Wait, am I finally getting a Kes-based episode? It’s about damn time. I have so many questions about her right now.
So, here’s the thing: Kes is an Ocampa, and we were told pretty much from the get-go that these guys only live for nine years. They’re mildly telepathic and…that’s about all I know about them, really. Kes seems to be the “sexy” member of the cast. Actress Jennifer Lien has a rather husky voice, and the other women on the show aren’t really set up to be the pretty ones. Janeway is an authority figure who has, by her own admission, said that she needs to stay above those sorts of things, and B’Elanna is more of a tomboy in many ways with that Klingon temper. Kes, meanwhile, seems to have attracted both Tom Paris and, oddly enough, the Doctor. Neelix is basically jealous all the time, and that’s not an endearing trait for a character that I think is supposed to be annoying.
As it is, the ship gets dragged into a weird spot in space where space-based life forms are running around, hitting the ship, and even trying to copulate with it. The beings somehow set off Kes’s mating instincts, something she said shouldn’t happen until she’s, like, five, and she’s barely two years old.
OK, she’s barely two…how long has she known Neelix? Seriously. Part of that may depend on how long she’s been on Voyager. Since Ensign Wildman comes to see Janeway to tell the captain that she’s pregnant by a husband she left back on Deep Space Nine. Since Wildman isn’t showing, my guess is the ship has been stuck in Delta Quadrant for only a couple months so far. But the show hasn’t (and no doubt won’t) say, so I can only guess.
Regardless, this episode should focus on Kes. See, her people can only mate once, and if she’s showing signs of being able to procreate, she only has a couple days to have a child or she’s never going to get the chance. Neelix needs to think about it, and so does she. At first, Kes seems more inclined to have a kid while Neelix is more reluctant, but he sits down to ask Tuvok for advice, and Neelix’s desire to only have a son–because what would he teach a daughter?–has Tuvok offering good advice that seems odd given his Vulcan nature on how parents love children. Meanwhile, Kes asks the Doctor, and his advice is more, well, medically practical. He’s not really programmed to do anything else.
That said, the two end up switching positions on whether or not they will have a kid. But really, what seemed like a good chance to explore Kes and her people seems to spend more time with Neelix, and I think I already know plenty about Neelix. It’s Kes who is more of a question mark.
Regardless, once the ship gets cleared of the aliens, Kes goes back to, well, normal, and she may have a chance to have a kid later after all because the Doctor makes an assumption on how Ocampa physiology works.
I suppose having an episode focused on Neelix and Kes’s relationship is fine, but I would have preferred to learn more about Kes and less about Neelix. I already know a lot about Neelix.