Star Trek Voyager Torture: Meld (Season 2 Episode 32)

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Today’s Voyager Torture was… spoiler! Much less torturous than usual. In fact, I would call it good! The episode opens up fairly unpromising with Paris and Kim in the holodeck playing pool. Of all the things they can do, they keep going to play pool. Yeah, pool is fun, but you could doing something much cooler like living in Star Wars instead of Star Trek in your off hours. Anyway, this conversation is boring and it something to do with betting ration credits. Onto the important stuff!

After a short scene in engineering and a conversation between Tuvok and Neelix I began to lose hope, but then it’s been announced that there’s a murder! A murder most foul! The remains of a crewman were found in an EPS conduit that failed. If it hadn’t of failed, the body would have been vaporized. Oh the bad luck of it all!

Tuvok gets to the bottom of it and finds the murderer rather quickly. Considering that the murderer was played by Brad Dourif, famous as Grima Wormtongue in Lord of the Rings and Piter in Dune, I would have put him in cuffs immediately.

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Tuvok the Detective

Dourif is fucking awesome in this episode as Lon Suder. He’s cold, calculating, and he puts Tuvok’s brain in knots. You see, Tuvok can’t wrap his head around the fact that Suder literally had no motive. He just murdered the crewman because at some point the crewman looked at him weird. Tuvok thinks there should be a cause for murder and with this guy there really is none.

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Tuvok comes up with a plan. He wants to mind meld with Suder. This might help Suder find some calm in his evil brain parts and perhaps give Tuvok some insight on why Suder murdered a fellow crewman. The flipside is that Tuvok might get some of Suder’s evilness in him. Ehh… that can’t possibly be that bad, right?

Of course, this doesn’t go exactly as planned. Tuvok gets some not so positive emotions. Suder gets some calmness though and he’s a creepy, but really cool character.

Tuvok and Janeway have a discussion of what to do with the murderer on board Voyager. Tuvok advocates for the death penalty, because Suder is willing to die for his crimes and that keeping him around wouldn’t do any good. Janeway decides that instead of keeping him in the brig, they should isolate him to his quarters. Hold up. Perhaps the death penalty is going too far for these people, that I can accept, but why not keep him in the brig? I realized that this issue didn’t make any sense to me because I’m not a TV writer. If they isolate a character in the brig and he doesn’t die by the end of the episode, every time you use that set, you have to put that actor in there. If you shove him in his quarters, you never have to deal with him again! Janeway is only thinking about the show’s budget.

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The actions of someone who wants to die.

We’re then brought to a scene where Neelix is bothering the fuck out of Tuvok who is just sitting there in the cafeteria. Tuvok has enough and he lifts Neelix to the neck and starts strangling him to death with one hand until he dies. I was really excited, but then they reveal that it’s a holodeck simulation. Sigh. It was a good few seconds while it lasted.

The next scene features Tom Paris’s totally unencessary and boring B plot of him running a gambling ring in the holodeck. Chakotay shuts it down. Wow, that was exciting TV!

Because of his violent urges, Tuvok isolates himself to his room where he smashes everything up. Janeway waltzes in and everyone realizes Tuvok needs some medical treatment, so they put him behind a force field and give him some. It works, except for the part where Tuvok escapes and nearly carries out the execution that he thinks Lon Suder deserves. He doesn’t do it and the episode ends.

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You’d think physical bars would be safer.

I have already been told that Suder shows up again, but man… he should be on every episode.

Overall, Meld was a pretty great episode owing to the fact that Tuvok is a great character on an otherwise shitty show. When you add the fact that Brad Dourif is fucking fantastic, well you have a great episode of Voyager.

I’d love to breath a sigh of relief, but I feel like this is all a set up to really stick it to me next episode.

Least Annoying Characters:

The Doctor, Tuvok

Chris Art Accuracy:

Sudar wasn’t sweating as much, but Tuvok was as astute.

Torture Score: 0 out of 5 Neelixes

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