Season One, Episode 13: Faces

Y’all ready for this?

You know it’s gonna be good when the episode’s cold open features a woman chained up by the wrists. A background voice babbles on about regeneration and reanimation and then tells us that the unfortunate woman in question is…our own dear B’Elanna:

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The shadowy figure in the background is Christian Grey

Are you on the edge of your seat yet? Good, because the next thing we learn is that Neelix made some soup for Tuvok. Whatever goodwill this gesture might have earned him is quickly squandered when Neelix hovers over him while he eats it, waiting for compliments. This is fucking riveting television.

An away team comprised of Paris, B’Elanna, and some guy named Pete are due back on the ship after exploring some “magnocyte formations,” but they stand Janeway up and the ship can’t find their comm signals. Tuvok theorizes that the aforementioned formation are blocking the ship’s sensors (which he pronounces “sen-SORS.” In my head this is an affectation that drives everyone else on Voyager up the wall. It annoyed me to hear it once, so 75 years wandering in space alongside that would probably lead me to murder). Harry’s scans reveal that the planet’s geological caves have shifted even though there’s been no tectonic activity to explain it. Chakotay volunteers to lead another away team to investigate. Janeway lets him, but tells him, “I want a transporter lock on you at all times.”

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You had a pretty good transporter lock on me last night in cargo bay 3, boss lady

We finally cut back to B’Elanna in the chamber of horrors, where it’s revealed that she’s been kidnapped by OH MY GOD WHAT THE HELL IS THAT

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DID THE LAST FIFTY SHADES BOOK END WITH A TERRIFYING KEROSENE ACCIDENT

He says he’s the chief surgeon of the Vidiians. Does that name ring a bell? No? How about “those dudes who stole Neelix’s lungs that one time”? Yeah, those guys. This one’s been up to some wacky Dr. Frankenstein stuff, because B’Elanna looks a lot more Kling-y than she usually does. He tells her he’s altered her genome (which he pronounces “JEN-ome.” Why all this affected pronunciation? Did someone decide that would make the show more sophisticated?) Long story short, he did it ’cause he thinks Klingon genes hold the cure for whatever’s making him and the rest of the Vidiians look like what’s left after a dumpster fire. He’s also infected B’Elanna with that, by the way.

Meanwhile, Paris and Pete — who’s not very hot, and I don’t remember seeing him before so I bet he’ll die by the end of the episode — are basically in a Vidiian prison camp. They immediately start planning their escape and are interrupted by a guy in an upper bunk who seems to be Neelix’s cousin. With a weird laugh and bad puns, he tells them no one ever escapes from Dumpster Fire Prison.

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This answers a burning question of mine: Yes, Neelix’s entire species is just as annoying as he is. 

In the caves, Tuvok finds traces of five humanoid life forms. Harry says, “Five? Only three in the away team,” with a pride that’s waaaaay out of proportion for his achievement here.

Dr. Dumpster Fire inquires gleefully about the pain B’Elanna’s in (this really is sort of S&M, huh) from the disease, but B’Elanna’s Klingon genes are working overtime to fight it off. He tells her she’ll be a hero among his people. She’s not real happy about any of this. Understandably.

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GOOD THING DETECTIVE KIM’S ON THE CASE, DOIN’ REAL BASIC MATH

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GOOD THING PARIS IS ON THE CASE, NAPPIN’ REAL HARD

Now shit gets a little weird, because Paris wakes up to find…B’Elanna. But it’s an entirely human B’Elanna. Kling Off. She’s totally freaked out by this, because she’s always had mixed feelings about her forehead. Paris tells her he understands her feelings because when he was a kid he used to hide the bad haircuts his dad gave him under a baseball cap. Then B’Elanna literally tells him that her dad left her when she was a little girl because she looked like a Klingon. Swing and a miss there, Paris.

Tuvok figures out that the cave walls are actually a force field concealing something, and that the signature of it matches the guys who stole Neelix’s lungs that one time. Janeway perks up and wants to know what the lung stealers are up to; but when some Vidiians turn up she beams the team out rather than risk her sugar muffin losing any parts.

Meanwhile, it’s becoming creepily apparent that Dr. Dumpster Fire is, ah, into Kling On B, and she decides to play that up, asking him if he knows that Klingon women are known for their “voracious sexual appetites.” Uh…well, any port in a storm, I guess.

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Even if said port is adjacent to an oil rig explosion

But he reprimands her for playing with his feelings (uh, dude, what about you playing with her genome?) Then he basically says that it’s ok and promises that when her genes cure him, he’ll be totally hot.

Back in prison, some Vidiians show up to take Ensign Pete (called that one a mile away) and Tom tries to prevent it, to no avail.

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The Batman Device Returns!

Then Dr. DF tells B’Elanna, “I have something I want to show you.” The “something” is…OH GOD OH GOD IT’S ENSIGN PETE’S FACE

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The least believable part of this episode is that idea that someone looking to steal a face to be more attractive would choose Pete’s over Paris’s

This pisses B’Elanna off so much she breaks out of her bonds and chokes Dumpster Fire Pete-Face, MD (he went to med school on Granada, okay? It’s totally legitimate).

