The Voyager crew may have found a new element in an asteroid belt. They fly down to investigate a cavern full of spiderwebs, where they find a mummy. And then another mummy. Lots and lots of mummies.
The new element is emanating from the mummies. Chakotay wants to leave them undisturbed but Ensign Kim wants to plunder them for all they’re worth. Chakotay puts on his “token spiritual Indian” hat and lectures them about burial rituals before shit starts to get weird. When they beam back to the ship, B’Elanna and Chakotay show up with a mummy and no Ensign Kim. They decide to revive the mummy in the hope that it can give them some answers. I guess they forgot about that whole respecting the dead thing.
Kim, meanwhile, crashes a burial ceremony for a race who believes they are sending their dead into “the next emanation,” which sounds like real life but cooler. Kim makes a grand entrance by banging to be let out from inside the coffin. I hope that happens at my funeral.
In 3 seconds of conversation with these guys Harry manages to destroy their religion by casually mentioning that where he came from he saw dead bodies.
Voyager is doing the same thing by waking up the mummy, who is crushed to discover that she’s not in the afterlife, just Voyager.
This tender exchange is interrupted by some banging around and then B’Elanna finds another mummy just hanging out in engineering. Somehow, Voyager has become the new depository for the planet’s dead bodies.
Harry has a heartfelt conversation with an alien preparing to die. The upshot of this is that nobody knows what happens after anybody dies, death is a great mystery, death is just another part of life, und so weiter. When Harry finds out that this alien is electing to die because his family found his disability too much of a burden, he tells the alien, “It’s not my place to judge your culture” and then proceeds to judge the f*ck out of his culture.
Voyager’s warp core keeps attracting bodies like moths to a bug zapper. B’Elanna has an idea – maybe they can send their alien back and exchange him for Harry. Also: Janeway touches Chakotay a lot in this episode. Like, enough that I’m noticing it.
They try to send the alien back through one of the subspace vacules, but it doesn’t work, and the alien dies. Meanwhile, her people won’t let Harry try to get himself home. That’s when he gets an idea – maybe he can trade places with the alien preparing to die, and thus get sent back to the asteroid Voyager is orbiting. Sure, he’ll die during the process, but NBD, the Doctor will just revive him. Probably.
Just as Voyager is considering leaving to avoid becoming a morgue, Harry’s capsule lands on Deck 12 and the Doctor revives him and all is well that ends well and Janeway and Chakotay can focus on the more important business of banging each other senseless. Oh, and Harry gets two days off from work to reflect on his experience. The end.
Best Line: “No artifacts, no inscriptions, just naked bodies.”
Body Count: 2 if you count Harry. Okay, maybe 1.5