A group of Ocampa help Kes explore her telepathic powers; Voyager tries to contact the Caretaker's mate, who could be able to send them home.
Kes receives studies in honing her telepathic abilities from Tuvok in his quarters. When Tuvok asks her to focus her mind, Kes begins hearing the thoughts of Neelix, who is getting a haircut in another part of the ship. Kes begins to giggle, much to Tuvok's annoyance. Tuvok ends the session and promises to give her a lesson how to reduce her emotional outbursts and better control her mind. Kes then leaves and arrives in sickbay late for her shift. The Doctor begins to gently criticize her tardiness when he is interrupted by a high-pitched, shrill noise. Kes and The Doctor open a panel to find the source of the sound – a shaking piece of the Caretaker's remains.
Kathryn Janeway and B'Elanna Torres are summoned to sickbay. Torres scans the Caretaker's remains and says they seem to be resonating in response to a sporocystian energy source – another Caretaker lifeform. Remembering that the dying Caretaker had mentioned a female of its kind, Janeway wonders if she could be nearby. If so, a meeting with her could be their ticket home. Tuvok is concerned with the raw energy of the first Caretaker; USS Voyager was completely at his mercy. Tuvok and Janeway don't want a repeat of this occurrence. As a precaution, Tuvok begins work on a toxin that could debilitate the female lifeform without killing her if she poses a threat.
Following the energy trail, the crew comes upon a space station that looks similar to the Caretaker's array inhabited by over two thousand Ocampa. Voyager hails the station, but receives no response. The station then begins firing on the ship. After a few warning shots, an Ocampan man appears and warns Janeway to move away from the station. The station continues firing.
Later, Janeway summons Kes to the bridge. Kes agrees to act as the crew's liaison to her people, and when the Ocampa leader, Tanis, boards Voyager, she assures him that the crew comes in peace. In a private meeting, Tanis tells Kes that the female Caretaker, Suspiria, is nearby. She has taken care of this group of Ocampa for 300 years, and has taught them to develop their psychokinetic skills and drastically extend their life span. Tanis, for example, is fourteen years old. He shows Kes a sample of the powerful abilities she has yet to tap, blooming all of the plants in the airponics bay. Kes reports back to Janeway, who advises her to be careful when dealing with this group of Ocampa. Later, Tanis goes back to the station and telepathically communicates with Suspiria, who demands that he deliver Voyager to her.
Back in engineering, Tuvok is successful at creating a way to disable the female Caretaker. It performs temporary paralysis. At a dinner in the captain's mess, Tanis invites Kes to live with them permanently. Kes is immediately dismissive, but Janeway says to give the decision from thought. Tanis leads the crew to Suspiria, he tutors Kes on her telepathic skills. Kes successfully learns how to move a cup with her mind and boils water. Neelix watches with amazement, congratulates her, and agrees to go with Kes if she decides to leave Voyager and live with the Ocampans on the station.
- "Captain's log, supplemental. We’ve arrived at what Tanis calls the meeting place, the region of space where Suspiria exists."
On the bridge, Tanis hails Suspiria, who will respond within 47 hours. In the meantime, Kes meets with Tuvok to show him the mental abilities she learned from Tanis. The demonstration nearly ends in disaster when Kes tries to boil water with her mind and, to her horror, inadvertently boils Tuvok's blood instead (his blood cell membranes ruptured when their temperature increased by 37 degrees in a matter of seconds). He collapses in shock, writhing in agony.
Fortunately, Tuvok recovers from the near-fatal incident, waking up in sickbay. True to a Vulcan teacher, Tuvok tells Kes not to feel remorse, but use this experience to learn from her mental mistake. He also agrees to continue teaching her. Much to Kes' relief, she goes back to the airponics bay. Tanis continues teaching Kes, and says that she can realize the full potential of her mental powers in her mind, even to the point of thinking her non-telepathic crewmembers as "pets". Kes first is reluctant, but her emotions take over as she begins to touch her plants with her mind, first by enhancing their color. Tanis instructs Kes to "bring the fire" and she burns all of the plants in the airponics bay. Tanis urges Kes to leave Voyager and live on the Ocampa space station, where he says she will be embraced by Suspiria and surrounded by her own people. On the station, the Ocampa would hone her telepathic skills to the level where Suspiria would let her go to Exosia, a subspace layer of pure thought and energy. Kes asks for more time to think about her decision.
