(written from a Production point of view)
An unknown Voyager crew member secretly sends information to the Kazon.
- 1 Summary
- 2 Memorable quotes
- 3 Background information
- 4 Links and references
While Commander Chakotay and an away team, including Carey and Neelix, are on a scouting expedition on an alien planet, Lieutenant Tom Paris, onboard the USS Voyager, notices something from his station that may be a cloaked ship. Tuvok reveals it is in fact a ship using some kind of masking circuitry unfamiliar to him. He suggests using a polaron burst; when Captain Janeway gives him the go-ahead, the burst reveals the outline of a Kazon warship, the specifications of which conform to the Kazon-Nistrim sect. Janeway immediately orders the away team back to the ship.
On the surface, Chakotay assembles the away team, but there is no sign of Seska. He has the rest of the team beam back aboard Voyager while he looks for her with a tricorder in hand in some nearby caves. He finds her picking mushrooms so she can teach Neelix how to make Chakotay's favorite soup. As they move to leave the cave, they are surprised by a pair of Kazon soldiers. Chakotay is injured in the firefight, and Seska helps him out of the cave to the transport site.
- "Captain's log, stardate 48658.2. We've successfully left orbit without further interference from the Kazon. Commander Chakotay is injured but is recovering from his wounds."
Seska visits Chakotay's quarters bringing him mushroom soup. They savor it together as she describes how Neelix wanted to make the soup with leola root. She goes on to explain how thanks to an altercation she describes as a 'Maquis operation' with Jackson stealing the mushrooms and some other food from the kitchen allowed for the mushroom soup to be made for Chakotay, while Neelix was dealing with a convenient case of homesickness that arose with several other Maquis officers. Chakotay, visibly upset at her raiding the kitchen and stealing food, revokes all the culprits' replicator rations for two days including his own. He also threatens to throw Seska and her co-conspirators in the brig, next time. As Seska leaves, Janeway calls the senior staff to the bridge.
Voyager receives a distress call from a ship identical to the one seen at the previous planet, and while the call appears to be genuine based on sensor readings, Neelix advises caution; the ship hails from the Kazon-Nistrim, one of the most violent sects in the Kazon Collective. With no indications of other Kazon ships in the vicinity, Janeway plots a course to intercept the ship.
When an away team beams aboard the Kazon ship, they find several bodies on the bridge, all dead from what appears to be a kind of subatomic manipulation that has melded them with pieces of metal. They detect nucleonic radiation emanating from an area of the bridge, contained automatically via force fields. One survivor is among the Kazon crew, so he is beamed aboard Voyager to be treated in sickbay, but the away team finds something strange in the vicinity of the radiation: neosorium, a composite unique to Federation technology.
Back aboard, The Doctor finds the Kazon's cells have been fundamentally altered and he doesn't know if he can save him. As they head to the bridge, Chakotay and Tuvok tell Janeway of the possible Federation technology aboard the Kazon ship. Tuvok notes three possibilities: either it is not Federation but something similar, or another Starfleet ship has been pulled into the Delta Quadrant, or (most likely) someone from the crew handed the technology over. Janeway immediately halts the turbolift, finding the idea that someone on Voyager might have given technology to the Kazon very disturbing. Tuvok suggests that Seska might have been responsible since she was found near the Kazon on the planet, but Chakotay points out he found her hiding from them. Janeway tells them that retrieving the console is now top priority and resumes the turbolift.
The staff meets in engineering, where B'Elanna Torres brainstorms possible ways to retrieve the console. Although Seska thinks she can use a 'subspace bubble' to walk through the force field and protect her from the radiation, Torres thinks it is too risky and instead opts for Carey's suggestion to push the force field and the radiation so it no longer intersects with the console. The plan will take until the next day, so they begin to get to work; however, when Torres assigns jobs to the engineering crew, Chakotay claims that he does not want Seska on the engineering team but on the bridge instead.
Seska is upset at Chakotay's decision to pull her away from the engineering team, but Chakotay assures her in a corridor that he is only trying to protect her; visiting sickbay, she asks The Doctor to inform her immediately if their Kazon guest wakes up, as he is the only one who can prove her innocence. While she is there, Kes notes that Seska never got around to giving a blood sample. Seska tells Kes that her blood cannot be used for transfusion due to a childhood disease and she was warned never to donate. The Doctor notes that is all the more reason it should be on file, however Seska simply promises to give a sample later before leaving.
