169 – Homestead

Grade: B

Homestead (2001) on IMDb


Neelix has created a party on Voyager to celebrate “First Contact Day”, which is supposedly a holiday of his own creation. (Why the Federation doesn’t already have this holiday, I will never know. It seems like it would be a pretty important day in the history of the Federation). Meanwhile, in the middle of all the festivities, Chakotay interrupts to mention that they have found Talaxian life signs nearby.


This is perhaps the first episode to really make it obvious that the series was coming to an end.

Although Neelix wasn’t my favorite character in the series, it was nice to see him gain a sense of purpose and to have him go out in style like this. Honestly, I’m not sure why the Federation needs an ambassador in the Delta Quadrant, but I guess they needed a way to get him off the ship before the series finale.

On the other hand, I have no idea why he couldn’t go back to Earth with everyone else from Voyager. After all, he really seemed to want to go to Earth. Seven and Icheb are going back (I suppose), and so is Naomi Wildman, so what’s one more Delta Quadrant native making it all the way back to Earth? But then maybe the desire to be with some of his own people was just too strong.

Although it is a great farewell for Neelix, the episode itself is not fantastic. The ending is very nice, and it’s nice to see something positive happen to one of the good guys on the show. But it could have been a little better in some ways.

As a character, Neelix really couldn’t be classified. He did so many things on the ship that it seems impossible for him to have done anything all that well. Who does the cooking when he’s not around, for example? What exactly does a “morale officer” do? I’m actually disappointed that they couldn’t find something really important for him to do on this ship and couldn’t have just left it at that. He was supposed to be a Delta Quadrant guide, but he outlived his usefulness in that category after about a year. Janeway says the Federation could use an ambassador to the Delta Quadrant, but I think we all know that was just her way of giving him permission to stay on the asteroid with the other Talaxians.

Eh, whatever. It had a great ending, and that’s really all that matters. Finally we get a Voyager episode with something that actually lasts – and no use of the dreaded Reset Button.

But on the other hand, it isn’t completely perfect, either. There’s no explanation as to how these Talaxians made a 40,000+ LY trip in less than 20 years. Maybe there could have been a wormhole nearby or something, but that’s never said. So we just have to accept the fact that there just so happens to be a group of Talaxians living in an asteroid belt surviving on frozen water on one of the larger asteroids (how long could that possibly last?), and it just so happens to be along the trajectory that Voyager is taking to get home. It’s way too much coincidence for me to accept.