Part I: The Summary

As Part II began, the Equinox crew had stolen Voyager's field generator and escaped back to their ship. Voyager lost her shields and the aliens began to attack Voyager's crew. The Captain and Chakotay, among others, both get struck by the aliens. The Equinox goes to warp and leaves them there to defend themselves. The Captain is barely injured, although Chakotay fares much worse with the aliens. On the way to sickbay, Captain Janeway finds the Doctor's holoemitter and takes it along with her to sickbay. Assuming it was her EMH, he is activated. As Chakotay is recovering, he and the Captain begin a conflict that lasts to the conclusion of this episode. An argument over priorities. Chakotay wishes to contact the aliens and work out a peaceable means to end this attack and make first contact and the Captain sees one thing: Captain Ransom. Her tunnel vision and thirst for vengeance allows her to see nothing else.

Back on the Equinox, Seven refuses to give the codes to Captain Ransom, so her orders the EMH from Voyager (all this switching of EMH's was a tad confusing) to extract the codes from Seven's brain, possibly killing her or, at the very least, reducing her mental capabilities. While Cilla thinks this a great idea, apparently the EMH does not. Once his ethics program is deleted by Captain Ransom, the EMH comes around to Cilla's way of thinking. Sadly enough, her implants are not removed.

On Voyager, Harry is able to finally communicate with the aliens and Janeway sends them a message, which appears to be ill received. Not really caring, she continues on her quest for vengeance. Voyager tracks the Equinox to a planet's atmosphere, where Ransom is hiding while finishing repairs. The Equinox's away team beams down to a planet that looks remarkably like Southern California. The away team is captured by Paris and crew. Janeway, having completely lost her mind, secures the Equinox's away team lead in a cargo bay and demands that he tell her Captain Ransomís plans or she will lower the shields from the room and let the aliens attack. Noah (from the Equinox) refuses, so Janeway makes good her word. She leaves the room, taking a horrified Chakotay with her. They argue outside and finally Chakotay pulls Kathryn into his arms and kisses her. They make passionate love in the corridor, with romantic music throbbing to a climax. Ok, ok. I got carried away. Real story: And finally, Chakotay rushes in and saves Noah's life. Noah still won't tell them any of the information they wanted, but will agree to help them find the Ancari. (The Ancari are the aliens from Part I, who introduced the attacking aliens to the Equinox crew as Ancari gods or something. I wasn't really paying attention at that point because E! was having a behind the scenes of "For Love of the Game" and they were interviewing Kevin "yummy" Costner. I am sure you agree that he is FAR more important than some stupid alien gods.) Janeway and Chakotay argue again and she relieves him of duty.

Janeway and Tuvok beam over to the Ancari and they help Voyager contact the aliens. Janeway negotiates with them, and finally agrees to turn over the Equinox to them. At this point, even Tuvok is looking a little confused over this new and psychotic Janeway.

The EMH on Voyager, who is really from the Equinox (No, that's not confusing.) contacts the Equinox to relay Voyager's tactical information to them, including shield frequencies. On board the Equinox, Captain Ransomís conscience finally gets the better of him and he decides to cooperate with Janeway. But Max does not agree and stages a mutiny. Max attacks Voyager and, using Voyager's own shield frequencies, is able to do serious damage to Voyager. Captain Ransom, with the help of Marla Gilmore, contacts Janeway and beams everyone but the mutinying bridge crew on to Voyager, along with Seven. Max and his cohorts are attacked by the aliens and killed. Finally, Ransom is alone on his ship. He takes it out of range, plugs himself into his cortical imager, and the ship explodes.

Part II: The Review

While not quite Best of Both Worlds, this season premier was shockingly good. Especially for Voyager. Even having watched it twice now, I found it interesting, with several themes running throughout.

First things first, though. I HAVE to mention this. I was STUNNED at the sudden change in Chakotay's character! Bridge poodle no more! And Seven didn't save the day?? Cilla doesn't know what to say! I can't believe the crew of Voyager was able to survive without Seven of 38-22-34 (thank you, Piglet, for Seven's new nickname!). For two years, Seven and her nanoprobes have been Voyager's Wesley Crusher. I am surprised that Captain Janeway and the rest of the crew can even operate without her. And as for Chakotay, well, apparently, the Viagra has been doing wonders. What a nice change! Doubtful that it will last throughout the season, but I can live in hope.