Later, Seska tries to retrieve the console herself by transporting over to the damaged Kazon ship without authorization and using her subspace bubble. On the bridge, Chakotay orders her back but she refuses and Tuvok points out she may have gone over to destroy evidence that could implicate her. As Chakotay argues back that it is a misguided attempt by Seska to prove herself, the Bajoran is suddenly heard screaming. She is beamed to sickbay, where she is found to be burned but it is easily treatable.
Janeway calls Carey into her ready room, where Tuvok and Chakotay are waiting. They interrogate him about any personal communications he might have had with the Kazon since Voyager was stranded in the Delta Quadrant pointing out he was separated from the away team on the planet for over an hour and may be bitter over Lieutenant Torres being promoted to chief engineer over him. Carey vehemently denies all of the accusations, and although he does mention Seska's name, he stops short of implicating her directly. Janeway has Carey confined to quarters for the rest of the investigation. After he's gone, the three discuss if Carey may actually have betrayed the crew to the Kazon; while he indeed has a motive and had the opportunity to do so, he also has a distinguished Starfleet career while Seska spent two years as an enemy of the Federation. Chakotay however still refuses to accept this, pointing out that he was a Maquis too.
When another Kazon ship arrives, the First Maje Culluh of the Kazon-Nistrim introduces himself. Like all Kazon, he is aggressive, but he is intent on protecting Kazon property. Janeway refuses to leave the ship alone until she has the console, using her superior technology as the stick. Culluh agrees to settle for visiting the still-unconscious survivor of the accident.
Culluh and his bodyguard arrive in sickbay, where The Doctor explains about the accident and the nucleonic radiation from the console. The Kazon want to be left alone with the man, so Janeway talks to The Doctor in private, not eager to release their patient into Kazon hands. Janeway prepares to inform the Kazon of her intentions when Culluh's bodyguard takes out a small needle and, before Tuvok can intervene, instantly kills the patient with an injection of neurotoxin. Disgusted, Janeway orders Culluh and the bodyguard off her ship.
Chakotay is informed of The Doctor's analysis and is incredulous and wants to be the one to question her. Janeway decides to hold off until the console is retrieved. As an away team is preparing to beam over to the vessel to take back the console, the other Kazon ship threatens war if anything is removed. Janeway threatens a harsh tactical response if they interfere, and the Kazon back down.
An away team including Torres manages to successfully beam the console, decontaminate it, and begin analysis in Engineering. Torres identifies the console as a food replicator, however it lacked sufficient shielding to prevent nucleonic radiation from leaking and causing a cascade. It is also identified that the components in the console contain bio-neural circuitry, proving that those components could only have originated from Voyager.
Chakotay confronts Seska in sickbay with the evidence of the food replicator components and the diagnosis that she is believed to actually be Cardassian. Seska indicates that the reason for this is that she had suffered from Orkett's disease as a child and received a bone marrow transplant from a Cardassian woman named Kattell to survive. Chakotay informs her that an extensive search of security logs is currently underway to identify the traitor.
Once Chakotay leaves sickbay, Tuvok informs him outside the room that Carey has also been told about the pending search and that the trap is now ready to catch the culprit.
Chakotay and Tuvok play gin at a console in engineering while monitoring the activity of the manifest logs. Upon detecting changes, they find that Seska's security codes are being clumsily planted into the logs, seemingly implicating Carey who would be trying to frame her.
Chakotay enters sickbay to tell Seska what they've found and that they now know for certain who gave the technology to the Kazon… her. Seska denies everything, claiming that she doesn't know what evidence they think they found but Chakotay replies that actually they found the evidence she put out there for them to find: her own security code. He explains their trap and how they were hoping she'd fall for it. She knew no one would believe she could be that careless by typing in her own security code, so that is exactly what she did, hoping that everyone would believe that someone else was trying to frame her. They also managed to trace the fact the information was entered from a console in sickbay. The Doctor also refutes her claim to be the victim of Orkett's disease, having already discounted it before she even mentioned it to them; there is no doubt she is Cardassian.
