20 Years of Star Trek: Voyager - S01xE13

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

Faces
I read about this episode well before actually watching it. It is a unique character study, and is the basis of a great deal of conflict throughout the series. It's the kind of episode that you'll keep wanting to better in your head, because it is just full of opportunities - more than enough to fill an entire TV show if someone were given a chance to explore it.

Looks ominous. A Klingon tied up.

Wait, B'Elanna? But she looks completely Klingon!

After the intro, the ship is on its way to pick up an away team of Tom, B'El and Lt. Durst (who we briefly met in the previous episode).

Neelix, on the other hand, is treating Tuvok to a Vulcan soup, which he's taken the liberty of giving a Neelix twist. Tuvok looks displeased with it, but he's saved from finishing it thanks to the Bridge.

The away team cannot be located. Looks like the tunnel systems they were exploring have changed position during the 2 days that the team were away.

C is taking a team down, while Kim makes some 24th Century style breadcrumbs so they don't get lost.

Klingon B'El is in restraints. Of course the Vidians are behind this. Her speech patterns are very stilted. Not sure why, though.

So, it seems the Vidian reconstituted her genome - she is now full Klingon. Looks like the Vidian doctor thinks her Klingon genes might be a step in curing the Phage.

He's gone an injected her with the Phage, in an attempt to find a cure. She is not pleased.

An assembly line of prisoners walk into some barracks. Paris and Durst are part of them. They don't know what's happened to B.

Paris and Durst are looking for a way to escape. We now have a crazy Talaxian to contend with.

The prisoners are alive because the Vidians are too weak to dig the tunnels. Eventually, says the Talaxian, the prisoners will be taken for their organs. He was captured with 22 other Talaxians. He's now the only one left.

Tom does not look pleased with the idea that B's been taken to organ processing.

The rescue team are here, with Harry setting up the transponders. Looks like they're working.

Klingon B'El looks like she's really suffering. She's putting up with the pain really well. Readouts suggest her body is fighting off the Phage.

Now the Vidian wants to replicate her DNA. He's getting really excited by this.

She sounds proud to be a Klingon, I don't think she can help that. The Vidian has never met a Klingon before, but he's mighty impressed by them.

A Sarfleet officer has been brought to the barracks now. Wait, it's B'Elanna, but she's completely human. Tom looks horrified that she's been changed.

It's weird to see Roxann in her natural form, we're so used to her being part-Klingon.

She keeps touching her forehead. She was never comfortable with her Klingon forehead, and tried to hide it as a child. Looks like she had a difficult childhood growing up in a primarily human colony.

This is really sad. B'El believed her father left because she looked Klingon. So she did everything to look human. Again, a brillaint analogy to how many children feel like they're the reason for their parents' separation.

I find it interesting that Tom says, 'Looks like you got what you wanted.' Usually, people would try and correct her thinking, and encourage her to accept herself as she is, but Tom displays real empathy for her and her struggle.

Disguised forcefields are a signature of the Vidians, the team should have picked up on that sooner, I think.

Looks like they've been spotted by the Vidians. The rescue team make a quick getaway.

Klingon B'El is making progress in loosening her restraints.

Klingon B'El is using flattery to soften up the Vidian. I've never quite liked that she uses her sexuality to get out of the restraints. She seems disgusted by him, but at the same time we all know B'El would have knocked him out the moment he'd let her out. Anyway, her plan is not working.

Durst is being taken away to 'contact the ship'. Tom tries to get taken instead, it's not working.

Wow, human B'El is so terrified she can barely speak.

Did I mention this barracks lighting is very flattering on Tom. He looks magnificent.

The Captain is so frustrated that the phasers aren't able to break through the forcefields.

The Vidian doctor is back. This is absolutely horrifying! He's killed Durst and taken his face.

That's enough incentive for B to get out and choke that doctor. So disgusting. The choking scene is the least convincing act of aggression in all of Star Trek. The director should have brought out more aggression in Roxann.

