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Recap / Star Trek Voyager S 5 E 23 Relativity

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Seven of Nine is used by the crew of the future Federation starship Relativity to find out who is responsible for the sabotage of Voyager with a temporal weapon that would destroy the ship. After Seven is transported to the date when the saboteur is likely to appear on Voyager, she discovers that the saboteur himself is a future version of Captain Braxton who was stripped of his command and sent to rehabilitation after suffering from temporal psychosis. The crew of the Relativity put both the future and present versions of Braxton in confinement while Captain Janeway is used to stop the saboteur from planting the weapon before Seven interacts with a past version of Janeway (as well as herself) to contaminate the timeline.


This episode provides examples of:

  • Abandon Ship: Janeway calls for it, but Voyager explodes first.
  • Back to the Early Installment: Seven travels back to just before the pilot episode "Caretaker" as well as an indeterminate point in the show's second season.
  • Blasting It Out of Their Hands: When Seven of Nine is chasing Future!Braxton, who teleports by activating his tricorder, she manages a shot that flips it out of his hand and away, forcing him to run instead of teleport.
  • Brick Joke: In "Future's End", Captain Janeway complained that temporal paradoxes give her a headache. Here Janeway visibly gets a major headache when Ducane explains the temporal weirdness to her.
  • The Bus Came Back: Joe Carey, not seen in Voyager's present day since the first season, is encountered by Seven in engineering during the time she's visiting Voyager's past while it was still in drydock.
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  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Janeway's impact on Captain Braxton eventually drives him mad, while she's long since moved on from their encounter. (In fairness, some of this is a For Me It Will Be Tuesday on her part thanks to the Timey-Wimey Ball.)
  • Call-Back:
    • To Star Trek: First Contact as an example of one type of Timey-Wimey Ball.
    • As well as to "Future's End" and "Timeless" when Braxton chews Janeway out over her temporal violations. Incidentally, Braxton mentions cleaning up three of Janeway's temporal violations; the third is likely either "Shattered" or "Endgame".
    • And speaking of "Future's End", Janeway commented that dealing with the Timey-Wimey Ball gives her a headache. When she ends up on the Relativity and Ducane explains the temporal paradox they're caught up in, her head looks like it's about to explode.
    • In "Counterpoint", Janeway said she's on a First-Name Basis with certain Starfleet admirals. This is true with Admiral Patterson who addresses her as "Katie" and treats her like a teacher would a favorite student (which she probably was to him as he was her fractal calculus teacher at the Academy).
  • Call-Forward: During Janeway's chat with Admiral Patterson in the opening, she mentions Tuvok's infiltration of Chakotay's ship and her intention to recruit Tom Paris for their upcoming mission to the Badlands.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The temporal reading that Past!Janeway picks up alerts her when more such weirdness occurs in her future.
  • Chekhov's Lecture: Most of the information explained to Seven about the dangers of excessive time travel — as well as some of the discussion of paradoxes — ends up being relevant later.
  • Close-Enough Timeline: Downplayed. Captain Janeway is sent back in time by Ducane to prevent the placing of the weapon that led to the whole chain of events in the first place. After completing her mission, Ducane states that there's an incursion factor of .0036. We're not given any reference point as to exactly what this means, but it's implied that it's very small and Ducane comments that it's better than he expected (It's possible that it means to B'Elanna encountering Janeway (with a different hairstyle) in the hallway. B'Elanna asks her a question and Future!Janeway, careful of any possible changes, tells her to use her best judgment on an issue. As Present!Janeway was on the same deck, it likely lessened any real damage. B'Elanna probably didn't notice the hair in her haste and if she mentioned running into Janeway, the other Janeway might believe that she forgot the brief encounter in her haste to get to the bridge).
  • Custom Uniform of Sexy: Averted; Seven changes from her famous catsuit into a regular Starfleet science division uniform. She still looks hot.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Past!Janeway asking the admiral if an armed chase through the corridors is part of the tour of Voyager.
  • Death Is Cheap: When the opening version of Seven dies from Temporal Sickness, the Relativity crew simply recruits another version from the past to replace her. The second Seven later recruits a third version of herself to capture Future!Braxton for the same reason.
  • Do You Trust Me?: Seven has to appeal to Past!Janeway on the basis of a relationship that hasn't even started yet.
  • Face-Revealing Turn / Wham Shot: The episode appears to be starting with an ordinary flashback scene. Then Past!Janeway waves aside an ensign bent over a console. It's Seven of Nine, sans her Borg implants.
    • Later used when Seven and Janeway find the saboteur in the Jefferies Tube. He turns around...and it's Captain Braxton.
  • Foreshadowing: Janeway is noted for multiple violations of the Temporal Prime Directive and asked to not attempt any more time travelling. However, this isn't the last of her time travel shenanigans, blatantly violating the directive in the show's finale.
  • Got Volunteered: Seven, to capture Future Braxton. Then Janeway, to clean up after Seven. The latter comes with a beautiful "This Is Gonna Suck" expression.
    Janeway: I get the feeling I'm about to be drafted.
  • Hired to Hunt Yourself: With a Timey-Wimey twist - the saboteur that Braxton is hunting turns out to be his future self. His present self is arrested for it once it's revealed.
