Date: November 18, 2020
Season 4, Episode 10
Musical Accompaniment: Some classical piano music
Interstellar News: I got to organize a cabinet today, and it was wonderful! There was the promise of organizing a closet today too, which makes me a very happy person even though it didn’t happen.
TL;DR: Voyager is taking shore leave with the Mari, a telepathic race that has apparently outlawed violent thoughts. A man runs into Torres, beats up a man in the market, and then Torres is arrested because it is her thought that caused the attack. She’s to be charged and is to undergo an engramatic purge and then let go, but it’s dangerous. Tuvok and Janeway review the evidence to see if it may have been someone else while Paris comes up with a rescue plan. A woman is killed in the market place because of the same thought, and Tuvok questions Guill who was with Torres when she was bumped into. He’s apparently part of the Mari black market that deals in violent thoughts. Tuvok gets beat up but eventually makes it back to Voyager with the evidence he needs to exonerate Torres and stop the purge.
EMH: Fortunately the Mari didn’t get very far with the procedure. You can return to duty, Lieutenant, though perhaps with one or two fewer violent engrams in that fiery head of yours.
Torres: It’s all right, Doc. There are plenty more where those came from.
EMH: Duly warned.Torres acknowledging both her temper and her Klingon side.
” I dread the day when everyone on this ship agrees with me.”: At first I thought this episode was going to be like “Remember” where the Mari man bumped into Torres and somehow gained her temper. This, however, was much darker and I liked it that way. This was an interesting combination of 1984, Equilibrium, and Fight Club… but in space! The Mari believe they are superior at avoiding crime and the “police” think everything is hunky dory and the people are angels, but there’s a dark underground that craves dark and twisted thoughts. It’s an episode that keeps you guessing for a bit and then gets you thinking. At first it looks like a transfer of anger, then it’s an interrogation, then it’s the balance of abiding by local laws while also not harming the crew, then there’s a second attack and all bets are off, and finally there’s the realization that Guill is more than he seems. Even then, Tuvok is beat up and possibly compromised because he’s using a lot of his telepathic power that he hadn’t accessed much in all of the time Voyager has been in the DQ and quite possibly before.
My biggest gripe is that it’s not clear if they knew the law or not. In “Justice“, Wesley Crusher didn’t know the local law and almost paid for it with his life. I would think that if Janeway and company knew of the “think only happy thoughts”law, they would have tried to be more vigilant. I’m not saying that ignorance of a law excludes you from abiding by it, but when a telepathic species can tell your intentions… that changes things significantly. Tuvok is wonderful in his pursuit of the truth, Janeway is capable as ever in her “captain mom” role, Paris is the dutiful boyfriend that also works to free Torres, Chakotay is a fantastic second-in-command and interface with the crew, and Seven continues to learn about humanity and what it means to gain knowledge through observation rather than assimilation. 9 Borg drones for this episode, all of whom are equally as flummoxed as Seven of Nine.