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Recap / Star Trek Voyager S 3 E 15 "Blood Fever"

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The one episode that gives some focus to Vorik, and it's really, really creepy.
"You're afraid that your big, scary Klingon side might have been showing. Well, I saw it up close and you know, it wasn't so terrible. In fact, I wouldn't mind seeing it again someday."
"Careful what you wish for, Lieutenant."
Tom Paris and B'Elanna Torres

B'Elanna Torres is surprised when Vorik, a Vulcan crewman in her Engineering team, suddenly declares his affections. When B'Elanna turns down the offer, Vorik tries to force a Mind Meld on her and gets punched in the face for his trouble. The Doctor realises that Vorik is undergoing the pon farr, the Vulcan mating urge that occurs every seven years. As he attempts to treat his reluctant patient, B'Elanna starts acting strangely while on an Away Mission.

This episode has the following tropes:

  • Above the Influence
    Paris: Oh, believe me, I'd like to, but I know this isn't really you. You've made it clear that you're not interested, and I have to accept that's how you feel, even now.
  • Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder: As per Vulcan custom Vorik is already in an Arranged Marriage, but it's only logical that his wife assumes he is dead and has thus chosen another mate.
  • Anti-Villain: The Sakari turn out to be this. They're not evil, just really paranoid about alien intruders. Perfectly understandable, since their last "visitors" were the Borg.
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: When Vorik is in Sickbay following B'Elanna's firm refusal of his proposal.
    B'Elanna: What's wrong with him?
    Doctor: You mean besides a dislocated jaw?
  • As You Know: Justified; given the limited information he has regarding the pon farr, it's natural that the Doctor would attempt to get more details from Vorik and Tuvok, who provide reluctant exposition for those who haven't seen "Amok Time".
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: After things are back to normal, Paris tells B'Elanna he didn't really mind her "scary" Klingon side, and he might like to see it again someday. She warns him of this.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: The beginning of this between Tom and B'elanna.
  • Beneath the Earth: Where the Sakari have lived since the Borg attack.
  • Big "NO!":
    Doctor: Let's start with a microcellular scan—
    Vorik: NO! (beat) I don't want medical treatment, I will resolve this myself.
    • Tom when the piton breaks, sending B'Elanna and Neelix plunging to the ground.
  • Birds of a Feather: Strangely enough B'Elanna and Vorik, who fear the volatility of their own emotions and lack the confidence to approach the person they're secretly attracted to except under extreme circumstances.
  • Bite of Affection: Tom first realises something is wrong with B'Elanna when she chomps on his cheek.
  • Blatant Lies: Every time Vorik insists he can handle the problem himself or B'Elanna insists there's nothing wrong with her.
  • Chameleon Camouflage: The Sakari wear clothing that matches the cave walls. Their presence is only revealed when B'Elanna inadvertently backs into one of them.
  • Change the Uncomfortable Subject
    Doctor: You're going through the pon farr, aren't you?
    Vorik: That' extremely personal question, Doctor.
    • And later when Tuvok is explaining the crisis to Tom.
      Paris: And you go through this every seven years of your adult life?
      Tuvok: You only need concern yourself with Lt. Torres' situation.
    • And for Rule of Three with B'Elanna.
      Paris: If I remember my Klingon customs, biting someone on the face means—
      Torres: (Talk to the Hand) I...know...what it means!
  • Chewing the Scenery: Vorik in full pon farr-mode. (Hats off to Alexander Enberg on this one; he sounds like he's in a Black Metal band.)
    • To quote Jim "Reviewboy" Wright: "Vorik looks ready to devour something, and he pronounces "mate" like "meat." At this point, I don't think he knows the difference."
  • Cliffhanger: All's well that ends well, right? Nope - Janeway and Chakotay discover that the Borg have been on this planet, and they're likely going to run into them soon.
  • Covert Pervert
    • When Tom tries to be a gentleman, B'Elanna throws back how he's been staring at her on the holodeck when he thinks she won't notice.
    • Buoyed up by his apparent success with Vorik, the Doctor decides to do a comparative study of the crew's mating rituals. A Death Glare from Captain Janeway kills that idea.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The Doctor says his only records of the pon farr are based on the few Starfleet medical officers who have observed the phenomenon. Dr McCoy would be one of them, having both examined Spock medically and been present during the events on Vulcan.
    • When B'Elanna and Tom start to make out, she sniffs his wrists and Tom makes a nervous joke about throwing furniture, references to the TNG episodes "The Dauphin" (the famous scene where Worf eagerly discusses Klingon Destructo-Nookie) and "The Emissary" (where he mates with K'Ehleyr, who does the wrist-sniffing thing as foreplay).
