An exploration into Seven’s past reveals some interesting things.  Originally broadcast on October 8,1997 this is The Raven.

The Episode:

Captain’s Log Stardate undetermined: The Raven.

Seven begins having memories of her past and fears that this means the Borg are returning for her.

The Story:

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Janeway and Seven spend some free time on the holodeck together with The Captain explaining the need for relaxation to the former Drone.  As Seven has trouble grasping the idea of not having a continuous stream of tasks to be accomplished she is distracted by the sight of one of da Vinci’s gliders.   Almost instantaneously she begins to have a vision of herself running from Drones, just as they catch her she sees a massive black bird calling the name Annika. Pulled back into reality, she is dumbfounded when the Captain asks what is wrong.

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After being taken to sickbay, The Doctor learns that she has had the same visions at least three times so far, each one the same event.  It seems she is reliving the trauma of the moment of her assimilation but Seven claims that her assimilation was not traumatic in any way.  Knowing he is getting nowhere, he does note that her digestive system has reached a point where she will need to begin eating a normal diet.  Handing her instructions on what to look for, he suggests talking to Neelix to assist in her new diet. Reassuring Seven that they will figure out her visions, Janeway heads to the bridge to deal with another crisis.

Taking a meeting with a species known as the B’omar, Janeway is frustrated to learn that they will have to follow ridged guidelines to go through this species space.  From limiting Voyager’s speed to warp 3 to preventing any exploration of any kind, the B’omar are quite insistent that there is no other option.  Janeway begins what is sure to be a difficult negotiation.

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Reporting to the Mess Hall, Seven hands Neelix the PADD with her dietary requirements and the Talaxian goes to work.  As Neelix prepares what he believes will be sufficient to meet her needs, she immediately begins analyzing the spices and recalls Borg’s history with the Talaxians, noting that the Talaxians themselves made very good drones. Uncomfortable with the conversation, Neelix takes Seven to a nearby table and begins to teach her how to eat.  As she begins the rhythm of eating with utensils she suddenly has a vision of a drone screaming like the black bird causing an implant to erupt from her skin.  Telling the Talaxian that he will be assimilated, she shoves him aside and leaves the room as if now returned to her original Borg Drone state.

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Janeway continues the negotiations but it is not going well with the B’omar rejecting every suggestion and offer placed in front of them.  The negotiations are interrupted when Tuvok alerts them that Seven of Nine has gone rogue and is has become a danger to the ship.  As Seven works her way through the ship utilizing her Borg shielding, the B’omar are shocked that Voyager has a Borg on board. Seven makes it to the shuttle-bay getting past Tuvok and his security forces and, although Harry manages to shut the shuttle bay doors, Seven is able to escape by crashing through them using enhanced shielding.

Refusing to cooperate, the B’omar make it clear that Voyager is not to enter their space in pursuit of Seven of Nine. Indicating that they will handle things on their own they leave the ship leaving Janeway trying to consider her options.  Heading to Cargobay 2, she learns that B’Elanna has found a store of Borg logs and Harry has begin translating them with his new knowledge of the Borg Language.  Chakotay arrives bringing the news that the B’omar have reinforced their borders and suggests that they should let Seven go as it is clear that they failed in returning her to her human state.

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Janeway disagrees with him as she saw some promise in the former Drone. She also notes that there are no Borg withing forty light-years so she can not imagine where Seven is going.  Heading to sickbay, the two learn that The Doctor has discovered that some of Seven’s formerly dormant nanoprobes have become active and have begin re-assimilating the new crew-member.  He believes he can stop it with a genetic re-sequencer but someone will have to inject it directly if it is to work. Heading to the bridge she finds that Tuvok and Paris have a plan to modify another shuttlecraft with masking shields so that they can slip into B’omar space and find Seven of Nine.  Tuvok takes the hypospray filled with the re-sequencer and, with Paris, heads out to find Seven.

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As Tuvok and Paris close in, Seven finds her shuttle surrounded by B’omar ships.  Determined to get past them she finds a way to stop the ships without destroying them and continues toward her destination.  Soon Voyagers shuttle catches up to her but is unable to beam her off.  Tuvok beams to Seven’s shuttle but she is prepared, knocking him out with a Vulcan Nerve Pinch.  Disabling Paris’ shuttle she heads on her way.  Tuvok awakens to find that she has him trapped. Inquiring why she left, she only replies that she is Borg and will always be Borg.  Tuvok insists that she can be saved but she solemnly rejects that idea. As they travel together it is clear that Seven is fighting her nature to assimilate as she gets close to doing so with Tuvok but stops herself.  He continues to attempt to convince her but another vision interrupts his attempts causing Seven to press onward.

On Voyager Janeway finds Seven’s personal logs where the former Drone describes her visions.  In the logs Seven describes a large black bird and the feelings of dread it gives her.  Janeway realizes that what Seven is describing is in fact a Raven and she realizes where Seven is headed.  Scanning the sector for other Starfleet vessels she finds what she is looking for and sets course for B’omar territory.

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Seven lands her shuttle on a nearby moon informing Tuvok that the Borg signal she was following came from here. For some reason she is frightened of meeting with them and Tuvok offers to join her as he thinks that something else is going on.  Heading to the site with her, they find the remains of the USS Raven NAR 32450.  Entering the wreckage Seven finds the device sending the signal and deactivates it causing a massive vision to occur.  In the vision she is a child again and we witness the terrifying assimilation of Annika Hansen some 18 years prior.  Waking from the vision to the comforting voice of Tuvok, she indicates that she is finally realizing the damage the Borg did to her as a child.  Just then, the ship shakes as the B’omar have found their location.

