20 Years of Star Trek: Voyager - S01xE09

Ensign Lestat's TV Log, 04/07/15

Prime Factors
In the Mess Hall, Seska and B'El are hanging out. B totally checked out one of the Lts.

Looks like Tom's totally given people the wrong impression about H's date with one of the Delaney's. He fell over the side of the gondola. Much merriment on H's behalf.

Captain looks pleased that the two crews are bonding.

A small vessel sending out a distress call has appeared. A very slimey looking person just answered the ship. He says he's sending out a distress call because Voyager is in distress. Cap looks taken aback, but Chakotay's having none of it.

Gathorel seems like a very friendly alien. He promises gifts if allowed on board the ship.

Gath has brought food. His species are known for their incredible hospitality, says Neelix.

Apparently Gath has heard about the ship of aliens and they have come to offer them respite.

Captain looks taken with this idea and with Gath.

Shore leave has been called. Many of the crew are already on the planet. Gath is really obsequious, he's offering the Cap lots of gifts.

H has found a kindred spirit. A delightful young woman studying an atmospheric sensor. Obviously scientific folk are hard to find for her, because she's most impressed. Kim's having fun.

Can't believe the Captain took so long to choose a scarf.

This Gath dude is coming on way too strong. Can't make out if the Captain is pleased or uncomfortable with him.

The crew is enjoying their time on the planet.

Looks like Eudana, the scientist, is enamoured of Harry. She's taken by H's noble story. Stories play a huge part in this culture.

She's used a transporter to take them elsewhere. This place is very romantic and sensual. But it's sunrise here.

You know how old this show is from the poorly rendered background shot.

Looks like Eudana has transported them 40,000 lightyears from where they are. Harry is obviously excited by the potential of this technology.

Slimey Gath is really coming on strong. Captain seems to reciprocate, except now H has interrupted.

Looks like they have a way to travel by folding space. But they cannot share their technology. They sound like Starfleet - after all, isn't this the same argument Voyager made to the Kazon.

Harry looks heart-broken. Nothing quite compares to the Captain's attempt to stop him from drowning in his sorrows.

Conjecture continues on board. But Captain's brought up the Prime Directive, and she's opened a can of worms. We have for and against the PD in the meeting. J's got her face turned away from them, and looks at the edge of tears.

H has hit upon a golden egg. Offer the aliens literature in lieu of the technology.

Looks like B'El's idea to study the technology hasn't sat well with the Captain.

B'El is pissed that the Captain told her off.

Cap's still trying to convince Gath that they won't misuse the technology. However, she is bartering the full library of literature in lieu of Gath's people sending the ship.

He's planning to discuss it with the other Magistrates.

Seska looks a million miles away in Engineering. She's thinking about home. She's playing the emotional card on B'El. And B'El falls for it. They're looking into how the folding of space works.

Shocking! Carey's with them too. The three of them are working on how to create a bubble to hoist Voyager through the space fold.

Eudana has brought Harry to meet Jaret (Gath's assistant), who is willing to sell the technology in black. He's even handed him the matrix. He says Gath never intended to transport the ship.

We now have a conference between Kim, Tom, B'El and Seska, discussing whether to take up Jaret's offer. But Harry has faith in the Captain, and will wait for her to decide.

Seska, on the other hand wants to take things into her own hands. She wants to go around the Captain, get the job done. B'El's not backing down, but Seska has a convincing argument. Everyone's job on this ship is to get them home, she says.

Looks like they're in a royal mess with this Jaret issue. Cap is looking to Tuvok, who states it simply - deal with a man with a hidden agenda, or one who breaks his own laws.

Breaking their laws is no better than breaking Starfleet's. Cap's torn between her principles, and what to tell the crew. Tuvok recommends that she continues to gauge whether Gath wants to help them at all.

On the planet, Gath seems more intent that the crew immigrate to the planet and enjoy their pleasures here. But he gets bored easily, which is not how the Captain or the crew works.

Him getting affronted about being judged is kind of silly. Their hospitality is all about gratifying and making things pleasurable for themselves, not to assist the crew. And his agenda was always about getting the crew on the planet, not to help them reach home.

Back on the ship. Tuvok still dangles the Jaret carrot in front of her, but she's not bending her principles. They're going to leave without the technology.

Seska, B and Carey are discussing the Jaret issue. Seska has the library downloaded, and is doing a brilliant job of convincing B that they need to go home. The Bajorans are suffering, the Maquis are dying. They made a promise never to back down till there was peace. Carey has a family back home, kids who he wants to see grow up. I told you this show was subversive.

Carey's even figured out a way of prolonging the use of the technology, to use the trajector for as long as they want. After all of that debating, B gives in.

They're trying to beam down, but they've been locked out of the system. Tuvok just appeared. He altered the subroutine so that he would be alerted if anyone tried to break in to the transporter. He attempted to download the library, which is when he realised someone else had already downloaded it.

He's going down to get the device from Jaret.

He's got it. Seska and the others are trying out a simulation with the trajector. Oh damn, they have to use the planet to get the trajector to work. They've switched off thrusters so the ship can't move. B'El's making up excuses for it. She's a good lier.

The three are getting excited, but the warp core is being breached by the matrix. Shoot, Carey has to evacuate Engineering. B'El's had to destroy the matrix. It was not compatible with Federation technology, it was never going to work.

B'El's showing us why she's a true leader. She's going to own up to this act of deception. Seska's ability to insult her isn't working. B'El no longer cares about what Seska thinks, she cares about what's right.

B'El's confessed, but the Captain is stunned when Tuvok confesses.

Captain is really disappointed by what B'El did. She gets a stern warning, but luckily doesn't get chucked in the brig. That's a lucky break.

J is thunderstruck by Tuvok. His logic was that he spared her the ethical dilemma of getting the matrix. He did it for her. And she's weirdly not going to court-martial him and take away his commission.

This conversation is not going according to normal. She's distressed that Tuvok can't be trusted to be her moral compass any more. It's her trust that is shaken and that's why she's wounded so badly.

'Next time bring your logic to me, don't act on it behind my back,' she says.

'My logic was not in error, but I was,' he responds.

This is an incredibly tough episode. A lot of people might complain about how both B and T get off with less than a slap on the wrist, but it is to be noted that these acts will most definitely be included in their records, and could affect their careers later on.

The fact that the Captain's hands are tied when it comes to their punishments is a good example to use. After all, you cannot afford to haul dead weight on a mission like this. If I recall, 'Battlestar Galactica' uses a similar logic when it comes rule-breakers. Sometimes you don't have a choice. Of course, some acts are more heinous than others, and there are times when dead weight is better. We will explore that in a later episode.

There's something to be said about 3 female characters in this episode achieving arcs. The Captain, trustworthy and friendly is brought short by how the tide can turn when you're on the wrong side of principles.

Seska, who's every intent is deception, gets her comeuppance when not only does her plan backfire, but her faith in authority is shaken by Tuvok making the exchange. She also learns a valuable lesson about friendship, sometimes friends change.

B'Elanna's arc, someone who is a great leader, but who fiercely objects to people making decisions for her, also has her faith in institutions shaken, but grows into the actual leader we all know her to be - a person who makes a mistake and then deals with the consequences.

This is a very thought-provoking episode, and takes quite some time to digest.

Let's move on.

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