With a crew alone and in the delta quadrant it would only be a matter of time before some of the members began to show their true colors. Originally airing on April 10, 1995 this is State of Flux
Captains Log Stardate 48658.2 State of Flux
The Kazon return as a menace when it is revealed that someone aboard has been spying for them.
While on a survey mission Chakotay and are attacked by a group of Kazon who have been hiding in a nearby cloaked ship in orbit. Chakotay is shocked when Seska arrives in time to save him from the attackers after she went missing just moments before.
Returning to the ship, Seska surprises Chakotay with some mushroom soup but he is distraught when he learns that it is made from mushrooms stolen from Neelix’ kitchen. Demanding that she follows the rules he suspends her and her conspirators replicator rations for two days as punishment (including his own). The confrontation and subsequent reconciliation is cut short when Chakotay is pulled away to the bridge.
Receiving a distress call from a Kazon ship, Neelix warns that this sect, the Kazon-Nistrim is one of the most warlike and violent of the Kazon Collective. Knowing the danger, Janeway is willing to take the risk that it may be a trap and takes the ship in to assist.
Beaming aboard the damaged Kazon ship, the away team lead by Chakotay, are shocked to find the many of the dead Kazon crew have been melded into the hull of the ship itself. It is when they find the Federation material, neosorium that they realize that this Kazon ship must have gotten a hold of their technology somehow. Beaming the only surviving member of the Kazon crew to Voyager the Doctor begins to rush to save his life.
On the ship the Doctor discovers that the Kazon crewman has had his cells fused with metal. Tuvok informs Janeway of their discovery of neosorium suggesting that Seska was the one who provided it due to he being found near the caves. Chakotay refuses to accept this but Janeway insists that they must find out which crew-member is working with the Kazon-Nistrim.
With their instructions to get to the Federation tech as soon as possible, Torres and team begin working on a solution to retrieve the technology as soon as they can without exposing the ship to the dangerous radiation. During the plan Chakotay pulls Seska off the team much to her dismay. Chakotay explains that she is suspected of being a spy and he wants the heat off of her. She is not pleased with his decision. Heading to sickbay, Seska begins asking the Doctor and Kes for any updates on the Kazon’s condition. Kes asks Seska for a blood sample but the Ensign refuses indicating having a blood disease as a child.
As they get closer to discovering who contacted the Kazon, Janeway and crew are alerted to a Kazon ship on approach. Things get even more complicated when Seska beams off the ship to the derelict Kazon vessel. Using shield tech she devised to recover the console she is is hit with an unknown blast and beamed directly to sick bay. As Seska recovers, Lt Carey is pulled into Janeway’s office and questioned about his contact with the Kazon-Nistrim. It seems a signal was sent from his station during a test and they suspect that he was involved somehow. He suggests they speak to Seska and, as a precaution, he is confined to his quarters. Janeway is not convinced Carey is guilty and although she believes it could be Seska, Chakotay has other thoughts.
Voyager is contacted by Culluh, the First Mahe of the Kazon-Nistrim. He indicates that he would like to speak to the survivor at first chance and for Voyager to prepare for his arrival. Upon arrival it is clear that Culluh and his people are not there for small talk. After the Doctor informs them that their crewman is likely to survive, Culluh’s bodyguard injects a neurotoxin into the survivors body killing him instantly. Janeway removes Culluh from the ship after refusing to allow Culluh to take the damaged ship but something even more disturbing comes to light when the Doctor informs Janeway that Seska is not who she appears to be, in fact her blood is Cardassian.
Revealing the truth to Chakotay, it seems that Seska may be an undercover Cardassian operative who was sent to infiltrate the Maquis. Although Chakotay is upset, they have to retrieve the Federation tech from the ship before they get any answers. As they begin to remove the tech, Culluh threatens Janeway. Janeway is pleased when Torres returns the tech but is dismayed when she learns what it was, a food replicator. Torres confirms that the tech came from Voyager and Janeway begins to determine her next course of action.
