Part I of II: The Summary

Long summary ahead. A lot went on in this episode…

The episode opened with Tom and Harry attempting to guess Tuvok's age, when Tuvok suddenly notices a huge compliment of ships in the distance. It turns out to be, as Tom quips, "a flotilla of hostile trash ". It's a junk yard -- Abaddon's Repository of Lost Treasures, where all trades are final.

Harry, Tom, and Seven use astrometrics to look through all of the ships to see if they can find any useful materials, while Neelix looks through Abaddon's inventory to decide what Voyager will need. Tom notices a small ship that he simply must have. Neelix, Harry, and Tom present a rather fatherly Chakotay with a list of all the items that they think they need from Abaddon and what they will trade for them. Chakotay questions the need for this extra ship, but as Tom is willing to trade power couplings and his jukebox for it, the trade is approved.

Tom and a drafted Harry begin working on this ship immediately, naming her Alice after a young woman back at the Academy that Tom tried to…well, you know. Tom connects himself to the neural interface and instantly is tapped in to all of the ship's systems - until another power coupling is blown and the connection is severed. Finally, the two agree to get some sleep and leave. Alone, "Alice" powers herself up and pulls up a schematic of Tom's face and brain.

In his quarters, Tom hears a woman's voice hauntingly calling to him. He leaves his quarters to investigate and sees a woman wearing a silver space suit, turning a corner and calling his name. Tom follows and enters the docking bay where "Alice" is, and asks "Who are you?". For which we hear a sultry woman's voice respond "I am Alice". Over the next few weeks (we assume it's weeks. No real indication of how much time passes, except a heavy beard growth by an unshaved Tom), Tom vigorously returns to repairing "Alice", forgetting again and again to keep his appointments with Harry. He finds the design for a silver suit (similar to the one the woman was wearing) and replicates one to wear (not a wise fashion choice).

Meanwhile, Seven finds Neelix to tell him that the starcharts they obtained from Abaddon are inaccurate. Neelix also complains that some of the artifacts he traded for are just junk. Seven recognizes one of the pieces of "junk" as a very valuable stone, that some races were trade whole fleets just to own.

Tom finally finishes repairing and rebuilding "Alice" and replicates some champagne for him and B'Elanna to share at "Alice's" private christening. Torres, and the viewer, gets to see "Alice" for the first time. She hardly looks like the same ship - having been cleaned and rebuilt. Tom explains that she is not quite ready, that she needs just a few more repairs. B'Elanna and Tom share the champagne in "Alice" and start to get romantic. Suddenly the environmental controls flair up and Tom's attentions are diverted back "Alice". Torres becomes angry, but Tom barely notices and she leaves in a huff.

Tom goes to Chakotay with a list of several items that "Alice" still requires before repairs will be complete. Chakotay explains that they just can't spare the items at the moment, that Tom will have to wait. He also tells Tom that he has been neglecting his duties, has been late for two sickbay shifts, and needs a shave. Tom, quite upset, goes back to "Alice" to tell her that they have to wait and there, leaning against the ship, is an exotic looking brunette, wearing an identical suit to Tom's. It's Alice! Alice tells him that Torres and the others don't understand him but she does. She tells Tom that he must relax and pulls him into the ship. She modifies his uniform to make their connection more complete and then tells him to hook up to the interface. In a more commanding voice, she tells him to continue with her repairs.

Tom sneaks around the ship and steals the parts that Chakotay would not grant him. When he begins to feel remorse, Alice just eggs him on. Tom enters astrometrics, apparently without permission, to plot something that resembles a course. Seven catches him and Alice is there, telling him exactly what to say (very Jedi Knight-like!). Tom follows her directions and they leave. It is apparent that Seven is unable to see Alice.

Torres and Kim are working in engineering and B'Elanna notices a power drop and immediately surmises what Tom has been doing. She runs into the docking bay, knowing he will be there (where else has he been lately??), but he isn't there. She boards "Alice" and starts digging around in the ship's systems. "Alice" shuts the door and shuts off life support. Tom happens upon the murder scene and opens "Alice's" hatch and frees Torres. B'Elanna runs into the hallway to catch her breath and Tom catches up to her. They argue about "Alice" and Tom becomes quite angry and slams her against the wall. Torres threatens to go to the Captain. Alice is there again and tells Tom to just let her go. Torres does go to the Captain to tell her what is going on.

Tom, realizing that Alice tried to kill Torres, attempts to get away, but everywhere he turns - there she is again! He tries to get to sickbay, but Alice uses their connection to hurt him and force him to go to the docking bay and launch the ship, to follow the course that Tom was secretly working on in astrometrics.

The Captain is skeptical of what B'Elanna tells her until she is notified that there is an unsanctioned launch. Of course, it's Tom and Voyager is unable to stop him. They lose track of him, as he goes into warp with his warp signatures masked. On board the ship, Alice tells Tom to finalize their interface by activating the connector sequence. Tom does and wires come out (I'm sure there is a more technical name for this) and he becomes part of the ship.

Voyager goes back to the Trader, Abaddon, to find out what exactly is going on. With the bribery of the valuable stone that Neelix and Seven discovered among the junk, Abaddon boards the ship and begins to explain who and what Alice is. But Alice appears to him! Sort of. It's an Alice that looks like Abaddon's race, rather than human. And only Abaddon can see her. She tries to kill him, by the EMH acts quickly and manages to save him and to insert a cortical suppressant so that he will never see Alice again. Abaddon tells them that he had tinkered around with the ship, but that Alice didn't want him for a pilot and told him to find one for her.

