DEADLOCK and ambiguous dialogue

Discussion in 'Voyager' started by david g, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. david g

    david g Commodore Commodore

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    I really love S2's DEADLOCK--indeed, it's one of the five best episodes of the series, in my view.

    I think it's both very well-acted and excellently written by Brannon Braga. I am wondering about the final exchange between Janeway and Tuvok though, specifically when the surviving Janeway notes of the doomed one, "I will admit that for a moment I could see her point of view," and Tuvok remarks that both Janeways were at once the doubter and the doubted.

    I have never fully understood this exchange. What is that the surviving Janeway could, actually, understand about the other's position? Any light shed on this exchange would be appreciated!
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Seems pretty straightforward to me. They had been the exact same Kathryn Janeway until just a few hours before, so the differences between them were insignificant, only a matter of the different circumstances they were in. So when Janeway said "there was a part of me that could see her point of view," that was literally true, because the "her" was, in fact, another part of herself.

    And Tuvok did not say both Janeways were at once the doubter and the doubted. He said "One could say that you were both the doubter and the doubted." In other words, that both of the arguing Janeways were still the same single person.
     
  3. david g

    david g Commodore Commodore

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    Thanks, Christopher. I will need a transcript of the whole exchange, but I don't find it as straightforward as you do.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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  5. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Janeway has a deathwish that surfaces at the most inopportune times.
     
  6. david g

    david g Commodore Commodore

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    Thanks for the transcript, Christopher! Here's the dialogue I have been puzzling over:

    TUVOK: I am curious, Captain. Before the Vidiians attacked, when you were in disagreement with the other Captain about
    JANEWAY: Would I have given the order to self-destruct our ship? I've gone over that moment a thousand times in my mind. The truth is, yes, I would have given the order. But I will admit, there was a part of me that could see her point of view.
    TUVOK: One could say that you were both the doubter and the doubted. I do not envy the paradox of logic you were faced with in that situation.

    I guess what confuses me is that Janeway says she would have given the same order. "BUT," she "admits," that "there was a part of me that could see her point of view." In other words, she would have given the same order while mainly siding against giving such an order? Is she saying the other Janeway gave the order too readily? I'm still confused...!
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Why is it confusing that she was able to see both sides of the issue? That's a basic part of good decision-making -- to look at both sides of a question fairly before deciding which path to take. She would've been a pretty lousy captain if she couldn't give fair consideration to every side of a question.
     
  8. david g

    david g Commodore Commodore

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    But what I am talking about is the wording of the exchange--I simply don't see it as transparent.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I don't know why. Again -- both Janeways were exactly the same person. We're not talking about two different captains, we're talking about two iterations of the same captain, differing only by a few hours of experience, and we've seen them arrive at opposite decisions. The story explicitly showed us Janeway seeing both points of view. The other Janeway was almost literally "part of" her, in that both Janeways had split off from the same individual, like a cell undergoing mitosis. So what she's saying here is a literal restatement of what's already happened in the episode. It couldn't get more transparent.
     
  10. LOKAI of CHERON

    LOKAI of CHERON Commodore Commodore

    Hey, this is Star Trek - I'm a card carrying member of the Often Confused Club! :)

    Totally agree with your evaluation of the episode; it remains one of my best-loved Voyager outings. In fact, I think I'll bump it to the top of my playlist - haven't watched it in quite sometime. :techman:
     
  11. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    I've got to agree with Christopher, it's fairly straight forward the meaning of the line.
     
  12. david g

    david g Commodore Commodore

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    I think that there is ambiguity in the wording. It's simply not straightforward dialogue, and that, to me, is what is interesting about it (but clearly, others may feel differently). But let me address a different point--these are not the same Janeways. The point of the episode, I think, is to question how much experience changes and shapes an individual. Certainly, they may be nearly the same person, but they also arent, a point reinforced by the dialogue that Harry Kim (perhaps not the "real" Harry Kim) and Janeway have at the very end.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    They were the same Janeway until mere hours earlier. That's the point. These weren't alternate timelines as some viewers assume, but physical duplicates split off from the same original. The story was basically an exercise in putting the same person in two very different situations and exploring how her decisions differed depending on the circumstances.
     
  14. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Janeway wants to die.

    The Janeway who didn't get to make the ultimate sacrifice was superpissed.
     
  15. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    We can factually say that she was beside herself. :shifty:
     
  16. Vandervecken

    Vandervecken Captain Captain

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    I see what you're getting at. When Janeway (the Janeway talking to Tuvok here) said she would have given the same order, she is already admitting she sees the other Janeway's point of view, therefore the "but" and what follows really doesn't make that much sense.

    Distilling it down to words that make the lack of sense more obvious:


    "I agree with you, but I also see your point of view."

    Huh?
     
  17. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Huh, what? Person A can agree with Person B without knowing why he agrees or fully understanding B's position.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Oh, I see the problem now. Yeah, she's saying that she would've given the same order as the other Janeway, so the "but" when she goes on to reiterate that understanding creates a paradox. "A is true, but A is also true."

    So yeah, that is ambiguous. Sorry I didn't catch it earlier. I guess the situation was confusing enough that even the writer lost track.
     
  19. david g

    david g Commodore Commodore

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    Very grateful to you, Vandervecken, for clarifying this issue! Yes, that's precisely what I was trying to get at. Christopher, while this could be a moment of faulty writing, I actually think that what's so interesting about the exchange is the way it models the paradoxical quality of the episode's central conflicts.
     
  20. Drone

    Drone Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    What's interesting otherwise though is Kim's dilemna. Perhaps we might think that his existential angst has been relieved by the Captain's pithy response, but maybe this continues to nag at his psyche for years. Might explain a few things: women, rank, KalToh, etc.
     

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