    • When Vorik initiates kal-if-fee on the planet, his hands are in the same steepled pose that Spock assumed once he was fully consumed by pon farr in "Amok Time."
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Vorik goes absolutely ballistic when he stumbles across Tom and B'Elanna attempting to mate Klingon-style.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The Borg destroyed the Sakari colony in less than an hour.
  • A Day in the Limelight: A mostly background character on Voyager, Vorik gets some focus here for once, though it's shared with B'elanna.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The Doctor's in rare form in this episode.
    Vorik: I have always had great respect for B'Elanna. I hope she isn't too upset with me.
    EMH: With Lieutenant Torres, upset is a relative term.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Vorik after his treatment, making it appear the Doctor's treatment was a success. Whether Vorik suffers a relapse, or is calm because his mind is now focused on getting everyone to let their guard down, is not clear.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?
    Paris: I'm your friend, and I have to watch out for you when your judgement's been impaired. If you let these instincts take over now, you'll hate yourself, and me too for taking advantage of you.
  • Easily Forgiven: Zig-zagged. Though she initially knocks him on his ass, B'elanna takes Vorik's initial attack in Engineering surprisingly well, since it's obvious that something is seriously wrong with Vorik. And then she winds up in a quasi-pon farr herself, and then it's payback time!
  • Entitled to Have You:
    • Once Vorik discovers that B'Elanna is also undergoing the pon farr. Of course he's not being very logical by that stage.
    • B'Elanna, also not in a very logical state of mind, isn't taking "no" for an answer from Tom very well either.
  • Fanservice: And it won't be the last time B'Elanna strips down to a sweaty tank top either.
  • Finger Muzzle: Unable to beam up to Voyager, Tuvok virtually orders Tom to have sex with B'Elanna to save her life. Tom is going on about how this isn't the way he wanted when B'Elanna hushes him, taking him by the hand into the woods.
  • Flat "What": What'd you think she was gonna say, Vorik??
    Vorik: Have we completed our preparations to your satisfaction?
    Torres: We're done here, yes.
    Vorik: Let me take this opportunity to declare koon-ut so'lik, my desire to become your mate.
    Torres (taken aback): ...what?
  • Foreshadowing
    • In "Alter Ego" Vorik asked B'Elanna out for dinner on the holodeck, an early sign of his interest in her.
    • The Sakari leader is immediately suspicious on detecting an artificial implant in Tuvok's arm, foreshadowing The Reveal on who their mysterious enemy is.
    • The discovery of the Borg corpse sets up the following episode "Unity", and more importantly the Season Finale "Scorpion" in which Voyager finally reaches their territory.
    • Vorik suggests that as a Vulcan he can help B'Elanna with her emotional control. Tuvok acts in this role in later seasons.
    • And of course, the conversation in the turbolift at the end of the episode foretells B'Elanna and Tom's relationship, as she practically challenges him on his insistence that he wouldn't mind seeing her "scary side" again someday.
  • Future Spandex: The form-fitting grey jumpsuits worn by the Away Team.
  • Get Out!: When Tuvok goes to speak with Vorik during his meditations.
    (doorchime sounds)
    Vorik: Go away!
    (Tuvok opens the door)
    Vorik: I said, GO AWAY! (sees Tuvok) I'm sorry, sir.
  • Infinite Supplies: Averted; the MacGuffin that sends the Away Team down to the planet is a search for galicite, a rare mineral they can use to refit their warp coils. They end up trading with the Sakari for it.
  • It Works Better with Bullets: Tuvok goes to stun an alien fighting with B'Elanna, but a dampening field prevents his phaser from firing.
  • Kiss-Kiss-Slap: B'Elanna has to Mate or Die with Tom, who starts out by gently kissing her. B'Elanna is a Human-Klingon hybrid however, so she suddenly throws Tom to the ground and demands to know what he's doing.
    Paris: Enjoying myself?
    Torres: Then show it!
    (Tom gets the idea and starts wrestling with her)
  • Kiss Me, I'm Virtual: The Doctor creates T'Pera, a holographic female Vulcan companion for Vorik to mate with. Vorik makes it look like he successfully purged himself of the blood fever through the holographic mate when the Doctor checks in on him, only to show up on the planet in full rage mode, ready to take B'Elanna as his mate no matter what.
  • Leave the Two Lovebirds Alone
    • After proudly showing off T'Pera to Vorik, the Doctor suddenly realizes from their Held Gaze that he needs to make a discreet exit.
    • Tuvok and Chakotay quietly walk off to leave Tom and B'Elanna to get on with things.
