The crew is elated to discover a wormhole that appears to lead directly to Earth. As they begin to act impulsively, Seven works with Naomi Wildman to save everyone from what she fears is a trap.
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Captain Kathryn Janeway
Lt. B'Elanna Torres
Lt. Commander Tuvok
Goof: Captain Janeway states that there are 152 crew members on Voyager, but in the next episode "Dark Frontier (1)" the Borg read 143 life signs on board the ship. 152 is the original crew complement of Voyager, but there have been numerous crew members killed since they arrived in the Delta Quadrant.
Nitpick: When the alien who is also trapped inside the 'monster' asks the Doctor to join him in fighting it, the Doctor makes a reference to Moby Dick by questioning to become "the Ismael to his Ahab". But the alien would have no way of knowing what the Doctor is referring to, and instead he even expresses regret on the Doctor turning down "the hunt of a lifetime". It's possible that the translator changed his metaphor into something less culturally specific automatically so that the alien will understand his meaning, however.
Goof: When Voyager enters the nebula, Tuvok and his team are in Engineering, which is on Deck 11. However, when Naomi Wildman walks out of Cargo Bay 2, Tuvok and the others are there, even though the cargo bay is on Deck 6.
Seven: Naomi Wildman. Your presence here is unauthorized. State your intentions.
Seven: From whom?
Naomi: Everyone. They're all acting strange. Even Mom.
Naomi: She keeps smiling all the time. Talking about Earth like it's the greatest place in the universe.
Seven: You do not share your mother's desire to return to Earth.
Naomi: Voyager's my home.
Seven: I assure you were are not a deception.
Qatai: Oh, how convenient. An enormous starship comes to my rescue. (shouting to the organism) Ya might try a more subtle approach!
Seven: My scans indicate that your shields will fail in approximately fifteen minutes. Join us, or you can remain on your vessel, secure in the knowledge that you were not deceived. But that knowledge will do you little good when you are dead. Decide now!
Chakotay: (to Seven of Nine) Try to relax. We're only going to keep you in stasis until we reach the Alpha Quadrant. I realize the prospect of returning to Earth is frightening to you. It's perfectly natural for you to resist the unknown. But you're in good hands. Resistance is futile.
Janeway: (in a log entry being played by Seven of Nine) Captain's Log, Stardate 52542.3. Long range scans have identified a wormhole leading to the Alpha Quadrant. Unfortunately, secondary scans have revealed that it's some kind of elaborate deception. The question is -- who's attempting to deceive us and why?
Janeway: A direct route to Earth's doorstep out of the blue. What's wrong with this picture?
Qatai: You seem to know a little about everything. Medicine, exobiology, shield harmonics.
The Doctor: I'm something of a renaissance EMH.
Qatai: It's the silence I hate. The way he takes you without a fight. It was the same way with the Nokaro. A crew of nearly three thousand, families mostly, mine included, looking for a new world to settle. But they came across our friend here and he showed them what they wanted to see. A glistening green paradise. By the time I responded to their distress call, all that was left of them was some fading engine emissions. That was thirty nine years ago. Thirty nine years, two weeks, four days.
The Doctor: Do you mind? The situation is dismal enough.
Qatai: I'm just trying to explain who we're up against.
The Doctor: Well, I'm getting a pretty good idea on my own. Judging by these bio-scans the organism's been devouring life forms for a bit longer than thirty nine years. I'd estimate it's at least two hundred thousand years old.
Qatai: The intelligent always survive.
The Doctor: I wouldn't go that far. It appears to operate on highly evolved instinct. I haven't detected any signs of sentience.
Qatai: Oh, he's intelligent, all right. Smart enough to fool your crew into taking you off-line.
The Doctor: No need to get personal.
The Doctor: Please state the nature of the medical emergency.
Qatai: Your ship is being devoured. I'd say that's an emergency.
Naomi: The monster ate his ship too.
Naomi: How do we get out of the monster?
Seven: It's not a monster, it's a bioplasmic organism, and we will find a way out.
Qatai: No, the girl's right. He's a monster, and the only way out is to destroy him.
Seven: Return to your quarters while I assess the situation.
Naomi: But I can help. My mom says two heads are better than one. Isn't that the Borg philosophy too?
Seven: Simplistic, but accurate.
Naomi: Please. I don't wanna be alone.
Seven: A wormhole.
Kim: The wormhole. It leads all the way back to Earth.
Seven: The odds of finding such a phenomenon are infinitesimal.
Janeway: Never bet against the house.
Naomi: But this is my first away mission and I didn't get to do anything.
Seven: I disagree. You familiarized yourself with this vessel.
Naomi: (excited) Well, can't we make first contact with somebody, or get in a space battle?
Paris: (pouting) Yeah, can't we?
Seven: Another time, perhaps.
The Doctor: I'm a doctor, not a dragon slayer.
"I did have a productive dream once when I was running Dharma & Greg. I woke up in the middle of the night and realized I dreamed a great story. It's a perfect story, and I did the thing I've never done in my life: I find paper, write it down and go back to bed. And I wake up and I look at the piece of paper and it's a terrific story. It's a perfect story. It has drive. It has characters. And it's interesting. And it's a story for an episode of Star Trek: Voyager. (Laughter.) Which is why I have a "story by" credit on Star Trek: Voyager."
W. Morgan Sheppard, who plays Qatai in this episode, previously appeared in The Next Generation episode "The Schizoid Man" as Dr. Ira Graves.
Qatai: I could use a crewmate like you. The beast would have a difficult time manipulating a hologram's desires.
The Doctor: An Ishmael to your Ahab? No thank you.
Qatai's long-time obsession with tracking and destroying the bioplasmic creature refers to Captain Ahab's obsession with the white whale in the classic novel Moby Dick by Herman Melville. Readers of the novel experience the story through the eyes of the character Ishmael.
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