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the agony booth
Star Trek: Voyager “The Fight” TV Recap Page 5 of 5
Posted by Mark M. Meysenburg Posted on: March 23, 2008
Page: 1 2 3 4 5


Janeway orders the ship to stop, and then pops down to Astrometrics to visit with Seven. Seven reports that she "applied 10,053 algorithms" to their surroundings, and has thus found "an isolinear frequency". She points at a purple blob on the screen, which Janeway manages to recognize. In fact, what she sees was a question on her "exo-genetics" final during her senior year at the Academy. She missed the question, and that one miss kept her from getting an A, and here she is, able to instantly recall it thirty years later. Bitter much?

So, professors at the Academy use questions on their finals based on previously unknown areas of space where the rules of physics don't apply? And if their students miss just one of these questions—based on something no human has ever encountered or experienced—they don't get a top mark? Hot damn, that's pure academic evil! I'm going to have to file that one away for use on my spring exams. Captain, my students thank you in advance for the "chaotic space" bonus question.


Make sure you study everything that's never been encountered. It will be on the final.

[Editor's Note: And it's also reassuring to know that B students still get to be starship captains. There's hope for me yet. —Albert]

Turns out the signal Janeway recognizes is designed to activate DNA. While it was pretty obvious that the chaotic space aliens were responsible for Chakotay's hallucinations, now we have a technobabble mechanism for it. The episode makes so much more sense now.

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Chakotay is still reeling from the vision quest, so when he gets the news from Janeway, his response is all mixed in with his hallucinations. "Do you believe me now? They scheduled the fight! They're putting up the purse!"

It's pretty clear that Chakotay is losing his grip on reality, but the Doctor has a technobabble explanation handy anyway, saying that his "sensory cortex is hyperactive." Chakotay angrily yells that it's not a hallucination, but a "prize fight!" He's not helping his case here much, is he?

Chakotay is still mad about the Doctor stopping the fight. You know, back in the vision quest. He's afraid nobody will schedule him for more bouts after he dropped out of this one. Janeway understandably tells Chakotay that maybe he should get some rest, until they can figure out what's happening to him.

Chakotay slips back into lucid thought, although we know this only through his words. His demeanor is the same as when he was spouting crazy talk, but now he says the aliens want to contact him. Janeway is obviously interested in the aliens, but Chakotay heads back into Nuttsville, describing Kid Chaos, and talking about everything in boxing terms. He's certain he can beat Chaos, if he just stays "off the ropes!"

Again, the Doctor explains the obvious, telling us that the holodeck boxing simulation is the primary source for Chakotay's hallucinations. Janeway thinks the rest of the situation out loud: the aliens that live in chaotic space can't be seen by Voyager's crew, so they're changing Chakotay's senses so that he can see them. It just so happens that Chakotay's crazy gene is what gave them the opportunity.

New rule! All Starfleet vessels must now disembark with at least one certifiable basket case on board!

Janeway and the Doctor go back and forth about the derelict ship they found—were the aliens trying to communicate with them, too? They must not have had an insane person on board, though. Sucked to be them.

Meanwhile, Chakotay is still ranting like a lunatic, wanting to go back into his vision quest, but the Doctor now protests that further attempts to communicate with the invisible aliens could harm Chakotay permanently. Didn't we already establish that Chakotay is their only hope, and thus, this is an acceptable risk? Actually, Chakotay is pretty expendable even on an average day. So what's the deal?

Chakotay is now back in Lucid-Town, and he knows how to push Janeway's buttons: "Captain, when have we ever turned away from a first contact?" Janeway orders him "back into the ring."

On the bridge, things are getting worse. The gravitational shear forces are getting stronger, and the ship is jostling around quite a bit more. Janeway calls down to Sickbay, basically to tell the Doctor to do what she just told him to do before the commercial break. He's doing it, already! Sheesh!


"While I'm at it, I'll turn on your humor gene."

