Date: September 10, 2020
Season 1, Episodes 6 and 7
Musical Accompaniment: Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order soundtrack
Interstellar News: I’m over this apocalypse. Either bring the locusts and rain of blood or get out of my world. Also, I’ve updated all of my menu pages… you should totally check them out.
“Eye of the Needle” in TL;DR: Kim finds a teeny, tiny wormhole that’s in the last stages of decay. They send a probe, which gets stuck, but they use it as a relay to send a message out. They make a connection with a cargo ship in the Alpha Quadrant but it’s with a Romulan who is clearly suspicious. Meanwhile the EMH is training Kes who is appalled at how the crew is treating him. They finally make visual contact and Torres realizes they might be able to use the transporter and the EMH realizes he cannot transport with them, he’s tied to the ship. Unfortunately when the Romulan beams over to them, Tuvok realizes he’s from 20 years in the past. They send Telek R’Mor, as he finally gives his name, back and ask him to send their letters in 20 years time. After he leaves Tuvok reveals that R’Mor died four years prior and it is unknown if the letters were delivered. Janeway decides to let the EMH control his deactivation sequence and helps him to understand he’s the CMO and part of the crew, not just a hologram.
Janeway: Kes, he’s only a hologram.
Kes: He’s your Medical Officer. He’s alive.
Janeway: No he’s not.
Kes: He’s self aware, he’s communicative, he has the ability to learn.
Janeway: Because he’s been programmed to do that.
Kes: So because he’s a hologram he doesn’t have to be treated with respect or any consideration at all?
Janeway: Very well, I’ll look into it.Kes pointing out “the Data problem” and Janeway thinking she might be right.
“I’d rather assume that he’s going to be successful.”: In “The Measure of a Man“, Picard argued for Data’s right to be treated as any other crew member and Kes is sort of arguing the same for the EMH. Don’t get me wrong I love sassy EMH and have loved every line of dialogue he’s spoken, but I also understand how the crew might feel about his “bedside manner”. That does not give them permission to treat him as such and I don’t see anyone else trying to learn to do what he does, aside from Kes, so it’s certainly a problem Janeway should have handled and I liked her solution. I felt super bad for the EMH when he explained he couldn’t be downloaded, but then I remembered there were six more seasons and there was no way there were getting home this quickly. I also loved that the EMH pulled”rank” as the CMO at the end of the episode and decided that he wanted a name.
The rest of the story is a damn roller coaster. There’s a wormhole and we might get home, damn it’s super small, wait we can use the probe as a relay, damn we met a Romulan, awesome he trusts us, wait we might be able to transport out, damn it there’s time travel, oh well please take our notes, wait… he’s dead? Kim is super excited, the kid misses his parents, and he’s also realizing that not everyone has had his upbringing as Torres is without loved ones outside of the Maquis. R’Mor is naturally skeptical and eventually decides he’s a scientist after all and his curiosity gets the best of him. He’s even delighted when he’s transported over because SCIENCE. There are two things, however, that flummoxed me a bit. First, they totally could have written the letters and sent them to R’Mor and if the Romulan Senate decided in their favor he could have sent them, otherwise he could have destroyed them. Why wait for permission? Second, why didn’t we get a montage of them writing their letters, or even snippets from the letters in a voice over mode. Janeway asking about her pupper, Kim loving on his parentals, and maybe even Torres writing to her mother. Other than those two things and the devastating news that R’Mor died just four years before, this was an excellent episode. 9 test cylinders, just to be sure.
“Ex Post Facto” in TL;DR: Paris is accused and later convicted of murdering a man on Banea after kissing his wife, the man’s memories are pretty clear cut and implanted in Paris so he relives those last moments every 14 hours. Kim returns in the shuttlecraft and explains how they met the victim, Professor Ren was helping them fix something on the ship and he invited them to his home for dinner where they meet his wife Lidell. Neelix tries to help Janeway understand the war between the Baneans and the Numiri, but is shocked when they don’t cause trouble as Voyager enters orbit. Paris explains his side, Tuvok investigates, and Janeway brings Paris to the EMH because there are terrible side effects to the implanted memory. Tuvok’s investigation comes to a head after Voyager is fired on and he mind melds with Paris, so he gathers everyone on the planet. The Banean doctor is working for the Numiri and tried to smuggle out data in Paris’s brain, he was the one who killed Ren and then altered the memory while Lidell drugged Paris with some tea… and the dog helps him prove his point. Paris is cleared, thanks Tuvok, and the EMH considers what to name himself.
Paris: Hey, Tuvok, I know it’s a little late to ask, but you’re sure you’ve got the logic of this thing worked out?
Tuvok: If I am incorrect, we will know it shortly.Tuvok not mincing any words.
“Good can get very boring.”: This episode reminds me of a weird mix of “Wolf in the Fold“, “A Matter of Perspective“, and “Hard Time“. A crew member is accused of murder because they were flirty, but they didn’t do it. O’Brien gets the same treatment Paris does where he’s also punished before the captain even knows what’s happening. Paris totally hits all over her and the minute she’s “free” he seems to have second thoughts. Tuvok is acting as our Data/Sherlock Holmes/Odo character performing his investigation and using his observations to lead to the conclusion that Paris is only guilty of being an outrageous flirt. I also love that Tuvok has apparently been married for 67 years and is over 100 years old, Vulcans continue to surprise me.
This is a good mystery episode where you know what’s going to happen, but not how, and you try to pick up clues along the way. I also enjoyed that the EMH picked out names that have been referenced in Trek before, Galen and Spock for example, and he’s so overwhelmed with choices he just wants someone to give him one… which is the most human thing ever. My favorite part, though, was when Janeway put on her captain boots and laid into the Numiri by way of threatening them with explosives. It was totally epic. I don’t feel too bad for Paris because he’s a slime, but I don’t think anyone should be punished for something they didn’t do and I especially do not believe putting someone to death is acceptable for any crime. 7 cycles for Paris, just because.