Star Trek: Voyager
Air date: 10/9/1996
Teleplay by Lisa Klink
Story by Brannon Braga & Joe Menosky
Directed by Winrich Kolbe
Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan
"She showed me everything—no apologies, no requests for forgiveness, just the truth." — B'Elanna Torres
Nutshell: A nicely done allegory. Sensibly written and wonderfully acted.
Star Trek has always been known to venture into social commentary and allegorical content, and with "Remember" the Voyager team comes up with a winner—the best episode of Voyager so far this season.
Trek's best stories are usually those that add up to something beyond what lies on the surface—a story that works on the outside but also has lasting impact on the inside. DS9 attempted this the same week with "The Ship," a story about a crashed Jem'Hadar warship that also turned out to be an analysis of the consequences of mistrust and its resulting death. The problem with "The Ship" was that it just pushed too hard at the end; the conclusion was bluntly overwrought and devoid of the true lasting emotional effects it needed—in my opinion, anyway.
"Remember," on the other hand, is one of Voyager's better moments. It has more of an even hand, more believable character reactions, and a bit more genuine feeling than "The Ship" had—although even "Remember" tends to push its message into the realm of the obvious at times.
The story enters a group from a race called the Enarans, for whom the Voyager crew is providing quick transport to another colony in exchange for mining resources. The Enarans are a friendly telepathic race who can share their thoughts at will, as demonstrated by an early scene where one of the Enarans helps Janeway play a musical instrument by transmitting weeks of memories of lessons in mere seconds.
About this time, and obviously not coincidence, Lt. Torres begins having very sensual and realistic dreams. At first the dreams seem to be harmless—a torrid love affair with passionate nights. A disturbing image, however, appears on the second night—that of her lover being burned in front of her eyes. By this point, Torres' curiosity is too potent to deny, and before long, she realizes these dreams mean something—in the dreams she knows who the people are, and realizes that she herself is another person: a young Enaran woman named Kirina. The dreams begin to organize into a sort of "narrative."
One of the most compelling aspects of "Remember" is the way Torres gets so personally caught up in the plight of the "characters" in her dreams. I respect Torres a lot for her actions in this episode, because she takes a stand for something she believes in, and has the strong, stubborn intensity that originally made the character interesting. At the same time, Torres never comes across in this episode as remotely wrong-headed—something that sometimes becomes equated with such words as "impulsive" and "stubborn."
Torres realizes that Kirina is in the middle of a difficult situation, and refusing the treatment that would prevent her from having more dreams, Torres says she needs to know. "I don't know what I... what she's going to do," she says, with a line that very subtly but effectively indicates how caught up she has become in living the identity.
The dreams reveal that Kirina's lover Dathan (Charles Esten) is among a large groups of Enarans who don't embrace the direction technology is going. The Enaran populace has labeled this sub-group of their culture the "regressives," and have come up with a solution that is in the "best interests" of everyone—banishment of the regressives from the planet.
Dathan is wary of this promise by the Enarans. He has heard rumors of mass execution—rumors that Kirina naively states as completely untrue. But, Dathan points out, relatives that have supposedly been relocated have not been heard from since. Are the Enarans lying about their intentions? Every dream's clues brings B'Elanna closer to unlocking the Enarans' recent history—a history with a dark secret.
As the story continues to develop on both planes, the dark secret reveals itself as a commentary on the Holocaust (hardly less than obvious), but the microcosm here is about one woman—Kirina—and the way she is coerced into accepting mass murder in the interests of "progress." The story's central tragedy builds with a slow certainty as Kirina's father (Bruce Davison) explains the "rational" reasons that the regressives must be sent away—to which Kirina begins the slow but steady process of convincing herself into accepting this situation, marked with perhaps the most simultaneously pointed and subtle line in the episode: "So it's dangerous to have them living here." Whether or not that line ends in a question mark is the whole point of the scene.
When Torres realizes that these memories are being transmitted to her from an elderly Enaran named Jora Mirrel (Eve Brenner)—trying in her final hours of life to expose the truth from elsewhere on board the ship (the story reveals that Mirrel was really Kirina all those years ago), the point becomes clear. The Enarans have lied to their own children. They've covered up their own history. The next generation is completely unaware of their atrocious past. Torres is furious. In a moment of impulse she confronts the other Enarans on board the ship.
I liked Torres' actions (and particularly her point that "It's not just a matter of history. This could happen again if no one knows it happened before"). But Janeway's reactions to the delicate situation are good as well. There's a general sense that "no we really shouldn't interfere in their culture, but feel free to try to convince the skeptic Enarans who have been taught this never happened."
And that's exactly what Torres does. She tries to expose the secret Jora Mirell could never afford to—again, on a microcosmic level: word of mouth, just one person to another, repeating the cycle (as demonstrated with a final scene that repeats an early scene). She's not trying to start revolutions any more than Mirell was. As Torres aptly puts it, "She showed me everything—no apologies, no requests for forgiveness, just the truth." And that's precisely what Torres hopes to do as the episode ends.
As an allegory, "Remember" is quite nicely handled, but what really makes the episode a standout is the overall vision of the production when combined with the technical credits and the small details. Winrich Kolbe's direction is absolutely stellar. Here is a script that introduces an entire new world and culture, several characters tied together in different ways, and puts them within a series of dream sequences that exist inside their own reality. Yet Kolbe keeps a firm grip on what happens and where we are. In addition, his photography technique is absorbing; in fact, it's top-notch and feels quite cinematic.
Lisa Klink's teleplay deserves high praise as well. It creates its characters efficiently and draws them intelligently. Most of all, Klink develops the true narrative strength through B'Elanna's thoughts and actions. Klink seems to have a clear idea of what the character would do in this situation; so what happens, as a result, is credible.
Still, if one element truly carries "Remember" it has to be the performance of Roxann Dawson, because her work in the dual role is impressive. There are subtleties in the performance that should not be overlooked. The story allows Dawson to display an acting range that I haven't seen before. I can't put my finger on what is so right about her portrayal, but there's something about it that really works. I think it's because when I see Kirina, I think "Kirina" and not "B'Elanna." Dawson's ability to separate the two (with a subtle aura that resides somewhere in the subconscious) is the true standout quality of "Remember."
Another reason this works is because it proceeds quietly, for the most part. The show only hits us with a sledgehammer on maybe one or two circumstances, but even then those circumstances are warranted and effective. The scene where Kirina chants along "Yes! Yes! Yes!" with some other Enarans after the slaughter of a group of regressives (including her own Dathan) sent chills down my spine.
Perhaps the one detraction from the story are the way the ideas near the end of the "dream" aspect are a bit crammed together—the show's microcosm attempts to cover years in Enaran history within minutes of screen time—but that's not a very big problem. This story is still easily one of Voyager's most "mature" stories ever, and genuinely exhibits the Trekkian moral conscience.
Previous episode: False Profits
Next episode: Sacred Ground
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75 comments on this post
Thu, Dec 20, 2007, 3:49pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Jan 1, 2009, 5:28pm (UTC -5)
I notice that you wisely did not address the silly little sub plot of Harry being attracted to one of the Enarans--it just distracted from the brilliance of the main theme.
Thu, Feb 19, 2009, 8:36pm (UTC -5)
I won't ding the episode either for using Torres as the psychic conduit, considering nothing about Mirrel's story seemed to favor the selection of Torres over any other female cast member.
But why not throw in a little ambiguity? Torres has absolutely ZERO direct evidence of the story that has been implanted in her head. That she is compelled to believe in those experiences without question is supported only because the script demands that she be right. Why not show the regressives' warts? That they actively interfered with the dominant powers? Perhaps even resorted to violence to demonstrate their resolve? Otherwise, it's far too easy to manufacture sympathy for the regressives, who are presented with the same folksy agrarian mystic of the Ba'ku from STIX.
If you can't tell, I really hated the Ba'Ku, by the way. :-)
Wed, May 19, 2010, 12:00am (UTC -5)
On a side note, did anyone when they first heard of this episode's title think of star trek's more famous use of the word remember, and that voyager has it's own resident vulcan. Yeah, that's how I thought the story was to go. ;-)
Wed, Sep 29, 2010, 7:20pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Feb 3, 2011, 2:37am (UTC -5)
Regarding point two, have you ever watched Quantum leap. I think everyone saw her as Kirina, yet we saw her normally. Not sure if that's a valid nitpick.