  • Just One Second Out of Sync: Seven of Nine is sent through time by the timeship USS Relativity (which is from the 29th century) to save Voyager from being destroyed by a strange device that is "out of phase" with normal time, since she is the only one that can see it due to her ocular implant. The trick is figuring out when it was placed, before that effect activates and renders it inaccessible.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Ducane admits that Voyager has a habit of appearing on their temporal scanners and advises they be more careful about time travel. Imagine the trouble they have with Archer's crew.
  • Leitmotif: The Voyager theme plays when Captain Janeway walks onto Voyager's bridge for the first time and sits in her Captain's Chair.
  • Let Me Get This Straight...: Janeway trying to figure out the temporal paradox she's caught up in. Especially the part where she has to arrest Braxton even though they've just done so, and there's already a third Braxton in Relativity's brig. Ducane telling her that all three Braxtons will be reintegrated for the trial nearly breaks her brain.
    Janeway: Wait a minute, let me get this straight. I'm going back in time to stop Braxton. But you already have him.
    Ducane: And there's a third one in our brig. I arrested him earlier today. But, don't worry. They'll all be reintegrated in time for the trial.
    Janeway: ("WTF?" expression) And Seven?
    Ducane: Oh, I assure you, when all this is over there'll be just one Seven of Nine.
    Janeway: (rolls her eyes) All right. Let's get started before my headache gets any worse.
  • List of Transgressions: Ducane lists the ways that Seven mucked up the timeline while pursuing Braxton.
    "She instigated a phaser fight at Utopia Planitia; she was seen by you and Lieutenant Tuvok two years before she joined your crew; and she interacted with her past self in front of 15 crew members at a...Ping-Pong tournament approximately six minutes ago — your time frame, of course."
  • No-Sell: Seven's phaser hits Braxton dead-center without stopping him.
  • No Time to Explain:
    • Braxton's people recruiting Seven from Voyager.
    • Seven telling Seven to stop Braxton.
  • The Other Darrin: Captain Braxton is played by a different actor here than in "Future's End".
  • P.O.V. Shot: A few, courtesy of Seven. Some of them fall under Impairment Shot, as she has several bouts of sensory aphasia.
  • Pre Crime Arrest: Captain Braxton is apprehended for "crimes he's going to commit."
  • Remember That You Trust Me: An odd variation, as Seven is using this on Past!Janeway, who hasn't yet met Seven.
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies: The temporal weapon destroys Voyager until Seven stops Future!Braxton.
  • Sanity Slippage: Future!Braxton is suffering from temporal psychosis.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: With shades of a Stable Time Loop. Future!Braxton lost his mind and was sent to rehab, and is now trying to destroy Voyager in the past so their interference in his life is prevented. When the crew of the Relativity learn this, they arrest Present!Braxton, with the implication he'll be sent to rehab just like his future self warned him about.
  • Self-Serving Memory: Braxton tells Seven that he once asked for Janeway's help, which she refused, and this led to his 30-year exile in the 20th century. Of course, the "help" he asked for was for her to let him destroy her ship and kill its entire crew, which Janeway was understandably unwilling to allow. This, of course, serves to foreshadow his subsequent Sanity Slippage and the fact that he goes on to become the villain of the episode.
  • Scenery Porn: There's a long pan across the shipyards of Utopia Planitia in orbit over Mars.
  • Science Hero: The moment Janeway beams onto Voyager, Admiral Patterson quizzes her on chemistry and astronomy.
  • Shoot the Messenger: Chakotay approaches Captain Janeway with a ship's status report and Janeway comments "Before you say anything, let me remind you what happens to bearers of bad news." "Don't kill the messenger," replies Chakotay, holding up his hands in mock fear. Janeway relents and Chakotay proceeds to report on the sorry state of Voyager and its systems.
  • Taking You with Me: The renegade Braxton threatens this with his temporal bomb when he's cornered. It gets shot out of his hand after a Motive Rant.
  • Temporal Sickness:
    • Repeated use of time travel causes the user to become progressively ill, to the point of being fatal in certain circumstances. One version of Seven is killed this way, forcing the agents to recruit a past!Seven to take her place.
    • The temporal disruptor that Braxton plants also causes minor temporal distortions, which cause several Voyager crew members to suffer symptoms of "space sickness".
  • That's an Order!:
    • Braxton orders Seven to avoid contact with Janeway. As if.
    • Admiral Patterson drops his apparently stern demeanor by ordering Katie to give him a hug.
  • Time Police: The job of the 29th Century Starfleet officers aboard the U.S.S. Relativity.
  • Time Stands Still: During a ping-pong game, time freezes the ping-pong ball in place as it's going over the net for a brief moment.
  • Time Travel: Courtesy of a temporal transporter system. The episode jumps back and forth between several different time frames. The 'present' is in Season 5 (2375), but the episode opens before the start of the series when Voyager was in drydock at the Utopia Planitia shipyard (2371). The sabotage actually occurs during a Kazon attack sometime in Season 2 (2372). And the USS Relativity and its crew are operating at an unspecified date and time in the 29th Century.
  • Time-Travel Tense Trouble:
    Braxton: Thanks to you, we've learned that the temporal disruptor was and will be concealed here. I gave up trying to keep my tenses straight years ago.
    • When Past!Janeway confronts Future!Braxton:
      Braxton: Janeway!
      Janeway: Have we met?
      Braxton: Too many times! But you wouldn't remember, they haven't occurred yet.
    • Also comes up between Seven and Janeway:
      Janeway: See you in the 24th century.
      Seven: I look forward to it. Or should I say, "backward"?
      Janeway: Don't get started.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: The Doctor receives a distress call from Neelix in the mess hall before he even makes it. Also Braxton's past self gets arrested for the sabotage of Voyager before he even commits it.
  • Vehicular Sabotage: Voyager was implanted with a device to make the ship destroy itself by going completely out of temporal alignment.
  • "You!" Exclamation:
    Future Braxton: Janeway!