Welcome back, Star Trek fans and fans of self flagellation! I put myself to the test and fired up another episode of Star Trek: Voyager. This time around we get to follow up on a big lead from the end of the premier of Voyager, Caretaker.
If you don’t remember just what that lead was, well the show opens up with a narration by Majel Barrett (also known as the ship’s computer, Troi’s Mom, the nurse from the original series, and the woman that helped break up Gene Roddenberry’s first marriage. J/K, that was all on Gene, the guy was a big fan of adultery. Anyway, the narration explains that at the end of the episode Caretaker, the Caretaker mentioned that he had a mate that was off somewhere else and that mate possibly had the ability to get the Voyager home. Yay! It’s another “will they get home?” episode!
It was really odd to start the episode this way. I realize that many people might not remember, but it totally emphasizes one of the biggest problems with Voyager. There’s been no overall goal. Had they been building up to this episode by maybe getting clues to the location of Caretaker 2.0 on their overall quest to reach her, then a “Hey dummies, this is what is happening in this episode” narration would have been entirely unnecessary.
I digress. We find Kes working with Tuvok to develop her telepathic powers. I wonder if she told Neelix where she was or does she hide that kind of info from Mr. Super Jealousy? Oh wait, I forgot. Neelix is totally cured of his jealousy and now he’s fine with her spending time alone in a male crewmember’s room and he doesn’t give two shits when she’s being courted… well I’m getting ahead of myself. This is a magical TV world where people have problems and then those problems completely go away when it’s convenient.
When Kes gets back to the Doctor, the dead chunk of the Caretaker (which looks like a dried up piece of Floam… remember Floam?) starts to annoyingly buzz. After some investigation, the crew figures out that the Caretaker’s mate is probably sending out some sort of energy, which is making this thing buzz. To quote the Rolling Stones, she can apparently “make a dead man cum.”
They use the dead Floam of Caretaker I as a compass and find another Array (space station). This time it’s smaller and despite the fact that it’s filled with two thousand members of Kes’s species we only get to meet one. And we never see inside this Array because… budget?
The dude we do meet, Tanis, is none other than Gary Graham, who you may know from many things, but I remember him most as the human cop from the Alien Nation TV series. So yep, this continues the tradition of 90s character actors appearing in Voyager. He is real standoffish saying that Voyager’s reputation in the system isn’t very good and he even accuses them of killing the Caretaker. Kes says that’s all wrong and he starts hanging out with her and helping her to develop her powers.
Tanis explains that their Caretaker has the ability to extend the life for their people and has opened up their mental powers. He starts showing Kes all the cool shit she can do, all the while trying to convince her to join them in a totally creepy way. I feel a little guilty admitting that I missed jealous Neelix at this moment. It was the only time he actually had a use.
Kes develops some pretty powerful powers and almost accidentally kills Tuvok by burning him alive! Whoa, this will come in totally useful in future episodes, I bet! That is… there won’t be any more episodes because I’m totally sure the other Caretaker they find will give them the ability to go home!
The Caretaker II eventually shows up and she’s evil or whatever and wants to kill the crew for killing her mate, which is totally weird because you’d think that with Tanis’ mind abilities he could have totally read the minds of the crew and figured out they weren’t evil and didn’t kill him. Well, Janeway stops Caretaker 2 with a special ray gun they made for just this very situation. Wow, that was really convenient.
Janeway explains that they really don’t want to hurt anyone, they just want to go home. And to prove it she lets the Caretaker 2 go. Well, the Caretaker 2 takes this sign of trust and then flies away. Janeway is all, “We’ll find her again and ask her nicely again to send us home.” So not only do they not make it home, the mission to find the Caretaker’s mate is once again open. Oh yeah, and Kes can’t do her mind power stuff anymore either.
So Voyager throws the reset switch and the show goes back to the status quo. Kes doesn’t have special powers, the ship is still directionless in space, and Caretaker 2 is out there… somewhere. What was the point of this episode?
Least Annoying Characters:
Most Torturous Moment:
When the Caretaker 2 flies away as a big disgusting CGI thing covered in worms and you realize that this episode had zero resolution.
Chris Art Accuracy: Chris added a bit of hilarity to the picture, but otherwise it’s a fairly accurate depiction of the dead matter of the Caretaker.
Torture Score: 4 out of 5 Neelixes