In the twenty-fourth episode of the third season ofÂ Voyager, this is so messed up, and the more I think about it, the more messed up it gets. Intrigued? Then itâ€™s time for Mark to watchÂ Star Trek.
Trigger Warning: For talk of kidnapping, imperialism.
Thereâ€™s a scene in the midst of â€œDisplacedâ€ that terrifies me because of the plainness with which it is played. The Nyrians, who once were an innocent people subjected to a mystifying natural phenomenon, transformed over the course of this episode into one of the most manipulative and cunning cultures inÂ Star TrekÂ history. And that scene is evidence of that transformation, a perfect way to demonstrate the ways in which oppressors can actually view their heinous, violent actions asÂ benevolence.
And I canâ€™t stop thinking about it. We never learn that womanâ€™s name, but itâ€™s unimportant. Like the rest of the Nyrians we meet, she believes that her people have found the â€œbestâ€ way to conquer a nation, to displace a people, and to support their own imperialistic empire. As if thereâ€™s a â€œbestâ€ way to do such a monstrous thing! Yet thereâ€™s a cold, calculating honesty to how she describes what the Nyrians have done. To them, this isÂ civilized. Because they donâ€™t invade through the use of violence, because thereâ€™s no bloodshed (at least relative to other races or cultures), and because they provide a simulated environment for those theyâ€™ve captured, they believe that theyâ€™ve accounted for the moral vacuum theyâ€™ve left behind. Honestly, thatâ€™s what disturbs me most here. THEY REALLY BELIEVE THEY ARENâ€™T THAT BAD.
Of course, all the signs that theyÂ areÂ terrible are littered about this episode. They pretend to be victims of some weird and frightening phenomenon. WhenÂ theirÂ victims catch on to their insidious plans, they certainly have a sudden justification for violence. But theyâ€™re so much more civilized than other cultures, yâ€™all! And letâ€™s talk about those containment areas. Theyâ€™re superficial representations of the worlds that these people were stolen from, and they are FOUR BY FOUR KILOMETERS LARGE. Thatâ€™s it! Thatâ€™s all the space these people are supposed to live inÂ forever. I actually thought that thereâ€™d be some huge reveal that these places wereÂ zoos, since thatâ€™s what they reminded me of.
That would almost be better, I swear.
In the end, Janeway, with the help of her crew, manages to turn the Nyriansâ€™ logic against them, and itâ€™s amazing (and amusing) to me how quickly they surrendered after they suffered for likeâ€¦ sixty seconds. OH, YOUR WORLDS ARE NOT SO CIVILIZED ARE THEY. YOUR BEHAVIORS ARENâ€™T GRACEFUL AND NICE, ARE THEY. Fuck the Nyrians, yâ€™all. THEYâ€™RE SO TERRIBLE.
And in the midst of this: apparently Bâ€™Elanna and Tom are aÂ thing. Or, rather, theyâ€™reÂ goingÂ to become a thing, I should say! The flirting and married-couple bickering were a sight to behold, and while Iâ€™m not the biggest fan of this pairing, their chemistry is undeniable here, at least since theyâ€™ve got that whole friction thing working in their favor. You know, theyâ€™re one of those couples who may fight a lot, but thatâ€™s why itâ€™s so rewarding when they get together. Look at me, assuming this is actually happening. But I think it might be! Plus, these people have a lot more time to spend with one another, so itâ€™s inevitable that some of them will end up with one another.
Iâ€™m interested to see where this will go.
The video for â€œDisplacedâ€ can be downloadedÂ here for $0.99.
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