Seven uncovers the plotted course in astrometrics that Tom was hiding and Voyager is able to trace Tom (did you actually have any doubt?). On board, Alice tells Tom that the old Tom doesn't exist anymore. There are more wires connecting him to Alice. They arrive at the coordinates, and Alice tells him that this is home. Directly in front of them is an anomaly that destroyed twelve ships in the Alpha Quadrant. Voyager catches up and contacts Tom. The Captain is unable to reason with him (did you have any doubt?), but the EMH has other ideas. He is able, through a blinking thing hooked to Torres' head (again, this is the official technical definition), to connect her to Tom and she appears as if on Alice and tries to talk him down. Meanwhile, Tuvok, waiting until Tom is sufficiently distracted, is able to break in to Alice's computer and get Tom out of there. Alice loses trajectory and goes in to the anomaly, blowing herself up.

In sickbay, Tom and B'Elanna make up and have a very romantic hug. :-)

Section II of II: The Review

VERY interesting episode! I really enjoyed seeing the entire cast, especially Neelix. I was beginning to think they had dumped him off somewhere - not that it would be the greatest tragedy in the Delta Quadrant, but still. He IS a cast member. The Captain and the EMH didn't have many scenes, but they had all of last season, so I wasn't really bothered by not really seeing them. The few scenes the Captain did have, she looked wonderful. Marriage must agree with Kate. Either that or someone at Paramount finally heard my screams of anguish everytime I saw Kate on TV and has worked a bit with her makeup and hair. As for Seven not having a pivotal role in this ep - ah gee. I am NEVER bothered by not seeing Seven. It's so refreshing to not have her save the day all of the time (I know, I know. I say this quite all of the time.). Although, I didn't think the rest of the crew had it in them anymore after relying so long on the SuperSeven and her Amazing NanoProbes. And, most importantly, no one sang this week. THANK YOU! I really did appreciate how TPTB tried to work in everyone and gave some of those characters who all but disappeared last year a more vital and visible role, not only in this ep, but this season.

J/C moment!! Sort of. Ok, I'm stretching it a bit, but when Tuvok issued a red alert at the beginning when he found the junk yard, Kathryn and Chakotay came out of her ready room, looking quite out of breath. Well…maybe they didn't look out of breath, but I'm going to pretend that they did. I also noticed Chakotay zipping up his uniform. Well…just let me live in Cilla World, ok?

My favorite part of the entire episode was when Tom was trying to convince Chakotay that they needed "Alice" and Chakotay said that they "had a full compliment of shuttles". ROTFL! Since when??? Since they don't let Chakkers pilot them anymore? How many shuttles did they bring with them, for pete's sake? Especially after Chakotay crash landed about nine of them the first two seasons. Where did they get these new shuttles? At the Official Starfleet Shuttlecraft Factory? I am surprised they have two, let alone a full compliment! It's not like they have loads of energy to replicate a full compliment!

Another highlight of the episode for me, was also in the beginning, when Abaddon is welcomed aboard by Chakotay and Neelix. Abaddon recognized the trader in Neelix and inquired about it. Neelix responded positively to this and then said that he now was in the food business and a diplomat. As he said that, Chakotay looked down and smiled as though he were trying not to laugh. Apparently, Neelix is still serving up leola root and other Delta Quadrant Delicacies. You would think that they would have either run out of leola root by now or found a way to tactfully tell him that their gentle Alpha Quadrant tummies can't handle his cooking. Or that the EMH would have found a not so tactful way to tell him that every time he serves up Neelix Surprise (that certainly sounds a little pornographic, doesn't it?), people run to sick bay with heartburn and gas.

Sadly, however, I do think that TPTB just may realize that their writing sucks and that Voyager is, as my sweet father would say, going down the piss tube. Why do I say this? Because many elements of Voyager's more successful counterparts keep popping up in different episodes this year. For "Alice", there was a pathetic attempt to capture that famous Bones/Spock/Kirk charisma through Tom, Harry, and Tuvok in the beginning of the episode. Tom and Harry, a la Kirk and Bones, were teasing Tuvok (Spock) on the bridge and attempting to guess his age (why did the just not look it up in the ship's computer?). They had the banter down, but to attempt to mimic the most famous threesome (NO! I don't mean THAT way!) in Trekdom? Give it up.

While this episode was certainly better than last week's Sing Along with the Demented Doc and Boobie of Borgie, there were still tons of plot holes. Which brings me to my very favorite part…

Questions, problems, and other catty comments:

1. When Tom goes to Chakotay to get some the last parts for repairs to Alice, Chakotay tells Tom that he needs a shave. Why does he need a shave? Riker had facial hair. Sisko had facial hair. Worf and Geordi had facial hair. What's the deal here???
2. When it was stated that Starfleet lost twelve ships in the anomaly that Tom was headed towards, why did Starfleet not post signs up or something. They just kept going towards it and lost twelve ships? Umm…ok.
3. While this was a good episode, I thought it left quite a few stones unturned. Why did Alice want to go to the anomaly? Was she a life form? If so, how did she get in the ship? What was the point of all of that? Were there others like her?
4. Where did Tom get a jukebox?
5. Nicely intertwined episode. Especially the part with Neelix and the valuable gem.
6. If Tom is capable of basically rebuilding junk ships single-handedly and can fly better than Luke Skywalker, why is he having to do sickbay duty?
7. When crewman pass Paris in the corridor yelling at Alice, why didn't they do something? They obviously couldn't see Alice. Didn't they find that behavior a little unusual? Even for Tom Paris?
8. As more than one person has pointed out to me, can we say "Christine"? Wonder how Steven King feels about his book being ripped off for a Trek ep?

Rating: Overall, a nice episode. Hardly any Seven should be worth an extra point or two. Most of the cast was well represented here. An attempt at a plot (even if it was stolen from a bad horror flick). A tiny J/C moment. Harry looked GREAT! "Alice" gets a six of nine.