In which the ship is running out of pixie dust and Janeway organizes a prison break.
Neelix is furtively meeting some people on an alien planet. In fact, the Voyager crew are attempting to purchase some resource that they need a vial of. They may be doing this on the D.L to try to keep that reputation from growing. Sadly for these attempts, they are soon found by the local shock troops, and Janeway is shot in the neck, then clumsily rescued by some rando. But her commbadge is gone.
They needed the Tellurium (apparently) to help with the matter/antimatter reaction. Helps regulate it somehow, I suppose. The ship is running insanely low on energy, to the point where they can’t afford to keep the shields on. They can barely afford to beam up Neelix, and as soon as they do Harry has to pour in the tellurium manually.
The armed guards are known as the Mokra, and they have spies everywhere, surveiling the Alsurian Resistance. Kim gets the warp engines lit up and Voyager is nominally back in business, so it’s time to take Voyager into plain view. They’d been hiding behind a moon… meaning that at low power, Voyager can transport through a moon. I never want to hear about them being too deep in caves for communications ever again. Well, maybe transporter beams can bend? Maybe they used a shuttle as a relay point?
Voyager is now approaching the satellite network of a paranoid and insular planet, and Chakotay leads with “we’ve infiltrated your planet and would like our people back.” The planetary receptionist is at least polite, though.
Tuvok and Torres are in a cell, protected by the pain-causing kind of force field. Tuvok is attempting to be bluntly pragmatic, which Torres is now grudgingly capable of accepting. Well, she’s had some practice. Meanwhile, Janeway has woken up in the house of the guy who saved her, sans badge and sans clue. And the old guy thinks that Janeway is his daughter Ralkana. He’s definitely not all there, possibly traumatized when the Mokra (whether that’s a nationality, race, or political group) killed his daughter and imprisoned his wife.
The planetary leader, Augris, is a fine diplomat indeed, but a bit smug and also directly from Central Casting’s ‘smarmy villains’ department. Augris leaves the meeting and then goes back to interrogate Tuvok and Torres to question them about their connections with the Resistance.
Janeway’s dad has a lot of info about the Mokra guards on the prison where he wants to go rescue his wife, but Janeway doesn’t want him to go because he’s obviously a little cracked. This is becoming increasingly obvious – like by the fact that he can’t write any more due to the shakes, but thinks he wrote a letter three days ago. Or by the fact that we’re getting a long slow closeup of him with sad flute music. Janeway fortunately doesn’t feel bad enough for him to let him help sabotage her rescue operation… but the cops kick in the door and they both cave to escape through a tunnel anyway.
I note that Janeway didn’t get a prosthesis before going down there, which makes her really easy to pick out of a crowd when the mokra guards come calling. Janeway’s ‘dad’ Caylem breaks cover to act like an idiot and help some poor sap get away from the guards. More praise for Augris – for a jackbooted thug he’s got a pretty great sense of public relations and knows enough not to give the village idiot a kicking.
Voyager‘s working on an escape plan using the transporters, although they can’t get through the shields and or penetrate the rock around the prison, and didn’t we just discuss this? Like, this exact episode? Blarg. I should start a thing where I just stop watching the episode when I’m not drunk enough to notice a plot-breaking hole. Anyway, now they have to come up with an arbitrarily-more-complicated infiltration method, which Janeway is also attempting to do.
Caylem is invested enough to let Janeway trade his probably-dead wife’s necklace for weapons so they can break into the prison. We get a little more of the Tragic Tale of Caylem the Local Crackpot, and then Janeway has sufficient spycraft to notice that their contact winds up being a spy too dumb to change his boots.
Augris is done interrogating Tuvok for a while, and is now using him to play on Torres’ emotions. Garak would like this guy. Tuvok explains to Torres that he can suppress some pain, but not nearly as much as he’s being subjected to, but that resistance-by-refusing-to-cooperate is the limit of their capacity at the time. Also, Janeway’s actual contact is in the prison now, and Janeway’s using her Feminine Wiles on the head guard, and the head guard’s pistol on the other guy.
Harry’s got an analysis of the Mokra sensor net – they’ll send dozens of false transporter signals along with the real one to make it impossible for them to send guards to the correct location in time. Voyager is immediately hit by a surface-to-space cannon blast that disables their beam, and it’s 85 best friends stand ready to obliterate Voyager unless they leave in two minutes. Meanwhile, Janeway’s stolen another pistol and is hacking more door panels, which never ceases to be impressive given the alien technology, even if it is a simple short. The distraction proves enough for Voyager to take advantage of, and Paris goes down to infiltrate. Seems kind of dumb, but someone’s gotta bring a commbadge.
The planetside batteries are hammering Voyager. Janeway reunites with her crew, but they’re quickly caught by Augris and his guards. Harry suggests hiding Voyager in a planetary storm, and it turns out that Caylem tries to rescue his wife fairly often. She’s been dead for twelve years. The guards usually send him away as an example, but once his daughter made it into the tunnels before getting shot. This time, Caylem has backup enough to stab Augris in probably the heart during the scuffle. Everything is quiet enough for Janeway to lie to Caylem as he dies. And with all that out of the way and Janeway in possession of an artifact from a life she never lived, we’re on our way.