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Star Trek Voy - Season 2 - Episode 24

Star Trek Voy - 2x24 - Tuvix

Originally Aired: 1996-5-6

Synopsis:
Tuvok and Neelix fuse into one. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 5.34

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 31 8 8 9 15 8 12 20 37 14 17

Problems
None

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Neelix: "I've been studying Vulcan music, do you know that lovely tune that starts, 'Oh starless night of boundless black...'" Tuvok: "That lovely tune is a traditional funeral dirge." Neelix: "I know. But it was the most cheerful song I could find in the Vulcan database."
- Tuvix' appearance.
- Tuvix blurting out "sex" for seemingly no reason at the briefing.
- Tuvix, taking charge of the galley: "All right, everybody out!" Crewman: "On whose authority?" Tuvix: "Chief of security or head chef. Take your pick! Out, out out!"
- Janeway regarding Tuvix: "His cooking is better than Neelix's."
- Tuvix announcing he doesn't want to be separated.
- Tuvix and Janeway arguing over who should live and who should die.
- Kes admitting to Janeway she wants Tuvix to go through with the separation.
- Tuvix freaking out on the bridge when Janeway reached her decision.
- The doctor refusing to perform the surgical separation.

My Review
This episode is somewhat controversial. In one respect it's like Voy: Faces backwards, which is cool. It would have been nice if someone's lines made a reference to that episode given the similarities. I'm sure Torres and Tuvix would have had a lot to talk about. Some highlights, the actor selected for Mr. Tuvix was perfect. His voice indeed sounded like a merger between Tuvok and Neelix. In this episode, Janeway blatantly breaks the Prime Directive when she murders Tuvix. A decision which I wholeheartedly agreed with, though it made the episode no less tragic. Some people totally disagree with her. In fact, AFAIK, neither Tuvok nor Neelix were particularly popular characters when this episode was aired. Granted, Tuvok is my favorite character, I might have had some bias. I wanted them to be split. Though I was disappointed with how Tuvix met his end. Certainly it was realistic for him to try and preserve his life, but he could have gone out with more dignity. Another way this episode could have been better is if Tuvix was a recurring character. It would have been nice to see him in the place of Tuvok and Neelix for several episodes, perhaps even a season or two. It would make his demise so much more moving. Granted, what Janeway did is downright tragic, this episode seems a minor missed opportunity to me.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Remco on 2009-02-11 at 9:54pm:
    Damn, this is a scary thing for Star Trek to do. Janeway kills an innocent life form. I really like Tuvok and Neelix, but Janeway's act of involuntary euthanasia to improve the situation of two other people is just morally wrong. It brings to mind some Nazi imagery. They systematically killed elderly and handicapped. For the good of the country, they argued.

    I wouldn't be too disturbed about this if Star Trek wasn't always about an almost perfect world, certainly where Starfleet is involved. This final decision is something you'd expect to happen in Battlestar Galactica, not in the highly moral world of Star Trek.

    So, while this was an excellent episode emotionally, I have to question what the creators think of the moral issue. Do they think forced euthanasia is somehow justified in certain circumstances?

    Maybe it's more acceptable to people who support the death sentence, which I don't. But hey, we're all biased.

    Hard to rate, this one.
  • From JRPoole on 2009-03-24 at 12:04am:
    Wow. If I'd known ahead of time that this episode was about a transporter accident fusing Neelix and Tuvok, I may have skipped it because it has all the makings of a really bad episode. As soon as Tuvix appeared on the platform, I was ready to give this one a zero.

    However, they pulled it off. I like this episode precisely because the ending is uncomfortable. There really isn't a right decision here, and Janeway, to her credit, made a very hard choice. It's all too often that Trek is too moral for its own good, and it's nice to see an episode that presents a moral decision as a real challenge, not something that seems obvious from the beginning.

    The only real quibble I have here is that there's no time to get Tuvok and Neelix's reactions to the incident. Nice work all around-especially by Kate Mulgrew, who acts this one perfectly--and definitely one of the best Voyager outings so far.
  • From Mark McC on 2009-06-06 at 7:12pm:
    Having seen the synopsis before watching this episode, I was prepared for a lighthearted affair. Boy, was I wrong!

