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Star Trek Voy - Season 2 - Episode 16

Star Trek Voy - 2x16 - Meld

Originally Aired: 1996-2-5

A mind-meld brings out Tuvok's "killer instinct." [DVD]

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 6.75

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- How can the doctor walk through a forcefield with a PADD? Is it holographic too? But the table Tuvok threw at the forcefield is not?

- This is the first episode to display Tom Paris acting unreliable and rebellious which begins a small plot arc, to be resolved later in the season.

Remarkable Scenes
- Suder's confession.
- The Doctor gently ridiculing Tuvok's desire to understand the motive.
- Tuvok mind melding with Suder.
- Janeway's reaction to Tuvok's suggestion of an execution.
- Neelix' obnoxious attempts to make Tuvok smile. Hilarious.
- Tuvok attacking holographic Neelix.
- Rebellious Tom.
- Tuvok locking himself in his quarters.
- Tuvok: "I am trained in the martial arts of many alpha quadrant cultures. Sitting here attempting to meditate I have counted the number of ways I know of killing someone. Using just a finger, a hand, a foot. I had reached 94 when you entered."
- The doctor ranting about Vulcan mind melds.
- The first treatment in which had no emotional control.
- Tuvok breaking out of sickbay and confronting Suder.
- Delinquent Tom Scenes; 1. Runs a betting pool. Chakotay chews him out. Tom disses him in front of a bunch of people afterward.

My Review
Suder is a fantastic character which I wish we could have seen more of throughout the series. His eyes are the best part of his character, very cool. Tom is running an illegal gambling pool and is starting to act like a prick. Tuvok and Suder exchange personalities somewhat. Suder becomes more Vulcan and Tuvok becomes more, well, evil. The doctor once again puts up a good show. He's got a lot of McCoy in him, constantly insulting Vulcans. Overall, a thrilling episode even with a distinct lack of action for the most part.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Dave on 2009-03-10 at 12:23pm:
    Great episode. One nit-pick: is Suder a crewman or an ensign. Hogan (a man with a similraly confused rank - once referred to as a Lieutenant by Kes) calls him Ensign Suder. But when Suder calls the bridge to get help for Tuvok, he says "Crewman Suder to the bridge". Was he demoted? Hardly surprising if he were, of course, but we never see it happen.
  • From Technobabble on 2011-06-24 at 2:56pm:
    Interesting point Dave. I wondered that as well, when he's first referred to as Ensign...seems advanced in his years have such a low rank, then again he's ex-Maquis so I believe they assigned him a rank according to his seniority (none) and abilities, which must not have been impressive in engineering, in contrast to Torres. By Chakotay's description of him, he overly-relished personal combat & was effective in a fight, a value the Maquis esteem.

    In regards to a murder charge, well I don't believe one is immediately demoted for that, but court-martialed and sentenced to prison. Until then rank status is retained.
  • From thaibites on 2013-11-02 at 1:37am:
    I'm surprised nobody here pointed out the similarity (blatant rip-off) between this episode and Silence of the Lambs. It's all there. Hannibal Lecter is Suder, he even looks like a bit like Anthony Hopkins. Plus, Lecter was always trying to get inside Clarice's head and Suder definitely got inside Tuvok's head! Plus, think about the time period - mid-nineties.
    It's still a good episode, even though they "adapted" so much from Silence of the Lambs.
  • From alphabeta on 2013-11-29 at 5:25am:
    Suder was a great character, Dourif was really good in the role. It's a real shame that we didnt get to see more of him, he'd have made a great recurring character for the long haul. I wonder if there were rl circumstances that lead to that decision.