At that moment, the lights in sickbay go on and Captain Janeway and Tuvok enter. Upon realizing that she has been exposed, Seska finally admits everything. She claims to have done it for Chakotay and for this crew that is alone in this part of the galaxy, at the mercy of any number of hostile aliens because of the incomprehensible decision of a Federation Captain who destroyed their only chance of getting home. She mocks Federation values and angrily points out that if this were a Cardassian ship, they would be home now, and should forge alliances with powerful allies such as the Kazon Nistrim in exchange for some minor technology. She says that building a base of power in this quadrant at any cost is all that matters, finally pointing out to the Captain what a fool she is and what a fool Chakotay is for following her. She escapes Voyager using a voice-activated transporter program, known as Command XJL, to quickly transfer over to one of the nearby Kazon ships. Attempts to get her back fail and Janeway quickly realizes that they are going to soon be outnumbered by Kazon ships from all over if they remain. She decides to retreat, knowing that they haven't seen the last of Seska.
Later in the mess hall, Chakotay sits down with Tuvok to discuss Seska's betrayal; he does not understand how Seska, of all people, could fool him to this extent and asks if there was something about him that made it easy for everyone to deceive him. Tuvok reassures Chakotay that he does not strike him as particularly naive, and admits Seska had him fooled as well, and Chakotay – much to Tuvok's confusion – begins to feel a bit better about himself.
"We should be able to make an attempt by tomorrow."
"I want it ready by the end of the day."
"No Captain. When I say 'tomorrow', I mean tomorrow. I don't exaggerate."
- - B'Elanna Torres and Kathryn Janeway in Engineering
"On the contrary, the demands on a Vulcan's character are extraordinarily difficult. Do not mistake composure for ease. How may I be honest with you today?"
- - Tuvok, to Chakotay
"You will prepare for my arrival."
- - Culluh speaking to Janeway and Tom Paris' response
"You Humans! You're not used to roughing it, are you?"
- - Neelix
"You were working for her [Janeway], Seska was working for them [the Cardassians]… was anyone on that ship working for me?"
- - Chakotay to Tuvok, on finding out that Seska was a Cardassian spy
"Oh, thank the Prophets!"
- - Seska
"You damned Vulcans and your defined parameters!"
- - Chakotay, to Tuvok
"Get off this ship!"
- - Kathryn Janeway
"You know, I'm really easy to get along with most of the time, but I don't like bullies and I don't like threats, and I don't like you, Culluh. You can try and stop us from getting to the truth but I promise you that if you do I will respond with all the 'unique technologies' at my command."
- - Kathryn Janeway
"Of all the things to die for… It's a food replicator, or at least it was trying to be."
- - Torres, after examining the device retrieved from the Kazon ship
"Any unexpected life signs down there, commander?"
"Nothing but bloodworms. Neelix wants to take some back with us for a tartare he wants to make. I've tried to talk him out of it."
- - Janeway and Chakotay
"I was analyzing her blood chemistry to try to locate a compatible donor. But when I got the results, her blood was lacking all the common Bajoran blood factors."
"The only conclusion we can reach is that she is not, in fact, Bajoran. It appears Seska has been genetically altered. My suspicion is she was born Cardassian."
- - Kes, Janeway and The Doctor, about Seska
"Why would anyone on this ship betray us? We're all in this together."
- - Janeway
"I did it for you. I did it for this crew. We are alone here, at the mercy of any number of hostile aliens, because of the incomprehensible decision of a Federation captain. A Federation captain who destroyed our only chance to get home. Federation rules. Federation nobility. Federation compassion? Do you understand? If this had been a Cardassian ship, we would be home now. We must begin to forge alliances. To survive, we must have powerful friends. The Kazon-Nistrim were willing to be our protectors in return for some minor technology."
- - Seska
"You are a fool, captain. And you are a fool to follow her."
- - Seska
"We'll have to wait for another day to settle up with Seska."
- - Janeway
Title, story, and script
- Paul Robert Coyle thought up the basic idea for this episode's plot based on reading the script of Star Trek: Voyager's pilot episode, "Caretaker". He then suggested it, when the Seska character didn't yet have the name she ultimately did, during a pitch session in which he was alone with Executive Producer and series co-creator Michael Piller. "The first pitch out of my mouth was basically the 'Seska' pitch," said Coyle. "'A member of the crew that Chakotay has taken onboard turns out to be a spy genetically – you know, a Cardassian – and she's disguised as a Bajoran or whatever.'" 
