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Old November 9 2012, 05:33 AM   #440
Qutluch
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Re: My first voyage with Voyager

Alpha Flyer wrote: View Post
I don't think you do this episode justice in your comments. It was one of the more gripping, if not harrowing, explorations of torture/inhumane justice ever done on ST, second only to the TNG episode "Chain of Command". (BTW detainees in the Akritiri system weren't drugged; they were subject to an implant into their brain -- "the clamp" -- that stimulates natural aggressive tendencies, essentially setting inmates against each other like fighting dogs.)

The episode is also a pretty deep exploration of the friendship between Tom and Harry, starting with Tom saving Harry's life at the very beginning (no doubt drawing on his prior experience as a jailbird, and aware how the pecking order there works) and then getting stabbed protecting him -- which in turn leads to the reversal of their traditional roles. Ultimately, with Harry beating himself up over almost having killed his best friend, Tom then comes back to save him from those thoughts ("This man is my friend -- I'll remember that for a very long time.") Pretty powerful stuff.

The Action-Kate aspects were a bit less successful, in my mind, although there was a nice bit of continuity remembering that Neelix' old ship was still in one of the shuttle bays.

All in all, one of the finest hours of Voyager -- although difficult to watch if you've ever spent any time dealing with real-life human rights abuse situations, especially when it comes to conditions of detention.
I don't disagree with anything you wrote. I didn't think it was a bad episode at all; I was just watching it while I worked, so my write-up was short. Thanks for the correction on the "clamp". I must have walked away when they described it. I will have to make a point to re-watch this when I am not so distracted!
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