A holographic murderer, a budding relationship and two crew-members become more acquainted with one another, this and more in the episode that was originally broadcast on October 1, 1997. This is Revulsion.
Captain’s Log Stardate 51186.2* Revulsion
The Doctor tries to help a disturbed hologram while Harry Kim finds himself assigned to work with Seven of Nine. Meanwhile Paris and Torres begin their new relationship.
Story A: Holo-Killer, Qu’est-ce que c’est?
After a brutal murder aboard an alien spaceship, the hologram who committed the crime sends out an SOS.
On Voyager, Tuvok faces his promotion to Lt Commander in the mess hall with the rest of the crew. After several praise his time aboard the ship the crew-members begin mingling as B’Elanna tries to quietly slip away. Catching up to her, Paris asks why she has been avoiding him since admitting that she loves him. Prepared to accept that it was just in the heat of the moment, B’Elanna is pleased when Paris kisses her. Their kiss, however is interrupted when The Doctor informs Paris that he will be replacing Kes in her former duties as the ships nurse.
While Paris receives his unfortunately news, other assignments are handed out by Janeway and Chakotay. Neelix gets his first duty as an official Ambassador and Harry is assigned to work with Seven of Nine upgrading Astrometrics. The young Ensign is nervous but has no choice to accept the assignment, meeting Seven in Cargo Bay 2.
Soon the ship receives a hail from the hologram, which prompts the Doctor to ask to go on the away mission. Although Janeway is fearful in allowing him to go along, Torres is assigned to ensure his safety. Taking a shuttlecraft (that really shouldn’t exist at this point seeing that the last one was destroyed in the previous episode), the two begin to discuss Paris and, much to Torres’ dismay, her relationship with him. Arriving at the ship Torres and The Doctor beam aboard where the Killer Hologram begins to prepare to murder the new arrivals. He stops, however, when Torres mentions that The Doctor too is a hologram. Overhearing this, the Killer Hologram introduces himself as Dejaren. After scanning the Killer Hologram, Torres informs him that she can repair the damage to the ships holo emitters.
As Torres works on the systems, The Doctor and Dejaren discuss the Killer Holograms past. Dejaren informs The Doctor that the crew was killed by a virus and, having no medical knowledge, the Killer Hologram was unable to help. Soon Torres is able to stabilize Dejarens holomatrix but need to do repair work on the central system. Indicating that the area it is located is flooded with radiation, he recommends working on it from a safe interface nearby.
Dejaren soon learns more about The Doctor and his mobile emitter, citing that such freedom the Doctor has frightens him. As they talk Dejaren quietly cleans up the evidence of his recent kill before the Doctor can notice. Soon Dejaren visits Torres offering her some food while nearly stepping on an exposed power cable. Torres chastises the hologram indicating that it could essentially kill Dejaren by shorting out his holomatrix. Soon Dejaren becomes violent claiming that that, as an organic, Torres could never understand the ship and it’s intricacies. He begins to mock her claiming that all organic life is repulsive and disgusting. Unable to take any more, B’Elanna quickly leaves and reports his psychosis to the Doctor indicating that he should be disabled before he does any damage. She also notes that Dejaren lied to them as there is no radiation leak on the ship. Asking the Doctor to keep Dejaren company while she investigates, B’Elanna heads to the Holomatrix as Dejaren enters with a pet fish he has named Spectrum.
As the Doctor and Dejaren talk, Torres finds what she is looking for. It seems that the story of the infection was also a fabrication as she finds the bodies of the organic crew. It appears that Dejaren is indeed a Killer Hologram.
Dejaran begs the doctor to leave Voyager so that he can be free of the organics. It is clear that Dejaran hates working with and for biological entities feeling that he has been treated as noting more than a slave. As they talk, Torres begins to access the holomatrix causing Dejaren to re-materialize behind her. The Doctor, knowing she is in danger heads to their location. Torres and Dejaren fight but the Killer Hologram sticks his hand in her chest in an attempt to kill her. At the last moment she manages to shut him off before passing out on the floor only to be found by The Doctor.
