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?
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.
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.”
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.
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.
Horrible Dialogue Award: “Maybe I kill myself slowly because I don’t have the courage to do it quickly.”
Body Count: 2. The alien scientist, and my wasted evening.