- Michael Piller embraced the idea for this episode upon first hearing it. "He really liked that," stated Paul Robert Coyle, "and yet he was not, by nature, an enthusiastic person; he was very subtle and underplayed and started running with the idea. 'Yeah, that could work, blah blah blah.'" Coyle deemed the "Seska" plot as not his strongest story idea, and was eager to pitch about half a dozen other stories to Piller. "But he was really interested in that first one, and I continued to pitch a few more, stubbornly, and he finally shut me down and said, 'No, I want to do the first one. Let's just talk about that,'" Coyle remembered, with a laugh. "That was an assignment in the room, he sent me out of there to go home and write an outline, and told the secretary to strike a deal memo with my agent." Such a fast transition from story to outline assignment, requiring no approval from another executive producer nor from the studio, was virtually unheard of in the industry of writing television. Upon Coyle leaving the room, Ira Steven Behr, in the hallway outside, immediately congratulated him on having successfully pitched the story. As Coyle later learned, he was the first freelancer to sell a story pitch to Star Trek: Voyager.  Executive Producer Jeri Taylor noted, "['State of Flux'] was one of the first [stories] that we bought." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 143)
- Paul Robert Coyle proceeded to develop the episode idea. "I did a story of that, and then a rewrite, I guess," he continued, "and then Jeri Taylor called one day, to say, 'Thanks, Paul. Good work, and we'll be taking it from here.' So, I was being cut off, as many freelancers in the world of Star Trek were. The story, for whatever reason, wasn't hitting on all cylinders, so they were bringing another writer in to write the script." 
- Michael Piller did some uncredited work on the episode. He revealed, "This is a show that I worked on quite a bit […] I felt the most important challenge was to keep the audience guessing until the very end." Part of the work that Michael Piller invested in the episode was intensifying the history between Chakotay and Seska. Jeri Taylor recollected, "Michael […] gave Chakotay and Seska the backstory that they had been romantically involved, which had not been in any other versions." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 143)
- This episode had the working title "Seska". "[It] obviously gave everything away," noted Director Robert Scheerer. "They changed that before we shot." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 143)
- The episode's final draft script was submitted on 25 January 1995. 
Cast and characters
- As this episode was the first Voyager installment that Robert Scheerer directed and because he was used to directing Star Trek: The Next Generation, he found – while filming this episode – that the atmosphere between Voyager's main cast members differed from the Star Trek environment he was used to directing in. He later recalled, "Voyager was very new when I did my first one. The cast, although friendly, had not really come together the way they did on Star Trek: The Next Generation. That cast was really a family, and I felt like part of the family, whereas on Voyager, they were all nice, but it wasn't the same. The dynamic was somewhat different than the other show. I can't really explain it and never really analyzed it. There was just a much more complete feeling about The Next Generation than about Voyager. Voyager was still evolving, so it was quite another experience." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine issue 17, p. 56)
- Culluh actor Anthony De Longis had a mistaken initial impression about both this episode and the role in which he had been cast. "I had read only the few pages that had my character on them for my audition, so, at one point I actually thought that I might somehow be romancing the Captain," De Longis explained, laughing. "When I read the rest of the script, it became very clear that this really wasn't an option […] I figured chances were that Janeway wasn't going to be interested anyway." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine issue 18, p. 67)
- According to Seska actress Martha Hackett, the revelation that her character turns out to be a Cardassian operative was decided shortly after the series went into production. The actress recalled, "I think it was three episodes or four episodes in, they thought, 'Well, let's make her a Cardassian spy.'" ("Saboteur Extraordinaire: Seska", VOY Season 2 DVD special features) Hackett was surprised by both the concept that Seska was actually Cardassian, as well as by the character's previous romantic relationship with Chakotay. ("Saboteur Extraordinaire: Seska", VOY Season 2 DVD special features) "In that story, she became more mature and craftier than I had initially envisioned her," the actress noted. (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine issue 7, p. 8)
- Director Robert Scheerer placed importance on the plot point where Seska is revealed to be a Cardassian spy. "We worked very hard on that [&hellip.] We particularly took care that her relationship with Robert [Beltran] was a genuinely loving, warm relationship and that her caring for him had nothing to do with the fact that she was a spy who was trying to get home." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 143)