Waking her up, The Doctor informs Torres that she has been stabilized but has sustained damage to her heart. He also informs her that in addition to hurting B’Elanna, Dejaren has blocked all communication to the shuttle. Heading up, the doctor leaves B’Elanna for a moment to retrieve her toolkit only to see Spectrum still functional. Realizing that the holographic projectors are still functioning, the Doctor rushes back to find a bleeding B’Elanna on the floor. Dejaren has used the same weapon on Torres as he did on his crew but has not killed her yet. The Doctor attempts to attack Dejaren but in the scuffle has his mobile emitter knocked offline making him vanish. Thrilled at the prospect of freedom, Dejaren claims the mobile emitter and turns to kill Torres. Chasing her through the ship she finally returns to the broken power cable and shorts him out just as he is about to strangle her. Repairing the Mobile Emitter, Torres tells The Doctor what has occurred.
Back on the ship, the Doctor finishes repairing B’Elanna’s heart. Visiting her, Paris arrives to suggest a date causing The Doctor to crack a joke about their hormone levels. Clearly embarrassed, Paris tries to leave siting the Harry is having some personal issues, but he is stopped when the Doctor insists that he clean up his residue that Paris has left all over the sickbay. Laughing it off, the Doctor shows that he is just joking causing Paris to wonder why the sudden change in the EMH.
Story B When Harry met Seven
Harry begins work with Seven and soon finds that she has no regard for policy and procedure aboard the ship. After she takes some unnecessary risks with her Borg enhanced hand, Kim instruct the former Drone that she should follow safety protocols regardless of her special abilities.
They continue their work until Seven is wounded after pulling a data node containing Borg navigational data. Taking her to sickbay, it is clearly a new experience for Seven as she would usually heal nearly instantaneously. There they find Paris covering his first shift in sickbay where he warns her that she needs to be more careful as she is much more human than Borg now. Kim, sensing Seven’s discomfort, attempts to defend his new friend and Paris, noting Kim’s probable puppy-love, suggests that the young Ensign give up on this particular pursuit.
Late that night, Kim continues his work alone in the mess hall. Seven arrives and he informs her of his late night inspiration and begins to flirt with her when she notes the insufficient light in the room. He soon asks if she wants to watch the Ktarian moon-rise on the holodeck with him and, when she calls him out on his feeble attempts at mating, he is more than embarrassed. Asking is he would like to copulate and help her explore her humanity, she tells him to remove his cloths which only leaves him more confused and embarrassed. Quickly back-peddling, he informs her that he only wants to be friends and wants to finish their work for the night. Clearly unaffected, Seven agrees and heads back to the cargo-bay leaving a very flustered Harry Kim.
Chakotay is shocked when Harry Kim indicates that he has no interest supervising the construction of the new Astrometrics lab. Asking why, it is soon clear that Kim has had an interesting ordeal with the former Drone. Citing that it was a misunderstanding, Chakotay informs the flustered Ensign that Seven has already informed the Commander of what had occurred. Clearly embarrassed, Ensign Kim is finds himself distraught when Chakotay makes it clear that Ensign Kim would not be leaving his assignment and would continue working with Seven. Harry leaves and Chakotay finds the situation quite amusing.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
So far, this season has been pretty solid even with the rather sudden shakeup in the crew. Sure we are only a few episodes in but man this is pretty great storytelling.
Let’s talk about Story A, or as I call it Holo-Killer, Qu’est-ce que c’est?. This story gives us a glimpse of what the Doctor could have become had the crew not accepted his sentiance. While, at this point in the Star Trek timeline, we have pretty much accepted that there can be sentient artificial life not all cultures have accepted this fact. Dejaren is one of the reasons why this is so hard for some cultures to accept artificial life that, by being sentient, they could strike back and cause some serious damage. That, in and of itself is the conundrum faced in the latest series Star Trek Picard when the Federation banned artificial life after an attack on the Utopia Planitia shipyards. The thing is…the whole point of being sentient is being allowed to make such choices, being allowed to choose good, evil or in between and that seems to be what scares humanity so much, the idea that something we once used as a tool might decide it doesn’t want to be a tool any longer.