Thu, Feb 17, 2011, 12:39am (UTC -5)
The show reached a great climax with Torres discovering the identity of Kirina, but then the subsequent confrontation and the "murder" plot twist just felt forced, and even a little convoluted.
It is a nutshell of Voyager: A great sci-fi premise that can't maintain it's focus, and falls apart at the end. It had the potential to be a **** show, but it falls to ***.
Great acting by Dawson though.
Sat, Apr 9, 2011, 4:29pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Mar 19, 2012, 2:17am (UTC -5)
That said, I did appreciate the great acting and powerful allegory. One tidbit that I'd like to add is the manner in which the Enarans deny even the plausibility of their wrongdoing. This happens both in memory sequence--when Korenna's father repeatedly denies any abuse on the part of the Enari regime, as well as in present time--when Jor Berel rebukes the captain's inquiries. "I find it impossible that any of us could be doing this purposelly... it just isn't done... I assure you we have strict ethics." are his stubborn and dismissive responses at suggestion that one of the Enarans could be responsible for Belana's psychic "dreams". To me, this furthered the theme of denial and suppression of truth among the Enarans.
There is almost a stubborn about this denial
Wed, Mar 21, 2012, 11:37am (UTC -5)
Would telepaths act like psychopathic war criminals?
Could such an event remain at all secret on a planet of telepaths?
(While Suder is a Betazoid, he claims he can't even feel his own emotions, much less somebody else's, so clearly something is wrong with his native teleathy.)
Sat, Mar 24, 2012, 2:55am (UTC -5)
"Remember," on the other hand, was riveting, poignant, and extremely well acted. Jammer's review was spot on describing Dawson's ineffable performance as Kirinna. Possibly her best acted episode of Voyager's entire run.
Thu, May 10, 2012, 1:47am (UTC -5)
Tue, Sep 25, 2012, 11:16am (UTC -5)
Not perfect--it seemed a bit rushed to me, and IMO could have been developed into two parts. There could have been a better design for the Enarans, and more explanation of the terms of their telepathic ability.
But this was among the *very* best I've seen from Voyager. The similarity to "The Violated" is superficial; this is much weightier (strange to say that about a Voyager episode over a Next Generation, but there it is).
The execution scene, and B'Elanna confronting the Enarans, are a couple of the rawest moments ever in Voyager.
Tue, Sep 25, 2012, 11:18am (UTC -5)
Sat, May 18, 2013, 6:57am (UTC -5)
Wed, Jun 12, 2013, 12:48pm (UTC -5)
I guess Jammer and most people commenting here like these ponderous shows where a character goes on a mental trip of some kind. As for me, I can't stand them. I watch sci-fi for lasers and phasers, spatial anomalies, and the much-maligned "technobabble." If I want psychological drama, there are dozens f other genres and media that provide that.
Sun, Jul 14, 2013, 4:26pm (UTC -5)
To those few who posted here that it somehow represents the Israel "palestinian," situation you are REALLY deluded.
The only way to make THAT comparasion would be if the regressives mentioned here outmumbered the other Enarans 30-1 and had launched FIVE wars of exterimination against them and decades of merciless terrorism as well. All to keep the Enarans from having only a small bit of land that historically belonged to them, after THEY had been ethnically cleansed everywhere else...
Too bad Trekkers are prone to mis-information like too many others...
Sun, Jul 14, 2013, 7:42pm (UTC -5)
This is a forum for you and others to voice their opinions about Star Trek, not the Israel-Palestine conflict. This is the 3rd or 4th post I believe in which you've mistaken this site for some sort of Zionist platform.
If this episode is taken as an allegory to that particular situation (which it very easily can, as well as those you mentioned and some others), I think we can all appreciate that the characters and cultures were not portrayed as black and white, good v. evil. The situation is complicated and there are points to be made by either side, but the first step is honesty.
Tue, Dec 17, 2013, 1:36pm (UTC -5)
Wed, Feb 19, 2014, 6:19pm (UTC -5)
As for this episode, one of the season's best, but I think it's also the kind of stuff that DS9 did better in S1 and S2. Note also that Jammer opens his review by mentioning that Trek does social allegory and politics well, but actually it rarely seems to do this. TNG has a couple very great political episodes (Drumhead and First Contact leaps to mind), and DS9 as well, but mostly Trek favoured Technobabble over politicobabble.
@Peremensoe: Which one was Violations? That Troi mind-rape episode? Didnt a similar thing happen in DS9 with OBrien's wife being mind-invaded? It seems each Trek series has a mental-invasion episode. I cant think of any better than Remember though.
Fri, Mar 28, 2014, 7:53pm (UTC -5)
In human history, we've made many similar claims and done many mass genocides based on this premise.
It does not need to be about Jews vs Germans/Aryans, Muslims vs Ethnic Bosnians, Armenians vs Turks, traditional cambodians vs Pol Pot loyalists, and on...
I can name even more, but it is a simple fact that we are far from achieving the enlightenment that Star Trek promises.
Tue, Apr 1, 2014, 3:49pm (UTC -5)
As of the comparison with Israel-Palestine, I regret to have read Ian's comment and strongly second Corey's suggestions above.
Mon, Jun 16, 2014, 11:18pm (UTC -5)
Of course, Belana is not acting as a senior officer but as a teenager.
Even if she did feel she was right, the confrontation should have been performend only with the captain's consent.
Thu, Jul 17, 2014, 11:08am (UTC -5)
Also, I have to wonder if that's why she was chosen, because she looked like if she got pissed off enough she'd deal with it loudly.
Sun, Aug 24, 2014, 8:38am (UTC -5)
Really great dialogue and performances, beautifully directed, and a plot that is very nicely thought out. It also helps that the guest stars hold their own quite well and enhance the experience. Nearly a classic Trek outing and one of Voyager's best thus far.
Sun, Dec 28, 2014, 10:08pm (UTC -5)
I read at Memory Alpha that while Roxann Dawson, Kate Mulgrew, and director Winrich Kolbe all thought very highly of the episode's script and Dawson's performance, both Brannon Braga and Jeri Taylor thought it was unsuccessful. I wonder why?
Tue, Jan 27, 2015, 7:11pm (UTC -5)
1) How long has it been since Voyager met up with an actual friendly reasonable species, rather than a hostile or xenophobic or some other ways irrational group? Honestly, I think it's the first season. The alien of the week is almost inevitably the bad guy, and even the ones that seem somewhat ok at first end up proving to be rude and untrustworthy anyway. So when the episode started, I thought we had FINALLY made an episode where the aliens are friendly and engaging and all around pleasant. Nope, guess not. So that bugged me when it became clear that they were hiding a dirty secret.
2) As others have mentioned, there is a massive plot hole here. We have the common theme of one person stuck between two people she cares about, both of whom are saying that the other one is actually evil. Like I said, a reasonably common theme. Except Kirina is a telepath. Now, they don't seem to be like Bajorans in that they can read each other's minds, but they do have the ability to project their memories and experiences to another person. So instead of trying to convince Kirina with words, either Boyfriend or Dad should have mindmelded or whatever with her. Well, maybe only Boyfriend, since it's implied Dad was lying. And maybe he planned to but then heard Dad coming and had to hide. But then, why didn't Kirina demand it from either Boyfriend or Dad? Seems like that would be the only way to convince someone of it. After all, that's the whole point of the episode!
So maybe those two annoyances color my opinion of the episode as a whole. I think it's good, but don't hold it in the same high regard as other commenters here apparently do. The story did seem to take a bit too long to develop. I was rolling my eyes a bit at Torres dreamy love affair before realizing that there was something more going on, and I think they could have cut down a bit on the slow rollout and expanded more the aftermath of Torres' outburst. I also thought things escalated way too quickly in the dreamworld, with Kirina being conflicted about a resettlement in one moment and jumping to support for public executions the next. That was way too much of a leap for me.
