The following is a SPOILER Review. If you have not seen the episode yet and do not want to have the plot given away, stop reading now.
This is not just a review; it's a retelling of the episode from start to finish, limited only by my ability to remember the details. I do this for my friends in uniform and those living overseas or who otherwise do not have access to the episodes as they are aired.
B'Elanna Torres dreams of love and genocide among a telepathic alien race.
Jump straight to the Analysis
Jump straight to the Analysis
Captain's log: a race known as Enarans have hitched a lift from one of their colonies to their homeworld, swapping high-speed travel for some technological assistance: they can make the Voyager's engines more efficient. They seem a pleasant, friendly, even attractive race.
In the engine room, B'Elanna works with an attractive young Enaran woman and a much older woman whose beauty has not dimmed with age, aside from a scar on her right cheek. The younger woman says she never expected to visit the Enaran homeworld; the trip normally takes too long to be a casual journey, and the colony world is the only home she's ever known. The older woman tells her in a faraway, dreamy voice of some of the beauties that await them.
The young woman, however, seems more interested in the nearby beauties. Their efforts to integrate Enaran technology isn't working perfectly, Torres notes; the young woman suggests that Harry Kim may be able to help. Her voice contains an eagerness that Torres can't help but catch. "Perhaps he'll be willing to, if you ask him." She does, and it appears Harry is as enchanted by her as she is with him. Torres, knowing googoo eyes when she sees it, suggests they work on the problem the next morning.
"Great," says Harry, his eyes focused on the young woman. "Maybe we can all grab some dinner." The elderly woman politely declines, saying dinner is for the young, and she plans to retire to her quarters early. "Oh well, I guess it's just the three of us," Harry says, his voice and expression rather bluntly suggesting that it's still a larger number than he'd prefer. Again, Torres picks up on "Starfleet's" hint. "Sleep sounds good to me, too," Torres says. "Go on without me." With matching grins but not another word, Kim and the young woman (as yet unnamed, which kinda bugged me) leave Engineering, leaving Torres to look after them with a slightly hurt expression and perhaps trace elements of jealousy. "No, really, I insist," she mutters.
And so to bed. But Torres isn't wearing the standard crimson Klingon Battle Pajamas. She's wearing something light and frilly and...
Thank you, Mr. Director.
A knocking sound is heard. B'Elanna breaks into a giddy grin and leaps from her bed, the light from the other room (wait, this ain't Voyager...) silhouetting but not quite revealing all the pulchritudinous details underneath the diaphanous neglige (and believe me, I looked) as she runs toward the window. She flings open the shutters (definitely not on a starship) and hauls in a young man, an Enaran, who locks onto her mouth with his like that little beastie from Alien. But she doesn't seem to mind. They're too busy clawing each other's clothing off and tumbling into the bed and basically doing what comes naturally.
I'm sure the Enaran boy's heart was broken when she heard him calling her name...in Chakotay's voice. And hears it again. Finally we see Chakotay, looking over her with concern (among other things) tattooed all over his face. "Wake up, B'Elanna!"
She finally does. She's clutching the pillow like a lover, the sheets and blankets all akimbo, and her eyes seem a thousand lightyears away.
"What?" She demands. (Personal note: B'Elanna Torres is not a morning person.)
"Your shift started twenty minutes ago." "Oh. I must have slept through the alarm." She still appears a bit out of it. She gets up, the dressed in her customary crimson Battle Jammies, and goes to change. "Are you alright?" Chakotay asks after her. "I'm fine," she insists disagreeably, but when her back is to him she grins like the cat what ate the canary.
* * *
The next day, Chakotay and Torres walk to engineering. Apparently she overslept again, an uncharacteristic lapse on her part. He's grilling her about it, more concerned than upset; she is, after all, his friend. She finally admits that she's been having some wildly realistic dreams. "Bad dreams?" he asks. "Just the opposite," she says. He grins. "Stimulating dreams?" She finally says what she seems to have been dying to tell someone. "They are the most sensual dreams I've ever had. And they're absolutely real." She leans into Chakotay to share the news, her expression one of feral satisfaction. Then, grinning wickedly, she moves away. Chakotay adopts an evil grin of his own. "Anyone I know?" He asks. "No...and nobody I know either. He's Enaran...nobody on board...and I'm not me, either. But I know him, and I'm in love with him." I haven't seen her this happy in, like, forever. It's a good look for her, methinks. "It feels GREAT!" she asserts in her best Tony Tiger impression.
