Star Trek: Voyager

Season 5 Episode 26

Equinox (1)

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM May 26, 1999 on UPN

Episode Recap

Voyager responds to a distress signal by another Starfleet ship, the USS Equinox. The Equinox is in bad shape when Voyager finds it, and away teams are sent to secure the ship. Her captain, Rudy Ransom, says that they've been under attack for weeks. He says that they too were pulled into the Delta Quadrant by the Caretaker.

After a memorial for the Equinox crewmembers lost in the latest attacks, Equinox's first officer, Lieutenant Max Burke, catches up with Torres, his Academy girlfriend. Paris' makes his jealousy known right away.
Both ship captains and first officers confer about the alien attacks. The aliens are now attacking both ships. They live in another dimension and cannot survive for long in ours. Janeway suggests finding a way to keep the aliens here when they attack. Burke says that the crew made a stasis chamber to analyze one of the creatures, and there could be a way to expand that technology. When Janeway asks to see the chamber, Ransom says that the lab where it is is now flooded with radiation. Still, he takes Janeway to the Equinox to download its schematics.
Ransom and Janeway compare command and experiences. Ransom runs a looser ship than Janeway, and everyone calls him Rudy. Ransom has yet to face the Borg, but lost half his crew against the Krotonin Guard, a species unknown to Voyager.
Back on board, Ransom finds Burke in the Mess Hall. When Ransom says that Janeway will never understand what he's done, Burke warns she'll find out soon.

Suddenly, the lateral shields fail and a quick power reroute stops the aliens from invading. The senior staffs from both ships confer. The forcefield generators can be adapted to trap aliens invading on either ship in 14 hours. Realizing time may be shorter than they think, Chakotay suggests abandoning the Equinox but Ransom and Burke insist on preserving both ships. Janeway quotes a regulation giving her command of the situation. She agrees with Chakotay, and plans are made to salvage the Equinox.
Later, Torres catches Burke at a restricted panel. Burke says he's trying to learn Voyager's systems, and that she should help. Torres declines, announcing her involvement with Paris.
Chakotay and Kim are discussing salvage plans with Marla Gilmore, Equinox's chief engineer, when she's called to the Equinox. There, Ransom and Burke lay out a plan to steal Voyager's forcefield generator and take off.
Seven and Tuvok find out that Equinox's laboratory is still filled with radiation when it should have died down. Tuvok finds out that it was intentional, and suggests there may be something worth hiding in there. Janeway sends the Doctor to investigate.

The Doctor infiltrates the lab, and finds one of the aliens trapped inside. After looking at the chamber's computer, the Doctor makes a startling discovery. Ransom has been killing these aliens, turning their bodies into a compound that can be used as a source of power.
As Ransom and Burke prepare to leave Voyager to initiate their plan, Tuvok apprehends them. Ransom is taken to Janeway, who demands an explanation for killing the alien lifeforms. Ransom quotes a regulation of his own, stating that during an emergency, a captain could take any measure to ensure the ship's survival.
He said only months ago, the ship was all but destroyed, they were running on thrusters, and only had enough power to enter orbit of a planet controlled by the Ankari, a friendly race who gave them a helping hand. To the Ankari, the aliens are symbols of good fortune. Ransom traded for a device to summon the symbols of good fortune. After trapping one in the stasis chamber and failing to save it, they realized it would increase their warp output. In two weeks, they traveled 10,000 light years. Although an effective way home, it severely violates the Prime Directive. Janeway relieves Ransom of his command and confines the entire Equinox crew to quarters.
Janeway orders Seven to dismantle the modifications to the Equinox warp core, and sends the Doctor back to the lab to try and find a way to communicate with the aliens. But the same files he viewed earlier are encrypted. The doctor enlists Equinox's EMH to help, but he calmly states he designed the chamber and the experiments. A stunned Doctor finds out the Equinox crew deleted the ethical subroutines of their EMH. Suddenly the Doctor is downloaded into the Equinox computer, and the Equinox EMH takes the mobile emitter.

Both ships are now under heavy attack as Torres and Tuvok prepare to activate the field generator. Meanwhile, the Equinox EMH goes to the quarters where his crew is being held. He gives them phasers and they fight their way out. To make sure he's not discovered, the Evil EMH downloads himself into the mobile emitter. Meanwhile, Torres realizes someone disabled the field generator.
The Equinox crew beam back to their ship, and Gilmore stuns Seven before she can complete her task.
With the shields failing, Janeway threatens to open fire on the Equinox, but Ransom is undeterred. Burke beams the field generator off of Voyager and gets it online just as Voyager's shields fail. The generator works perfectly, and the aliens drop like flies on Equinox. Gilmore repairs the warp drive, and Ransom sets a course for the Alpha Quadrant at maximum warp. Meanwhile, Voyager is under a relentless attack from the aliens...

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