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Star Trek Voy - Season 6 - Episode 06

Star Trek Voy - 6x06 - Riddles

Originally Aired: 1999-11-3

Synopsis:
Tuvok suffers neurological damage. [DVD]

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 5.04

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 41 1 1 1 4 4 12 30 15 14 10

Problems
- Tuvok's diagram depicting the cloaking frequency seems unlikely to be useful given that we don't know to what scale it was drawn. Maybe Janeway had the computer loop through all the likely scales?

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Neelix' riddle. The ensign survived by eating the "dates" on his calender.
- The doctor: "If anyone can provoke Tuvok, Mr. Neelix, it's you."
- The doctor: "The Vulcan brain: a puzzle wrapped inside an enigma housed inside a cranium."
- Voyager decloaking the aliens.
- Tuvok's "not very logical" alternative answer to Neelix' riddle.

My Review
It seems the writers liked the emotional Tuvok from Voy: Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy so much that they wrote a whole episode around the idea. ;) Tim Russ does a wonderful job playing emotional Tuvok in this episode, an episode which explores how much intelligence and emotional control have over a person's underlying personality. It's remarkable how Tuvok's interests changed after his injury. Also remarkable is our guest star, Naroq. Rarely ever does Voyager present us with a guest star who remains an ally the entire episode, without at least some kind of hostile contention erupting somewhere in the middle. Not only does Naroq remain an ally the whole episode, but he sacrifices a lot in the end to be able to help Tuvok. I was glad for this detail, as it's truly in the spirit of Star Trek.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Pete Miller on 2006-12-26 at 7:12pm:
    This episode did something I was fearing would never happen in the series: it explored the relationship between Neelix and Tuvok (which I find to be very similar to the relationship between Quark and Odo in DS9). For too long their relationship has been nothing more than a simple device for comedy in the show.

    However, here the writers reveal how deep Neelix's feelings for Tuvok really are, and perhaps the feelings for Neelix that Tuvok is hiding under all that Vulcan logic. I found the scene where Tuvok is having doubts about the operation to be deeply moving. This was really one of Voyager's best character development episode offerings. Tuvok and Neelix both are the most underused characters in all of Star Trek, and it was infinitely pleasing to have an episode that centered around them instead of the Janeway/Doctor/Seven show.

    Great acting, and superb writing. One of the few times Voyager has lived up to its potential. 9.
  • From Pete O. on 2011-09-26 at 12:53am:
    I feel weird following up a comment from 2006, but I have to agree completely!

    I also found this episode deserving of a far higher score than a 6. I though that the Tuvok-Neelix relationship was explored very well in this episode, and that this is also one of the times that Voyager really shined a light on its true potential.

    I actually felt myself tearing up during that scene where Neelix is convincing Tuvok to go through with the procedure.
  • From Bernard on 2011-11-03 at 8:16pm:
    I just watched this episode for the first time and I have to say that I am shocked to have just unearthed one of the hidden gems that are scattered throughout Voyagers seven year run.

    This is a truly moving episode that is well written and wonderfully acted by both Russ and Phillips and successfully explores the two characters relationship with one another.

    Unfortunately, Voyager never ever used to expand on character developments from one episode/season to the next so I'm willing to bet the events of this episode were totally forgotten over the last two seasons.. maybe I'll be proven incorrect in that assumption as I rewatch them.

    Anyway, I would give this episode 8 or 9 and that would have been even higher had it not been wrapped up with a fairly tedious alien of the week.
  • From Psycroptic on 2013-01-15 at 5:16pm:
    I totally agree with the others here, completely underrated episode and one of best so far in Voyager.
  • From Hugo on 2015-03-15 at 4:29am:
    I guess they can only do a Tuvok story when he is out of character? Good point about Naroq btw, I was waiting for him to switch sides...
  • From Jadzia Guinan Smith on 2015-07-02 at 2:06pm:
    This episode is the final proof of what I've always suspected: Tim Russ is THE unsung MVP of the show.

    He is as fantasic as the "emotionally controlled and logical" Vulcan as he is angry, scared, childlike, excited, fun -- a whole range of emotions he showed here and not ONE instance of overplaying (which often happens when actors playing Vulcans finally get their "emotion" episode). Russ made a deeper impression during the large chunk of the episode where he lost speech than most people with lots of lines!

    The guest star's performance AND the way his character was written were subtle yet quite engaging. The story explored cook things on multiple fronts -- Tuvok and Neelix's friendship, Tuvok dealing with loss,the Xenophobic B'nath, Naroq's academic curiosity -- sometimes getting out of hand, but ultimately responsible and selfless. I can't believe this got just a 6, meanwhile the Doctor falling in love with Seven got a 9? This is certainly a "riddle"!!

  • From Dstyle on 2015-07-21 at 9:07am:
    Doctor: "Captain, Tuvok's situation is very delicate. As his synapses reform he is experiencing volatile and unpredictable emotional reactions. I recommend assigning Ensign Vorik to serve as his guide as he works to rediscover and reassert his logical Vulcan self."
    Janeway: "Nah, just have Nelix hang out with him for a while."
    Doctor: "But Captain, that makes no sense! We have another Vulcan on board! Considering the circumstances it would make the most sense to have Vorik guide Tuvok through this experience."
    Janeway: "Yeah, but we also have Naroq and invisible aliens this episode. We don't really have the budget left after that to pay Alexander Enberg to be a guest star. Besides, I have a feeling those two have some hidden chemistry they can explore."
    Doctor: "..."
    Janeway: "No seriously, I'll just have, I don't know, Harry or someone fill in at Tactical for a while. I'm sure this will all work out fine. Janeway out!" (drops mic)

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