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Recap / Star Trek Voyager S 7 E 11 Lineage

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Lt. B'Elanna Torres gets dizzy while scolding Seven of Nine and Icheb (Manu Intiraymi) in Engineering. Icheb tries to render medical aid and discovers that Torres is pregnant.

The Doctor, surprised that Torres and her husband, Lt. Tom Paris, weren't actively trying to conceive, now nevertheless have a fetus that looks very healthy. However, the gestating girl, like many Klingon females, has a deviated spine, which the Doctor illustrates with holographic projection.

Usually, there's a surgery after birth, both B'Elanna and her mother had that surgery. Nowadays, however, pre-natal "genetic modification" is the preferred treatment, and the Doctor can do it tomorrow. At the parents' request, the Doctor shows a holographic extrapolation of the whole baby. B'Elanna's dismayed at how Klingon the baby looks.

B'Elanna starts reminiscing about a camping trip on Earth with her father, John Torres (Juan Garcia); her uncle, Carl Torres (Javier Grajeda); and three of her cousins, all humans. B'Elanna then goes to the holodeck and has the computer extrapolate how her baby would grow up with certain Klingon DNA sequences deleted. Then she tries to get this done for real without consulting Tom, who of course strongly objects.

The Doctor summons both Paris and Torres to Sickbay, and announces suddenly that their child will suffer life-threatening issues unless B'Elanna's genetic resequencing is performed. B'Elanna is thrilled to hear this, but Paris is skeptical at the sudden reversal. He takes the Doc's findings to Seven and Icheb, who both notice several errors in his analysis, which reveals possible tampering with his programming. When Tom fails to reach the Doctor or Torres about this discovery, he assumes that B'Elanna must be going ahead with the procedure. As the crew races the clock trying to breach Sickbay, they manage to stop the Doctor from commencing the dangerous operation.

As the procedure is narrowly stopped in time, Paris and Torres must work out their differences, which also involves B'Elanna revealing the root of her fears: Due to an event that happened when she was younger, her father ended up walking out of her and her mother's lives. Paris tells her that he's not her father, and no matter what happens he will always be there for both her and their daughter. B'Elanna finally comes to terms with her heritage, and mends fences with the Doctor by making him the godfather to her daughter.

