trouble with Tribbles, and of course, the amazing Spock’s Brain!  Plus, here is a little secret…they are working on Year 4 right now!

Here’s a rundown of the Five Year Mission songs you’ll hear in this episode!

Themes
The Cage – [Track 1] – Year One
The Trouble With Tribbles 6 – [Track 6] – The Trouble With Tribbles

Bumper Music
Mudd’s Women – [Track 7] – Year One
The Trouble With Tribbles 4 – [Track 4] – The Trouble With Tribbles

LISTEN NOW

Direct Download Linkhttp://traffic.libsyn.com/trekgeeks/TGP_Episode082.mp3

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Episode 80: The Ultimate Crew

WHOM WOULD YOU PICK?

The Ultimate CrewOne of the coolest ideas in Star Trek Timelines is the ability to have any single member of the Star Trek Universe as part of your crew.  We are talking ANY character from any series, ship, timeline, universe, etc.  That got us thinking.  Who would WE pick for our ULTIMATE Crew?  We break down all the main crew assignments in this “infinite possibilities episode”.  Heck, even waste extraction is discussed because Bill thinks that would be perfect for Dan!

In Star Trek news, perhaps one of the most EPIC and awkward pics in history was taken recently at Star Trek Destination Europe as almost two dozen Star Trek alums got together on the bridge of the Enterprise!

Also, time to fork over some quatloos or gold pressed latinum because the revised and expanded Star Trek Encyclopedia is now available and the reviews are overwhelmingly positive!

Finally, both Bill and Dan received some swag in the mail over the weekend.  What did they get and who is more excited?

It’s Episode 80 of Trek Geeks–beam aboard, won’t you?

STAR TREK TIMELINES

Special thanks to our friends at Disruptor Beam–the creators of the Star Trek Timelines game–for letting us use their artwork in our album cover this week!

SPECIAL THANKS

Five Year MissionWe can’t thank FIVE YEAR MISSION enough. We are truly grateful to them for allowing us to use their music for every episode of Trek Geeks. You really should check them out–they’re writing and recording one original song for each episode of  the classic Star Trek series from the 1960’s.

Warp on over to their website at FiveYearMission.net and check out all of their fantastic albums!  You can hear them all: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, The Trouble with Tribbles, and of course, the amazing Spock’s Brain!  Plus, here is a little secret…they are working on Year 4 right now!

Here’s a rundown of the 5YM tracks we used in this episode!

Themes
The Cage – [Track 1] – Year One
The Trouble With Tribbles 6 – [Track 6] – The Trouble With Tribbles

Bumper Music
Dagger of the Mind – [Track 10] – Year One
Metamorphosis – [Track 7] – Year Three

LISTEN NOW

Direct Download Linkhttp://traffic.libsyn.com/trekgeeks/TGP_Episode080.mp3

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Episode 67: Timeless

TimelessFIFTEEN YEARS OF GUILT

One mistake can change everything.

That’s the lesson learned by Ensign Harry Kim in the 100th episode of Star Trek: Voyager.

This week, Dan and Bill dive in on the episode and discuss some of it’s finer points. Make no mistake: this is some of the best material the writers ever gave Garrett Wang, and we’ll talk about why.

Plus, we’ll find out why this episode means so much to Dan, and why he almost selected it for his “one episode” in the Ask Us Anything we did in Episode 62.

We’ll also talk about the latest news from our friends at TrekNews.net, including a brand new roller coaster, the Star Trek takeover of SDCC, and an update on the Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan BluRay Replacement program.

We promise not to crash land on a barren ice planet, so join us for Episode 67, won’t you?

YOUR HOUSE BAND FOR STLV!

Five Year Mission

We can’t thank FIVE YEAR MISSION enough. We are truly grateful to them for allowing us to use their music for every episode of Trek Geeks. You really should check them out–they’re writing and recording one original song for each episode of  the classic Star Trek series from the 1960’s.

Beam on over to their website at FiveYearMission.net and check out all of their fantastic albums!  You can hear them all: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, The Trouble with Tribbles, and of course, the amazing Spock’s Brain!

If you’re headed to Creation Entertainment’s 15th Annual Las Vegas Official STAR TREK Convention 2016, don’t forget to check out their space in the Vendor’s Room where they’ll have some special STLV merch! Please show them some love and support them!

Here’s a rundown of the 5YM tracks we used in this episode!

Themes
The Cage – [Track 1] – Year One
The Trouble With Tribbles 6 – [Track 6] – The Trouble With Tribbles

Bumper Music
Amok Time – [Track 15] – Year Two
Colder in Russia – [Track 6] – Spock’s Brain
The Naked Time – [Track 5] – Year One

LISTEN NOW!

Direct Download Link: http://traffic.libsyn.com/trekgeeks/TGP_Episode067.mp3

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Episode 58: See-it or Skip-It

VOYAGER: SEASON ONE

See-it or Skip-It: Voyager, Season 1This week, we take a look at the first season of Star Trek: Voyager!

It’s no secret that Bill hasn’t been the biggest fan of Voyager, and he’s even attempted his own “Voyager Challenge” to finally get through the series.  We thought it might be easier to discuss each season and decide which episodes that you should watch and which ones you can safely avoid in a new feature called, “See-It or Skip-It” and we’ll take on the freshman season of Voyager first!

Debuting January 16, 1995, Voyager held great promise as the first Star Trek series to launch a television network. Its first season had sixteen episodes and we’ll take a look at each one telling you if you should See-It (because it truly matters in the overall arc, there is important character development, or it’s just a phenomenal episode) or whether you should Skip-It (because it doesn’t impact the overall story, it’s a weak stand-alone episode, or it’s just flat out bad).

Which Season 1 episodes will we love? Which ones will we agree on, and WHY? Eventually, we’ll do this for every season of every series, but we start today in the Delta Quadrant where we’ll be keeping a strict accounting of the photon torpedoes and paying close attention to the level of suffering endured by Ensign Harry Kim. (We’re willing to bet it’s more than Miles O’Brien, but time will tell!)

Plus, we’ll talk about the latest news in the Star Trek universe from our friends at TrekNews.net, and don’t forget about our iTunes Review Giveaway where you could win a $25 gift card to Amazon.com just for writing a review!

It’s Episode 58 and you most definitely should NOT “Skip-It!”

Spock's Brain - Available at FiveYearMission.net

SPECIAL THANKS

There just aren’t enough words to convey our gratitude to FIVE YEAR MISSION for allowing us to use their music in every episode of our podcast! They are a fantastic group of guys and we’re excited to see them on stage at Creation Entertainment’s 50th Anniversary Celebration at the Official Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas this August! Five straight days of Five Year Mission–we feel spoiled!

Prepare yourself, though–head on over to FiveYearMission.net and get ALL of their music. We promise, you’ll love it!

