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Recap / Star Trek Voyager S3E14 "Coda"

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RIP Captain Kathryn Janeway; loving sister, devoted leader. Sucked back like a hundred coffees a day.
Captain Janeway is seemingly killed in a shuttle crash and her consciousness remains behind as she refuses to believe she is dead.

This episode provides examples of:

  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: After its identity is revealed, the alien presents this excuse for appearing as Janeway's father.
  • Agent Scully: Encouraged by Janeway's father. She doesn't let Daddy down.
  • All Just a Dream: About 90% of the episode takes place in Janeway's mind.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: The alien presents the matrix it's trying to lure Janeway into as wonderful, just the place for a Bold Explorer like her.
  • Attending Your Own Funeral: With eulogies for the captain.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted with phage-ridden Janeway.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Janeway is safe, but she's left disturbed by wondering if the alien she encountered was just a one-off threat native to the Delta Quadrant or something more.
  • Bridal Carry: Chakotay carries an unconscious Janeway out of the shuttle.
  • Burial in Space: Janeway's body is fired off in a photon torpedo.
  • Call-Back:
    • The Vidiians from Season Two return, and B'Elanna's DNA providing a possible cure for the phage is mentioned.
    • When the crew are investigating what happened to Janeway, a scenario similar to what we saw in TNG's "The Next Phase" is suggested, with Janeway walking through walls and people similar to Ensign Ro and Geordi La Forge.
    • One of the Red Herring explanations (a "Groundhog Day" Loop) is also particularly reminiscent of the TNG episode "Cause And Effect" with its repeatedly fatal Negative Space Wedgie.
    • Chakotay mentions that Kes has previously shown the ability to detect an unseen presence. His own, in fact.
    • "Admiral Janeway"'s uniform resembles a cross between the uniforms introduced in Star Trek II and the uniforms from the first 2 seasons of TNG.
  • Captain Crash: Chakotay not only crashes another shuttlecraft, he kills his captain too! Fortunately the latter is All Just a Dream.
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: Chakotay frantically tries to revive Janeway, complete with a Ship Tease-y bit of mouth-to-mouth. He actually even shouts "Breathe, damn it. Breathe! Don't you die on me now. Come on, Kathryn. Breathe!" However, this actually turns out to be a hallucination of Janeway's, suggesting she herself is familiar with the trope.
  • Deadly Gas
    • Chakotay has to carry Janeway out of the crashed shuttle because it's contaminated by a hydrazene gas leak.
    • The Doctor euthanising Janeway with a colorless and pain-free neural toxin.
  • Determinator: Janeway. She spends the whole episode telling death to take a seat, and at one point states that even if she were dead she would rather wander the halls of Voyager as a ghost because the captain stays with her ship no matter what.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: More accurately, she gave it a See You in Hell for the ages. Her "go back to Hell" line at the climax doubles as a truly epic Shut Up, Hannibal!, and a Voyager fan favorite moment in general.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The alien wears red and vanishes into a fiery 'afterlife' after being told to go back to Hell.
  • Dying Dream: The alien tries to convince Janeway that The Many Deaths of You, and the flashes of the Doctor trying to revive her back on the planet, are just hallucinations.
  • Excessive Steam Syndrome
    Computer: Warning. Hydrazene gas levels at one hundred twelve parts per million. Begin evacuation procedures.
  • Forgotten Phlebotinum: Justified; the Doctor has stopped working on the Phage cure as they're well past Vidiian space. And it wasn't even real anyway.
  • Go into the Light: Averted; Janeway is suspicious and doesn't go.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: What the alien says will happen if Janeway stays.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: The first part of the episode seems to be a constant reset to Janeway and Chakotay appearing in the shuttlecraft, with a loop occurring every time Janeway dies.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In-Universe, Chakotay jokes about becoming captain if a William Tell stunt goes wrong. When Janeway actually does die and he's left in command, he's devastated.
  • He's Dead, Jim: Averted with an attempted resuscitation scene.
  • Hilarious Outtakes: An almost epic one, courtesy of Robert Beltran blowing a line and then just deciding to have some fun with it.
    Chakotay: If you're going to emit that tachyon ship — beam, ship it down to the ship, and we'll ship it outta here.note 
    Janeway: Here goes!
    [Laughter ensues]
  • Hope Spot: Janeway is able to alert the telepathic Kes of her presence, and the crew leap into action with the required Techno Babble. But after three days of fruitless searching both physically and telepathically, they give up.
  • Innocent Innuendo: At the beginning of the episode, Janeway and Neelix are speaking in ambiguous terms about some sort of group event Neelix organized the previous night. With lines like "You were really good last night" and "It's been a long time for me" going back and forth between them, it seems like they're talking about an orgy. It's not until the next scene that it's revealed they were talking about a talent show.