I've never understood why the Vidian doctor used Durst's face and not Tom's. Naturally, Tom is the better looking fellow (to some of us, anyway), so would be the natural choice to kill and de-face. The only logical reasons not to is that Tom could ostensibly last longer in the mines, or a higher power had first dibs on his face, or else, and most logically speaking, Durst's face was closer to what the Vidian originally looked like. They were about the same height and build as well. Noticeably the guards who came for Durst, judged the two men before picking Durst, which makes me think they wanted to 'save' Tom for a more important personality. This is conjecture of the highest order.

Now, Chakotay is going undercover as a Vidian.

Tom and human B are struggling in the mines. Those heavy rocks don't look humane to carry.

Human B is really suffering. Nice of the crazy Talaxian to share water with them. It must be weird for Tom to see B like this.

B's thinking this experiment has changed more than just her looks. She's absolutely terrified. Tom's consolations are not working. She's convinced she's been turned into a coward.

Tom's doing his best to encourage her to use her fear for the best. Let's see how things work out once she's back in the barracks.

Klingon B is now out and searching for Tom. She's right confused by the news that a human female was with the group.

Human B is trying to contact the ship. Somehow, in Voyager, all crew members are adept as using all alien interfaces, no matter how... alien they appear to be. I've never figured that one out.

Oh no, the Vidians found her. But wait, Klingon B saves the day.

Now this is unlike anything we can ever expect to see again - the two halves of B'Elanna Torres meet and... the human one faints. Well, at least Klingon B is strong enough to carry her.

'Wake up, pathak!' Trust Klingon B to be so rough. That rodent she's killed is rather meaty looking.

Klingon B's answer to everything, fight.

I love how different the two B'Elanna's are. Apparently, Roxann's family did not realise it was her under the Klingon make-up. She's very convincingly pulling off the two characters. I can barely recognise her as Klingon B.

Human B blames Klingon B for everything, including getting kicked out of the Academy.

Human B is more logical, but doesn't have the stomach to act. Looks like she's found a possible way to get them out of here. But she needs the Klingon's help. The brawn and the brains. B'Elanna's the complete package.

Tom's back at the barracks and looks worried sick.

Great, Chakotay's found Tom and he's getting him out of there.

The two B'Els are now in the processing section. Klingon B is like an animal on the prowl. Great, now the alarm's been set off.

It's that doctor again. He's threatening human B. But Chakotay's come just in time. I don't think we needed the Chakotay to the rescue part. We should have left the heroing to the two B'Elanna's. Then C and Tom could have joined. The writer's did not do justice to B at this instance.

Human B's disrupted the forcefield.

Dammit, Klingon B just got shot.

They're on the ship now, but Klingon B dies anyway. At least it was an honourable death.

Looks like the Doc has a way to reinstate the two Bs. It's evident human B doesn't want that, but she can't survive without her Klingon genes.

She's more at peace with herself now, as a human. But she's incomplete. I suppose what she's feeling must be akin to losing parts of your memory or undergoing a lobotomy. Everything may look okay, but it doesn't feel right.

This is probably the most we will see B'Elanna cry, ever. She's always emotional, but more in an aggressive manner.

I'm glad Chakotay doesn't say anything. He just leaves her to mull over the fact that she will spend the rest of her life fighting with the Klingon side of her.

B touches her human forehead one last time.

This episode, and the feedback from it is apparently one of the main reasons Roxann stayed on with Voyager. I'm glad she did, and I'm also glad that recent interviews and comic con appearances suggest that she did enjoy her time on the show and with the team.

I have always loved this episode as it is an apt incarnation of what most people face every day. I often re-invented the episode in my head starring other characters, myself, etc. to explore the different sides of us, of humans. B'Elanna's continuing battle with the two sides of her heritage are an integral part of her arc. And it's important that the writers didn't decide to make her at peace with herself after this episode, because she is two very disparate people inside her head to actually find internal peace.

There are some people in the world who need an external foil, and I think one of the reasons I (and especially my sister) relate so well to B'Elanna is because of how human her traits, anxieties and constant battles are. She's not a perfectly written character, and B'Elanna's fight scenes are never quite as fierce or energetic as they're supposed to be, or made out to be, but the message is loud and clear. Do not mess with B'Elanna Torres, ever.

Up next is a Neelix episode which showed a side of him that I could well relate to.

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