- According to Robert Scheerer, Janeway actress Kate Mulgrew was ill during production on this episode and came in only for the last day of filming on the bridge, so some of her dialogue was given to her fellow main cast members. (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine issue 17, p. 57)
- In order for Anthony De Longis to look the part of Maje Culluh, he had makeup applied to him by Makeup Supervisor Michael Westmore and also wore a headdress. Of his makeup, De Longis recalled, "We were sort of making do because they really hadn't done it before except en masse for the opening episode. Michael began by giving me this Klingon-looking forehead, and then he designed these pieces to build up my cheeks slightly along with a funny nose appliance that made it look as if I had nostril tusks. Some of the pieces didn't quite fit me, but I could still animate the prosthetics. We managed to find something that worked pretty well." The headdress that De Longis wore for this episode was mostly made out of sponges and dog chew toys. An amused De Longis remarked, "When I saw the hairpiece, I thought, 'Well, Culluh must be the leader because he has the biggest head of hair.'" According to De Longis, seeing how the production staff had designed Culluh's hair and makeup reinforced the realization that the actor would not be romancing Captain Janeway in this episode. (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine issue 18, pp. 66 & 67)
- During filming, Robert Scheerer had fun with trying to maintain the episode's sense of mystery, an aspect that he thought was unusual for Star Trek: Voyager. He said about the outing, "It was different in the sense that it was a mystery. It was something that is hard to categorize very easily, but it was a rare episode in that regard. It was something that was fun to do because of that – to take the scenes like the ones with the young man [Lieutenant Carey] who was also suspected and try and turn that into as much of a diversion as possible so that it wasn't clear who it was that was causing all the problems. And even though it was clear very early on who it possibly was, I tried very hard to prevent it from being obvious until the last possible moment that it was revealed to be Seska. I approached it on the basis of a mystery, which is something you don't get a chance to do very often with Voyager." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 143)
- The exterior scenes of the teaser were filmed at Bronson Caves in Bronson Canyon. Robert Beltran suffered an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction during this location filming. Martha Hackett recalled, "This is more about Robert than it is about me, but we were shooting one of my first episodes and I was a Maquis and…" giggling to herself, she continued, "we were shooting in this cave up in the Hollywood Hills and we had these new costumes. I mean, I think it was like their second or third episode." Laughing wholeheartedly, she remembered, "And Robert's kept splitting, just the whole thing, you know, stem to stern, every time we did this little run into the cave. So, you know, everyone got to know each other rather quickly after that!" ("Saboteur Extraordinaire: Seska", VOY Season 2 DVD special features)
- The unauthorized reference book Delta Quadrant (p. 38) refers to this episode as being virtually a bottle show, apart from the location work in the teaser and use of some leftover sets that were made to look distressed.
- Robert Scheerer was surprised by Kate Mulgrew in a particular scene of this episode's production. He explained, "Just in one moment, she caught me quite by surprise in a reaction she had. [It's a scene] I would have shot differently if I had expected it [….] We got it, but not the way I would have liked." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine issue 17, pp. 56-57)
- Creating the special effect of the Kazon melted into the machinery of their ship was one of the episode's most difficult production tasks. Voyager's art department hired an outside special-effects lab to create the elements of the shot. Supervising Producer David Livingston reflected, "The art department was concerned that it would be hard to kind of meld a body-form around a desk and make it look realistic, but it was so dark in there I don't know if the audience got the full impact of it." Likening the illusion to an effect in the film Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, Livingston added, "It was the old Star Wars deal where Harrison Ford is frozen in carbonite in the wall of Jabba the Hutt's palace." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 143)
- This is the second episode in which Voyager encounters the Kazon after the pilot episode "Caretaker", albeit a different sect: the Kazon-Nistrim. The sect encountered in "Caretaker" was the Kazon-Ogla.
- Despite this episode featuring the first appearance of the Kazon-Nistrim, Tuvok recognises the sect to which the Kazon ship belongs, which can only be explained if the crew had made an off-screen encounter with them by this point or otherwise learned of the configuration of the sect's ships.
