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Recap / Star Trek Voyager S 4 E 16 Retrospect

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A weapons merchant named Kovin is on board Voyager, trying to convince Captain Janeway to purchase some of his goods. She agrees, but while Kovin is helping the engineering team install them, Seven of Nine suddenly attacks him. The Doctor tries to help Seven understand why she did what she did, and she eventually becomes convinced that Kovin had (prior to the episode's start) incapacitated her and removed some of her Borg nanoprobes, presumably to study and incorporate in new weapons.



  • Arms Dealer: Kovin, though he's also interested in advanced technology.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: Kovin claims that Seven was shot by an accidental discharge. That doesn't help his case, as an arms dealer really ought to know better than to point a gun right at a potential customer.
  • Blaming the Victim: Although Kovin's guilt or innocence is left unresolved, Seven is ultimately treated like the villain, especially by Janeway after Kovin's death. This is despite the fact that Seven obviously believes she was violated, and had no clear motive to lie or harm Kovin.
  • Blatant Lies: Kovin claims Seven attacked him "like an animal" after he gave her a "gentle push".
  • Blunt "Yes":
    Kovin: Are you willing to risk our trade agreement all on the basis of one crew member's delusions?
    Janeway: Yes.
  • Continuity Nod: Chakotay points out that Seven had violated the Captain's trust, a reference to "Prey". Seven is also working on decoding the Starfleet message sent in "Hunters".
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  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The story plays out like an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, with Seven saying that Kovin "violated" her and Kovin continually protesting his innocence and stating that just her accusation is enough to ruin him.
  • Do You Want to Haggle?: Even Kovin acknowledges Janeway's skill in this area (justified given all the times Voyager would have negotiated for supplies). They settle on detailed astrometric charts spanning 12 sectors and 125 isolinear processing chips. Plus five more for Kovin's services in installing the cannon.
  • Foreshadowing: Kovin warns Janeway that even Voyager is easy meat for what's out there. The next episode opens with Voyager captured by the Hirogen.
  • Fake Memories: The veracity of Seven's memory is questioned, with the Doctor fearing he may have implanted a fake memory while trying to diagnose Seven's PTSD-like symptoms.
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  • Implied Rape: Seven refers to being "violated"; the episode is a clear analogy to sexual assault, although the writers took pains not to write about actual sexual assault. (Writer Bryan Fuller said: "I initially had my concerns, because we were trying to distinguish it from a TV movie about date rape [...]. We [...] removed the sexual elements."
  • Jerkass: Kovin is not painted as a particularly pleasant person. His behaviour is rude, patronizing and arrogant.
  • Made of Indestructium: The target used to test the isokinetic cannon is made of "solid monotanium", and protected by a forcefield as well. One shot punches straight through it.
  • More Dakka: Faced with the Hirogen threat, Voyager upgrades its firepower. As the next episode shows it didn't do them much good, though with Kovin's death perhaps the weapon was never installed.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: The Doctor offers to purge his program after realizing he may have mishandled the situation, but Janeway thinks it's better to let him learn from mistakes.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Particularly bad in this respect, being designed around the line "He violated me" in such a way as to make it sound very much as though Seven was going to be raped by a crew member; the trailer even featured a "Who did it?" sequence with flashes of various male crew members' faces. The actual episode, however, was just about an alien culture trapping her in a laboratory for study and stealing some of her nanoprobes. The plot does play at Does This Remind You of Anything?, with Borg nanoprobes replacing date rape, but it was still incredibly misleading.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Seven breaks Kovin's nose when he shoves her away from a console. Given that everyone finds Kovin annoying, her behavior doesn't seem that unusual, until Seven has a panic attack while confined on the biobed.
  • Strapped to an Operating Table: Seven to have her nanoprobes removed.
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry:
    Seven: I believe I'm beginning to experience anger.
  • The Unreveal: Kovin's guilt or innocence is never established. The fact that he was driven to commit suicide by starship could indicate either (the former due to guilt, the latter due to "ruined reputation").
  • They Would Cut You Up: In Seven's memory, Kovin and his team perform an invasive procedure to extract valuable nanobots from her body.
  • Trauma Button: Seven has sudden anxious responses to everday situations, such as the Doctor performing a routine examination; this characteristic PTSD response leads the Doctor to dig into her repressed memories.
  • Villainous Breakdown: When suspicions land on Kovin, he panics and escalates the situation immediately, becoming increasingly irrational, attemping to destroy voyager, and finally blowing himself up.
  • Wrongful Accusation Insurance: Kovin is ultimately declared innocent, at least in the eyes of the Voyager crew. This seems to gloss over his subsequent misbehaviour, including his attempt to escape an ongoing investigation and literally firing at Voyager.