She and Chakotay share a warm, secret laugh. "So I won't need to report your chronic oversleeping?" he says, his tone mockingly serious. Torres stops laughing, turns dangerous. "If you tell anyone about this--" she warns. "I know, you'll rip my heart from my chest and eat it raw. Don't worry, your secret's safe with me." He leaves, allowing Torres to bask in the memory of her dreams a bit longer before resuming work.
That night, Tom and Harry emerge dressed in what I assume is 24th century Casualwear; the combadges are on, but I saw no insignia. Long, flowing coats, Paris with a vest, Harry without. They wonder what Neelix has been cooking up. As they enter the mess hall, they see he's been a busy little Talaxian. The walls are covered in aquatic blues and greens, with ethereal music and a whole bunch of people lounging like Roman aristocrats. Neelix greets them. "Welcome to Enara!" he gushes with characteristic ebullience.
Paris and Kim note the lack of chairs, the new decor, and the chilly temperature. All authentically Enaran, Neelix says. He offers them a plate of Algae Puffs ("breakfast of champions") but only Tom gets stuck with a puff; Harry is beckoned over by his friendly neighborhood Enaran engineer, who has saved a spot on her stool for him.
A guy is playing an instrument that looks like a small translucent beach ball or Van de Graaff machine crammed into a racquetball racquet, held like a sitar and played by--well, it looks like it's played by caressing the ball. And the player is....
Ever watch NIGHT COURT? Remember the perky defense attorney, Christine Sullivan (played by the perky Markie Post)? Remember her New York cabbie dad with a fondness for headcheese sandwiches? It's him. He's serenading Janeway, her hair down, wearing a loose fitting white outfit, listening enraptured to the soothing melodies.
I like this episode already.
When the man finishes, Janeway stands and tells him how wonderful the piece was. "You should thank Jora Morrel," he says, indicating the lovely old woman from Engineering. (You mean we finally get to learn some Enaran names?) "She composed it." Jora Morrel indicates that his playing was a little off, but otherwise did her genius justice. Janeway confesses her love for music, and says she always regretted never learning to play an instrument. (Side note: In MOSAIC, the Janeway novel by Jeri Taylor, she did take piano lessons as a child. But she rebelled against it. I don't recall her keeping up her practices, so this assertion may be technically true.) Markie's Dad asks her if she'd like to play. She says sure, she probably has some time for a few lessons. She sits down, positions the instrument, and runs her fingers over the half-sphere. What comes out sounds pretty darn good. Jora Morrel notes that Markie's Dad has his hand positioned an inch or so from the small of Janeway's back; this means something, I'm sure. Janeway plays, the sounds lilting, causing the whole crew to take notice. For several seconds, beautiful music. Then it gets a bit agitated before halting completely. Janeway looks a little overwhelmed.
Tuvok rises, asking if she's okay, half-hoping she's not so he can stomp someone. She waves him off, apparently trying to return fully to her senses. Markie's Dad apologizes; he says, for the first time to us, that his race is telepathic, and that the Voyager crew knew it, and he assumed she wanted him to share with her the joys of the instrument, and ... "No problem. I just didn't expect it so directly, I'm a little overwhelmed, is all." As she returns to herself, we learn that the Enarans can share their experiences, their memories, with others, as if they had lived them themselves. Janeway says she remembers hours of practice and performances. It's a potent experience. She accepts the gift he offered, and calls it Wonderful. A slight diplomatic disturbance, but nothing terminal. Good spirits are soon restored.
Chakotay heads to the kitchen, and notices a plate of metal balls. Wondering what they taste like, or if that was their purpose, he picks one up. Neelix explains that they're an Enaran sanitary aid; you take two metal balls, roll them around on your hands, and voila! Clean hands. The Enarans, he points out, are a delightfully hygienic people. Neelix asks where Torres is, and posits that she's working overtime yet again. Chakotay, hiding a smile, suggests that she probably went to bed early tonight.