    I disagree on the portrayal of the Tuvix character. I was expecting him to be a conflicting mixture of the two personalities but the combination of Tuvok's cool logic and subtle humour and Neelix's over-the-top emotional outbursts and irrating cheerfulness seem to have cancelled each other out. Tuvix to me was a bland character with little personality and no appeal.

    I'm not sure what to think of Janeway's decision at the end. I may be wrong, but haven't we seen transporters being used to duplicate material before now (I'm thinking of duplicate Riker here) ?

    If so, surely they could have found a way to restore Neelix and Tuvok while keeping Tuvix. Tuvix certainly didn't contain every molecule of both Neelix and Tuvok's bodies (he was definitely shorter than Tuvok) so the transporter must have had to replicate their bodies using Tuvix's DNA as a starting point. Why would this need to be a destructive process at all?
  • From siukong on 2010-08-09 at 3:38am:
    Most of the time in Star Trek I'm willing to suspend my disbelief when it comes to other species being virtually identical to humans. In this case I can't really let it slide though. I tell myself that if I'm accepting teleportation I should accept anything, but as someone with a biological background I just can't. Hybrids just don't work that way.

    The writers would have us believe that Vulcans and Talaxians - two species separated by thousands of light years - are so anatomically similar that something like this could happen with absolutely no complications. Which brings me to the second reason I dislike this episode: Janeway's final decision. If some sort of organ incompatibility was forcing her to bring back Tuvok and Neelix it would make sense, but as it stands I don't get it. It makes Janeway out to be very inconsistent. She apparently finds things like suicide and capital punishment to be abhorrent, but not this? This feels very out of place in context with the values espoused in the rest of Star Trek.
  • From penguinphysics on 2010-11-07 at 1:51am:
    Just one question: How many lungs did Tuvix have and how many did Neelix have when they were separated?
  • From Pete on 2012-01-31 at 6:18am:
    To siukong, did you ever see the ST: TNG episode "The Chase"? It basically makes it canon that all humanoid races in the galaxy are created from the same stuff and was populated by an "elder race." TOS' "Return to Tomorrow" also kinda hinted at this. On this basis, it's not that difficult to accept that such a merger as Tuvix could occur.

    I see your point, though.
  • From peterwolf on 2015-06-25 at 11:04pm:
    THe whole story is ambiguous and comes to an inevitable end, in which both Tuvok and Neelix have to be restored. Something is wrong 9n the storyline. It seems that both Neelix and Tuvok have become quite weak and even cowardish when to decide to split or not to split. Certainly, it was the wrong approach for the story that janeway akes the tough decisions. It would have been much better, if Tuvix had decide on its own to split in the two persons again. Thus, Janeway showed no strength but mercilessness, which leaves just bad feelings afzer the episode. Wasted opportunities.
  • From Rick on 2017-04-27 at 8:34pm:
    "In this episode, Janeway blatantly breaks the Prime Directive when she murders Tuvix."

    What? What does this action have to do with the Prime Directive? And please dont try to say that Tuvix is a new species and blah blah blah. This isnt related to the Prime Directive.
  • From Mike on 2017-07-03 at 9:42pm:
    This episode has an interesting parallel with DS9: Facets, when Odo and Curzon Dax decide they prefer to remain a single being. OF course, the main difference is that they are ultimately convinced to separate again, whereas "Tuvix" is separated involuntarily. But the fundamental problem remains: whose decision is it, really? Does the hybrid being have the right to continue to exist when the two beings that are part of the hybrid never had the intention of making the union permanent?

    All the talk about murder and the ridiculous Nazi comparisons made above are pretty much out of line to me. Janeway was making a very tough call, and I love how the episode leaves you conflicted and not at all morally satisfied at the end. Judge all you want, but it was a difficult decision. Had Janeway agreed to allow Tuvix to remain, she'd have been overriding the desires of two people, neither of whom entered this arrangement voluntarily and certainly would have preferred to continue living their own lives.
  • From Martin on 2020-01-21 at 9:55pm:
    Loved the episode
    Just one ditail: transporters can copy a patter and replicate it. We've seen that sort of thing in TNG episode where Ricker is splitted in to two identical people
    what about copying Tuvix's pattern, separate it and bringing both tuvok and neelix, but also keeping tuvix life? 3 people could've been saved, not only one or two, exclusively
    i'm i wrong here ?

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