“Maneuvers” opens up with Chakotay and Torres heading to the bridge and exchanging some banter that could be taken as playful sexy. Whatever. The important thing is that the Voyager is being hailed by someone using a Federation signal! What could this mean?! Cut to the opening credits!
As you probably have guessed it was not, in fact, the Federation contacting the Voyager. Instead it was a Kazon raider using a Federation signal to attack the Voyager, and boy is the crew completely unprepared for the attack. They’re steam rolled like complete chumps. I’d like to think the 10 months in space squaring off against losers is what put them off their guard, because I can’t imagine that this ship would have been any good against the Maquis.
The Kazon disable the Voyager’s warp capabilities, slam a ship into the side of the ship, steal some transporter technology, and then transport away leaving a significantly damaged Voyager. Man, how could these loser Kazon manage to pull off a stunt like that? Well, at one point someone (Janeway?) yells out, “It’s as if they know our access codes!” Which made me think of two things:
1. I bet anything the secret Cardassian that joined the Kazon’s side, Seksa, is back!
2. They didn’t change the security codes when she turned heel?
Well, I’m right (as usual) because Seska reveals herself. And man, it’s a cool return. It’s great that this show actually followed up on a plot thread and didn’t completely bungle it. I’m not going to go into too much detail, because this episode isn’t that complicated and didn’t drive me insane. It was actually enjoyable with lots of action.
The plan of the Kazon/Seska is to use their stolen technological advantage to form alliances with other Kazon in order to take down the Voyager and steal all of their tech. The dumbest part of the episode is when Chakotay takes off in a lone shuttle to take Seska down. He tries to sneak up on the Kazon ship, but is of course caught. He does some fancy sneaking, destroys the stolen transporter do-dad, and catches Seksa unawares… but he gives her his phaser just when he has her dead to rights. Huh? Well he sent out an automatic beacon to Voyager apologizing for leaving and not to come back for him. Great move.
The Voyager team talks about not rescuing Chakotay and then they do the totally predictable thing and decide to rescue him.
Back on the Kazon ship Chakotay is beaten up by a couple of Kazon pube heads and Seksa has a chit chat with him. None of it’s really working on him to give them the information they need. Next is the rough treatment. They beat him up some more looking for the command codes, while Chakotay tries to convince the head Kazon that Seska is trying to gain control of him. He does it in this really sly, “Hey, I fucked her too” kind of way.
In the end the Voyager crew rescues Chakotay and the day is saved except for one small, minor detail…
Seska calls and informs Chakotay that she stole some of his sweet DNA and now she’s preggers with his baby.
Least Annoying Characters:
Chakotay (he saves himself during the interrogation scenes)
Janeway (Savor it now, Janeway fans)
Most Torturous Moment:
Chakotay being all proud and stealing a shuttle. I’m sure losing yet another shuttle will be a real blow to the Voyager!
Chris Art Accuracy: Chakotay doesn’t have his shirt off in this episode nor does he have it off as often as we like to imagine he does, but any time there’s an opportunity I’m super happy that Chris takes it.
Torture Score: 0 out of 5 Neelixes
Voyager Torture features Vincent reviewing an episode of Star Trek Voyager that he’s seen for the first time and Chris Piers drawing an image based on that episode that he’s never seen.