“Why would anyone on this ship betray us? We’re all in this together.“
I hate flying starships in high school! Okay, so Seska’s totally in love with Chakotay, and he like has deep feelings, and he’s so spiritual because of his tattoo, and he’s so disturbed! He is the perfect dream-boat! I’m completely serial, but Seska’s always trying to control the man she wants. I heard she totally did the same thing with Logan last semester, and then he backed off and told her to take her pill and she said, “Okay, we’re friends.” You know what she did? She totally stole a bunch of mushrooms and made mushroom soup for Chakotay, and she thought he’d be grateful, but he like totally outed her as a TOTAL MUSHROOM THIEF! Boi! I know, right? Seska can’t get it through her head that Chakotay’s like this totally responsible dude. It’s like he was in the Maquis, right? But then he became Mr. Fancy-Pants First Officer when the Caretaker thing happened, and he dissed the rest of the Maquis, and I know Seska totally wants to take over the ship and she wants Chakotay like, by her side, but I never thought in a million light years she’d turn into a traitor. FTW! I mean she was so deep undercover, she got lost in her own mattress!
It’s difficult writing these ballads. I seriously had to raid my daughter’s lexicon to make this episode sound exactly like what it is: a teenage soap opera. The story arc continues as soap opera for some time, at least until Seska draws her final breaths in “Basics, Part II.” Robert Beltran frequently complained about his character having nothing to do after the end of that story. Few episodes seemed to involve him in any meaningful way. More stories focused on Seven of Nine after her debut and through to the show’s conclusion. Chakotay, among others, suffers from the same abundance of characterization that stalled Kes’ character, and he gets put in a box, and is not permitted to be anything other than what he is written to be. I liked Seska for what she brought to the show as a character. She was fiery, and angry, if mercurial (a little bit of Kira thrown in there) and she very much passed for Bajoran. To say that her anger over Janeway’s decisions somehow had to make her a traitor dismisses the rest of the crew’s feelings. We knew how the rest of the crew felt, but they were loyal to Janeway.
Seska was not loyal, and she had no reason to be loyal. If you looked at the situation from the point of view of the Maquis, you would feel that you were hijacked and essentially forced to work with these do-gooder Starfleet-types. What’s more, the Maquis weren’t necessarily bad guys. They were an amalgam of former Starfleet personnel, Bajorans and others all allied to fight the Cardassians with terrorist tactics. The fact that she isn’t who she says she is makes the soap opera worse. With the final reveal, she’s the bad guy. She’s the force to be overcome, and it is a transparent revelation. Basically what happens is somebody on the ship has been sharing technology with the idiotic Kazon who try to get more out of the technology than is written in the manual. Seska is the random element, and it doesn’t help that she’s a former Maquis. It makes the investigation and resulting “sting” go swimmingly. We have a little subterfuge along the way with poor Lieutenant Carey, who is the unwitting pawn in a deadly game of high school cat and high school mouse. Before any action can be taken against Seska, she’s all, “Catch me outside! How ’bout that?” “Dead inside” has lost all meaning for me.
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