**** (4 stars out of 5)
Neelix expands his self-appointed role as morale officer to journalist and head gossip-monger. He broadcasts his program 'A Briefing With Neelix' throughout the ship. Suicides on Voyager increase slightly.
Tom's problems lead him to abandon ship for a job with the Talaxians. Tearful, heartfelt goodbye hugs all around. Hope Tom enjoys kissing girls who look like hydrocephalic liver-spotted warthogs for the rest of his life!
In moments, Seska's Nistrim thugs have attacked the Talaxian convoy and taken Tom for themselves. ALMOST as if someone PLANNED it that way...!!!
Well, spoilers, it was all a sting operation. Paris' gambling, mouthing off, slugging Chakotay, and generally being a dink to everyone while disrupting perfectly good stand-alone stories with his intrusive sub-plot all season was a plan cooked up by Janeway and Tuvok after a hundred bottles of Romulan Ale. Each.
Delivering "Tom The Traitor" into Seska's twitchy hands seems like the only problem it would solve is the problem of too many qualified blonde helmsmen. This is the same Seska who tortured the man she LOVES, if you'll recall.
Anyway, Neelix nosily noses into everyone's business, loudly risking his life on the same mission at which Tom is risking his. Tom gets into a phaser fight and escapes, fingering Michael Jonas (not THAT way) but too late to prevent the sabotage. It's down to the chef with the camera to battle it out.
If the transporter operator took even a smidgen of initiative, he had quite a long time to scan for human lifesigns and beam Jonas into the brig, comm-badge or not. Of course, if THAT happened, Neelix gets no chance to save the ship, right?
"Investigations" is good stuff, despite itself, and Neelix gets the chance to be very, very likeable. But when all is said and done, what I most wanted to hear was the Doctor's report on "The Klingon Glottis: Friend Or Foe?"