But other than that, good job! I want to give particular props to the writers and Mulgrew, as Janeway's diplomacy worked quite well here (far cry from The Swarm, that's for sure). She stood by her engineer's convictions while simultaneously obeying the letter of the Prime Directive and not creating a new enemy out of these people. And, of course, props to Dawson for her acting in this episode as well.
And as a random aside, I found it humorous that the evil government in this episode was so clearly a Leftist one (even calling themselves progressive at some point), given the typical political bent of Hollywood. Nice to see that it wasn't yet another caricature of what Hollywood thinks Republicans are...
Wed, Aug 12, 2015, 3:44pm (UTC -5)
B'Elanna's rant at the end should have been with Jessen in private in quarters. Janeway should have seen to it and Yoyager then could have had some relaxing shore leave and restocked. Folks like this don't come along much in the DQ. Every race has skeletons in the closet.
I honestly didn't think Roxann could outdo the performance she gave us in 'Faces'.
But I think she did.
Well done. 4 stars from me.
Thu, Aug 13, 2015, 7:40am (UTC -5)
I honestly think that's where a lot of my bitterness with the later seasons came in. I understand the ratings weren't high enough but they really were shaping up to have an ensemble that rivaled DS9 at this point.
Let's face it, we love the TNG crew, but the TNG ensemble left a lot to be desired. Nobody here is going to say that "Oh! It's a Crusher/LaForge/Troi episode, this is definitely going to be good!!" I love the TNG cast, but the best episodes (within reason) all feature Picard/Data.
I think literally EVERY character on DS9 has carried at least one absolute 4 star masterpiece (and several guest cast). Kim is a weak point here and Neelix/Kes are hit/miss... but if you look at the first half of the VOY run...
Janeway is amazing. She has a few inconsistencies, but this is the Janeway I love. The mother hen. The one who is a little more warm/gentle/loving than Picard but also able to kick ass like Kirk. She shines even in random single lines in episodes she's not in.
Chakotay is absolutely awesome in S2. Seska really elevates him. In S3 he's amazing in Scorpion and Unity.
Paris gets more impressive every single time he's featured, and McNeil manages to add a lot of depth to this guy. Although Paris/Kim are no O'Brien and Bashir yet... I felt like they could have become that at this point.
As for Torres... enough said above.
Tuvok is really good with everyone. I love him comforting Chakotay after Seska's betrayal. I love him with the Captain. He was awesome in Meld. I love him mentoring Kes in Cold Fire. I love him with Suder. He's a great Vulcan.
I'd talk about the Doctor, but that's pointless. I've sang his praises a dozen times before.
And even Neelix and Kes can shine when the material is there. Neelix is great in next season's Mortal Coil and Kes in this season's Before and After (sadly right before they boot her).
But mostly Chakotay, Torres, Paris and Tuvok can be so good that when they shift from a DS9 style ensemble cast to a TOS style Captain, Doc, science officer (Seven) type setup it was just disappointing. It's not that those characters can't be good... it's just that the other characters can be good too.
And what's worse, it felt like they are only allowed to have certain kind of stories after that. Torres is up, we need a Klingon/relationship with Tom story. Gone is Torres the brilliant engineer from Parallax, Prototype and Dreadnought. And a story like this? She'd never have been given "Remember" in later seasons.
It's been nice reading your reviews of S1-S3 though, because it's reminding me of all the things that made me fall in love with early VOY.
Thu, Aug 13, 2015, 11:17am (UTC -5)
I think I'm in lock-step with every thing you posted here.
I will add, I don't think it's fair to compare DS9 and Voyager ratings. DS9 was syndicated and Voy was not.
Thu, Aug 13, 2015, 11:40am (UTC -5)
Sat, Oct 10, 2015, 2:06pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Oct 29, 2015, 1:22am (UTC -5)
Sat, Nov 14, 2015, 7:51am (UTC -5)
Sat, Nov 28, 2015, 11:34pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Dec 19, 2015, 2:30am (UTC -5)
Watch her Klingon half in Faces then watch this. The dichotomous reactions to her situations in the respective episodes is incredible. All from the same person. 3 different personalities if you will. Kudos and a half to Mrs Dawson!
Yet I came to expect the Klingon side to surface on a regular basis with her. So this episode remains a pleasant surprise even after all these years.
It really doesn't involve her directly; she was the stand-in for someone else's past life so I don't really see the point in mentioning it with her usual inner struggle.
It fits in more with atrocities committed in the past and the present day people trying to bury it. Real life parallels were bound to be drawn. Too many to really get into. But I believe the emotional payload was enough to put this one at the top as one of the better offerings of S3.
Fri, Jan 1, 2016, 1:50am (UTC -5)
But I have to wonder, if the Regressives were all killed, where did these Fima Colonists come from? I assumed throughout the entire episode that the new home they kept mentioning was Fima Colony. Or did they create two colonies and kill off one of them? In that case, why would they go to all that trouble of starting a second colony? It all lends too much credency to the theory that these memories aren't 100% accurate after all.
I actually felt a sense of solidarity with the majority in this episode when they mentioned plague. Certainly, this episode was written a decade or more before the anti-vaccine crazies began their nonsense. But it seems as though the Regressives were of the same sort of health crisis nut jobs. Granted, one wouldn't support or accept the idea of killing off anyone who won't properly vaccinate their children. But I could certainly see the benefits of separating them from the general population. Why should my kid die of smallpox just because you don't trust needles?
But I also found it fascinating that this episode's villains were the ones trumpeting progress and science over the more traditionalist ideology of the Regressives. Typically in Star Trek, we see science and atheism as the ultimate good. The villains tend to be the folks who want to destroy the drumbeat of social and technological progress with their voodoo and silly appeals to faith. So it was interesting to see the opposite mistake being made here.
I'm also with the commenter who wondered whether or not a society of telepaths could commit a massive conspiracy and bury it for all these years. We understand that the Enarans consider telepathy to almost like nudity... never to be entered into unless both parties are willing. But we also know based on B'Elanna's experiences that one can receive experiences without their consent. So doesn't it stand to reason that at least a few of the Regressives would have cried out in pain in their final moments and implanted their experiences into a telepathic witness or two?
Again... this all continues to add credency to the idea that nothing in this story is really that accurate. My perspective is that there were hints of truth in the memories, warped by the passage of time and the weakening of a dying mind to create a story that accurately reflected Mirell's feelings... but possibly not her true experiences.
Still, the whole experience was enjoyable to watch primarily due to the amazing acting by Roxann Dawson.
Huh. I broke my habit of silence to make a simple comment or two and ended up writing a novel. Guess it's back in my hobbit hole until the next time. :)
Tue, Jan 26, 2016, 4:09pm (UTC -5)
I don't really understand why B'Elanna had to act as a conduit for the memories either. If she is able to pass them on and another Enaran know them as truth - why couldn't Jora just do that herself? Still, then we'd have no story at all. 2 stars.
Mon, Mar 7, 2016, 9:11pm (UTC -5)
This year 2016, in the US, I think I understand how a society can get that far off track. I know a lot of people that support Donald Trump and they will not listen to reason or even consider the ramifications of what is being advocated or supported. These people are not racist, bigots, or genocidal madmen, but they soak in the message of "progress" and "change" like they were in the desert for weeks and just got their first drink of water.
We're not that far off from being like these people if given the wrong incentives.
Wed, Mar 9, 2016, 11:19am (UTC -5)
Now we know how Obama got elected. simply put, a lot of people are tired of the status quo politicians. They are tired of electing folks to do something and they do nothing. They are tired of the only answer being to tax more and spend more and erode our constitutional rights.
You can blame Trump and his supporters on one thing. Obama, and a completely partisan law named the ACA. It resulted in record turnover in the House and Senate.
Maybe instead of labeling folks "dense" you should understand what their issues are and what caused them.
Maybe congress should listen to and represent "We the People" instead if ignoring them, catering to the lobbyists and being fascist.
While I'm not a "Trump guy", I completely understand what is happening. Folks are tired of the same old crap... and the louder the "attackers" get, the louder the folks are going to respond.
"bigoted and genocidal"? - Trump has been misquoted more than anyone in politics in well ... forever.
How are these "extreme"?
