After the memorial service a crew member goes to Janeway and argues that they should just give the Kazon a replicator and the items they want. That was just plain dumb, and he just pissed Janeway off. Then while she was still fuming Chakotay proposed that she make a pact with one of the Kazon’s other enemies in an attempt to lessen their power against them. Janeway, in my opinion, a smart move, went to Tuvok to get his opinion. Tuvok also agreed that Chakotay’s position was viable. He made a good point that the alliance would only be temporary until they were out of Kazon space. Luckily, Neelix had a friend in one of the Kazon fractions that he could speak with and Janeway decided to try and contact Seska for an alliance. I felt like that was a bad idea since Seska had already back-stabbed the Voyager crew already. She is not trust-worthy and I feel that it was out-of-character for Janeway to go to her without much thought when they had not tried Neelix’s contact yet.
I felt Janeway was basically forced to consider an alliance with the Kazon and even more so to contact Seska of all people. For me it was a most remarkable thing, that Janeway gave in. I think all the fighting, the casualties, the damages had her nerves on edge. And Seska still had friends on the ship, and probably not only in engineering. I had the feeling that they would have come pretty close to a mutiny if Janeway had proceeded her fight and flight mode. And IMO it was clearly visible how much Janeway detested making contact with the Kazon. She was clearly glad that Culluh blew that first meeting on Voyager. She tried, it didn't work. Good.
All in all I felt that some issues about this episode were indeed constructed to make a point in favour of Janeway's hold on to starfleet regulations. But this is what writers do in order to give the story a certain direction, no?
I liked that story a lot. It summed up a couple of profound issues: Is it wise to forge alliances with less developed (even aggressive) species? If so - how much are you willing to offer in return for ressources, protection and information? Where is the line of the Prime directive, since any alliance is prone to have an impact on the constellation of power in the sector? When becomes the own survival and the possibility to find a way back home more important than the prime directive? How far can you go to make compromises with half of the crew being not even federation members?