This episode provides examples of

  • Adults Are Useless: In flashbacks, John Torres is spectacularly oblivious to the racist bullying B'Elanna endures from her own cousins, and more critically, to her increasing feelings of loneliness and isolation. He tops it off by complaining about being miserable living with two Klingon women (B'Elanna and her mother) within earshot of her, mere hours after hearing her cry that no one accepts her because of her race.
  • Bottle Episode: Other than a little flashback here and there, this one's entirely on the ship.
  • Comically Missing the Point: When Icheb detects a life sign inside B'Elanna, he assumes that it's a parasite. Seven looks at his tricorder readings and realizes the truth: B'Elanna is pregnant. This leads to a Brick Joke where Seven teases Icheb for his incorrect assumption.
  • Continuity Nod to "Life Line": When Ensign Kim congratulates him on the baby, Lt. Paris asks if Kim found out from "the data stream from Earth," referring to the monthly transmission from Earth the crew has been receiving since that earlier episode.
  • Designer Babies: Apparently genetic resequencing is allowed for medical purposes such as preventing birth defects, but forbidden for "cosmetic" or "augmenting" reasons. The Doctor uses resequencing to eliminate a spinal defect in B'Elanna's child, but balks at making changes to eliminate or suppress the child's Klingon DNA.
  • Disappeared Dad: It goes into great length on how and why B'Elanna's father leaves her and her mother. B'Elanna fears the same thing will happen to her child, but Tom Paris assures her that it won't because he loves her.
  • Easily Forgiven: B'Elanna altered the Doctor's program, effectively brainwashing him into conducting an unethical procedure on her fetus. In the next scene after the alterations being found out and repaired, she asks the Doctor to be her child's godfather; he is so eager to say yes that he cuts her off. Are you sure you fixed all those subroutines, B'Elanna?
  • Fantastic Racism: B'Elanna claims she wants to avoid this by deleting the Klingon genes from her baby. The real issues are a bit more complicated.
  • Feeling the Baby Kick: The episode ends with the EMH feeling B'Elanna's fetus kicking. He jokes that the baby is "feisty" and it must be genetic.
  • Flashback B-Plot: John Torres takes young B'Elanna camping along with other kids. This illustrates why B'Elanna considers it so important for her own daughter to be more human than Klingon.
  • Freudian Excuse: B'Elanna's afraid that Tom will eventually run out on her just like her father did.
  • Get Out!: The sentence B'Elanna never forgave herself for saying.
    Young B'Elanna (to her dad): If you can't stand living with us, then why don't you just leave?
  • Internalized Categorism: This episode digs into the root of B'Elanna's issues with her Klingon side.
  • Kids Are Cruel: B'Elanna's male cousins, who put worms in her sandwich because that's what they say Klingons eat.
  • LEGO Genetics: B'Elanna attempts to redesign her child so that she would not be born with any Klingon traits. Tom Paris doesn't want her to do it and Captain Janeway rules against it, so she modifies the Doctor's programming to be more receptive to her request. Thankfully the crew of Voyager prevents this from going all the way.
  • Medical Drama: With extra Klingon!
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: When Icheb discovers a flaw in the Doctor's genetic analysis that requires the excision of the baby's Klingon genes, Tom realizes that something's very wrong, since the Doctor doesn't make mistakes like that.
  • Open Secret: In the first few minutes of the episode, B'Elanna and Tom both decide to keep the whole baby thing under wraps for a little while..... Oh please, this is Voyager! Literally everyone knows within minutes, except for Tuvok in this instance. (Thanks a lot, Icheb.)
  • Parting-Words Regret: B'Elanna tells her father to get out of their life. He does.
  • Pregnancy Makes You Crazy: The Doctor tells B'Elanna she might experience mood swings. Given that she's a tsundere, that's kind of her normal behaviour and unsurprisingly she blows her top when she thinks Tom is patronizing her.
    Paris: Look, the Doctor said you might experience mood swings.
    Torres: That's it—just dismiss my argument as some kind of hormonal outburst!
  • Saying Too Much: Early on, B'Elanna decides she doesn't want to know the baby's sex. Then, while the Doctor is explaining about the curvature of the spine defect he needs to correct for...
    EMH: It tends to run in Klingon families, especially among females. *winces as he realizes what he just said*
    Tom: Are you saying that this baby is a girl?
    EMH: ...No. I didn't say that.
    Tom: But it is a girl, right?
    EMH: You cannot infer that.
    B'Elanna: It's okay. You might as well just tell us.
    EMH: *sighs* Yes. It's a girl.
  • Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome: In the flashbacks B'Elanna is older than when she related her father left her in "Faces", though that could be the Half-Human Hybrid coming into play.
  • Unreliable Voiceover: B'Elanna has asserted that people treated her like a "monster" as a child. But in her flashbacks we see that her father, uncle and female cousin were all actually very nice to her. Only her bratty male cousins were really mean to her. And as her father points out, eleven-year-old boys are just like that, everyone is teased about something. At the same time, B'Elanna actively pushed away her father and family.
    • Then again, B'Elanna could indeed have been bullied when she went to school, so it may not be so unreliable.
      • Though if she was bullied at school it would have been by kids, who as stated above, do it to everyone.
      • Nevertheless, racist comments from people who supposedly bully everyone are still racist. It still has a disproportionate effect on the victim.
    • The problem is that mere hours after John Torres assured B'Elanna that being teased for her race was "just normal teasing", he complained about how much he hated living with her and her mother... because of their race. All he did was confirm his daughter's worst suspicions that she was unloveable because of her race, and then abandoned her completely less than two weeks later.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The glaring absence of Naomi Wildman from the story. As a half-human/half-Ktarian, she was effectively no different than Tom and B'Elanna's baby. She also had notable non-human features (a line of spikes down her forehead). Plus, the Ktarians had a somewhat questionable history with the Federation as well (including at least one attempt to take over Starfleet and supporting the Maquis revolt). Her presence would have highlighted B'Elanna's internal racism much more clearly, but she was completely absent.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Tom gives B'Elanna this reaction as soon as he learns of her whole idea. But when she alters the Doctor's program to get him to remove the baby's Klingon DNA? Then Tom's really pissed off.
  • With All Due Respect: When B'Elanna and the Doctor are arguing about altering the baby's genetics, one of his points is that it's thought the Klingon third lung evolved to give them greater stamina on the battlefield, leading to this trope.
    B'Elanna: My daughter is not going to be a warrior!
    Doctor: With all due respect, Lieutenant, you don't know what your daughter is going to be!
  • You're Not My Father: After Paris finds out the truth about B'Elanna's alterations to the Doctor's program and puts a stop to things before the procedure can get started, Torres goes ballistic and he says that he never thought she would go this far. He demands that they talk things out and she tells him "Stop telling me what to do. You're not my father." Paris asks just what she's talking about and she admits what's really bothering her - that she feels that she was the one who caused her father to leave. During a disastrous camping trip, she tried to run away after overhearing a conversation in which he talked about not having the constitution to live with a Klingon and now he has to live with two. After getting caught, she told him, "If you can't stand living with us, why don't you just leave?" Twelve days later, he did. Paris realizes that her real worry is that he will someday leave her. He assures her that this will never happen, that he is not her father, and that their daughter will be perfect just the way she is.