*** (3 stars out of 5)
Are sardonic asides like "Friendly fellow, isn't he?" (when a new alien is anything but) part of the proscribed duties of a helmsman, or is it just Mr. Paris?
Preparing to meet with the weird and xenophobic Bothans (no relation to the ones from Star Wars) Janeway starts to have hallucinations right out of her holonovel. Flowery tea cups and cucumber sandwiches are all very well, but Carolyn Seymour brandishing a carving knife is sheer brown jumpsuit territory.
When the Bothan steps out of the shadows he's a different face to everyone: Janeway sees her boyfriend Mark. Kim sees Libby. Tuvok his wife, T'Pel. Tom, sadly, sees his condescending smother-father.
Everyone goes catatonic in their various psionic dreamscapes. Torres gets the hots for her private dancer: Dreamy Chakotay. Janeway gets the guilts for Mark: his hunky green sweater glares accusingly at her potential unfaithfulness.
Over nasty objections from a Neelix Delusion, and a psychic Battle of the Drippy-Pus-Burns with the Bothan, Kes successfully implements an automated Defence against the Dark Arts.
"Persistence of Vision" is a bit of a girl's story, isn't it? I mean, Torres' previously (and subsequently) unmentioned desire for Chakotay? The Emmy nomination for hairstyles? Janeway's holonovel? I just don't see a lot of dudes wishing they were the naive domestic servant overpowered by the task-master Bawdy Lord Burly and all his tawdry goings-on. Well, straight dudes, anyway. Perhaps I'm making unwarranted generalizations. Anyway, it's pretty cool that Kes saves the day. It's not a bad thing to have a girl story. Star Trek can be a boy's domain so exclusively that it's time for some new perspectives.