 

LISTEN NOW

Direct Download Linkhttp://traffic.libsyn.com/trekgeeks/TGP_Episode058.mp3

SUBSCRIBE TO THE PODCAST

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VOY Challenge, Ep. 14: Faces

VOY_S01_E14TrekGeeks’ Star Trek Voyager Challenge

One Geek’s quest to reintegrate his Klingon and Human sides while en route to the Alpha Quadrant.

OVERVIEW

The episode opens in an unfamiliar location. We see an unconscious long haired figure who has been restrained and a male voice off-screen orders something called the “Genotron” to be deactivated and a bio-matrix to be shut down.  The restrained person is slowly coming around. The voice off-screen calls, “B’Elanna…B’Elanna Torres. Wake up.”  Slowly, the face of the person comes into view–and it’s a Klingon female.  It’s not the B’Elanna we’ve come to know–her more human features appear to be gone.

Cue the opening credits.

“Captain’s Log, Stardate 48784.2. We have completed our survey of the Avery system and are returning to retrieve Lieutenants Paris, Torres and Durst. By now, they should have concluded their inspection of the magnesite formations on the third planet.”

We open in the Voyager Mess Hall where Neelix is serving Tuvok a bowl of “authentic plomeek soup.” Tuvok would be happy to have a whatever the rest of the crew eats, but Neelix thinks it’s important for the crew to have dishes from their home worlds. Tuvok tries it and thinks it tastes rather…piquant…and immediately reaches for a glass of water. Of course, Neelix thought it tasted a little bland, so he spiced it up a bit. Suffice it to say, it didn’t really taste like plomeek soup. Chakotay summons the Senior Officers to the Bridge and Tuvok departs.

Chakotay informes Captain Janeway that the Away Team is overdue and they’re not responding to hails. They can’t locate their combadges on the surface, so they must be underground but Harry Kim can’t locate them there, either. The magnesite deposits are more than likely blocking the sensors from picking them up.

Kim observes that the tunnel which the Away Team beamed nearest to has shifted 75 degrees in direction in the last two days. They weren’t aware of any geological shifts, but this adds a layer of complexity. Chakotay requests to lead another Away Team down to look for them because they may have been trapped by the geological shifts. Tuvok questions what is to prevent them from losing Chakotay and that Away Team as well.  Kim pipes up with two words: Bread crumbs.

Kim means that he could modify some subspace transponders along Chakotay’s path which could be used like bread crumbs. Placed at regular intervals, they could be able to maintain a signal link with the ship in the event they need an emergency beam out. Janeway greenlights the Away Team and she wants a transporter lock at all times. Chakotay tabs Tuvok and Kim to come along.

Back on the planet, the Klingon called B’Elanna Torres is restrained on some kind of examination table. The voice apologizes for the restraints, but says that her presence there is very important to him.  His face comes in to view and we finally get a sense of who we are dealing with: The Vidiians.

B’Elanna asks who her captor is, and he tells her he is Sulan, Chief Surgeon of the Vidiian Sodality. She demands to know what is happening. He holds up a mirror and she says that they must have surgically altered her face. Torres asks Sulan what he’s done with Durst and Paris. He just wants to ask her questions like what her age is. She tells him that if he wants answers, he’ll answer her questions.

She asks what he did to her. Sulan tells her that he reconstituted her genome and that now she is 100% Klingon. Her human half is gone. Sulan developed a process to stimulate cell division. Her Klingon genetic material was extracted and converted from matter to energy by their genotron and she was re-materialized as the purified Klingon specimen.

B’Elanna asks why he did this to her. He says that for generations the Vidiians have been searching for a species immune to their phage in the hopes that it could lead them to a cure. He believes that the Klingons are but he needed a pure specimen to be certain which is why he extracted B’Elanna’s human half. She could be their greatest hope. She yells that she will never help him. He hopes that she can be resistant to the phage because…well…he’s infected her with the disease.

We then see Paris and Durst (the guy from the last episode) being led with what looks like a line of prisoners down a corridor. Durst is bringing up the rear when he is shoved by one of the Vidiian guards. Paris reminds Durst that the Vidiians are the ones with the guns. The Vidiians conduct them to what looks like a cell block of sorts with barracks. Durst says to Paris that they’ve got to find a way out of there (Jeez…YA THINK?!). Paris agrees but he doesn’t want to do anything until they know what happened to Torres. In the meantime, he says they should keep track of the movements of the guards. When the time is right, they’ll make their move.

They hear someone laughing at them. It’s a Talaxian on the bunk above Paris. Tom asks him what’s funny and the Talaxian says that he is. No one ever escapes from the Vidiians. Paris observes that the Talaxian seems to know the place pretty well and he says he should–he’s been there six years. Paris asks if the Vidiians are the business of harvesting organs, why are they all still hanging around there? The Talaxian says that they need someone to dig the tunnels—manual labor.  Their disease leaves them weak, so the best way to remain around and not have your organs harvested is to stay strong. The Talaxian says that there were 23 on his ship and he’s the only one left.  Paris asks if the Talaxian saw B’Elanna. He says that if she isn’t here, she must have been taken to Organ Processing. That doesn’t leave Paris with a good feeling and Durst is shaking his head.

Chakotay, Tuvok, and Kim are searching the tunnels. Kim has deployed the subspace transponders and the signal is getting through clearly. Kim says that according to his tricorder readings, they definitely came that way but he can’t really tell where they went. Tuvok finds a smashed tricorder and detects evidence of five life signs…but there were only three on the Away Team. Clearly, they weren’t alone.

Back on the examination table, B’Elanna is in obvious pain, but she won’t let Sulan know that. One of the early symptoms of the phage is excruciating joint pain.  (Check!) He’s stunned that she can endure it–some Vidiians have died from the agony of the pain alone. B’Elanna says it will take more than an infection to kill her and Sulan agrees. He says that her body is successfully fighting off the phage. He tells her that soon he will begin to replicate her genetic code and attempting various methods of integrating her Klingon DNA with theirs. In time, he says they’ll be successful and she’ll be a hero to the Vidiian people. Torres tells him that Klingons find honor on the battlefield and not as guinea pigs in a laboratory.

Back in the barracks, Paris is asleep when a door opens. We see a Vidiian bring another Starfleet officer down the hallway–one in a gold uniform with long dark hair. The Vidiian throws her down toward the bunks and walks off. She steps into the light and closer to Tom Paris and calls him by first name to wake him.  Tom wakes up and does a double take–the person crouched next to him is B’Elanna Torres.  A very human B’Elanna Torres. Tom asks what they’ve done to her.

