36 – Investigations

Grade: B-

Investigations (1996) on IMDb


Neelix is airing his first episode of “A Briefing with Neelix”, a sort of newscast about what’s taking place on the ship. Later that day, he finds out from one of his friends on a Talaxian ship that Tom Paris is leaving Voyager and joining them as a pilot. Then he investigates further and finds that someone on Voyager has been feeding information to the Kazon.


I don’t want to be too harsh on this episode – I actually liked it for the most part. Though this is a Neelix-centered episode, I wasn’t as annoyed by him as I thought I would be. In fact, I actually enjoyed his news stories and tribute to Tom Paris. Tom’s departure from the ship was really done well, and if you didn’t know how this series turns out, you really might have been fooled by this mid-season storyline. Sorry, I don’t mean to spoil the episode for you.

Of course, we’ve seen that it’s Michael Jonas who has been giving information to the Kazon, and not Tom Paris, so in the middle of the episode, we know that things aren’t exactly the way they’re being portrayed. By the time we figure it out, Janeway spills the beans to both Chakotay and Neelix that Tom has been acting recently. He really doesn’t have a bad attitude, but he had to make it look like he wanted to leave Voyager so that the real spy would be fooled.

By the way, Robert Beltran’s performance in this scene is just atrocious – well, it’s either that or it’s just horrible writing and directing. Either way, when he asks the Captain what’s going on, I was much less than impressed. When Janeway tells him that they suspected that the spy was a Maquis, so they didn’t want to let him in on the secret, he then says, “in other words, you don’t trust me”. I think that was the wrong response. This wasn’t about trust – it was about protecting Chakotay from having to deal with this. I don’t see why he has to be so defensive.

So we’ve had two multi-episode story arcs that will come to a conclusion in “Investigations” – Tom Paris and Michael Jonas. Honestly, I’m glad we can put the Paris story behind us – I was tired of his bad attitude. The Jonas storyline, however, really needed more depth. For one thing, I don’t think his motives were defined clearly enough. I know he hates being on the ship and taking orders from Janeway, but I don’t see why he would want to destroy the ship.

Finally, I was also much less than impressed with how these two story arcs ended. Jonas dies by falling into some plasma pit or something. I’m not even sure what it was. Paris gets abducted by the Kazons and then escapes easily. In fact, he is left alone in a room with a computer console (the Kazons didn’t even post a guard or two in the room with him); he is able to use the computer and understand how the OS works along with all the Kazon writing; He breaks out of the room with an extremely unimpressive fight with one guard at a time; then he finds his way to a Kazon shuttle and flies back to Voyager. All of this despite the fact that he’s never been on a Kazon ship before. It’s just way too convenient.

If these story arcs had ended a bit more impressively, I would have rated this episode much higher. There are some good parts to this episode, but the plot holes and inconsistencies are just too much for me to take.

Of Note

Apparently, the man behind Ensign Kim in an early scene is actually Prince Abdullah of Jordan. He was a fan of Star Trek at the time and was happy to just be on the ship.