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Recap / Star Trek Voyager S 7 E 3 Drive

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Tom and B'elanna in their sweet-ass racing suits.
Voyager takes part in a race to commemorate the end of a recent war. Unfortunately, not everyone is so interested in peace. Also Tom Paris and B'Elanna Torres finally tie the knot (for real this time).


  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Tom hints that he might beg when B'Elanna hesitates in accepting his marriage proposal.
    Tom: Think faster.
    B'Elanna: Why? You gonna withdraw the question?
    Tom: No, but I might start to beg. (they kiss)
  • Asteroid Thicket: For an Ace Pilot like Tom Paris, the perfect place for a test flight. Or an impromptu race.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": In-Universe — B'Elanna is almost amused by Neelix's "sore feet."
  • The Big Race: The Antarian Trans-Stellar Rally.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Irina turns out to be an Absolute Xenophobe terrorist.
  • Blood Knight: Even a friendly race is combat in Assan's eyes.
  • Breather Episode: Amidst the drama of a Borg resistance movement, Seven suffering a cortical node malfunction, and a mysterious attacker aboard Voyager, we get to see a small-craft race.
  • Buffy Speak: Tom uses some of this when telling B'Elanna about human "mushy stuff."
  • Chekhov's Gun: The fuel converter that Irina gives Tom for the race turns out to be rigged to explode as they cross the finish line — where dozens of ships, containing hundreds of spectators, are waiting.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Harry's use of Morse code in the Captain Proton holodeck program is used here to signal to Tom and B'Elanna that their fuel converter is rigged to explode.
  • Continuity Snarl: Torres states that Paris was expelled from Starfleet Academy, despite it having been firmly established by this point that Tom did graduate and was kicked out of Starfleet while serving on the USS Exeter. Or was she thinking of Nicholas Locarno, which (it was rumored) was the showrunners' original choice for the character of ship's pilot, and was also played by Robert Duncan McNeill?
  • Didn't Think This Through: Irina (and her faction) don't seem to have comprehended that causing a gigantic disaster could have easily ended up with the other three species from the sector teaming up against them if the plot was discovered.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Assan may be a jerkass and a ruthless combat pilot, but he's not a cheater.
  • Explosive Instrumentation: A rare instance of it being on purpose. Fortunately, six years on Voyager have honed Harry's reflexes enough for him to dodge it.
  • Fantastic Racism: Irina turns out to be a terrorist who wants to keep all of the previously-warring species apart. You can see Harry visibly disappointed in her motives.
  • Fatal Attractor: Lampshaded by Tom, who then says Harry appears to have gotten it right this time. He hasn't.
  • Flirting Under Fire: With the Delta Flyer seconds from a warp core breach, Tom decides to propose to B'Elanna.
  • Great Offscreen War: The reason the race exists is to celebrate its ending.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: Go the extra light year.
  • The Maiden Name Debate: Tom and B'Elanna teasingly argue about who will take the other's name: B'Elanna Paris or Tom Torres? According to the final episode, their daughter's name is Miral Paris, so that version of her at least took Tom's name.
    Tom: I hope you're kidding.
    B'Elanna: Hey... it is the 24th century.
  • Mundane Utility: Using a photon torpedo as a starting signal for the race? Guess they're not so limited after all, though given that the racers proceed through its area of effect immediately after it detonates, it could have been a modified to simply emit a pulse of light.
  • Off-the-Shelf FX: The "starting line" spectators are mostly ships that have been seen in other Star Trek episodes (including many alien shuttlecraft rescaled to match Voyager's size!), with some of the racers being large vessels rescaled to match the Delta Flyer's size.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Tom realizing that in his excitement to enter the race, he's forgotten about his weekend getaway with B'Elanna.
      Tom: Do me a favor, Doc: keep a lock on my bio-signs.
      Doctor: What for?
      Tom: Because in about five minutes, there could be a medical emergency in Engineering.
    • Harry realizing that his exploding console wasn't accidental.
      Harry: That's the second time your co-pilot's console exploded. Quite a coinci —(sees Irina pointing a phaser at him)— dence.
      Irina: I'm sorry, Harry. I really am.
  • Our Wormholes Are Different: A relatively small one is part of the race course.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Tom uses rhymes to help him navigate the course. B'Elanna finds them childish (even referring to them as 'nursery rhymes'). And when Tom rebuts they helped him when he was at the academy, she's quick to note that he got expelled.
    "Right at the light, then readjust my sight."
    "Straight through the gate, then remodulate."
  • Running Gag: Tom can't resist reminding Harry of his numerous failed romances when he starts falling for Irina.
    Harry: I know what you're going to say—
    Tom: No, no. Actually, I was just going to congratulate you. She's not a Borg, she's not a hologram, and she's not dead. Looks like you might have finally found yourself the perfect woman.
  • Shout-Out: B'Elanna plans a date with Tom in a holographic recreation of a vacation planet by the name of Gedi Prime, a tip of the hat to Dune.
  • Sports Widow: Rather than blowing her stack, B'Elanna just gets quietly depressed that Tom thinks his race is more important than their holodeck holiday. She then decides that the best way to handle this is to take part in the race herself.
  • Take a Third Option: Or at least, take the new option. When the race coordinator muses that it's hard for him to assign any particular ship to host the main ceremonies of the current race as their long history of conflict means that any choice could be seen as offensive by one of the other competitors, Janeway volunteers for Voyager to be the hosting vessel, as they're new to the area and never took part in any previous conflict, making them a neutral party.
  • Throwing the Fight: Tom pulls himself out of the race during the final leg — by which point he's almost guaranteed the win — to prove to B'Elanna that he loves her.
  • Tomboyish Ponytail: Irina has one.
  • Vehicular Sabotage: The fuel converter Irina gave to Tom and B'Elanna for the Delta Flyer is rigged to explode. Fortunately, Harry gets the word out to Tom and B'Elanna so that they could dump the warp core before it explodes.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Harry, but Irina started it.