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Recap / Star Trek Voyager S 4 E 7 Scientific Method

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Aliens do experiments on Captain Janeway and her crew. Bad idea.

This episode has the following tropes:

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  • Aliens Made Them Do It: At the end of the episode, B'Elanna and Tom wonder if their entire relationship might be a result of the aliens messing with their hormones. It's a good thing they found out in time, they conclude while snogging.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • According to supplemental material, the nameless aliens are called the Srivani.
    • Also, the Expanded Universe identifies the nameless Red Shirt as Ensign Roberta Luke, and she is (or was) an agent of Section 31.
  • Anachronism Stew: When the Doctor replicates a Type IV micro-inducer into a bucket in the DaVinci program.
  • Apology Gift: Tom replicates some Flowers of Romance for B'Elanna to apologize for missing their last planned make-out session.
  • Artistic License – Biology: One of the key features of the scientific method is being able to repeat results, something that's hard to see as possible with 100 different experiments done on a crew of various races, most of which live tens of thousands of light years away.
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  • Barcode Tattoo: Voyager crewmembers start falling ill or undergoing physical changes. The Doctor is surprised to find their DNA marked with microscopic barcodes.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: The Srivani wanted to push Janeway to the edge of her sanity. They succeeded.
  • Being Watched: B'Elanna and Tom are passionately making out in a Jeffries tube, when they're scanned by an unknown alien. B'Elanna reacts, then thinks she's just being paranoid. The trope happens again while they're making out at a semi-secluded engineering workstation. This time it's because Tuvok has just busted them.
  • Berserk Button: The female alien doctor casually wonders where Janeway's limits are. She finds out when one of Janeway's crew gets killed.
    Alien: You're a remarkably strong-willed individual. I've been very impressed by your self-control over the past several weeks. We've been increasing your dopamine levels, stimulating various aggressive impulses to test your behavioural restraints. There's been a great difference of opinion about how much more strain you can bear.
    Janeway: (slams her against the bulkhead) Not much...
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  • Blatant Lies: Tom tells the Doctor he has to leave his duties in Sickbay to deliver a report (actually to rendezvous with B'Elanna). The Doctor wants to know why he didn't do this earlier. Tom says it must have slipped his mind, what with it being such a busy day. The Doctor eyes all the empty biobeds with a disbelieving air.
  • Bros Before Hoes: Averted; Harry Kim interrupts Tom's dinner with B'Elanna with a flimsy excuse, then casually mentions how good his home-cooked dinner smells. Tom shuts the door on him.
  • Bullying a Dragon: The aliens poke and prod a captain not known for her emotional stability. They soon discover how dumb that decision was.
  • Cow Tools: The alien medical devices are all the more menacing because it's hard to tell exactly what they're doing.
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: Averted when Janeway fails to resuscitate a Red Shirt.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Janeway is frustrated with all the fooling around on the ship, and tells Tuvok to straighten everyone up. His response?
      Tuvok: Shall I flog them as well?
    • See also the entry for Understatement.
  • Death Glare: Janeway's eyes damn near vaporize Alzen when they first meet face-to-face, even through the brig's Force-Field Door.
  • Debate and Switch: It is revealed that the crew have been the subjects of medical experiments by an alien species, a thinly-veiled allusion to animal testing, but the issue isn't really debated; Janeway just forces them off the ship after a crewmember dies.
  • Disappointed in You: B'Elanna and Tom are surprised when Janeway lets them off with a scolding for their behaviour.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Animal testing.
  • Fan Disservice: Tom and B'Elanna are smooching when we're suddenly treated to an X-Ray P.O.V. Cam of their skeletons and internal organs.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Alzen.
  • Foreshadowing: Janeway complains that her headache is like needles drilling into her skull. When Seven looks at her through See-Thru Specs, the Borg is horrified to see aliens doing exactly that.
  • For Science!: The aliens' stated motivation.
    Alzen: Please understand that there's a purpose to our actions. The data we gather from you may help us cure physical and psychological disorders that afflict millions. Isn't that worth some discomfort?
  • Friendship Moment:
    Janeway: When this mutation crisis is over, I think I'll spend a few days in Renaissance Tuscany. There's a little inn outside Siena I've been wanting to try.
    Tuvok: (sitting down next to her) I will join you for a glass of wine.
  • Game of Chicken: Janeway flies Voyager between a set of binary stars in the hopes of getting the aliens to cease their experiments before they get destroyed along with the ship. The aliens comply and leave Voyager, though one of their ships doesn't make it.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Faced with aliens who can instantly kill the crew if they try to resist, Janeway flies Voyager on a desperate course.
