flying through clouds of uncertainty on wings of existential dread
I’m pretty sure that’s not how that joke works.
My friends who’ve seen me lately have already heard this, so sorry, friends. You can probably skip the boring words part.
When Voyager first came on, I didn’t watch it much, partially because I was so attached to the TNG crew (as previously mentioned), but also partially because of Seven of Nine. I’ve never loved Borg episodes — the body horror was a little too horrific for me. Also, the advertising featuring Seven felt really gross and male gaze-y. Star Trek has always had sexy ladies in tight jumpsuits, but Seven seemed to be so overtly only about that, and it turned me off.
So imagine my surprise when I finally watched the show and discovered that she’s not about that AT ALL. Yes, Jeri Ryan is inhumanly beautiful and no one can deny she has a hell of a rack, but she played against the sexiness. Her approach to romantic overtures was either blank incomprehension or terrifying directness (poor Harry Kim). She was almost certainly the smartest person on board, insanely competent at anything not requiring tact, and you never knew who would win when she and Janeway faced off in a badass bitch contest. And did everyone else know that Jeri Ryan is a fucking stellar actress and just not tell me? I can only blame a general bias against genre fiction for the fact that acting students aren’t endlessly discussing the episode where she’s taken over by the personalities of everyone she helped assimilate. Watching her transition between Klingon warrior, playful child, terrified mother, and a very funny few minutes of Ferengi, and then seeing her normal character gradually shattering under the assault? Amazing.
There’s this, too — Seven is a survivor of abuse. She has that brittle exterior over a turbulent core that I recognize from so many people closer to home, including myself. She is damaged and traumatized and deeply conflicted about her abusers, but she’s also strong and brave and amazing, and I love that.
I’m kind of a fan.