This time, though, her dream doesn't send her immediately into the arms of some young hunk. She sees herself, decked in a leather jacket, as someone she instinctively knows to be her (dream person's) father, lecturing her about drinking her juice and avoiding someone named Dathan, whom she had earlier promised him she'd never see again but he knows she's seen since then. Her father calls her Corinna. He disapproves of Dathan for some reason. Corrinna argues that he's not like "the others" and that she'd like him if she got to know him, but Father is having none of it. He's a doting dad, though, looking out for his little girl. He leaves for work.
A few seconds later, Dathan comes out from his hiding place, and they get back to gettin' busy, kissing each other all over the face. Corrinna closes her eyes, enjoying the sensation, then her face changes. She opens her eyes, and sees Dathan, his face hamburger-bloody and his eyes bugged out like Gowron's.
He's dead, Jim.
Corrinna freaks, falling on her backside and backing up in terror. Shortly afterwards, B'Elanna does the same. The dream has taken a decidedly unerotic turn.
* * *
The next day, Torres reports on the engineering modifications to Chakotay in his office. They're still going a bit slow, but with longer shifts they should be done before they reach the Enaran homeworld. Chakotay notices she isn't eager to be dismissed. "Anything else?" he asks. She tells him about the unpleasant turn the dream took the night before. She wonders what to do next; she thinks there may be something important in what's happening. Chakotay says he'll talk to the captain, and suggests B'Elanna ask her Enaran friends in Engineering.
Dismissed, B'Elanna heads to Engineering, walking in a daydream. She sees her father again, this time addressing a group of young people dressed in leather like her, in an outdoor ceremony. He speaks glowingly of the future of Enara, and the opportunities that are open to them, and the young people who will lead them into this future. He also speaks of Regressives, those who (he claims) don't share their ways, who turn their backs on progress and all the good things that true Enarans stand for. He nods his head to a couple of Regressives, who are dressed much like Dathan has been. Apparently, on this world the Regressives are equivalent to the Amish, or Luddites. Or something. In short, people like Corinna (one of the proud youth of Tomorrow) are the hope of Enara, and people like Dathan (boys dressed in outdated clothing who want to date Corinna) are hindrances to the future. His comments are rude but not actionable--this is supposed to be a happy occasion. He calls Corinna up and proudly gives her an award, beaming like a proud parent.
Later, Corinna is wandering alone around the darkened corridors of Enara, lost in thought. Dathan appears and she responds with mixed emotion. Glad he's there, but a little--what? "What are you doing here?" she asks. "This was a big day for you, I wanted to be here." She seems frightened for him. They enjoy a quiet moment together, with Dathan showing her what he'd do if he could hold her in his arms, by placing his palm in the small of her back.
They share a psychic Quickie until a bell tolls. "You'd better go," she warns, concern etched onto her face. "When can I see you again?" "How about tonight?" he suggests. "No, my dad's got friends over tonight." Friends who likely wouldn't like Dathan any more than Father does. "We'll work something out," he promises. Dathan runs a few paces, and gets into line.
Where he and other Regressives pass through a gate, as Enaran guards check their identification.
Corinna seems disturbed by the sight of the Regressives being herded around like this.
We don't get to see how B'Elanna reacts. She's unconscious. Kes finds her and calls Sickbay.
* * *
When Torres wakes up, she's immediately on her guard, and comes close to clocking Janeway. She's in sickbay, surrounded by concerned friends. And Holodoc. "I was dreaming again," she says. Holodoc corrects her; what she's been having is a telepathic episode. One not quite compatible with her mind; she had minor brain damage, which he skillfully corrected. Janeway asks if further brain damage can be prevented; Holodoc presents the Brain Saver 2500, a small disclike thing that gets duct-taped to anyone undergoing the standard alien possession, parallel universe intersection, brain drain, mindlink, or what have you. He presents it to Torres.
Who recoils in horror. "But I gotta find out how the dreams end!" she protests. "Satisfying your curiosity is not worth brain damage," Holodoc opines. The look she gives him is sufficient evidence of her feelings on the matter, but the Captain backs up the medical order. Janeway further gives Torres a couple days off to recover, and won't brook any argument. She says she wants to talk to Markie's Dad. Torres asks if she can be there as well. Janeway agrees.
