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Recap / Star Trek Voyager S 2 E 16 "Meld"

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This episode is insane.

(But a totally different kind of insane than the last episode.)
There were some complications...from the meld.

Lt. Tuvok melds with crewman Lon Suder to find out why he would just kill another crewman and finds difficulty with trying to control the impulses he is now feeling from Suder as a result.

In other news, Tom Paris starts acting like a jerk for no good reason. Or so it seems

This episode provides examples of:

  • Astonishingly Appropriate Interruption:
    EMH: And of course, when something goes wrong, and believe me it does more often than they'd like to admit, the first thing they call out is Doctor—
    Janeway: (interrupting) Can you help him?
  • Ax-Crazy: Suder will literally kill you for looking at him the wrong way.
  • Badass Boast: Tuvok knows 94 (at least: he was interrupted while counting) ways of killing someone in hand-to-hand combat. He can kill you with just a finger!
  • Bad Guys Play Pool: Tom's 'bad arc' starts with him hustling pool in Sandrines.
  • Balance Between Good and Evil: "In a sense, Mister Tuvok's mind is fighting a classic battle between good and evil."
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: According to Chakotay, Suder was quiet and kept to himself, but was ruthless in battle.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: Suder's Betazoid eyes with their black irises.
  • Buffy Speak: Suder's definition of a Mind Meld is "That Vulcan thing where you grab someone's head."
  • Call-Back: Tuvok's past as The Mole inside the Maquis causes a certain amount of tension.
  • Care-Bear Stare: Not exactly a mind hug, but Tuvok initiates a mind-meld with Lon Suder, a mentally disturbed killer. The meld, along with Tuvok's teaching him Vulcan self-discipline, allows Suder to gain some peace.
  • Character Tics: Suder adopts Tuvok's "at ease" posture after the meld.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Tuvok with emotions does this. It's more than a little disturbing.
    Emotional!Tuvok: Ad-MIT IT. Part of you feels as I do. Part of you wants him to die for what he did.
    Janeway: No part of me feels that way.
    Emotional!Tuvok: LIAR!!! He has killed, and you know he deserves to DIE!
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Suder will return in the two-part Season Finale "Basics".
  • The Corrupter: Subverted with Suder. At first it looks like this is the case, but Suder ends up talking down Tuvok.
  • Daydream Surprise: Tuvok strangling Neelix.
  • Deconstructed Trope: The cure-all Vulcan Mind Meld of the Original Series is derided by the Doctor, who says it goes wrong more often than Vulcans like to admit. "Anybody with an ounce of sense wouldn't share his brain with someone else."
  • Denied Food as Punishment: Chakotay confiscates the replicator rations the crew have been using to bet with. A slightly humorous note: this doesn’t mean they don’t get to eat at all. It just means they’ll be forced to eat Neelix’s food.
  • Disappointed by the Motive: Tuvok becomes obsessed with finding the motive to Suder's illogical crime, despite the Doctor telling him there likely wasn't one.
  • Disappointed in You: Chakotay tries this tactic, pointing out how Janeway will be disappointed after putting her trust in Tom, but Tom replies with a Shut Up, Kirk!.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Suder killed Crewman Darwin just for looking at him the wrong way. Not exactly something you deserve a Darwin Award for.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Suder after the meld. He's even calm when a disturbed Tuvok comes to kill him.
  • Euphemism Buster:
    Suder: Have you come to kill me?
    Tuvok: To execute you for your crime.
    Suder: To execute me. I see. And calling it that makes it more comfortable for you.
  • Evil Feels Good: When Tuvok's mental barriers are removed he boasts of how strong he feels, and wants the Doctor to keep him this way a bit longer to study the effects of being a primal Vulcan.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Psycho Tuvok unloading on Janeway, Kes, and the Doctor in Sickbay.
  • Fantastic Racism: Evil Tuvok addresses the Doctor as "hologram" and talks of how humans disgust him.
  • Finger-Forced Smile: Holo-Neelix annoying Tuvok.
  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: Tuvok isn't satisfied by the idea Suder simply killed Darwin for looking at him the wrong way, unable to believe someone could kill for such a minor reason.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Averted for once!
    • When Tuvok orders the Forcefield Door lowered, Lt. Ayala draws his phaser before doing so. Janeway has her own security wait outside the door with her hand on her phaser before entering Tuvok's room.
    • When Tuvok realises he's losing control he puts his room in Lock Down, and insists Janeway sedate him on the way to Sickbay.
    • When Evil Tuvok knocks himself out trying to break through the forcefield in Sickbay, the Doctor insist that Kes sedate him remotely in case he's Playing Possum.
    • And then they throw all that away by failing to post a guard on Sickbay, or have the Doctor remain activated during the course of the treatment.
  • Hannibal Lecture: Evil Tuvok doesn't hesitate to tell Janeway what he thinks of her.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: The episode is set up as a simple murder mystery, but Suder confesses relatively early on. As Tuvok becomes fascinated with trying to figure out a logical explanation for Suder's crime that just isn't there, the episode goes to a much darker place.
  • Hollywood Healing: The technique used to cure Vulcan involves wiping and rebooting his brain like a virus-infected computer.
    EMH: First we have to take away his ability to control his violence. We do this in short bursts over a period of time and hope it provides a shock to his system. If it works, his own neural controls will take over again.
  • Hustler: Tom Paris starts a betting pool which no-one seems to win except Tom, who's getting a percentage of the pot for each day.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!: For once it's the killer who invokes this.