The Doctor fully activates the crazy gene. Okay, what? First: he didn't know how to shut it off, but he knows how to turn it on? And it wasn't fully on already? Second: activating a gene causes its phenotypical effects to happen immediately? Really? So, if I have a dormant gene that encodes for six fingers, and the Doctor turns it on, I should immediately be able to type this recap that much more quickly?

The Doctor punches some buttons, and Chakotay is suddenly back inside his alien-induced, doctor-enhanced hallucination. He's in the ring again, wearing his purple satin. Boothby is in his corner, and Kid Chaos is still dancing with his hood up and his back to us in the other corner. Chakotay is introduced by the ringside announcer as representing "Earth, the Alpha Quadrant, and humanity", and god help us all if he's our representative. The crowd cheers. I assume they all bet large sums of money on him hitting the mat in the first round.

Chakotay is worried that he doesn't know anything about Kid Chaos, but Boothby tells him, essentially, that his primary enemy here is himself. Like we didn't all know that already.


Moby, must your music videos be so literal?

Round one starts. Kid Chaos finally turns around, only to show that he's apparently made of star-filled space! Dude! Like, dude!

As soon as Chakotay and Kid Chaos tap gloves in the center of the ring, the aliens are able to communicate with Chakotay. They do this by piecing together words that Chakotay has heard other folks say recently. It's like those movies where ransom notes are made by cutting words out of magazines, except here, it's video clips of words previously spoken by the actors. [Editor's Note: Not to mention, it's a pretty blatant rip of the prophets talking to Sisko in the DS9 pilot. —Albert]

The Doctor: You
Janeway: Are
Paris: Far from where
The Doctor: You
Crazy Grandpa: Call home

The Doctor: You
Janeway: Are
Crazy Grandpa: Lost
The Doctor: Do you understand?

Chakotay: [Taking a right jab to the face] Yes. [Another jab] We are far from home. [Wicked cross, snapping Chakotay's head around.] We are lost.

Janeway: Our
Crazy Grandpa: Home
Seven: Is here
Janeway: Our
Crazy Grandpa: Home
Seven: Is here
Janeway: In chaotic space
Seven: Chaotic space
The Doctor: Chaotic space

Boothby: [As Chakotay takes another good cross to the head.] Hang in there, son! Protect your head!
Chakotay: I understand!

Tuvok: We are too
The Doctor: Alien
Paris: For you
Tuvok: We are too
Seven: Strange
Paris: For you

Chakotay: [Another punch lands.] Maybe we're the ones who are too alien... too strange.

Janeway: If
The Doctor: You
Boothby: Stay
Janeway: In chaotic space
Seven: Chaotic space
Neelix: You'll be destroyed!

Chakotay: We know that! But we can't navigate. [Another punch.] Our sensors don't work in your space.
Boothby: Twenty more seconds! Don't go down!

The Doctor: Your
Kim: Sensors must be
The Doctor: Realigned

Chakotay: [Jab-cross combination lands.] How can I?

The Doctor: Your mind
Kim: Must be
The Doctor: Realigned
The Doctor: Realigned
The Doctor: Realigned
The Doctor: Your mind
Kim: Must be
The Doctor: Realigned

Chakotay: I understand.
Majel: End round one.


"We are too... sexy... for you! Too... sexy... for you!"

Snap back to Sickbay. And, I'm pretty sure this is where we're done with flashbacks. Finally!

Chakotay pleads for the Doctor to get the aliens out of his head. He says he can't take any more punches—and I tend to agree—but the Doctor tells him he's not really being hit. Further, the Doctor tells him he'll have to take the risk of being destroyed. Before the flashback, wasn't the Doctor worried about Chakotay's safety? Not anymore! Nice bedside manner, Doc.

The Doctor and Chakotay both start talking about the crazy gene, and the Doctor says that the only thing preventing Chakotay from understanding the aliens is his own fear. Basically, the Doctor is giving Chakotay a pep talk for a suicide mission, so that the rest of the crew can survive.