Markie's Dad seems shocked at the suggestion that what Torres is experiencing is real. His people have until now shown absolutely no inclinations to violent or even irritable temper. They're a peace-loving people, civilized, makers of beautiful music, eager to be friends with an advanced and hygienic species like the Federation. Torres doesn't buy it. Markie's Dad (Jareth?) suggests that since his species is telepathic, it's possible they're all pumping some memory fragments into the air, which she's picking up and constructing to fit her dreams. He mentions the citizenship medal "Corinna" got, and says several on board were recipients. He even suggests that he may have climbed into a window or two in his youth. He doesn't doubt that some of the incidents she has dreamed occurred to someone, but he does question the possibility that the whole of her dreams are coming from any one source--it just doesn't match his people's history. He seems uncomfortable by the whole situation; is he hiding something?
Janeway is willing to accept the explanation, and tells him that the dreams will not be continuing, since the Doc installed The Club on her brain. He seems genuinely relieved at this news (ah ha, he must be hiding something.) "I'm very glad to hear that," he says, and it sounds like the first enthusiastically true thing he's said yet. He leaves. Janeway and Tuvok consider that he is telling the truth, that it sounds entirely plausible. Tuvok looks at Janeway. "But you intend to continue investigating anyway." Janeway regards him. "I wonder how long it's been since I did anything that's surprised you," she says with a smile. (For the record, it was in "The Swarm.") We learn here that the young woman that's wild about Harry is probably named Jessen.
* * *
Stardate 50211.4, they approach Enara, and a farewell party is scheduled. All things considered, it looks like the good ship Voyager has made a new friend in the Enarans. Throughout the efforts to understand B'Elanna's dreams, they have been cooperative and detailed in their explanation of their telepathic talents.
In her quarters, Torres stews. She finally rips off the Brain Saver and jumps into bed, determined to see the dreams through to the end.
Corrinna is getting dressed in her leather outfit, as her father asks if she's ready for the events of the day. The Regressives are being resettled, and she is to help in the processing of the emigrants. She still seems torn between the competing campaigns of her father and her lover. Her father insists that this is for the best--that the Regressives will be happier in a new colony. She asks if they all feel this way. "Of course!" he says. "Well, who knows with the way their minds work, but sure, they'll be happy about it when they realize it's all for the best. They'll be among their own kind." Corrinna, desperate to understand, still wonders why they can't coexist.
Her father's descriptions of the Regressives get even harsher. They're backwards, they don't follow modern means of sanitation. It's a wonder they haven't caused a plague by now. They're dirty, filthy, disgusting people, little better than animals, and they have to trust that we know what's best for them." The more he talks, the darker and more sinister his words become, but he says them with a silver tongue and velvet voice that Mel Tormé would envy. Corrinna is still torn, but she's never been able to say no to Father. At least when he's in the room. He could talk a turtle out of its shell. He could get Dole elected with two weeks left and a fourteen point deficit in the polls. He's a smooth talker, that's all I'm saying. But the way he describes the Regressives gives them the onus of the OTHER--the people standing in the way. The Amish is no longer an appropriate reference. These poor Regressives are more like American Indians, camped in the path of America's Manifest Destiny.
Cut to the March of the Regressives. Guards are everywhere, as the Reressives are herded down the line. Names are called, Corrinna checks their names against her Newton datapad. One woman asks what will happen. Corrinna puts on the best explanation she can provide given by he father, but the woman is still nervous. A guard roughly pushes her forward. She then hears the name of her boyfriend, Dathan, being called. She looks shocked. She looks toward the gate, but doesn't see him. She walks toward the gate, but her father stops her; he grabs her arm and pulls her aside.
"Did you warn him?" he demands, his voice soft but stern.
"I didn't even know he was on the list." She gets a little uppity. "You put him on the list, didn't you? To make sure we couldn't see each other anymore!"
The argument is cut short by an escaping Regressive carrying a sack full of sharpened Erector Set pieces. The man slams into Corrinna, knocking her to the ground, leaving her with a nasty gash on her right cheek.
Torres awakens, grabbing her cheek. She has an idea who Corrinna may be. "Computer, locate Jora Morrel!"
