*** (3 stars out of 5)
On the interpersonal relationships front, Chakotay is working overtime to prevent a mutiny by his Maquis minions. They seem to agree with singer Voltaire: "Screw the Ocampa", I wanna go home. And since Janeway's altruism left them stranded, they have little interest in following her anywhere.
Yet, either because Chakotay strong-armed them, or because their old clothes reeked and were crusty with Cardassian blood, they are now sporting Starfleet togs and can only be identified as former outlaws by the chip on their shoulders. Literally.
I'm saying there's a gold tag on their necks that someone apparently took the time to replicate. It's a not-too-subtle "token" rank for the people that don't belong, and if that was Janeway's intention, it kind of sucks. If you're going to forever emblazon the Maquis with "NOT A REAL RANK" pins, then why not just let them wear their casual clothes? Are ALL of them Starfleet dropouts like Chakotay and Torres? Of course not. They were primarily CIVILIANS. So why not treat them with all the individual respect you show Kes and Neelix, which is still almost zero, but at least THAT'S because they're weird foreigners?
So after breaking the nose of the guy who's earned the right to be in charge of engineering by staying in school (and, yes, he's an arrogant, elitist S.O.B.) Torres gets to be our new Scotty. Because people with hair-trigger tempers should work with antimatter!
"Parallax" actually does do good character stuff, I'm mostly being a dink. Chakotay, for example, is admirable in his divided loyalty to his angry friends and his new circumstances. Janeway is pretty chummy for an inflexible jerk. And Torres? *Sigh.* She's dreamy. But this is not an invitation for my lovely wife to break my nose, oh nose!