FWIW, Rise was one of my favorite Voyager episodes. Not only do we have a space elevator (which is a nerdgasm for anyone who loves real science in addition to Star Trek) but we also have the relationship dynamic of Tuvok and Neelix. Neelix has his first opportunity here to prove that he knows something that Tuvok does not. I was a little disappointed that they chose to make Neelix fib a little bit about how much knowledge he has, but in the end the point is clear: Tuvok needs Neelix.
The episode is also great because its a Neelix episode without Kes. Finally, we get to see what the character is able to do when he's not anchored down by that lifeless child.
I've been looking at some other reviews of Rise
from around the net, and I'm really surprised to see that so many people dislike this episode. I guess you and I are in the minority on this one.