Section 1 of 2: The Summary

While traveling through Devore space, Voyager is put through several "inspections" by the Devore to verify that the crew is harboring no telepaths. The Devore mainly search for a race called the Binary, but also search Voyager for any other telepathic humanoids. After the third inspection (at the opening of the episode) we learn that Mama Janeway has indeed smuggled twelve Binary on to her ship and is hiding them along with Tuvok and the rest of her crew that is telepathic -- they are being stored in the transporter buffer. Janeway is planning on taking the Binary to an elusive wormhole so that they make escape Devore space. Cashick, the head inspector, later asks to defect and to help Voyager and the smuggled Binary escape to the wormhole. He helps question a scientific expert (whose name was given to them by the Binary) and he and Janeway work late into the night trying to locate it. They succeed. They also become aware of the chemistry between them. (Well, if someone hasn't had sex in four years, I would think she would have chemistry with the warp drive…)

Voyager, as she heads toward the wormhole, is discovered by Devore sensors and Cashick generously says that he will sacrifice himself so that Voyager can escape. He leaves Voyager (after a lukewarm smooch with Kathryn) to go back to his people, only to return (as planned) later with his inspection team. The Devore inspectors inspect the ship once again, and finally Cashick reveals his true intentions -- as a spy in search of wormhole information! He takes command of Voyager and orders the telepaths to be released from the transporter buffer. But, to the Devorean inspectors' dismay, when activating the transporter, all that they find are veggies and what looked like leola root. :-) Meanwhile, the Binary leave in shuttles, open the wormhole, and escape. Cashick lets Voyager go, as none of the inspectors need this kind of blight on their record.

Section 2 of 2: The Review

Very interesting episode. It's been a long time since I have been surprised by a conclusion of Voyager. I will say that too much, as usual, was crammed into the last four minutes, but all in all, great conclusion. Cilla was fooled into thinking this was all going to work out just fine and that everyone was what they appeared to be. Obviously, he wasn't going to be an addition to the crew, but I didn't think he would be a rat. And I certainly didn't think that Janeway was going to double cross the double crosser. Way to go, Captain!

Anyway, one of the things I thought most interesting about this episode is that we never learn why telephaths are removed from society. Why the Devore search them out and place them in the detention centres. I guess hate and bigotry don't really need reasons. This all reminded me of the underground railroad and the smuggling of slaves out of the American South. Or Jews out of Germany. (Or handmaids into Canada, if you read Margaret Atwood.) I still think that TPTB are jamming a liberal agenda down our throat with their politically correct social messages, but at least this time it was subtle.

I would have to say that the best part of this episode was that Boobie was only in...what?....four scenes at the most. And she didn't save the day??? Didn't come up with some ingenious way to make miraculously fix everything by pulling out a Borgie solution out of her Borgie implants. *G* Wow! Always a happy Cilla when not forced to watch Mammoth Mountain Barbie's excruciatingly painful attempt at acting. Ditto for Chaky Boy. The less the better.

Acting kudos this week must go to the gentleman playing Cashick. He seems to be a marvelous character actor. In the beginning, he seems perfectly slimy, very Dukat like, actually. When he defected, he was on edge and warming up to Kathryn and the idea of defecting with each passing second, becoming positively likeable when he left. When he returned to Kathryn's ready room, once again as the inspector, there was something there. He was not entirely relaxed and managed to convey that something was amiss, that he was up to something.

Interesting chemistry between Cashick and Kathryn. There was definitely something there between them. Whether it was the commonality of science and passion or just plain lust (nothing wrong with that!), I am not sure. But, their kiss was…boring. I see that Kate has been getting kissing hints from the actor of all actors, Robert Beltran. Kate, honey, listen to an actor who knows how to…well…act. Sheeesh! I think I am hoping that Kathryn and Chakotay will never become romantically involved. I think they would ruin it. Neither can kiss in front of the camera and I can't imagine either of them playing that kind of part comfortably with each other. I swear I have seen Kate kiss other actors -- and kiss them well -- in movies and television shows (i.e. Corben Berson), but I could be wrong. Maybe there is just something about the character of Kathryn Janeway that doesn't invite that kind of thing. I wish I was wrong, but Kate doesn't seem to want the part to grow as a woman. Just a cyborg. Maybe she thinks she won't get the keys to anymore cities or anymore "Inspiration of the Year Awards" if she plays as actual woman.

Questions, Catty Remarks and other Comments:

1. TWO more shuttles gone???
2. I noticed that once again our good Doctor wasn't in but one scene. What is up with that???
3. A coworker pointed out the similarity between Schindler's List (and reality) and this episode in the playing of the classical music to calm the crew (or in reality -- the Jews) before inspecting and/or removing them to the detention centres (or concentration camps). Nothing was really said about what happened to the Binary after they arrived and these centres. And as for the Devore's reasons for this, I assumed that they were jealous of the Binary (telepathy) in the way that the Germans were jealous of the Jews (money and power). Or maybe their society was structured in such a manner that it was acceptable to have a slave class.
4. I wonder why Casheck just didn't blow up Voyager and kill everyone on it. Besides the fact that Berman wouldn't then have a tv show. A real Nazi-ish alien (or a Cardassian) would have killed all of Voyager's crew, blown up the ship after stealing whatever they wanted, and then bribed his own crew with some of the bounty to keep their mouths shut.
5. Why didn't Tuvok hide during the final inspection? Oooooops!
6. Cilla is shallow enough to point out that everyone looked VERY good in this episode. Kathryn is finally getting that hair under control and the rest of the group looked great. What little we saw of some of them.
7. Why was Suder mentioned in the beginning as being a part of the crew manifest? Hasn't he been dead for a while now????
8. Why did they ask Seven what her implant was and if she was telepathic?? This was their third inspection. Hadn't they already met? If not, very sloppy Nazis.
9. Binare (TNG -- the twins that take over the ship)? Binary? Not very original, Mr. Berman. Seems like you men are running out of names for races.

Rating: To recap, the pros: good episode, suspenseful (which is shocking in itself), hardly any Seven, barely any Chackers. The cons: no J/C, no J/P, no J/N, no sex for Janeway, no Doctor, no sex for Janeway. Rating? Seven of Nine. ;-)