In which Torres has a really bad day, Seven deals with her past, and the show has some worrying messages about refugees.
Regeneration time in Cargo Bay 2. The doors open and Chakotay comes to Seven of Nine, at her request. She’s bored and wants a job. We cut to Engineering, which is a hectic nightmare. Torres is yelling at Vorik, snapping at Tom, and she’s decided not to go through with an ‘obscure Klingon ritual’ because it’s been a terrible day, starting with the computer not waking her up because she forgot to set an alarm. You’d think the computer would be able to cross-link with the duty registry and wake you up in time not to be late, unless that’s deemed a breach of privacy somehow? So Torres doesn’t want to deal with anyone’s mess, even her own. Therefore, you can imagine the reaction when Chakotay lets her know that Seven of Nine has requested to work in Engineering. Chakotay suggests that having her in Engineering could help Voyager figure out some of the Borg transwarp technology. And when B’Elanna doesn’t want to get home badly enough to take that risk, Chakotay orders her to do it anyway.
Janeway lays down the rules for Seven of Nine, and asks to use Annika. Since she’s been Seven of Nine for so long, she rejects this, but accepts the moniker “Seven” isntead. This conversation is ended when Voyager encounters a damaged ship, barely limping along. Rahmin of the Caatati is polite and apologetic, giving the excuse that they’re refugees from the Borg. Good thing the bridge camera is tight, and doesn’t pick up Seven. He asks for humanitarian aid and some thorium isotopes to repair the system, to which Janeway agrees.
In Engineering, Vorik is having trouble obtaining said thorium isotopes. They’re not a thing Starfleet regularly has to use, but the warp engine, as it is a compact particle annihalation chamber, can apparently manufacture all sorts of particles. After giving him some advice, B’Elanna decides to needle Seven by asking if she feels any kind of remorse over hearing about refugees of genocide like that. The two of them are clearly not going to be friends any time soon.
Neelix tries to cheer Torres up with a traditional blood pie, which probably takes Torres by surprise in part because he’s not done this in the previous three years he’s been chef and morale officer. The Day of Honor is evidently about examining your behavior over the past year to determine whether you ‘measure up to Klingon standards.’ To help Torres get out of her funk, Neelix offers to be her punching bag, verbally speaking, so that she doesn’t blow up when it matters. It’s such a nice offer, she actually starts listening to his advice, and decides to go through with the ritual.
The holodeck set for the Day of Honor is a cave full of torches. The ceremony starts with fried Targ heart, then some bloodwine in honor of Kahless. Third, she is asked what feats she has accomplished, and B’Elanna is not feeling super confident about herself, and when her guide describes the ritual of painsticks, bat’leth combat, and trudging through sulfur bogs, she decides to quit. The holo-klingons start with the pain-sticks anyway, and to be fair I bet beating the crap out of five klingons with cattle prods makes a pretty good test of mettle. Later, Tom swings by her quarters later to check in on her and get the after-action report, they get into a fight, and maybe-break-up.
Rahmin explains their plight to Janeway – they can’t grow food, everyone is starving, and nobody will let them settle down. Janeway orders Neelix to give them everything Voyager can spare, amounting to several hundred kilograms and whatever medical supplies are available. Rahmin is grateful, but probably ruins it when Tuvok casually mentions that Seven used to be a Borg. Dude has no chill. Seven is a little perplexed by Tom’s concern over Seven’s reaction to Rahmin’s outburst, and if you think that sentence was confusing, try being a one-week-free Borg navigating the complex philosophical grey areas of complicity in the eyes of your fellow shipmates in genocides of a cult you were forcibly inducted into.
Engineering is ready to test the use of Borg-type transwarp conduits, and until they say otherwise I have to assume they’re still doing this in full view of the refugee ships who’ve been devastated by the Borg and now know that Voyager is harboring a Borg. What I’m saying is I bet there are better times to test out how much Borg tech you can appropriate. Worse still, Tom is expressing his annoyance with Torres in such a way as to appear to be siding with Seven against her.
So, the good news is that Voyager clearly left the refugee ships behind. They start throwing tachyons in front of them to create the field, but they start leaking into the warp core. They can’t stabilize it, and they have to eject the whole core, which is going to be a real pain to replace, what with the whole ‘no shipyards for 60,000 light-years’ thing. The good news is that the core didn’t explode, so B’Elanna is still alive to wallow in self-pity. Torres has fired Seven, and Tom is dispatched to go tow the core back. Janeway orders Torres to go with him to repair it. So they can have a nice talk about being on a break.
Tom’s picked up the core on sensors, and B’Elanna has also found a trace of the Caatati ships nearby, trying to take the core for themselves. And doing so in a way that might blow up the core. Torres tries to disrupt the beam, and the Caatati counterattack, destroying the shuttle. Tom and Torres barely have time to get into EVA suits and beam away to watch the shuttle explode. They’re not ready to give up, though. Tom wants to “interplex” their comms. From context, it’s clear this means they’re going to combine two sophisticated and data-rich comm systems into one simple, but powerful comm. As they twirl through space, they flirt away their remaining oxygen.
Janeway calls Seven into her ready-room to do an after-action report on the cause of the accident and possible mitigation strategies. However, Janeway’s debriefing strategy is blunt enough even to twig Seven’s social awareness, but that same bluntness allows the two of them to navigate that particular rapid without crashing.
Apparently, Torres didn’t find the zero-g training as sickening as Worf did, but now that the real thing has hit, they’re both in the same boat. Or maybe she just dropped out before the live training began. They are both then swept by some sort of energy wave which knocks Tom’s oxygen supply loose, so they have to link up. Torres is also low on oxygen, and they have about half an hour left. I hope that’s accounting for double consumption.
Seven has found the cause of the accident – some resonances with Voyager‘s engine that built up a reaction. They’ve also received the signal from Tom and B’Elanna, but don’t quite have impulse engines up yet. And to add to this, here comes the Caatati fleet to extort more supplies, thorium, and also Seven so they can inflict mob justice on her. And the funny part is, Janeway might have even bent over backwards to help them, until they said that. Probably not, but maybe.
Paris and Torres take their dying breaths to get some of those final confessions and apologies, and Torres finally owns up to being a coward, interpersonally speaking, on this, the Day of Honor.
In fact, after Janeway refuses to let Seven turn herself over, Seven comes up with a Third Option – designing a limited replicator that would allow them to create all the thorium the Caatati need to power their ships. It’s still some tense negotiating, but in the end Rahmin even issues a grudging ‘thank you’ directly to Seven’s face. Too bad that by the time they built the thing, made the deal, got back their warp core, and got the engines up, it’d almost certainly be more than half an hour and Tom and B’Elanna area almost certainly dead or severely brain damaged from hypoxia.
Or, nope. They’re still conscious enough to say their last-minute I-love-yous. Torres does it as an act of courage, for the Day of Honor. I’m glad that they didn’t do the thing where Voyager shows up to rescue them before they make their Big Declarations, at least. That’s almost always intolerable.