On Voyager, everyone’s trying to solve the problem of getting through the force-field. Technobabble et al. They figure out a way to get someone through it, but they’ll have no way to communicate with said someone once he’s in. What’s to prevent him from just being captured by the Vidiians, too? Chakotay says he has an idea.

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Chakotay’s idea of role play is not quite what Janeway had in mind

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But Tuvok went and made a real good costume, so she’ll try to get into it

Paris and Kling Off are stuck hauling rocks in prison camp, and turns out the human version of B’Elanna is super scared and weak. Kinda like…the opposite of the purely Klingon B’Elanna. This episode is getting really deep, guys. Tom gives her a lecture about courage and bravery and how he’s not a doctor but *probably* fucking around with her genome may have, you know, done something to cause this. Then Tom gets hauled off by the guards, presumably because Dr. Dumpster-Fire realized his mistake.

The nightmare version of Chakotay beams down to the planet. Kling On B’Elanna threaten’s Neelix’s college roommate to find the whereabouts of Paris. He tells her Paris is with “a human female.” Rather predictably, in a scrap with some Vidiian guards, the two B’Elannas meet.

The heart of the episode is supposed to be the scene that follows, when B’Elanna’s two warring inner selves have a dialogue about the challenges of Being B’Elanna. But it’s not terribly subtle, with lines like, “Do you realize that each of us is arguing with herself?”

 

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Not that this show is real big on subtle gestures

 

Anyway, smart but weak B’Elanna and strong but impulsive B’Elanna team up and work together to defeat the Vidiians, along with a little help from Paris and post-Hindenberg Chakotay. Kling On dies heroically, taking a phaser tase for Kling Off. The Doctor can fix Kling Off’s DNA so she goes back to normal, and she says she’s “more at peace than I’ve ever been before.” The End.

My favorite part of this episode is that when Chakotay shows up to rescue Tom from prison, the two of them just abandon the guy Neelix sat next to in third grade, who tells us near the beginning of the episode that he’s been stuck there for years watching all of his crewmates get murdered for their organs. They literally walk off without a backward glance.

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“No, Chakotay, he’s just like fucking Neelix, man.” 

So far as I can tell, that little vignette with the soup at the beginning serves no purpose but to remind us that Neelix is really, really annoying and everybody hates him. Then the guy who is clearly from Neelix’s planet – and who even sort of helps our heroes — gets left by the Voyager team in Dumpster Fire Prison to have his organs harvested.

I find this a much more compelling arc than B’Elanna’s, honestly.

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Season One, Episode Twelve: Cathexis

Janeway’s life is hard, yo. So what does the captain of a stranded starship do to unwind? Play Jane Eyre on the holodeck.

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Say it with me: JANEWAY. GET A BETTER HOBBY.

Just as Janeway’s about to maybe-sort-of get it on with the master of the manor, Ensign Kim interrupts. Chakotay and Tuvok are on their way back from a trading mission, but something’s gone artfully awry. I say “artfully” because instead of just normal injuries, something stole Chakotay’s brain.

Okay, not exactly his brain. Just his “bioneural energy.”

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No! Not my sugar muffin!

Tuvok says they went into a nebula and were attacked by a ship that blasted them with some kind of energy discharge. Janeway decides they have to go back to the nebula to find out what happened. But they run into a problem: the ship starts mysteriously changing course.

Meanwhile, B’Elanna does a healing ritual with Chakotay’s medicine wheel. That is not a euphemism. The doctor gets pissy, so B’Elanna explains that the ritual will help “point him back” to his brain. I guess. The doctor says he knows all about it, but that it won’t help, because he has no brain left to find.

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Next she will massage his muscled calves with essential oils and light an energizing spearmint candle

Kes, relaxing in her quarters, has the sense she’s not alone. She tells Neelix. As usual, he’s jealous.

The ship is going crazy, changing course left and right, the controls are locking out. B’Elanna said she saw Paris in navigational control, so suspicion falls on him. Janeway sends him to sick bay, but the doctor can’t find anything wrong with him. Then Tuvok finds Paris’s DNA all over the navigational control panels.

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“He’s been whacking off in Engineering again.”

But even with Paris trapped in sick bay, weird shit keeps happening. The ship flips to impulse power and the warp core shuts down. B’Elanna has no memory of doing it.

The Doctor runs some scans and discover that both Paris and B’Elanna have unusual memory engrams at the moments that shit started to go crazy. Basically, they’re being possessed. They suspect an alien. The alien, they figure, could possess any one of the crew at any time – oh, wait. Except for…

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….this asshole.

So Janeway transfers all the command codes to The Doctor and gives him permission to override her command if at any moment he suspects her of being possessed.

Kes tells Janeway about her creepy feelings, accompanied by shots of the corridors smeared with Vaseline:

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I would make a joke about Tom Paris and Vaseline here, but that would be inappropriate.

Because Kes’s telepathic abilities are “undisciplined,” Tuvok suggests…wait for it…are you ready….”A Vulcan Mind-Meld.”

