The crew find themselves trying to get Chakotay back from the…beyond! Originally airing on May 1, 1995 this is Cathexis.
Captains Log Stardate 48734.2 Cathexis
After Tuvok and Chakotay are hurt, Janeway and the crew rush to find a way to bring Chakotay back after having been drained of his bio-neural energy. Discovering her latent abilities it may be up to Kes to help him get home.
After having her Gothic holo-novel interrupted by Harry Kim, Janeway is called to the bridge as they have lost contact with Tuvok and Chakotay. Locating their shuttle, the two are Beamed back only to find that Chakotay is in a coma due to some strange energy discharge from an alien ship they encountered in a dark matter nebula. Janeway, knowing that she must determine who did this in order to save her first officer orders Voyager back to the Nebula even though the chances of coffee being in it are slim. Soon, however the ship alters course without any input from the crew despite Janeway’s desire to head into the nebula.
As Janeway tries to take the ship to the Nebula, Torres begins a ritual treatment using Chakotay’s Medicine Wheel much to the Doctors chagrin. Although he does not see any scientific purpose of this ritual, he approves of the attempt. Meanwhile Kes begins having a strange feeling that someone or something is in her quarters with her.
The ship shutters and changes course again this time locking out everyone on the bridge from altering course. Tuvok finds the issue and fixes resuming their course but the mystery remains of why this is occurring. It seems that Paris may be changing course without his own knowledge despite the navigators denial of the deeds. Reporting to sickbay the doctor finds nothing out of the ordinary with Tom. Tuvok surprises them all when he discovers Paris’ DNA on the consoles that were affected.
Tuvok finds the ion trail of the ship that attacked the shuttle craft and just as Voyager begins pursuit the warp engines shut down. Investigating, Janeway discovers a baffled Torres who has no memory of initiating an emergency warp core shutdown which has left the ship without engines for at least two hours. After the Doctor confirms that there are indeed two sets of memory engrams in both Paris and Torres, Janeway begins to realize there is a pattern here and that something is possessing her crew-members in order to prevent Voyager from going into the Nebula. Janeway transfers all command codes to the EMH in fear that anyone aboard can be taken over.
After a subsequent attack on Tuvok and Kess involving a strange energy discharge that leaves the two unconscious, the crew begin to become paranoid as to who may be possessed. Paris suggests a magneton scan that may reveal the source of this creature but it will take some time to set up. Things take a more difficult turn when it is discovered that Kes’ injuries where not the same as Tuvok’s and there is a chance that Tuvok has been possessed by the creature. Hoping to get a scan of her security chief, Janeway finds the Doctor has been deactivated forcing her to retake the security codes.
On the bridge things take a turn for the worse when the alien takes over one crewman at a time causing mass confusion on the bridge. Tuvok determines what to do and stuns everyone using a wide phaser beam. This is where things get really complicated. As the ship gets to the nebula Janeway finds out that there was never another ship but it seems that Tuvok has been lying about it’s existence. It seems that there are in fact two aliens, one that has possessed Tuvok that wants them in the nebula and one that wants to prevent their return. After a brief fight with the possessed Tuvok, Janeway learns that the beings are the Komar and want to extract everyone’s bio-neural energy as it will feed its people for many years to come. Janeway tries to reason with him but to no avail. Soon it is discovered that the second entity is in fact Chakotay who uses the medicine wheel. Via Neelix, to communicate with the crew helping them to escape the nebula.
Somehow, using the system in a lengthy process, the Doctor is able to reunite Chakotay with his neural energy and the Commander explains that he was indeed floating around possessing people trying to prevent the Komar entity from killing his crew.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
The description above really doesn’t do this one justice. In all honesty, this one plays out very well providing a pretty solid mystery concerning who or what is affecting the ship and it’s crew. It kinda had a solid horror vibe like a blend between the uncertainty of The Thing or Alien but ala Star Trek. Sure there is never an acid bleeding alien or shapeshifter but something that can get into someones mind and take over at any given moment, yeah that’s spooky. I really love the beginning of paranoia that begins to sweep through the ship as the entity begins taking people over, the cast does a tremendous job exhibiting the emotions of an uncertain crew and it really drives it home.
This episode really shines in the use of the ensemble cast giving almost every main character a moment that really fits their established character. No one is given the primary focus despite the event starting with Tuvok and Chakotay and this gives the episode a very solid sense of just how important each member of the crew is. We are even introduced to a new crewman, Lieutenant Durst. Remember that face, you will see it again.
Bottom line, this episode effectively makes the Delta Quadrant that much more frightening. The idea that there are essentially Space Vampires floating around sucking the Bio-Neural Energy from people is pretty scary. It also shows just how solid this crew is and that, even with the recent shakeup they are starting to run like a well oiled machine. If anything, it should give us hope that Voyager may actually make it home…eventually.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- 0 photon torpedoes fired, 37 remaining.
- We see Chakotay’s medicine wheel in this episode. Gotta say, that’s an impressive one…
- Seeing that two nebulae tried to kill them as of late, maybe they need to avoid nebulae from now on? maybe?
- We get more hints that Kes’ powers are starting to manifest setting up some pretty fun stories up ahead.
- Once again Neelix fails to warn the crew of the dangers lurking in the area he probably should have been familiar with. I mean, with Space Vampires floating around you would think people would have heard rumors of something. I don’t know it’s almost like he’s…
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Late To The Game 4/29/2020
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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