July 20, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Weekend Trek “The Raven”

Seven has a Borg relapse at a bad time.

As much as the series seemed to become much more Seven of Nine focused from this season on, there are two advantages to that.  The first is Jeri Ryan is legitimately a good actress and a perfect fit for the role beyond the obvious reasons.  The second is the very fact that she’s a Borg drone that barely remembers her time as a human, has to relearn things, and as a result, opens up numerous new storytelling possibilities.

I think the point here is they probably couldn’t have done that with Kes.

OK, I am sure the writers could have come up with some interesting Kes stories if they really wanted to, and I don’t want to suggest Jennifer Lein might not have been up to the task.  However, what I had seen with Kes up to that point suggested the writers didn’t quite know what to do with her.  Here I am six episodes into Seven’s time on the ship, and they have a whole scene here where a cheerful Neelix has to teach Seven how to eat, right down to showing her how to swallow.  Seven’s answer is to call it a curious sensation, something she seems to like, and since she’s having some issues, she then attacks Neelix and leaves the commissary.

Credit to Neelix that he mostly keeps his composure when Seven reveals the Borg did assimilate some Talaxians.

But the main plot here is Seven-based, and the issue is, while Janeway tries to introduce her to the relaxing art of sculpture, she suddenly starts having Borg flashbacks involving a raven.  Seven doesn’t really know what a raven is, but this is a bad time as Janeway is trying to negotiate a path through B’omor space.  The B’omor are an alien race that all look like they’re wearing altered umpire masks, and they’re really a bunch of jerks.  Now, when Jimmy and I are doing are chats, “jerks” is like an all-purpose tag for anyone who isn’t one of the good guys, but here, I think the label is incredibly accurate.  The B’omor control this section of space that Voyager would like to cross through to shave some months off their trip.  As such, Janeway needs to negotiate with these people.

And then they reveal the conditions that would allow the ship to go through their space, and a part of me was wondering if they really were going to shave some time off their journey.  The B’omor demands they take a particularly circuitous route and go no faster than Warp 3, all while insisting that they will be keeping an eye on Voyager the entire time.  They also include things like “no stopping,” “no survey missions,” and “power off your weapons.”

Unintentionally or not, Seven’s actions allow Voyager to break all those rules and get through B’omor space fairly quickly.  Heck, I don’t think there’s any reason given for why the B’omor are this way.   Seven, essentially, is having a relapse in part because the world where her parents’ ship crashed is nearby, and that was where she was assimilated as a child of six alongside her mom and dad.  And because this is the Borg we’re talking about, I’m guessing that her mom and dad no longer cared what happened to her, and she felt about the same since, for the Borg, emotional ties and the like are for suckers.  Something about being near the site is triggering PTSD flashbacks, reasserting Borg nanites, and leading her to take a shuttle into B’omor space to go to the crash site for her family’s old ship.

That’s a rather fascinating development because, well…who knew the Borg could do that?  That’s why Seven opens up a lot of possibilities.  She’s not the first former drone we’ve seen.  That’s technically Captain Picard.  She is, however, someone who has been a drone since her childhood.  She’s been a drone so long, she doesn’t even remember being human aside from some very traumatic memories of her capture and assimilation.  No wonder Neelix has to show her how to chew.  And while she is popping Borg forcefields and the like, she doesn’t exactly leave anybody dead, and even says she will not assimilate Tuvok when she captures him.

Tuvok is pretty quick to point out that doesn’t really work for a Borg, but in her quest to get to the crash site, Seven breaks the B’omor barrier, disables a whole bunch of ships, visits one of their planets, and Janeway has to fly through to rescue her, Tuvolk, and Tom (he flew a shuttlecraft with Tuvok after Seven’s vessel through a hole in the B’omor barrier), and then maximum warp in a straight line out of there.  Considering Voyager seems to have escaped B’omor space just fine, maybe they should have let Voyager just fly through at maximum speed the first time.  It doesn’t look like their territory is that big.

But really, this was a nice way to look at Seven and what makes her tick.  She’s someone who hasn’t been all that curious about her pre-Borg life, but maybe she will now, saying she won’t look into her parents’ Starfleet records just yet, but she may someday.  In the meantime, well…she can still learn how to eat.  One thing at a time, man.