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Recap / Star Trek Voyager S 5 E 10 Counterpoint

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Janeway and Kashyk, a romanc- uh, rivalry for the ages.
Voyager is crossing the Devore Imperium where telepaths are illegal, subject to constant stop-and-search by warships commanded by the urbane Inspector Kashyk. The crew's telepaths, as well as some telepathic refugees they've rescued, are hiding in transporter suspension but won't last long that way. Janeway has to locate a wormhole to get them off her hands quickly but then Kashyk turns up, claiming he wants to defect and that Voyager is heading into a trap.

This episode contains the following tropes:

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  • Absolute Xenophobe: The Devore, especially towards telepaths. Kashyk says that most aliens tend to avoid their space as "we don't embrace outsiders." Janeway of course has to take the Ridiculously Difficult Route.
  • Amusing Alien: The alien scientist Torat puffs out his nose when agitated.
  • Batman Gambit: On both sides. Kashyk loses.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Downplayed, but it's there. Kashyk is clearly intrigued by Janeway, but she doesn't show signs of reciprocation until he asks for asylum.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Janeway obviously developed feelings for Kashyk, and is left heartbroken that he turned out to be every bit the bullshitter she thought he was.
  • Broken Record: Prax always gives the same spiel before sending his soldiers to board Voyager, even though everyone knows it by rote. Janeway tries cutting him off on the last inspection, but Prax just ignores that.
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  • Call-Back: The death of Lon Suder is mentioned in a list of telepaths who have served on Voyager (though not Kes).
  • Celibate Hero: Averted; the Powers That Be decided that it was the right time for Captain Janeway to have a romance, after five years in the Delta Quadrant and discovering that her fiance Mark had moved on.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Kashyk, when bargaining Janeway for asylum, helps them modify their scanners to detect hidden Devore ships, revealing that their shields hide them from Voyager's scanners, in order to gain their trust. When he betrays them, but doesn't find the wormhole, he realizes that Janeway copied the same shielding onto the shuttles holding the telepaths so that they couldn't detect them with Voyager's scanners until it was too late.
  • Chromosome Casting / Monochrome Casting: The Devore soldiers are all male and of the same race, in contrast to Voyager's multicultural and multi-gendered crew. Kashyk's fascination with Janeway may well be because he's never encountered a female starship captain before.
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  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Despite being in the midst of a hostile and well-armed tyranny, Voyager's crew stick their necks out to save the telepaths after their refugee vessel is damaged. If Kashyk hadn't been so worried about his image, they might have ended up in a relocation center in their stead.
  • Continuity Nod: The trick of suspending someone in a transporter buffer was used in TNG "Relics", though Scotty is able to do it for a lot longer than our heroes.
  • Dark Is Evil: The Devore soldiers in their black uniforms make a noticeable contrast to Voyager's multi-coloured crew.
  • Deadpan Snarker
    KASHYK: There's no wormhole here. You created false readings!
    JANEWAY: That is the theme for this evening, isn't it?
  • Deadly Euphemism: Although it's never said outright, the "relocation centers" have nasty implications.
  • Don't Call Me "Sir": Kashyk insists on First-Name Basis when he's not in uniform.
  • Double Entendre: Lots of flirting between K & J; they do it right in front of Prax at one point.
    JANEWAY: (Held Gaze) Exploring can sometimes be hard to resist, Inspector.
    KASHYK: Well, it's a romantic notion, Captain, but one I can't allow you to indulge.
  • Do You Trust Me?: Kashyk uses this trope to justify the anti-telepath policies of the Imperium. And the driving question of the episode is whether Janeway can trust Kashyk.
    KASHYK: Captain, do you trust me?
    JANEWAY: Not for a second.
    KASHYK: Exactly, and why should you? Trust has to be earned. It's gradual, and yet it's the foundation of every relationship, professional and personal. It's also a concept alien to the telepathic races. Why take someone at their word when you can simply read their mind?
  • The Empire: The Devore Imperium ticks all the buttons: vast, xenophobic, persecutes minorities, and its mooks wear black uniforms. Kashyk is genuinely impressed over how The Federation is able to integrate their conflicting aspects in a harmonious whole. Torat however is not.