Torres rushes to Morrel's quarters, but the old woman isn't responding. She rings. She knocks. Finally she breaks in. Morrel is on the floor, face down, her quarters looking a little ransacked. Torres notes Morrel looks like the victim of an attack. "I'll get you to sickbay." "No! I have to give you the rest of it!" the old woman shouts. "You're Corrinna!" Torres says, hoping it's true. Morrel nods. "Why give them to me?" she pleads. "You wouldn't deny the truth. We've been hiding it for so long...They found out I was sharing them with you." Corrinna gasps. "Don't let the memories die..." Torres isn't sure what to do. Corrinna is. She grabs Torres by the neck--
And Corrinna Torres is playing the psychic Sitar.
* * *
It's night, and Corrinna plays the instrument in her quarters. She does have a talent for it, even at this young age. Dathan appears at the window, and she lets him in. He notes the bandage on her cheek and asked what happened, and she said it was a runaway Regressive. She says his name had been called that afternoon.
"Me and some others hid. We're leaving, Corrinna. Come with me. What they're doing to us is wrong!" He sees in Corrinna more than a lover--she is a young patriot, the hope for the future of Enara--and a decent person. He wants to show her the truth, the things her father has hid from her. He describes the camps, the way his people are rounded up for relocation. And he says that nobody has ever heard from those who have already been relocated. The rumors are that the transport ships go nowhere--that all the passengers are vaporized in plasma blasts or something. He fears his people are being eradicated.
This is more than she can bear to hear. These are her people--her father, her friends--he is accusing of this evil. She can't imagine it can be true. But Dathan's voice is sincere, his eyes full of fear.
Her father approaches her room. Dathan hides. Her father compliments her musical abilities, lauds her as only a father can. She begins to ask the uncomfortable questions about the Regressives, and her father lays it on even thicker, about the danger they represent to Enaran society, how the relocation is the only solution. He demands to know if she's been talking with Dathan, and his interrogation turns emotionally lethal. "Do you think I'm capable of mass murder? Your family? Your friends?" Everything Dathan accused the government of doing to them, her father turns back on the Regressives. The final nail in the coffin is when he questions Dathan's devotion to her. "I've heard things about him; yours is not the only bedroom he's snuck into. This is the kind of poison these people are capable of...."
The tears. The pain of betrayal. The battle wages fiercely within Corrinna's soul. But her father's cajoling finally wins--in the end, he always does. She can't help but accept everything her father has said. Dathan, using me.... she stops crying, and gives a hard look toward the curtains by the window. Her father quickly understands the unspoken message. He captures Dathan with little effort.
In the courtyard by the gate, Dathan and another Regressive are chained to posts connected to something unpleasant looking, as an angry mob of upstanding citizens convenes. Corrinna's father begins the most inciteful speech yet about the Regressives and the danger they pose to his people. He says they must defend themselves against these "criminals," and uses the fateful phrase, "by any means necessary." A command is issued, and Dathan and the other young man (I believe it might have been the guy with the sharp erector set) glow for several seconds in a lavendar shade of death. When the glow ends, Dathan's face is bloody hamburger. He has been burned to death.
Corrinna looks on, her face to this point more hurt than hard. As the crowd chants "Death!" She seems to make up her mind once and for all, and soon adds her voice to the chorus.
Years later, Corrinna addresses a group of small children by the gate. She is explaining to them the reason the gate still stands; it is to remember never to be backwards or stubborn. The Regressives, who had been relocated for their own good, no longer exist, she explains. Through internal fighting and rampant disease, they killed themselves off. Never forget this lesson, children, she says. "We'll remember," a little girl promises.
The dream ends. Torres awakens. Corrinna Jora Morrel never will.
* * *
The farewell party for the Enarans is underway. Markie's Dad proposes a toast: "Here's to good friends; tonight is kinda special," he says, and everyone joins in.
Torres enters, making a beeline for Markie's Dad. "Murderers!" she seethes, looking ready to tear his throat out. In the presence of crew and guests, she accuses the Enarans of genocide, and of murdering Morrel to hide the truth. "But you were too late; I saw it all."
Markie's Dad winces. "This is very uncomfortable, Captain." A born diplomat, this guy. Torres relates what she saw, what Corrinna showed her, before her death. None of the Enarans are willing to believe her; it goes against everything they've been taught. Markie's Dad is admitting to nothing, sticking to his original story. Harry sticks up for Torres when Jessen, the pretty Enaran woman he's been welded to all episode, starts to get angry with her.
