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Star Trek: Voyager

Season 2 Episode 16


Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Feb 05, 1996 on UPN
out of 10
User Rating
180 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


Stardate: 49380.5
When Ensign Lon Suder kills a crewmate, Tuvok performs a mind meld to help repress Suder's violent tendencies. However, soon after, Tuvok begins showing violent tendencies himself.

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  • Creepy but good

    With a story by intern Michael Sussman (who would go on to be a prolific writer for the franchise) and the first guest appearance by Brad Dourif, this Tuvok bottle show examines the effects of a creepy ensign on the normally unemotional Tuvok.

    Using a script that benefits from input from the California Institute for the Mentally Insane, Brad Dourif, the voice of Chucky from Child's Play (as well as Wormtongue in The Lord of the Rings), is the perfect choice for Ensign Suder and works well with Tim Russ (Tuvok) in this character piece that uses a mind-meld to overlap their personalities. The story, avoiding a clich murder-mystery, focuses on the nature of random violence and how to deal with the perpetrators, with Russ finally allowed to cut loose and Tuvok having some interesting conversations with Janeway about the treatment of prisoners. Still, while a breakout episode for Russ and a memorable episode for the series, "Meld" is a dark installment that's hard to enjoy, and it doesn't get as deep into the issue of capital punishment as it could.

    To lighten the mood, Piller tosses in a Paris B story about gambling. Originally meant to superficially tie into the A story, its final scene is cut, leaving it a dangling thread that's instead paid off in "Investigations".

    Ensign Suder returns in the season finale, "Basics Part I". Later on, VOY redoes the plot of "Meld" with the fourth season episode "Random Thoughts"

  • Meld

    Meld was a great episode of Star Trek: Voyager and I enjoyed watching this episode because it centered around Tuvok who was investigating the murder of a crew member. I thought the idea of crew member being murdered by another was intriguing and the story of this episode was in some ways a psychological thriller. Ensign Suder has some disturbing personal problems that manifest in one of humanities worst forms. Tuvok is affected by his Mind Meld with Suder and learns that not even he is immune to violenttendencies. I look forward to watching the next episode of Star Trek: Voyager!!!!!moreless
  • Weird, out of place, and kind of creepy.

    I found this to be a very awkward episode. It's another Maquis Vs. Starfleet installment, which I don't really think was necessary. Two crews, one ship. We get it. Once more, we get introduced to a character we've never seen before and will probably never be mentioned again. Brad Sourif (Suder) does an excellent job at being creepy as hell in a serial killer kind of way, but the episode takes too long to get moving and has a bit too much Janeway morality stuffed into it. It's amusing to see Tuvok freak out, but I feel like they came up with that idea first and just wrapped an episode around it. It's all right, just not fantastic.moreless
  • A crewman named Darwin is found dead in engineering. Everyone thinks his death was accidental, but The Doctor has found evidence Darwin was murdered. Who murder Darwin?

    A crewman named Darwin is found dead in engineering. Everyone thinks his death was accidental, but The Doctor has found evidence Darwin was murdered. Who murder Darwin? Tuvok checks the Engineering logs and finds a Marquis named Suder was on duty in Engineering when the crime happened. Tuvok is not sure why Suder did it? So Tuvok mind melds with Suder. Tuvok soon learns Suder has an anger management problem. Tuvok knowing what he knows soon becomes violent. He locks himself in his own quarters. Janeway realizes Tuvok needs help and sedates him and transports him to sickbay.moreless
  • A murder of a crewmen leads Tuvok into the mind of a murderer.

    A classic battle between instincts and emotions. A classic battle between man's ability to kill and supress his emotions.

    Great episode. We see that despite his Vulcan upbringings Tuvok is just as prone to violence as everyone else. Suder played by Brad Douriff was amazing. A young man whose whole life is filled by emptyness and violence lets his killer tendencies come out. Chakotay sott of covers this up unable to make it public which I thought was very hypocritical seeing as the members of the Maqi and Voyager crew were going to have an open relationship.

    This is something that the episode could have also covered but still it's an entertaining episode. Man is still like a beat and under circumstances is just as violent as beasts in the wild. Another thing as well is that Janeway's punishment for Suder was pitiful. In a way, the mind meld with Suder lead Tuvok to express his honest emotions about Janeway's lack of punishment for the crime.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Nitpick: In the scene where Tuvok and Neelix are discussing Vulcan holidays in the mess hall, Ethan Philips' color contacts are misaligned, making it appear as though Neelix is cross eyed.

    • Goof: At times through this episode, Suder is referred to as an Ensign, and at others he's called a Crewman.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • The Doctor: Vulcan mind melds. Utter foolishness. Anybody with an ounce of sense wouldn't share his brain with someone else. Would you? I certainly wouldn't. And of course, when something goes wrong, and believe me it does more often than they'd like to admit, the first thing they call out is DOCTOR!

    • Tuvok: (to The Doctor) ou are not invulnerable, hologram. A few well chosen commands to the computer, and you will cease to exist.

    • Neelix: I will not rest until I see you smile.
      Tuvok: Then you will not rest.

    • The Doctor: (to recovering Tuvok) You're on your way back to being normal, although I'm not sure how the word normal applies to a species that supresses all their emotions.

    • Tuvok: A crime must have a logical purpose.
      The Doctor: Ah yes, I see. How to close the case without understanding the logic of the crime? For a Vulcan that would be a dilemma, wouldn't it?

    • The Doctor: All of us have violent instincts, we have evolved from predators. Well, not me of course, I've just been programmed by you predators.

    • Tuvok: Why did you kill him, Mr. Suder?
      Suder: No reason.
      Tuvok: That is not a satisfactory answer, you must have had some motive.
      Suder: I didn't like the way he looked at me.

    • Neelix: I don't suppose you've ever heard of the Vulcan Rumarie?
      Tuvok: The Rumarie is an ancient pagan festival.
      Neelix: Full of barely-clothed Vulcan men and women, covered in slippery Rillan grease, chasing one another.
      Tuvok: That has not been observed for a millennium.
      Neelix: Well, time to bring it back!
      B'Elanna: (over the com) Lieutenant Tuvok, report to engineering immediately!
      Tuvok: Acknowledged. (walks away)
      Neelix: (shouting after Tuvok) I've been thinking of a Rumarie theme for the mess hall next week. Lots of high fat greasy foods, and if people want to take off their clothes and chase one another... well, it certainly wouldn't hurt morale around here.

  • NOTES (5)

    • In a 2010 interview, Tim Russ admitted that he had included the scene from this episode wherein Tuvok loses control of himself in sickbay in a performance reel he could show when seeking acting work.

    • This was one of Ethan Phillips' favorite episodes to watch from the first two seasons of Voyager. It was also Robert Picardo's favorite from the second season.

    • A scene involving Chakotay "dressing down" Tuvok for not knowing about Paris' gambling operation was cut from the episode.

    • When this episode was originally pitched, the killer Tuvok was to mind meld with was a generic alien serial killer. Then it was changed during the script writing to a Human. It was Tim Russ (Tuvok) who suggested the killer be made a Betazoid, since it would make more sense for someone from another telepathic race to adversely effect Tuvok than just a Human, no matter how psychotic.

    • When this episode is broadcast in syndication, a brief scene is cut after Chakotay tells Paris that he's on report, in which Paris sarcastically replies that it must be a tough job to fill out reports and Ensign Kim sarcastically tells Paris "thanks."