PRIME FACTORS - 1x10 - 5/5
This episode is fantastic, but can I start off by noting that things kick off with us finding out Harry fell out of a holographic boat whilst on a date? I'm sorry, but that just kills me.
Anyway, this an excellent outing for Voyager and is one of the first times the Prime Directive is really turned on it's head. It's a landmark story for Voyager, and for Star Trek in general.
The pacing is excellent, there's no wasted screen time here. Characters and setting are established, the complication is introduced very quickly which gives us plenty of time to wrangle the issue (but not so much so that characters are left saying what we already know).
There's plenty of inter-character conflict as we see the various ideals of each character debated and fleshed out and there's some decent character insight for Janeway and growth for B'Elanna.
I will say, I don't agree with Janeway's decision here, but this doesn't mean I dislike her, nor is her perspective without merit. It's a tough call, but if it were me, my principles would have to take a back seat to my responsibility as Captain to safeguard my ship and crew. It's a tight situation where I don't condemn a person for going the other way on this one and an unwillingness to betray your own principles is admirable in the least.
If i had one slight criticism, it would be the antagonist, Gathorel. Almost immediately his mandate is obvious. They could have replaced every line of his dialogue with "I AM A SLEAZEBAG". But it's not really an issue as his characterisation is not relevant to the story or issue at hand.
This is easily Voyager's strongest outing so far and good science fiction overall.