Thursday, September 10, 2015

Voyager Re-Watch: Blood Fever

I have a lot of feelings about Blood Fever. Mostly, my feelings all have to do with this one being hot. Steamy and sexy. I can't help it. Even when I was a kid I loved the sweaty, feisty, sex-crazed nature of this episode. If you're not familiar, here's the deal:

Ensign Vorik (Vulcan dude, remember?) has been kind of into B'Elanna for the last few episodes and now he declares his undying... whatever Vulcans have... for her and tells her she's his mate now what with him having the Pon Farr and all. He grabs her and B'Elanna's all, "Step off!" and then she knocks him out. Later on, she, Chakotay and Tom are all messing around on the Planet Hell Set and she starts acting kinda loopy. And by loopy I mean, "in need of the sexy time" but also, "crankier than usual about everything." Between The Doctor and Tuvok, they put together what's happened.

B'Elanna has psychically contracted Vorik's Pon Farr. She ends up selecting Tom Paris as the most appropriate candidate for sexy time and he, over and over, refuses her advances until, finally, Tuvok is all, "If she doesn't do the deed, she'll die." And now Paris is all, "Ok--if I have to." But then Vorik shows up and challenges Paris to fight for B'Elanna and B'Elanna's all, "I'll take your challenge myself!" Which is good because obviously Paris was going to lose that fight. Anyway, B'Elanna wins and they all go back to Voyager.

I love this one for so many reasons. I love that it's a B'Elanna-sode. I love that she--who always struggles to keep her intense, Klingon emotions in check--is the one who has to undergo the Pon Farr. I love Roxann Dawson's performance. I love how aggressive she is.  We've seen Klingon sexiness before in TNG (remember Worf saying, "this is sex" and everyone kind of grimaces (except me)?) and DS9 but now we get it from a woman--which is lovely and fresh and nicely handled. I love that she pursues Tom instead of Chakotay (who it seems like the writers were shipping in season one) and I love that Tom rebuffs her advances time and again because he knows she isn't herself. I love that they finally get a (beautifully lit) first kiss!

I love that, when Tom finally agrees to mate with B'Elanna, it's aggressive and sexy and fun--until Vorik shows up. And, of course, I love that B'Elanna took him on herself. That, in spite of everything she was going through, she was her own champion.
Notice the Tank Top of Badassery
The idea of being fearful of exploring one's own identity, being at odds with oneself, is something that's been there since the beginning when Leonard Nimoy made Spock's bi-racial/bi-cultural/intellectually a-typical struggle so tangible. Dawson's continued portrayal of B'Elanna's internal struggle throughout Voyager is similarly resonant. She is a Klingon, a human, a scientist, an ex-cadet and ex-rebel, an officer, a woman. She's simultaneously proud and afraid of herself. She's constantly trying to keep from boiling over and letting everything inside of her out and, in Blood Fever, we (and Tom Paris) see that what's inside is actually pretty damn awesome.

Bonus Points:
-This one was directed by Andrew Robinson aka DS9's Garak
-Love The Doctor's confidence in his holo-sex-bot and love that his solution ultimately fails

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