Janeway lets Torres rant for a while, but when it's clear that no minds are being changed, she tells B'Elanna to go away for a while, and report to her ready room in an hour. She allows Markie's Dad and the other Enaran leaders to tend to the body of Jora Morrel.
An hour later, Torres is still seething. She couldn't say nothing. She had to say it all, to do what she could to make the memories known. Janeway confesses she may have done the same in the Lieutenant's position. Torres wants to begin an investigation; they're orbiting Enara now. Janeway says they have no right to do so. "But Corrinna was killed on board; we can use that as a wedge to--"
Janeway gets up and hands Torres the medical report of Morrel's death. "There is no evidence of foul play," Janeway says levelly. Officially, there's nothing we can do.
So that's it? Torres wonders aloud.
Unofficially, Janeway suggests that there's still some work to do in engineering. There may be some Enarans left in case there are any questions about the recent modifications....
Torres is soon in Engineering, dismissing everyone in sight, leaving only Jessen in the vicinity. Jessen has little desire to talk with her. Torres is desperate for the young woman to understand. "If only I could let you see what I saw," B'Elanna says in exasperation. Jessen starts at this. "You'd be willing to share the experience freely with me?" "Of course." Jessen considers this; in a society of telepaths, words may mean less than memories. That Torres would consent to this means something significant. "I can establish the link," Jessen says, and Torres consents. With a hand to the small of the back, Jessen closes her eyes.
And is wearing a familiar frilly semi-see-through nightgown, through which we see much as she rises, smiling, to answer the knock at the window. Where a giddy Dathan smothers her with kisses as they tear each other's clothes off and head for the bed....
"False Profits," this ain't.
We got to see a very different side of B'Elanna Torres in this episode. Precisely because it wasn't B'Elanna much of the time. Roxann Dawson got to be someone completely different for many of her scenes, and she did a convincing job of being someone else, a young woman torn between two strong-willed men, in the midst of a first-person account of a secret genocide.
This is one of those Message episodes. But like most good Message episodes, this one is not clear-cut. There are some holes in it, which I'll get to, but emotionally I thought it worked well.
We have a people who, on the surface, seem a perfectly civilized, advanced race. They love good music, good food, the wonders of the galaxy which they are unafraid to explore--the finer things in life. But in their semi-recent past lurks the extermination of an entire group of fellow-citizens, whose only crime was to prefer a simpler, less technological way of life.
I don't want to get too much into politics here (I know, I surprise even myself sometimes) but I do want to discuss some thoughts that came to mind. Some, even I may not agree with in the end, but they came to mind all the same.
First, I thought, "how blanking hypocritical can these Federation types be?" Imagine, if you will, that some alien starship just passing through our solar system stopped by to get some supplies and maybe an evening of stimulating conversation on 20th century Earth. They wouldn't even have to go back 50 years to find murder on a grand scale in our human history--ethnic cleansings, cultural revolutions, Final Solutions, Manifest Destinies. Even the great advanced American society, fifty years ago, was relocating Japanese-American citizens merely because the land they'd left generations before was now at war with them. Go back far enough, and even the ancestors of the Swiss probably had some intertribal slaughtering going on. I repeat, I think it was hypocritical for Voyager to cut off relations with the Enarans--Torres' assertions aside, a pleasant group of guests whose assistance will help them on their journey home--just because of the memories of one person. In a court of law, it's shaky evidence. Socially it's a bit of the same high-minded Federation elitism that caused the Maquis to be formed in the first place.
Even in the 24th century, the 10 year period of TNG and DS9 has shown several conspiracies on planet Earth in which liberties were deprived, martial law declared, and lives lost. Humanity is in no !#$!&@^ place to judge the Enarans harshly. People who live in glass slaughterhouses shouldn't throw thighbones.
Second: Cruel, inhumane, bloody and heartless as the extermination of the Regressives was, the end result does seem to have been as suggested. The Enarans of today are a more peaceful (aside from the odd defensive assassination), placid, etc. They seem to have moved beyond their bloody-handed history and joined the club of spacefaring cultures in better shape than, say, the Kazon or the Vidiians. I'm not justifying genocide. I am asking what the statute of limitations is. When is it okay for another enlightened race to look at them and say, "well, that's in the past, you seem to have evolved beyond those early violent impulses."
