If the first season of Star Trek: Voyager
was a shakedown cruise, then season 2 represents a vital blossoming of the series' potential. As Captain Janeway, Kate Mulgrew maintained Starfleet integrity in the lawless expanse of the Delta quadrant, and became the ethical conscience of her still-uneasy Maquis/Starfleet crew, whose unanimous loyalty would be dramatically proven in "The '37's" (a first-season hold-over). Janeway's moral guidance would also assert itself in "Death Wish" (a "Q" episode featuring NextGen's Jonathan Frakes) and "Tuvix," in which life-or-death decisions landed squarely on her shoulders. Season 2 brought similar development to all the primary characters, deepening their relationships and defining their personalities, especially Robert Beltran as Chakotay (in "Initiations" and "Tattoo"), now firmly established as Janeway's best friend (and nearly more than that, in "Resolutions") and command-decision confidante.
Solid sci-fi concepts abound in season 2, although "Threshold" is considered an embarrassment (as confessed by co-executive producer Brannon Braga in a self-deprecating "Easter Egg" interview clip). It was a forgivable lapse in a consistently excellent season that intensified Janeway's struggle with the villainous Kazon, exacerbated by a Starfleet traitor in cahoots with the duplicitous Cardassian Seska (played by Martha Hackett, featured in a lively guest-star profile). The psychologically intense "Meld" (featuring a riveting guest performance by Brad Dourif) was a Tuvok-story highlight, and the aptly titled "Basics, Pt. 1" provided an ominous cliffhanger, including a second planetary landing (in a season full of impressive special effects) that left Voyager's fate in question. All in all, this was one of Voyager's finest seasons, leaving some enticing questions to be answered in season 3. --Jeff Shannon
The complete second season of the popular Star Trek spin-off series. In 'The 37s', the crew discover a 1936 Ford pick-up truck stranded in space. In 'Initiations', Commander Chakotay is hunted by a viscious sect of Kazon warriors, but he makes friends with his young pursuer. In 'Projections', the emergency holographic doctor is activated, only to undergo an identity crisis. 'Elogium' sees Kes become a compulsive eater. In 'Non Sequiter', Harry Kim awakes to find himself back home in Los Angeles with his fiancee having never served on Voyager. Starfleet begin to believe he is a Maquis spy, especially when he meets with a down and out Tom Paris, who also never served on Voyager. In 'Twisted', the ship becomes trapped in a spacial wave of distortion. In 'Parturition', Neelix and Paris's problems concerning Kes come to a head, but they have to resolve it when they are stranded on a planet together. In 'Persistence of Vision', the captain relaxes in her Victorian Holodeck program, but trouble occurs when she begins to see images from the holo-novel outside of the holodeck. In 'Tattoo', Chakotay is surprised to find an ancient symbol of his Earth tribe on an M Class planet in the Delta Quadrant. This sparks memories of his youth on Earth. 'Cold Fire' sees the Voyager being lured to an array by a highly evolved offshoot of Kes's race. In 'Maneuvers', the Kazon manage to get aboard the Voyager and steal vital technology, and it soon becomes apparent that they have received help from an old adversary. In 'Resistance', the crew beam down to a planet to find important crystals, but they are overpowered by the natives. The captain awakes to find herself being cared for by an old man who thinks that she is his daughter. In 'Prototype', B'Elanna is kidnapped by robots and given a task that not only stretches her talents as an improvisational engineering genius, but also tests her loyalty to her crew and the Prime Directive. In 'Alliances', the Voyager crew find themselves outnumbered by the Kazon in the Delta Quadrant and start to make plans to form an alliance and a united front against the terror of the warrior race. In 'Threshold', Tom Paris pilots a shuttlecraft in an attempt to travel at the impossibly fast 'Warp 10'. He succeeds, but at a terrible cost. In 'Meld', Tuvok decides to mind-meld with a murderer, but is not prepared for the emotions that this dangerous act brings. In 'Dreadnought', the Voyager encounters an automated missile system from the Alpha Quadrant that has mistakenly targeted a planet. It transpires that the missile is the handy-work of former Maquis freedom fighter B'Elanna Torres and she must try to disarm it. In 'Deathwish', the crew discover a member of the Q continuum who wants to become mortal. The Q that is well known to Starfleet soon turns up to bargain with Janeway for the future life of the rogue Q. In 'Lifesigns', a dying Vidian is brought aboard the ship and undergoes innovative treatment from the holographic doctor. He creates a hologram of the subject and requires some Klingon tissue to help the lifeless body. In 'Investigations', Neelix uncovers some buried secrets when he starts some investigative journalism on behalf of his morale boosting radio show. In 'Deadlock', the starship stumbles into Vidian territory and runs into insurmountable trouble as it tries to avoid being detected - trouble that could lead to the total destruction of the ship. In 'Innocence', Tuvok's shuttle crash lands on what turns out to be a sacred planet. where he meets three children who believe their people are trying to kill them. The Captain must try to avoid conflict with the isolationist race whilst satisfying her own sense of what is good. In 'The Thaw', the Voyager crew come across a planet where the leaders are in stasis in a simulated computer world where their lives are put at risk by computer created demons. In 'Tuvix', a transporter malfunction merges Tuvok and Neelix into one entity, Tuvix. With the original crew members gone everyone learns to accept, and care for, the new member, but the Captain is faced with a dilemma when the doctor discovers a way to reverse the merging. In 'Resolutions', Chakotay and the Captain are left on an idyllic planet when they are infected with a mystery virus. Janeway orders Tuvok to continue the voyage home without them. In 'Basics - Part 1', Seska sends a message to Chakotay that she has given birth to his son, and that the infant's life is in danger. The crew have to decide if Seska is telling the truth or whether she is setting a trap.