Caretaker, Part 2: Voyager meets the new neighbours.
While navigating a debris field, Voyager and the Marquis ship find a small ship crewed by Neelix. Neelix is interested in water, and says that the missing Kim and Torres are likely on the fifth planet with the Ocampa. After they beam him aboard, Tuvok suggests a bath might be in order.
On the fifth planet, Kim and Torres are not getting along, and have some sort of disease. An Ocampan give them clothes, but says they don't know what the disease is they have. Also, the Caretaker apparently provides for them. The previous people who turned up with the same disease all died. Wow, what an infodump.
Yay, Neelix in the bath. Just what we needed to see. I'm surprised that the ship even has baths. Don't they use sonic showers? Janeway beams down to the fifth planet with an away team, and Neelix introduces them to the Kazon, who are much impressed when Janeway beams down a couple of tanks of water. There's an incident when Neelix rescues an Ocampan, Kes, from the Kazon, and the away team beams up.
An Ocampan gives Torres and Kim some medicine which might help with the disease, and tells them that the Caretaker has been acting oddly recently.
HoloDoc tries to kick everyone out of sickbay, and Janeway promptly deactivates him, so they can discuss getting into the Ocampa colony. Janeway, you dick. They manage to beam in, and set about finding Harry and B'Elanna. More exposition ensues. Meanwhile, the objects of the search are climbing up a disused and entropyed access shaft.
Voyager reports that the Caretaker has stopped sending pulses of energy, and is firing weapons to seal the energy conduits. Tuvok decides that this means the Caretaker is dying. Tuvok r teh smart. They try to beam up, but the weapons fire is irradiating the planet and causing interference.
Paris and his team find Harry and Torres, and they make their way through the barrier, reaching the surface. More weapons fire causes Chakotay to break his leg, and Paris has to rescue him, much to his disgust. Finally, everyone's back on the ship.
Two Kazon ships turn up, and, after a short chat, start firing. Janeway and Tuvok beam over to the Caretaker mid-battle for a chat and discover that he doesn't have enough power to send them back to the Alpha Quadrant. He admits that it's his fault the Ocampan planet was rendered desert, and he's been trying to find a mate so he can procreate and his offspring can take over his work. Janeway persuades him that he can let the Ocampa find their own way.
Chakotay rams the Marquis ship into the larger Kazon ship, badly damaging it.
The Caretaker reveals that he's set the self destruct. That's really really helpful. Not. After the Kazon shop damages the array, the illusion disappears, and the Caretaker turns out to be a huge blobby thing which shrivels and dies.
Janeway and Tuvok return to Voyager, and nuke the array. The Kazon piss off. Janeway tells Paris that she's making him a lieutenant (leapfrogging Kim in the ranks, I notice) and that Chakotay is the new First Officer. Also Neelix and Kes volunteer to stay on board.
Note that so far we've met two major races: the Ocampa, calm pointy-eared types, and the Kazon, savage types with bumpy foreheads and big hair. Nope, nothing like Vulcans and Klingons.......