    TORAT: Federations, Imperiums. Why do you people feel such a need to align yourselves with monolithic organisations?
  • Enemy Eats Your Lunch: The cold open ends with Kashyk having made himself at home in Janeway's ready room, ordering her to report, and replicating some coffee.
  • Evil Is Petty: A Devore soldier deliberately drops a test tube after the Doctor tells him to be careful with it.
  • Evil Gloating: Kashyk can't resist telling Janeway how her compassion made it possible to outsmart her. Janeway does her own subtle gloating when she changes the music from Tchaikovsky back to Mahler just to show she's taken control of events.
  • Eureka Moment: Kashyk and Janeway are trying to locate the position of a constantly-shifting wormhole. Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4 is playing in the background.
    JANEWAY: Counterpoint. It's in all great music. Parallel melodies playing against one another. We've been looking at the obvious, frequency, location, timing, but each of those parameters could have a counterpoint in subspace.
    KASHYK: If we could run an algorithm based on subspace harmonics it might reveal our pattern.
  • Fake Defector: Kashyk.
  • Fatal Flaw: Kashyk thinks Janeway's is her compassion. Turns out he's the one with the flaws — his arrogance and pride.
  • Feed the Mole: Janeway plays along with Kashyk's gambit.
  • Final Solution: What we see of the Devore is loaded with parallels to The Holocaust, with the end goal being the extermination or exile of telepaths.
  • First-Name Basis: Kashyk calls Janeway "Kathryn" shortly before their kiss.
  • Funny Background Event
    • Janeway's expression as Torat puffs his nose in indignation.
    • Security officer Ayala smirks as Kashyk tries to hit on the captain. Janeway turns and catches him at it.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop:
    • During their first inspection, Prax lists minor offenses that could have gotten the Voyager impounded only to be countered by Kashyk — likely to make him seem reasonable in comparison.
    • While Janeway and Kashyk question Torat, Janeway gives a gift and compliments, while Kashyk is brazenly confrontational and insulting.
  • Good Costume Switch: When Kashyk asks for asylum on Voyager, he's changed into civilian clothes.
  • Graceful Loser: Kashyk accepts that he's been Out-Gambitted without rancour. He even falsifies the records to spare Janeway and Voyager a lot of trouble.
  • Hand Wave: The telepaths being transported can't help establish if Kashyk is lying, as Devore soldiers train themselves to resist telepathy.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Averted, though Kashyk admits he was tempted by Janeway's offer to join her crew.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: When Voyager fails to sneak past the sensor array, Kashyk offers to go back and take charge of the search team, which means he'll likely be arrested for helping them escape, as he won't have enough time to reach the wormhole.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: The telepaths are held in the transporter beam, suspended in the Cargo Bay. Unfortunately this causes cellular damage in the long term, so Janeway has to get them off her hands.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Kahsyk gives the crew specifications on shielding their craft to avoid detection. Janeway uses that to shield the shuttle that allow the telepaths to escape.
    Janeway: Well, you gave us the specifications. Seemed a shame to waste them.
  • Ignored Epiphany: Kashyk had one after the incident with the little girl in the extraction tank.
  • I Kiss Your Hand: Inverted from the usual; Kashyk kisses Janeway first, then finishes up by kissing her hand.
  • In Medias Res: The episode begins with Voyager being stopped and searched for the third time.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: After the telepaths escape Prax wants to send Voyager's crew to a relocation camp, but realising their careers will be ruined by this cock-up, Kashyk orders Prax to make it clear to his men that none of this ever happened.
  • MacGuffin: The Brenari telepaths, as the main emphasis of the episode is on the interplay between K & J.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Two can play at that game!
  • Montage: Devore soldiers search Voyager to the music of Mahler's Symphony Number One.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Kashyk claims that his Heel–Face Turn started after he sent a telepathic girl to an unpleasant fate. Subverted, however, when he reveals that he decided that he'd done the right thing.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Kashyk had all the evidence he needed to detain Voyager and the telepaths, but lost both trying to locate and close the wormhole. Not to mention giving Voyager the information on the shielding they would later use to help the telepaths escape.
