In which Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind becomes 50 First Dates and almost becomes 10 Cloverfield Lane.
Harry recounts some troubles he’s having with some of the enhancement Seven made to the Bussard collectors. She’s too good and he has no idea how close to full they are, because he’s still a huge baby who can’t work closely with her because he has a crush but she’s indifferent. However, before Tom can make too much fun of him, Voyager starts getting buffetted by a cloaked firefight. The winner calls Chakotay by name, asking for help. Her comms don’t seem to be working, so they try to beam her aboard directly. That doesn’t work either, so they have to beam over to stabilize the ship long enough to tractor it in. Preferably, before it explodes.
CHakotay soon finds the person who was asking for his help, buried under a mound of wrecked bulkhead. He pries her out, and definitely seems to recognize him. The ears make me think Kes, but the really weird thing is that scans of her don’t stay in memory. She’s an antimemetic, which makes it obvious how she knows Chakotay without him knowing her. It simply isn’t obvious whenthey met. She also begs for Asylum, because she’s being chased. The people chasing her want to ‘take her back.’
She at least knows the effect she has. Her people don’t create memories in other species, at least not memories that last longer than a few hours. Somehow, this is a biological factor due to pheremones they produce. This alreadydoesn’t explain the fact that the computer and the Doctor can’t scan her and so clearly is not the whole story. Unless the tricorder uses the same neurochemistry for computation that humans do and Chakotay is somehow not an idiot.
She explains that they met about a month ago, spending several months of Voyager, working on something unknown, and she came back because she fell in love with him. Clearly, not for his intellect.
Her society, Remura, doesn’t let anyone leave, which is why they’re after her. In a hilarious ironic twist, she’s also a bounty hunter who used to work tracking down people who tried to leave. That’s why she was on Voyager in the first place – tracking down an escapee. They don’t trust her, Chakotay least of all, but it seems to be in service of making sure he doesn’t just fall for a pretty face.
Tuvok and Seven work with her, comparing navigational logs to prove she was actually on Voyager previously. Nobody made a diary entry, apparently. Chakotay drops by to take her off to the mess hall, and Seven notes that he’s probably got the hots for her. Neelix also is finally resigned to making human foods, but manages to keep up the streak by making foods Chakotay hates.
Apparently, Kellin (because they haven’t actually named her on screen yet so I had to look it up) snuck around Voyager for two days before she was noticed when her cloak went down. At that time, Chakotay happened to be the one to find her. He didn’t have better things to do, but since she immediately wanted to jump his bones and didn’t know if he reciprocated, she was happy to work with Chakotay to complete her mission. When the current, forgetful Chakotay lays his cards on the table plainly, she acts like she didn’t know it was going to be like this, based on her entire profession.
Kellin’s people show up, in cloaked ships, to attack Voyager and have weapons that can pass through their shields effortlessly, yet which still cause shield damage. And also which don’t cause much hull damage, apparently. They must be on low power, trying to shake Voyager around without destroying it, because when the Krenim had weapons that passed right through shields, things were a lot more dire a lot quicker. When Kellin confirms her desire for asylum, Janeway gives her access to the sensors long enough for Tuvok to disable their weapons. Declawed, the Remura flee.
To keep Voyager safe from the Tracers, Kellin needs access to the sensors directly to permanetly enable them to detect the Tracers. Unless, of course, this is a long con. The Tracers, if she is to be believed, won’t give up because her egress carries with it the possibility of giving away the means of detecting their society… like she’s about to do. That’s why they exist.
After she taunts him with a little suggestive teasers, Chakotay finds himself up in the mess hall, late at night talking to Neelix and getting some tea. Neelix believes her, just based on the way she looks at Chakotay. He dispenses a little Bartender Wisdom, over tea, and sends Chakotay back to his room, where Kellin winds up looking for him with an ultimatum. She came back for him, and if he’s not interested in trying to rediscover those feelings, she might as well leave.
He asks her to stay, and a few hours later they’re laughing over ice cream, but this is mere distraction from worries about the persistence of the Tracers. They’d be legendary for it, if they didn’t sweat antimemetics. As a further distraction, she tells him how they caught the fugitive last time. They sprung a clever trap, then Kellin brainwiped him to erase his memories of the Outside. Here, if I were Chakotay, I’d start to be suspicious again, because in her story he might have been aware that they brainwashed the fugitive and still had warm feelings for her. That may be the soundtrack helping out, and if that’s where this is going, I have to give credit for the scene construction. I’m choosing to believe Chakotay is playing along for more than just the obvious reason.
Look, he’s been in space a long time. Most of the people on board report to him at some point. It would be very Starfleet of him to give her a lecture about the countless people she violated before suddenly wanting freedom for herself, but that wouldn’t put a dent in his bedsheets. So next he goes to Tuvok to try to get her a job on his security squad. Tuvok also wants her to help out with the shields.
Whiz Kid Harry Kim may have come up with the only defense anyone’s ever mounted against their proton beams. When Kellin leaves, Seven and Harry engage in a frank discussion about inefficient courtship rituals. However, as Kellin strolls through the ship, she gets one of those hair-raising moments, and realizes there’s a Tracer on the ship, but too late. He shows up and erases her memories, and she passes out.
I’m not sure why the Doctor was scanning her, since it was established already that those scans don’t work. As the memories fade, she makes Chakotay promise to tell her about them. He tries to stop it, interrogating the Remuran, but he’s not talking. Their society’s laws are very strict about that sort of thing. Chakotay is very adamant about trying to make this whole Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind thing work, but it’s clear he’s just trying to convince himself. She doesn’t remember him, and now that her memories have been erased she’s gone back to the entire training of her adult life that’s telling her to enforce the laws of her people, not break them.
Although you’d think that someone whose primary sidearm is a memory-erasure device would be primed to listen to an explanation of their sudden and mysterious presence aboard an alien ship involving said device. Indeed, she’s aware of the possibility, but Chakotay’s explanation comes off a bit creepier when he does it. It might be the gender swap, or it might be that ‘you fell in love with me’ to an amnesia is just plain-old creepier than ‘I fell in love with you’ to an amnesiac. Either way, it’s not to be. When the Tracer beams off, he tells Chakoty that he placed a virus to erase all evidence of their being here, and since nobody on this ship is as competent as anyone on Picard’s ship, that’ll be the end of it. Another episode that literally doesn’t matter. On the bright side, Chakotay decided to actually write the log down on paper, where the virus won’t get at it. So, mattered marginally more than Year of Hell.