  • Mad Doctor: Janeway merely imagines the EMH to be like this during a hallucination when she awakens in sick bay after a shuttle crash. The doctor coldly informs her that she has a fatal illness and refuses to let her see anyone else, then erects a forcefield to perform involuntary euthanasia on Janeway.
  • Magic Antidote: Averted; the Doctor can't find a cure for the Phage, and points out that the Torres DNA would provide a vaccine, not a cure. Of course, none of it is real anyway.
  • The Many Deaths of You: Captain Janeway goes through several different deaths in each of the time loops before she exits into the one where she sees that she has died when their shuttle had crashed on the planet.
  • Master of Illusion: The alien posing as Captain Janeway's father.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Is Captain Janeway's experience really just another first contact with a strange alien species (which was detectable on a medical tricorder scan of her cortex), or (far from the first) contact with someone from the afterlife? The story reports, you decide.
  • Meaningful Name: The shuttle Chakotay and Janeway pilot is called Sacajawea, a female Native American Bold Explorer.
  • Mercy Kill: In one death, Janeway has the Phage and is euthanized by the Doctor without her consent.
  • Mind Meld: Tuvok aiding Kes in searching for Janeway's spirit.
  • Must Be Invited: The alien seems to be about to force the issue near the end of the episode, but Janeway points out that if he could force her to go with him, he would've done it already.
  • Near-Death Clairvoyance: Captain Janeway believes that she is experiencing this.
  • Not So Above It All: Janeway at the talent contest doing the Dying Swan, and munching on berries on an away mission.
  • Not So Stoic: Chakotay breaks down in Manly Tears when his beloved Kathryn dies.
  • The Plague: In one of the time loops, Captain Janeway has contracted the "phage" from the Vidiians and the Doctor uses a lethal sedative on her to put her out of her misery before she suffers.
  • Premature Eulogy: One glaring example is where Janeway receives four whole minutes of this while floating between life and death, watching it play out. It's to be expected in a show where people die and come back to life every week.
  • Psychopomp: The alien, or so it claims.
  • Red Herring: Various Trek cliches are rolled out such as hostile aliens, temporal anomalies, or a Negative Space Wedgie to hide what's really going on.
  • See You in Hell: The alien points out that Janeway is in a dangerous profession, and he'll be waiting for her when she dies, whereupon "you will nourish me for a long, long time." Janeway tells him to "Go back to Hell, coward."
  • Ship Tease: One of the teasiest episodes for Janeway/Chakotay not named "Resolutions." It even ends with them "celebrating" her "cheating death" with a romantic holodeck program.
    Janeway: I cheated death. That's worth a celebration, don't you think? Bottle of champagne, moonlight sail on Lake George, how does that sound?
    Chakotay: Like something worth living for.
  • Shipper on Deck: Janeway wishes Tom and B'Elanna will stop squabbling and form a genuine friendship. Also counts as foreshadowing, given that the P/T relationship takes off in the next episode.
  • Something about a Rose: More Ship Tease when Chakotay presents Janeway with a pink rose.
  • Spot the Imposter: A suspicious Janeway asks a bunch of questions, but the alien puts up a convincing front as her father (likely because it can read her mind). However it loses patience when it looks like Janeway's shipmates will revive her, which alerts her since her real father was a patient man who wanted his offspring to learn their own lessons.
    Janeway: My father would never act like this. He always believed I had to learn my own lessons, make my own mistakes. He never tried to shield me from life, why would he try to shield me from death? You're not my father.
  • Swivel-Chair Antics: Janeway is relaxing in the shuttle with her knee propped on the console joking with Chakotay before things get serious.
  • Tap on the Head: Averted; Chakotay uses his medical scanner to reduce Janeway's cranial swelling, and she's still staggering about afterwards.
  • Tempting Fate: In one hallucination, Janeway tells the Doctor she knows she's in good hands. When she next wakes up, he tries to euthanize her.
  • That's an Order!: Janeway when the Doctor decides to Mercy Kill her. Unfortunately neither the Doctor or the ship's computer is accepting her commands.
  • Treacherous Spirit Chase: Whatever he may be, this "spirit" is definitely up to no good.
  • Trying Not to Cry: Torres and Kim during their respective eulogies for Janeway, who does cry.
  • We Will Meet Again: The alien, upon getting a massive No-Sell from Janeway. Counts as Nightmare Fuel if he really is waiting for her in the afterlife.
  • William Telling: Janeway suggests to Chakotay that he could play William Tell and blast an apple off of her head with a phaser for Neelix's Talent Night.
    Chakotay: Sounds great. If I miss, I get to be captain.
  • You Have to Believe Me!: Janeway finds that Chakotay doesn't remember any "Groundhog Day" Loop after returning to Voyager, despite doing so earlier. Janeway heads for Sickbay while her crew investigate regardless.

"Go back to Hell, coward."