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Phosphorus Rex
Mon, Aug 8, 2016, 10:17pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Tuvix

For me, the biggest problem with this episode is not necessarily Janeway's decision in itself. I would tend to disagree with it on the basis that Tuvix is clearly a sentient being and separate to Tuvok and Neelix because he makes decisions neither of them wold have done, and that his wish for self-preservation needs to be respected even if it runs contrary to the best interests of the crew. But I can also see how a counter-argument could be made. No, I think problem is is than the fact that she Janeway makes here decision so quickly and so autocratically, seemingly with no consultation to legal precedent or debate with her senior offices -- the people who are there to assist her in such situations.

I mean, it's all good that "Tuvix" has obviously stimulated such vigorous debate, but this almost seems to have happened more in spite of the episode than because of it, since so many of these issues don't get raised in the episode itself.

A few small changes might have made the difference. If the last scene had showed a grim attitude on the part of the crew, who are happy that their crewmates are back but also reeling from the sad affair that just went down -- maybe a conflicted sense that some think Janeway made the wrong decision but they have to follow her nonetheless. At least, at absolute least, it seems like a dramatic necessity to have a scene where Neelix and/or Tuvok talk with Janeway about where she made the right decision. But nothing. It's just like Voyager to have a good thing going and then fumble it at the last.

(just as an aside, I find the argument "Janeway had to do it for the sake of crew cohesion!" to particularly laughable, unless you think that the fear that any crew member might be executed on Janeway's whims would make people better at their jobs)

Ideally, I'd like to have seen Tuvix introduced a few episodes earlier, be a background character for a little while, and then have a dedicated show where the Doctor finds the way to separate him and he refuses. Then do a trial show, with Janeway as the judge and Chakotay or somebody as his defendant. Then a lot of these interesting moral quandries can actually be raised and aired, rather than just skated over.

Then if in the end Janeway decides to separate/execute Tuvix against his pleas, that ending, disquieting as it is, would feel EARNED. As it is, it just doesn't, and it reeks of Janeway having to act quickly and autocratically because she knows there aren't many more pages in the script.
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