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Old April 21 2012, 11:43 AM   #1
eepruls
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Problems with Investigations

I've always kind of liked 'Investigations' simply because it's part of the season two arc and had some continuity which Voyager severely lacked thereafter. In watching it again tonight, I had question after question that drove me nuts.

1. What is the point of having Tom misbehave for weeks, not tell anyone (other than Janeway and Tuvok), arrange for him to transfer to a Talaxian ship, rendezvous with said Talaxian ship, and have him leave complete with hugs and kisses goodbye? All that to get him on the Kazon ship to put a little doodad on a screen for 60 seconds? He was caught as he was doing it! Great plan guys. If they're going to spend weeks getting him on the ship, maybe they should've considered how he would get OFF and get back to Voyager with that information. They could've avoided all that work and just given Tom a shuttle to fly to the Kazon ship. That's what Chakotay did a few episodes prior. It just seems like a lot of work for a whole lot of nothing.

2. So it's easier to come up with this big master plan that takes weeks to implement instead of figuring out who's sending the messages from within the ship? Janeway says they "exhausted all options". Really? It seemed like Neelix was doing a fairly good job on his own and he's an idiot. Instead of wasting time having Tom pretend to be a bad boy, why not figure out who the spy is because, you know, it might be pretty serious.

3. Why the hell isn't Chakotay informed about the spy? He's the first officer for goodness sake. Janeway and Tuvok think the spy is a Maquis and say they "needed a good performance" and that "as a Maquis, they didn't want to put him in a position where he'd have to take sides". This is all nice for the plot, but it really makes no sense. Thus, Janeway's comment that they "exhausted all options" really isn't true. As a Maquis, Chakotay may have been able to poke around and discover who the spy is. Maybe he could've gotten Jonas to spill the beans because of the trust he'd established with his former crew.

4. Why do Seska and Jonas want to be with the Kazon anyways? What exactly about the Kazon make them so desirable to be with? The fact they have no water or transporters and fly around in one confined section of the Delta Quadrant fighting other Kaxon sects? Yeah, I see the allure.

5. Every time I see that 'Jonas with the laser scapel' scene where he's going to kill Neelix, I laugh. It's one of those cliched horror moments where we see the villain with a weapon behind an unknowing potential victim. Did he think that by killing Neelix, everyone would forget about the covert messages being sent to the Kazon? Um, you're probably our spy buddy.

6. Why is Jonas the only person in Engineering near the end? I'd think there would be at least a couple of people manning the department. Yeah, he gave Hogan the PADD to take somewhere but still, just him? Convenient.

7. WTF is that green vortex that opens in the floor in Engineering near the end? It makes for a cool death as Jonas flies over the railing but makes zero sense. Neelix closes it or something and it's forgotten.

8. Do they have to make it so obvious that it's the stunt doubles fighting? When someone falls and they purposely turn their head away it's a good probability that they're a double. And did those actors really need a stunt double to 'hold the other guy with the big fake wrench thing and look like they're struggling'? The real actors couldn't do that?

8. So Neelix is suddenly a reporter with a daily show in this episode. But in classic Voyager fashion, it's not talked about before and it's all forgotten by the next episode where he's a full-time cook again. What is the point of the show thing? Couldn't they have just had Neelix concerned about his friend Tom and start poking around? And why is everyone on the ship just standing around every morning watching Neelix's show? Isn't there better things to be doing, like figuring out who the spy is? Oh, that's right, they 'exhausted all options'.

Anyways, that's what I wanted to rant about! Hope you enjoyed my thoughts.
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Old April 21 2012, 12:49 PM   #2
Timo
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Re: Problems with Investigations

Instead of wasting time having Tom pretend to be a bad boy, why not figure out who the spy is because, you know, it might be pretty serious.
I guess there'd be nothing to lose with doing both. Especially if one wasn't sure Tom wasn't the bad apple. Or Chakotay, for that matter. Janeway would still stand some chance of defeating Chakotay in an all-out fight between the supporters of the two, so she shouldn't throw the towel from the very start and resign to assuming that Chakotay could be trusted.

