I like it that Tuvok is mentoring Kes. When Kes tells Tuvok that she is hearing Neelix’s thoughts he kind of cringes; I don’t know why but that made me laugh! I know people tend not to like Neelix, but he cracks me up. He is so aloof, but he is also incredibly well-informed and helpful to the crew! After her studies Kes was in sickbay with the Doctor and saw the dead remains of the Caretaker move in response to sporocystian energy. Janeway has the crew search for the female caretake in the hopes she could aid them in their return home. Tuvok is quite worried about being at the Caretaker’s mercy again and asks for permission to work on a toxin that could be used against her.
Instead of finding the female Caretaker the crew finds Ocampa. A male Ocampa slams Janeway and the crew saying the Voyager is known as a ship of death. Janeway, naturally, asked Kes to act as an intermediately. The Ocampa responded to Kes. Kes was not aware that there were Ocampa outside of the home world. She was rather excited to meet new Ocampa. Tanis explains to Kes that she has a lot to learn about the Ocampa and herself. He also reveals that he is 14, which surprised Kes because the oldest known Ocampa was 9. If these were good people, one would assume that he would immediately offer to help her lengthen her own life. Tanis does immediately grow Kes’ plants. He enhances their life. Kes is amazed.
Tanis has dinner with Kes, Neelis, Tuvok, and Janeway. While at dinner Tanis offers Kes a chance to live with them and meet the Caretaker. Tanis also offers to aid Kes with her telepathic capabilities. The camera panned off and showed Tuvok make a very subtle, disgruntled, face. That is twice in this episode Tuvok has shown emotion. He must be getting a little soft working with all of those emotional humans. Tanis helped Kes move objects with her mind and use the fire in her mind to heat water. While showing Tuvok Kes is not able to stop using her fire and burns Tuvok’s face. For a moment, I thought it was a dream sequence of some type, but nope. Poor Tuvok, and when he wakes up he merely shrugs it off and tells Kes that she needs to keep training with him in order to control her powers. Tuvok tells Kes that he would regret not continuing as her instructor. Isn’t regret an emotion?
Tanis meets with Kes in her garden area, and burns all of her plants. I would think that Kes would have been extremely angry. It kind of scares me that her response was, “amazing”. I like it that the Caretaker took the form of a little girl; very innocent. The writers must have recently watched, Carrie, I am feeling a lot of fire-creepy-angry things going on. Tanis should not have messed with Neelix. Kes is extremely protective of him. It is a good thing that Tuvok insisted on making the toxin to control the Caretaker. She was extremely angry and blamed Janeway for killing her mate. Janeway showed Suspiria mercy and in return Suspiria left them alive.
Favorite part: The Doctor: “Vulcans make the worst patients”! This was a very solid episode; probably my favorite in the series so far!
Least favorite part: Tanis never shared the secret of lengthening her life with Kes.
This is my favorite Voyager episode! Very exciting and somewhat spooky with Kes as the main character.
As for Kes's lifespan, I agree with your statement but it was at least stated that it was possible to prolong it which is most interesting.
The sad thing is that the episode was never followed up with a final encounter with Suspiria. It would also have been interesting to see how the Ocampa on the array lived and how they were. Still a great episode.