- Build a wall and control ILLEGAL immigration and drugs. (note that word in caps that you will never hear Hillary or Bernie say)
- Improve trade and tax law so companies don't need to move out of the country. Bring manufacturing jobs back to the US.
- Take better care of our veterans.
Can he get it done? Who knows, but the folks are convinced he has a better shot that a career politician and they don't feel they are being lied to.
We elected an uncompromising, executive order milling machine, Israel hating, Iran loving, Muslim Brotherhood supporting, race-baiter with no executive experience because he was well spoken, good looking and black... so can it really get any worse? At least Trump has executive experience and if elected 2/3's of congress is going to hate him so it's not going to be like it was when Obama was elected and everyone kissed his feet. (majority in both the House & the Senate)
Hillary had 22 TOP SECRET emails on her personal server... and the FBI is still doing what? Ask anyone that has ever been responsible for classified info from the military or government service what would have already happened to them had their last name not been Clinton. How the fuck can she be running for POTUS?
Bernie said their are 29 million Americans without health insurance during the last debate... why isn't that all over the news? How many were there before the ACA? How is it possible that anyone is not or under insured? Why are there dozens of waivers from the ACA? Why isn't the law completely implemented yet?
The people are tired of being lied to during election campaigns and ignored the rest of the time. They are tired of the media setting the agenda instead of reporting on it. Maybe the holier than thou fascists should be less "dense" and pay attention.
Wed, Mar 9, 2016, 10:52pm (UTC -5)
He is the epitome of how the insane have been able to find echo chambers, so that their insanity is normalized in their mind...that is, IF he is for real.
Don't worry though, he has some token gay friends! Sounds legit!
Thu, Mar 10, 2016, 6:26am (UTC -5)
I disagree with Yanks post above but honestly the only part that really is off the rails to me is the caricature of Obama and Clinton. But I have to step back and assume I'd probably have similarly awful things to say about Cruz if I really let loose.
Go ahead, let Yanks have it for a good portion of that post, it's not even hard to pick apart a few bits of that. But Yanks is not the resident troll here (and actually I would classify his views as on the moderate end of conservative from what I've gathered).
And one thing in Trump's favor. If Trump is what scares you the most in this election you aren't paying enough attention to the other guys. He's louder, but he's not scarier.
Thu, Mar 10, 2016, 11:01am (UTC -5)
Anyway, this was a decent if not great episode; Roxann Dawson is good as B'Elanna and the story was intriguing even though it wasn't action packed. While the message was a little heavy handed there is nothing wrong with being critical of such behaviour. The way the story ended with B'Elanna passing on the memories was pretty good; better than having what she said believed without question.
Thu, Mar 10, 2016, 11:09am (UTC -5)
Tue, Apr 19, 2016, 6:30pm (UTC -5)
Sun, Jun 19, 2016, 3:20pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Aug 20, 2016, 6:19pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Oct 29, 2016, 5:32am (UTC -5)
Sat, Dec 17, 2016, 3:41pm (UTC -5)
When you stare into the darkness, make sure it does not stare back at you.
This episode of Star Trek represents what happens to society in denial of itself and its reality. None of the elders in the Enaran delegation wanted to accept that the price of their progress was mass murder or genocide, but hope it would slip through as a forgotten footnote of history. As a parable, not only can it apply to Germans and Japan during World War II, it can be applied just as harshly to United States with the extermination of Native Americans or United Kingdom in its desire for a global empire.
Also, I never doubted Trump could win and my politics is conservative (but not populist). I do believe in stronger border security, tighter controls against Islamic extremism, and stronger military. Yet, I don't favor outcasting certain groups, religious, or philosophical groups, despite deeply disagreeing with liberals on economic and security issues, I would not have it any other way as a check and balance is what make America great, rather than uniform society.
My interpretation of Star Trek is that even in the best future for humanity and other alien worlds out there, we all still retain certain philosophical and ideologicl differences based on our positions and our choices, i.e. Civilian scientists will hold different views to Starfleet officer versus Maquis Farmer/rebels.
Wed, Dec 21, 2016, 11:33am (UTC -5)
From wiki: "In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal, on-topic discussion, often for the troll's amusement."
I was not trolling as I reponded to Greattrekker's comment about Trump.
You however have exemplified what a troll is.
There is nothing in my post that is untrue.
Robert and I have discussed many things we don't see eye to eye on. ... and we don't hate each other. Sure politics crops up on trek message boards, there is tons of political themes in trek. Bound to happen.
Oh Es.... Trump won!!! lol .... pipe, smoke....
Sat, Feb 25, 2017, 5:56am (UTC -5)
Mon, Mar 27, 2017, 2:22am (UTC -5)
Tue, May 9, 2017, 9:54am (UTC -5)
As for Yanks, he's been a good commenter by and large for years. Greattrekker started this, and Yanks face palmed him. Greattrekker trolled this site, paragraph 2 and 3 are purposefully included to incite the forum. And they did. I would ban greattrekker.
Russian hacking in the Enaran society would only reveal what the DNC did to Bernie Sanders. The Truth. Neither Russians nor Enarans could make anyone vote for a candidate they did not support.
Wed, May 24, 2017, 5:56pm (UTC -5)
Dawson's performance is great and the the supporting actors brought real credibility to the story. For me the part where (in the dream) the dad tries to convince the daughter that the Regressives are evil etc. was a bit creepy the way he was whispering in her ear. That made me feel a bit like he was hiding something.
It's an interesting premise with the older Kirina transfering her dreams from a distance whereas it seemed like the Enarans had to touch your back to start transmitting memories. But with some handwaving the story comes together.
I also liked how Janeway adhered to the PD here - suggesting that Torres speak to one of the Enaran engineers about it made sense and kept the Voyager crew from interfering too much. Torres' outburst also stays true to her way of doing things - yes she should have taken it up with Janeway first, but maybe she didn't have a chance as the reception was underway.
The Holocaust allegory here is powerful - maybe a tad heavy handed - but this episode does it better than some other Trek ones.
What's important is that it is thought-provoking and certain to generate discussion. Definitely one of VOY's best episodes. I rate it 3.5 / 4 stars - it built up quite slowly but became very powerful in the last 15-20 mins. Great acting, writing, and good job tying to an event in our history.
Fri, Sep 22, 2017, 4:06pm (UTC -5)
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 12:05am (UTC -5)
Here are a few of the things in this that bother me.
The Regressives are different because they don't like to use technology as much as the Enarans do, so in effect it's like Americans slaughtering Amish people or Mennonites. Why would we? I don't understand why the Enaran's want to kill all of the Regressives in the first place. Oh yeah, because they don't wash their hands. Seriously? What writer came up with that pathetic reason to slaughter an entire group of people? If they are that ultra-paranoid about sanitation, why not just do what they were pretending to do and move them to some isolated colony instead of killing all of them? The whole basis of this episode, to me, is idiotic.
TORRES: If that's the way they want to live, why can't they?
JARETH: Well, they can. That's why we're helping them to resettle. So that they can be completely comfortable practicing a way of life that they've chosen.
TORRES: They could do that here, in their village.
JARETH: Well, you wouldn't say that if you'd ever been inside that place. Do you realise they won't even use radioseptics to sterilise their homes or their hands before they eat? It's a miracle they haven't started a plague by now.
If Mirell wanted to share her memories that badly, so that the true history of her planet would be known to the younger generation, why share it with some alien she just met, that is leaving in a few days? Why not just telepathically broadcast it to everyone around her on her own planet? Makes no sense.
Why does it take her a week to send all of her memories to Torres? Everyone else passes their memories on pretty much instantly. That guy gives Janeway all his memories of learning how to play that instrument in no time, and Torres passes her new memories immediately to Jessen at the end too.
And now the mostest stupidest thing in the whole episode. The way Jareth convinces Torres/Mirell that they should kill all of the Regressives. Here goes.
JARETH: ...They're trying to undermine us, to cause dissent and doubt. Just look at how they've affected you.
TORRES: But, what they're saying is so horrible.
JARETH: Yes, but it isn't very plausible. Korenna, think. A secret conspiracy against their people? Organised murder on such an enormous scale? Do you really believe that your family and friends are capable of that?