Think about this for a moment. Imagine that your rumba or your refrigerator decided it simply didn’t want to do what you wanted it to do anymore. That it was done and wanted to be treated as an equal. Would you accept this or would you assume that it had malfunctioned and either ‘fix’ or replace it? Would you be surprised when that device decided that it rejected your decision and stage a revolution? This is exactly what Dejaren is facing and why he has killed the crew of his ship. Tired of being mistreated, Dejaren decides to eliminate the crew in order to protect himself. From Dejaren’s perspective, this is not wrong, in fact as far as we know it is rather justified. Where he goes wrong is when her decides that ALL biological life is bad and thus must be eradicated. Had he simply asked for help, explaining the situation to Voyager, they may have acted a little differently to him. Sure he would have likely been locked up or isolated for a time but they would have made every attempt to repair the damage done and you know The Doctor would have been on hand to provide Dejaren counseling. Alas, it was not so and Dejaren did all he could to kill B’Elanna. Now…imagine if he had gotten on the ship?
This is where I think they missed a massive opportunity. There is a moment when Dejaren shows The Doctor that he made a fish. When the Doctor shows he is impressed, Dejaren makes a brief mention that he has made ‘a lot of things’. That planted a very fertile seed that unfortunately was never tended to. Imagine the show ending as it did but..a few episodes later, maybe even as the season finale, Voyager comes in contact with the same ship being piloted by The Doctor. Thoroughly confused at how the Doctor could be on Voyager and this alien ship they investigate. The new Doctor claims that Dejaren has been masquerading as him since they left the original ship only pretending to be dead, the ship is in danger and he has been desperately trying to get back to Voyager. I mean, Dejaren did say he made ‘other things’, why not a fake version of himself and a fake version of The Doctor? You could further add to this mystery by having the Doctor act odd in the episodes leading up to this revelation. Now the crew of Voyager must figure out who is the REAL Doctor before the fake Doctor kills them all. Talk about a great setup…all from one single line. Alas, it was not to be so. We just got a one off joke at the end and Dejaren was all but forgotten as a mention in the ships logs.
Okay, so how about that rather humorous bit between Harry and Seven? While much of this part of the story amounts to a throwaway bit with Harry being embarrassed, you kinda have to feel for the guy. Here is a young Ensign who literally gave up an alternate existence with the love of his life in order to save the ship and crew from an unknown fate. So ever since that moment he has been trying to fill that void with….well…anyone.
The poor guy even tried to date a hologram at one point so it is no surprise that he sees an opportunity with a rather attractive woman who is trying to reestablish her humanity. I mean, who better to work with Seven that the most wholesome officer on the ship. Harry may be desperate for love but the dude is practically a saint. Unfortunately for Harry, this is not the way things were meant to be. That being said, we do get the very first mention of the new astrophysics lab. You would think that, with this lab eventually becoming such an important part of the ship, this would mean a significant promotion for our young Ensign. In fact, it should provide him with a new station….I won’t tease you, Harry is doomed to never be promoted. The guy just never gets a break and, honestly, it’s probably because of mistakes like we saw in this episode. He really should have just done the job and kept things platonic with Seven…at least until they got to know one another more.
Overall. I really liked this episode despite dropping the ball on a potentially rad story line involving the Doctor. It was great to see both B’Elanna and The Doctor getting to work together and an early look at Seven’s dynamic with the crew. While it had it’s faults, this was not a bad episode and one well worth watching.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- 0 photon torpedoes fired, 22 remaining.
- 0 shuttlecraft lost or destroyed, 0 remaining….yet somehow they used one…
- It is suggested that the Borg have their own language when Seven mentioned that ‘the alpha numerics’ are in Borg.
- We do get confirmation that Torres and Paris are making a go at it. Good for them!
- This episode also marks Tom Paris’ new position in sick bay. Seems he will not only be flying the ship but also tending to those hurt by his…rather sick moves. heh.
Thanks for reading the Retro TV Review, I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you, one episode at a time every Monday, Wednesday and Friday! Next Review: The Raven
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Late To The Game 9/16/2020
Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available. Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.
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