The One With The Salamander Sex
Going in for another threshold test in the holodeck, Paris makes warp ten. We pull back to see that all the senior officers are watching a recording of this attempt in the briefing room. Chakotay and Janeway look excited; Kim, Paris, and Torres, proud. Janeway congratulates them, which prompts their request to put out for a manned flight. They want to push the sh'pod to warp ten, and then drop out of warp and come about. After that, they plan to analyze the logs. Chakotay thinks it's a frightening notion. Dude, your disembodied, invisible consciousness traveled around the ship in order to beat up Tuvok while your body was lying in Sickbay BRAIN DEAD and you find this frightening? Singular. Janeway says something about not being able to put the genie back in the bottle, and announces that she's confident in the team's efforts and research. I think they wrote this episode specifically so that Kate Mulgrew could say "threshold" as much as possible. She completely draws it out: "Thresssshhhhhhhhhold." Ironic that The. Worst. Episode. Of. Voyager. Ever. also bore the name of Braga's failed 2005 series. In the way that "ironic" means "prescient." Janeway gives Team Threshold the go-ahead, and tells Paris that if the manned flight is successful, he'll be joining an elite group of pilots, "Orville Wright [what about Wilbur -- WHY do people ALWAYS forget about Wilbur? I'm going to start a "Remember Wilbur" campaign. It's unfair otherwise], Neil Armstrong, Zephram Cochrane, Tom Paris." Of course Paris likes the sound of that just as much as he liked the sound of being a member of an elite group of pilots who formed a Kolvoord Starburst and ending up killing one of their squadron. Oh, my god -- my email box is already filling up. Yes, I KNOW that wasn't actually Paris. I KNOW it was just Robert Duncan McNeill in another role. It was a joke, people, a JOKE!
Paris. In a bathrobe. Reclines. Ew. Janeway rings and comes in, and Paris bustles to his feet. "At ease, Mr. Paris," she tells him. Yeah, but not too at ease, okay? We don't need to be seeing Paris's Eiffel Tower. Janeway sits, and Paris gets wind that this visit isn't just a social call. Janeway tells him that the Doctor detected a slight enzymatic imbalance in Paris's cerebellum, and therefore Kim will be the one to pilot the test flight. Because he doesn't understand what the big medical whoop is, Janeway elaborates for Paris: "[The Doctor] can't predict what will happen when you cross the thresssshhhhold. He believes there's a small chance you could suffer a brain hemorrhage under the subspace stress." So, the possibility of Paris's brain hemorrhage is like Gary Sinise's measles in Apollo 13? It's only a 2\% chance, so Paris sort of wigs a bit and gets all five-year-old-at-a-birthday-party about how this is his flight and he's going to take it into a corner and play with it. Alone. Janeway doesn't get it. Paris tries to explain, "When I was a boy, my father used to tell me I was special." Yeah, but dude? He meant in the short-bus definition of the word. Paris adds that all the teachers and kids at school went around saying, "Tom Paris is going to do something important when he grows up." What school was this? P.S. Tom Paris? I'm being completely serious. What school had their kids running around predicting the future success of one of their classmates? If they're worried about the future success of anyone, it's more about who is not going to fall off the holographic monkey bars or get mauled upside the head by a hovering tetherball that day. Janeway makes some attempts at schooling this little brat in the practice of not being so vain that you become colossally stupid but, it being Paris, she gets exactly nowhere. Finally, Janeway gives in to Paris's pathetic pleadings that this is the first time in ten years that he feels like he has a life to do anything with. Yep -- when all else fails, dredge up the "I was in prison, so I should get all these great chances" sob story. Paris will pilot the historic flight.