Since this episode is not nearly as suspenseful as they’d like to think (I mean, really, anyone *not* know immediately that the presence was Chakotay’s missing brain? Anyone? Bueller?), I need to take a second here to point out that Tuvok actually says “A Vulcan Mind-Meld.” To Janeway, Kes, and B’Elanna. Don’t all those people know what a mind-meld is by now? Do they really need to be told it’s Vulcan? Isn’t Tuvok kind of a pompous jerk?

Anyway, the Vulcan Mind-Meld works out real well:

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PSA: Mind-melding in an elevator is like texting and driving.

They were both bludgeoned by another mysterious “energy discharge,” and Kes is in a coma. None of the ship’s sensors picked it up. Janeway muses aloud, “But that discharge must have come from somewhere.”

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This is not the first time someone has said that to Tom Paris

They decide to magneton scan the whole ship. Kim goes off to la-la land for a bit and everybody pulls their phasers on him. Janeway recognizes that paranoia will start sweeping the ship and orders the magneton scan ASAP.

The doctor notes that Kes has wounds consistent with a physical struggle and OH MY GOD I STILL HAVE TWENTY MINUTES LEFT IN THIS EPISODE.

Okay. Okay. Tuvok tells Janeway that Kes was physically assaulted. Janeway puts two and two together and posits that Tuvok inflicted her wounds, while possessed by the alien. She suggests Tuvok get scanned by the Doctor and discovers that the Doctor has been disabled. Normally this would be a cause for celebration, but Janeway is worried because he was her emergency backup captain. She divides the command codes among the crew.

Then, all hell breaks loose. Janeway KOs Tuvok. Paris stuns her. Harry tries to kill her and Paris punches him in the face. Some random ensign pulls his gun. Tuvoks stuns everybody on the bridge. It’s the most entertaining 12 seconds of the entire episode.

B’Elanna discovers that Tuvok was lying about the alien ship. Janeway confronts Tuvok and he pulls his phaser on her. “DON’T GO INTO THE NEBULA!” Janeway tells Harry. “GO INTO THE NEBULA! SHE’S POSSESSED!” Tuvok tells Harry.

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Harry looks like my golden retriever when I throw tennis balls in two different directions at the same time. HIS WORLD IS BREAKING APART.

Tuvok takes command of the bridge and forces Voyager into the nebula. He reveals that the nebula is the domain of the Komar. Meanwhile, B’Elanna tries to eject the warp core. The Computer tells Janeway the command code used to do so was Chakotay’s. Janeway quickly figures out that Chakotay’s brain is battling the Komar possessing Tuvok, using the crew as pawns.

The magneton scan disables Tuvok. The crew battles to get out of the nebula. Neelix, possessed by Chakotay, rearranges the medicine wheel into a map to get them out of the nebula, and they escape safely. The doctor fixes Chakotay, and all is well.

Oh, and guess what the aliens wanted. The crew’s “bioneural energy.” AKA their brains.

AKA: SPACE ZOMBIES.

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“At least there was no time travel in this one, honey.”

W.T.F. Award:

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Um. Who the F is this guy?

 

Season One, Episode Eleven: Heroes and Demons

This is a special episode in so many ways. It’s definitely the most ridiculous episode of the first season, and I would put it up there as one of the top five weirdest episodes Voyager ever did. As might be expected, it starts with Ensign Kim fucking something up. Janeway needs him to do some bitch work but when she tries to find him the computer tells her Ensign Kim is…not aboard the ship.

It’s like she knows what’s about to happen next.

He was last seen on the holodeck, and now the holodeck is conveniently malfunctioning. Chakotay and Tuvok go in to investigate. They find out that the program Kim was running is based on…Beowulf. That’s right. Of all the fun things Harry Kim could be doing on a holodeck (and please don’t try to convince me there’s no such thing as holodeck porn – come on), Kim picked Beowulf.

A Brunhilde from the Met circa 1957 pops up and holds them at swordpoint. Since the holodeck is malfunctioning, they can’t get rid of her, so they have to negotiate with her. She says she’s seen Beowulf and describes him as, “like no other: hair straight and raven black, eyes bright with fierce fire, the burning gaze of a hero.”

LOL

 

She also says he’s dead. She takes them to the hall of the king to find out how he died. When they tell Janeway she’s very upset. They figure out that the problem was caused by the research matter she and B’Elanna were beaming aboard the ship earlier. They’re interrupted by the appearance of “Grendel” and next thing we know, Chakotay and Tuvok are gone, too.

What to do? Anyone who goes into the holodeck now faces the risk of being de-materialized…well, almost anyone. We almost forgot about…

…this asshole.

The ship’s resident whiny hologram is going in. While prepping, he’s nervous, and has a heartfelt talk with Kes about how awesome he is but also how nervous. Little bit of a humblebrag thing going on. Kes suggests that picking a name might help him feel more like part of the crew.

Once in the program, he meets Brunhilde again, and when she asks him his name he tells her it’s….