I thought the majority of the crew looked great after their hiatus. I really like what they are doing with B'Elanna's hair. Even Kathryn's hair and makeup looked great for once. I read that Captain Janeway's bun is coming back. Naturally. They finally make her look nice and they go back to the iron bun. :::sigh::: Paris, what little we saw of him, looked thinner and his little hair hat didn't look as fake. ButÖwhere was Neelix?

In the "scenes from last time (part I)", Kathryn said to Chakotay "we turn our backs on our principles and we stop being human." While I agree with that sentiment, what about Vulcans, Klingons, half-Borg freaks, Bajorans, etc.? Do they not have principles as well? Are those principles not the same or similar (well, except for the half-Borg freaks)? I thought that was horribly Earth-centric. I thought this show took place in the future. If this is how we will think in 500 years, we will never get that far!

I thought that Ransomís character was excellent. Something else you don't find often on Voyager. After taking the field generator and making his way back to the Equinox, he asks for a status report and learns that Voyager his being attacked by the aliens. The expressions flitting across his face were sensational. It was so easy to believe that he truly felt remorse, but just didn't know what to do. That he thought he really had no choice. This was one of the first themes running throughout Part II. Ransom justified everything that he did, by believing that he had no choice. Seven reminds him (gotta work that great Borg wisdom in there somewhere) that he hides from everything and disguises that by saying he has no choice. And while it PAINS me to admit it, she is right. He hides from reality by using his cortical imager and escapes to the beach. He hides in a planet's atmosphere to avoid dealing with Klingons and Romulans and Voyager. Oh my. :-) Even in death, he hides. After he told Janeway that he would take the ship out of range, he put his cortical imager back on and went back to the beach. I am sure this was done to show that Seven was no longer there, but it did a great disservice to Captain Ransom. He had regained his principles and should have died bravely facing reality.

Kate Mulgrew also did an excellent acting job in this episode. Her face, especially during the staff meeting after Chakotay had rescued Noah from the aliens, was frightening. Really conveying her anger and her single-mindedness. At the end, when she saw that Voyager's plaque had fallen, as Ransomís had fallen. As she had fallen. You could see the humility in her eyes, as she knew that she had become Ransom. She had tried to persecute him for the things she was guilty of. Ethics seems to be the theme of this episode. Captains Ransom and Janeway discarded their ethics as easily as the Doc has his removed. Will Janeway get them back? (Probably, with TPTB's lack of continuity, we will never know this ep happened.)

Wow. Too much seriousness for Cilla. On with the catty comments pointing out flaws (my favorite part.)

1. Why would a Captain who had challenged/outrun/battled the Klingons and the Romulans be given a science vessel to command?? Don't science vessels go to the Dr. Crushers of the world? The Datas? Why would this guy get one?
2. When the Doctor got back to Voyager , with no holoemitter (making that impossible), why was he normal and had his ethics subroutine back in place? Why wasn't he the evil EMH? Which I am sick to death of, by the way. Is that the only story line TPTB can give our dear doctor? The man is the best actor they have and all they do is make him Dr. Jeckle/Mr. Hyde. Too stupid.
3. I know that Chakotay is a peace-loving Native American person, but the man had been a terrorist. Frankly, if I were Janeway and he were giving me a lecture about crossing the line, I would have decked him one.
4. These little aliens look like Species 45790210 and all the rest. Voyager needs new makeup people.
5. A friend from work pointed out that B'Elanna's initials are BET, not BLT. LOL!

Rating: This was a pretty good episode, especially for Voyager. Either that, or I have such low expectations, that it just seemed to not be crap (remember Favorite Son??). At any rate, Seven didn't save the day, the wrap up at the end was not that neat, I LOVE the symbol of the falling ship plaques, and a tiny bit of J/C at the end (ok, I'm reaching for that one). Although, I did have to listen to Seven sing. That was SO uncalled for! Damn that doctor for not pulling out her brain! I give this episode a Seven of Nine.