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 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!!!!!
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.
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.
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.
It only happens occasionaly on Star Trek but this episode gave us a crew member murdered by another (escape clause though he was Marque )(good old starfleet)aswell as the most emotionally controlled member of the main crew a vulcan losing it big time. Classic scene is when he kills Nelix and his attempts to manipulate Janeway. What we also see is an excellent performance in balancing the conflict within Tuvox and the excellent cold performance from Brad (Suter) who finds some relief when Tuvox performs the mind meld. They should know these things never go well generally. Good episode
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