Human-B’Elanna says that she remembers the Vidiians grabbing them outside the caves and then she blacked out. Next thing she knew, she woke up in a laboratory. She asked them what they did to her and, as she rubs her forehead sans ridges, she remembers that they extracted her Klingon DNA. As a child, B’Elanna did everything she could to hide her forehead ridges and, now, she seems to feel naked without them. Tom tries to put her at ease by listening and empathizing, but Human-B’Elanna is still scared.

She grew up on Kessik IV, where she and her mother were the only Klingons. It was a time when relations between the Klingon Homeworld and the Federation weren’t exactly cordial. She remembers feeling different then, even though no one said anything. Then, her father left when she was five years old and she cried herself to sleep every night for months. She told herself that he left because she looked like a Klingon and so she tried to look human. Paris jokingly tells her that she finally got what she wanted as a lone tear streams down her cheek.

Chakotay, Tuvok, and Kim are still searching the caverns when Tuvok notices something strange. According to the last geological scan, the cavern they’re searching should extend for another eight kilometers. Instead, it’s now at least 50 meters of solid granite before them. They would have sensed any reconfiguration of the caves or tectonic activity, so Tuvok believes the wall is an illusion–a disguised force field. Chakotay updates the Voyager and tells Janeway they’ve encountered a force field. Then, Tuvok breaks the news: the energy configuration of the force field matrix is identical to that of the Vidiians they encountered.

Janeway reminds the Away Team that their phasers can disrupt the Vidiian force field. She definitely wants to know what lies beyond the force field…but she doesn’t want them taking any unnecessary risks.  (Seriously?!) She’s ready to get them out of there by emergency beam out if it comes to it. Chakotay draws his phaser and fires at the wall. Nothing happens. Janeway suggests modulating the frequency of the phaser when Kim notices two Vidiians watching them. Chakotay calls for an emergency beam out.

Back in the lab, Klingon-B’Elanna is trying to break free from her restraints on the examination table. She almost frees herself when Sulan comes back to see how she’s doing. She says she feels strong and that it’s frustrating to be restrained. She doesn’t like being treated like an animal. He apologizes and Klingon-B’Elanna interrupts him to say that she’s been thinking about what Sulan said. It’s because of him that she is Klingon and she likes it. In a way, she supposes she is grateful. She then asks him if he was aware that, in the Alpha Quadrant, Klingon females were renowned for their physical prowess as well as their…uh…voracious sexual appetites. She suggests that Sulan let her out of her harness so he can study her in action. (As George Takei might say… “Ohhh myyyyyyyy!)

Sulan wishes (does he EVER!) but says that he can’t risk releasing her just yet. He touches her face and then backs away, asking for forgiveness. He requests that she not condescend.  While he maybe grotesque in appearance, his instincts are “finely honed” and he does have feelings. Perhaps, someday when his species has cured the phage, she won’t find him as grotesque.

Back in the barracks, two Vidiian guards are coming to take the prisoners to work detail. Paris tells Human-B’Elanna that she can’t let them see how sick she is. B’Elanna wonders if she tells them she’s sick, she might be able to stay behind and access the console in the barracks. Paris tells her that, or maybe the’ll skip the formalities and take her straight to Organ Processing. The guards, however, head straight for Durst and tell him to come with them. He wanted to try and contact the ship and the Prefect wants to discuss his request. Paris interrupts and says he’s the senior officer–if the Prefect wants to talk to someone, it should be him. The Vidiian guard pulls his weapon and backs Paris off. Human-B’Elanna cowers in the corner and Durst reminds Paris that the Vidiians are the ones with the guns.  Sounds familiar. Durst goes with the Vidiians and they leave the barracks. Human-B’Elanna is sniffling back tears. Paris asks her what’s wrong and she looks to be in the middle of a panic attack and can’t get any words out.

Back aboard the Voyager, Janeway says that now the Vidiians know they’re there, they have to be prepared for the possibility that they’ll bring in reinforcements. Kim says that long range sensors aren’t picking any additional vessels up. Tuvok says that it’s possible that the same technology that disguises their force fields also cloaks their ships. Chakotay also suggests that the captured Away Team might be at greater risk now that they know the Voyager is trying to rescue them.

Kim summons Janeway over to the Ops Console. Using the tricorder data they collected, he was able to scan the entire planet for the force field’s signature. It appears that the force field covers an area of approximately 600 kilometers in circumference. The only problem is he can’t scan inside that area to locate the Away Team.  Janeway wonders why their phasers were unable to breach the force field since, last time they encountered the Vidiians, it wasn’t a problem. Tuvok concludes that the force fields have been modified to repulse phaser fire. Janeway orders the crew to set up simulations and find a way to breach that force field. If the Vidiians can get through it, they should be able to find a way themselves.

Meanwhile, back in the Lab, Klingon-B’Elanna is on the slab–and trying to get out of her restraints again. Sulan enters the lab and has something he wants to show her. (Seriously? This guy has the worst timing, EVER.) He comes around to the side of the examination table to show Klingon-B’Elanna his new face…

…which, unfortunately, is the face of Lieutenant Durst…who is seems was actually on his way to Organ Processing and not to contact his ship.

He thought that this new face would make her more comfortable with him. Klingon-B’Elanna says that Sulan has killed Durst…which he admits is true, but his organs would save at least a dozen lives. This angers Klingon-B’Elanna who is able to bust out of her metal restraints and go after Sulan. She corners him against a wall and begins to choke him, lifting him off the ground. A door opens and she hears footsteps approaching.  She drops Sulan and attempts to make her escape.

Meanwhile, back aboard the ship, Kim tells Janeway that deep level scans have revealed a network of microfissures in the force field which open briefly each time the force field remodulates. The microfissures are only about a micron in size and close up after a few seconds. The y can’t use the phasers to expand the fissures because they’d have to be at an extremely close range and it could potentially alert the Vidiians to their presence. However, they could possibly transport through the microfissure if they could tighten the transport beam. (Huh?!) If they could get someone inside, they might be able to locate the Away Team and disable the force field.

Tuvok then points out that even if they can get someone inside, they’d be unable to communicate back through the force field nor will they be able to verify the transport was successful. (Man, what a killjoy.) Janeway wonders what’s to prevent whomever transports in from being captured by the Vidiians themselves and Chakotay has an idea about that.

We next see Chakotay in Sick Bay. He has been surgically altered by The Doctor to look like a Vidiian. Looks like he’ll be the one to transport in through the microfissure. (Ahkoocheemoya, help us.)

Paris and Human-B’Elanna are on work detail in the caverns and they’re hauling large rocks with their bare hands. She’s still not feeling well and Paris assists her in sitting down. The Talaxian captive offers them some water and they gladly accept. Human-B’Elanna tells Tom that she thinks that the Vidiian DNA extraction process did more than just change her appearance. She admits to Paris that she was terrified when they took Durst away. Paris tells her that no one could blame her for that, but Human-B’Elanna says he doesn’t understand–she’s been in worse situtations and never felt that kind of terror before. On the verge of tears, she tells Tom that her heart was pounding, her hands were shaking, and she didn’t even try to help.

