Episode Guide/Review by Charlynn Schmiedt
Season 1, Episode 13
Stardate 48784.2 (2371)
Episode 13 of 168 Released in Star Trek: Voyager
Episode 13 of 168 Produced in Star Trek: Voyager
Production Number: 114
Original airdate: May 8, 1995
Directed by Winrich Kolbe
Teleplay by Kenneth Biller
Story by Jonathan Glassner and Kenneth Biller
In search of a cure for the Phage, the Vidiians split B’Elanna Torres into two people: one fully human and one fully Klingon. The two must rely on each other’s strengths so they can escape the Vidiian laboratory.
As a half-human, half-Klingon hybrid, B’Elanna is in a constant fight with herself. She despises her Klingon side because it makes her so quick to become angry and violent. In this episode she realizes just how important her Klingon side is; without it, she feels weak and lacks courage. At the same time, her human side helps her think things through, whereas her Klingon half would rather fight her way through every obstacle she faces.
As the human Torres points out to her Klingon counterpart, that’s not always the best solution to every problem. After the human B’Elanna tells Tom about how she wanted to look human because she thought her father left her and her mother because of their Klingon heritage, Tom says, “Looks like you got your wish.” The tear that runs down her face says it all: Her childhood wish now come true, it isn’t what she thought it would be.
Both B’Elannas realize that they are incomplete without the other. That can be translated to any one of us. We all have things we don’t like about ourselves. If we could tear away the less desirable aspects of ourselves in the same way the Vidiians split B’Elanna’s Klingon and human halves, maybe we’d see this as a welcome opportunity. However, I think we’d come to the same conclusion as B’Elanna and realize that we need what makes us unique—every element. These things make us who we are. We need them. And, like it or not, we must deal with them the best that we can.
The teaser for this episode is excellent. We can see that something’s different with B’Elanna, but we don’t know what happened.
Roxann Dawson does a bang-up job playing a fully Klingon B’Elanna and a fully human B’Elanna. They’re both so distinct, yet so her.
We don’t learn that B’Elanna was split into two distinct people right away. It leads the viewer to believe that the Vidiians just did away with B’Elanna’s human DNA until we find out otherwise. Nice twist.
I thoroughly enjoy the scene where B’Elanna tells Tom about how she wanted to hide her forehead and pass as a full-blooded human when she was a young girl. We get a ton of her backstory in this one scene, and we learn why she despises her Klingon side so much. That tear at the end nearly had me in tears!
Major props to the makeup department for their work in this episode. Chakotay as a Vidiian was top-notch work, but surpassing that was the Vidiian wearing Durst’s face. That was such a creepy moment.
The following isn’t a knock on this episode, but more on the series in its earlier years: If B’Elanna’s Klingon DNA held such promise as a potential cure for the Phage, why didn’t the Vidiians pursue the matter more? Their relentless pursuit of a cure could have turned the Vidiians into a more formidable enemy than the Kazon.
It’s apparent that B’Elanna could have used a hug or a reassuring pat on the shoulder or SOMETHING when talking with Chakotay in sickbay in the last scene. Come on, Chakotay, be a supportive friend!
Despite Neelix’s “helpful” efforts, I’m with Tuvok when it comes to “taste of home” cooking. Don’t mess with time-honored tradition! Lucky for Tuvok, he was called to the bridge before Neelix could force him into stomaching more of the “zesty” soup. Also, I enjoy how Neeix drinks the soup straight out of the bowl. That was a cute touch that shows off Neelix’s nature.
I’ve heard people say that Roxann Dawson did a horrible job portraying a fully Klingon Torres because of the way she enunciated her words. To some, it came off as bad acting. In truth, the Klingon teeth she wore made it difficult to speak, and others who have worn the teeth for Klingon characters have said the same thing.
We see what might have been the very beginning of the Paris/Torres relationship, but that won’t fully develop until midway in the series.
We meet another Talaxian, and he just might have Neelix beat when it comes to having a miserable existence. That’s an honor I wish upon no one.
I absolutely love how, when the human B’Elanna faints, the Klingon B’Elanna effortlessly flings her over her shoulder and walks off.
Nice cover, Chakotay, when the other Vidiian doesn’t recognize you. “My face was just grafted” indeed!
Did anyone notice how one of the Vidiians laughed in Beavis and Butt-Head fashion after he said “a shower and a hot meal”?
“I must point out that if you take the liberty of changing a time honored recipe, you are hardly presenting a taste of home.”
—Tuvok to Neelix
“It’s OK, Tom. They’re the ones with the guns, remember?”
—Durst to Paris shortly before his death
“Did you know that Klingon females are renowned in the Alpha Quadrant not only for their physical prowess but also for their voracious sexual appetite as well? Why not let your creature out of her harness? Study her in action?” —Klingon B’Elanna Torres to the Vidiian scientist
“I’m sorry I can’t replicate you a soufflé.”
—Klingon Torres to Human Torres
Paris and Torres. They’ll get to know each other more. Much more.
B’Elanna’s Klingon DNA as a potential cure for the Phage. This will be brought up again in “Resolutions.”
This is an exquisite character piece for Torres. The story overall is solid and entertaining. On top of that, we see some incredible work from the makeup department. Don’t miss this one.
(9 out of 10)
Brian Markinson as Sulan/Peter Durst
Rob LaBelle as Talaxian Prisoner
Barton Tinapp as Vidiian Guard