The Great Star Trek Voyager Rewatch: Cold Fire

Just before the Caretaker died, he told Voyager that there was another of his kind who had gone off the explore the Delta Quadrant. Now, it seems as if Voyager has finally found her – along with a smaller Caretaker array housing a colony of Ocampa. Whilst Voyager tries to negotiate to meet this second Caretaker in the hopes of being sent home, Kes gets to know these Ocampa, and to explore her own psychic abilities.

Whilst we all know that Voyager’s hopes of getting hope are going to be dashed yet again, I was still looking forward to this episode, and it doesn’t disappoint. In fact, the meeting with the second Caretaker, Suspiria, only occupes a small fraction of the episode – the rest of it is a solid Kes episode. Whilst Kes’ abilities thus far have largely been a convenient plot device, here their potential is explored in its own right. For someone who often seems the weakest and most fragile of the Voyager crew, Kes is actually in possession of some amazing powers. In this episode, we get to see some of her potential, and also the danger that comes with such an ability.

Ocampa Factbox

When Suspiria left the Ocampa homeworld 300 years ago, she took some Ocampa with her – a fact that has been long since forgotten on the homeworld. Under her care, these Ocampa have learnt to fully develop their psychic abilities, which include telepathy, telekinesis, growth enhancement and heating of external objects. They also have technology which can be used to extend their lifespan to up to twenty years, twice the life expectancy of an Ocampa from the homeworld.

Other points

  • It has now been ten months since Voyager came to the Delta Quadrant.
  • Voyager has garnered a reputation for itself as a destructive ‘ship of death’ – rumours claim that they killed the Caretaker, declared war on the Kazon, and frequently pillage planets for resources.
  • As alluded to in previous episodes, Tuvok is teaching Kes how to exercise and discipline her mental abilities.
  • Although the episode concludes with Janeway vowing to track down Suspiria to insist that Voyager be sent home, this storyline is never followed up.
  • The Caretaker race is known as the Nacene. Their natural form appears to be that of a large worm.
  • Neelix is actually fairly decent in this episode, being proud of Kes instead of jealous or resentful of her abilities – and even saying that he would accompany her anyway instead of passively-aggressively insisting they both remain on Voyager. I guess he’s set such a low bar that when he acts like a reasonable person, it’s a pleasant surprise. And he also gets flung across the room by Tanis, which means there’s something for everyone.

Lost shuttlecraft running total: 4

Possibly salvageable shuttlecraft running total: 3

Summary – Cold Fire: In which Kes discovers the joy of setting fire to things.

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