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Investigations

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Title: Investigations

Episode: Season 2, Episode 20

TELEPLAY BY: Jeri Taylor

STORY BY: Jeff Schnaufer and Ed Bond

DIRECTED BY: Les Landau

First Aired: Mar 13, 1996

Stardate: 49485.2

Summary:

Having suspected that there was a traitor on board sending messages to Seska, Tuvok and Janeway send Paris undercover as a defector, but Neelix's journalistic meddling threatens to blow the scheme. Though Chakotay is angry when he learns that he was left out of the plan, they successfully track down their betrayer, who is killed by Neelix in a fight in engineering.

.............

I really liked this episode. It was nice to have Paris go undercover when no else besides Tuvok & Janeway knew what the plan was and of course Neelix messed up thinking it was Paris and didn't know actually why Paris left the ship until Janeway told him. Poor Chakotay was left out of the plan...it seems like he wanted to do that job because he was captured...the 2nd time he was tortured by Seska. Seems like Janeway didn't want him to be in that danger again.

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I agree, I really like this episode. I particularly like how it connects with Tom behaving so insubordinately in previous episodes. Chakotay gets me angry though because he was upset that he wasn't let in on the little secret. If he knew, they never would have been able to pull it off.

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I think this episode actually deserves a 9. I was watching it last night and really got swept up in Neelix's investigation. The fact that we know who the traitor is yet still keep interested shows a great deal of skill.

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Was an enjoyable Voyager episode, liked the "news broadcast" of Neelix and I like how his investigation got Jonas very worried. Chakotay was not in on this little secret, because it's because he is by far the weakest first officer.

7.5/10

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Was an enjoyable Voyager episode, liked the "news broadcast" of Neelix and I like how his investigation got Jonas very worried. Chakotay was not in on this little secret, because it's because he is by far the weakest first officer.

7.5/10

You could tell that as the series progressed, Robert Beltran was just phoning it in. His character was continually made to look like a sap through incompetent writing, and Beltran seemed to retaliate by simply (and possibly deliberately?) going through the motions.

On the one hand, I think he should be grateful just to be a working actor on a steady gig (that's hard enough in show business), but on the other hand, if his character is little more than a walking token? He's hardly doing his career any favors....

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Was an enjoyable Voyager episode, liked the "news broadcast" of Neelix and I like how his investigation got Jonas very worried. Chakotay was not in on this little secret, because it's because he is by far the weakest first officer.

7.5/10

You could tell that as the series progressed, Robert Beltran was just phoning it in. His character was continually made to look like a sap through incompetent writing, and Beltran seemed to retaliate by simply (and possibly deliberately?) going through the motions.

On the one hand, I think he should be grateful just to be a working actor on a steady gig (that's hard enough in show business), but on the other hand, if his character is little more than a walking token? He's hardly doing his career any favors....

I think there are several interviews where he openly admits this. *sigh*

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I think he was growing so even then. It was clear that Chakotay's Native American background was never going to be taken seriously by the writers because no one seemed to understand what to do with it. This is the same problem they seemed to have with Kes in her entirety. Chakotay became a dumping ground for anything New Age or Astral sounding.

It wasn't long after Tattoo that I think he had to know that his character was ultimately going to be nothing,

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I think he was growing so even then. It was clear that Chakotay's Native American background was never going to be taken seriously by the writers because no one seemed to understand what to do with it. This is the same problem they seemed to have with Kes in her entirety. Chakotay became a dumping ground for anything New Age or Astral sounding.

It wasn't long after Tattoo that I think he had to know that his character was ultimately going to be nothing,

Part of Chakotay's failure was the attempt to "Sulu-ize" him by not giving him a specific native American tribe; just as Hikaru Sulu (Sulu not being a Japanese last name) was a mix of pan-Asian cultures, such as Japanese and Filipino. I can certainly understand the wish on the producers' part to have Chakotay represent ALL native American peoples, but since the tribes of North (and South) America are so diverse and region specific? Making a 'pan-Native American' only dilutes him as a character. By making him non-specific, he becomes both every tribe and none at all. It did the character a disservice. At least Hikaru Sulu was (more or less) Japanese-American, even if his last name isn't a proper one (he was named for the Sulu sea; which reaches several Asian nations; including the Philippines, Malaysia and northern Indonesia).

