I am coming to this comically late, but I have a perfect excuse: week from hell, transatlantic travel, jet lag -- cue the violins. (Anything but Mahler.)
So yeah, it was a good episode. I have yet to see why people "ship" Kashyk though. I have encountered people like him in my professional life and believe me, once you've seen them oil their way across the floor the last thing you want to do is touch them. So -- yeah. Ugh.
There's a thing that bothers me about the ep though. Here it is, a week after Janeway tosses Tom Paris in the slammer for 30 days, for offences committed after she tells him she couldn't intervene in the wanton environmental destruction of an entire ecosystem because of the Prime Directive. (And yes, I know he didn't get sent down for violating the PD itself. It is, however, the trigger for the things he DID do.)
So, a week later (or whatever time passes between episodes) and she harbours a bunch of telepaths in blatant interference with the internal working of the Devore Empire. Consistency much??? Sovereign rule? (Another two weeks later, Paris rather cynically reminds her that "remember, you're the Queen..." in "Bride of Chaotica!", no doubt in direct reference to her regal predilection for ignoring the rules she set and cites for others.)
This whole thing bugged me enough I turned it into a story ("At the Bottom of a Glass") so my opinion and what I believe Tom's opinion to be are out there for anyone to see. But what do folks on this thread think? Forgetting about the smarmy inspector -- another instance of Janeway exceptionalism?