Date: July 20, 2021
Season 7, Episode 12
Music Video of the Day:
Interstellar News: Today was a busy day at work, and it’s only going to get more hectic from here. Sigh.
TL;DR: Voyager responds to a distress call and it’s a group of prisoners, scheduled to be executed, and their wardens. Tuvok sets up a mock prison, Neelix brings them food, and most of the crew are uneasy about capital punishment as it’s not a thing in the Federation. Iko, one of the prisoners, is a total asshat, gets beat up, and then Seven’s nanoprobes fix something that was wrong with his brain. Suddenly Iko feels remorse and the crew argues for an appeal now that he’s not a threat. Another prisoner, Joleg, says that his race are incarcerated at a higher rate… and the data supports him. The prisoners get a chance to escape, Joleg tries to run while Iko stays behind to face the family of the person he killed. Seven also feels remorse and feels she hasn’t been punished for her crimes while she was a Borg.
EMH: What about rehabilitation? Given the chance, some of these men might become productive members of society one day.
Seven of Nine: Their victims won’t have the same opportunity.
EMH: And that justifies taking their lives? An eye for an eye? It’s not justice, it’s revenge. Quite frankly, I’m surprised you’re not troubled by such a barbaric system.
Seven of Nine: I’m simply being objective. You often encourage me to see both sides of an argument.
EMH: Well, this is one occasion when my programming won’t allow me to be objective. Killing is wrong, no matter who’s doing it.The EMH and Seven debating the pros and cons of capital punishment.
“This is a Federation Starship, not the Barge of the Dead.”: This is the “capital punishment” episode, and it’s pretty standard. There’s a jerk who gets a redemption arc, there’s a discussion about the pros and cons of removing a danger from society versus trying rehabilitation, and there’s a criminal who swears they are innocent but might not be. The interesting bit here is having the family of the victims sentence the criminals, because an outsider isn’t going to measure the worth of a person’s life in the same way. Also, using biology to explain that Iko couldn’t control his actions and if it had been fixed he would have never committed the crime is a good way to get the audience to feel for this man who just a few minutes ago they hated, but that still doesn’t bring back the life he took. I’m shocked that Neelix gets conned by Joleg, apparently he didn’t learn from “Live Fast and Prosper“. This episode didn’t wow me, but I didn’t hate it either so it earns 6 lemon pies.