  • Hangover Sensitivity: Janeway door chimes while she's plagued by a headache, and she gripes, "Remind me to lower the volume on that door."
  • I'll Kill You!: The alien to Janeway, and her crew, when she won't stop flying into the binary pulsar. Since only Janeway's authorization can change the course that's locked in, Janeway tells her to go ahead!
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Tuvok busts Tom and B'Elanna making out, while on duty, on an Engineering console! Some Fan Fics don't have to be written.
  • Just One Second Out of Sync: Used to make the aliens and their experiments invisible.
  • Lightmare Fuel: Among all the Medical Horror in this episode, there's a moment involving Janeway getting an extremely vigorous massage from the Doctor.
    EMH: You work absurdly long hours under constant stress, eating on the run, without sufficient exercise or rest. Your body is crying out for mercy.
    (Works his elbow into Janeway's back, which gives a Sickening "Crunch!")
    Janeway: It certainly is right now!
  • Make-Out Kids: Tom Paris and B'Elanna Torres make up for years of Unresolved Sexual Tension by making out constantly.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: Tom beams to a Jeffries tube where B'Elanna is working so they can make out. Later they get so impatient they start doing it on a console on the upper deck of Engineering. And we know from a later episode that they can both be quite noisy during these times.
  • Mama Bear: Captain Janeway isn't going to let aliens take control of her crew if she has anything to do with it.
  • Meaningful Echo: An In-Universe version when B'Elanna realises she's giving the same speech to Seven of Nine about following protocol that Captain Janeway once gave to her.
  • Meaningful Look: When B'Elanna tells Tom they need to depart to an isolated workstation so Tom can examine her specs, a member of the Engineering crew can be seen giving them a skeptical look. This foreshadows the reveal that their relationship is an Open Secret.
  • Misery Poker: After Chakotay is prematurely aged and Neelix is turned into a Myleean (dialated pupils, fused spinal column) they sit on a biobed and try to one-up each other with complaints like a pair of grumpy old men.
    Chakotay: Do you smell something strange?
    Neelix: Oh, I'm...I'm afraid that's me. I seem to be developing Mylean sweat glands. Sorry.
    Chakotay: It's not so bad.
    Neelix: Well, whatever happens, I try to keep in mind that things could be worse. I still have my home here on Voyager, my friends ...
    Chakotay: Your hair.
    Neelix: True, but I would gladly lose it if I could have my taste buds back.
    Chakotay: At least you're not losing your eyesight. (points to nearby display) See that display over there? It's nothing but a blur.
    Neelix: You think that's bad? The Doctor tells me my pupils have dilated sixty percent. I can't even look at that display, it's so bright.
    Chakotay: Yeah? Well, I've got chronic arthritis in my fingers. (holds up a glass of water) I can barely keep this glass steady.
    Neelix: That's nothing. My spinal column is fusing together. In a matter of days, I won't even be able to walk.
    Chakotay: Got you beat — I can barely walk now.
  • Moral Myopia: The aliens, again.
    Alzen: I can understand why you're angry. I don't like causing people to suffer, but sometimes it's a necessary part of my work.
    Janeway: What kind of work is that?
    Alzen: Medical research. We're scientists, like you.
    Janeway: From where I stand you're a hostile invasion force. I want to know how long you've been here and exactly what you've been doing to us.
    Alzen: I can't answer those questions. It's a breach of protocol for me to be speaking to you at all.
    Janeway: Oh, how convenient. That way you never have to face your victims.
    Alzen: Captain, please. You're exaggerating the situation. Our techniques are as benign as we can make them.
    Janeway: What I've been through for the last few days certainly hasn't felt "benign".
    Alzen: Please understand that there's a purpose to our actions. The data we gather from you may help us cure physical and psychological disorders that afflict millions. Isn't that worth some discomfort?
  • Nerves of Steel: Seven in the turbolift has to avoid reacting when an alien sticks a probe into her neck.
  • Never Tell Me the Odds!: Janeway and Tuvok, when the captain takes the ship towards the binary stars.
    Takar: I can kill you and your crew in an instant.
    Janeway: Go ahead. Without us, you won't be able to prevent this ship from being torn apart by the pulsars. And even with my crew working together, I'd say the odds of us getting through this are, what, one in ten?
    Tuvok: One in twenty, at best, Captain.
    Janeway: I'm willing to take that chance. Are you?
    (After the aliens run for it)
    Janeway: I hope you were exaggerating about those odds, Tuvok.