Schweitzer. As in, Dr. Schweitzer. Leave it to Voyager to make an actual social and historical reference in the middle of a wacked out episode about Beowulf in space.

“Schweitzer” goes with Brunhilde, who is clearly developing the hots for him, to the hall of the king.

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Weirdness bar status: raised. Note the mushrooms in the doctor’s hand.

The king challenges the doctor to a duel to prove his worth, so he has to put his mushrooms aside to borrow Brunhilde’s sword. But when the king tries to kill him, it doesn’t work, because he’s a hologram. Everybody’s amazed and takes up a cry of “ALL HAIL SCHWEITZER!!!”

In case I’m failing to convey the ridiculous of this, it’s a space show taking place in a hall full of poorly-costumed Vikings hailing a German doctor and organist most famous for establishing a hospital in Africa. On what other TV show does this happen??

The Doctor has lots of new material for his ego-masturbation fantasies now.

After a long and boring dinner with the Vikings where the doctor just fucking revels in being adored, the doctor gets some pre-battle nookie snuggles from the warrior maiden.

Now he has some for his actual masturbation fantasies, too.

Grendel shows up as a photonic energy burst that ensnares the doctor and forces the crew to beam him back to sick bay – minus an arm. After they fix him, they notice a synaptic pattern in the energy, and decide to try to replicate it in some of the energy samples they beamed up to study that started this whole mess in the first place.

B’Elanna, why can’t you just have a fish tank like normal people?

The energy bursts out of the containment field and zooms into an instrument panel ala Ghostbusters. It immediately wreaks havoc, like a gerbil loose in the pipes. A gerbil that can dematerialize people. They realize it’s alive, and when it gets through the hull they watch it get absorbed by a giant energy…lattice. I don’t know. There’s a lot of technobabble in this part. The end result is that they figure out the “energy” of the three missing crew members are trapped in the lattice. Janeway hypothesizes that these photonic gerbils are retaliating by manifesting in the holodeck and stealing crew members.

The doctor goes back into the holodeck to release the remaning energy-gerbil back to its people. The Vikings confront him, believing him to be in league with Grendel and attack him. Brunhilde takes a knife to the heart for him. They have a hilarious goodbye when she wheezes, “Farewell, Schweitzer.”

The Doctor has to go back to the hall and retrieve the gerbil cannister, which looks like a radioactive French press, from the Vikings.

English majors have confirmed there were no radioactive coffee makers in the original Beowulf.

 

“Grendel” appears, the Doctor gives him back his friend, and all three of Voyager’s missing crew members are returned safely. Janeway gives a commendation to the Doctor, who decides not to retain the name Schweitzer out of respect for his dead holo-girlfriend.

My sentiments exactly.

WTF Award:

WTF? Were the costume guys on strike? The guy on the right has a beard that looks like they just shaved a Pekingese and pasted the hair on his face.

Body Count: 0, but Albert Schweitzer is definitely rolling over in his grave.

Season One, Episode Ten: State of Flux

This episode begins with a mini-horticultural lesson on a strange planet, brought to you by Neelix. If you’re at home, this is a great time to go grab a beer or, this being Voyager, some Everclear. Luckily things get more interesting when Voyager picks up another ship in orbit. They do something wacky to disable its cloak and discover it’s a Kazon ship. Time to go back to Voyager…except, whoops, where’s Sesca?

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She’s probably not in Kerry’s pants. Nice try, Neelix.

Chakotay finds her in a cave. Unfortunately he also finds some Kazon, and one of them shoots him. But they get away, and he’s okay, and Sesca brings him mushroom soup. Sesca tells him she had to loot the food reserves to avoid Neelix’s shitty cooking, and Chakotay gets mad at her. She tries to sweet talk him with her body, but it doesn’t really work. I mean, come on, Sesca. Everybody know’s Chako is Janeway’s sugar muffin.

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Even her bun is inferior.

Before she leaves, Sesca threatens to seduce Ensign Kim. This hilarious image gets interrupted by a distress call from the Kazon ship. But is it a trap? Janeway decides to risk it. When a crew beams aboard, they discover lots of radiation and Kazon…parts. All saving one who seemed to survive. They take him to sick bay. Before they leave, B’Elanna notices something strange. Something strange other than Kazon parts. Apparently there’s some technology aboard the ship that only the Federation is known to use.

In sick bay, the Kazon is going to need new parts, even though he’s the only one who still had any. Meanwhile, Tuvok points out to Janeway that the most likely explanation for the Kazon’s possession of Federation technology is that someone on their ship has been selling secrets to the Kazon. Janeway is so disturbed she stops the elevator and gets all up in Tuvok’s face to tell him how disturbed she is.

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I mean, how can Sesca even think of competing with that? That bun takes no fucking prisoners.

Sesca is the prime suspect because of her disappearance on the planet. Chakotay isn’t pleased. In a staff meeting to get the technology back, B’Elanna sasses Janeway and she likes it. Sesca is not allowed on the team, and she confronts Chakotay in the hallway. And of course he tells her. Because it’s a *great* idea to tell someone under suspicion that they’re under suspicion.

