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The Trek Nation - Maneuvers

Maneuvers

By Michelle Erica Green
Posted at January 13, 2004 - 2:05 PM GMT

See Also: 'Maneuvers' Episode Guide

A group of Kazon aided by Seska lead a raid on Voyager, stealing a vital transporter component. Chakotay blames himself, considering Seska his personal problem, particularly when Tuvok insists that Chakotay's former relationship with her in the Maquis should have given him some insight into her character. Though Janeway assures him that what happened wasn't his fault, the first officer steals a shuttle and goes after Seska himself, sending Voyager a message that if they receive this notification, he's probably dead, but he destroyed the technology before the Kazon could make use of it.

Janeway is very upset that Chakotay went off against orders and thinks it safest to continue on their course, but Torres pleads for her to launch a rescue operation, citing crew morale and his vital position on the ship. Over Tuvok's objections, Janeway reluctantly launches a rescue operation, and Torres manages to beam Chakotay through the shields in the midst of a fight although he has been badly injured by the Kazon and Seska, who wanted him to join her.

Janeway lectures Chakotay about following procedure and puts him on report, "if that means anything out here." Chakotay replies that it means something to him, and he's sorry he let her down. When they return to the bridge, they receive a message from Seska: while she had Chakotay in her custody, she extracted some of his DNA, and now she is pregnant with his child.

Analysis:

Is it just my perception, or is this season getting worse and worse? In particular, are Janeway and Chakotay getting worse and worse, as individuals and as a team?

No, it's not just my perception. Chakotay looked - not to put too fine a point on it - like an idiot all episode. First Tuvok pointed out that Chakotay's messing around with Seska had been a dumb move...true, but past history at this point. But then Chakotay acted like a typical guy whose cojones have been insulted, went off on what Janeway rightly described as a cowboy mission, and put the entire ship in jeopardy to rescue him, when he could just have waited for Torres to prepare the equipment and put far fewer people at risk in an operation that would have had greater odds of success. His little games of bravado with Kulluh, bragging about how he boinked Seska first and she told him he was the most exciting man she's ever known, didn't improve my opinion of him any. What a show of macho garbage, that ultimately doesn't mean anything because she essentially rapes him.

Ever since we found out about Torres' crush on Chakotay in "Persistence of Vision," she's acted like a sniveling teenager about him. Yes, there were good reasons for her to persuade Janeway to save the ship's Maquis first officer, but she didn't focus on those; instead she gave a teary, decidedly non-Klingon speech on behalf of the man she loves. Janeway caught on immediately to the undertones of what Torres was saying - you could see her eyes widen a bit at the realization - and the emotional appeal actually seemed to make some impact, but though she tried to sound like Kirk claiming she was following her gut, she wound up sounding like just another woman who can't live without Chakotay...the Delta Quadrant seems to be littered with those. Puzzling, too, because increasingly he's just another pretty face.

Janeway's priggishness about not sharing technology is getting a little ridiculous. OK, obviously they don't want the Kazon to think they can be robbed, but I don't understand why trading with another warp-faring culture would be such a big sin. This woman does not seem to get he Prime Directive, and may sacrifice lives because of it...dumb, dumb, dumb.

Seska's a lot of fun - even torturing Chakotay, even sucking up to Kulluh - but her decision to impregnate herself to tie Chakotay to her makes no sense to me. I'd think Kulluh would murder her outright for having another man's baby when it's so obvious that the two of them are involved. What does she want? I hope we find out soon, because right now the loose plot threads are really infuriating.

Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.


Michelle Erica Green reviews 'Enterprise' episodes for the Trek Nation, for which she is also a news writer. An archive of her work can be found at The Little Review.