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Shane Anderson
Mon, May 11, 2009, 8:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Repentance

I have to disagree with the review. This episode is far from even-handed. The deck is clearly stacked in favor of the anti-death penalty stance from the get-go. The guards transporting the prisoners are brutal thugs, thus creating a moral equivalence between the criminals and their captors. Seven and the Doctor recite pro and anti death penalty surface arguments at each other, but it's clear that the Doctor is the one with convictions, while to Seven it's an exercise in "seeing all sides". How "surprising" that Seven is the one that finds her views altered over the course of the story.

Then of course there's the "strawman political" moment when Neelix stuns Tom and B'Elanna into silence with his question about prisoners sentenced to death. I rolled my eyes at the utterly cliched nature of that scene.

All of this is topped off when we find that the magical Borg nanoprobes have repaired the convict's conscience? And turned him into a good man? As if the conscience is something physical rather than something intangible formed by belief and conviction.

This was not an even-handed treatment of the issue. It was a sledgehammer to the side of the viewer's head while the author and producers shout "teh deth penalty is badzzzz!" The episode may have its virtues, but balance is not one of them.
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