  • Not So Different: Kashyk and Janeway, though with enough differences to make things interesting.
  • Now or Never Kiss: When Kashyk has to leave Voyager, throwing away his chance to escape the Imperium, Janeway snogs him like she hasn't kissed a man in five years.
  • Our Wormholes Are Different: Indeed — it's an interspatial flexure!
  • Out-Gambitted: Kashyk proves to be a hell of a con artist, but he learns the hard way that he can't compete with Janeway's resolve.
  • Plot-Driven Breakdown: Voyager's anti-matter drive has a glitch just when they're trying to sneak past the sensor array.
  • Plot Hole: The Tuvok error mentioned below (see What Happened to the Mouse?). It could have been solved by having Tuvok, Vorik and Jurot pilot the shuttle through the wormhole, then say they returned to Voyager between episodes; hardly the most radical Reset Button they've used.
  • Properly Paranoid: For once Voyager's Swiss Cheese Security is averted; Kashyk is escorted at all times by two security officers and the replicator in his quarters has been disabled in case he tries to make a weapon.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Kashyk gets the Gooey Look when Janeway asks him to join her Ragtag Bunch of Misfits.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Kashyk calls out Kathy on breaking the Prime Directive by rescuing the telepaths. Janeway replies that she'll take what's coming from Starfleet. "Those admirals and I are on a first name basis, you know."
  • Shaggy Search Technique: Averted; the Devore are systematic and very thorough.
  • Shout-Out: Kashyk's name refers to Kashyyk, the homeworld of the Wookiees in Star Wars.
  • Small Reference Pools: Averted by the use of Mahler, as opposed to say, Beethoven.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Mahler's First Symphony plays over the janky, unsettling camerawork as black-uniformed soldiers line up the crew, frisk them and rifle through their belongings, invade the computer files, and issue orders to Janeway that she actually follows.
  • Species Of Hats: The Devore are A Nazi by Any Other Name, while the Brenari could be any persecuted minority.
  • Spikes of Doom: On the Devore hand scanners.
  • Stargazing Scene: Janeway and Kashyk spend a UST-filled brainstorming session together, including gazing at an aurora-like star cluster.
  • Stealth in Space: Refractive shielding and nebulas are both mentioned.
  • Touché
    KASHYK: Well played, Captain. It seems I never did earn your trust.
    JANEWAY: I had to take a few precautions. You understand.
    KASHYK: Better than anyone.
  • The Triple
    JANEWAY: Seven, I want you to lay in a course that'll attract as little attention as possible. Avoid their colonies, space stations, tourist attractions... if they have any.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Janeway kept her true plan hidden from Kashyk (and the audience); it works perfectly.
  • Was It All a Lie? / I Did What I Had to Do: When asked why he defected, Kashyk tells of how a little girl, breathing the stifling air of a plasma extraction tank for days, thanked him for finding her, even though Kashyk was going to send her to a relocation centre. When he reveals his true colours, Janeway asks if he made that story up.
    KASHYK: Oh, that incident was real. What I didn't tell you was that after wrestling with my ethics, I realized that I'd done the right thing in order to protect my people from a very real threat.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We are told that the ONLY possible way for Tuvok and the other telepathic crew members to avoid detection is for them to be held in transporter suspension while Voyager is being searched. To the extent that even when the Doctor reveals this method is damaging their health and could be fatal, they have no choice but to continue using this method to avoid capture. Yet when the Devore conduct their final inspection, where they discover the transporter trick, Tuvok & Co are not there. So, where were they hidden that final time? They couldn't be on the shuttlecraft that vanished into the wormhole, so where, exactly were they concealed?
    • Tuvok is actually at his tactical station on the Bridge though it's not explained why.
  • Wicked Cultured: Kashyk shows appreciation for Earth's music and cultural diversity.
  • Your Favorite: Kashyk shows himself a lot more savvy than others.
    KASHYK: I've replicated some coffee. Black, as usual?
    JANEWAY: (Death Glare) Black.
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