Date: August 19, 2020
Season 2, Episode 4
Interstellar News: I thought I was going to watch so much more Trek today, but I just couldn’t. Life has been very stressful these last few months, but more so this last week.
TL;DR: Chakotay interrupts two of the crew smooching which leads to he and Janeway having an academic discussion about fraternization policies, free will, and having babies while lost in space. Voyager encounters some space dwelling lifeforms and goes to take a closer look. Neelix is an asshat to Kes because Paris is being nice to her, but later she is seen eating beetles and stuffing her face with anything she can find. Neelix brings her to sickbay where she finally tells Janeway and the EMH that she’s going through elogium (puberty), which only happens once, and if she ever wants to procreate, it’s got to be now.
Voyager gets stuck in the midst of the life forms, who mistake it for a potential mate. The other potential mate gets mad but Chakotay pulls the submissive card, the ship turns blue and does a barrel roll, and they are able to escape. Kes asks Neelix to be her mate, he goes to Tuvok for advice, but then she starts freaking out and decides to not go through with it. Eventually the EMH speculates that the elogium was false and brought on prematurely from the energy field created by the life forms. Janeway worries about the environment of a starship for a child’s upbringing when Ensign Wildman comes in and reports she’s pregnant, although her husband is back on Deep Space Nine.
Neelix: A daughter? I don’t have anything to teach a daughter.
Tuvok: Why would it be any different from what you would teach a son?
Neelix: It just would. She’d learn more from her mother.
Tuvok: I have three sons and one daughter. I can assure you she benefits as much from my presence and guidance as my sons do. It is unfortunate that I must be so far removed from all of them now.Tuvok, the OG feminist of the starship Voyager.
“It appears we have lost our sex appeal, Captain.”: This episode was… weird. I liked that the one story caused the other story, as the life forms messed with Kes in a way that she thought she was going through the Ocampa version of puberty. We learn more about the Ocampa here, that they only live for a decade or less, and she’s not even two… but that makes everything super freaking creepy when you think about her and Neelix’s relationship. I don’t have anything against an age gap as long as it’s past a certain age (like 21 or 25 in humans, before that the frontal lobe is still forming and you should just enjoy life until then). The EMH is super fascinated by the pre-mating ritual and I love his enthusiasm for learning, looks like I found my Ravenclaw.
Janeway and Chakotay discussing fraternization, a potential replacement crew, and mating rituals is quite possibly one of the funniest things considering a comment I made a few episodes ago about “mommy, daddy, and Uncle Tuvok“. It’s a real conversation that needed to happen and one I am very surprised did not happen sooner. I got a little bit of a “Galaxy’s Child” vibe from this episode, only this one was more sexual in nature. I disliked how Janeway said people were going to start pairing off, because some people might not want to. They may be in a committed relationship and prefer to remain monogamous. They might be asexual or could be the only one of their kind on board and unable to mate with the other crew. It’s a hard ask and goes way above the call of Starfleet duty, let alone those who are Maquis. Though, if there’s any hope of getting back to Federation space… sigh. I’m not sure how I feel about the Kes and Neelix story line. One one hand I hated the “I trust you not him” bit by Neelix, it’s a bullshit excuse and line, but I did absolutely love Tuvok and Neelix’s conversation.
I also think it’s a great little Easter egg that Ensign Wildman is the one to tell Kes about mashed potatoes, and then she’s the one who winds up pregnant at the end. Wildman is in several scenes throughout the episode and it’s a nice touch. I also geebled at the end by how much garlic Neelix has in his kitchen. He would make any Italian grandmother very proud. I’m very torn on my feelings for this episode, so it’s 5 bulbs of garlic for this one.