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Girl, why don’t you take your inferior bun and your inferior attitude to the bridge like Chako asked you to?

We’re treated to a series of scenes whose sole purpose is to enhance the possibility that Sesca is a traitor. Then a new Kazon ship appears and – surprise – Sesca beams off Voyager to the original Kazon ship to get the Federation console against orders. She says she’s doing it to prove her loyalty (by disobeying orders, of course), but something goes wrong and she has to get beamed to sick bay.

Ensign Kerry from engineering is another suspect because the signal to the Kazon ship came from his station, so he’s confined to quarters. Chakotay and Janeway have a little lovers’ quarrel about it. The captain from the other Kazon ship beams aboard to see his sick bro. When Janeway refuses to turn over the damaged ship, he asks, “What gives you the right?”

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“Oh, I’m sorry. You must not have noticed my GIANT BUN OF AUTHORITY.”

But all goes awry; when Janeway turns her back for a second, the Kazon kill their sick buddy, obviously to protect the same information Janeway’s desperate to get: who gave them Federation technology? In the doctor’s office, Kes reveals to the Captain that Sesca’s blood does not match the genetic makeup of the species she claims to be. It seems like Sesca is actually Cardassian.

Chakotay is not happy. They all decide to wait and see if they can get more info from the console. Janeway radios B’Elanna to see how that’s going.

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“Good, Captain. We’re just about to give Kerry his enema, and then we’ll be on our way!”

Janeway wins a stare-down with the Kazon while they wait for the away team to return with the console. Turns out the technology was….a food replicator.

That’s right. A fucking food replicator used incorrectly blew alllll those Kazons apart and covered them with radioactive lava. Let’s just think about that for a second. Let’s think about how much better this episode would have been if they had just had the same malfunction on Voyager. Wouldn’t you rather watch Neelix get covered in radioactive lava? Show of hands?

Chakotay has an emotional conversation in sickbay, where he tells her she’s Cardassian. BECAUSE CHAKOTAY DOES NOT KEEP SECRETS, YOU GUYS. Sesca says it’s a side effect of a bone marrow transplant she had from a Cardassian woman when she was young. Chakotay says she has to wait until they finish checking what was stolen.

But…turns out telling her was a crafty Tuvok plan. He told the same thing to Ensign Kerry. And the Kazon are closing in. Tuvok notices a security hack and starts tracing it. The code being used is Sesca’s….which means it’s Kerry…which means it’s Sesca. Yeah, I don’t know, either. They go into detail about the ruse but frankly it’s boring. Like Murder She Wrote in Space.

Sesca’s all “I was doing it for us! I was doing it to forge alliances to get us home! I was doing it because Janeway stranded us all here a billion miles from home!!”

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Look at that eyebrow of disdain.

Sesca beams herself to the Kazon ship, and Janeway recognizes that they can’t fight all the Kazon ships. She won this battle. The episode ends with a heartfelt conversation between Chakotay and Tuvok about what a dupe Chakotay is. So it’s a feel-good for everybody.

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I know, Tuvok. I know.

W.T.F. Award:

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WTF is this dead Kazon part doing with my 6th grade Christmas sweater?

Season One, Episode Nine: Prime Factors

It’s Gossip Girl meets Voyager as B’Elanna and Sesca try to determine whether Harry Kim is sleeping with one of the vaunted Delaney sisters. This being Voyager, B’Elanna just asks Harry by yelling at him from across the cafeteria. He protests feebly that nothing happened on their holodeck trip to Venice. Except that he accidentally fell off the gondola. Everybody laughs at him. Even Janeway. She’s happy because both crews are finally bonding over the common ground of mocking Ensign Kim.

This merriment is interrupted by a distress call, and everyone goes to the bridge. The distress call is coming from a guy with a French accent who tells them that he’s not in distress; Voyager is.

lol u mad bro?

Because Janeway’s not an asshole, she invites him aboard the ship, where he introduces himself as Gak (I think) and offers to make lunch and thereby pisses off Neelix. I’m liking this guy already. He offers them a chance to get off the ship and take a vacation on his home planet, Sicaris (I don’t know how to spell it and I’m not looking it up because I waste enough time doing this already).

So everybody gets off the ship and Janeway does some shopping, although she’d rather “organize teams to collect seeds and plants.” I bet she’s really fun to party with. Harry flirts with a girl playing some kind of aeronautic space harp that tells the weather forecast.

He's thinking: Ohmygod a girl is touching me whatdoIdowhatdoIdo"

Everybody seems to be having a good time. Especially Harry. The girl he was flirting with is impressed by his stories. Like, really impressed. She tells him she can take him to a private place where he can “tell her all his stories.” Then she teleports him to another planet. While trying not to cream his pants, Harry realizes that the planet she’s taken him to is over 40,000 light years away from where they were.

Must...remember...math...

Harry runs back to tell Janeway about the technology that transported them there. It operates on “space folding,” and Janeway wants to know if they can use the technology to get them closer to home. Turns out, the one thing these super-hospitable aliens won’t share is their technology.

