State of Flux
An encounter with a Kazon ship presents a mystery: how did they get Federation technology? Then a bigger mystery: who on board Voyager is a traitor? “State of Flux” goes into the Mission Log.
Sponsored by – Kolide
Tags: Anthony De Longis, Bajoran, blood sample, bone marrow, brig, Bronson Canyon, Cardassia, Cardassian, cards, cave, Chris Abbott, cloak, Culluh, First Maje, force field, gin rummy, Joe Carey, Josh Clark, Kazon, Kazon Collective, Kazon-Nistrim, Lt. Carey, Martha Hackett, microwave oven, Mission Log, mushroom, neosorium, neurotoxin, nosebreak, nucleonic radiation, Orkett's disease, Paul Robert Coyle, poison ring, polaron, prison camp, ration, replicator, ring, Robert Scheerer, sabotage, Seska, shielding, soup, space tureen, spy, Star Trek Voyager, Star Trek Voyager Season 1, State of Flux, subspace bubble, transfusion, tureen, Voyager Season 1
I think what worked for me is that by the midpoint, it was obvious that Seska was hiding something but I had assumed that it was just the cardassian infiltrator thing and that she WASNT guilty of leaking their technology. I STILL think that would have been WAY more interesting a story to tell, if she WAS a cardassian infiltrator but was ACTUALLY willing to work with the crew to keep trying to get home, so you’d have starfleet, maquis, and cardassian viewpoints competing on the ship going forward, as well as the betrayal her former companions would feel.
Oh now that would have been a very interesting twist! I would have preferred that by far – so it’s a shame you weren’t in the writer’s room.
Imagine then if she had been revealed and Janeway still had to back her up as a member of the crew. It’s then a slow-burn until *if* she sells out the crew for something else.
Isn’t it interesting how Seska’s values as a Cardassian spy made her gel so well with her Maquis compatriots? Without those mean Cardassians to fight, B’Elanna found herself questioning the kind of rudderless antiauthoritarianism which bound the two women together in friendship. In this episode, Chakotay is at first lured by fond memories and “strictly Maquis operations.” In “The Maquis” on DS9, I thought that lacking a clearly-realised motivation, the individual Maquis we get to know, like Cal Hudson, end up living out hyper-Romanticised fantasies. Kira took Thomas Riker to task for this very folly in “Defiant,” and Michael Eddington will prove to be the most Romantic figure of the movement. Seska has clearly preyed on these kinds of emotions in order to nestle herself within their ranks. Now, on the Voyager, with the ostensible purpose for the Maquis existing slipping further and further away from daily life, it is Seska who plays up the Holden Caulfield snubbing of authority in order to keep the crew divided. Her efforts undermine the progress Janeway is beginning to make in establishing a Starfleet ethos amongst the crew. Unfortunately, this episode rushes her development and fails to give her a purpose. Yes, she is clearly motivated by philosophical differences with Starfleet and Janeway in particular, but what exactly is her goal, here? Did she think giving the Kazon replicators would stave off their attacks? Is that why we haven’t seen them since the pilot? Well, that didn’t prevent Chakotay from getting shot, did it? For proving to be such a master spy, this whole scheme seems poorly thought out. I would have preferred Seska remain aboard, hiding in plain sight, for longer.
The Kazon were put to okay use here, especially as a looming space-submarine threat in the opening acts. Caligula—I mean Cullah—receives no particular characterisation, which is kind of a let down. The main characters fare better, especially Tuvok and Chakotay, whose conflicting personalities and agendas from “Caretaker” are effectively set in parallel without losing their defining qualities. For his part, Chakotay seems to realise that he needs to stop treating his former crew like they’re still Maquis; all this does is invite discord and create opportunities for their enemies. They had better resolve these lingering Maquis issues soon, because the underlying problems with their conception will continue to plague the series until they do.
All great insights, Elliott. I’m reminded of something I heard someone say once, that “being a rebel without a cause just isn’t cool anymore.” 😀
Seska and the Kazon feel like a missed opportunity although the impulse feels right to have a recurring antagonist with a specific goal and a spy within the ranks on Voyager. Perhaps that all could have used another moment to bake before getting committed to a script.