When the body of Crewman Darwin is found in one of Voyager’s power conduits, the Doctor confirms that this was no accident – it was murder. Tuvok’s investigation identifies the culprit as former Maquis Lon Suder, but the chief of security isn’t satisfied with the outcome. Determined to understand Suder’s motivations, and perhap impart some Vulcan mental control, Tuvok suggests a mind meld, little appreciating how much his own state of mind will be affected.
I wasn’t especially looking forward to this episode – I remembered disliking Suder when I first saw this, and feeling that the whole thing was as out of place to Voyager as Eye of the Beholder was to TNG. Actually, he didn’t seem like such a bad character this time around, but I can’t help feeling that his actions would have had more if we’d gotten to know him before he killed someone – instead, we have to rely on Chakotay’s testimony that he’s always been a bit too stabby for an evolved 24th century personality.
Suder aside, this is also supposed to be a Tuvok episode, and one which brings back the old TOS staple of throwing difficult situations at the Vulcan crewmember. Again, I thought this could have been done better; we see flickers of how it must be for someone who suppresses all their emotions to have the freedom to express them, but to be honest, Spock already did that in This Side of Paradise.
Throughout season one and the first half of season two of this rewatch, I thought that Paris didn’t seem to be as much of a jerk as I remembered. These last two episodes seem to be doing their utmost to reinforce my initial opinion. Following on from his behaviour in Threshold, here Tom decides to run a dodgy gambling scheme.
- Although he shows no sign of empathic or telepathic abilities, Suder is a Betazoid. Maybe his lack of telepathic ability is connected to his violent urges.
Lost shuttlecraft running total: 4
Possibly salvageable shuttlecraft running total: 3
Summary – Meld: In which Tuvok chokes Neelix to death, but it turns out to just be a hologram.