Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Fair Trade

*** (3 stars out of 5)
On a space station outside the Nekrit Expanse, Neelix realizes that his usefulness as a local guide to the Voyager is at an end. He's never been beyond this point. (Presumably his self-esteem is also at a low ebb from his off-screen break-up with Kes.)

Neelix can't get Torres to apprentice him in engineering, or Tuvok to squire him in security. He's convinced that amateur ambassador, newsman, and cook are not valuable enough jobs. He wants to find a map and nobody around here does anything out of the goodness of their heart or other organs.

The desperate fellow falls back into the bad influence of Wixiban, a Talaxian smuggler. Wix feels, rightly or wrongly, that Neelix owes him a debt for the year he spent in a Ubean prison. A punishment which Neelix avoided. Just like he tries to avoid the familiar Vulcan engineer (Taurik's identical cousin Vorik) who's always in the way when Neelix wants to talk about doing crime.

Whatever his reasons, Wixiban is now dealing narcotics in the hopes of buying his ship out of impound. He mentions only the medicinal applications when he dupes Neelix into playing along with a deal between a Bothan-looking burn-out and a Nausicaan-esque drug lord.

Bar Rodent tries to bring his dilemma to Helm Boy, but Tom only drones on about how things wouldn't have escalated in his own sordid past if only he'd learned earlier to TELL THE TRUTH. Pssh. Like we haven't heard that one before.

The Expanse Station is run by a surly so-and-so called B'Tardat.
Sorry, that's a Tard Cat. (Also he's really called Bahrat but I missed my chance to use the B'Tardat line months ago.) Just ignore me and keep peering at this grumpy, grumpy cat until he steals your soul and shoes.

"Fair Trade" informs us that when Neelix said he was "a dealer in junk" he meant it- in the street slang sense. Junk. Horse. Meth. Nose candy. The Old Willy Wonka Blueberry. The Subspace Vacuole. The Autobot Matrix of Lazy-Shit.

Or maybe he really was in salvage only. It's not entirely clear. Welcome to the Nekrit Expanse. Here there be dragons. Or something else, probably not dragons.

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