  • Leave Me Alone!: Vorik rounds angrily on the man entering his quarters before realizing it's his superior Tuvok, who apologizes for intruding at such a humiliating time.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Defied. B'Elanna tries this trope. But Tom isn't Data, so he insists they do talk about it, as they're going to be stuck on the same starship for years.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: Averted when Tom lampshades the stupidity of chasing after B'Elanna and leaving a wounded Neelix. It happens anyway when a cave-in cuts Tom and B'Elanna off from the Away Team. Struggling with her urges, B'Elanna suggests they go their separate ways. Conscious that she's also not in a condition to look after herself, Tom refuses.
  • Lotus Position: Vorik sits on a biobed while meditating.
  • Male Gaze: After B'Elanna tears off her top we get a nice shot down her cleavage.
  • Mandatory Line: Kes delivers a single line in Sickbay before vanishing from the episode.
  • Mate or Die: Sums up the whole pon farr in general. We get a twist here when a half-Klingon gets it.
  • Mythology Gag: Vorik does the Picard Maneuver after getting off the biobed.
  • Not Herself: The morning after the incident with Vorik, B'Elanna displays aggressively-flirtatious body language with Tom Paris, Mood Whiplashes between enthusiasm for their mission and fury over the accident, and eventually bites Tom on the face when he tries to restrain her — it's at that moment that both parties realise something is very wrong.
  • Oblivious to Love: Averted; B'Elanna is fully aware of Tom's interest. Played a bit more straight when Vorik's initial proposal takes her completely by surprise.
  • Oh, Crap!: At the very end of the episode, Chakotay takes Captain Janeway to see a corpse they've found, one of the mysterious raiders who destroyed the Sakari. It's a Borg drone.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: How B'Elanna realizes that something is wrong with Vorik, and then Tom noticing the same with her.
  • Pardon My Klingon
    Torres: I am not helping that Vulcan petaQ!
  • Parrot Expo What
    Tuvok: You're experiencing a condition known as pon farr.
    Torres: Pon what?
  • Playing Hard to Get: B'Elanna can't help finding it amusing that Tom Paris is the one doing this.
  • Properly Paranoid: Turns out the Sakari have every right to be afraid, given the implacable nature of their enemy.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The Sakari leader who captures Chakotay and Tuvok. For all his suspicion of outsiders he listens to their point of view, agrees to a trade of galicite in exchange for Voyager helping eliminate the remaining traces of their colony, and would have let them proceed without harm even after the Away Team discovered their presence if B'Elanna hadn't attacked one of his men.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: B'Elanna wants to blast her way out of the cave-in, and Tom has to wrestle the weapon off her.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Vorik suggests this is a logical reason why he should pair up with B'Elanna, as he could help her work on her emotional control issues. There's also his Super-Strength to handle her Destructo-Nookie urges.
  • Rejected Marriage Proposal: When Vorik surprises B'Elanna by proposing koon-ut so'lik, she unsurprisingly turns him down. Unfortunately, he's already in the grip of pon farr and is psychologically incapable of taking "no" for an answer.
  • Relationship Upgrade: P/T becomes canon. From here it's pretty much a straight run to them becoming an Official Couple in Season 4's "Day of Honor".
  • Safety Gear Is Cowardly: While activating the self-driving piton, Neelix gripes that all this advanced Federation technology takes the fun out of it. Becomes Tempting Fate when his piton suffers a Plot-Driven Breakdown.
  • Sarcasm Mode: The Doctor consults Tuvok about Vorik's condition. His advice is to let Vorik handle the matter and not interfere.
    EMH: The Vulcan brain never ceases to amaze me. Thank you Lieutenant, you've been a...great help.
    • After the cave-in Tom tries scanning with his tricorder, but it doesn't pick up anything thanks to the Sakaris' dampening field. B'Elanna accuses him of using it wrong, causing Tom to snap back, "Yeah, that must be it."
  • Say My Name: Vorik shows up on the planet to challenge Tom to koon-ut-kal-if-fee. Hmm, who's around to officiate this? "LIEUTENANT TUVOK!!!"
  • Self-Deprecation: Tom quips, "Are you saying I'm impossible to resist?" giving B'Elanna an acceptable excuse to back off for a bit.
  • Series Continuity Error
    • Established canon regarding the pon farr goes out the airlock in order to stop Vorik, B'Elanna or Tom from dying. Spock not only had to mate with a particular person, he was specifically driven to return to Vulcan to do it, and couldn't easily shake it off just by taking someone else for his mate. For obvious reasons, returning home is impossible for Vorik on Star Trek: Voyager, but he still should have had more trouble with this. More to the point, the "ritual combat" is not a mere contest for the mate's hand, but a brutal Duel to the Death with anyone who would stand in the Vulcan's way; which leads to a kind of Logic Bomb, considering that Torres championed herself, making her both his chosen mate and deadly rival. Finally, it was never established in "Amok Time" that this combat by itself would be sufficient to purge the blood fever. Though it worked in Spock's case, it was implied that the shock of thinking that he'd killed Captain Kirk was actually responsible.