    Tuvok: I was not.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: The aliens push Janeway until she takes a course of action to decisively get rid of them.
    Janeway: Our course is locked in. Only my authorization can release it.
    Takar: You're not behaving very rationally.
    Janeway: That's what you are trying to accomplish, wasn't it? Hmm? Pumping up my dopamine levels to push me to the edge? Keeping me awake for four days straight with the constant pain of your devices drilling into my skull? Well, this is the culmination of your work, and guess what? You're going to be right here to collect the final data!
  • No Sympathy: The aliens don't really care about the crew's suffering because they believe their work is for the greater good.
  • Not Herself: Captain Janeway being very irritable.
  • The Not Secret: Tom asks Tuvok not to mention him making out with a fellow officer on duty. Tuvok coldly rejects the suggestion that he might lie to his captain. It turns out Tuvok didn't tell Janeway, but she knows anyway as half the ship is gossiping about their affair.
  • Not So Different: The female alien says this to Janeway. She isn't convincing.
  • Oh, Crap!: Seven, when she walks into Janeway's ready room and sees the above image.
  • Overcome with Desire: B'Elanna and Tom resolving years of Unresolved Sexual Tension.
  • Playing with Syringes: The aliens come across as an entire civilization who crossed the Moral Event Horizon long ago and have just kept on going. They routinely do medical experiments on sentient creatures, mutilating, torturing them, and even killing them if they feel it will benefit their medical research to do so. They feel completely justified in their actions and not only do they feel no remorse or regret over their actions, they feel that what they do is noble and beneficial. Genetically deforming, maiming and killing the crew of Voyager is the Nightmare Fuel evidence of their crimes and that is only the tip of the iceberg. What is really terrifying is that their flimsy justifications allow them to murder entire societies with impunity and go on torturing and killing as many sentient creatures as they feel is necessary for their "research."
  • Please Put Some Clothes On: Janeway is so eager to escape the Doctor's tender ministrations, she almost rushes to the bridge in her towel.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "Sorry, these lab rats are fighting back!" Well, OK, it's actually "This ends right now."
  • Professionals Do It on Desks: B'Elanna has to switch off the console when it starts beeping after Tom Paris pushes her onto it for some nookie.
  • Rage Breaking Point: The aliens stupidly, stupidly push Janeway to this, and are treated to a faceful of Janeway's Unstoppable Rage.
  • Rapid Aging: Chakotay.
  • Recycled Premise: TNG had a few "aliens doing experiments on the ship's crew For Science!" episodes, such as "Schisms" and "Where Silence Has Lease". This episode is more or less Voyager's take, but with a particular focus on Body Horror.
  • Reset Button: Everyone is cured once they've gotten rid of the aliens. Except for that nameless Red Shirt of course.
  • The Right of a Superior Species: As usual for an animal testing aesop.
  • See the Invisible: The Doctor figures out there are invisible aliens on the ship and modifies Seven's Borg eye implant to detect them. When she opens her eyes again, she can see the aliens. Everywhere. And they're doing horrible things to the crew.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When the aliens realize how crazy they've made Janeway, they get the hell off Voyager. One of their ships doesn't make it, however.
  • Spaceship Slingshot Stunt: Voyager is flown between binary pulsars fast enough to escape out the other side without being torn apart by gravitational stress.
  • The Stoic: After Tuvok busts them making out, B'Elanna and Tom wonder if he'll tell Captain Janeway.
    Torres: Well how did he sound? Annoyed? Amused?
    Paris: He sounded Vulcan. What more can I tell you?
  • Swiss Cheese Security: Averted; Tuvok quickly detects Seven's attempt to create an overload.
  • Tainted Veins: On the dying female ensign.
  • Tested on Humans: In this case, the entire crew are Unwitting Test Subjects.
  • This Means War!: Or as Janeway puts it, "This ends right now."
  • Too Dumb to Live: I mean, who would be stupid enough to make Captain Janeway more pissed off than she already is?
  • Try and Follow: Janeway gives the aliens a choice between maintaining their control and risking death, or fleeing.
  • Understatement: Tuvok says Janeway's Spaceship Slingshot Stunt is "a far more reckless course of action than I've come to expect from you." Afterwards:
    Janeway: I never realised you thought of me as reckless, Tuvok.
    Tuvok: A poor choice of words. It was clearly an understatement.
  • You Know Too Much: Right after they discover the alien markings on the crew's DNA, B'Elanna collapses into a coma and the Doctor's program starts to shut down. Fortunately he's able to transfer himself to the holodeck in time.

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