State of Flux
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|"State of Flux"|
|Star Trek: Voyager episode|
|Episode no.||Season 1|
|Directed by||Robert Scheerer|
|Story by||Paul Robert Coyle|
|Teleplay by||Chris Abbott|
|Featured music||Dennis McCarthy|
|Original air date||April 10, 1995|
"State of Flux" is the 11th episode of Star Trek: Voyager, which was a science fiction television show that ran from 1995-2001. Reoccurring Voyager characters Seska and Lt. Carey star, along with the show's main cast, in an episode that sees the return of the Kazon aliens previously introduced in "Caretaker".
The crew of Voyager are foraging for food on a planet, when the ship detects a cloaked Kazon vessel and they are ordered to return. Chakotay is left behind to search for Seska, who he finds hiding in a cave. As soon as he finds her, he is fired on by two Kazons, who are stunned by return phaser fire, allowing Chakotay and Seska to escape.
Back on Voyager, Seska makes Chakotay his favourite, mushroom soup. She begins to tell him that she and other Maquis have raided Neelix's kitchen to make the soup. Chakotay becomes angry and says everyone involved, including himself, will be disciplined by having their replicator privileges withdrawn for two days. Seska attempts to placate him, but after she hugs him, Chakotay tells her that they both agreed their relationship wouldn't work out and Seska leaves.
Moments later, Voyager detects a distress call from a Kazon ship. On investigation, they discover that a piece of equipment on the Kazon ship has caused a catastrophic failure on board, killing all but one of the crew, who is comatose. The equipment bears similarities to Starfleet technology. The crew realize that the technology must have been given to the Kazon by someone from Voyager, and Seska comes under suspicion. The Kazon equipment is behind a force field, preventing further analysis, and so an engineering team starts work on a way to retrieve it. Seska decides to take matters into her own hands and beams over to the Kazon ship, explaining that she must retrieve the equipment to prove her innocence. While on the ship, Seska is injured and gets reprimanded by her superiors when she returns.
Captain Janeway realizes that the comatose Kazon might be the only chance of finding out how the technology came into their possession. Another Kazon ship arrives, and after attempting to convince Voyager to stop meddling in their affairs, the Kazon captain, Culluh, demands to see his crew member. Culluh and his bodyguard arrive in sickbay, where the Doctor is treating their compatriot. The Kazon want their man returned, so Janeway talks to the Doctor in private, not eager to release the patient into Kazon hands until she has her answers. Suddenly, Culluh's bodyguard takes out a small needle and injects a neurotoxin into the patient, killing him instantly. Disgusted, Janeway orders Culluh and the bodyguard off her ship.
Kes finds Seska has Cardassian blood, which Seska claims was the result of a bone marrow transplant from a friendly Cardassian woman, but Kes is doubtful. Investigations reveal that a message was sent to the Kazon from Engineering, and from the time of the message the two most likely suspects are Seska and Lt. Carey. The senior crew set a trap to identify the traitor, and Seska falls for it. She explains that the Kazon are a powerful race in this quadrant and by giving them technology, Voyager will gain a powerful ally. Janeway informs Seska that such careless sharing of technology could change the balance of power in the Delta Quadrant, and is forbidden by the Prime Directive. Chakotay accuses Seska of being a Cardassian spy on his ship. She then says that living with Starfleet has made him soft, and that she has no clue how she could have ever loved him. She escapes to a Kazon ship using a pre-programmed beam-out. Janeway orders a pursuit, but more Kazon ships arrive and Voyager retreats.
Later Chakotay asks Tuvok if he had been naive for being fooled by Seska. After Tuvok admits being fooled as well, Chakotay is reassured and Tuvok cannot understand how humans can find the failure of another pleasing.
This had Nielsen ratings of 6.5 when it was aired in April 1995.
"State of Flux" is noted in Star Trek and Sacred Ground: Explorations of Star Trek, Religion, and American Culture as an example of an episode that shocks the viewer by having a character go against the Federation's Starfleet.
Out of the 16 (15) episodes in Season 1 of Star Trek: Voyager which was broadcast in the spring of 1995, only "Eye of the Needle" and "Caretaker" (Part I and Part II) had a higher rating than "State of Flux" on TV.com as of 2018. Both of those episodes had a rating of 8.7 surpassing "State of Flux" which had a rating of 8.5 as of 2018. "State of Flux", with its rating of 8.5 was higher than "Faces" and "Time and Again" which were rated 8.3 as of 2018.
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