Cold FireBy Michelle Erica Green
Posted at January 13, 2004 - 2:04 PM GMT
See Also: 'Cold Fire' Episode Guide
Voyager encounters an array much like the Caretaker's, and the Caretaker's remains begin to resonate in Sickbay. The ship detects sporocystian life signs, then hails the array and discovers a colony of Ocampa living there. When Kes makes contact, she learns that the female Caretaker for whom the ship has been searching is in contact with the colony's leader, whose ancestors were taken there by the female Caretaker, whom they call Susperia.
Kes learns from the Ocampa that many of them live twice as long as the Ocampans on her homeworld, and they have developed their latent telepathic abilities. When she tests her own, she is successful at boiling water and levitating objects, but an experience bonding with the life essences in the arboretum leaves all the plants dead. Neelix is concerned that Kes will want to stay with these Ocampa, but she says that she wants him with her no matter what she decides.
Susperia, who wants the ship, appears in engineering to Janeway as a little girl and is upset about the death of her mate, but she quickly turns threatening. When Janeway and Tuvok fire an antisporocystian weapon at her and she leaves the ship, refusing to help them get home as they had hoped she would. Meanwhile, Kes quarrels over the use of her powers and the female Caretake's motives; she unleashes her anger, weakening the Ocampa, who leaves with Susperia. Another week Voyager will not get home.
Kes discovers the Power of the Dark Side, and Janeway loses the Battle of the Female Leaders...well, it's hard to compete with those sporocystians. This was a silly episode which only Jennifer Lien's acting redeemed. Voyager encounters the creature they've been searching for since the end of the pilot, yet nobody seems overly concerned about getting home; Chakotay grins at Janeway after she catches him staring at her rear end (on duty, on the bridge, in front of the crew and the TV audience and everyone), Torres gets more excited over the science of using the dead Caretaker as a homing signal than about the implications of being able to track Lady Caretaker. Meanwhile, the two Delta Quadrant natives are worrying about their relationship in the face of new discoveries.
Kes discovers that mass destruction is even better than great sex, yet doesn't immediately reject the dangers of unleashing her dark side...hmmm, this might be bad news for Voyager in the future. It's odd that she didn't ask to meet more Ocampa, and get some wider perspective on the telepathy, the longer life span, Suspiria, and all the other new information she was adapting to. The most obvious omission from this episode is The Doctor, whose two great fears in life are that the ship will get home and Kes will leave. He could have had to deal with either or both of those eventualities, but we didn't see his terror. What a waste.
As for Janeway, the way she took it for granted that she could just ask for help when they met the female Caretaker is pretty amusing. Has Voyager met one species in the Delta Quadrant that has been willing to help them selflessly? We didn't get to hear her give any good explanations for what happened back at the Array, nor even her idealistic arguments for why Susperia should help them. I was glad she prepared and used the gun, but it seemed a bit too late. And her announcement at the end that she intends to find Susperia again and beg her to send them home...hey, why not ask the Ocampa on the new array for help, instead of heading off into space?
Like I said, silly. My favorite scene was Susperia's transformation from little girl into giant insect; a true comic book moment in a comic book episode.
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.