SITREP: Tom Paris has seduced a feather head lady with a yappy dog and then apparently killed her husband (a prominent scientist) in a jealous rage and has already been tried and punished at the commencement of the episode. His penance: Every 15 minutes Paris must relive the events of the murder through the victim's eyes. Janeway is out to prove his innocence so Detective Inspector Tuvok takes the case. Eventually everything is ok again.
|The traditional Murder Mystery Summation Gathering|
Maybe that's because the entire premise for this one was a Riker-sode in TNG. In "A Matter of Perspective" Riker presumably murders a prominent scientist after seducing the man's wife. Data and Geordi take the case and then evidence is brought against him using the holodeck (rather than a mind meld) and he's eventually cleared of the charge.
Of course the ole' "I definitely did not murder that guy/gal!" episode goes all the way back to when Scotty murdered a belly dancer but then actually it was Piglet/Jack the Ripper. Even Dax is put on trial for a murder involving an affair in "Dax."
So, again, this is an episode that any Trek could have done and did do and if there was another Trek on right now it'd be a first season story. It's not that there's anything inherently wrong with it. It's just that there's not much going on here that makes it feel special and unique and Voyager-ish.
My favorite stuff about this one:
-There's a really nice conversation between The Doctor and Kes about personhood and a hologram's ability to make his own choices.
-Using Maquis tactics to evade Delta Quadrant aliens is nice idea.
-Tuvok Holmes is fun to watch and I'd totally watch that spin-off.
-The added twist of "really Paris is being used an unknowing carrier of information for a spy" isn't a bad idea.
-Neelix has no clue what a mind-meld is. I find this absolutely awesome and hilarious. Nice touch, people. Give yourselves a pat on the back, whoever thought of that.