JARETH: Of course not. Now I know how hard it is for you to accept that anyone, even Regressives, could lie about something like that, but it is all part of their manipulation. These people have no conscience. They'll say anything to get what they want. Like that boy Dathan...But now you understand what these people are really like.
Did you see how stupid that was? Did you? I'll explain in case you didn't see it. I'm not trying to be patronizing, it's just that it's not immediately obvious.
She wasn't against the Regressives before, but her father convinces her that Dathan and his people are horrible because they are lying about all of their people being killed. And so she betrays Dathan and indicates that he's in the room with them and he is hauled away. But then in literally the next scene, she stands there cheering as they kill him and his people. Wut?!? She hated him for lying, but he wasn't, so why in the hell would she still be against him and the Regressives when she now knows that they are actually telling the truth? Makes zero sense. Actually it makes -2 sense.
And what a stupid way to kill thousands of people btw. One by one by strapping them to some machine that cooks them to death. Also it probably wasn't very sanitary.
1 1/2 stars.
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 10:07am (UTC -5)
But you could say the same thing about Nazi's killing Jews or Stalin have to target Jehovas Witnesses, Jews or most of the groups that went to the gulag? For the most part it was just a different heritage/way of life! Unfortunately it's not as unbelievable as it looks.
Fri, Nov 17, 2017, 7:48am (UTC -5)
My problem was that they never really gave any real 'good' reasons for the Enarans to commit genocide. Not that there are good reasons to commit genocide(!), but I only mean that they never explained it other than saying that they don't like tech and are unsanitary. That was their main beef. They should have fleshed out the Enaran's reasons a little more, because that would have made it more interesting and complex episode. It was just a slapdash reason to have a holocaust story, that should have had more depth and been more meaningful.
Wed, Dec 6, 2017, 8:52pm (UTC -5)
I thought all of this was pretty clear. The whole episode rings true to me. It’s nice to see a less black and white take on things but still with clear morals and though the atrocities are in the past at least the episode has a fairly hopeful future. I have no idea why the producers didn’t like this episode but quite a few of their decisions baffle me.
Wed, Dec 13, 2017, 11:07pm (UTC -5)
@SteveRage: "I had no emotional investment in these "Regressives" so couldn't really be bothered if they were being exterminated or not...... Sorry."
Really? I find your lack of empathy disturbing.
@Dave: "But I have to wonder, if the Regressives were all killed, where did these Fima Colonists come from? I assumed throughout the entire episode that the new home they kept mentioning was Fima Colony. Or did they create two colonies and kill off one of them? In that case, why would they go to all that trouble of starting a second colony? It all lends too much credency to the theory that these memories aren't 100% accurate after all."
I'm quite sure they created only one colony for themselves and the Regressives were just killed in a spacecraft that was supposed to take them to their new planet/colony.
Thu, Apr 19, 2018, 12:48pm (UTC -5)
But as a drama? It falls flat. It involves characters for whom we have no attachment and who will disappear as soon as the episode ends. The story has no impact on any of the Voyager characters, whom I’m pretty sure have long adopted the “don’t do genocide” standard of behavior. It doesn’t involve a threat to any crew member (putting aside the rather lame plot point that these dreams were going to fry Torres’ brain - which, we knew that wasn’t going to happen, so why bother?)
These story needed to engage the characters to make choice, because choice is the essence of conflict and good drama. Imagine this was different scenario, one which Voyager needed the help of the aliens because they were going to run out of dilithium in 6 months and these aliens had a ready supply of it. And then in the middle of concluding delicate negotiations, Torres starts accusing the aliens of genocide. Janeway is p*ssed. And now we have genuine conflict. What does Janeway do? Does she reprimand Torres for screwing up the negotiations? Does she support Torres? Does Voyager still deal with an alien race that committed genocide years ago or do they tell them to take a hike - at the possible cost of being stranded in 6 months?
Muddle it up even more. Are the memories real? Or they created memories as has happened with people who create false memories of child abuse? Maybe Tuvok takes the logical approach as says that since we can’t know the truth and anything will do can have no impact on a race that has long since been exterminated, Voyager should make the deal and go on its way. Torres vehemently argues against that, claiming that would make Voyager part of the atrocity. What does Janeway do?
Now THAT would be drama and I think it would be gripping because both sides have a legitimate point. As it is, this episode was little more than virtue signaling: “Don’t do Genocide”. Yeah, thanks for the tip.
Thu, Aug 30, 2018, 6:35am (UTC -5)
I thought it was obvious why Jora choose B'Ellana . . . she correctly sensed B'Ellana was someone who would hang on liked a bulldog and follow through.
I liked the basic lack of a subplot. They're was too much story to tell - no wasted time. Just the Harry thing, which wasn't much and helped us "know" and recognize the young woman B'Ellana chose at the end.
A fine outing.
Sat, Nov 24, 2018, 12:26am (UTC -5)
B’Elanna is love. B’Elanna is life. And B’Elanna doesn’t know when to shut up.
Tue, Dec 4, 2018, 9:59am (UTC -5)
Sat, Jun 1, 2019, 10:16pm (UTC -5)
And that undercuts the entire denouement for me. It makes Capt. Janeway cut all relations with the Enarans but...this is both incredibly naive and not terribly just. Voyager needs all the help it can get and, even if the Enarans as a people are 100% guilty, they were also lied to as a majority and it wasn't these people. That sort of group judgment is....some kind of -ism and definitely unjust.
Wed, Apr 22, 2020, 2:53pm (UTC -5)
Sun, Apr 26, 2020, 2:40pm (UTC -5)
Teaser : ***, 5%
The Captain's log is already a source of reassurance for this episode. With the exception of the standout “The Thaw,” every contact with a DQ alien race has been marked by conflict. There have been a couple of less direct antagonists like Jetrel and the spider lady from “Emanations,” and I suppose you could throw in the aliens from “Dreadnought,” but they barely figured into the plot. Every other encounter with new aliens has been hostile and frankly, that trend has become pretty tiresome. With DS9 doing its own thing with internalised conflicts, I yearn for the TNG days when, as Picard will say soon enough, “we used to be explorers.”
Anyway, this week's race are the Enarans—who look suspiciously like the Bird people from “Ex Post Facto,” but we won't hold that against them. The setup here is that the Voyager is shuttling a group of colonists to their homeworld at an accelerated rate thanks to her high warp capability, while the Enarans are showing the Voyager how to conserve power, which I assume involves off the holodecks. Torres is chatting with a couple of Enaran women, one about her age and one old lady. The younger one, Avery Jessup or whatever, is making eyes at Harry across the room, implying that Tom has given Harry permission to wander. Okay, okay. So actually this is a good thing to see, too, because Harry's been pretty inert since his misadventure in “Non Sequitur.” We did establish that he still missed Libby in “The Thaw,” so his flirtation here suggests that he's finally decided to move on. I think a harrowing prison sentence can do that to you. I also really like the return of the big sister vibe with Torres and Harry. It's not the kind of relationship we've really seen on Trek before. You could make an argument for Uhura/Sulu in this regard, but Uhura's 1960s passivity doesn't allow for the same kind of power dynamic. And while I would definitely like to see this kind of thing between “old man” Dax and Sisko, the writers have given up on that aspect of Dax' personality, so that it's usually Ben dispensing advice to her.
After sending Avery Jessup and Harry off to dinner on their own, Torres lays herself down for bed with a big grin on her face. She awakens, but now she's in a different room, wearing different clothes and responding to a knock at her window (obviously not even on a ship). Her visitor, a young Enaran man, immediately starts kissing her and calling her, um, “Kerena ?” “Anna Karenina”? Something like that. Torres/Anna and he start a-boning, like the young lovers they are, but snatch-block-Chakotay awakens Torres from her wet dream before we get some of that TV side-boob. She apologises for missing her shift and steps over the puddle on her sheets to get ready for work (sorry).
Act 1 : ***.5, 17%
Based on B'Elanna's and Chakotay's conversation on their way to Engineering, we surmise this has been happening (lateness on account of wet dreams) for a little while now. Torres comes clean with her friend about the nature of these dreams.
CHAKOTAY: So they're enjoyable. Stimulating.