Would've been nice if the producers actually did their homework on ONE native American tribe for Chakotay's character to identify with, and not some kind of 500 nations' 'totem pole' character instead...

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I think he was growing so even then. It was clear that Chakotay's Native American background was never going to be taken seriously by the writers because no one seemed to understand what to do with it. This is the same problem they seemed to have with Kes in her entirety. Chakotay became a dumping ground for anything New Age or Astral sounding.

It wasn't long after Tattoo that I think he had to know that his character was ultimately going to be nothing,

Part of Chakotay's failure was the attempt to "Sulu-ize" him by not giving him a specific native American tribe; just as Hikaru Sulu (Sulu not being a Japanese last name) was a mix of pan-Asian cultures, such as Japanese and Filipino. I can certainly understand the wish on the producers' part to have Chakotay represent ALL native American peoples, but since the tribes of North (and South) America are so diverse and region specific? Making a 'pan-Native American' only dilutes him as a character. By making him non-specific, he becomes both every tribe and none at all. It did the character a disservice. At least Hikaru Sulu was (more or less) Japanese-American, even if his last name isn't a proper one (he was named for the Sulu sea; which reaches several Asian nations; including the Philippines, Malaysia and northern Indonesia).

Would've been nice if the producers actually did their homework on ONE native American tribe for Chakotay's character to identify with, and not some kind of 500 nations' 'totem pole' character instead...

That's exactly it. And with making him "every" tribe there's no consistency because there doesn't need to be. Throw in a little Sioux here or Aztec there and he's a meaningless hodgepodge. One more in the list of Voyager's failings.

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I think he was growing so even then. It was clear that Chakotay's Native American background was never going to be taken seriously by the writers because no one seemed to understand what to do with it. This is the same problem they seemed to have with Kes in her entirety. Chakotay became a dumping ground for anything New Age or Astral sounding.

It wasn't long after Tattoo that I think he had to know that his character was ultimately going to be nothing,

Part of Chakotay's failure was the attempt to "Sulu-ize" him by not giving him a specific native American tribe; just as Hikaru Sulu (Sulu not being a Japanese last name) was a mix of pan-Asian cultures, such as Japanese and Filipino. I can certainly understand the wish on the producers' part to have Chakotay represent ALL native American peoples, but since the tribes of North (and South) America are so diverse and region specific? Making a 'pan-Native American' only dilutes him as a character. By making him non-specific, he becomes both every tribe and none at all. It did the character a disservice. At least Hikaru Sulu was (more or less) Japanese-American, even if his last name isn't a proper one (he was named for the Sulu sea; which reaches several Asian nations; including the Philippines, Malaysia and northern Indonesia).

Would've been nice if the producers actually did their homework on ONE native American tribe for Chakotay's character to identify with, and not some kind of 500 nations' 'totem pole' character instead...

That's exactly it. And with making him "every" tribe there's no consistency because there doesn't need to be. Throw in a little Sioux here or Aztec there and he's a meaningless hodgepodge. One more in the list of Voyager's failings.

Even native Americans watching can't really identify with him; as there's no specific tribe or set of rituals that any one tribe could point to and say "Aha! That's me!"

It's like saying Kirk is generically north American, not Iowan. Or Spock is just an alien, but not Vulcan...

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And it could have been such a potentially eye-opening character for viewers as there have been few if any opportunities on television that explored Native Americans as anything other than a caricature.

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Maybe they shied away from identifying Chakotay as belonging to a specific group of First Nations because that would mean having to fill in 300 years of future history for that Band. Or, maybe they simply got lazy and made his character a dumping ground for New Age crap in retaliation for him dogging it on the set?

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Maybe they shied away from identifying Chakotay as belonging to a specific group of First Nations because that would mean having to fill in 300 years of future history for that Band.

More likely because they would have had to have an expert in that tribe consult on the character and they didn't want to bother.

Or, maybe they simply got lazy and made his character a dumping ground for New Age crap in retaliation for him dogging it on the set?

Chicken or the egg. I'm quite of the mind that Beltran was happy with the job until he realized that no one in the writer's room had a clue, then he voices his unhappiness, then writers dump on him.

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