Paris admits he’s no doctor (PHEW! I’m glad we cleared that up. I was starting to get confused!), but he thinks that whatever the Vidiians did seriously depleted her strength–there was nothing she could have done. She tells him that’s not it.  When the Vidiians extracted her Klingon DNA, she thinks they turned her into some kind of coward. Paris tries to tell her that, sometimes, fear can be a good thing because it can keep you from taking unnecessary chances. He goes on to say that courage doesn’t mean that you don’t have fear–it just means you’ve learned to overcome it.

Just then a Vidiian guard comes back and asks what’s going on. Paris jumps up and tells the guard that Human-B’Elanna was ill and needed a rest. (Way to go, genius!) The guard says that, if she’s ill, he’ll take her back to the barracks. Paris begins to protest, but Human-B’Elanna says that it’s OK–maybe she can find a way to make contact with the ship from there. One guard takes Human-B’Elanna back to the barracks and a second takes Paris back to work.

Chakotay is preparing to transport through the microfissure. Janeway asks him if he’s ready and he nods. Tuvok detects an opening in the microfissure and they initiate transport. Janeway observes that all they can do now is wait.

The Talaxian is moving through the caverns when he is ambushed and overpowered by Klingon-B’Elanna. She tells him to be quiet or she’ll break his neck and he agrees to keep the noise down. She asks where him where she can find Tom Paris. He directs her to the tunnel he was working in and says there was another human with him, but they took her to the barracks. Klingon-B’Elanna is confused by the fact that there was a human female.

Back in the barracks, Human-B’Elanna is lying down. She is being observed by a Vidiian who is in close proximity to her when a door opens and that Vidiian is summoned away. Human-B’Elanna gets up from her bunk and makes her way to the control console to try and find a way to contact the Voyager. She’s surprised by two Vidiian guards who subdue her and attempt to take her away–presumably to Organ Processing. Just then, Klingon-B’Elanna bursts in and knocks the Vidiians out in hand-to-hand combat. Human-B’Elanna can’t see the face of the person who beat up the Vidiians, but they are extending their hand to help her off the floor. She takes it and, when she rises, she comes face-to-face with her Klingon self and promptely faints. Klingon-B’Elanna throws her over her shoulder and they make their way out of the barracks.

Klingon-B’Elanna has built a fire in part of the caverns and is roasting something over it while Human-B’Elanna is still unconscious. Klingon-B’Elanna slaps Human-B’Elanna to wake her up and offers her some food. Human-B’Elanna asks what it is and her Klingon half says that it’s some rodent that she killed. Human-B’Elanna declines. Klingon-B’Elanna picks her up and apologizes that she couldn’t replicate her a soufflé but Human-B’Elanna is going to need nourishment because she can’t carry her all the way out of there. Human-B’Elanna takes the flame-cooked rodent.

She then asks Klingon-B’Elanna how they’re supposed to get out of there with Vidiian guards everywhere. Klingon-B’Elanna shrugs her off and says they’ll fight their way out. Human-B’Elanna says she’s not exactly in fighting form. Klingon-B’Elanna tells her that’s why she needs to eat and Human-B’Elanna partakes.

Klingon and Human Torres then spend a little time making small talk. Klingon B’Elanna asks if Human-B’Elanna was just going to waste away in the prison camp until the Vidiians killed her for body parts. She asks Human-B’Elanna if she was too frightened to act. Human-B’Elanna tells her that she was looking for a way to escape. Klingon-B’Elanna shows her how she should have escaped and holds up a fist and a weapon.

Human-B’Elanna lashes back and tells Klingon her that’s the way she tries to get out of every situation–by hitting things if they don’t work. She then tells Klingon-B’Elanna that it’s no wonder she was kicked out of Starfleet Academy. Klingon-B’Elanna thinks she should be grateful for that. She’s not, and Human-B’Elanna tells her that her Klingon temper has gotten her into trouble more times than she can remember.

She then realizes what they’re doing–they’re each fighting with their self. Klingon-B’Elanna reminds her that she’s the one who rescued her and she’s not fighting at all. In fact, Klingon-B’Elanna would like her Human half to be a little grateful that she busted her out of the prison camp. She’d like Human-B’Elanna to admit that she couldn’t have gotten out of there without her, to which Human-B’Elanna replies that she doesn’t know if she can get out of there with her–that brute force won’t accomplish it. Klingon-B’Elanna says perhaps not, but they’ll die in the attempt. That seems better to her than sitting around and being frightened.

Human-B’Elanna tells the Klingon half that there she goes again–leaping into action without thinking things through. Klingon-B’Elanna tells her she’s leaving and Human-B’Elanna tells her that’s not what she meant and apologizes. She tells Klingon-B’Elanna that before she rescued her, she logged into the Vidiians computer system and accessed the system that controls the force field. With a few minutes more, she could deactivate it–but she can’t do it without Klingon-B’Elanna’s help. She can’t make it back there alone and she’ll need Klingon-B’Elanna to cover her while she works.

Klingon-B’Elanna says that they can’t go back to the prison barracks–there are too many guards there. They can, however, go to the laboratory where Klingon-B’Elanna was being held. That’s the last place they’d expect them to be. Human-B’Elanna agrees and they set off.

Back in the barracks, Paris is talking with the Talaxian and they figure that Human-B’Elanna must have been taken to Organ Processing. Paris wants to find her and asks the Talaxian how to get there. A Vidiian puts his hand on Paris’ shoulder and he swings around, telling the Vidiian to keep his hands off. The Vidiian uses his name and suddenly Paris recognizes that it’s Chakotay. The undercover First Officer asks Paris where Durst and Torres are, and Paris tells him he thinks they’ve been taken to Organ Processing.

One of the Vidiian guards interrupts and asks Chakotay why he’s talking to the prisoners. Chakotay says that he was ordered to take Paris to Organ Processing–something which the Vidiian guard has no orders for. The Vidiian guard grows suspicious and says that he hasn’t seen Chakotay before and Chakotay tells him that he just had that face grafted. The Vidiian quickly inspects his face and allows Chakotay to take Paris to Organ Processing.

The two B’Elannas enter the laboratory and Human gets to work while Klingon covers the entrances. Human-B’Elanna attempts to shut down the force field and an alarm sounds through the Vidiian complex. A Vidiian guard comes rushing in and exchanges weapons fire with Klingon-B’Elanna. She stuns him (presumably), although she’s suffered an injury to her hand in the exchange. At that point, Sulan–still with Durst’s face–comes in with a weapon trained on Klingon-B’Elanna. She tells him that he won’t hurt her because he needs her. He admits that’s correct, but he will kill Human-B’Elanna if she doesn’t cooperate.

