I don't think it's too late to reasonably revive this thread, but in case it is, I apologize with the explanation that I just started watching Season 2 and didn't want to start an entirely new thread just to post stuff about it.
One note before I move forward: I'm using Amazon Instant Video and watching the season in a very different order than it originally aired in and in which it appears on the DVDs, having watched The '37s, Projections, Elogium, and Twisted in their 'proper' order as part of Season 1 (Projections following Learning Curve, Elogium following Projections, Twisted following Elogium, and The '37s following Twisted and being the Season 1 finale).
With that out of the way, on to Season 2.
Initiations makes a much more organic and satisfying season premiere than The '37s would have, not only starting the broader Kazon-centric arc of the season off right away, but also giving Robert Beltran a chance to broaden his portrayal of Chakotay and give us some more insight into his character. It also gives Neelix a chance to broaden his role on the ship and once again utilize his knowledge of and previous contact with the Kazon-Ogla.
BTW, I've seen it remarked that Voyager shouldn't have kept running into the Kazon as often as they did given that they were first encountered in the vicinity of the Caretaker's Array, but given what is said in this episode about Kazon territory and society, I actually think it makes all the sense in the world that Voyager could run into the Kazon in a number of different locations yet still only 'officially' encroach on their territory in this episode and continue to encounter them throughout the rest of the season.