March 2, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Weekend Trek “Twisted”

Voyager gets stuck in some sort of energy field that warps space inside the ship.

There’s a moment in this episode where Neelix brags in his manner about his great tracking skills while offering to assist Chakotay with some sort of task, prompting Janeway to ask Chakotay if he would mind taking Neelix with him.  Chakotay gives, like, the perfect look for someone who really doesn’t want to be teamed with Neelix but realizes he might as well work with the guy.  I bring this up because Chakotay isn’t generally treated as a humorous character, but I did have a quick laugh out loud at that exact moment.

As it is, this episode is basically one where, no matter what anyone does, they can’t quite win.  While most of the command crew is celebrating Kes’s second birthday with a surprise party in Tom Paris’s holodeck French poolhall–complete with the Doctor behind the bar while fending off the female hologram that “owns” the place–the ship encounters a strange energy field that they can’t seem to get out of.  At that point, the interior of Voyager becomes like some sort of M.C. Escher picture as familiar hallways and floors become anything but, starting with the interior comm systems going down and no one being able to find where they are looking to go even when it’s somewhere that they should know very well.

By the by, I still have questions about when and where Kes and Neelix met, but I asked a lot of them recently, so I won’t bother doing so again.  If anything, Neelix asks Chakotay about jealousy, and while Chakotay doesn’t give a bad answer per se, he also doesn’t give an answer that seems very mature to me as I always thought of jealousy to be a sign of immature insecurity in a relationship.  Then again, I may be far too trusting sometimes.

Regardless, this is an episode where each of the members of the crew does what they can to try and make things work, each using their own skills or knowledge of the ship to find a way out of the energy field, made worse when Janeway comes into physical contact with the field and finds first her arm stretched out and distorted and then her mind following even after Harry pulls her out.  Then again, I was wondering why Harry wasn’t helping her open the hatch to continue down the Jefferies Tube they were in after she spent so much time telling him how good a job he was doing under trying circumstances.

But really, nothing works.  The Doctor can’t send himself back to Sickbay.  Neelix just outright disappeared.  Site-to-site transporting sends people to the wrong places even after Torres and Paris do find their way down to Engineering.  One security guard keeps popping up to ask the main cast questions because he keeps finding himself in the cafeteria.  Even an energy disbursement doesn’t seem to do anything as all the main cast (minus Neelix) find themselves in the holodeck and out of options.

So, naturally, Tuvok recommends doing nothing.

It’s actually rather brilliant.  Tuvok basically points out that, well, despite the Captain’s scrambled brain (and she is trying to tell them something), there’s no proof the energy field is actually doing anything to hurt them.  Maybe it’s harmless.  They don’t really have any other options, and Tuvok as the largely emotionless Vulcan (more on that in a minute) puts him in the place to make the suggestion that whatever is going on, maybe they should just let it happen.  Even if it does kill them, well, they can’t stop it regardless.  Besides, this isn’t the final episode, and his plan will work in the end.

That actually leads to everyone in the holodeck to pair off in appropriate ways to wait for what might be the end.  That’s Harry with Tom, B’Elanna with Chakotay, and the Doctor with Kes.  Tuvok is standing by the somewhat delirious Janeway, and in what may be the nicest character moment of the episode, his Vulcan demeanor breaks just a little bit to put a hand closer to his longtime friend the Captain.

And yes, the energy field was harmless as it was just some alien intelligence’s way of sharing information with strangers.  It copied all of the ship’s records and left a bunch behind of its own that I am sure will never be referenced again, but for that one moment, the crew had to meet their potential end with bravery, and I really liked that scene.

Then Neelix came back with promises of stories on where he was, but it probably won’t be as amusing as Torres’s finding a doorway in Engineering briefly went to a buff guy’s quarters while he was standing around in his underwear.  That was also a nice moment for very different reasons since it isn’t often B’Elanna is left so speechless.