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Recap / Star Trek Voyager S 1 E 2 Parallax

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A view of the USS Voyager... from the USS Voyager. Well that ain't right.
B'Elanna Torres shows how well she's fitting in on Voyager by breaking the nose of Lt. Carey. This doesn't make Chakotay's job easier, as he wants to recommend B'Elanna for the job of Chief Engineer that Carey is in line for. Captain Janeway doesn't think much of the idea, but B'Elanna gets a chance to prove herself after Voyager becomes trapped in a Negative Space Wedgie.

This episode contains the following tropes:

  • The 47 Society: The EMH has the combined experience of forty-seven medical officers, and his personal com channel uses Monitor Input 47.
  • A Father to His Men: Chakotay
  • A House Divided: Seska and Jarvin tell Chakotay they're willing to back him if he wants to take over Voyager. Chakotay threatens to lock them up for mutiny if he hears talk like that again.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: As B'Elanna is storming out of Janeway's quarters, the captain asks her why she resigned from Starfleet Academy. B'Elanna avoids the question at the time, but later admits to Janeway that she didn't think she had what it took to be a Starfleet officer.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • Chakotay repeats the martial arts' myth about breaking someone's nose and sending the shards into their brain.
    • Kes asks for soil samples to help her in setting up a hydroponics bay. Hydroponics is the means of growing plants without soil.
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  • Artistic License – Physics: An event horizon is a mathematical boundary rather than a physical one. You can't just punch your way through.
  • Attack Hello: After being confined to quarters, B'Elanna pitches a bowl at Chakotay the moment he opens the door.
  • Badass Boast
    EMH: I am not just a doctor. I've been designed with the information from two thousand medical reference sources and the experience of forty seven individual medical officers. I am the embodiment of modern medicine.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: B'Elanna's way of handling a difference of opinion: giving Carey a bloody nose. According to her, the roadblock at Starfleet Academy was a system that didn’t give her a chance to breathe. However, a lot of people at Starfleet vouched for her, so Janeway agrees to roll the dice and make her Chief Engineer.
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  • Butt-Monkey: Poor Carey; punched in the face, then replaced by his attacker, who not only has lesser seniority but also got kicked out of Starfleet Academy. But that's nothing compared to what the future holds.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Seska is introduced as one of the Maquis suggesting The Mutiny to Chakotay. Given what we later find out about her, one wonders if she didn't start the rumour about all the Maquis being confined herself to give a pretext for taking over the ship.
  • Closest Thing We Got: Paris Got Volunteered to be trained as a field medic (as the Doctor can't leave Sickbay) because he studied two semesters of biochemistry at Starfleet Academy.
  • Commonality Connection: Janeway only starts thinking that B'Elanna has the potential to be Chief Engineer when she comes up with technobabble that can match her own (Janeway being a former Science Officer).
  • Conflicting Loyalties: Chakotay is accused of this by Janeway and Tuvok, when he's actually trying hard to integrate his former crew with Janeway's.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Chakotay demonstrates what B'Elanna refers to as his "twisted sense of humor" when he visits her while she's confined to quarters.
    B'Elanna: So how long do I have to stay in here?
    Chakotay: Rest of the trip—75 years.
  • Death Glare: Janeway gives Chakotay one when he calls Engineering and talks to B'Elanna directly instead of Carey, who's still acting Chief Engineer. Carey can be seen in the background glaring at B'Elanna, and later when B'Elanna speaks up at the staff meeting.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Should people be promoted on the basis of seniority, merit, or to present the appearance of equality?
  • Distress Call: Turns out it comes from Voyager — Janeway's initial hail to the vessel trapped in the singularity was sent back in time and distorted beyond recognition.
  • Dr. Jerk: The Doctor treating Carey (though his patient is hardly cooperative). When Kes shows an interest in him however, the Doctor shows another side to his personality.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: This marks Seska's first appearance, and she's wearing a Science uniform. Her later appearances would have her serving in Engineering. note 
  • Facial Dialogue:
    • Neelix doesn't look happy when Tom stands up to offer Kes his seat, and has a smirk on his face when Tom Got Volunteered to work as a medic.
