July 21, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Weekend Trek “Scientific Method”

The crew experiences strange changes to their very DNA.

An episode like this one could, for the longest while, look like another Seven-based episode where the former Borg drone once again saves the day or has a revelation.  But that’s not what’s happening here as, once Seven has made her big move, she essentially fades into the background.

See, once again, some aliens learned the hard way not to mess with Janeway.

This episode is, after all, another one that showed how badass Janeway can be, and the weird thing here is the alien adversaries of the week brought that on themselves.  The episode opens with Janeway suffering from headaches, headaches so bad that she’s snapping at, oh, everybody.  She berates Tom and B’Elanna for not showing enough discretion now that they’re dating seriously.  She looks tired and is giving everyone dirty looks, and even puts Chakotay in charge of a dual pulsar study.  About the only person who can call her on that behavior, namely Tuvok, does so and gets an apology.

It turns out that Janeway’s headaches, and the accompanying aggression, are not the result of her lack of rest and relaxation.  Many members of the crew seem to be having odd reactions.  Chakotay suddenly ages to an old man, including a great hair loss moment that looked like a practical effect, and Neelix’s great-grandfather’s DNA kicks in, a problem since Neelix’s ancestor was not a Talaxian.  B’Elanna and the Doctor come close to finding something when the Doctor finds a barcode on Chakotay’s DNA, but then something interferes with his program, nearly deleting him, while B’Elanna is hit with a weird medical condition.  Whoever or whatever is responsible for these events doesn’t want to be found.

Here’s about the point where it looks like Seven might save the day:  the Doctor transferred himself to a holodeck program and summoned her there.  He can adjust her implants to maybe see what’s happening without anyone noticing, and sure enough, some mysterious aliens are walking around the ship and adjusting equipment attached to various crewmembers–including Seven herself.  The kicker is these aliens are doing something to Janeway’s head, clearly the source of her irritation and headaches.  So, Seven knocks the two out and saves the day?

Well, no.  The Doctor gives her a plan to save everyone that will likewise reveal the aliens, but it doesn’t quite work because Tuvok is suspicious of her anyway.  She does reveal one with her phaser, and it turns out, these aliens are conducting medical experiments on the crew, and no, they won’t stop until they’re finished and certainly won’t be leaving or asking permission, and what they do may end up in a death or deformity or two, but the medical knowledge they gain for themselves (and only for their own people) is worth it.

Treating sentient creatures like lab rats is wrong, and they aren’t even going to share what they learn with the crew.  These guys suck.

Good thing they made Janeway good and mad with all the increased aggression and the headaches.  This is Janeway.  She will do something reckless even in the best of times to prove a point.  And hey, there’s a double pulsar right there, one that Tuvok says the ship only has a one-in-twenty chance of surviving a flight between the two.  Janeway can just fly between those two.  It’s an experiment of her own, and she’s not taking any more threats from these alien scientists wienies.  Yeah, they all take off, and everything goes back to normal.  If anything, Tom and B’Elanna wonder if the aliens made them more amorous, but they don’t seem to care.

And no, Janeway did not apologize to the rest of the crew.  She probably doesn’t have to.