Saturday, May 25, 2013


**** (4 stars out of 5)
What do you call 500 Talaxians at the bottom of an asteroid?
I... I don't have a joke ready. It's just a way to write Neelix out of the series.

Welcome to the Wild Western edge of the Delta Quadrant! The hardscrabble hedgehog townsfolk include the Talaxian widow schoolmarm Dexa and her adorable moppet Brax. Also the mayor had an identical cousin starving to death in a Vidiian prison years back, but that's neither here nor there. A Nasty named Nocona is eager to play an explosive game of Whack-A-Mole because once the settlers are dead he'll have the mining rights! He's Tex Richman! His mine'll be so big it'll take three lifetimes to patrol the perimeter! With herds of space cattle so vast they'll distort subspace!

That is, unless Neelix stands up to him in exactly the way Starfleet isn't supposed to. But does anyway, for their furry friends. Then Captain Janeway suggests a change of career for their cook: Federation DQ Ambassador! (Yes, Delta Quadrant, although Dairy Queen is very appealing, too.) Tuvok is so eager to see him off that he calls Neelix the most resourceful man he's ever met and even does a little dance to fulfill the Talaxian's fondest wish.

There's a new chef in town. Sheriff, I mean. New sheriff.

"Homestead" is heartwarming, with Ethan Phillips pointing out how brave and kind Neelix can be and has been. Of course, everyone's so eager to give him the bum's rush into his great new life that they don't seem to remember how little he has left of it. He's got an Ocampan lung pushing eight years old that isn't likely to last to nine, if you'll recall. These Talaxians seem like nice guys, but if they can barely make a shield grid I don't see how they'll be able to handle a lung transplant. Whelp! Too late now!

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