    • When B'Elanna comes up with a solution to their problem when everyone else is stumped, Chakotay makes a point of pausing as he leaves the Ready Room to give Janeway a Meaningful Look, and she responds with a wry smile.
  • Eldritch Location: Voyager tries to leave the singularity and somehow ends up flying toward it.
  • Finish Dialogue in Unison: When two women realise that Great Minds Think In Technobabble.
    Torres: If we could find our entry point, we might be able to slip out the way we came in.
    Janeway: So we'd be looking for a subspace instability in the event horizon. What would make it show up on our sensors?
    Janeway + Torres: Warp particles!
  • Foreshadowing:
  • Gossip Evolution: We see both Starfleet and Maquis personnel engaging in this over B'Elanna punching Carey, to the annoyance of Tuvok and Chakotay who are trying to keep a lid on things.
  • Graceful Loser: To his credit, Carey takes B'Elanna being promoted over him in a professional manner. It helps that B'Elanna is also taking the trouble to treat him with respect.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: B'Elanna the Torrid.
    Carey: She's not just out of control, she's out of her mind!
  • Hand Wave: The holodeck having a separate energy system explains how they can have holodeck episodes on a ship without Infinite Supplies (though not why the brilliant B'Elanna Torres can't jury-rig a means of transferring power between the two, especially given how often these people can easily integrate parts from entirely different ships).
  • Helium Speech: The Doctor once he's shrunk.
  • Incredible Shrinking EMH: Due to the subspace distortions created by the singularity, the Doctor's holoemitter can't project him properly, so he keeps getting smaller and smaller until he has to stand on his chair just to see Tom Paris.
    EMH: (talking in Helium Speech) I'm sorry, Lieutenant, but whatever it is you're going to have to take care of it yourself.
    Paris: Oh, it's all right. It's just a scratch, really. [beat] You know, I like you better this way.
  • Innocent Flower Girl: Kes suggests setting up a hydroponics bay. When she goes to get some nitrogenated soil from the Doctor, she easily charms the brusque hologram.
  • Mood Whiplash: The Ready Room conference is interrupted by Screen Shake strong enough to knock several people off their feet.
  • Mr. Exposition: Neelix explains to Kes what an event horizon is.
  • Mundane Utility: The Doctor is the pinnacle of Starfleet medical technology, and so grumbles when Kes activates him for a routine supply request.
    EMH: Now I know how Hippocrates felt when the king needed him to trim a hangnail.
  • My God, You Are Serious: Janeway's reaction when Chakotay recommends B'Elanna for the position of Chief Engineer.
  • Native Guide: Kes and Neelix barge their way into the senior officers meeting, pointing out their local knowledge makes their opinion relevant also.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The 'it' being Carey's nose.
  • Non-Answer
    Chakotay: Can I ask you a question, off the record? If things had happened differently, and we were on the Maquis ship now instead of Voyager, would you have served under me?
    Janeway: One of the nice things about being Captain is that you can keep some things to yourself.
  • No Respect Guy: No-one's told Voyager's medical officer that they're near a singularity, and they still haven't got round to fixing his program by the end of the episode. When Kes starts to treat him like a person, he doesn't know how to respond.
  • Off-the-Shelf FX: A distortion mirror is used to show the EMH shortened by his holographic projectors.
  • Only Sane Man: Chakotay is stuck between hot-tempered Maquis lieutenants like Seska and Torres, and his by-the-book Starfleet captain and her security chief.
  • Ordered Apology / Tastes Like Friendship: Chakotay orders B'Elanna to apologize to Carey over a hot cup of pejuta (whatever that is).
  • Permission to Speak Freely: Chakotay during his argument with Janeway in which he stands up for his fellow Maquis.