I mean, the basic premise here is that there is mounting evidence that some people consider Voyager's survival odds so low that they prefer going to the side of the enemy. Given the nature of the enemy, those people must have pretty darn good reasons for having started thinking that way all of a sudden - meaning a full-scale mutiny could be just around the corner. Is it a single spy, or fifty mutineers? Is it Tom? Is it Chakotay and his loyal cohorts?

In those circumstances, sending Tom on a mission that stands a chance of enhancing the safety of the ship, doesn't present undue jeopardy to the ship if Tom proves to be a traitor, and in its slow preparation stage serves as a nice sounding board for anti-Janeway, pro-Maquis or pro-Kazon sentiments... Well, it's win-win-win.

However, since Neelix is what he is, and the story is told from his perspective, we never learn what else Janeway and Tuvok might have been doing in order to avoid armageddon...

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Old April 21 2012, 01:06 PM   #3
Guy Gardener
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Re: Problems with Investigations

1. I believe that for all their complicated planning, that because Voyager was walking into a trap, that for Tom, all that cloak and dagger shit had to be dropped. If Paris hadn't been there, or hadn't broken cover, all would have been lost.

4a. The kazon are easily manipulated because they are a savage young race. Their stupid technology is embarrassing, but is that because they don't know how to work half the systems on the ships they "liberated" or that they really are complete shite? but here's the thing, as long as they do what she says, and they can mass produce federation technology that she can use to foment into a new corner of the Cardassian Union waiting to link up with the home front.

4b. Seska makes men fall in love with her and they do whatever she wants. Maybe she has to hand out some blow jobs now and then, but sex has always been a tool for intelligent people to get what they want from the more pliable gender.

8. A briefing with Neelix is just facebook. Nothing more, nothing less despite what he thinks of himself. Besides how long could he have been at it, if this was the first time that an opinionated Gimp like Kim got too tell Neelix that he was just making fluff.
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Old April 21 2012, 02:41 PM   #4
toughlittleship
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Re: Problems with Investigations

I've always found it strange that Jonas would have anything to do with Seska, with her being Cardassian and Jonas a Maquis.
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Old April 21 2012, 02:43 PM   #5
George Steinbrenner
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Re: Problems with Investigations

toughlittleship wrote: View Post
I've always found it strange that Jonas would have anything to do with Seska, with her being Cardassian and Jonas a Maquis.
They probably still had some sort of friendship from when they did serve in the Maquis together (I'm guessing most of them knew Seska for awhile before she was revealed as a Cardassian).

And in the end, Seska's goals were still the same as theirs - to get home by any means necessary.
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Old April 21 2012, 03:22 PM   #6
Guy Gardener
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Re: Problems with Investigations

CULLUH: I'm losing patience, Federation.
SESKA: Just tell him what he needs to know.
CHAKOTAY: She's quite a woman, isn't she? Does she rub your shoulders and tell you you're the most exciting man she's ever known? That's what she used to do for me. What's a matter? Didn't she tell you about us?
CULLUH: Stop playing games and give me the command codes.
CHAKOTAY: Flattery, devotion, sex. I always thought she had a lot to offer a man.
CULLUH: You talk too much, Federation, but you're not telling me what I need to know.
CHAKOTAY: You're wrong, Culluh. I'm telling you exactly what you need to know. She's using you.
CULLUH: I'm the one who's using her.
CHAKOTAY: You've done an even better job on him than you did on me.
CULLUH: You talk to me, not to her.
CHAKOTAY: Then what's she doing here? Watching you work? She used to like to watch me work, too.
CULLUH: I don't believe a word you're saying, so you can stop trying to distract me now and start answering questions.
CHAKOTAY: You know one thing I especially liked? The little mole on her stomach. I guess you've seen it.
CULLUH: I'm through wasting my strength on you.
I wasn't joking when i said that she controls men with sex.
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Old April 21 2012, 06:48 PM   #7
Lynx
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Re: Problems with Investigations

Some really great and thought-provoking comments in eepruls's post. I really like this episode myself but I've also seen some flaws in the story. So here are my comments to the points in the OP's post:

1) I totally agree. The whole thing with Tom's misbehavior and all that seem to be over the top and a waste of time. Everytime I watch this episode, since the first time I watched it, I've been asking myself: Why would a Federation citizen leave the ship in the middle of the Delta Quadrant to join the Talaxians? Not even the most dissatisfied Maquis members were even thinking about that?

