As Voyager gets an armament upgrade, Seven begins to have disturbing memories. Originally broadcast on February 25, 1998 this is Retrospect.
Captain’s Log Stardate 51658.2 Retrospect
Seven of nine believes that she has been assaulted by a visiting merchant, but when the evidence doesn’t add up her memories begin to be suspect.
After negotiating for the purchase of an Isokinetic Cannon, Janeway informs Seven of Nine that the former Borg has been granted access to Engineering to assist in the installation. However, after the Merchant, Kovin, shows disrespect for both her and B’Elanna, Seven takes matters into her own hands and punches him.
Janeway tries to figure out why Seven lashed out but, despite Seven’s claims that Kovin was rude, chalks it up to the former drone’s lack of impulse control. The Doctor, concerned over the way Seven reacts to her own examination, soon finds that the former drone is having some strange anxiety toward the exam. Sedating Seven, The Doctor soon leans that it appears she has had memory suppression and, with permission from Janeway, he begins a psychiatric treatment.
As the Doctor and Seven begin exploring he memories and soon find that Seven recalls being restrained by Kovin and his assistant in Kovin’s lab. There she believes that they extracted nanoprobes and removed her memories of the operation. The Doctor reports his findings and, while there is little evidence outside of Seven’s memories, Janeway demands that Kovin allow them to investigate his lab or they will get the local authorities involved.
Tuvok begins his investigation and soon, despite Kovin’s pleas, finds he has to bring in local law reinforcement to investigate. As Tuvok investigates, the Doctor begins making progress with Seven as she begins to show her emotions toward the violation she remembered. Soon everything comes clear when the Ethanran magistrate finds regenerating nanoprobes in the lab causing Kovin to flee in his ship. Disabling Voyager’s sensors with a photonic blast, Kovin enters warp before the Federation ship can follow.
As Voyager gives chase, Tuvok and Janeway continue their investigation only to find additional evidence that may prove Kovin innocent of Seven’s claims. Despite the evidence to the contrary, Seven insists that Kovin is guilty. The Doctor warns her that her memories may not be 100% correct as she could be confusing the events with her experience with the Borg.
Voyager soon catches up with Kovin and inform him that they may have evidence that will exonerate him. Believing it to be a trap, he attacks and inadvertently destroys his own ship killing himself in the process. It is then that Seven realizes that she may have been wrong and begins to feel remorse for the dead scientist.
Knowing he was partially to blame for Kovin’s death, the Doctor asks Janeway to delete his subroutines that lead him make such a poor uniformed decision. Janeway tells him that this is part of being human and that the Doctor will have to learn to live with this.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
I love a good socio-political episode of Voyager but this one seems to miss it’s mark as it never really seems to establish what it is addressing. On one hand it seems to be a statement of rape and personal violation with Seven possibly being the victim of a crime that she is desperate to get to the bottom of. Much of the belief stems from her memories of being violated by a Kovin who she recently had a conflict with, however, as she is learning to be an individual these memories could in fact be her brain interpreting her time as a drone.
Through the course of the story we are shown both possibilities with Kovin appearing very guilty but also given a slight question of his guilt at moments in the episode. While the purpose of this conflict between Seven and Kovin is clear, this is where the episode fails. Instead of firmly addressing rape and violation, or addressing the real issue of false allegations and their potential to destroy innocent lives, this episode remains an ambiguous statement that seems rather unfinished and frankly itself confused.
Due to this ambiguous and rather frustrating story, I can’t say that this is a good episode, rather it is one that, although it does further the character of Seven of Nine a little, it feels like it is very out of place amid the Hirogen-centric episodes. Honestly, this would have been a great way to establish an underground group that were trying to use Borg tech for their own purposes, and would have made a great connection to the recent Picard stories where there are people who are harvesting Borg for their parts. Unfortunately this was not the case and the results….are questionable at best.
The one thing the episode manages to do is show how much trust Janeway has in her crew, even the members who are problematic. She is a leader who, if there is ever any doubt she will investigate the accusations of her crew-members at all costs so that the truth can be found. This, along with the support of her crew, shows just how close and trusting this family is. Sadly the trust given in this particular circumstance is never validated making it all a moot point but still, it really speaks for Janeway and her crew.
Overall, this is one that you can skip without missing much. It’s really one of the weakest one’s in the season full of ambiguity and missed opportunities.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- 0 photon torpedoes fired, 20 remaining.
- 0 shuttlecraft lost or destroyed, -1 remaining
- Voyager never uses the newly installed cannon…..I guess they never finished installing it? Maybe?
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 Killing Game
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Late To The Game 10/14/2020
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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