  • Ramming Always Works
    Janeway: In command school, they taught us to always remember that manoeuvring a starship is a very delicate process. But over the years I've learned that sometimes you just have to punch your way through. Mister Paris, full impulse power.
  • Scotty Time: The trope gets a nod when B'Elanna is told her first task as Chief Engineer is to get the warp drive back online by 1300, despite the fact that B'Elanna immediately declares this to be impossible.
  • Screen Shake: Combined with in-the-actor's-face camera work, it's quite effective.
  • Spot the Imposter: Janeway and B'Elanna are in a shuttle, faced with two Voyagers. They only have a short time to get back on board before it escapes the singularity, so which is the real one?
  • Talk to the Fist: The episode starts with Carey in Sickbay, raging over how B'Elanna broke his nose over a difference of opinion in Engineering.
  • Tantrum Throwing: When Chakotay visits B'Elanna while she's confined to quarters, she angrily throws something at him when he opens the door. It doesn't make him any angrier than he already is.
  • Techno Babble: The start of a long, unfortunate tradition on this series.
  • That's an Order!: Chakotay orders Tuvok to drop the charges against B'Elanna as he intends to handle it off-the-record. Tuvok obeys the order, but makes it clear he will note the full details in his security log.
  • This Is No Time for Knitting: Carey scoffs at B'Elanna's Skewed Priorities when she works out a way to fix the EMH's projector, but both B'Elanna and Janeway realise the same method can be used to sort out the signal.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball:
    Paris: Wait a minute. Let me get this straight. We were cruising along at warp seven, then we pick up a distress call and moved in to investigate. But now you're saying that the other ship is actually just a reflection of us and that the distress call is actually just the Captain's opening hail. But we picked up the distress call before she sent the hail. How could we have been seeing a reflection of something we hadn't even done yet? Am I making any sense here?
    Janeway: No, but that's okay. One of the more difficult concepts to grasp in temporal mechanics is that sometimes effect can precede cause. A reaction can be observed before the action which initiated it.
  • Token Minority: Chakotay tells Janeway he's not going to be her token Maquis officer; if Janeway wants the loyalty of the other Maquis, she's got to give them a chance to advance on merit even if they don't have the seniority.
  • To Make a Long Story Short
    Janeway: I finished my study of the spatial distortions coming from the singularity. I can give you a long, boring analysis. Suffice it to say, I don't know what's going on.
  • The Triple: When Janeway is opposed to promoting members of the Maquis over Starfleet officers.
    Janeway: They don't have the discipline. They don't have the training...
    Chakotay: But some of them, like B'Elanna Torres have the ability!
    • EMH: "I have no diagnosis, no prognosis, no recommended treatment."
  • Tsundere: B'Elanna flipflops between a violent temper, and a crippling lack of confidence despite her acknowledged talent.
  • Unrealistic Black Hole: Voyager enters a quantum singularity, gets trapped there, and then breaks out through a 'tear' in the event horizon. For those who don't know, the event horizon is not a physical barrier, it's just a mathematical distance from the center of the black hole, and thus rather impossible to make a hole in. It's also impossible to escape an event horizon on sublight drive once you cross it.
  • Verbal Backspace: Neelix suggests getting help from the Ilidaria, a nearby species who are quite friendly...most of the time.
  • Voodoo Shark: This episode establishes that the holodeck generators are incompatible with the rest of the ship. This obviously raises a lot of questions.
  • Wham Line:
    • "This isn't another singularity. It's the same one."
    • "It's Voyager. It's us!"
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Chakotay gives Torres a furious chewing-out for punching Carey, as well as for sparking tensions between the Starfleet and Maquis crews.
    "So, on the one side, I'm facing a Vulcan who wants to court martial you. And on the other, I'm facing all the Maquis who are ready to seize this ship over this. You've turned this into one lousy day for me, Torres!"
  • With All Due Respect
    Tuvok: Miss Torres is not a member of the Maquis any longer. And with all due respect, Commander, neither are you.


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