Captain Jed R. wrote:
She was a flawed human being: she had a caffeine addiction, she was stubborn, she had some obsessive tendencies when certain instances occurred, and over the course of the seven years we saw hints of a self-destructive streak. She coped by making "getting the crew home" her anchor, the thing that drove her on - her primary obsession, so to speak. It became more important to her than her own life, as shown.
For all that, she's a far more interesting character than is superficially shown. She's almost pretending to be a perfect Starfleet Captain even though she isn't, and even though she's almost emotionally crippled by self-imposed expectations. It's a more nuanced performance, more nuanced writing, than I think even it is trying to be. And that's why I love the character.
This is very true. I have always found Mulgrew's performance compelling for this reason. One gets the idea that Janeway is kind of holding it together for her crew's sake but the cracks do show at times.
She's not a seasoned leader in the Picard mold, or even a born leader like Kirk. She's something completely her own, an ordinary human being in an extraordinary situation, and Mulgrew just owned the role from the very first frame of "Caretaker", IMO.