VOY Season 1, Episode 15 (Netflix S1 E14): Jetrel
I don’t understand Jetrel. He said he didn’t regret what he did, and that it had to be done. He asks Neelix if he felt sorry for what he did during the war, like it would be comparable. He tells Neelix, who he knows has suffered immensely, that he too is suffering the consequences of the mass murder because his wife and three children left him. He says he could never apologize for all he did. Yeah alright, but why be so insensitive? By the end we find out he has dedicated 15 years to bringing the victims back to life, which I guess is supposed to reveal he really does have enormous guilt and is trying to make amends. But if that were true, why did he act like such a jerk the whole time? I guess the revelation at the end doesn’t technically contradict what he said his motives were in the beginning but that would make it seem like his main motives are again for science, and perhaps his reputation, but not because of guilt, or because he thinks he did something wrong. This all has a much simpler answer: early in the episode, the audience was supposed to be unsure about Jetrel’s motives, so the writers made him a jerk.
I don’t understand Neelix. I’m mainly talking about what happens in the middle of the episode where he starts feeling guilty. I think this was a strange choice for the writers. I understand that when tragic things happen to ones family a person will often think about what he or she could have done to prevent it, and feel guilty about this. But thats not what happened with Neelix. He felt guilty for being a coward during war time, and deceiving people about it. Alright, thats fine, feel guilty about that, but we’re meant to believe this is the cause of Neelix being so angry at Jetrel? They seem unrelated. Jetrel causing the murder of Neelix’s family and hundreds of thousands of other Talaxians doesn’t seem like a situation that requires additional secret motives on the part of Neelix. This just made the situation between Neelix and Jetrel muddled.
Also, if this episode is supposed to be representing the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (the producers seem in conflict about this), then this business about Neelix’s guilt and projected hatred really muddles up that metaphor as well.