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?