- This is the fifth of five episodes in Voyager's first season to feature the character of Seska; she appears exclusively in her Bajoran officer disguise in "Parallax", "Phage", "Emanations" and "Prime Factors". However, her inclusion in those episodes only came about after the writers bought the story idea for this episode. Jeri Taylor explained, "Seska came about in a not very planned way […] We realized it would probably be a good idea – since all of these people are new – if we did some stories in which we established this character before we did a whole episode about her. It would have more emotional resonance for the audience, and so we started doing that. Then we found her character to be very useful […] You don't always have rumbling in the lower decks or mutinous people on purely Starfleet ships. Seska gave us conflict and bite, and we actually pushed ['State of Flux'] further down the line so we could use Seska. She was very well established by the time we got to it […] It worked better than it might have simply because we had Seska in the earlier shows. People had a sense of who she was." Robert Scheerer noted, "She'd done three or four of the shows beforehand, and I suspect she may be back later on." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 143) Indeed, the duplicitous Seska makes five return appearances in the second season ("Maneuvers", "Alliances", "Lifesigns", "Investigations" and "Basics, Part I"). Although she dies in the climax of the third season opener "Basics, Part II", she returns as a hologram in the later third season episode "Worst Case Scenario" and as a duplicate from an alternate timeline in the seventh season's "Shattered".
- This Voyager episode constitutes the earliest return appearance of a race previously featured in the series (i.e., the Kazon).
- This episode marks the first appearance of Anthony De Longis as Maje Culluh of the Kazon-Nistrim. Seska's departure to join that Kazon sect begins a story arc that culminates in the episode "Basics, Part II".
- This is one of the few times, early in the series, that The Doctor does not say, "Please state the nature of the medical emergency," upon activation. This is accounted for in the later first season episode "Learning Curve".
- While trying to explain how the Kazon acquired Federation technology, Tuvok ponders the possibility of another Federation ship being brought to the Delta Quadrant. Captain Janeway explains that, to her knowledge, no Federation ships had gone missing in the Badlands prior to Voyager. However, it is later revealed (in the two-parter "Equinox" and "Equinox, Part II") that the USS Equinox had been pulled into the Delta Quadrant just as Tuvok guesses in this episode.
- Torres' line claiming she doesn't exaggerate is an allusion to Scott's habit of exaggeration, which led to his becoming known as a miracle worker. (TNG: "Relics")
- While discussing whether Seska could be a Cardassian agent, Tuvok mentions that Starfleet has documented several instances of Cardassians using cosmetic alterations for the purposes of infiltrating an enemy. This is demonstrated in several episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, such as "Tribunal" (wherein the crew of space station Deep Space 9 arrests a Cardassian agent who has disguised himself as a former Starfleet officer as part of a plot to discredit the Federation), "Second Skin" (which involves an incident wherein Kira Nerys has been surgically altered to become a Cardassian in an ultimately unsuccessful Cardassian plot to convince her that she was an Obsidian Order agent) and "'Til Death Do Us Part" (in which Gul Dukat disguises himself as a Bajoran to earn the trust of Kai Winn).
- This episode has the longest teaser in the first season of Star Trek: Voyager, being only one or two seconds longer than the teaser of "The Cloud". "Elogium", which was also produced during Voyager's first season, has an even longer teaser than this episode, although that installment aired as part of Season 2.
- This is the final appearance of Lieutenant Joe Carey in the "present time" until the season 7 episode "Friendship One", set in 2378. Subsequent appearances between this episode and Friendship One (Season 5's "Relativity" and Season 6's "Fury") which depict Carey always have him appear in scenes that are set in Voyager's past in relation to that episode.
- Despite having premiered in theaters five months earlier, this is the first episode of either Star Trek: Deep Space Nine or Voyager to have a stardate later than that of Star Trek Generations.
Reception and aftermath
- This episode achieved a Nielsen rating of 6.5 million homes, and an 11% share.
- Paul Robert Coyle was pleased with how this episode developed, noting, "It turned out well." 