It’s then that Chakotay and Paris come through the door to create a standoff with Sulan. Human-B’Elanna is able to bring down the force field and Janeway hails Chakotay. He indicates that he’s found the Away Team. Sulan draws a hidden weapon and prepares to fire on Human-B’Elanna when Klingon-B’Elanna jumps in the way of the weapons discharge and is struck by the full force of the beam. Chakotay orders three Humans and one Klingon to beam up and they dematerialize as Sulan is horrified by having shot the Vidiians only shot at a cure for the phage.

Janeway enters the Transporter Room and is surprised to see two very different looking B’Elannas. Human-B’Elanna says they need to get her Klingon half to Sick Bay, and Klingon-B’Elanna says that there’s no time. She’s taken a shot directly to the chest and she’s going to make it. She takes the hand of Human-B’Elanna and tells her that she showed true courage and that it makes her death an honorable one. Klingon-B’Elanna dies in Human-B’Elanna’s arms.

Human-B’Elanna is in Sick Bay being tended to by The Doctor. He says that using tissue samples from Klingon-B’Elanna, he can replicate the Klingon DNA for reintegration back into Human-B’Elanna over the course of several days. B’Elanna is surprised that he is going to change her back. The Doctor tells her that has to because her ability of her cells to synthesize proteins has been severely compromised. Without her Klingon genes, she’ll die, too.  B’Elanna observes that her Klingon half is saving her yet again.

Chakotay is there and he asks B’Elanna how she is doing. She says she’s not sure–it’s been a pretty strange existence. She tells Chakotay that the way she is now, she’s more at peace with herself than she’s ever been before and that it’s a good feeling. She also feels incomplete and it doesn’t feel like her. Chakotay tells her that the two of them made quite a team down there. A teary-eyed B’Elanna says she knows and that she came to admire a lot of things about her Klingon self. She guesses she’ll have to spend the rest of her life fighting with her.

Chakotay’s at a loss for words. He goes to leave and turns back to say something to B’Elanna and doesn’t. B’Elanna sits alone in Sick Bay, rubbing the forehead where her ridges used to be one last time to remember the feeling one last time as a tear runs down her cheek and the episode draws to a close.

WHAT WORKED FOR ME

  • This episode has shades of TOS’ “The Enemy Within.”
  • The Vidiians are back! I love this race of villains and how they are a great threat to the safety of the Voyager crew.
  • Roxann Dawson. She does an outstanding job in this episode playing two clearly distinctive characters at a time when she hadn’t been inhabiting the amalgamated B’Elanna for very long. We see the fragility of Human-B’Elanna and the strength of Klingon-B’Elanna and a glimpse of what that internal struggle might be like for her on another level. Plus, it’s nice to see her without the Klingon “turtlehead” on.
  • The examination of B’Elanna’s human side gives us so much information about her backstory and tells us a great deal about what motivates Torres.
  • Tom Paris is used incredibly well in this episode and the character is so much more likeable when he’s not trying to be the sarcastic wiseguy aboard ship.
  • The use of Durst’s face by Sulan is particularly chilling. You saw his death coming form a mile away, but the way the development was sprung on the audience was great.
  • The final scene where Torres is alone in Sick Bay touching her forehead is perfectly played and you truly get the sense of what Torres feels. It’s top-notch.

WHAT DIDN’T WORK FOR ME

  • Roxann Dawson’s first few scenes as Klingon-B’Elanna were almost painful in the way the dialog was delivered. There…were…so…many…pauses…that it was distracting at times. It was like a William Shatner impersonation gone wrong.
  • Of course, Starfleet doctors must be taught how to surgically alter people as Vidiians in a flawless manner.
  • B’Elanna’s sense of loss when her Klingon half dies almost isn’t pronounced enough. I’d have liked to have seen that impact her more there on the Transporter pad.

PHOTON TORPEDO COUNT

The Voyager didn’t fire any photon torpedoes this episode, so the count still stands at 37.

TUVOK’S MIND GAMES

The Mind Games Tracker stands at .500 this week with no additional Vulcan Mind Melds in this episode.

Episode Meldee # of Times
S1E08 – Ex Post Facto Tom Paris 1
S1E13 – Cathexis Kes 0*
* Meld suggested & interrupted by a non-corporeal Chakotay

THE TREKGEEKS OFFICIAL ENSIGN HARRY KIM SUFFERING TRACKER

There are no additions to the Harry Kim Tracker this episode.

Harry Kim’s Condition # Episode(s)
Abducted by Alien Race 1 Caretaker
Mysterious illness 1 Parallax
Killed 2
   Euthanized in Vhnori Death Pod Emanations
   Killed by Grendel and turned into energy Heroes and Demons
Critically Injured 1 Ex Post Facto
Dejected over mini-wormhole 1 Eye of the Needle
   Wormholes named after him 1 Eye of the Needle
Dejected over teleportation technology 1 Prime Factors

VERDICT

“Faces” is an outstanding episode of Star Trek. It’s an original story that couldn’t have been done by any other Star Trek series and it’s executed extremely well. I really love this episode and I enjoy it more every time I see it. There was the danger for this to be a really bad take on “The Enemy Within,” but I find it a tremendous compliment to that episode in the Star Trek universe–and I think that says a great deal.

Roxann Dawson really shines in this episode as the two distinct halves of her character. It’s a look at B’Elanna that we’d never be able to see any other way. The story is compelling and entertaining while not being overworked. The resolution is satisfying to the point where we empathize greatly with Torres and really feel as though we understand her internal conflict. You like B’Elanna Torres more after this episode–and that wasn’t necessarily true in previous installments.

If I were introducing someone to Star Trek: Voyager, this is one of the episodes I’d show them. “Faces” receives 4 out of a possible 5 Deltas for being an original story told in excellent fashion, as well as for it being a terrific examination of the Torres character.

4delts

 

 

 

 

WATCH IT

(If you are unable to see the video player for the embedded episode above from Hulu.com, please click here.)

NEXT TIME

Neelix encounters a scientist responsible for developing a weapon that caused a Talaxian genocide–and he claims Neelix is terminally ill in “Jetrel.”

=/\=

 

VOY Challenge, Ep. 13: Cathexis

VOY_S01_E13TrekGeeks’ Star Trek Voyager Challenge

One Geek’s endeavor to attach the stones to the medicine wheel in all the right places.

OVERVIEW

Janeway is spending some time getting away from being Captain by immersing herself in a holo-novel. (Does anyone remember when they had power shortage issues three or four episodes ago?) She’s playing the part of a Governess in “ancient England.” She’s not in the house sixty seconds and she’s already butting heads with the woman who manages the house staff. She then meets the Master of the House who sets forth some rules–when she is rudely interrupted by Ensign Kim. (Dammit, Harry! Mama’s got needs!)

