An alien woman contacts Voyager and claims to be Ensign Lyndsay Ballard, who had been killed on an away mission some time before, and buried in space by her longtime friend Harry Kim. She says that her body was claimed by the Kobali, a race that uses the dead of other races to procreate. She waited a couple of years until the Kobali trusted her enough to lower their guard before escaping. She knows all about Voyager and her crew, and the Doctor confirms that her DNA is human. Captain Janeway allows her to stay, but letting go of life among the Kobali may be harder than she thought. Meanwhile, Seven of Nine tries to adjust to her new role as caretaker for the Borg children on board.
Tropes present in this episode:
- Actually Pretty Funny: How Janeway feels about Ballard's comment that her ruined pot roast could help repel a Kobali attack.Janeway: Commander Tuvok finished his analysis of your shuttle and presented me with thirty seven different ways of repelling a Kobali attack.
Ballard: Did he include your pot roast? (off Janeway's surprised look) I'm sorry, I didn't mean... I can't believe I just said that.
Janeway: Why? It was funny.
- Back from the Dead: Ballard, though modified in her resurrection into a member of another species.
- Brick Joke: Sometime during the episode, Harry and Lindsay joke about messing with one of Tuvok's holodeck programs as a practical joke. At the end, when Mezoti invites Harry to go to the holodeck with her, he has an idea of what to do...
- Came Back Wrong: A less horrific version than usual, but Lyndsay gets a double dose. As a Kobali she's not supposed to remember her past life, and as a human, well, she's not one anymore no matter how much she wishes otherwise.
- Cartwright Curse:Tom: For those of us keeping score, Harry Kim has fallen for a Borg, a hologram, the wrong twin, and now the dearly departed.
- The Comically Serious: Seven, in her attempts to socialize the Borg children with Naomi Wildman.Seven: Fun will now commence.
- Continuity Snarl: Ballard is basically a walking retcon.
- When Ballard first contacts Voyager she's surprised that Tuvok is now a Lieutenant Commander. She later talks about how the Kobali claimed her body after she was killed by a Hirogen hunting party, but Tuvok was promoted in the episode "Revulsion," well before anyone on Voyager encountered the Hirogen.
- Harry tells Ballard that he was in love with her even back at Starfleet Academy. Funny, then, that getting home to Libby, his fiance, was a driving motivation for him in the first two seasons...
- Damaged Soul: Let's say getting used to Kobali life wasn't easy for Ballard, and trying to reclaim her past life as a human was becoming difficult.
- Deadpan Snarker: Ballard.
- Happiness Is Mandatory: Seven takes the children to the mess hall, where there are some games (and Naomi Wildman) and flatly states, "Fun will now commence."
- It Tastes Like Feet: Because of her transformation into being Kobali, Ballard says that the fruit salad tastes rather metallic.
- Lethal Chef/Vengeful Vending Machine: Janeway's replicator ruins a pot roast.
- Love Confession: Ballard's return gives Harry, after all these years, the chance to do this. Ballard is initially swayed by Harry's sweetness, but unfortunately, it's Harry Kim.
- Magic Plastic Surgery: The Doctor finds a way to alter Ballard's Kobali appearance so that she looks human, but unfortunately it doesn't last, as her Kobali appearance reasserts itself.
- The Main Characters Do Everything: Apparently Lyndsay wasn't close to anyone else onboard besides the senior staff, the only Voyager crewmembers to appear in her nightmare. Because apparently the studio was too cheap to pay random extras the cost of a few short lines as Lyndsay's friends in one scene.
- My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: When saying goodbye to Ballard, Harry says something in the Kobali language. She informs him that he said "The comets are tiresome."
- Pardon My Klingon: Twice, Ballard lapses into Kobali.
- Remember the New Guy?: There's been no indication up to this point that Ballard ever existed. This is actually lampshaded when Ballard, thanking Janeway for the nice things she said about her at the briefing, admits she never thought she noticed her.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Ballard's backstory is so similar to that of Ensign Jetal from "Latent Image" that it's led to theories that earlier drafts of the story actually did feature Jetal, but they changed it to the new character of Ballard because either they couldn't get Jetal's actress back, or they didn't want to pay royalties to the writers of "Latent Image".
- Switch to English: Lindsay does this during The Teaser when she hails Voyager."Tam'vitte. Me'iote sendaya Voyager. Federation Starship Voyager. If you can hear me, please respond."
- That Woman is Dead: Lindsay finally admits that the person she was has been dead for years.
- Time Out: Punishment Protocol 9-Alpha. Icheb refuses to go with it.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Janeway is put in the most uncomfortable position imaginable for a Starfleet captain — have a Red Shirt come back from the dead and demand to know why they were picked for that away mission.