Seven of Nine – Day of Honor

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The Star Trek Voyager season four, episode three titled “Day of Honor”, is filled with growth not only for Seven of Nine but also for other members of the Voyager crew. Captain Janeway continues to forge a path in mentoring Seven of Nine toward understanding and accepting her human side while simultaneously impacting the crew. Star Trek is known for telling stories that hold a mirror up to society showing us our true potential. But in this episode Star Trek exposes fundamental human faults while showing us that kindness might just be our most unique and powerful trait.

The episode begins in Cargo Bay Two, also known as Seven of Nine’s quarters. Seven of Nine reaches out to Chakotay for a duty assignment aboard Voyager. She wants to do more to help fill her days. This is Seven of Nine’s way of expressing a need to become a more active member of Voyager, although she may not realize that yet. Her request is to be assigned to engineering and Janeway agrees to the assignment as long as Seven of Nine abides by the rules. This is also the episode where Janeway asks Seven of Nine to streamline her name so that it is easier for the crew to address her. Captain Janeway suggests Seven of Nine use her given name, Annika. Seven of Nine finds that name unacceptable. Janeway quickly suggests that “Seven” could work. Seven of Nine finds the suggestion “insufficient but acceptable”. Thus, in a few lines of dialogue, the beloved Seven moniker is born.

Upon arriving in engineering, Seven is confronted by Voyager’s Chief Engineer B’Elanna Torres. In all fairness, B’Elanna is having a bad day as it is the Klingon Day of Honor. She is struggling to decide whether she will take part in the Day of Honor ceremony constructed by her and Tom for the Holodeck or whether she will instead simply continue to ignore her Klingon heritage. B’Elanna is struggling with her identity as much as Seven is at this point in Voyager’s journey. B’Elanna pushes people away when they get too close. She has a quick temper. And she has a huge chip on her shoulder when it comes to following Starfleet directives. As would be expected, when you put two strong willed, intelligent, and capable people together who come from opposing backgrounds there is certainly going to be conflict.

Upon arriving in Engineering, B’Elanna immediately asks Seven if she feels any guilt about all the individuals that she assimilated as a Borg drone. Seven quickly responds to B’Elanna’s question with a curt “No”. The indifference that Seven shows infuriates B’Elanna, but Seven has not progressed to a point emotionally where she can even begin to fathom the horrors she was made to inflict as a Borg drone. The fact that B’Elanna cannot see beyond Seven’s Borg past and grant Seven some time to become more acclimated to her emotions sets a foundation for their relationship which will remain tumultuous for a very long time.

In typical Starfleet fashion, the Voyager crew responds to calls of distress from other vessels in the Delta Quadrant. During this episode the crew meets a species called the Caatati. The Caatati were a species of millions until they were assimilated by the Borg. Now they number only a few thousand and are struggling to find a new planet to call home. The Caatati ask Voyager for food and medical supplies for the eighty-eight people on board this particular Caatati ship. Janeway instructs her crew to give the Caatati any supplies they can spare and then has the Caatati representative escorted off Voyager. As the Caatati representative is leaving Voyager he crosses paths with Tom and Seven. The Caatati representative recognizes Seven as Borg and begins screaming at her, confronting her, and demanding to know what has happened to his family and loved ones. Tom quickly intervenes and has the Caatati representative removed. Seven tells Tom that others on the ship treat her the same way that the Caatati representative just did. Tom tells Seven that he is not like that, and should she ever need someone to talk to she can count on that. This moment between Tom and Seven is really the first time a member of the crew beyond Janeway and the Doctor have ever attempted to extend a hand of friendship toward Seven.

An experiment in engineering to create a trans warp conduit based on Borg technology goes horribly wrong and forces B’Elanna to evacuate engineering and to eject the warp core. B’Elanna immediately blames Seven for the accident in engineering. Seven denies having done anything wrong. Tom and B’Elanna take a shuttle to go retrieve the warp core and Seven is summoned to Janeway’s Ready Room. Captain Janeway approaches her conversation with Seven cautiously. She offers Seven coffee or tea and Seven informs Janeway that she gets all her energy from her alcove. Janeway tells Seven that the Doctor has informed her that Seven is almost ready to begin ingesting food. Seven begrudgingly replies “so he does”. At this point, Janeway begins questioning Seven about the accident in engineering. Seven reacts to the line of questioning by informing Janeway that she is like the rest of the crew in viewing Seven as a threat. Seven also informs Janeway that she is unaccustomed to deception so it is not probable that she would be lying about not causing the accident in engineering. Seven then admits to Janeway that she is having trouble integrating with the crew. She tells Janeway that the crew are “insufficient but capable of kindness and unexpected compassion”. It is with this statement by Seven that Janeway realizes that Seven is progressing and asks for Seven’s help in finding out what happened in engineering.

The episode continues with Tom and B’Elanna discovering the Caatati attempting to claim the ejected Voyager warp core as their own. The Caatati cause Tom and B’Elanna to transport into open space as their shuttle explodes. They are floating in space with quickly diminishing oxygen supplies hoping that Voyager gets their signal for help. Back on Voyager, Seven has discovered that the trans warp conduit experiment failure in engineering was truly an accident just as the Caatati vessel once again contacts Voyager. This time the Caatati inform Captain Janeway that they have Voyager’s warp core and are now demanding more supplies be given to them. In addition, they demand that Voyager turn over the “Borg” member of the crew. During the communication with the Caatati, Seven offers to surrender herself to the Caatati to save Voyager. Captain Janeway declines Seven’s offer and prepares to fire on the Caatati. Seven then suddenly remembers that the Borg assimilated the knowledge of how the Caatati produce the thorium element needed for energy on their ships in large quantities. Janeway asks Seven what made her think of that during that moment. Seven tells Janeway she is unsure and Janeway proposes that maybe it was an act of kindness on Seven’s part. In the end, peace is established with the Caatati, Tom and B’Elanna are rescued and Seven gives the Caatati the plans to build the machinery that will produce the thorium. When the Caatati tell Seven “thank you” Seven replies with “you’re welcome”. Captain Janeway is pleased with Seven’s progress and with the resolution with the Caatati.

This episode is important in the development of several Voyager characters. B’Elanna and Seven both learn tough lessons about kindness and understanding. Janeway allows her trust of Seven to grow. And Seven learns that insufficiency is not the only characteristic of humans. From this point on, B’Elanna’s story arc will see her trying to be more accepting of herself as half human and half Klingon and more accepting of others. For Seven, it will be a long time before she is able to begin accepting who she is as a former Borg who is part human and part Borg. But her acceptance and understanding of human emotions started in this episode with an act of kindness. Thus proving once again that Star Trek can continue to teach us lessons in humanity even decades after airing.

LLAP & Go Boldly

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Jodi

Fueled by coffee and willing to charge into a nebula for more. I’m a lifelong musician and creative with a love for all things sci-fi. In a universe where you can be anyone, be a Trekkie.

Go Boldly & LLAP

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