There’s been this whole thing going through the series that Neelix is a jealous sort of boyfriend, particularly when it comes to Tom Paris. It’s not my favorite plotline. Heck, I find it tiresome.
Anyway, it looks like this episode is going to resolve that.
So, here’s the whole problem I have here: the conflict between Neelix and Paris is pretty one-sided. Yes, Tom tells Harry Kim that he’s in love with Kes, but he also says he won’t really act on it because she’s with Neelix, and Tom is a Starfleet officer, and those folks won’t really do anything that low like try to steel Neelix’s girl. Now, personally, I find this sort of stuff pathetic in part because Neelix more or less assumes that Kes has no will of her own. Yes, she is young and naive, but she’s the one who would decide if she stays with Neelix or leaves with Paris. Or, well, goes to a different deck since they’re all stuck on the same ship.
Kes, for her part, is amazed when the Doctor points out Paris is in love with her. He picked up the symptoms, and she didn’t, to which the hologram basically points out that Kes is still rather young and learning.
Eh, never mind all that. Paris knows he shouldn’t do anything, and he and Harry go out of their way to try to show Neelix that Paris isn’t after Kes, a plan that doesn’t work at all when Neelix starts a fight in the mess hall. Then Janeway sends the two on a mission with her best “I do not give AF” look because they need supplies, and a planet nearby has some even if the atmosphere is toxic to their skin. The shuttle actually crashes, and the two men move into a cave where they can seal the entrance behind them. There they can wait for Voyager to get them once they get the transporters working well enough to beam them back.
As it is, the cave is full of eggs, and one hatches while the two are down there, popping out a cute alien lizard puppet.
OK, having the two guys set aside their differences to make sure the baby survives, even figuring out the baby feeds off the toxins in the atmosphere, is not the worst way to allow the two to talk to each other in a civilized manner and come to an understanding. Plus, the weird alien ship shooting at Voyager are the adult versions of the baby thing, and that actually just works about right to explain what happened with the mystery ship considering these lizard people don’t actually talk much.
So, is that the end of Neelix’s jealousy? Oh god, I hope so. That was not really working for me, like, at all. You know, especially since, as I said, it makes Neelix out to be more immature than anything else, and the character hasn’t exactly endeared himself to me so far.