Ep 2: Caretaker, Part II
Guest Stars: Bruce French
(Ocampa Doctor), Richard Poe (Gul Evek),
Josh Clark (Carey), Alicia Coppola (Lt. Stadi), Stan Ivar
Scott Jaeck (Cavit), Eric David Johnson (Daggin),
Basil Langton (Banjo Man), Scott MacDonald (Rollins),
Jeff McCarthy (Human Doctor), Gavan O'Herlihy (Jabin),
Jennifer Parsons (Ocampa Nurse), Angela Paton (Aunt Adah),
Keely Sims (Farmer's Daughter), David Selsburg (Toscat),
Armin Shimerman (Quark)
Written By: Rick Berman &
Michael Piller & Jeri Taylor
Directed By: Winrich Kolbe
Teleplay By: Michael Piller
& Jeri Taylor
The Voyager crew launches a daring
rescue mission to save two officers trapped in a subterranean city facing
En route to the fifth planet of a
neighboring system, Voyager's crew encounters Neelix, a Talaxian scavenger.
He explains that the Array has been bringing ships into the region for
many months. Neelix guesses that the "Caretaker," who controls the Array,
may have sent the missing crewmembers to the Ocampa, a race that lives
two miles below the surface of the fifth planet. Neelix volunteers to be
their guide and they accept.
Meanwhile, Kim and Torres are being
cared for in the Ocampa medical facility. Although they now live in a subterranean
society, the Ocampa inhabited the planet's surface until it was struck
by an environmental disaster 500 years ago. Since that time, they have
lived underground, with all their needs provided by the man they refer
to as the Caretaker.
Beaming down to the planet's surface,
Neelix introduces Janeway to the Kazon, a savage alien species that has
taken possession of the arid Ocampan world. Janeway asks Jabin, the Kazon
leader, if he can help them, but he refuses.
Neelix is hoping Jabin will trade
Kes, an Ocampan woman he is holding captive, for some of Voyager's precious
water. But the Kazon are more interested in obtaining all of Voyager's
technology — forcibly. When Jabin tries to take the crew hostage, Neelix
helps them escape and beam back to the ship, along with Kes.
Kim and Torres persuade an Ocampan
nurse to show them a route that could lead to the surface. On Voyager,
Kes agrees to lead Janeway and the others through the tunnels to her underground
city to search for the pair.
As the Array increases the rate of
the energy pulses that power the city, Kim and Torres begin their journey,
narrowly missing the search party from Voyager. Tuvok theorizes that the
increased activity of the Array may indicate that the Caretaker is dying;
he is clearly attempting to give them a surplus of power that will sustain
the Ocampa after he is gone.
The search is complicated by a new
turn of events. The Array is now firing a weapon at the planet to seal
up all of the energy conduits, the tunnels that provide the only access
to the city. This will protect the Ocampans, but prevent the others from
escaping. Splitting up, Paris, Neelix and Kes find Kim and Torres, and
send them up to Voyager. Then Paris and Neelix go back for Janeway, Tuvok
and Chakotay. Chakotay's skepticism towards Paris' loyalty is erased when
Paris saves his life.
Returning to the Array, Janeway again
encounters the old man, whom she realizes is the Caretaker. He explains
that he was bringing beings from across the galaxy to the Array in the
hopes of finding a compatible species with which he could procreate, thus
providing the Ocampa with someone to care for them after he dies. But no
species has been a match so far.
Janeway tries to convince the Caretaker
to send Voyager and the Maquis ship back home, but he refuses. Apparently,
the Caretaker wants to destroy the Array so that it won't fall into the
invading Kazon's hands. But he dies before he can carry out his plan, and
Janeway is left to decide whether to use the Array to get home — which
would leave it intact for the Kazon — or to destroy it and save the Ocampa.
She chooses what seems to be the only moral option and makes a mortal enemy
of the Kazon.
With Chakotay's ship destroyed in
the battle with the Kazon, Janeway asks the Maquis to become part of Voyager's
crew. She also allows Neelix and Kes to stay aboard. With Chakotay her
First Officer, Tom Paris reinstated as a Starfleet lieutenant, and Torres
and Kim cured by the Emergency Medical Hologram, Janeway and her new crew
set course for the long trip home, 70,000 light-years away.