Equinox parts 1 & 2
A thought provoking episode.
Voyager comes across another Star Fleet vessel, the Equinox, a smaller ship more suitable for learning and exploration then long term survival. It turns out that both ships were sent to the Delta quadrant by the Caretakers. While the two ships are working together to there were a lot of clues that something odd was happening with the other crew. One of the equinox crew women hinted to Chakotay that she wanted to stay with them, and the Captain Ransome asked Janeway is she ever broke the Prime Directive. He let her answer first, and it seemed liked he was holding something back when he agreed that he had not broken it either. Also, Ransome's crew called him by his first name. their ship has lost all protocol and decorum. On a more humorous note, BLT? Someone actually got away with calling B'Ellana BLT!? Boyfriend or not, I do not believe it, she would have beat him.
At one point, the two Captains kind of come to heads, but in a very mild way. Janeway tells Ransome that they may need to abandon his ship. He tells her that he will go back with his crew. At this point, Janeway quotes protocol that allows her control of the situation, making her lead Captain. He does not look happy, but acquiesces.
Janeway becomes suspicious and starts an investigation. She finds that Ransome has been mass murdering a species in order to take their bodies and convert them into energy that makes their ship faster. He is mass killing an alien species to get home faster. When Janeway confronts him he cites a protocol that says something like they can do whatever necessary; at all costs to get their crew home. Is he in his rights of the protocol? Are there limits to the protocol?
This brings a major issue to light? If this is indeed a protocol how far can they take it? When is it okay to cross the lines of morality? Surely mass murder cannot be acceptable! The two Captains are on opposite sides of the morality issue. Janeway is very moral, but is she too cautious? (Should she have taken Qs offer)? Where is the line between protecting your crew and maintaining your integrity?
In the second half Janeway is on a wild pursuit of the Equinox. Janeway even begins to lose cite of her morality in order to capture Ransome. Chakotay does his best to keep her in check, but he gets removed from duty. While negotiating with the aliens being killed she even agrees to give Equinox to the aliens to be killed.
Ransome begins to see the error of his ways and he wishes to surrender to Janeway, but his crew puts him in the brig. He overrides them, and helps Janeway beam his crew to Voyager, with the exception of the mutineers and Ransome who stayed behind to get his ship away from Voyager before it blew up.
Janeway reinstates Chakotay, and strips the Equinox crew of all rank and put them to work. Janeway and Chakotay kind of make up. She hints that she went too far.
Favorite part: I love it that Neelix is having a potluck to aid with crew moral. I always tell people that food solves everything! My real favorite part was when the doctor and 7 make up. I like them as a duo. The doc lost his ethical program, and became doctor Hyde. He hurt 7, but she forgave him and suggested new security measures and a tune up to his voice.
I like that there was a second story line that looked at morality issues with the doc when he lost his ethical sub routine. He was programmed to be immoral. Is there an argument that after several years of obeying an immoral Captain that members of his crew were programmed to be immoral? I tend to think not, but I can see the argument being made. After all, Ransome was able to see the error in his actions in the end.