Harry thinks he could bargain with them by sharing all of Voyager’s “stories.” Janeway tries to sweet-talk Gak the magistrate over some pecan pie. Gak agrees to try to talk to the other magistrates.

Nobody says "literature" like Janeway when she wants something

Meanwhile, B’Elanna and her team go behind Janeway’s back to try to figure out how the space-folder works, and Harry’s new girlfriend takes him to a secret meeting. Like a back-alley drug deal, some of the Sicariis want to make a trade with Harry – the trajector matrix in exchange for stories. They tell him Gak won’t come through, and this is the only way he’ll ever get 40,000 miles closer to home.

I like how the chick is standing lookout. Voyager's big on authenticity.

Of course Harry tells Janeway, and now we’re faced with the show’s usual moral dilemma. Principles or practicality? When Gak proves less than helpful, Janeway’s insistence annoys him and he asks them to leave immediately. It’s not looking too good for Voyager.

B’Elanna and Sesca decide to go behind Janeway’s back and make the trade with the drug dealer. Except Tuvok walks in on them. Awkward. Only – Tuvok wants to be the one to do the dirty deed.

From some technobabble, we learn that the trajector relies on the planet itself to work, which means if they leave orbit, the device is useless.

Sesca has a great "ohhhh shit" face

They try the device anyway and it almost causes a warp core breach. Awkward. B’Elanna has to destory the matrix with her phaser to save the ship. B’Elanna puts on her stoic face and admits to Janeway that she was bad. Tuvok puts on his regular everyday face and admits that he was also bad. They both get a lecture from Janeway, but Tuvok gets off easy because he tells Janeway he did it to save her the ethical dilemma. The End.

It's okay, Janeway. At least the Doctor wasn't in this episode!

Cheesy dialogue award: “You are hostile and vicious and will infect the joyousness of our lives.”

W.T.F. Award:

W.T.F.? Are they meeting in the lobby of the Honolulu Hilton?

 

Season 1, Episode 8: Emanations

The Voyager crew may have found a new element in an asteroid belt. They fly down to investigate a cavern full of spiderwebs, where they find a mummy. And then another mummy. Lots and lots of mummies.

 

I think they have wandered into the Halloween Party Outlet down the street from me

The new element is emanating from the mummies. Chakotay wants to leave them undisturbed but Ensign Kim wants to plunder them for all they’re worth. Chakotay puts on his “token spiritual Indian” hat and lectures them about burial rituals before shit starts to get weird. When they beam back to the ship, B’Elanna and Chakotay show up with a mummy and no Ensign Kim. They decide to revive the mummy in the hope that it can give them some answers. I guess they forgot about that whole respecting the dead thing.

Kim, meanwhile, crashes a burial ceremony for a race who believes they are sending their dead into “the next emanation,” which sounds like real life but cooler. Kim makes a grand entrance by banging to be let out from inside the coffin. I hope that happens at my funeral.

Actually I think the guy in the background is wearing the "token spiritual Indian" hat.

In 3 seconds of conversation with these guys Harry manages to destroy their religion by casually mentioning that where he came from he saw dead bodies.

Voyager is doing the same thing by waking up the mummy, who is crushed to discover that she’s not in the afterlife, just Voyager.

"You're saying we just...decompose on an asteroid?"

 

"Weeeelllll...yeah. Yeah, pretty much."

This tender exchange is interrupted by some banging around and then B’Elanna finds another mummy just hanging out in engineering. Somehow, Voyager has become the new depository for the planet’s dead bodies.

Harry has a heartfelt conversation with an alien preparing to die. The upshot of this is that nobody knows what happens after anybody dies, death is a great mystery, death is just another part of life, und so weiter. When Harry finds out that this alien is electing to die because his family found his disability too much of a burden, he tells the alien, “It’s not my place to judge your culture” and then proceeds to judge the f*ck out of his culture.

Voyager’s warp core keeps attracting bodies like moths to a bug zapper. B’Elanna has an idea – maybe they can send their alien back and exchange him for Harry. Also: Janeway touches Chakotay a lot in this episode. Like, enough that I’m noticing it.

Look at his face. Tell me they're not making secret love in cargo bay 3

They try to send the alien back through one of the subspace vacules, but it doesn’t work, and the alien dies. Meanwhile, her people won’t let Harry try to get himself home. That’s when he gets an idea – maybe he can trade places with the alien preparing to die, and thus get sent back to the asteroid Voyager is orbiting. Sure, he’ll die during the process, but NBD, the Doctor will just revive him. Probably.

Remember back in episode 1 when I picked a scene that set the bar for weirdness in future episode? The weirdness bar has just been raised.

Just as Voyager is considering leaving to avoid becoming a morgue, Harry’s capsule lands on Deck 12 and the Doctor revives him and all is well that ends well and Janeway and Chakotay can focus on the more important business of banging each other senseless. Oh, and Harry gets two days off from work to reflect on his experience. The end.

Harry contemplates his mortality.

Best Line: “No artifacts, no inscriptions, just naked bodies.”

W.T.F. Award:

W.T.F. is up with his body proportions?

