We say farewell to a friend in the episode that originally aired on May 9, 2001. This is Homestead.
Captain’s Log Stardate 54868.6 Homestead
Voyager runs across a Talaxian settlement who needs their help and Neelix gets a chance to reunite with his people.
As the crew of Voyager celebrates First Contact Day, Chakotay breaks the news that they have found what looks to be a Talaxian settlement not far from their present course. However, when they arrive, no one from the colony answers their hails so Tuvok, Neelix and Paris head into the asteroid belt where the colony is located, to determine if they need assistance. There they are attacked with explosive charges causing the away team to crash the Delta Flyer.
Neelix soon meets Dexa and her son Brax who. They seem to be hiding a secret and are keen on not wanting outsiders in their settlement. Despite Neelix’s excitement to have found some of his own people, he is asked to leave but not before Dexa gives him a tour of the facilities. Before he leaves, Neelix stumbles upon the real reason they do not want to have outsiders around, it appears the Talaxian colonists are having a problem with local miners who are threatening to destroy the Talaxian colony in order to get to the minerals.
Before long Neelix and Dexa realize that they have feelings for one another as Dexa has been alone with her son since the death of her husband. Neelix attempts to negotiate with the miners and only manages to get the deadline to evacuate extended. Feeling that he lost, he is encouraged by Tuvok to be the leader this colony needs and help them to defend their homestead. Since he is not a part of Starfleet and not confined by their regulations, he informs Janeway that he intends on helping his people defend themselves. She agrees to let him go although she considers him part of the crew.
After a brief battle, with a little help from the Delta Flyer, Neelix manages to get the Talaxian colony safe and secure from any further attacks. Returning to Voyager, he soon finds that he wants to be with his people although he knows he will miss his family aboard Voyager. Janeway makes Neelix the Ambassador to the Delta Quadrant so that he can stay with his people while also remaining a part of the crew. Neelix departs with the entire crew seeing him off, and Tuvok delights the Talaxian by ‘dancing’ (wiggling his foot) and then wishes Neelix to ‘Live Long and Prosper’. Neelix leaves the ship and finds himself in the arms of Dexa and Brax indicating that the Talaxian is where he belongs.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
Thus ends the tale of Neelix the Talaxian, Junk Dealer, Morale Officer, Cook, Ambassador, Godfather and overall friend to everyone. I have to say, this is one seriously emotional episode that really surprised me considering how much I couldn’t stand this character at the beginning of the series.
Of all the characters on Voyager, Neelix has had some of the most significant character development. Going from a rogue junk trader who was looking out for himself to a genuine friend to the entire ship, we have seen Neelix evolve considerably over the course of his seven years on Voyager. Thinking back, it couldn’t have been easy for him, considering he would lose the only person he knew pre-Voyager and have to adapt to living with people who initially were just a means to and end for him. No doubt, Neelix has had some questionable moments but seeing all of his learnings and experience come together in his attempt to defend a colony of Talaxians is a sight to see. This is not the same Neelix that Voyager met above Occompa, this isn’t even the same Neelix that was jealous of Tom Paris, or the Neelix that nearly killed the ship with cheese, no, this is Ambassador Neelix and his has certainly earned his place as the first Federation Liaison to the Delta Quadrant.
As an episode, I could not think of a better sendoff for this character. Series like this do not usually have overly happy endings for characters but it was nice to see Neelix not only reunited with his people, but also find a family he could call his own. Ethan Philips really took his character to the next level in this one pulling on our heart strings as we wanted Neelix to remain on Voyager while also wishing he would remain with Dexa and Brax. Sure his relationship with Dexa moved really fast, but who is to say that Talaxians aren’t known to fall for one another so quickly? I mean, it’s possible.
Overall, this is a great character finale for Neelix directed by none other than LeVar Burton who manages to make this one of the most emotionally satisfying episode this season. It is solid through and through and well worth the watch.
Whatever becomes of Neelix after this? Well, we never find out officially. Sure there have been books and video games depicting the continuation of his story, but as of the time of this writing, Neelix is believed to be living his best life with Dexa, Brax and possibly his own children. I am sure the miners didn’t stop attacking and he is sure to have had many more adventures as the leader of the Talaxian colony, as the Ambassador to the Delta Quadrant and, as a father.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- 0 photon torpedoes fired, -32 remaining.
- 0 shuttlecraft lost or destroyed, -6 remaining
- We learn that Chakotay teaches a Paleontology class.
- This is the last time We see Naomi Wildman who really didn’t seem all that sad that Neelix left.
- This episode takes place on First Contact Day and directly references the events of the first meeting between Human and Vulcans.
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: Renaissance Man
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Late To The Game 4/19/2021
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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