Chakotay says he can't understand the aliens, because they're talking too fast. The Doctor's pleas finally sink in, and Chakotay starts to again hear phrases like "18th gradient", "trimetric fracture", "paralateral rentrillic trajectory", and other assorted words that are completely made up. It makes sense to Chakotay, though; he rushes out of Sickbay, heading for the bridge.

Before recapping the final, climactic scene, let's take a moment to bask in the wondrous anti-sense of the aliens' means of communications, shall we? The aliens who live in chaotic space are really something else: They're able to analyze and decode the human genome (admittedly, they may have had some prior experience, based on all the Bermuda Triangle Starfleet ships lost in chaotic space previously). Further, they can examine particular genes and safely predict what will happen when these genes are activated. And they can set up a signal that can reach into Chakotay's body and activate his crazy gene. They can also read Chakotay's mind, learning all about boxing, his recent memories, and English, even if they have a tendency to repeat themselves.

They can do all this, but they can't send a simple message that Voyager's communications equipment could already understand? Argh! Allow me to communicate in a manner they would understand:

Mark: Not
Mark: Buying
Mark: It
Mark: It
Mark: It!

On the bridge, Kim and Tuvok aren't too keen on the idea of letting a crazy person twiddle all the buttons. Torres, who was on the bridge complaining about the hull buckling before all the flashback nonsense started, seems to have departed.

The Doctor follows Chakotay, again letting everybody know the obvious: "He's hallucinating." Chakotay can't explain what he wants to do, which is not increasing anyone's comfort level about the whole button-pressing idea. Why can't he just explain things? The aliens were talking to him in English, weren't they? Janeway, however, trusts Chakotay. She tells everyone to stand down and allow Chakotay to do his thing.

Tuvok gives a technobabble play-by-play of the button mashing. Just in time to make things dire, I tells ya, the flux increases again. The hull starts to get microfractures—like it does every week—but Chakotay's work has succeeded in altering the sensors so they can find a way out. Just to add some extra suspense (yeah, right), the ship shudders for a while as they go to full impulse. But, wonder of wonders, they fly out of chaotic space in a matter of seconds.

Again, writers, get thee to a science class! If this area of chaotic space is two light years across, and full impulse is one-fourth the speed of light (according to the Star Trek Encyclopedia, anyway), how does it only take five seconds to get out? After all that moving around inside, were they right on the edge the whole time? Of course, taking only five seconds to get out would match the visuals, if not the dialogue, since earlier we saw chaotic space was only slightly bigger than Voyager itself.

Once they've entered normal space, Janeway orders them to again resume a course to the Alpha Quadrant. An exhausted Chakotay crumples to the bridge railing. It's tiring to be crazy!

And so, the crisis is over. What? No way!

Chakotay has now taken some time off, long enough to recover from the stress of talking to the aliens. He's feeling so much better now, in fact, that he returns to the holodeck boxing simulation for another bout with the same alien from the beginning of the episode. Boothby is there, naturally, and he's a little surprised that Chakotay wants to fight again, given how the last bout went. Now, which one is he talking about? It can't be the hallucinatory one versus Kid Chaos, right? So, it must be the first bout, where Chakotay got knocked out. When he was following Boothby's advice. What I'm surprised about is that Chakotay sticks with this old coot as his trainer!

Chakotay nevertheless steps into the ring and starts throwing some good punches. He swings at the camera, literally punching us into black.

And... cue credits! Don't worry about that whole "crazy gene" thing, by the way! There's no way that could be ever be important again, right? I mean, nothing in the dialogue would indicate that it was ever turned off, but so what? He's only the first officer. So what if he'll be experiencing hallucinations from time to time?

Cripes.

So, there you have it. Easily one of the weirdest Star Trek episodes ever. I think it rivals even "The Alternative Factor" in terms of sheer incoherence. I'm still not sure what the point of it all was, but I can say the same thing about a lot of episodes of Voyager. This certainly isn't the first time an episode was based around an idea that was half-baked. But this may be the first time an episode was scripted by writers who were fully baked.

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