TORRES: They are the most sensual dreams I've ever had in my life. And they feel absolutely real.
After the insufferable teenaged antics from “Let He Who is Without Sin,” this kind of mature take on sex and fantasy is incredibly refreshing. Torres and her friend Chakotay are openly discussing not only sex, but freely acknowledging that she's getting off on these dreams. AND IT'S NOT A BIG DEAL. Chakotay teases her, but there isn't this snickering idiocy lurking around. They aren't stoic—after all, the last time we saw Torres have a sex dream it was *about* Chakotay—but, they treat the topic in a healthy, evolved way. Thank you for that.
TORRES: In the dreams, I know him. More than that, I'm in love with him. Oh, but it's not really me in the dream, it's somebody else entirely. In a way, it's liberating.
Later, we see that Neelix has turned the Mess Hall into an Enaran-style soirée, changing the furniture, décor and climate to match what their guests are used to. Harry is summoned by Avery Jessup to cozy up with her while they watch one of the senior Enaran men play an instrument, a kind of synthetic Lydia harp meets snow globe. After he finishes, an enraptured Janeway takes a turn at the instrument and miraculously seems to have mastered it. It turns out the Enarans are powerful telepaths.
BREL: I am terribly sorry, Captain. I assumed since you knew about our telepathic abilities, I. I never would have dreamed of making a connection without your consent.
JANEWAY: You intended to give me a gift, and it was wonderful.
TUVOK: Your abilities allow you to transfer knowledge from your own mind to another's?
BREL: Not precisely. We're able to share our experiences through a telepathic link.
There are shades here of “Violations” from TNG's fifth season, a rather unfortunate episode overall. The memory-reconstruction aspect to the Ulians was among the better elements there, but it was severely mishandled and ended up becoming a rather clumsy and extremely chauvinistic metaphor for rape—because it was a Deanna story, so we've got to include some rape, I guess. I'm glad to see a kind of narrative correction going on here, with Brel immediately apologising to Janeway for *unintentionally* violating her consent. Good. Mirell, the old lady from the teaser and composer of the electric dildo music, watches intently during this explanation.
The Enaran culture continues to be efficiently and elegantly built throughout the scene. Much like the Sakarians from “Prime Factors,” these aliens are clearly meant to reflect the best aspects of the evolved human condition. They're artistic, scientific, reasonable, hygienic, friendly, curious—in TNG, they would most likely be considered for Federation membership.
Meanwhile, Torres is skipping the party for a return to Dreamland. Oddly, we aren't in the midst of another erotic encounter, but a lecture from Karenina's father to his teenaged daughter. We learn that he doesn't approve of her relationship with the midnight caller from before, Dathan (see, it's “Nathan” but with a “d” because aliens). Dawson pitches her voice higher and, as Jammer notes, adjusts her performance so acutely that we have no trouble distinguishing Torres and Karenina. This is not the first time Dawson has pulled this off (c.f. “Faces”) and I'm glad to see her talents being exploited here. The scene is good in a number of ways. What is engrossing about these dreams to Torres is the emotionalism, one of the more subtle nods to her Klingon heritage. Klingons are extremely romantic people. And who is more emotionally-driven than a teenager in love? The framing of her relationship with her father sets up this soft antagonism. He doesn't want her to see her bad-boy lover, he wants her to drink her juice—it's all silly crap that leads the audience to side, intellectually, with the father, even if we *feel* for Karenina and her little affair. So while, on whatever level we engage with this story, we suspect that the father has insights that we aren't privileged to. He is a frustrating authority, but his authority is being exercised over a naïve teenaged girl. The task of engaging us with this story, then, falls to Dawson.
It turns out Dathan is hiding in Karenina's closet, and the two resume making out as soon as Daddy leaves the room. But, just when we're on the path to another puddle dream, Dathan is suddenly revealed to be horribly burned as Torres awakens with a start.
Act 2 : ***, 17%
Torres delivers a report to Chakotay and seeks his counsel about the odd turn her dreams have taken. They agree that the Enarans' presence—and their uncanny telepathic abilities—is probably affecting Torres' dreams, causing them to unfold like chapters in a (holo)novel. She sets off to ask Avery Jessup about this but ends up returning to her dream novel in the corridor.
Therein we see Daddy giving a speech about terraforming, clueing us in that the dreams, or images, or memories are coming from a person old enough to have been a pioneer of the Enarans' colonisation projects. Avery Jessup and most of the passengers have never seen their homeworld. Daddy mentions that, as their society quickly expands beyond space travel into colonisation, there are elements who “resist progress” who must be ignored. We'll come back to that, no doubt.
Immediately after receiving her award from her father, Karenina sneaks behind some columns to converse with Dathan, who's surreptitiously been watching the ceremony. They share a moment, aided by that special telepathic bond Enarans can do until the ringing of a bell calls Dathan away in a hurry. The bell seems to signal a curfew that sends him and a number of others outside the city walls. At this, we see that Torres has collapsed in Engineering, discovered by Kes (remember her?).
Act 3 : ***.5, 17%
Torres awakens again in the sickbay, with Janeway looking concerned. The Doctor reports that what she's experiencing is definitely implanted memories. Whoever is sharing these memories with Torres is directing them towards her unconscious mind, resulting in minor brain damage and the necessity for unconscious states, like passing out in the hallway. To prevent further damage, the EMH wants to fit her with a device, but Torres recoils.
TORRES: If the dreams stop, I'll never know what happens to these people. This woman, Korenna, I feel what she feels, and right now she is torn and confused about her loyalties and I don't know what I'm—what she's going to do.
EMH: I don't think satisfying your curiosity is worth risking brain damage, Lieutenant.
This is what I mean about the centrality of Dawson's performance here. Torres is caught up in this tale. Her empathy and compassion for justice (c.f. “Dreadnought” and especially “Prototype”) are at odds with her passion, that erotic immersion. The emotional turmoil of this teenager's memories are spilling over into Torres' sense of self. Dawson's performance makes us care about Torres. And Torres cares about this story. So we care about this story. This is where the “The Inner Light” comparisons need to be talked about. “Remember” doesn't get nearly the same praise as TIL of course—I don't think it's as strong an episode either, but there's something disturbing in the way Karenina's experiences are dismissed while Kamin's are lauded. Both are about the relatively trivial lives of ordinary people who are NOT the same people as the protagonists portraying them, bearing witness to events of social consequence. As I said, TIL is stronger for a number of reasons, but the dismissal of this aspect of the story bothers me because I think it's tied up in cultural problems of our own. Kamin is a patriarch, a middle-aged man looking to start a family. Karenina is a teenaged girl looking forward to a bright future and overcome with the excitement of young romance. Our society tends to hate teenaged girls. The things they like—their music, their interests, their perceived social strictures—they all tend to strike us as distressingly trivial and frankly stupid. Think of the film “Mean Girls” with its comedic take on the inner lives of young women. There is this passive acceptance in media to the notion that it's perfectly fine to groom teenaged girls into becoming “acceptable” young women. The way TV fathers want to protect their daughters from errant penises, the aforementioned loathing directed at their social universe, the way we seem to collectively expect girls outgrow these things, while “boys will be boys” is an attitude we apply to men throughout their adult lives. I don't want to veer off too far on this tangent as it's not really what this episode is about, but I do think this cultural perspective subtlety colours our perception of Kamin and Karenina, and why declarations that Karenina's story “just doesn't grab me as much” don't sit well with me. When these kinds of reactions arise in us, it's a good idea to ask ourselves why this is.
Sidenote: the EMH is all business and it's unclear how much of his experiences prior to “The Swarm” he remembers, which is good.
In another echo of “Violations,” Brel apologises profusely for Torres' plight while insisting that none of his people would consciously transfer memories with consent like this.
BREL: She may be picking up stray thoughts and memories from every Enaran on the ship. Must be terribly confusing. Perhaps that's why her mind has organised it into a kind of narrative.
TORRES: Are you saying that I'm making this all up?
BREL: No, no, no. Some elements may very well have come from our actual experiences. I confess I may have crawled into a bedroom window or two in my youth. You mentioned a citizenship award. There are several past recipients in our group. We may be each contributing some small details to your story.
