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Recap / Star Trek: Voyager S1 E10: "State of Flux"

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How can you not trust that face?
After an accident cripples a Kazon vessel, the crew of Voyager beam on board the vessel and find out that it is Federation technology, a replicator, that has caused the accident, and that somebody is in league with the Kazon. Although a Starfleet member has been implicated and put into custody for possible collaboration, it turns out to be a person Chakotay has trusted among the Maquis — Seska, who secretly was a Cardassian mole infiltrating the Maquis.


This episode contains the following tropes:

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  • Alien Blood: A non-visual version; Seska's blood doesn't have Bajoran blood factors.
  • Alien Lunch: Neelix introduces the crew to the soon-to-be notorious leola root.
  • Badass Boast: Maje Cullah threatens to fire on Voyager if their investigation team doesn't get off the damaged Kazon vessel. Janeway isn't impressed.
    JANEWAY: You know, I'm really easy to get along with most of the time. But I don't like bullies, and I don't like threats, and I don't like you, Culluh. You can try and stop us from getting to the truth, but I promise you, if you do I will respond with all the unique technologies at my command. Janeway out.
    TUVOK: Their weapon systems are standing down. They do not appear to be posing a threat to us at this time.
  • Call-Back:
    • A motive for Carey is suggested, given that he was passed over for promotion by B'Elanna Torres in "Parallax".
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    • B'Elanna refusing to use Scotty Time is a call-back to the Trope Namer; Scotty from the Original Series admitted he doubled his repair estimates so he'd appear to be a miracle worker.
    • Seska tells Chakotay to talk to his animal guide to allay his uncertainties.
    • Cardassian Deep Cover Agents who have been surgically-altered to appear to be other species have been depicted in Deep Space Nine.
  • Chekhov's Gun
    • The blood test needed to find a compatible donor for the injured Kazon exposes Seska as a Cardassian.
    • Seska's initial transmission to the Kazon was done via a console in Engineering, which anyone could have used as it's so busy. She gives herself away when she's forced to use the console in Sickbay.
    • The Doctor was complaining in "Time and Again" of the confusion created by the loss of the Chief Medical Officer and how no-one had informed him of the Maquis crewmembers. This explains how Seska was able to dodge her medical checkup.
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  • Chekhov's Gunman: First Maje Culluh of the Kazon-Nistrim will become a recurring villain till the end of Season 2, working in league with Seska.
  • Clarke's Third Law: Janeway is amazed that the stolen technology turns out to be an ordinary food replicator.
  • Clear My Name: Played with but ultimately subverted, as Seska really is guilty.
  • Clockwork Prediction: Seska figures Neelix will find out about the stolen supplies about…(cue an angry Neelix on the comm)
  • Continuity Nod: Tuvok notes that Starfleet Security has documented incidents of Cardassian cosmetic alteration for espionage. Two such incidents had occurred the previous year over on DS9's "Tribunal" and "Second Skin".
  • Conveniently Unverifiable Cover Story: Seska has a ready explanation for not having any Bajoran blood factors; she had a disease as a child in the labour camps, but was saved by a bone-marrow transplant from a sympathetic Cardassian, who of course isn't there to confirm this. But the Doctor reveals that the complete medical text on that disease is part of his database, and this explanation doesn't match the anomalies.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: The Running Gag of Neelix mixing human food with the nutritious but awful-tasting leola root starts here.
  • Crazy-Prepared: When Seska is caught red-handed, her response is to beam straight off the ship to a nearby Kazon vessel using a single security-locked command code, having prepared her escape well in advance.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: An attempt to build a food replicator causes an explosion and the crew of the Kazon vessel get melded halfway into the bulkheads. Talk about a Vengeful Vending Machine!
  • Feed the Mole: Seska and Carey are told that Tuvok is trying to find out where the stolen replicator came from. Actually he already knows and is monitoring the computer inventory to see if anyone tampers with the evidence.
  • Flock of Wolves: When the suggestion is raised that Seska is a Double Agent, Chakotay bemoans the apparent prevalence of these in his crew.
    Chakotay: You were working for hernote , Seska was working for themnote . Was anyone on board that ship working for me?
  • Foreshadowing: Tuvok suggests that the stolen technology could have come from another Starfleet vessel brought to the Delta Quadrant by the Caretaker. Although Janeway says there aren't any disappearances that she knows of, they do encounter such a vessel in "Equinox".
  • Forgot About His Powers: Considering how much information you can get out of a tricorder reading, you'd think the Federation would just use those to check for toxins in newly-discovered fruits instead of relying on the word of Neelix, who had not only been mostly an incompetent, selfish nuisance up to that point, but also knows nothing about the biology of humans or any other Alpha Quadrant races anyway.
  • Frame-Up: Seska frames herself to make it look like Carey is doing so. But Chakotay isn't fooled, having tracked the hack back to a Sickbay console.
  • From a Certain Point of View
    CHAKOTAY: Can I ask you to be honest with me, Lieutenant?
    TUVOK: As a Vulcan, I am at all times honest, Commander.
    CHAKOTAY: That's not exactly true. You lied to me when you passed yourself off as a Maquis to get on my crew.
    TUVOK: I was honest to my own convictions within the defined parameters of my mission.
  • Get Out!: Off-screen — Neelix throws Seska out of the kitchen after an argument over putting leola root in Chakotay's mushroom soup.
  • He's Dead, Jim
  • Human Outside, Alien Inside: Seska 'forgot' to go for a routine medical examination on joining Voyager's crew.
  • I Ate WHAT?!: Chakotay takes one bite of the leola root and spits it out in disgust. "You expect us to eat this?!"
