Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Voyager Re-Watch: Remember

So here's what happened: I watched this episode on my phone on Thursday night (when I was loopy and exhausted) with the idea that I was going to sit right down and write the post but then explosions (not really) happened and suddenly it's Tuesday and I need to put a post up or risk falling into the trap of just letting things go (again.) Anyway, I finally have a bit of peace and quiet and aloneness (and wifi) and my brain fog has lifted enough that I *think* I can remember Remember enough to write about it. Here we go.

I wasn't particularly excited about this one, if I'm honest. I've never thought it a bad episode but it was always a little unpleasant/hard to watch. And, really, I suppose that's the point.

Basically, there's a group of psychic aliens--the Enarans--tagging along with Voyager on their way back to their homeworld. They're lovely, sophisticated people who are way into the arts and shiny curtains and whatever. In the middle of their journey, B'Elanna begins having super sexy dreams about an Enaran man she's never met.

The dreams are so vivid and sensual she pretty much can't wait to get back to her quarters at night for bedtime. The dreams get so intense they become kind of dangerous but she has to keep having them because she's B'Elanna. Eventually the dreams take a new direction and she realizes that these aren't dreams but memories and the Enarans were jerks who committed genocide against a whole subset of their own people.

I found that I had a new appreciation of this episode on Thursday night. Maybe it's because I hadn't been looking forward to it I was simply pleasantly surprised. Maybe now that I'm not watching Voyager at such a fast clip (as I was in 2013) I can slow down and appreciate the episodes in a new way. I don't know. But I'm glad I re-watched this one.

Roxann Dawson is particularly fantastic here. She is convincingly both B'Elanna and the more bubbly/excitable/naive Korenna. I believe she's enraptured by the dreams and I believe that she doesn't want them to stop--even to the point of willingly accepting the memories from a much older and wiser Korenna. I believe Korenna's slow descent into the Nazi-esque political movement which seemed innocent enough on the surface. "We're helping them," is the repeated refrain from Korenna's jerk dad. And I believe that, after all this time, Korenna's finally realized her awful mistake and wants to share her knowledge before it's too late.

Trek has a long history with socio-political allegories and I believe this one is a success. It seems a little like a TNG episode and that's because it was originally dreamed up as a piece for Troi but I think it actually works much better here. Troi is always willing to listen to whatever anyone has to say and she's very sensitive and patient. B'Elanna has a much different style. She falls into this dream stuff ass-backwards and becomes so obsessed with it she fights for her right to "know how it ends." I feel like back in Troi's day this one (unfortunately) wouldn't have been written with as much proactivity on the main character's part. Troi would experience the dreams and she would plead with Picard to do something about it but there's something about B'Elanna's desperation and her agency that is more appealing. She seeks out Korenna, accuses the Enarans of murder and genocide, insists that an investigation be conducted and doesn't stop until someone will listen to what she has to say. I think it's an important emotional evolution for B'Elanna--one that likely would've been missed or gone undeveloped with Troi.

Re-watching this one, I remembered what the Enarans were guilty of, I remembered that B'Elanna eventually got to the bottom of it but couldn't take real action against them. But, I'd forgotten the very last moments: when Jessen agrees to take B'Elanna's/Korenna's memories and we see her wake up in the same dream, it's a resonant representation of the power and importance of knowledge.

1 comment:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...