- Although both Michael Piller and Executive Producer Rick Berman liked this episode, Jeri Taylor was less enthusiastic about the installment. Piller said of the episode, "It has a good payoff [....] It's a very tricky, complex mystery story which is so intricately woven that the audience might believe she's innocent of the crime until the very last moment, and then, of course, the revelation comes. I thought it was a very rewarding story." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 143) In a tone of similar appreciation, Berman described this installment as "a wonderful episode". (Star Trek: Communicator issue 102, p. 11) On the other hand, Jeri Taylor merely noted, "The show was OK." One facet of the installment that Taylor approved of was Michael Piller's introduction of romantic backstory for Chakotay and Seska, a character development that Taylor described as "an interesting thing." She elaborated, "I think that made Chakotay's struggle all the more poignant. You really saw what the stakes were for him because of that, and ultimately he did the right thing and what his duty compelled him to do. Those are always good stories." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 143)
- Martha Hackett ranked this episode as being her second favorite of the first season and a half of Star Trek: Voyager (with the second season installment "Maneuvers" topping the list). (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine issue 7, p. 9) She was specifically pleased by the revelation that Seska was really Cardassian. After laughing at the outlandish idea and then nodding, the actress enthused, "So, um, it was a good surprise." ("Saboteur Extraordinaire: Seska", VOY Season 2 DVD special features)
- Robert Scheerer was impressed by Martha Hackett, with whom he worked only on this episode, later describing her as "a very good actress" and noting, "I enjoyed working with her." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 143; The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine issue 17, p. 57) Scheerer said of the revelation that Seska was the spy, "I kind of liked the fact that it was not someone who was very well known among the crew." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 143) The director was also "really impressed with Captain Janeway – Kate Mulgrew," particularly in the scene where she surprised him with a reaction she performed. "Kate was really good – it was an emotional moment that she really dealt with," he remarked. (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine issue 17, pp. 56-57)
- Robert Beltran felt that this episode succeeded in exposing certain facets of Chakotay's persona. The actor said of "State of Flux", "That episode lets you see Chakotay's vulnerable side. Normally, Chakotay can handle anything, but he made a mistake with Seska. The episode also showed Chakotay's loyalty in that he was willing to stand by her until it was absolutely certain that she was a traitor. I think that's one of the strong things about Chakotay: he's very, very loyal and it takes a lot to shake his belief in people. That's something the writers had captured well." (Star Trek Monthly issue 20, p. 34) Midway through Voyager's second season, Beltran further said of the relationship between Seska and Chakotay, "Given the way it fizzled out, which has not been made real clear, I think it was probably a mutual breakup. What had become a platonic relationship wasn't enough for Seska, who was obviously holding onto the notion of getting a romantic relationship started again. When she saw the door shut, I think, it made it easier for her to leave the Voyager and go ahead with the Kazon." In fact, the scene in which Seska departs Voyager, moments after criticizing both Chakotay and Janeway, was a moment that Beltran found memorable, saying, "I remember Seska turning into this awful, awfully scary person […] She turned into this evil, malevolent person who Chakotay had never recognized in the Seska he thought he knew." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine issue 7, pp. 14 & 16)
- Although a rumor circulated that the sour-tasting Leola root was meant as a barb aimed at Geneviève Bujold and that the root's name was linked to her because she had played a character called "Leola" in the 1996 film The Adventures of Pinocchio, her character in that film is actually named "Leona" and the movie was released over a year after this episode was first broadcast. (Beyond the Final Frontier, p. 279)
- Cinefantastique gave this installment 2 and a half out of 4 stars. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 27, No. 4/5, p. 56)
- In their unofficial reference book Trek Navigator: The Ultimate Guide to the Entire Trek Saga (p. 228), co-writer Mark A. Altman rates this episode 2 and a half out of 4 stars (defined as "average") while fellow co-writer Edward Gross scores the installment 3 out of 4 stars (defined as "good").
- The unauthorized reference book Delta Quadrant (p. 38) gives the episode a rating of 7 out of 10.
- In Star Trek Magazine's retrospective "Ultimate Guide", the magazine gave this episode 4 out of 5 Starfleet-style arrowhead insignia, also naming it the "4th" best episode of Voyager's first season. It additionally awarded the outing as having the "Best Moment" of the season – Robert Beltran's delivery of the line "You were working for her, Seska was working for them… was anyone on that ship working for me?" – and the season's "Best Guest Star", Martha Hackett as Seska. (Star Trek Magazine issue 164, p. 30)
- A dermal regenerator used in this episode was auctioned off in week 1 of the It's A Wrap! sale and auction. 