  • Ironic Echo
    • Seska describes her theft from the food locker as "strictly a Maquis operation". Later Chakotay says re her skillful attempt to frame Carey, "I'd almost say it was a Maquis operation, if I didn't already know you were a Cardassian."
    • Cullah suggests that Janeway wouldn't be so bold if she didn't have her unique Federation technology to back her up. Later Janeway uses the threat of her unique technology to get Cullah to back down.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: After Seska escapes to the nearest Kazon vessel, Janeway orders a tractor beam locked on to prevent a Hyperspeed Escape. Then she's informed that two more Kazon vessels are on their way. Rather than take their chances against three warships, Janeway elects to leave instead of fighting.
  • Manipulative Bitch: In the first few minutes Seska saves Chakotay from the Kazon (I Owe You My Life), brings him mushroom stew (Tastes Like Friendship), flirts with him (Femme Fatale Spy) then when he refuses her, jokes about being interested in Harry Kim (Operation: Jealousy).
  • The Mole: Seska is a Cardassian spy sent to infiltrate the Maquis.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • Chakotay is enjoying his soup and laughing over Seska's antics with Neelix, until she reveals that they stole the mushrooms from the kitchen.
    • Seska creepily shifts from Chakotay's dewy-eyed and wrongfully accused Maquis ex-lover, to a ruthless Cardassian spy within a single Motive Rant.
  • Most Common Card Game: Or second-most common — Chakotay and Tuvok play a few hands of gin while on stakeout.
  • Motive Rant: Before beaming off the ship, Seska tells Janeway and Chakotay exactly what she thinks of them.
    SESKA: I did it for you. I did it for this crew. We are alone here, at the mercy of any number of hostile aliens, because of the incomprehensible decision of a Federation captain. A Federation captain who destroyed our only chance to get home. Federation rules. Federation nobility. Federation compassion? Do you understand, if this had been a Cardassian ship, we would be home now. We must begin to forge alliances. To survive, we must have powerful friends. The Kazon-Nistrim were willing to be our protectors in return for some minor technology.
    JANEWAY: Minor technology that could change the balance of power in this quadrant.
    SESKA: Change it in our favor! That is all that matters at this point. Building a base of power in this quadrant. You are a fool, Captain. (to Chakotay) And you're a fool to follow her. I can't imagine how I ever loved you. Computer, Command XJL.
  • New Old Flame: Seska has appeared in previous episodes, but this is the first mention that she was a former lover of Chakotay.
  • Oh My Gods!: Seska exclaims "Thank the Prophets!" after nearly shooting Chakotay, as per the Bajoran belief system.
  • Poison Ring: Culluh uses one for the Sickbed Slaying.
  • Red Herring: Lt. Carey as the other suspect.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Averted; Seska was written into earlier episodes to increase the impact of her betrayal in this one.
  • Scotty Time: Averted; B'Elanna tells Janeway she won't be ready to retrieve the stolen technology before tomorrow. Janeway says she wants it done by the end of the day and starts to walk off, this being how the conversation would end in any other Trek series. B'Elanna however stops her. "No, Captain. When I say tomorrow, I mean tomorrow. I don't exaggerate. Tomorrow is the best I can do." The next day when B'Elanna's team beam over to the Kazon vessel, Janeway calls to tell them to hurry up, and is surprised to find they've already completed the job quickly and efficiently.
  • Sequential Symptom Syndrome: Neelix demonstrates the terrible effects of eating Kaylos fruit with Large Ham body language.
    NEELIX: First your windpipe sweeells, and just when you think you're going to die of suffocation OWW! You get a sharp pain in your knees (points at Carey's knees) which begins to work its way right up to—
    CHAKOTAY: I think we get the picture.
  • Serious Business: When Chakotay realises Seska and several other Maquis stole the mushrooms for his stew, he docks them two days replicator rations, including himself (for eating the stew).
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: The Doctor works so hard to save the Kazon's life — just for Culluh to kill him.
  • Shout-Out: To Obi Wan Kenobi's "Who's the more foolish, the fool, or the fool who follows him?"
  • Sickbed Slaying / He Knows Too Much: There's an unconscious Kazon survivor who may know the identity of The Mole. Maje Culluh comes on board Voyager to see this injured man. Janeway is just having a quiet word with the Doctor, hoping for an excuse not to let Cullah take him before he's woken up, when the injured Kazon is jabbed with a needle-ring containing a fatal nerve toxin. All Janeway can do is throw Culluh off the ship.
  • Stealth in Space: Tom Paris realises there's a Kazon vessel in orbit that is screened from their sensors (due to information provided by The Mole) when he sees an Invisibility Flicker with his Mark One Eyeball.
  • Swiss Cheese Security: Justified for once; as a Cardassian agent, Seska is very good at working her way around Voyager's computers.
  • Villain Has a Point: It's hard not to sympathize with Seska's rant that Janeway isn't prepared to do what it takes to get her crew home, or even keep them safe. Ironically, when Janeway actually does this in later seasons, the fans condemned her for it, despite sympathizing with Seska's point in the first place.
  • Wham Line:
    Doctor: My suspicion is that Seska was born Cardassian.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The last thing we see of Carey is when he's confined to quarters for the duration of the investigation. In later seasons the writers would use Carey for Whole Episode Flashback scenes as they wrongly assumed he'd been killed. They realised otherwise when they needed a Mauve Shirt for Season 7's "Friendship One," creating the inadvertent impression that Carey had been locked up in his cabin all that time!
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Although her injuries are genuine, Seska doesn't hesitate to play on them to get Chakotay's sympathy.
  • Your Favorite: Seska brings Chakotay mushroom soup.
  • The X of Y

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