Kim reports that he’s got the shuttlecraft transporting Commander Chakotay and Lieutenant Tuvok  on long range sensors and they’re not responding. The shuttle’s been damaged and there are fractures in the hull. Kim also reports that the two life signs are faint. Janeway orders him to beam the life signs directly to Sick Bay as soon as they’re in range.

Once on board, The Doctor reveals that they’ve each taken an energy discharge to the head. Tuvok has sustained a concussion and should recover, but Chakotay isn’t so lucky.  All of the bio-neural energy has been drained from his synapses. The Doctor can put him on life support, but for all intents and purposes, Chakotay is brain dead. Cut to a one-shot of Janeway looking stunned and shocked as her eyeballs dart back and forth. Cue the opening credits…

Tuvok tells Janeway that the shuttle attack lasted no more than a few seconds. They had completed their trade mission with the Ilidarians and were on course for their rendezvous with the Voyager when they encountered a dark matter nebula. As they began to analyze it, a ship emerged and attacked the shuttle. Chakotay lost consciousness quickly and Tuvok was barely able to set the autopilot before he lost consciousness himself. Beyond that, Tuvok can provide little detail, but the shuttle’s sensors may have recorded information about the attack. The Doctor can do little for Chakotay without being able to examine the weapon to determine how his bio-neural energy was depleted. Janeway orders the ship back to the dark matter nebula to try and find the ship that attacked the shuttle.

Janeway says the long-range sensors detect strong electromagnetic radiation emanating from the nebula and they won’t be able to scan inside it. She reconfigures the sensors for multiphasic bandwidth and she loses all sensor contact with the nebula–which makes no sense. (I know, right?)  Turns out that the ship has changed course and is headed away from the nebula. Janeway asks Paris what’s going on and he has no idea–he didn’t input the new course. She asks Kim to check the navigational computer and asks who changed the course.  Kim says that the command to change course was issued from the Conn–Paris’ station. Paris vehemently denies doing it and says that there’s no malfunction of the helm. Janeway orders helm control transferred to Kim’s Operations Console and to resume course for the dark matter nebula.

Torres sets up Chakotay’s medicine wheel in Sick Bay in an effort to perform a healing ritual that she learned from him. She explains it’s significance to The Doctor and how she thinks it may be the only way for Chakotay to find his way home. (Yes, this coming from the woman who once attempted to kill her animal guide.) The Doctor actually corrects Torres’ placement of the stones because he’s got that as part of his programming. (Seriously? He’s got that but he didn’t have Beowulf?!) The Doctor also points out that it probably won’t be much help because there’s not enough left of his mind to work with.

Kes’ reading is her quarters when she senses something. She wanders around trying to get a better sense of it and asks if anyone is there. Something is definitely there with her and she can’t see it. We jump to the Mess Hall where Neelix is whipping up something that undoubtedly involves Leola Root. Kes is explaining the presence she felt as if someone were in the room with her. Neelix asks her if it’s like she sensed it telepathically and she says that it’s different–more tangible.

Meanwhile, back on the Bridge, the ship is randomly changing course away from the nebula again. They’re headed somewhere else and now Ensign Kim is locked out of the controls.

This time, the course change and lockout were initiated from Navigational Control on deck 12…where Tom Paris just was. Paris denies being there, but Torres saw him with her own eyes. Janeway wants an explanation and Paris doesn’t have one to give. She theorizes that maybe there’s a problem with his memory and orders him to Sick Bay for evaluation. The Doctor examines Paris and finds nothing out of the ordinary. Paris thinks that lets him off the hook, but Tuvok says not so fast–he found traces of Paris’ DNA on the console in Navigational Control. His cellular residue was less than 12 hours old. Paris still has no recollection and the Doctor suggests he could run a bio-molecular scan and Tuvok asks to be kept informed.

The Voyager is back at the dark matter nebula and Tuvok thinks he might have discovered the ion trail of the ship that attacked he and Chakotay. The trail leads directly into the nebula, but the flight path seems erratic. The planetoids in the nebula may be creating gravitational currents and Tuvok suggests that they might want to follow the exact flight path of the mystery ship. Just then, the ship drops to impulse power and Kim is reading massive energy drain all over the ship and the warp core is shutting down.

Janeway and Tuvok go to Engineering to ask what’s going on and Torres has no idea. The warp core is shut down, the main computer is offline and Torres has no idea why. (There seems to be a trend here.) The Doctor examines her, too, and has found something–Torres and Paris’ memory engrams are identical at the times of the various disruptions–something that shouldn’t be possible since memory engrams are a bit like fingerprints. The Doctor thinks another brain wave was superimposed on their own at the times of disruption. The Doctor theorizes that an unknown alien could have controlled both Paris and Torres and caused them to act.  Whatever it is, it doesn’t want them going back to that nebula.

Since the entity can apparently jump from person to person with no warning, Janeway orders transfer of the command codes to The Doctor. Janeway, Tuvok, and Torres head to Engineering to try to bring the warp core back online when Kes runs up to them. She tells them she’s been sensing a presence all day and doesn’t know how to describe it.  We can see the presence floating through the hallway through its own point of view. Tuvok points out that Kes’ telepathic abilities are “undisciplined,” and that perhaps he can learn more from a mind meld with her (YES!). Janeway agrees and tells Tuvok to proceed.  He and Kes break off from them and head for the turbolift. Turns out they don’t get much further than that since Kim discovers them there, unconscious, and Kes has some kind of odd bruise on her neck below her right ear.

Tuvok and Kes were apparently hit by some kind of unidentified energy discharge that came through the bulkhead. Tuvok was not badly hurt, but Kes is in a coma. (This seems to be a trend.)  Internal sensors didn’t pick up any kind of energy discharge at all, but it had to come from somewhere on board the ship.  Paris suggests they could search the ship with a magneton scanner, but that would likely prove fruitless since the alien can move so quickly. Torres suggests a magneton flash-scan so the ship could be scanned all at once. They ask Harry what he thinks and our favorite Ensign is deep in thought—or is he? Tuvok stands up and draws his phaser and Torres scans him with a tricorder.  Harry snaps out of it and says he was recalling a study he read on magneton scannes and his mind wandered off.  Janeway is concerned that alien paranoia could get the better of the crew any time someone is distracted. She orders Tuvok and Torres to get started on the flash-scan.

Back in Sick Bay, Neelix is telling The Doctor of what seems like every possible instance of crew members acting oddly. In fact, it seems like Neelix is gossiping by way of paranoia–the very thing that Captain Janeway had hoped to avoid. The Doctor warns him that this paranoia isn’t helping his already emotional state given Kes’ injuries.  The EMH successfully talks Neelix down from the ledge and he leaves Sick Bay.