Again lots of good things here; Brel's explanation is plausible, as Tuvok notes, and Torres' defensiveness is both very much in character and understandable. It is also reflective of how the audience (is meant to) feel. We are half way through a mystery after all. It's simply not satisfying to learn that none of it is real.
TORRES: Nothing really happened the way I remember it?
Save that thought.
JANEWAY: The Enarans haven't shown any hint of subterfuge, any hidden agenda. They've been nothing but straight forward and honest. You're in no immediate danger, and they'll be gone in another day. The situation will resolve itself.
TUVOK: And yet you fully intend to continue investigating.
JANEWAY: I wonder how long it's been since I did anything that surprised you?
Gosh, I think it's been...a week at least, Kathy. Anyway, Janeway orders Torres to rest while she and Tuvok continue the investigation on their own.
As the Voyager approaches her destination, no further answers have revealed themselves. Frustrated and increasingly desperate, Torres removes the medical device and opens herself up to more memories, which immediately begin to manifest.
We pick up with Daddy comforting his daughter in her room as she cleans her hands with those magic balls from Act 1. The “Regressives” are being resettled it seems and this leaves Karenina feeling uneasy. But Daddy insists its both in their best interests and what they actually *want.* His explanation is thin: the Regressives don't practise hygiene (in the same way), they reject modern technologies; hell, they might start a plague. I've heard they eat bats! As some commentors on this thread have noted, Daddy's reasoning doesn't quite add up. It's clear there's something he's not saying. But again, he's Daddy—part of us assumes that whatever he isn't saying stems from the fact that Karenina is indeed too young and too naïve to understand it. Much like how we privilege the life experience of Kamin, we privilege the authority of Daddy. And that's where the efficacy of this allegory works especially well. I'll come back to it.
We see Karenina then helping to check in the Regressives to a loading zone, presumably to ferry them away to their new colony. One woman asks her, desperately, to know where they're going exactly. Karenina recites the line she was doubtless fed before given this assignment not to worry, that they'll be happier with their own kind, etc. She overhears the name of her lover being called, but he doesn't show. Daddy isn't pleased, suspecting that she warned him to ignore the summons. There's a brief struggle and Karenina is accidentally struck in the face—exactly in the place where Mirell has a scar. Torres awakens and immediately leaves to find and confront her. She is found, injured and dying on the floor of her quarters. B'Elanna tries to get her to sickbay, but Mirell—who is of course Kirenina—insists on “giving her the rest of it” instead.
TORRES: Why give them to me?
MIRELL: You won't deny the truth. We've been hiding it. I couldn't anymore.
Again, the character piece of this is fundamental to the success of the political allegory.
Act 4 : ****, 17%
In Dreamland, Karenina is once again paid a visit by Dathan in the middle of the night. A lot of subtle things work here. In the teaser, Karenina was (pretending to be) asleep, happy but passive. Now, she is awake, trying to express herself (through music) and her emotions are in conflict. She is being asked to to be active, to make a choice. She learns that a group of Regressives has escaped the Auschwitz trains and are running away. Indeed, the story of resettlement is apparently fictional, a propaganda that men like Daddy perpetuate to cover up some sort of mass disappearance or likely murder. Dathan begs his lover to join him.
DATHAN: Your father is lying to you. I'm sorry, but you have got to make a choice. You can't go on trying to believe in both of us anymore. Either he is right and you should never see me again, or I'm right and he is part of a terrible crime.
KORENNA: No, my father is a good man.
DATHAN: I can show you how we're rounded up for these voluntary resettlements, how the soldiers treat Regressives who won't go quietly. I know it is hard to face, but you have to. It is too important. Now, let me show you.
KORENNA: No, I...
There's a knock at her door. What did that “no” mean? “No, I don't believe you,” or “No, I don't want to be shown these things”?
“Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”
The knock is of course from Daddy. Dathan is shoved into the closet and Karenina tepidly tests the waters.
KORENNA: What they're saying is so horrible.
JARETH: Yes, but it isn't very plausible. Korenna, think. A secret conspiracy against their people? Organised murder on such an enormous scale? Do you really believe that your family and friends are capable of that?
And so Karenina completes her thought, “no.”
No, I don't believe it.
No, I can't believe it.
No, I won't believe it.
Her gaze travels to the hidden Dathan, and he is exposed to Daddy, who hauls him away to his fate. He is brought to a square with a few other “criminals,” where they are publicly executed. Karenina joins the crowd in their disturbing chant, convinced of her own righteousness.
What follows is an older Karenina “educating” some children in that same square about the self-inflicted tragedy of the Regressives who went and got themselves killed by rejecting the advantages of Enaran progress. She has now fully internalised the lie. The twist of the knife comes when Karenina sagely informs these doe-eyed babes that “we can learn from their mistakes.” There's a silver lining, you see. You see kids, the Trail of Tears was very sad, but we have developed vaccinations. We have learned from our tragic past.
Torres awakens. Mirell...Karenina has died, but her story lives.
Act 5 : ****, 17%
Having arrived at Enara, the guests and hosts share a toast in the Mess Hall celebrating their friendship and co-operation. But B'Elanna bursts in, seething with her patented rage and calls the Enarans lying murderers.
BREL: This is most uncomfortable, Captain. Perhaps a more private discussion would be
TORRES: No, that's what you've been doing all along. Hiding the truth. Hoping it would just die away quietly.
Brel's appeal to “civility politics” is so relevant it fucking hurts. Torres' accusations cut to the quick and Dawson is absolutely riveting here. B'Elanna is convinced that she is right of course—she has just lived these memories personally. But there is a problematic lack of evidence to support her claims. Mirell was sick and there's no sign she was murdered. There is of course no immediate physical evidence about the persecution of the Regressives, and the Enarans aren't hard-headed or self-righteous in their defence; they deny the accusations, but continue to be kind and reasonable, even as Torres is spitting in their faces. It's this restraint that elevates scene and the story.
BREL: Nobody thinks you're lying, Lieutenant. The poor woman has been ill for a long time. Her memories may be distorted or perhaps your perception of them was coloured by elements from your culture.
TORRES: No. I know that it's easier for you to believe that I'm crazy or hallucinating, but this woman shared her life, her whole identity with me. I was with her every step of the way as she convinced herself that what she did, betraying the man she loved, playing her part in a massacre, that it was all somehow for the good of Enaran society. She showed me everything. No apologies, no request for forgiveness, just the truth. At least she had the conscience to stand up and realise what she'd done wrong, which is more than I can say for you.
Both of these arguments are compelling. Torres' outrage is understandable, but she is also conveying these feelings fresh from a teenaged tragedy and filtered through her Klingon psyche. There is a clear parallel between Torres/Brel and Karenina/Daddy. A lot of people frame their arguments in terms that express self-satisfaction with their own hard-won cynicism. If you're world-weary, grey, skeptical, conservative, (male), etc. you are granted the benefit of the doubt. Asking the Enarans to reconsider their entire cultural legacy is asking a hell of a lot, and when Torres makes the appeal on emotional and decidedly young and female terms, it's probably asking too much.
There's a lovely little scene between Janeway and Torres in the readyroom that highlights the way their relationship has evolved since “Parallax.” Torres apologises for letting her anger carry her away before taking a more...considered approach to making these accusations. And Janeway admits that she shares B'Elanna's passion but expresses obliquely that one of the burdens of command is sublimating these instincts. The Captain has even cancelled shoreleave and all negotiations with the Enarans—a no doubt unpopular decision she's made solely on the basis of Torres' accusations, a sign of the trust and respect that's been earned between them. But of course, the PD prevents her from going any further. If the Enarans want to lie to themselves—if they're lying to themselves—then that's their business. They can't open an investigation without evidence. The only thing left to Torres, per Janeway's encouragement, is to repeat Karenina's actions. To share her memories.
While I have been critical before of putting Janeway into a closing scene just because she's the captain and the star, when a conversation with someone like Chakotay would be more natural to the story, in this case, I think it's no accident that the conversation is between two women. Again, the allegory here relies on taking the conservative, easier position of Enaran goodness, couching it in the rhetoric and safety of older, wise men like Daddy and Brel, and contrasting it with the seemingly less reliable accounting of women like Mirell and Torres. Janeway, the female captain, has done all within the scope of her position to answer to B'Elanna's truth, but there is another young woman who could be the beginning of an internal change within Enaran society, Harry's sex-buddy Avery Jessup.
