This time the trick didn’t work for me: this is a sort of remake of the good episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation entitled A Matter of Perspective (third season) but I don’t think that it worked well for Voyager. Ex Post Facto doesn’t have the energy of the original TNG episode, and putting Paris in place of Riker because they share the same Don Juan trait doesn’t deliver a particularly great story.
But let’s start from the plot: Harry Kim returns to the USS Voyager after a mission on the planet Banea and says that Paris, who was with him, has been convicted of murder. The punishment is terrible: he has to relive the last moments of his victim’s life every 14 hours, a sentence inflicted thanks to a brain surgery operation (this sounds like what happens to Chief O’Brien in Deep Space Nine’s Hard Time). Of course we already know that Paris didn’t kill Professor Ren (Ray Reinhardt), a physicist with whom the two crew members of the Voyager were working! As soon as we meet the victim’s beautiful wife, Lidell (Robin McKee), there’s no question about the blonde’s responsibility in the tragedy.
So, what about this episode? There’s an investigation whose outcome is known from the beginning , there’s a final revelation which includes a bit of sterile local geopolitics that I immediately forgot, and there’s even a bit of uninspiring action with Chakotay in command against the Numiri ships (again, useless geopolitics)… Luckily, Tuvok is in great shape (and Tim Russ is really good!) and it’s entertaining watching him looking for evidence to prove Paris’s innocence. The Vulcan officer is without a shadow of a doubt the best part of the episode, even if his final trick to prove his point is quite ridiculous. Who thought about that dog? Well, I’d say it’s best to put this episode behind and go warp 9 to the next one! Ciao!
PS: the director of this episode is LeVar Burton, none other than Geordi LaForge!
PPS: In the episode of The Delta Flyers podcast dedicated to Ex Post Facto, Robert Duncan McNeill and Garrett Wang praise the attempt to pay homage to the 40s and 50s cinema noir which emerges clearly from the script written by the late Michael Piller. But even the two podcast hosts must acknowledge that this episode is not among the best of the series…
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