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Recap / Star Trek Voyager S 5 E 5 Once Upon A Time

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Naomi Wildman being a lil' cutie pie. And Neelix praying that nothing screws that up.
Not to be confused with the ABC series.
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Little Naomi Wildman has grown up a lot since we saw her last. Ktarian father, you know. She's being brought up the right way, teaching her all about not just life on board a starship, but life in general; in this case, being the 24th century, it's interactive holographic programs, both on and off the holodeck. Flotter is her favorite watery-creature-thing, and his nemesis, the woody "monster" Trevis, help her learn basic physics and social skills. And the Doctor teaches her biology, and tries to conceal the danger of her Mom's missions from her.

She doesn't get to see her Mom very often lately, her being an Ensign on Voyager, so when it's time for bedtime she balks, but when Naomi hears she'll get to talk to her Mom, she jumps at the opportunity. Unfortunately, Mom might be gone a few more days. She does have her godfather Neelix to keep her company, but there's no substitute for Mom!

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However, she, along with Tom and Tuvok, are caught in a series of heavy ion storms that do some heavy damage to the recently-christened Delta Flyer...

This episode contains examples of:

  • Adorably Precocious Child: Naomi grows up extremely intelligent for her age. That's what being on a Cool Starship full of science and intellectual stimulation will do for you!
  • Adult Fear: Neelix feels it bad for Naomi, as her godfather. As he points out, a starship isn't really an ideal place for a child, at least not a starship so far from a solid support structure. But Harry suggests it's the very thrill of exploration and discovery that the adults signed up for that is good for kids. Neelix doesn't agree.
  • Almost Out of Oxygen: The crew of the Flyer have only a few minutes left before they're rescued.
  • Analogy Backfire: Flotter's plan involves throwing the tree monster into the pond, where he'll "sink like a log."
    Naomi: But Flotter, logs float.
  • Apocalyptic Log/Video Will: Sam and Paris record these when life support on the Flyer drops to critical. Tuvok prefers to have his in written form.
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    • Subverted! And the Adventure Continues, for the Delta Flyer, for Sam, Tom and Tuvok, and for little Naomi, Flotter and Trevis!
  • Artistic License: Harry Lampshades this when recreating (a plushie of) poor Flotter, who was evaporated by the Ogre of Fire. Shouldn't barge into Harry's kitchen and tell him how to cook, Neelix.
  • Benevolent Boss: Neelix is so wound up about shielding Naomi from the bad news, he actually yells at Janeway for trying to invoke If You Won't, I Will. Normally, Janeway has no time for that kind of insubordination, but this time, she just looks incredibly sad for Neelix and his plight, and offers him empathy and understanding.
  • Blatant Lies: Paris has excellent bedside manner, but Sam can see right through it.
    • For us, not for Naomi: Neelix tells her that his sisters are far away, but they were killed in the Metreon Cascade.
  • Book-Ends: The episode begins and ends in the holodeck with Naomi, Trevis, and Flotter. Janeway, Neelix, and Sam join in at the end.
  • Captain's Assistant Obvious: "Trevis, you're on fire!" Then again, little kids like Naomi do point out the obvious as a matter of course, and Trevis doesn't seem to know how to deal with it.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Implied when Naomi suddenly sits up in bed shouting "Mom!"
  • Cheerful Child: Naomi, of course! The crew do their best to keep her that way. This includes Neelix telling a bit of a story about his sisters...
    • Subverted after she hears the wrong thing on the Bridge.
  • Child Prodigy: After the Subversion just above, Naomi retreats to the holodeck, reprograms Flotter (whom she reformed as mentioned earlier) and Trevis to be her guardians and encodes them, preventing them from deletion!
  • Children Are Innocent: Neelix wants to maintain this, to a fault; Naomi learns enough of what's going on to feel betrayed by him, until he tells her the truth about his family.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: This is the last time we see Ensign Samantha Wildman in the present day, though she does turn up in episodes set in the past, and is mentioned a few times. It's almost as if the character had been killed off, which is odd because she's clearly shown to have survived the crash and to have made a full recovery. It's since been admitted that they somehow got the idea that they had killed her off, likely because of this episode.