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As Seven and Tuvok explore the ruins of The Raven, Janeway contacts Paris learning more about what has transpired.  With Paris heading to the moon, Voyager reaches the Moon and attempts to contact the B’omar to explain what has transpired.  Targeting the B’omar weapons they disable the attackers and are contacted by Gaumen, one of the Ambassadors they met earlier.  He is livid and unwilling to cooperate forcing Janeway to finish her rescue operation.  Paris retrieves Tuvok and Seven just as parts of The USS Raven slip from the cliff, crashing deep in the canyon below.  Taking the shuttle back to Voyager, the crew speed off out of B’omar leaving an unfortunate enemy behind them.

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Back on Voyager, Janeway find Seven on the holodeck in da Vinci’s workshop.  There they discuss the Hansens and how Seven would have been a very different person had her family not been assimilated.  Informing Seven that they can deactivate the Borg transmitters in her, Janeway assures her that they will keep working toward finding a version of that girl Seven could have been. Janeway suggests that Seven read up on the official files about her parents as, it would seem, there were fairly well known in the scientific community.

Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:

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The thing I love about this episode is that it gives Seven a chance to really start her journey toward her humanity.  Before this event she firmly believed that the Borg cared for her, provided her with everything she could need despite the fact that she was forcibly assimilated as a child.  This is a confirmation as to my earlier speculation that she is going through a form of Stockholm Syndrome as she feels her kidnappers were not evil, in fact, she sees them as having provided her with a good life.  While it is still early yet in the journey of Seven of Nine, we see that the effects of her Borg influenced Stockholm Syndrome is finally beginning to break down. This is a significant turning point as she can now grow as an individual member of the crew not as a person hoping to return to those who altered her very being.

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Seven’s journey gets a solid kickstart in this episode exploring not only her own personal fears in rediscovering her humanity but also getting a significant view into her past.  We had already known that her parents were explorers but until now, the final fate of her family and their ship, the USS Raven, was largely unknown.  While we still really have no idea as to the final fate of the Hansen’s themselves (although is is pretty clear they were assimilated) we do learn the fate of the Raven filling in the blanks of who Seven once was. It seems that, somehow, the Hansen’s were able to travel approximately 60,000 light-years in no time at all implying they had help in some way. While it is unknown how they got to the Delta Quadrant to begin with we do discover that their ship was not only partially assimilated but crashed deep within B’omar territory.  Interestingly although the ship and what ever it contained was lost, we do learn a few things.  There were no bodies on the ship as far as we saw showing that the Hansen’s were likely assimilated, the ship was crashed after being partially assimilated indicating that someone on board tried to stop the Borg from finishing their work.  The B’omar claim they have tracked every single thing that enters their space yet seem to have no knowledge of The Raven itself implying that they may not have claimed this space eighteen years prior.  Much of this if revealed later in the series but I won’t spoil them for you now.

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It is interesting to note that the B’omar seem quite knowledgeable about The Borg, even showing concern that one of them was aboard Voyager.  The are keen to mention that they track every single particle that enters their space ensuring that nothing and no one can get in and out without their knowledge.  Could this technology have been adapted to protect them from a Borg incursion or is it the result of  a previous incursion they experienced?   Could this be why they are so protective of their space and any outsiders that wish to travel through their sector?   While we never learn more about the B’omar or their rather strict guidelines this certainly suggests that they have been through something serious at some point.

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Overall this is a great character and story driven episode that firmly establishes Seven as a member of the crew.  Until now she has just been ‘that Borg in Cargo-bay 2’, now she has a family, a history and her journey has only just begun.   I have to give praise to actor Jeri Ryan in this one, several times we get a very personal and very real depiction of someone coming to grips with her past and finally accepting her future.  I love watching this story from it’s start after having finished Star Trek Picard.  It is amazing how far her character has developed with her story continuing stronger than ever even well past her time in the Delta Quadrant.  I really hope we get to see more of their adventures in the future.

If you are watching this series again, this is certainly one not to skip over.

Gleanings and Cool Bits:

  • 0 photon torpedoes fired, 22 remaining.
  • 1 shuttlecraft lost or destroyed, -1 remaining Somehow 2 shuttles were used in this one although there should be none left.  How are they manufacturing these?!
  • We learn that the Talaxians are Species 218 and the Vulcans are Species 3259 further establishing that The Borg began their mission assimilating species in the Delta Quadrant itself.  This indicates that first species  to be assimilated may be somewhere in the Delta Quadrant itself.  Could the origin of the Borg be close at hand and Janeway isn’t even aware of it?
  • Harry is teased about his ‘working relationship’ with Seven…indicating that maybe he still harbors some feelings for the former Drone.

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: Scientific Method

more reviews I have a weekly series called Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday and for more retro TV goodness check out the rest of the Retro TV Reviews here.

As always, please feel free to comment below and share your experiences with these episodes as well. If you just happened by, tell me what you think! Don’t Forget To Follow me if you like the blog!

Late To The Game  9/18/2020

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Seven demonstrates where she will strike him should Harry attempt to ‘copulate’ with her again.

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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