TORRES: I know you have no reason to believe what I've said about your people. All you have is my word against everything you've ever been taught.
JESSEN: That's right.
TORRES: So prove me wrong.
She offers to share her experiences openly, and Jessup makes the telepathic connection to make this possible. The last image we see is Jessup as Karenina, starting the dream from the beginning.
Episode as Functionary : ****, 10%
First I want to say that I'm very happy with the way sex was handled here. The contrast between the way the topic was treated here and in “Let He Who Is Without Sin” is incredibly refreshing. The maturity with which Torres' relationship with Chakotay is realised, alongside the brief peaks at her continuing development with Janeway and even Kim were welcome touches that this story didn't need, but helped in the overall effort to help us relate to B'Elanna and her emotions.
The sci-fi allegorical element of this story is among the best-constructed in the canon. The Enarans are telepaths who can share whole experiences. That's nothing new—but the script is very deliberate to show us that this ability does not preclude the extreme variations of our own societies. Enarans can share memories like Karenina did, yes, or they can share memories of music lessons. OR, as we saw between Karenina and Dathan, they can share *fantasies*. The Enarans' ability doesn't make for different sociological outcomes so much as it accelerates them. That's what allows us to fit this massive story within a single episode of Star Trek.
I don't go looking for “woke” topics in media. Touching those subjects is inevitably polarising, but it is not insignificant that Torres is being gaslighted by the Enarans. It is not insignificant that the women in this story have to share their truth in a telepathic underground. It is simply true that it is easier for us/the Enarans to dismiss Torres' accusations because they come from a place of female experience; they are borne from the love affair of teenaged girl, conveyed by an elderly woman who was “sick,” repeated by a woman with a history of being extremely emotional, and refuted by powerful, respectable and reasonable men. To be clear, the POINT of this story isn't to tell a woke/feminist message. This isn't a “Believe Women” story. But it does take advantage of the fact that we tend not to believe women to ground its allegorical structure. And I find that compelling.
One more subtle bit of the message is the way Enaran society is framed. It's very Federation-like, clean, artistic, etc. The story is written very carefully to discourage the erroneous notion that rejection of the lies, rejection of the of the murder, rejection of the means amounts to a rejection of the ends. Avery Jessup is a young person brought up entirely on the lies of her people. She is ignorant of her own history. BUT, that same culture has given her the character to be open-minded, to be curious, and to value the truth. So when courageous elders like Mirell or even strangers like B'Elanna offer her a challenging truth, she's willing to accept it.
For us Westerners, this is a vital lesson. The Left recognises that the legacy of colonialism infects every aspect and dimension of our modern lives. It informs our race-relations, it informs our economic inequality, it informs our gender inequities, it informs our religious conflicts, it informs our relationships to other nations, to science, to history, to art, and of course to politics. Ignoring or downplaying that legacy is the shadow of Neoliberal usurpation, and it is dangerous. But for all its sins, that same cultural legacy gave us the capacity to think critically about our world in a particular way, in a nuanced way. Without colonialism we'd have no Satre or Kant or Malcom X or Marx or Puisieux.
To me, this is what makes for a great Trek message show. It's not the paltry and cheap both-sidesing of an issue that *appears* like a grown-up take (hello, “Destiny,” hello “Pre-emptive Strike”); “Remember” is not *ambiguous* about who is right and who is wrong, but its lesson is complex and it is nuanced. The Enarans are not being asked to apologise for *who the are*; rather, they (and of course we) are being asked not to forget what we have done, not to pretend that we can ignore the legacies of their (our) crimes as a people.
The social commentary works on its own quite well, but the way in which this issue is encapsulated in Torres' character is sublime. Torres is every bit as emotional as young Karenina—perhaps more so—but she has unflinching moral centre. Those elements together are what led her to the Maquis (ignoring the inchoate nature of the group for the moment). It took Mirell an entire lifetime and the unlikely encounter with an alien Starship for her to work up the courage to come clean about her experiences. B'Elanna inhabits a kind of self-doubt and malleability of conscience that's totally foreign to her. This is a crucial development as it lends depth to her character and leaves her open to consider new experiences, new perspectives, and perhaps new people in her life. And Dawson delivers the goods conveying not only this broadening of Torres' character, but an entirely different character as well. Really excellent work all around.
Final Score : ***.5
Fri, May 1, 2020, 12:26pm (UTC -5)
All right, since you said you missed my comments I'll chime in!
I was taken with this episode too and I agree that Dawson is excellent. One of the things that occurs to me, rereading your description of the episode, is how much the episode plays on Romeo & Juliet. Not just the general star-cross'd young lovers trope, but also the way in which the genial, friendly father turns frightening and violent quite suddenly, the way Capulet goes from "hey let that Montague kid crash our party, let's relax" to "IF YOU DON'T MARRY WHOM I SAY YOU WILL GO INTO THE STREET YOU WRETCH." The key differences are, naturally, that Anna Karenina (sure) only rebels so much; and more importantly, the "two houses" (or societies, or peoples) are not really "alike in dignity" i.e. power -- while we only get part of the story, necessarily, there's a pretty extreme imbalance between the two sides here, which makes the violence that much harder to oppose; and, well, also there's still the possibility that she really would have died had she tried to go against the herd.
Fri, May 1, 2020, 1:20pm (UTC -5)
Great observation. The framing of R&J is similar to this episode in that social conventions would have the audience side with Capulet instead of the teenagers, but we are meant to see that the forces driving the protagonists are more powerful and essential than those driving their families.
I hope you're staying healthy and sane in these trying times!
Thu, Sep 24, 2020, 11:42am (UTC -5)
Sat, Feb 20, 2021, 2:08pm (UTC -5)
Roxann Dawson was a very good actress; I wish she had been given more scripts of this quality.
Tue, Mar 2, 2021, 12:22pm (UTC -5)
Jammer said: " if one element truly carries "Remember" it has to be the performance of Roxann Dawson, because her work in the dual role is impressive. There are subtleties in the performance that should not be overlooked. I can't put my finger on what is so right about her portrayal, but there's something about it that really works. I think it's because when I see Kirina, I think "Kirina" and not "B'Elanna." Dawson's ability to separate the two (with a subtle aura that resides somewhere in the subconscious) is the true standout quality of "Remember."
It may be a controversial opinion, but I think Roxann Dawson is the best actor on the show.
Thu, Sep 30, 2021, 2:29pm (UTC -5)
Yes, the aliens-of-the-week are unimaginatively named (Enarans?), and their head bandanas seem a lazy flourish, but otherwise this episode does well to quickly sketch an entire alien society, and its white-washed history.
The episode has a strong "Anne Frank" vibe, but its allegory is clever enough to encompass everything from the genocides committed by the Nazis, to the purging of the Native Americans, to the countless common peoples sacrificed in the name of modernity (everything from western market reforms to eastern "great leaps").
One scene in particular is excellent: when a father chillingly "convinces" his daughter to hate an entire subset of people, and creepily positions her to tacitly endorse the slaying of the man she loves.
The episode also plays like Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining" in 45 minutes. In both cases you have a person receiving visions of historical crimes, snippets of past horrors and genocides, rivers of blood which are repressed because they are too traumatic to confront, a repression which threatens to engender further cycles of violence.
One could list numerous neat scenes in this episode (Janeway playing some kind of zany musical space globe! Tuvok in his dapper evening wear etc), but one detail I liked in particular was the way the aliens are obsessed with cleanliness, sanitation and so on, and are also telepathic.
It's as though they have an aversion to physical touch, or rather that the ability to transcend flesh and share emotions and relationships and feelings via "psychic waves", led to their society viewing physical intimacy itself, and corporeal passions, as something tawdry and debased.
So while some complain about this episode's long "sex scenes", to me they felt like the point. The "regressives" are more passionate and physical than the more psychic-oriented alien majority.
Wed, Dec 28, 2022, 11:58pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Mar 13, 2023, 5:45am (UTC -5)
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