    As far as similarities to Silence of the Lambs goes, I dont see anything particularly blatant. The whole concept of guard and prisoner changing places, mutually empathizing, goes back much further than that movie.
  • From Rick on 2014-01-13 at 11:00am:
    As to your problem, in one of the earlier episodes the Doctor demonstrates that holographic material can be modulated to pass through things. Or it can be modulated to be solid. I think it was the neelix lung episode.
  • From Rob UK on 2014-07-12 at 7:29pm:
    I really like this episode, my main reason is i took great joy in watching Turok throttle Snarf (i mean Nelix, he has always reminded me of that infuriating character from the Thundercats animation, he is the Scrappy doo to Scooby, the Godzuki to Godzilla, god dammit i hate all those characters but none of them more than i despise Nelix), i just wish it had been for real.

    Firstly we'd have gotten rid of the most annoying Star Trek character of all time and we could have had an excellent story arc of Turok being driven insane by the meld and Janeway's conflict of what to do with him ala Suder, but sadly it is almost a reset button episode as we barely see Suder again except for the episode when he and the Doctor are the only ones left on the ship and Tuvok is perfectly fine by the next episode with no mention ever again, Tuvok goes back to being a very generic boring Vulcan, nothing like our half human Spok with his wit and humour and occasional humanity surfacing. One problem with this fantasy arc is we then would not get the mighty fine episode Tuvix, a small price to pay to losing one very emotional and touching episode to get rid of Snarf this early on, Snarf Snarf
  • From parkbench on 2015-05-08 at 2:56pm:
    A fun episode but disappointed w the execution. They build up to this meld and then literally skip the whole thing! I thought we were revving up for a DS9-style "Section 31" Sloan episode, the final one where they delve into his dying mind. Would've been a great chance to do some character development for Tuvok, show some of his inner demons and explore the Suder character more.

    Instead we get a lot of "show don't tell me" moments with Suder explaining both characters' motivations and narrating visible ironies (not trusting the audience) and ultimately there is no dramatic tension because you know halfway through the episode no one is in danger cause Tuvok isolated himself.

    Ultimately I'm a very forgiving Star Trek fan and still enjoyed the fact so far I am surprised to say that for all its infuriating choices I am enjoying the ambiance and world of Voyager quite a bit (first time for me), though I am not partial to the imperialistic naivete of the "Federation" values paraded around throughout, a "corrective" I suppose to DS9s warranted pessimism about the possibility about the benevolence of a giant, teetering neocolonial bureaucracy for the "fan's" sake...though I'm wondering just who these fans are that don't see the inherent flaws in that particular fantasy, or perhaps they are the same ones who do not question such things in the real world either...but I digress.

    DS9s tone ITSELF was a corrective but I suppose that era has been lost. In the meantime an enjoyable if deeply flawed episode. /endrant
  • From Erik Friend on 2016-02-20 at 11:04pm:
    Alienized versions of ordinary stuff mentioned in this episode:
    Rillan Grease
    Cardassian Pinocle
  • From Rick on 2017-04-25 at 9:48pm:
    "the imperialistic naivete of the "Federation" values paraded around throughout, a "corrective" I suppose to DS9s warranted pessimism"

    What? This is Star Trek you know, right? Why would pessimism be warranted for the classical Star Trek view of the future? I guess that is why I refuse to embrace DS9 and people like you seemingly adore it. Fair enough, to each his own, and so forth, but I will stick to Star Trek's classic optimism (which you for some reason call naivete, even though it if far from naive, and in fact a very conscious narrative decision), and you can have your UNwarranted pessimism, at least in so far as it applies to the ideals of Star Trek. Enjoy.
  • From Mike on 2017-05-26 at 8:53am:
    Something about the computer saying, "Try your luck again. Tomorrow you could be a winner!" really cracked me up. Maybe after years of listening to Majel Barrett's voice dispassionately provide information and reports to various crews, it was funny to hear that same, emotionless voice repeat a line you would hear on a Powerball commercial.

    Since Tuvok is my favorite VOY character, I enjoyed this one a lot. There were some great exchanges between him and Suder...dialogue that is, not just the mind meld. It was also interesting in how it looked at the Federation's dealings with murder and the idea of a mind meld between two ST species with unique mental abilities: Vulcans and Betazoids.

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