Mark Watches ‘Voyager’: S03E24 – Displaced

In the twenty-fourth episode of the third season of Voyager, this is so messed up, and the more I think about it, the more messed up it gets. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Star Trek.

Trigger Warning: For talk of kidnapping, imperialism.

There’s a scene in the midst of “Displaced” 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 in Star Trek 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 as benevolence.

And I can’t stop thinking about it. We never learn that woman’s name, but it’s unimportant. Like the rest of the Nyrians we meet, she believes that her people have found the “best” way to conquer a nation, to displace a people, and to support their own imperialistic empire. As if there’s a “best” way to do such a monstrous thing! Yet there’s a cold, calculating honesty to how she describes what the Nyrians have done. To them, this is civilized. Because they don’t invade through the use of violence, because there’s no bloodshed (at least relative to other races or cultures), and because they provide a simulated environment for those they’ve captured, they believe that they’ve accounted for the moral vacuum they’ve left behind. Honestly, that’s what disturbs me most here. THEY REALLY BELIEVE THEY AREN’T THAT BAD.

Of course, all the signs that they are terrible are littered about this episode. They pretend to be victims of some weird and frightening phenomenon. When their victims catch on to their insidious plans, they certainly have a sudden justification for violence. But they’re so much more civilized than other cultures, y’all! And let’s talk about those containment areas. They’re superficial representations of the worlds that these people were stolen from, and they are FOUR BY FOUR KILOMETERS LARGE. That’s it! That’s all the space these people are supposed to live in forever. I actually thought that there’d be some huge reveal that these places were zoos, since that’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 Nyrians’ logic against them, and it’s amazing (and amusing) to me how quickly they surrendered after they suffered for like… sixty seconds. OH, YOUR WORLDS ARE NOT SO CIVILIZED ARE THEY. YOUR BEHAVIORS AREN’T GRACEFUL AND NICE, ARE THEY. Fuck the Nyrians, y’all. THEY’RE SO TERRIBLE.

And in the midst of this: apparently B’Elanna and Tom are a thing. Or, rather, they’re going to become a thing, I should say! The flirting and married-couple bickering were a sight to behold, and while I’m not the biggest fan of this pairing, their chemistry is undeniable here, at least since they’ve got that whole friction thing working in their favor. You know, they’re one of those couples who may fight a lot, but that’s why it’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 it’s inevitable that some of them will end up with one another.

I’m interested to see where this will go.

The video for “Displaced” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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