Chakotay informs Seska of their findings and questions his former crew-member of her past and loyalties. Revealing their findings on her blood she explains it by claiming that she had Orketts Disease and she got the Cardassian blood from a blood transplant. Relieved he informs her of an extensive search through security logs and that they should have the name of the traitor soon and she will be able to rest well. After leaving, Chakotay is informed by Tuvok that the same has been told to Carey and they will soon know who the real traitor is.
With the trap set, Chakotay and Tuvok watch as someone begins to alter the files in the ships system to make it look as if Seska is guilty. Chakotay realizes something is wrong and confronts his former crewmate. Revealing what they found in the systems he exposes her attempt to frame Carey using the terminal in the sickbay for her ‘marquis operation’. Claiming that she did it to help save the crew as they need to form alliances with the powerful players in the quadrant. Just as they begin to secure her she calls out a special command and beams out of sickbay and on to a nearby Kazon ship. Although they want to make chase, Voyager is prevented from it by two incoming Kazon ships. Seska has escaped and they will have to deal with her on another day.
In the mess hall, Chakotay asks Tuvok for his opinion if Chakotay was blind to spies who had infiltrated his crew. Tuvok admits that Seska tricked him as well making Chakotay feel a little better about his situation.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
I love the concept of this episode. There is a traitor on the ship and they turn out to be more than they appear. Too cool. The problem is, this was done waaaaay to quickly. To be frank, this should have been planted early on with this episode ending the same way but with the entire suspicion and espionage going on throughout the season. While we got a new villain in the form of Seska, we really didn’t get a chance to know her and to attach to her character. Imagine if this had been done on DS9 or TNG? What if, at the end of the first season you discovered that Odo or Data were actually an evil spy sent there to do nefarious things AND that everything that had been going wrong so far could be tied back to him? Right? Now that would have given us a chance to attach ourselves to the character and be legitimately shocked when it was revealed that the traitor was in fact someone you loved…not some secondary character that only showed up on occasion. Especially when she showed up on the last two episodes after vanishing for most of the season…captain obvious here but…maybe they wanted people to at least recognize her..ugh.
Okay, rant aside, this really sets up things for the upcoming story arcs. Seska the Cardassian spy is now hanging with the Kazon-Nistrim, a group we will certainly get to know, and she has intimate knowledge of the ship and it’s crew. Ruh Row, this is not good folks!
The concept of a Cardassian masquerading as a Bajoran is not a new one and is actually the premise to the classic DS9 episode Second Skin. It is speculated that the daughter of Ghemor that Kira was made up to look like is actually Seska as Kira and Seska do have similarities in their appearance. This has never been established but it is an interesting concept and gives Seska’s character a little more weight in the continuity.
Bottom line, solid story concept, POOR execution. Let stuff like this play out!!!!
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- 0 photon torpedoes fired, 37 remaining.
- we learn that the Federation is one of the few species to use Neosorium technology.
- The scene where is shows a Kazon trapped in the walls of the ship is reminiscent to a classic film called The Philadelphia Experiment which happened to involve experimenting with alien tech. hmmmm
- Tuvok suggests that another Federation ship may have been taken by the Caretaker prior to Voyager’s disappearance. This might be important to remember.
- We get the first appearance of Leola Root which looks awfully like ginger…
- While we really don’t get any great character development in this one we do get some good moments that serve to establish more background.
- We find out that Torres is not like any other Federation Engineer she is not one to add time to projects like pretty much every other Federation Engineer we have known.
- We get some decent background for Chakotay as well establishing a past relationship with Seska that he apparently has set aside.
- we get a little more of the Nurse Kes in this one showing that she is becoming a really solid assistant to The Doctor.
- Oh and Neelix actually had some more valuable insight. Seems He is not totally useless afterall!
Thanks for reading the Retro TV Review, I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you, one episode at a time every Monday, Wednesday and Friday! Next Review: Heroes and Demons
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Late To The Game 4/24/2020
Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available. Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.
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