Body Count: 2 if you count Harry. Okay, maybe 1.5

Season 1, Episode 7: Ex Post Facto

I don’t even know where to start with this one. It wants to be film noir or something. It’s not. Tom Paris is viewing a black-and-white uber-dramatic retelling of the crime he’s been accused of: banging the wife of some alien, and then killing him. His sentence is to relive the last moments of his victim’s life every 14 hours until the end of time. Creative, no?

I don't know that reliving this would be so terrible

In far less dramatic news, the Doctor wants a name. Show of hands for anyone who cares. His whining is interrupted by the return of a shuttle carrying Harry, who reports to Janeway that Paris was left behind, accused of murdering an engineering scientist they were working with. Janeway decides to go to the Banean homeworld to find out what exactly happened to Paris. Neelix tells her that the Baneans are at war with another race called the Numerians. They must tread carefully.

Janeway and Tuvok meet with a Banean where they find out that Tom has already been convicted and punished, but it’s hard to concentrate on anything being said because his hairstyle is like something Lady Gaga would wear to piss off PETA.

Even he keeps getting distracted by the dead bird on his head

They are taken to see Paris, who swears that he didn’t do it, even though the victim’s own memory seems to implicate him. Under Tuvok’s withering gaze, however, he does eventually admit that something happened with the dead alien’s wife. Before he can tell them, he passes out from viewing the memory again, and they are allowed to take him back to Voyager to have the Doctor look at him.

The Doctor confirms that the memory cycle is damaging Paris’s brain. Janeway wonders if they can use this as the basis for proving Paris’s innocence. Tuvok gets all CSI and points out that though Tom claims he’s innocent, the victim has identified Tom from the grave and his wife testified against him in court. He makes the brilliant observation that “someone is obviously lying.”

Sloooow clap for Tuvok

Tuvok goes back to the planet to investigate. Honestly, this is just ten minutes of Tuvok asking the alien’s wife questions and being “dispassionate.” We are treated to a scene of the alien’s wife and Paris making out in the rain. Aside from Tom being hot, this about the most boring thing Voyager has ever aired. I would rather watch Neelix and the Doctor compete to see who can be more annoying.

When Tuvok gets back the Numerii start attacking Voyager. Chakotay and B’Elanna use an old Maquis trick to stave them off. I think this scene was solely inserted to break up the monotony of listening to Tuvok try to solve this case. He decides he needs to mind-meld with Paris to experience the memory of the murder himself.

During the meld, with lots of dramatic eye rolling on Tuvok’s part, he determines that he needs to talk to Harry again and study the alien’s research. He thinks he knows what’s going on. The Numerii zoom in on the shuttle carrying Tom and Harry back to the planet and capture them.

I think they also stole these uniforms from NSYNC circa 1998

But Janeway has a trick up her sleeve – the shuttle is rigged to explode. The aliens release it. Somehow this proves to Tuvok that Paris is innocent. To everyone, he reveals that the “engrams” from the aliens brain were altered to replace the real murderer with Paris; he knows this because the killer knew Banean anatomy, and Paris did not. The real murderer is the alien’s wife and the Banean doctor who implanted the memory into Tom. This is proved because the alien’s dog, who barks at strangers, does not bark at the doctor. End. Of. Story.

Janeway is worried that the show is going to be cancelled after this clunker.

Horrible Dialogue Award: “Maybe I kill myself slowly because I don’t have the courage to do it quickly.”

W.T.F. Award:

W.T.F.? Did the casting people specifically look for a chihuahua with mange?

Body Count: 2. The alien scientist, and my wasted evening.

Season 1, Episode 6: Eye of the Needle

Harry Kim might have found a wormhole and everyone’s excited. Paris suggests they name it “The Harry Kim Wormhole,” coincidentally the name of my next cheap vodka cocktail. Then they get there and discover it’s the smallest wormhole ever – virtually microscopic. Insert your joke about the size of Harry Kim’s wormhole here.

Even Janeway is kind of embarrassed for him

They still might be able to send a message through it – if they can figure out where it will end up. They launch a probe into it, but the probe gets stuck. However, someone on the other side of that wormhole is scanning it, so they decide to try to send a message to whomever that is. Harry is in charge of the project, and he is really super excited about it. He tells B’Elanna that he used to call his parents once a week, even when he was on his training missions. Awwwwww.

He's so excited he has to go put on his big-boy pants

The test is successful and whoever is at the other end of the wormhole sends a signal back. Tuvok determines that it was sent from the Alpha Quadrant. Harry thinks he can set up a way to Skype through the wormhole.

Meanwhile, Kes is on a crusade to get the crew to treat the Doctor better. Janeway points out to her that most people complain to her about the Doctor being an asshole, and that she was thinking of reprogramming him. Kes’s doey eyes make Janeway feel guilty for not thinking of the Doctor as a person.

Voyager is able to communicate through the wormhole. Unfortunately, the wormhole connects them directly to the biggest asshole in the Alpha Quadrant, who refuses to believe that a starship from the Delta Quadrant could be communicating with him. I guess he’s never heard of the internet.