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 1.6, catalog number VHR 4006, 25 September 1995
- As part of the VOY Season 1 DVD collection
Links and references
- Robert Beltran as Commander Chakotay
- Roxann Biggs-Dawson as Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres
- Jennifer Lien as Kes
- Robert Duncan McNeill as Lieutenant Tom Paris
- Ethan Phillips as Neelix
- Robert Picardo as The Doctor
- Tim Russ as Lieutenant Tuvok
- Garrett Wang as Ensign Harry Kim
- Derek Anthony as operations ensign
- C. Bender as sciences crewman
- Jasmin Bischoff as operations officer
- Steve Crawford as Kazon-Nistrim survivor
- Christine Delgado as Susan Nicoletti
- Tarik Ergin as Ayala
- Pablo Espinosa as operations officer
- Norman Gibbs as operations officer
- M. Green as Kazon-Nistrim aide
- Kerry Hoyt as Fitzpatrick
- Julie Jiang as operations lieutenant junior grade
- Norman Large as Kazon-Nistrim captain
- Eva Larson as operations officer
- Irving Lewis as Kazon-Nistrim guard
- Dennis Madalone as Kazon-Nistrim guard
- Jordan Monheim as sciences officer
- Trina Mortley as sciences officer
- John Parsons as Michael Parsons
- Rob Plaza as operations officer
- Jerry Quinn as command officer
- Richard Sarstedt as Henard
- Daunette Saunders as operations officer
- Simon Stotler as operations ensign
- Ondar Tarlow as sciences officer
- Julie Thornton as operations officer
- Jeremy Trabucco as Michael Parsons
- Rod Wallace as operations officer
- Unknown actors as
- Jasmin Bischoff – stand-in for Martha Hackett
- Ken Gruz – stand-in for Norman Large
- Cy Kennedy – stand-in for Robert Beltran
- Jerry Quinn – stand-in for Robert Duncan McNeill
- Simon Stotler – stand-in for Ethan Phillips
act of war; agent; apple; attention span; automatic containment system; axiom; Bajoran; Bajoran work camp; berry; bio-neural fiber; bio scan analysis; blood cell; blood chemistry; blood factor; blood scan; blood transfusion; bloodworm; bone marrow; bow; bridge operations; brig; broth; burn; Cardassian; cards; career; cascade reaction; cc; chief engineer; chief inspector; childhood; childhood virus; children; cloaking device; combadge; Command XJL; composite; computer station; console; conspiracy; cosmetic alteration; cytological screening; dermal regenerator; dimensions; donor; dorsal emitter; dozen; EM scan; Emergency Holographic Medical program; expander; Federation; food replicator; force field; framing; genetically altered; gin; gin tournament; herb; heart; homesickness; hospital gown; inorganic matter; inventory database/inventory manifest; intercept course; Jackson; kaylo; Kattell; Kazon Collective; Kazon-Nistrim; Kazon raider (aka Kazon warship/Kazon ship/Kazon vessel; unnamed 1, Culluh's raider, and 3); kelotane; kilometer; leola root; logic; love; low orbit; Maquis; masking circuitry; medical text; mildew; Milky Way Galaxy; mineral; "misery loves company"; morale officer; mushroom; mushroom soup; needle; neosorium; nerve toxin; nucleonic radiation; Occupation, The; Orkett's disease; pattern buffer relay; poison; polaron; port; promotion; Prophet; "pulled the wool over my eyes" (wool); pyrocyte; Rakan folk song; ring; scene of the crime; secrecy; security code; senior officer; shell casing; spitting; sponsor; spy; Starfleet; Starfleet Security; stealth; stir crazy; stone; subspace bubble; systems analysis; tartar; testify; tractor beam; traitor; transmission log; transplant; transporter autosequence; transporter beam; Transporter Room 2; trespassing; tug of war; unnamed class-M planet; vakol fish; Val Jean; virus; vitamin; volunteer; Vulcan; windpipe; work camp
- "State of Flux" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "State of Flux" at Wikipedia
- "State of Flux" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
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"Heroes and Demons"