Tuvok enters as Neelix leaves and tells the Doctor he is reconfiguring the sensor relays in Sick Bay. The Doctor questions as to whether he really has to do it now because he’s in the middle of treating Kes and Tuvok tells him that’s “Captain’s orders.” Tuvok asks how Kes is, and The Doctor tells him that she has no permanent damage and that her injuries are very different from Chakotay’s–her bio-neural energy is still intact. He is curious about the bruises on her neck and shoulder, though. They don’t seem consistent with the energy discharge. In fact, they look like wounds sustained during a physical struggle of some sort. Tuvok doesn’t recall a struggle.

The Doctor also mentions that the wound looks like an extreme trauma to the trapezius nerve bundle–like the nerve had been ruptured. (Hmmmm…the nerves in her neck and shoulder…)

Tuvok reports to Janeway’s Ready Room. He and Torres will be ready to start the magneton scan in two hours’ time. Because of it’s intensity, it can cause dizziness and disorientation for several seconds. Janeway directs him to make a ship-wide announcement before starting the scan.

Tuvok also tells her there’s another matter of concern–Kes’ injuries.  They weren’t caused by the energy discharge and Tuvok tells her that Kes was physically assaulted.  Janeway observes that Tuvok wasn’t assaulted at all, to which Tuvok agrees. Janeway asks him if it’s possible that he–Tuvok–inflicted Kes’ wounds (presumably through the infamous Vulcan nerve pinch which he has yet to perform on camera in this show) and probably while he was inhabited by the alien. Tuvok admits that it is possible and suggests that The Doctor could run a neurological scan to see if he had the same overlay of brain patterns that Torres and Paris did. Janeway agrees.

She attempts to raise The Doctor over the comm, but he doesn’t respond. She tells the computer to activate the EMH and the computer cannot comply because the EMH’s program has been disabled–and there’s no record of who disabled it. Janeway attempts to unlock the program and she can’t—it’s been encrypted and Tuvok deduces that it’s been done by someone above Deck 4. Janeway wonders why someone would deactivate The Doctor and Tuvok reminds her that The Doctor is holding the command codes to the ship. Once he was deactivated, those codes reverted back to…Captain Janeway. It would make sense that if the EMH couldn’t be possessed by the alien, then it would try to force the command codes back to a human it could take over.

That means it’s too dangerous for one person to have the command codes and Janeway suggests to Tuvok that they should divide the codes between them. Janeway says they’ll have to tell the Bridge Crew the plan (Why?? She’s the Captain, for cryin’ out loud!!) and act as checks and balances for each other. They head for the Bridge and we can see the alien from its own point of view moving through the Bridge.

She goes to the Bridge and tells the crew that The Doctor has been disabled–presumably by the alien’s influence–and they can’t get him back online. She states she’s decided to divide the command protocols…and then stops mid-sentence and focuses on Tuvok. Tuvok turns around and Janeway hauls off and strikes him, sending him to the floor.  Tuvok draws his phaser and Janeway kicks it out of his hand. Tuvok asks for someone to stun her because she’s the alien, and Paris draws his phaser and fires at her. Janeway drops to the floor, unconscious.

The alien leaves her and moves across the Bridge and inhabits Harry Kim (!) who draws a phaser and Paris backhands him in the face. The alien then jumps to Lt. Durst who draws a phaser and fires at Tuvok, missing him. Tuvok fires his phaser on a wide beam dispersal and stuns everyone in front of him.

Janeway is in Sick Bay being tended to by Tom Paris who gives her a hypospray. She asks Harry if he’s had any luck getting The Doctor back online, and he hasn’t. He’ll have to try and break through at least six levels of encryption to reactivate his program. He estimates two or three hours before The Doctor could be activated. Torres interrupts over the comm and requests the Captain’s presence in Engineering telling her there’s something she should see.

Torres tells Janeway that she’s trying to piece together the sensor logs from the damaged shuttlecraft. She’s discovered that the sensor logs weren’t destroyed the the energy discharge–someone erased them and then overloaded the sensor matrix to make it look like they’d been damaged in the attack. That’s not all: there was enough information left in the logs for her to figure out what happened during the attack. The shuttle was near the dark matter nebula and it did encounter an energy discharge–but there wasn’t another ship. It looks like the energy discharge came from the nebula itself. Janeway wonders why Tuvok would lie and Torres says that he was probably under the control of the alien.

Kim interrupts over the comm to tell Janeway that the ship is approaching the dark matter nebula. Janeway asks Torres how long before the magneton flash-scan is ready to go, and she says that it will be 15 or 20 minutes. She instructs Torres to transfer control of the scan to the Bridge when she’s ready. Janeway heads for the Bridge to get a closer look at the Mutara dark matter nebula.

Janeway asks Tuvok if he can locate the ion trail of the ship that attacked the shuttlecraft, and he believes he can. He sends the coordinates over to Kim and tells the Captain the shields are at maximum. Just then Paris rushes in and tells the Captain that he’s completed the scan that The Doctor was running on Kes. If he reads the data correctly, he believes that her injuries were the result of a Vulcan nerve pinch. Janeway and Paris look at Tuvok who has no recollection of doing such a thing. He suspects that he was inhabited by the alien at the time–and Janeway wonders why it keeps attacking him.

Tuvok tells her that she’s being paranoid. She says it’s not her paranoia that’s keeping her from seeing the ion trail Tuvok is following and she requests the bandwidth he’s working on. He sends it to her, and she sees it–but she observes that there’s no subspace distortions in the wake of the ion trail he’s sent over.  According to those readings, it’s a ship without engines. Tuvok is lying–there is no alien ship and there never was.  She tells him they’re not going inside that nebula until she gets some answers. She orders Kim to reverse course and Tuvok draws his phaser.

Tuvok claims that’s what the alien has been trying to do–keep the ship from entering the nebula and he claims the Captain is under the influence of the alien. What’s more, he says he’s relieving her of command and orders Kim to change course back for the nebula. Janeway tells Kim not to obey Tuvok’s order and he refuses. Tuvok tells Janeway that his phaser is on wide beam dispersal again, but this time it’s set to kill. He directs the Bridge crew to gather on the other side of the Bridge and moves for Kim’s console. Durst tells Janeway that the ship is entering the nebula. (Thanks, Lieutenant Obvious.)

Harry is picking up highly coherent energy pulses in the nebula and they’ve got a bio-matrix. Lifeforms…and they’re heading for the Voyager. Janeway asks Tuvok if the lifeforms in the nebula are his people and he says that he is part of the Komar and the nebula is their domain. We then see the alien making it’s way through Engineering. It circles the long way round before it takes control of Torres. She moves to the center console and ejects the warp core. This doesn’t make the alien inhabiting Tuvok very happy at all.

