Saturday, August 25, 2012

Ex Post Facto

** (2 stars out of 5)
Before we begin, I should note: this episode is an homage to Pulp Fiction and Rashomon. Since I don't like either of those films, it's no surprise this story did and does nothing for me. Your experience, as usual, may differ.

Baneans, warring with their Numiri neighbours, take time out of their busy schedule to falsely accuse Tom Paris of the murder of their famous physicist, Tolan Ren.

Ren invited Tom and Harry over for dinner with his chihuhua Stimpson, and Lidell his granddaughter... oh, wait... WIFE. Lidell is a femme fatale right out of a Warner Brothers movie, so Tom ramps up the anti-hero mook with infidelity on his mind (and temporarily, the morals of a bug) just long enough to fall afoul of an unusual legal system.

Here, Murderers are punished every 14 hours for the rest of their lives with the last experiences of their victim. Great sci-fi concept. Mostly wasted on this story.

After lengthy interrogation, Harry Kim rushed home dehydrated and with no sleep to fetch help. Sure made me admire Kim more! Just not the mook he's trying to help. And I was enjoying Mr. Paris before this: the Guy who made mistakes was on the road to redemption. I personally have a difficult time with extra-marital affairs and smokers, so I really have a difficult time understanding what Tom possibly sees in this woman. He actually is what B'Elanna called him in jest last episode: a pig.

Because, like everyone in the 24th century, Mr. Tuvok has never heard of a psychotricorder, he orders an autonomic response analysis to determine the truth of Tom's claim of innocence. They hope to plea bargain Tom's sentence down to lethal injection. Yay!

Lidell avoids Tuvok's queries in the Accusing Parlour, so Tuvok jumps directly into an ill-advised mind-meld which does, indeed, save the day. Tuvok also comes out of this looking pretty good. And with Tom Paris for a friend (which now looks less good).

"Ex Post Facto" gets two stars because on some intellectual level I appreciate everyone's efforts. I dislike it enough that 1.5 stars is closer to the truth of the matter. The Numiri spy's scheme is INSANE: 1. Kill a scientist.
2. Bed his wife.
3. Sneak weapons data out in an alien patsy's brain? Gambling that this untested process would not kill Paris or turn him into a vegetable? Risking ARMED conflict with a completely unknown alien spaceship in order to snatch Paris, which fails twice? There are about a kajillion ways the plan could go wrong, so, of course, it does.

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