They keep trying to get him back, and when they do we get a glimpse of Janeway’s night life – and her night hair.

If she dressed like this all the time Voyager might have gotten better ratings.

She sweet talks the Romulan into considering a video chat session so he can see that she’s not lying about who they are. She definitely guilt trips him into sending their messages along by asking him about his family back home. B’Elanna interrupts with some exciting news: she thinks she can transport the entire crew over to the Romulan ship. Talk about house-crashing. Just in case you couldn’t see the lasers of hope beaming out of Janeway’s eyes, she looks longingly at a picture of her boyfriend and pregnant dog.

ACTING!

Kes is cramming the entirety of med school into her brain in about six hours. I’m sure she’s super competent. When she tells the doctor there may be a way to get to the Alpha Quadrant he whines some more about how no one tells him anything and he’ll be left behind.

They do the test transport with something that looks like a Klingon sex toy (B’Elanna’s, perhaps? It does “simulate most known organic compounds” according to Tuvok). The test transport is successful. Maybe everybody is going home!

"Do you guys mind if I keep this? I'd like to, ah, run some tests."

They do another test to transport the Romulan to Voyager with a troop ship to take Voyager back. It works. Everybody is pretty much packed and ready to go home. But Tuvok, who shits on happiness, feels the need to take a big ole’ dump on everyone’s hopes and dreams when he reveals that the Romulan might be from the Alpha Quadrant, but it’s the Alpha Quadrant from 20 years ago. So no one’s going home. The Romulan, in a better mood now that he has the “test cylinder” offers to take their messages home and deliver them 20 years in his future. So at least there’s that.

Oh, wait. No there’s not. Tuvok tells everybody that he checked the database and that Romulan scientist died four years before Voyager left earth. So the episode was a total waste of time and everybody on Voyager is devastated.

Except this asshole

Technobabble Award: “I’ll try extrapolating the vertiron X-effector.”

W.T.F. Award:

W.T.F. is Janeway doing with a Gramaphone? I am as confused as she is.

Season 1, Episode 5: The Cloud

Janeway blogs about how hard her job is in light of the fact that she’s basically doomed her crew to wandering in space for the rest of their lives. She decides to fix it by talking to the crew more. It’s awkward. Also, Neelix won’t give her coffee. He’s such a bitch.

When Janeway tells Chakotay about her worries, he tells her that he relaxes by talking to animals. Yes, animals. Spirit guides. Janeway wants to learn how. Chakotay offers to teach her. Meanwhile, the ship is traveling into a nebula that might have particles they can use for energy. Harry geeks out and says he’s never seen anything like it before and Tuvok shoots him down.

Hey, Harry. Your noob is showing.

An energy barrier prevents them from getting to their particles. When they barrel through it, Janeway asks Tuvok what he sees, and he tells her he’s never seen anything like it before.

Tuvok is such an asshole sometimes

Whatever the hell is in the nebula starts bombarding the ship and draining it off its energy. They have to blast themselves out of it with a torpedo.

Paris wakes Harry from sleep to see something and as they are walking down the corridors Harry tells Paris that he wears a sleep mask because it reminds him of being in the womb. Their conversation needs to be shared:

Paris: Harry, in order to be reminded of something you have to -”

Harry: I remember being in my mother’s womb. I do. (Pause). So, what is it you have to show me?

Paris: Nothing that’s going to compare to that memory of your mother’s womb.

What Paris has to show him is a holodeck program modeled after a French bistro. We learn that Paris has probably had a threesome and that wine gives Harry acid reflux. They play pool. It’s riveting.

"Gee, Tom, thanks for teaching me how to be a baller."

Elsewhere, Chakotay starts teaching Janeway how to contact her spirit animal. They do a guided meditation together and she discovers that her spirit animal is a gecko.

He is going to help her save money on her car insurance

They get interrupted by B’Elanna, who informs them that this nebula is actually alive. They try to analyze it to figure out if they harmed it. The Doctor gets uppity so Janeway mutes him. Ten points for Janeway. They decide to go back into the nebula to fix the damage they did. Neelix is not happy about this, because he’s annoying, so he goes to whine to Janeway about taking unnecessary risks. She dresses him down. Ten more points for Janeway.

They go back into the nebula. They get caught in the creature’s natural defense systems and briefly lose control of the ship.

If Harry really does remember being in the womb, he would not have said he'd never seen anything like this before.

They get into the creature’s circulatory system to “surf back” to the wound they entered from. Neelix shows up on the bridge with food to whine some more. He’s appointed himself morale officer.

The Doctor suggests that they “suture” the wound by using the ship’s energy to stimulate the creature’s natural healing process. They distract it with a “microprobe” so they can get into the wound. They fix it. Voyager still needs fuel. Everybody goes to Paris’s bar to hang out, including Janeway. The end.

Tuvok hopes they fire the guy who wrote this script

Best Line Award: “Ive never kissed anyone inside a nebula before.”

W.T.F. Award:

W.T.F. is Chakotay's medicine bundle made of?