Paris’ pool hall…I like this holodeck scene, but in general, I feel like the actors should always be “dressed to the set” in holodeck scenes. It is an easy way to show us a different look/side/feel to the characters. Meanwhile, in the mess hall Neelix sits with Tuvok to talk about Vulcan holidays, and swears that he will not rest until he gets Tuvok to smile… I do love the interactions with Neelix and Tuvok. Although, I have not decided if I feel like it is touching that Neelix calls Tuvok Mr. Vulcan or if it is unintentionally degrading…Oh, and just before the opener ends there is a random dead guy. Not a bad opening, Paris gets to gamble, Neelix gets to give one of his spunky “pep” talks to a fixed Tuvok, and there is a mystery surrounding a burned body.
After the opening we find that Crewman Darwin (aptly named) was murdered. (Speaking of the Doctor, I don’t feel like Kes has had enough airtime lately). Tuvok begins to investigate the murder. He questions Crewman Sudor, and later Sudor’s DNA was matched with the crime scene. After admitting to the crime Sudor’s only offering for motive was that he did not like the way Crewman Darwin looked at him. After this comment, Tuvok actually looked puzzled! He could not understand the logic of the crime. In my own macabre way I kind of hoped Sudor killed him just to to drive Tuvok nuts! Tuvok wants to mind meld with Sudor in order to fully understand the crime.
They jump to the holodeck scene where Paris is basically running his own odds room! Every day they gamble on a set of numbers and if no one hits only the house wins!! What an Entrepreneur!
Tuvok explains the effects of the meld to Janeway, but I wish that they showed the mind meld, clips of memory, etc. Tuvok tells Janeway that he wants to execute Sudor because Sudor is prepared for that, but Janeway put her foot down and insisted that they put maximum security around his quarters instead.
Why did Chakotay put a stop to Paris’ gambling? Who cares if people want to put up one of their rations? It is an outlet for them, something fun and maybe even a little thrilling for them for a couple of minutes each day. Yeah, Paris is racking in the extra rations, but he was the entrepreneur of the enterprise!
Tuvok is unquestionably affected by the mind meld and excuses himself of duty. When Janeway enters his room to check on him he was counting the numerous ways he knew how to kill a person. He is acting like a cornered dog ready to pounce, and Janeway is trying to coax him into seeing the doctor…why not beam him to a shielded area in sickbay rather than risking Tuvok’s and Janeway’s safety?
I do love the speech Tuvok gives the Captain when he is crazed! We even get to see him smile when he tells Janeway to reduce the force field so he can kill Sudor! Tuvok yelled!!! What a great episode for Tim Russ to break from his character and get to act a little crazy. I do like episodes where the characters undergo some changes, etc. that allow for them to act differently than their regular character!
Favorite part: When Neelix sticks his finger into Tuvok’s mouth and pulls his lip back to try and make him smile…even though it was a holodeck scene that ended with Tuvok killing Neelix it made me smile!! I really enjoyed this episode. It flowed well and Russ did a remarkable acting job.
Least favorite part: That Paris’ gambling gambit was closed down!