Plot Summary: The U.S.S. Voyager answers a distress call and makes contact with the U.S.S. Equinox, another Federation starship stranded in the Delta Quadrant. Commanded by Rudolph Ransom, the Equinox crew is eager to receive Voyager's aid, but soon it becomes clear that they are hiding a dark secret. Eventually, it is revealed that the Equinox has been committing genocide in order to harvest the energy from the corpses of a race of "nucleogenic" aliens. With every alien they kill, the Equinox is able to get home a little faster. Captain Janeway is horrified by this revelation and orders the Equinox crew arrested, but they quickly escape, leaving Voyager behind as it is assaulted by hordes of the nucleogenic aliens. The Cliffhanger: In the episode's final shot is a point-of-view from one of the nucleogenic aliens. We watch as it barrels directly towards Captain Janeway, who barely has time to turn around and face the creature before the screen goes black. The Resolution: Captain Janeway is knocked to the deck, but is able to dodge the lifeform's deadly thermionic radiation. Every other character who is attacked by these aliens, it should be pointed out, is killed immediately. Janeway appears immune to this fate, however, for no other reason than the fact that Kate Mulgrew is in the opening credits. The Backstory: Rumor has it that Kate Mulgrew was dissatisfied by the role of Captain Janeway during season five of Star Trek: Voyager. Unsure if she would be back for season six, the producers wrote this cliffhanger ending, which put Janeway in mortal peril. Eventually, Mulgrew's concerns were resolved and she stayed with the series until the end, but the producers were never able to come up with a satisfying way of resolving the fifth season cliffhanger.
Michael is one of the founders of FACT TREK (www.facttrek.com), a project dedicated to untangling 50+ years of mythology about the original Star Trek and its place in TV history. He currently is the Director of Sales and Digital Commerce at Shout! Factory, where he has worked since 2014. From 2013-2018, he ran the popular Star Trek Fact Check blog (www.startrekfactcheck.blogspot.com).