    • A minor one regarding the combat itself. Vorik calls for kun-oot-kal-if-fee to challenge Tom for B'Elanna. However, the kun-oot-kal-if-fee comprises the entire Vulcan mating ceremony. The combat challenge is the kal-if-fee. And at least in "Amok Time" was established as the female's prerogative if she wishes to reject her mate, and not the male's decision.
    • At least one female Vulcan shows up in a later episode, causing fans to ask why Vorik didn't choose her. However it's implied that Vorik is somewhat taken with B'Elanna given his elaborate praise of her while proposing, and hints of romantic interest in "Alter Ego" as well.
  • Sex Is Illogical And I Am Horny: The loss of emotional control caused by the pon farr is deeply humiliating to Vulcans, hampering the Doctor's efforts to treat Vorik.
  • Shout-Out: In his initial approach of B'Elanna, Vorik starts out by explaining his logical reasons for choosing a new mate and mechanically listing her good qualities, framed as "desirable qualities in a mate" rather than "things I actually like about you". When she refuses he turns snappish and advises her to reconsider due to her limited other options, at no point treating her refusal as non-negotiable. He sounds like a Vulcan Mr. Collins.
  • Smells Sexy / Hemoerotic
    Torres: I have picked up your scent, Tom. I've tasted your blood.
  • Species of Hats: A tragic example; after the destruction of their colony by unknown yet immensely powerful aliens, the Sakari base their entire lifestyle on hiding from outsiders.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: B'Elanna informs Tom that as she was Kissing Under the Influence, then whatever she did — then she adds "whatever I said" — really wasn't her. That would include the bit about desiring Tom but being too afraid to admit it.
  • Swiss-Cheese Security: In one of the more ridiculous examples of the series, a pon farr-addled Vorik knocks out all the communications, shuttles and transporters before going to confront his rival. Now granted, Vulcans are known for their intelligence, but damn, how slick is Vorik? Especially under these circumstances??
  • Take a Third Option: To spare Tom from a fight he certainly could not win, B'Elanna takes Vorik's koon-ut-kal-if-fee herself. Tuvok even confirms it is within her right to do so.
    B'Elanna: If anyone is going to smash your arrogant little face in, I will! I take your challenge myself!
  • The Talk: Tuvok looks a bit unnerved upon hearing how B'elanna is acting on the planet, and realizing why she's acting this way. Thus, Tuvok, much to his own discomfort, has to have a variant of this conversation with Vorik, who's a much younger Vulcan and honestly didn't know he could transmit a pon farr to another person, much less another species. It's an equally difficult discussion for both, and you can cut the awkwardness with a knife.
  • Testosterone Poisoning: Paris is so angry over his Interrupted Intimacy he offers to take up Vorik's challenge. Fortunately Chakotay stops him and B'Elanna challenges Vorik herself.
  • That Didn't Happen: Attempted by B'Elanna, but rejected by Tom.
  • Think Unsexy Thoughts: Given that he can't fight or mate his way out of things, Vorik attempts meditation. It doesn't work.
  • Too Much Information: Janeway's response to the Doctor informing her of certain Klingon marriage practices.
  • Uncomfortable Elevator Moment: Tom and B'Elanna swap work-related chit-chat until Tom halts the turbolift to have the frank discussion they need to have.
  • Verbal Backspace: When Vorik appears to recover, the Doctor starts bragging about how his treatment could be used by other space-faring Vulcans.
    EMH: When we get back, I'm sure Starfleet Medical will— (Vorik gives him a Look) ...never hear about your personal experiences from me.
  • Wham Shot: The Borg corpse on Sakari.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Vorik isn't impressed with the holographic Vulcan female the Doctor creates (as Vulcan mating is mental as well as physical this is justified). The Doctor tries to convince him Your Mind Makes It Real.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Paris could have given in to temptation with Torres. But as we see in Above the Influence and Does This Remind You of Anything?, Paris vehemently refuses until it becomes a Mate or Die situation on Torres's part. We donít know if he was capable of this before being thrown into the Delta Quadrant, but the fact that he didnít demonstrates his Character Development since.
  • The World's Expert (on Getting Killed): Averted; the climbing accident is not Neelix's fault, as Tom points out.
  • Would Hit a Girl: A pon farr-riddled Vorik has to, since B'elanna took his koon-ut-kal-if-fee challenge herself. He even shoots Tuvok a look that screams "wait, seriously?"