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Lunch » Tags » Tv Shows » Reviews » Star Trek - Voyager, Episode 8: Ex Post Facto » User review

The actors are still a bit away from their comfort zone in their roles

  • Jan 31, 2010
When a new series starts, it always takes a few episodes to complete the settling in process and define the characters. In this episode, Kim and Paris visit the Banean homeworld in a search for technology that will assist Voyager in traveling back to Federation space. The Baneans are at war with the Numiri, a group that is suspicious of the presence of Voyager.
Kim and Paris meet with Tolen Ren, the head of Banean military science and the discussions continue at his home. When Kim meets Ren's young wife, there is a clear and instant attraction and when Ren is murdered, Paris is accused and convicted of the murder. The primary evidence is a set of memories extracted from Ren's brain that show Paris stabbing him. Capital punishment has been abolished so the punishment is to have the memories of the murder inserted into Paris' brain so that he may relive them at regular intervals.
Voyager goes to the Barean planet and they get Paris released, but the recurring memories are slowly destroying the structure of his brain. After further investigation and a mind meld by Tuvok, it becomes clear that Paris has been framed.
The thing that puzzled me was that it took so long for the Voyager crew to decide to use a mindmeld to learn the truth. Once it was introduced in the original series, it became a standard tactic where the decision to use it was quickly executed, even when the subject was an alien. The hesitation here is completely out of sequence to what has happened in previous stories involving Vulcans. The actors also appear a little uncertain and lack the ease in their roles that will come later. Paris becoming involved in any way with the wife of a man from whom they are seeking critical aid is a plot device that should have been left out.

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August 15, 2010
This kind of reminded me of the TNG episode where Riker is accused of a crime and they reenact it on the holodeck and it ended with the space station exploding. This was OKAY and much like a lot of Voyager, it's only OKAY with little making it great.
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Charles Ashbacher ()
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Charlie Ashbacher is a compulsive reader and writer about many subjects. His prime areas of expertise are in mathematics and computers where he has taught every course in the mathematics and computer … more
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What kind of guy is Tom Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill) exactly? Keeping in mind that his character was introduced onVoyageras a pilot thrown out of Starfleet for covering up an accident, then later jailed for his (bungled) role as a Maquis mercenary, one might say he's a heel seeking redemption atVoyager's con. But "Ex Post Facto" suggests he's still a scoundrel at heart.

When Paris and Harry Kim (Garrett Wang) dine in the home of Banean scientist Tolen Ren (Ray Reinhardt), Tom becomes distracted by the restless beauty of the man's wife (Robin McKee), leading to an illicit liaison that ends with the murder of Ren. Paris is accused, found guilty, and uniquely punished by experiencing Ren's death, from the victim's point of view, every 14 hours in his mind. It's up to Commander Tuvok (Tim Russ) to get to the bottom of the mystery.

There's lots of controversy about the value of this episode. One camp believes Paris is unfairly stereotyped, that the film noir elements in the script and visual style are perfunctory, and that the story is a rehash of The Next Generation's "A Matter of Perspective." Others, particularly writer Michael Piller, believe it to be a blend of detective drama and The Twilight Zone. In fact, all those assessments are valid: the episode is both overly predictable and dark. --Tom Keogh

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Studio: Paramount

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