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Recap / Star Trek Voyager S 2 E 6 "Twisted"

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Janeway shows off her Gumby impression.
Kes arrives at the holodeck Chez Sandrine on the holodeck and is surprised when various crewmen jump out of hiding to wish her a happy second birthday. Janeway and others explain the concept of a surprise birthday party and give her gifts, while Neelix arrives with a cake. On the bridge, Kim is eager to get to the party, but he's called back to his post when the ship approaches a spatial distortion. It envelops the ship and traps it. Tuvok tries to inform the captain, but the message is garbled, forcing Kim to venture out to inform the captain in person.

Tuvok's garbled message alerts Janeway that something's wrong, so she orders all crewmen back to their stations. The ship's systems are all malfunctioning, so they're unable to use verbal commands. As each party tries to make their way to their destination, they all get lost, finding themselves in the wrong location in spite of their best efforts to navigate the ship's decks and hallways. They quickly discover that the ship's entire layout has been warped.

While crawling through a Jefferies tube with Kim, Janeway accidentally comes into contact with the distortion, forcing Kim to pull her out of it. She soon becomes confused and passes out. Everyone winds up back at the holodeck, and they wonder whether the distortion is corralling them into the center of the ship. Even the Doctor can't transfer himself back to Sick Bay and has been stuck fending off the residents of Sandrine's. After pooling all of their tricorder data, they realize they only have an hour before they're engulfed. Torres suggests using a shock pulse to blast themselves out. Tuvok is against the idea, but with Janeway's mind still suffering from the distortion, Chakotay asserts his authority.


Well, the shock pulse doesn't work, so the crew are still stuck in the holodeck with the distortion growing ever closer. With no other real options, Tuvok notes that there's no guarantee that the distortion is fatal, so he suggests that they do nothing and see what happens. Everyone prepares for what might be their demise by making various final confessions to each other and making their peace. But after the distortion runs its course, it goes away, and everyone's fine. The ship's computers have been copied and now contain 29 gigaquads of new information. Janeway suggests that whatever life existed in the distortion may have been trying to communicate with them. With all that settled, everyone gets right back to Kes's birthday party.


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.
  • Book Ends: 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.
    B'Elanna: 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.
    • Chakotay contacts his animal guide, and Torres makes an oblique reference to her own history with the practice.
  • 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.
  • Forgotten Phlebotinum: We never find out what was in that 20 gigaquads of data given by the distortion aliens. Maybe it was just a whole lot of spam emails that got promptly deleted.
  • 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 Monster: Neelix assures Kes that his jealous days are behind him but spends the rest of his time on the episode being jealous. The next episode will finally resolve 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....
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: In spite of speculation that everyone is being drawn toward the center of the ship, no other random crewmen arrive at the holodeck, and the situation is addressed purely by our main cast.
  • Mobile Maze: The decks have not only been changed, but keep changing so it's impossible for the crew to map out the changes.
  • 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.
  • 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
    Sandrine: (coy) Playing doctor.
  • 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?
  • 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 Phenomenon: 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.