Caught this old episode last night. It’s a very clean example of a Relationship Story, Seven of Nine and Janeway, and how to use The Past in the Third Signpost:
Seven has been on Voyager nine months and she’s making a lot of progress towards becoming a human being and leaving the Borg Collective behind, IMPACT from Janeway’s POV. But she’s becoming more disagreeable, argumentative.
There’s an inequity between the fact of how Seven sees herself and Janeway’s fantasy of Seven’s ideal journey. Janeway sees humanity as security and Seven sees it as a developing threat. Helps to understand that Seven is a victim of a massive violation that defined her character.
Seven tells Janeway, yes, she’s been making progress, but not the way Janeway thinks. She wants nothing to do with humanity. It appears they have a quick way home, but Seven wants nothing further to do with humanity and wants to be let off at the nearest planet. Her future is not with this group, and not on Earth. IMPACT Janeway sees that Seven’s anger is misleading, Seven is terrified of going home.
Seven wants to make a choice to stay behind but Janeway argues it’s too dangerous. Seven wants to delay going home, delay becoming fully human but Janeway and events are dragging her forward before she feels ready for it. Janeway understands Seven’s lack of openness as fear, and Seven understands Janeway’s preconceptions about how much good she’s done Seven as intrusion and control
Seven and Janeway are kidnapped and headed on an alien ship towards the Borg collective, faced with Janeway being assimilated, Seven being reassimilated. When faced with that choice, to rejoin her own Past and leave behind humanity, Seven chooses to help Janeway escape the alien ship. IMPACT: Seven’s decision helps Janeway defeat the alien and gets them both back to Voyager.
Their fate appears to be leading them to being assimilated by the Borg, which is an inequity with their destiny of returning home to the Alpha Quadrant. Their is an inequity between the prediction that they are trapped and will be assimilatd into the Collective and the interdiction that Janeway is determined to perform, to seize the ship and change their fate.
Seven has rejoined the Voyager crew and Janeway is surprised when Seven goes to work in the lab: she has a new idea for how to get Voyager home more quickly. IMPACT Janeway realizes that Seven has a new, healthier stance towards her own humanity, and a healthier crew is the result.
Janeway is dealing with the fact that their attempt to return home was a failure, but Seven responds by going to work in the lab on a new idea she has for how to adapt what they learned and use it to quicken their journey. Seven is no longer repelled by humanity, but by the Borg. Janeway wonders does that mean you’re attracted to becoming a human? No, Seven responds, but things change.
The Overall story is about the new Quantum Slipstream drive. Will it get them home faster and, hey, where did this slick new ship come from?
The Impact Character is about an alien with hidden motives, his appearance at first appears to help the Voyager crew, but then it turns out he had his own agenda.
The MC is of course Janeway, who has to maintain her suspicion, control her optimism an hope and desire to get home and focus on being a good Captain and getting to the Truth of the situation.
Hmm I may analyze this one a bit more. Dramatica was new-ish when this was written. Is it possible Braga came across it early? This is so spot on.
Also nice example of how the Relationship Story has a sense of being “the real story” for the episode, “oh, this was really about Seven accepting being a human being in the context of her relationship with Janeway.” How one throughline gets the focus. It was tempting to think of Seven as the MC, but no, the writers are careful to keep it on the RS throughline.