2) I agree on this one too.

3) I also saw this as an insult to Chakotay. He should have been informed and, as it is stated in the OP, would have been able to track the spy thanks to him being a Maquis.

4) I can understand Seska's decision to jump ship. revealed as a Cardassian sy and someone who had given Federation technology to the Kazon, I can see that she took her chances with her new friends, hoping to get control over Voyager one day with their help. Jonas's reasons are more doubtful but maybe he feared that Seska would be successful one day in her attempts to take over the ship and he wanted to be on the winning side.

5) I agree here too. Killing Neelix would really have revealed Jonas and his intentions. Maybe he was insane in some way, otherwise I see no reason for him to even think about harming Neelix at that point.

6) Very convenient indeed. And strange too. But maybe it was "the day when all the Engineering personel had their yearly health check with The Doctor"!

7) I've tried to figure out some plausible explanation for that but I can't.

8) I agree. I see no reason for having stunt persons here. And yes, it's too obvious that they are stunt people too. Bad filming indeed.

9) Yes, another of those events who suddenly dissapeared and were forgotten, as if it never existed. Fortunately, "A Briefing With Neelix" was mentioned in Greg Cox's excellent book "The Black Shore" (in which the events takes place in the beginning of season 3) so I take the liberty to assume that Neelix did continue with his TV show, at least up to that point. Here I can actually see a point in which Neelix's poking around playing journalist did lead him on the right track.

Hmm....lots of flaws here but for some strange reason I really like this episode.
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Old April 24 2012, 10:06 AM   #8
Timo
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Re: Problems with Investigations

Why would a Federation citizen leave the ship in the middle of the Delta Quadrant to join the Talaxians?
I think that's pretty good survival instinct. I mean, the Talaxians are the ultimate survivors. A planet blasted from beneath their feet? No worries, just get spaceborne and go on living long and prospering.

There might have been more powerful peoples out there, but none as friendly as the Talaxians. Oh, there were definitely a few even more powerful friendlies, but they weren't "out there"; they tended to stick to their own planet and would have been difficult to reach - not to mention unhelpful in any quest to reach Earth.

Not even the most dissatisfied Maquis members were even thinking about that?
Yeah, that's a bit odd... But the Maquis were all hot and bothered about ownership of land; that's what got them in trouble in the first place. Getting a planet of their own, or enough territory on a shared planet, was more up their alley, as mused on in "The 37s". Talaxians wouldn't have spare planets on offer, plus the possibility of a ride back to the Federation would be less alluring to the hunted criminals than to the Starfleet officers.

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Old April 25 2012, 12:27 AM   #9
StewMc
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Re: Problems with Investigations

eepruls wrote: View Post
8. So Neelix is suddenly a reporter with a daily show in this episode. But in classic Voyager fashion, it's not talked about before and it's all forgotten by the next episode where he's a full-time cook again.
Neelix's show does actually appear again in "Macrocosm", although the show is called Good Morning Voyager instead of A Briefing With Neelix. Sure Neelix could have changed the name but its just as likely that nobody bothered to go back to "Investigations" to check the name.
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Old April 26 2012, 01:57 PM   #10
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Re: Problems with Investigations

Good rant, I had a laugh.
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Old April 27 2012, 06:42 PM   #11
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Re: Problems with Investigations

The main point I'll touch on is with Tom.

This whole thing to me makes sense. I'd like to give the writers credit by trying to look at the larger scale, but of course they don't really do a good job explaining it. Essentially, the conclusion I draw is that this stunt was staged to attempt to determine of there was a larger conspiracy then just one disgruntled person feeding Seska information. At the time (and even through Nelix's investigation) its hard to determine if there was one person involved or a whole slue of people. It's obvious to me that Janeway and Tuvok staged this event to assess how wide spread Seska's influence really is.

That being said, I'm more then a little surprised there wasn't more posturing between Janeway and the crew after this saying "How could you do this?". "Don't you trust us?" etc etc.
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