Neelix is the main character of the opener and it shows the various ways he is the "good guy" who goes out of his way to help people. He agrees to an away mission with chakotay, but before he goes he tells his god daughter a story about the great forrest( the Telaxian version of the after life), and helps 7 with her taste buds. While on the away mission, in the shuttle craft, Neelix is killed.
I knew he would be back somehow, it is Neelix! My husband kept taunting me that one of my favorite characters was dead, but I did not fall for it. How could we lose Neelix? He is to much of the "handy man/fix-all" to lose this early in the show. He lives because 7 is allowed to use her blood and nano probes to inject Neelix to bring him back to life. Janeway tries to make Neelix take time off, but he resists.
Neelix tells Chakotay he was disappointed because the great forest and guiding tree were not real, they did not show up when he was dead. chakotay tries to reassure him, but it did not work. He was angry and hurt. I like this episode because we get to see Neelix in a different perspective. He actually shows a new emotion besides happiness. Even when Kes left him he seemed content. In this episode we see his dark side. He is angry, hateful, and resentful.
When Neelix is putting Naoimi to bed she asks to her about the great forest and while he tried to settle her and make her sleep, you could hear the disillusionment in his voice. He lost his religion, and his wish to live. He no longer feels like himself any longer. He even hollowed at 7. He is so distraught that he asks Chakotay to aid him on a vision quest, so he could figure out what is wrong with him. After the quest Neelix feels that he needs to commit suicide.
A plea from Chakotay and a call from his goddaughter keep him from killing himself, but the episode never clarified what his final decision regarding his religion is. Did he reconcile himself with his religion in his decision to live, or did he chose to live because of his sense of duty?
Favorite part: the Kazon were unworthy of assimilation. Not sure why, but this cracked me up.
Least favorite part: the doctor tells Neelix he set a new world record for being dead the longest. The world? Which world? His home world? Earth?