It’s a crime to think about violence.
Well, that’s brilliant.
So I’m just going to throw out there, that if that was your rule, you might, as a precaution, want to mention that to visitors. And also, if you were visiting a strange planet, you might want to have a good grasp of what the local laws are and an idea about who among you is physically capable of complying with them.
These people police their thoughts by an absurd amount, kind of like anti-Betazoids. It sort of makes sense, because Betazoids just seem to let everything roll of their backs and these guys seem pretty prone to acting on the thoughts of others, which as telepathic races in Trek go, is actually a pretty interesting concept.
So basically, instead of being responsible for their own actions, people are responsible for their own thoughts. Yikes. Also, they’ve been training themselves to control their thoughts for three generations so the Mari probably didn’t generate this one. Oh, and the punishment is called an “engrammatic purge”.
That sounds bad. “There is a risk of neurological damage,” she admits, and then goes on to tell them that it’s necessary to treat the person who actually committed the violence by purging his mind of the violent thought. Janeway gets a stay until they review the evidence for a day or so.
So Janeway has to go back to Voyager and get greeted by Tom freaking out in the Transporter Room and listen to him all the way back to the Bridge. She explains that she’s going to try to stop the punishment from being carried out. Neelix is going to try to resolve this diplomatically. I’d love to be the fly on the wall in that conversation.
On the bridge, Harry summons everyone back. Tom arrives and starts begging Chakotay to interfere somehow in the whole thing in the middle of the Bridge.
Look, guys, I get it, but this is either a Starfleet crew or not, you know? Chakotay has Tom sitting in Janeway’s chair during this conversation too. Like… the actual heck? This is the problem with Voyager. This right here. PICK A COURSE, GUYS.
Chakotay tells Tom to come up with a rescue plan, which is just to keep him busy and they both know it, but Chakotay promises to bring it to the Captain if there’s no luck on the legal side. Then Chakotay reminds Tom that Janeway’s still the boss. Yeah, and she’ll be taking most of your lines for the next 3 years. Enjoy that.
Janeway and Tuvok, meanwhile, are looking through evidence, trying to find a way to make B’Elanna not guilty. UH… GUYS. She had a violent thought on a planet where violent thought is forbidden. Tuvok had an inability to do his job, and didn’t think to ask about what’s illegal, and now she’s in jail. She’s guilty. Tuvok even says, and I quote: “Crime here is the result of exposure to violent thought. Much as it was on Vulcan, before my people learned to control their emotions.”
I’ve been thinking about this and there’s only one conclusion.
Tuvok is a crap Security officer.
Anyway, Tuvok is trying to argue B’Elanna’s guilt when Janeway finds…something. Apparently the security officer, Nimira, seems to have missed something.
Apparently Frane, the attacker, was arrested four other times for harboring violent thoughts. He was cured, though, but maybe relapsed? But the Mari are really sure that it was B’Elanna’s thought… even though they haven’t done their little purge, which they say they need to identify the thought she passed to Frane, so how would they even know?
When Tuvok presses Nimira, though, she starts lashing out, refuses to admit B’Elanna might be innocent, and declares the case closed. Cue dramatic pleading and dramatic Vulcan pleading. Nothing changes.
Neelix and Seven are on the surface, sorting though stuff. Neelix is pissed and ranting. Seven doesn’t get it and blames B’Elanna for being ‘careless with her thoughts’. Neelix points out that B’Elanna isn’t used to telepaths. Seven says that ignorance is common on Voyager. She lectures Neelix about how they often make contact without preparation and get into trouble. Neelix tries to defend it as exploration, but you have to admit that Seven sort of has a point here. Part of it is isolation and need to trade, but part of it is just that they jump in without thinking all the time. I’m not going to back her on assimilation being the perfect means of sharing knowledge, but she does have a point about the show.
Anyway, that’s when Neelix’s girlfriend gets stabbed.