Third: I noted that the entire memory dump given B'Elanna was in the first person; if Corrinna didn't see it, neither did Torres. And there was obviously much that the Enaran did not see. She's suffering from an immense load of guilt, certainly. But to our knowledge she never did investigate the charges leveled by Dathan. She never saw the rounding up of Regressives, never looked into the alleged transport ships of death or (alternately) the failed colony where the Regressives met their final end due to disease and infighting. She is assuming now that Dathan was telling the truth, after years of believing her father's account. She could well be wrong about the whole thing.
Fourth: Much of the above is me playing devil's advocate. The story was intentionally vague about the details. There was no corroborating evidence. And as Janeway points out, in the end it's none of their business. It's something the Enarans have to work out for themselves. The ending, with Torres sharing the memories in toto with Jessen, is how it should be. That should be the end of the Starfleet's involvement.
Fifth: Corrinna's father scared me. The escalating ferocity of his rhetoric against the "Regressives" does give a lot of weight to Corrinna's belief that Dathan's accusations were the truth. He spoke like a true, and talented, Nazi propagandist. And he knew exactly which of his daughter's buttons to push. Even if he was right, his methods were reprehensible.
Sixth: Not knowing the customs of the Enarans I may be asking something silly, but if Dathan or her father wanted to convince her of the truth of their words--they could have done so at any time. Remember, they're telepathic, and can share memories. Dathan could at any time have palmed the small of her back and shared with her his memories of the camp conditions. Her father, the same. It would have removed all doubt, or at least provided a second perspective. That it didn't happen I'll chalk up as a plot hole in an effort to deliberately obscure the truth. It was, I believe, meant to be an ethically murky dilemma.
Seventh: Perhaps it's just that I'm lonely, but I couldn't help but notice the translucency of the nightgown worn by both instances of "Corrinna." Running from a dark room to a lighter one left less to the imagination than I imagine the family groups monitoring content would approve. In the bygone Trek era you might have been able to see a whole lot of the female guest stars, but what wasn't shown was concealed behind lead-lined fur bikinis and industrial-strength duct tape. "You can see what we show you, but you ain't gonna see squat of the strategic parts." Not so in the modern age of television, where you can show more while still claiming to be fully covered.
Not that I'm complaining, mind you. It wouldn't be Star Trek if women weren't being regularly exploited for their looks, and for "the undiscovered country." (Wink wink nudge nudge)
Eighth: I'm not all that thrilled with Starfleet eveningwear. At least the men's fashions.
Ninth: I was thrilled to see Markie's Dad playing a role here. But I just couldn't take him seriously as a planetary ambassador. All I kept hearing was the New York cabbie. Acting throughout this episode was pretty good, but I give particular kudos to Dawson and the man who played Corrinna's father. Their scenes together were perfectly unsettling, a murderous seduction of an innocent torn between two people's, or at least between two men who meant the world to her. It seemed a bit crass of Torres to rush in crying mass murder in the middle of a farewell party, but it also seemed in character. As the old woman said, "you won't let the memories die."
Tenth: History is written by the victor. It ain't fair, but that's the way it is. There are unsung victims on every battlefield this planet has ever hosted, and one consistent casualty has always been "the whole truth." We remember what we want to remember. On the other hand, "those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it." The lesson the Enarans took from their Regressives experience was, "don't look backwards or be stubborn." Gauging the Enarans the Voyager crew encountered, Corrinna was still looking backwards, and Markie's Dad (among others) were still pretty darn stubborn.
I know this episode has and will result in a lot of discussion, much of it impassioned. I've already heard this being referred to as the Holocaust episode. But I think that's simplistic. I think everyone could find an example a little closer to home. Among my ancestors have been victims as well as villains.
You can learn from both. But you can't help but make the mistakes your own descendants will learn from.
One lesson at a time, we improve. Who knows when we earthlings will be able to meet the civilized races of the galaxy and claim without irony, "we're ready." I can say with some certainty that we're nowhere near ready yet.
On a 0-10 scale, I'm giving this one a 7.75, or (* * * 1/2) stars.
Next Week: The beginning of some Season 2 repeats: "Dreadnought"