After Janeway finishes trade negotiations with Kovin for an isokinetic cannon, Seven of Nine experiences panic attacks that appear to stem from blocked memories of Kovin recently violating her. Kovin vehemently denies this; and, as his culture depends on trade with aliens, an investigation, even were it to prove him innocent, would permanently stigmatize him within his society. Unfortunately, evidence remains inconclusive. Kovin flees, but whether it's to hide something or to protect something remains unclear, and the validity of Seven's emotional memory comes into question, too.
Did You Know?
The Voyager crew is quick to believe Kovin's innocence after they determine Seven's nanoprobe regeneration was consistent with Kovin's story about the overloading energy weapon. When they try to call Kovin back from his attempted escape, Janeway and the Doctor tell him they've made a mistake, and Janeway refuses to even fire on Kovin's ship to save her own.
Yet the evidence never proved Kovin's innocence, because it remained consistent with Seven's story as well. Tuvok found that Kovin's weapon had overloaded, but he couldn't be sure it was accidental. The crew was right to tell Kovin about the ambiguity, but they should have continued the investigation impartially, rather than jumping to conclusions about Seven's false memories--after all, their regret was having jumped to conclusions about the memory regression, yet this seemed at the time like a valid test result.
Janeway and the Doctor commiserate in the final scene that they made mistakes that led to Kovin's death, yet everyone on the crew conducted an impartial investigation. It was Kovin himself who made the mistake of running, and of putting everyone's life at risk by attacking Voyager. Nothing in the episode gives viewers a reason to follow the crew into thinking they'd made mistakes, especially given there was no update about Kovin's lab and colleagues having been investigated further about the supposed theft of Borg technology. See more
I often find my own patience being tested by someone like Mr. Kovin. Of course I generally respond with a devastating quip rather than a left hook.
Star Trek: Voyager - Main Title
Written by Jerry Goldsmith
Performed by Jay Chattaway See more