  • Lock Down: Tuvok locks himself in his room, and has the computer remove his security command override.
  • Locking MacGyver in the Store Cupboard: Tuvok has no problem breaking through the (unguarded) Sickbay forcefield using components from the biobed and the neural inhibitors.
  • Mind Control: Tuvok tries to mentally get Kes to lower the forcefield, but she's already neutralised his telepathic abilities.
  • Mind Meld
    Suder: It's that Vulcan thing where you grab someone's head.
  • Mind Rape:
    • During an intense dialogue with Tuvok, Suder really plays up the "rape" aspects of a Mind Meld, including its lethal potential.
    • Near the end of the story, Tuvok gets this way by forcing a mind meld with Suder, only to end up collapsing in the attempt.
  • Muggle Born of Mages: Unlike most Betazoids, Suder has neither telepathic nor empathic ability.
  • No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction: Tuvok suggests the holodeck as an outlet for his violent urges, but Suder says he's tried it and it doesn't match the real thing.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Neelix on the holodeck. Why so serious, Mr Vulcan?
  • Not Himself: Janeway notes that Tuvok keeps twitching his hands after his mind meld. Suder on the other hand is calm and adopts Tuvok's Reverse Arm-Fold posture.
  • Not So Stoic: A trip through Tuvok's Dark Side.
  • Nude Nature Dance with Mud Wrestling: According to Neelix, Vulcans had them too! About a millennium ago...
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Apart from Tuvok's behaviour, this episode starts what some have called the "Bad Paris Arc," to be resolved in "Investigations."
  • Open-and-Shut Case: Tuvok easily solves the crime and Suder readily confesses to it. Not that this satisfies Tuvok, who can't quite accept that Suder would kill someone just because he wants to kill someone.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Tuvok suggests that given Voyager's unusual circumstances, Suder should be executed.
  • Proscenium Reveal: Tuvok is being hassled by Neelix in the messhall. He becomes so annoying that Tuvok throttles him to death. And There Was Much Rejoicing amongst fans until Tuvok says says, "Computer, end program." Either way, it's a clear sign Tuvok is Not Himself.
  • Psychic Powers: Tuvok tries to kill Suder with a Mind Meld of Death! Fortunately melding with Suder restores his good side.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Evil Tuvok, when suggesting that Janeway lower the force field so that he can execute Suder.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: " return!"
  • Ransacked Room: Janeway enters Tuvok's quarters to find the furniture smashed and Tuvok sitting in the dark, his Face Framed in Shadow.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: While not in control of his emotions, Tuvok delivers one to Janeway.
    Tuvok: I don't mind telling you something the other Tuvok never would. You are wrong. Sparing Suder's life is a sign of weakness. You disgust me. All you humans do.
  • Red Shirt: Crewman Darwin doesn't even have to go on an away mission to get a Darwin Award.
  • Self-Disposing Villain: Averted; it looks like a remorseful Suder will kill himself, or be killed by Evil Tuvok. Instead he survives.
  • Shout-Out: Tuvok says, "I want the truth", but he can't handle the truth.
  • The Sociopath: Suder is a self-admitted one.
    Tuvok: Do you feel remorse?
    Suder: I don't seem to feel anything at all. Most Betazoids can sense other people's emotions. I can't even sense my own.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: Suder's whole reason for joining the Maquis was an outlet for his violent urges.
  • Spanner in the Works: While Tuvok has performed mind-melds with both Vulcans and humans in the past without problems, when melding with Suder he fails to take into account the fact that the Betazoid brain has a telepathic center of its own which is incompatible with the Vulcan one. As a result, the meld goes horribly wrong, resulting in him starting to lose control as Suder's own violent impulses begin to take over.
  • Special Guest: Suder is played by none other than Brad Dourif.
  • Stupid Statement Dance Mix: "Listen to what I tell you...RELEASE THE FORCEFIELD!"
  • Suddenly Shouting: Evil Tuvok during his rant to Janeway.
  • Tailor-Made Prison: As there is no death penalty in Starfleet, Suder must be confined to his quarters for the rest of their voyage. Which, as Janeway points out, might be a very long time.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: Neelix in the holodeck simulation.
  • Token Evil Team Mate: To the Maquis, who of course are not a terrorist group but need at least one really bad guy (given that Seska was actually a Cardassian spy).
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Tom, for reasons to be revealed later.
  • Uncanny Valley (In-Universe): There's something a bit 'off' about Suder, and everyone knows it, including him. Likely this is the reason for his Disproportionate Retribution towards someone who was staring at him.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Chakotay recalls how unnerving Suder was, and is told off by Voyager's Chief of Security for failing to mention this.
    Tuvok: I find it curious that none of this was included in your initial crew evaluation, Commander.
    Chakotay: I don't put down hunches or bad feelings in my crew evaluations, Lieutenant. A Vulcan should appreciate that.
    Tuvok: Considering the fact that your Maquis crew included malcontents, outlaws and mercenaries, I believe it would have been appropriate.
    Chakotay: I wasn't going to make it harder for any of them here. Suder did his job when he was serving with me and he's done his job since he's been on this ship.
  • You Do Not Have to Say Anything: When the Doctor uncovers the DNA evidence linking Suder to the crime, Tuvok tells Suder that he doesn't have to say anything under Starfleet Directive 101 (apparently the equivalent of Article 31 of America's UCMJ), but Suder calmly confesses everything.


Video Example(s):


Tuvok kills Neelix

Tuvok has had enough of Neelix's antics. Unfortunately it turns out to only be a holodeck simulation.

How well does it match the trope?

4.78 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / TakeThatScrappy

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