  • Day in the Limelight: The first episode to give Naomi Wildman some focus. Also, Neelix.
  • Distress Call: From the Delta Flyer damaged in an ion storm, whose away team includes Samantha Wildman.
  • Elemental Embodiment: More benign than the general usage, but:
  • Forced Perspective / Hitler Cam: This is used to make Seven seem scary to little Naomi.
  • From the Mouths of Babes:
    • Evaporation! Flotter's not really dead, he's just invisible gas! So if they lower the temperature of the forest, he might reform!
    • Starfleet Regulation 476-9: All away team members must report to the bridge once every 24 hours...
  • Harmful to Minors: Here's a cutesy holoprogram about basic physics represented by Elemental Embodiments. Now watch your favorite character be horribly vaporized by a fire demon. The point is to learn how to bring him back, but clearly whoever wrote it didn't mind sending children fleeing in terror.
  • If You Won't, I Will: Janeway telling Neelix that he'd better tell Naomi the truth about her mother, or she will.
  • Innocent Inaccurate: Being focused on Naomi, this episode has a lot of it, including:
    • Having heard a lot about the Borg and probably being frightened out of her little wits by them, she's equally afraid of Seven, not wanting to be in her Collective.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Neelix's mood takes a definite downturn after the incident with The Ogre of Fire, probably reminding him of the Metreon Cascade on Rinax which claimed the lives of his family.
  • Lieutenant Crash: One of many! "The Flyer has landed!" Unfortunately...
  • Mood Whiplash: Paris is mildly exuberant about crash landing on a planet to shelter from these ion storms, but Ensign Wildman has been severely injured in the landing...
  • Must Have Caffeine: Surprisingly Subverted—even Janeway has her limits.
    Janeway: One more cup and I'll jump to warp.
  • Negative Space Wedgie: The ion storms, one of which disables the Delta Flyer. Voyager barely escapes a particularly nasty one.
  • Oh, Crap!: Naomi, looking for Neelix, gets onto the Bridge just in time for Janeway to make a particularly dire-sounding order about heavy casualties.
    • And the same trope applies when Neelix realizes Naomi's on the bridge. Oh Neelix; you really should've told her.
  • Overprotective Godfather: In the absence of her Dad, Neelix steps up to his role with aplomb. But his fervor to protect Naomi from being emotionally scarred by the potential death of her mother, not helped at all by his similar situation with his family, leads him to rail at Captain Janeway that it's not right to tell her such things, but Janeway counters that being an astute child, Naomi will figure things out on her own if no one tells her, and she'll be worse for it if she finds out about her mother from someone other than Neelix.
  • Punny Name: Flotter is associated with water, and Trevis is... well, a tree!
  • Show Within a Show: Naomi's preferred entertainment is a holostory series called "The Adventures of Flotter;" Harry shared an affinity for it in his childhood as well. (Presumably it existed in another media first, since hololdecks are too recent a technology for him to have grown up with it.) Think of it like Sesame Street with Elemental Embodiments.
  • Space Is an Ocean: Janeway suggests they 'batten down the hatches' and ride out the ion storm.
  • The Spock: Being this, Tuvok gives perfectly logical reasons why Ensign Wildman should not worry about Naomi and, despite his emotional suppression, is a very competent counselor.
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!: Neelix's fear and traumatic memories leak out over the episode, causing him to snap at others. Especially at Janeway.
    Neelix (frantic): When we know something for sure, when we find her mother, alive, or dead... [stammering] I'll tell her then. Not before.
    Neelix: YOU DON'T HAVE THE RIGHT!!! YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT'S AT STAKE HERE!!! When you were her age, you were safe and sound on Earth with two healthy parents to take care of you!! You never had to worry about the possibility of being ALONE!!! You take it from me; you wouldn't have liked it!
  • Take That!: Neelix griping about how a starship is no place to raise a child can come across as a criticism of Star Trek: The Next Generation putting children on the Enterprise.
  • Talking to the Dead: Neelix talks to a picture of his dead sister Alixia, expressing his fears of what will happen to Sam and Naomi.
  • Team Mom: Janeway keeps this up, offering Neelix a temporary position on the bridge to get his mind off things before he has to tell Naomi about her Mom.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Neelix gets it from Naomi, Trevis, and Flotter when his Blatant Lies are exposed.
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