In engineering, the Caretaker's remains begin to resonate again – Suspiria has arrived. Tarin says he is going to bridge, but instead goes to the mess hall to coax Kes off the ship again. Just then, a plasmatic energy field appears in main engineering. After hearing no response from Torres over the comm system, Tuvok and a security team investigate. Tuvok informs Janeway that Suspiria is there. Janeway goes down to engineering to talk to Suspiria, who has appeared as a little girl. Suspiria is ready to complete her mission of revenge when Kes becomes aware of the monstrous plot. Suspiria attacks Janeway (in addition to Torres and Tuvok, who are suspended from the ceiling) and begins to destabilize the molecular composition of the ship. Kes attacks Tanis with her expanded psychic abilities after he mentally throws Neelix against the wall. Tanis' pain temporarily incapacitates Suspiria. Janeway is then able to fire the toxin, subduing her. Janeway allows Suspiria and Tanis to leave the ship (much to Suspiria's surprise) while Kes remains with her friends on Voyager.
- "Captain's log, supplemental. We’ve resumed our course back to the Alpha Quadrant. But the female Caretaker is still out there, with the power to send us home. And I will use all my power to find her and convince her to do just that."
Kes and Tuvok are back in his quarters relearning how to hone her telepathic abilities. Her abilities had drastically weakened since Tanis left Voyager. Kes regrets her "dark impulses" that forced her to kill the plants in the airponics bay and her thoughts to leave Voyager. Tuvok then reminds her that it is important to remember her dark impulses are a part of her and that forgetting them promotes an opportunity for them to escape. After all, even Vulcans have them.
"Your ship is known as a ship of death."
- - Unnamed Ocampa, describing USS Voyager to Janeway
"Vulcans make the worst patients."
- - The Doctor, after Tuvok refuses the order to go on light duty
- This episode begins with a very brief recap of how Voyager was stranded in the Delta Quadrant in order to re-establish with viewers that the Caretaker had a mate, namely Suspiria. It also establishes that the episode takes place ten months after "Caretaker", which means it has been two months since the events of "Non Sequitur".
- Gary Graham later played Vulcan Ambassador Soval in many episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise and was considered for both the roles of Benjamin Sisko in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and for the role of a male Voyager captain when casting a female lead was proving difficult for the producers. (citation needed • edit)
- Despite Captain Janeway stating her desire to find Suspiria again, she is never seen after this episode and is only mentioned once, very vaguely, in "The Voyager Conspiracy".
- The events of this episode represent the fourth time (aside from the series premiere) that Voyager's crew has a possibility of returning home.
- In Star Trek: Voyager - A Vision of the Future, Stephen Edward Poe stated that declining audience figures had led to producers considering canceling the series, and the appearance of Suspiria was created as a "get out clause" if needed.
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 2.3, 25 March 1996.
- As part of the VOY Season 2 DVD collection.
Links and References
- Majel Barrett as the voice of Suspiria
- Tarik Ergin as Ayala
- Cindy Howe as an Ocampa female
- John Tempoya as Kashimuro Nozawa
airponics; bio-spectral analysis; Caretaker; Caretaker's array; compass; containment field; enzyme; Exosia; hexi-prismatic field; hypergogic mental state; hyperthermic induction; level 3 biohazard; microcellular analysis; Nacene; Ocampa; plasmatic energy; psychokinesis; sporocystian lifeform; sporocystian energy; sporocystian toxin; subspace carrier wave; subspace layer; subspace rupture; Suspiria's array; tea; yellow alert
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