Friday, September 25, 2015

Voyager Re-watch: Revuslion

Revulsion is the one where the doctor makes friends with a new hologram but then he turns out to be a total jerk. And I don't just mean, "Oh he clips his toenails in the kitchen and always puts the empty milk jug back in the fridge." I mean he murders people because he thinks they're disgusting skin bags full of germs. That's the A story anyway. I'm here to talk about the B story.

Seven of Nine isn't used to working by herself and she's feeling kind of bored and useless so she asks for an assignment. She ends up working with Harry Kim (of course) and he ends up developing a crush on her (of course) and she... Look, Seven is direct. It's one of the things I love about her and one of the things I identify with.

The Doctor, I think, was intended to be Voyager's Spock/Data/Odo in that his arc throughout the show is an exploration of his humanity. But I think it didn't really work out that way. The Doctor doesn't really need lessons in being a human after the first season--his lessons are more about realness. What it means to have personhood at all, to be recognized as an autonomous being, to live as an individual. You could say all the same stuff about Seven, I guess, but she, like Spock/Data/Odo is more alien. The Doctor might be a cranky smart ass but he's programmed with the same human instincts (and attitude) as Bones. He was "born" knowing how to human. Seven still has no idea. She looks mostly human, she sounds mostly human. Judging by appearance alone, you'd think she'd have it together. But no.

Seven doesn't know how to eat. She doesn't know how to sleep. She doesn't know how to be by herself yet she's not into being around other humans. In most ways, she's less human than the computer program running around sickbay. And that includes, at least by this point, romantic experiences.

So, when Harry dims the lights and sits all cozy-like on the sofa (because he learned to human from John Hughes movies, I'm surprised he doesn't have some OMD going in the background) Seven kicks it into high gear--which is the only gear she knows.

"I see the way your pupils dilate when you look at me."
"Are you in love with me?"
"Oh, uh..."
"Do you with to copulate?"
"Wait, what?"
"Take off your clothes."

This is basically word for word what you'd find in my operating manual under "Sex." It's played here for comedy and I get it. I, like Seven, wasn't really programmed with the ability to human regular-style. How to create an atmosphere. How to get emotional about something so physical. On the other hand, I laugh at things like dimmed lights and candles and cozy small talk. Literally--I start laughing when I attempt this sort of thing.

Anyway, I love watching Seven try to human. It reminds me of my own struggle and, folks, the struggle is real. Over the next few seasons we see Seven maintain her Seven-ness while awkwardly trying to get through her very human world. It's great. It's fun. For me, it's personal.

I only wish it'd been a little more dynamic. That's the next post, though.


  1. mmmmm, I don't wanna be that dude who's pointing out stuff, but the murderous jerk hologram is one the crew encounters. Doc doesn't create him so much as help B'Elanna avoid becoming his latest kill.

    I have to agree about the comedy in Seven and Harry's interaction. Garret Wang doesn't have a whole lotta different "modes", but he genuinely looks like he's gonna swallow his tongue as Harry, when Seven asks him point blank "Do you wish to copulate?" lol Makes me giggle every time.

    1. Woops! That was a typo. It was originally "makes friends with" and then I changed it to "encounters" and then I changed it back... but didn't edit properly. It's fixed now. Thanks Johnny!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...