A spatial anomaly somehow mixes up all the compartments of Voyager
without tearing the ship apart. Apart from that, nothing much happens except that the crew celebrate Kes' second birthday.
This episode contains the following tropes:
- 2-D Space: Ensign Kim notes that they can't escape the anomaly because it has them surrounded "like a ring". Therefore Tuvok declares that the only way is to blast through, as opposed to moving up or down.
- Affectionate Gesture to the Head: The last thing Tuvok does before the anomaly hits him is reach over and place his hand on the sofa next to Janeway's head.
- Bizarrchitecture: The rooms and corridors of Voyager.
- Bookends: The episode begins and ends with Kes' birthday party.
- Captain Obvious: Lots of this as the crew talk about how something strange is going on, and that they need to do something about it.
- Comedic Underwear Exposure: B'Elanna opens a door in Engineering—revealing Ensign Nozawa lounging in his boxers.
Ensign!...There's an emergency situation aboard ship. Just...stay where you are. Nozawa: (nods silently as B'Elanna closes the door)
- Continuity Nod: Baxter still spends his free time working out.
- Costumer: The Doctor works as the bartender in Chez Sandrine for Kes' birthday, dressed in a smock and black beret. Just in case there's a medical emergency. Unfortunately he isn't happy about getting stuck there and vamped by its lustful owner.
- Distinction Without a Difference: Tuvok denies that the crew have run out of options; rather, they have simply tried every possible solution, and there is nothing left for them to do.
- Everybody Lives: Despite the entire ship being folded, spindled and mutilated, everyone survives including the security officer that Ensign Kim talks to.
- Foreshadowing: The Love Triangle between Neelix and Tom Paris over Kes blows up in the next episode.
- Friendship Moment: Between Chakotay and B'Elanna, Tom and Harry, the Doctor and Kes, and Tuvok and Janeway when they decide to Face Death with Dignity. Of course, Everybody Lives.
- Green-Eyed Pus Hog: Neelix spends half the episode griping over how friendly Kes is with everyone (particularly Tom Paris), or griping to Chakotay about why he feels this way. Interesting bit of trivia here: Neelix was so much this trope that the writers decided enough was enough, and the very next episode was devoted to settling this subplot for good.
- Holding Hands: As they wait to be crushed or saved, Chakotay decides to contact his spirit guide. B'Elanna asks to join him, then reaches over and clasps hands with Chakotay.
- I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder
EMH: How many times to I have to tell you, madam; I'm a doctor not a bartender!
- Impairment Shot: Janeway after she becomes delirious; the crew can't understand what she's saying, then we have a POV shot to show their words are incomprehensible to her as well.
- Ironic Echo: B'Elanna is heading for Engineering but ends up in the mess hall and notes, "This isn't Engineering!". Cut to Janeway and her senior officers expecting to walk onto the Bridge, only: "This is Engineering!"
- It's a Long Story: What happened to Neelix after he disappeared. He emerges at the end with Kes' cake no worse for wear.
- Letting the Air Out of the Band: Used for a Commercial Break Cliffhanger before the Title Sequence. The crew are celebrating in Chez Sandrine when Tuvok hails the Captain to let her know about the unusual phenomenon... phenomenon... pheeenooomeeeennnonnnnn....
- Mobile Maze: The decks have not only been changed, but keep changing so it's impossible for the crew to map out the changes.
- Negative Space Wedgie: And this time, the crew simply can't make heads or tails of it.
- Playing Doctor: Ensign Kim enters the holodeck just in time to see Sandrine giving Doc a Forceful Kiss.
EMH: Ensign Kim, we were just...um...
Sandrine: (coy) Playing doctor.
- Prayer Is a Last Resort / My Death Is Just the Beginning
Chakotay: I'm trying to contact my spirit guide. Who knows what could happen when that ring hits us. We could be in for another long journey.
- Random Events Plot: The crew bounces from one problem and possible solution to another, and ultimately the problem randomly solves itself and is never referenced again.
- Riddle for the Ages: Who were the Inscrutable Aliens who tried to communicate with Voyager? Why did they interact with our heroes in such a strange manner? What was in the data downloaded into the ship's computer?
- Science Hero: Averted, which is unusual for the Star Trek franchise. Nothing the crew tries works, so in the end they decide the only option is to do nothing.
- Shirtless Scene: B'Elanna opens a door in Engineering and finds herself confronting a bare-to-the-waist (and well-muscled) crewman in his quarters. She quickly stammers an explanation and shuts the door.
- Sufficiently Advanced Alien: At the end of the episode, the crew realise their computers have been scanned and a whole lot of new information downloaded. Janeway believes that the whole affair was an attempt at communication. Though why they didn't just watch human television like everyone else...
- Surprise Party: For her second birthday, the crew introduce Kes to this ancient human tradition.
- Swirly Energy Thingy: Or should that be a Twisted Energy Thingy?
- Tim Taylor Technology: B'Elanna suggests turning the spatial inversion into an explosion by overloading the warp core. Everyone ignores Tuvok's more logical idea of steering out of the anomaly with the thrusters.
- Title Drop: The crew work out from their tricorder readings the new structure of the ship.
Paris: It's as if the entire ship has been compressed. Twisted.
- The Triple
Sandrine: If you won't play pool with him, and you won't make love to me, as far as I'm concerned you can mop the floor! (hands EMH a mop and bucket)
- Unknown Pheeeeenooooomeeeeeennnooonnnnn: Tuvok's distorted, echoing message to Janeway at the beginning is the first sign this episode is gonna get hella weird.
- Unnaturally Looping Location: Tuvok and Chakotay walk off in opposite directions only to end up running into each other five seconds later.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The aforementioned shirtless crewman. Hilariously, he's barely fazed when B'Elanna barges into his quarters, which now randomly open up into Main Engineering.
- The Vamp: Sandrine does her best to seduce the Doctor. Unfortunately he doesn't have that addition to his program yet.
- Wins by Doing Absolutely Nothing: Tuvok's bizarre solution at the end, which works. What other Star Trek episode ends with that?
- You Are in Command Now: Captain Janeway is made delirious after being partially pulled into the anomaly, so Chakotay takes over, leading to some tension with Tuvok.
- Your Favorite: Neelix makes a Jimbalian fudge cake for Kes.