This episode begins with a mini-horticultural lesson on a strange planet, brought to you by Neelix. If you’re at home, this is a great time to go grab a beer or, this being Voyager, some Everclear. Luckily things get more interesting when Voyager picks up another ship in orbit. They do something wacky to disable its cloak and discover it’s a Kazon ship. Time to go back to Voyager…except, whoops, where’s Sesca?
Chakotay finds her in a cave. Unfortunately he also finds some Kazon, and one of them shoots him. But they get away, and he’s okay, and Sesca brings him mushroom soup. Sesca tells him she had to loot the food reserves to avoid Neelix’s shitty cooking, and Chakotay gets mad at her. She tries to sweet talk him with her body, but it doesn’t really work. I mean, come on, Sesca. Everybody know’s Chako is Janeway’s sugar muffin.
Before she leaves, Sesca threatens to seduce Ensign Kim. This hilarious image gets interrupted by a distress call from the Kazon ship. But is it a trap? Janeway decides to risk it. When a crew beams aboard, they discover lots of radiation and Kazon…parts. All saving one who seemed to survive. They take him to sick bay. Before they leave, B’Elanna notices something strange. Something strange other than Kazon parts. Apparently there’s some technology aboard the ship that only the Federation is known to use.
In sick bay, the Kazon is going to need new parts, even though he’s the only one who still had any. Meanwhile, Tuvok points out to Janeway that the most likely explanation for the Kazon’s possession of Federation technology is that someone on their ship has been selling secrets to the Kazon. Janeway is so disturbed she stops the elevator and gets all up in Tuvok’s face to tell him how disturbed she is.
Sesca is the prime suspect because of her disappearance on the planet. Chakotay isn’t pleased. In a staff meeting to get the technology back, B’Elanna sasses Janeway and she likes it. Sesca is not allowed on the team, and she confronts Chakotay in the hallway. And of course he tells her. Because it’s a *great* idea to tell someone under suspicion that they’re under suspicion.
We’re treated to a series of scenes whose sole purpose is to enhance the possibility that Sesca is a traitor. Then a new Kazon ship appears and – surprise – Sesca beams off Voyager to the original Kazon ship to get the Federation console against orders. She says she’s doing it to prove her loyalty (by disobeying orders, of course), but something goes wrong and she has to get beamed to sick bay.
Ensign Kerry from engineering is another suspect because the signal to the Kazon ship came from his station, so he’s confined to quarters. Chakotay and Janeway have a little lovers’ quarrel about it. The captain from the other Kazon ship beams aboard to see his sick bro. When Janeway refuses to turn over the damaged ship, he asks, “What gives you the right?”
But all goes awry; when Janeway turns her back for a second, the Kazon kill their sick buddy, obviously to protect the same information Janeway’s desperate to get: who gave them Federation technology? In the doctor’s office, Kes reveals to the Captain that Sesca’s blood does not match the genetic makeup of the species she claims to be. It seems like Sesca is actually Cardassian.
Chakotay is not happy. They all decide to wait and see if they can get more info from the console. Janeway radios B’Elanna to see how that’s going.
Janeway wins a stare-down with the Kazon while they wait for the away team to return with the console. Turns out the technology was….a food replicator.
That’s right. A fucking food replicator used incorrectly blew alllll those Kazons apart and covered them with radioactive lava. Let’s just think about that for a second. Let’s think about how much better this episode would have been if they had just had the same malfunction on Voyager. Wouldn’t you rather watch Neelix get covered in radioactive lava? Show of hands?
Chakotay has an emotional conversation in sickbay, where he tells her she’s Cardassian. BECAUSE CHAKOTAY DOES NOT KEEP SECRETS, YOU GUYS. Sesca says it’s a side effect of a bone marrow transplant she had from a Cardassian woman when she was young. Chakotay says she has to wait until they finish checking what was stolen.
But…turns out telling her was a crafty Tuvok plan. He told the same thing to Ensign Kerry. And the Kazon are closing in. Tuvok notices a security hack and starts tracing it. The code being used is Sesca’s….which means it’s Kerry…which means it’s Sesca. Yeah, I don’t know, either. They go into detail about the ruse but frankly it’s boring. Like Murder She Wrote in Space.
Sesca’s all “I was doing it for us! I was doing it to forge alliances to get us home! I was doing it because Janeway stranded us all here a billion miles from home!!”
Sesca beams herself to the Kazon ship, and Janeway recognizes that they can’t fight all the Kazon ships. She won this battle. The episode ends with a heartfelt conversation between Chakotay and Tuvok about what a dupe Chakotay is. So it’s a feel-good for everybody.