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Recap / Star Trek: The Next Generation S5E12 "Violations"

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"Oh why do I always have to end up sexually assaulted in some way, shape, or form?"
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Original air date: January 28, 1992

The Enterprise is transporting a group of telepathic historians called Ullians: Inad, Tarmin, and Tarmin's son Jev. Tarmin gives a demonstration where he probes the minds of Keiko and helps her remember spending time with her grandmother painting as a small child. Tarmin pressures Dr. Crusher to give it a go, but Crusher politely refuses. Jev reminds his father that he should not have scanned Crusher's mind without permission, but Tarmin jokes that he "can't help himself" when faced with a beautiful woman.

At dinner, Tarmin discusses his intention to build a "museum of memory" and begins pressuring other senior staff to make use of his ability, but everyone turns him down. Jev again tries to rein in his father, which causes Tarmin to start making fun of him. Jev leaves in a huff, and Troi follows him. After commiserating with him in the turbolift over their overbearing parents, Troi exits, and Jev watches her leave with an ambiguous expression. As Troi prepares for bed, she's struck by vivid recollections of an amorous encounter with Riker, but Riker turns violent and gets replaced by Jev in her memories. She falls unconscious.

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The crew discovers that Troi has fallen into a coma and cannot revive her or figure out the cause. Riker questions Jev as the last person to see her conscious, and he's suspiciously defensive. Riker then visits Troi and gets emotional talking to her before Crusher advises him to get some rest. While alone, Riker suddenly starts having vivid memories of a containment breach in Engineering where he had to let people die to save the ship. One figure turns into Jev, who accuses him of murdering the crew left behind. Riker, too, falls into a coma.

Crusher notes that the patients' condition superficially resembles Iresine Syndrome. Both patients also have strange residue in their thalamus, the memory center of the brain. Picard is left with no option but to suspect the Ullians. He asks them to consent to monitoring. Inad points out that Keiko has had no ill effects from her experience, but she consents. Tarmin objects strenuously to being under suspicion. While Crusher and La Forge are researching solutions, Crusher begins vividly reliving her visit to view her late husband in the morgue with Picard, but both Picard and her husband turn into Jev. She falls into a coma.

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There seems to be no stopping this rash of comas, leaving Picard at a loss, but then he gets some good news: Troi has awoken. Unfortunately, Troi remembers nothing about what happened to her, providing no clues to the investigation. When Picard asks the Ullians to consent to being confined to their quarters, Inad asks Picard to let them use their abilities to help Troi remember the circumstances of her illness and find the true cause. Meanwhile, La Forge and Data discover that outbreaks of "Iresine Syndrome" have followed the three Ullians across the system.

Troi accepts the Ullians' proposition, wanting to know what happened to her. Tarmin refuses to participate, so Jev probes Troi's memory of the event. She recalls her amorous recollection of Riker and how he turned into someone else, but this time, he turns into Tarmin. Tarmin is immediately arrested, though he maintains his innocence. Jev visits Troi to apologize for his father, but his behavior turns creepy as he comments on her beauty and fragility. He starts invading her mind, and Troi realizes that it was him all along. She starts to fight back, and suddenly Worf arrives with a whole security team and rescues her.

It turns out that Data and La Forge noticed that Jev was the only one present for every outbreak of phantom Iresine Syndrome, pointing to him as the real culprit. The exonerated Tarmin apologizes, acknowledging Jev's actions to be a form of rape that has been unknown in his society for three centuries. Picard admits that no matter how enlightened a society becomes, everyone must still resist that seed of violence that hides within us all.


Tropes featured in "Violations" include:

  • Big Damn Heroes: Troi starts fighting back against Jev when he tries to physically rape her, but just as the fight seems to be turning against her, the door opens to reveal a huge, angry Klingon.
  • Big "NO!": Troi screams this as she's being invaded by Jev.
  • Call-Back:
    • Will talks to Deanna while she's in a coma and mentions she did that once for him when he was in pretty bad shape, most likely referring to Season Two's Clip Show "Shades of Gray."
    • After the dinner when Jev walks out, Troi comforts him and explains that she knows what it's like to have a rather overbearing parent, referring to Lwaxana Troi, who has appeared in several episodes.
  • Continuity Nod: Crusher's memory has Picard in the old spandex one-piece uniforms from seasons 1 and 2.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Worf knocks out Jev with one strike. Couldn't even really be called a punch...
  • Dramatic Irony: The audience knows almost from the start that it's Jev who appeared in Troi's (and the others') Mind Rape scenario, but Troi can't remember the original incident, so when Jev "recovers" an edited memory showing Tarmin as the guilty party, she believes it to be accurate.
  • Flat Character: There isn't much to Jev aside from his penchant for Mind Rape and it's never explained why he does it.
  • Functional Genre Savvy: For once, the Enterprise crew is pretty damn quick to suspect the aliens of the week as the cause of their problem, returning again and again to the Ullians as the one incongruity in the coma case. Even before Troi is knocked out, the crew is rather suspicious of the Ullians' abilities. Keiko takes a probe to demonstrate how it works; later dialogue indicates she's the only person aboard who did so.
  • Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: In Crusher's memory, Picard had thinning hair a decade before TNG began.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Jev's father Tarmin finds amusement in publicly humiliating his son by deriding his telepathic abilities while boasting about his own. It's implied that revenge for this is the reason Jev turned to Mind Rape and attempts to frame his father for it.
  • Mind Rape: No surprise for an episode called "Violations". Jev's actions are even called that outright. It's even more explicit for Troi, whose memory actually involves sex with Riker until Jev replaces Riker with himself.
  • Patrick Stewart Speech: Picard gives one at the end, reassuring the Ullians that the violence in their species can be overcome. However, this example feels a bit more awkward than most, seeing as three of Jev's victims are still in the room with him.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Played horribly straight. The Ullians' mental abilities enable them to force people to relive traumatic memories, and even manipulate them to a degree. Ullians consider doing this to be a very serious crime that merits a severe punishment.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy:
    Worf: Klingons do not allow themselves to be probed.
  • Pstandard Psychic Pstance: The Ullians are notable in their use of this, as it is not especially common in Star Trek. Deanna typically only grabs her head when she is being hit with painful emotions or thoughts, and Betazoids generally seem to read minds without giving any outward sign that they are doing so other than perhaps getting a slightly distant look on their faces. Vulcans usually touch other people's heads, but that is because they are mostly limited to Touch Telepathy.
  • Red Herring: Tarmin. He's chastised for scanning Crusher without her consent and jokes that he "can't help himself" when beautiful women are present. He's also the most vociferously antagonistic to Picard's suspicions. But he's not the real culprit.
  • Ship Tease: Troi's memory involves her and Riker sharing a romantic interlude after a poker game.
  • Stupid Crooks: Attacking Deanna while on the Enterprise was extremely foolish of Jev, since he and his group are bound to be the main focus of the investigation, and being in a starship he would have zero options to escape.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Chocoholic Troi orders a hot chocolate before bed.

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