Torres hails the Bridge and tells the Captain she thinks she was just inhabited by the alien who had her eject the warp core.  (Can’t put nuthin’ by Torres, can you?) Paris doesn’t get it–how could B’Elanna be inhabited by the alien if Tuvok is inhabited by the alien already. Harry says he doesn’t know–unless there are two aliens. (Can’t put nuthin’ past these two, either, huh?)  Janeway tells them that Torres isn’t authorized to eject the warp core on her own–it requires a command code authorization. Janeway asks the computer who authorized the ejection of the core.

Commander Chakotay.  (Sure…now he leaves his calling card?!)

The presence that’s been trying to keep the ship out of the nebula is Chakotay. His bio-neural energy was displaced and he’s been moving person to person to thwart the Komar. Tuvok engages the thrusters to get closer to the nebula. He’s trying to get the crew closer to the nebula to extract their bio-neural energy. It will sustain the Komar for years to come. Janeway offers to help them find a new form of energy. The beings start to bombard the ship. Janeway makes a move and dives for her console to start the magneton flash-scan and the crew is disoriented. Paris disarms Tuvok who his still disoriented and the Komar entity leaves his body and escapes through the bulkhead.

Janeway says the magneton scan identified the alien as a trianic-based energy being before it left the ship. The Komar continue to attack the ship and the electromagnetic radiation is blinding the sensors so they can’t find a way out of the nebula. Janeway orders the ship to come about and reverse course. Harry’s not so sure that’ll work since Tuvok was navigating a fairly complicated course and they could go deeper in the nebula. Janeway suggests that Harry could reconstruct the course from Tuvok’s navigational logs.

The disembodied Chakotay is moving through Sick Bay and inhabits Neelix and he goes to the medicine wheel and reorganizes the stones. Harry says that Tuvok deleted the navigational logs as he went along so he can’t piece together the course. Neelix contacts the Bridge and tells Janeway he was just taken over and done something odd by rearranging the stones on the wheel. Janeway takes that as a clue and has Harry activate Sick Bay Visual Relay 16 (?) and pipe it to the view screen. She’s not sure what it is, but Paris thinks it could be a map.  Janeway orders the computer to overlay a star map of the nebula. Chakotay is showing them a way out. Janeway orders Harry to plot a course close to those planetoids to find a way out.

Shields are failing and the Komar are starting to penetrate the hull. They’re close to normal space and almost out of the nebula. Janeway orders all power, including life support, to the thrusters and they power their way out of the nebula. The aliens have ceased their pursuit of the Voyager.

The Voyager has returned to the coordinates where they ejected the warp core and they’ve retrieved it. The Doctor has been able to reintegrate Chakotay’s consciousness to his body.  (Hello, Reset Button!) Chakotay wakes up and he’s a little rough around the edges. Janeway asks what happened in the shuttle.  He says he felt the sensation of floating over his own body but he couldn’t see or touch anything.  He thought he had died. He realized he could share the consciousness of another person if he concentrated on them and that was how he could inhabit others.

Chakotay apologizes to Tuvok for roughing him up a bit. Janeway welcomes the First Officer back, but says it’s like he never really left as the episode draws to a close.

WHAT WORKED FOR ME

  • The concept of the episode–at least, in theory.

WHAT DIDN’T WORK FOR ME

  • Janeway’s holo-novel was an idea that I don’t think was all that interesting. At least, not that setting. The average Star Trek viewer doesn’t really care about Jane Eyre ripoffs and it’s just not engaging in five minute bites.
  • Robert Beltran has zero to do in this episode but lie there and pretend to be brain dead.
  • The Medicine Bundle (which Chakotay had never shown anyone…other than B’Elanna…and Janeway…) is used by Torres to help Chakotay. It’s interesting that the character that tried to kill her spirit guide is so well-versed in Native American healing rituals.
  • 13 episodes in and I really want to put Neelix in an airlock and de-pressurize it. (The character, not the actor.)
  • Torres needs a command code authorization to eject the warp core?  Really?  Geordi LaForge never needed that on the Enterprise.
  • So, the bio-neural energy of the crew is wanted by the aliens in the dark matter nebula. Isn’t the circuitry of the ship also bio-neural?  Why can’t they just grab that energy?
  • RESET BUTTON: the Warp Core is back and Chakotay’s consciousness is back in his body. It’s magic, I tell you. MAGIC.
  • Tuvok’s changing rank pips. His rank as displayed on his uniform hasn’t been right all season, but they finally straighten it out in this episode after a few changes back and forth.

PHOTON TORPEDO COUNT

The Voyager didn’t fire any photon torpedoes this episode, so the count still stands at 37.

TUVOK’S MIND GAMES

I think Tuvok performs more mind melds than all of the Vulcans in the history of the Federation. For something that is supposed to be rare–and potentially dangerous–Tuvok breaks that bad boy out every chance he gets.

He had one already in the episode “Ex Post Facto.” He suggests one in this episode and it never happens thanks to out-of-body Chakotay. (Respect the Meld, Tattooed Man. Respect the Meld.)

This initial appearance of the Mind Games counter is dedicated to my friend, Isis, who suggested that I keep track.

Episode Meldee # of Times
S1E08 – Ex Post Facto Tom Paris 1
S1E13 – Cathexis Kes 0*
* Meld suggested & interrupted by a non-corporeal Chakotay

THE TREKGEEKS OFFICIAL ENSIGN HARRY KIM SUFFERING TRACKER

There are no additions to the Harry Kim Tracker this episode.

Harry Kim’s Condition # Episode(s)
Abducted by Alien Race 1 Caretaker
Mysterious illness 1 Parallax
Killed 2
   Euthanized in Vhnori Death Pod Emanations
   Killed by Grendel and turned into energy Heroes and Demons
Critically Injured 1 Ex Post Facto
Dejected over mini-wormhole 1 Eye of the Needle
   Wormholes named after him 1 Eye of the Needle
Dejected over teleportation technology 1 Prime Factors

Harry is possessed by Chakotay’s disembodied bio-neural energy for the briefest of moments in this episode, but it’s hardly worth charting.

VERDICT

This episode could have been so much more and it was muddled and confused and really lacked cohesion. It’s like a series of small scenes with nothing to bind it and it’s way more complex than it truly needs to be. It’s a tough episode to follow and, honestly, it was even tough to recap for this blog without getting confused at times.

The best part of the episode is when the “alien” is jumping from person to person on the Bridge crew.  If they’d made more of those first-person moments (rather than them happening off-screen) and altered the story a bit, I think it could have been a tighter episode.

“Cathexis” gets 2 Deltas out of a possible 5 for being aimless wandering—kind of like Chakotay’s bio-neural energy!

2delts

 

 

 

 

 

 

WATCH IT

(If you are unable to see the video player for the embedded episode above from Hulu.com, please click here.)

NEXT TIME

B’Elanna Torres is of two minds…and bodies…as the Vidiians return in “Faces.”

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