(written from a Production point of view)
Seven's life is put in danger when a crucial Borg implant malfunctions.
- "Captain's log, stardate 54129.4. It's a bittersweet day for the crew of USS Voyager. We've finally found a home for some of our most precious cargo."
Voyager says good-bye to Mezoti, Azan, and Rebi. After leaving the transporter room Seven tells Icheb to shut down the Borg alcoves for the three. Icheb doesn't want to since he believes it is too soon. Icheb also notes that Seven is crying.
Act One Edit
Seven sees The Doctor about her crying. He says it is merely natural given what's happened, but she claims she was in a perfect emotional state. The Doctor notes that there indeed does seem to be something wrong with her. Seven insists she is fine. Seven meets Icheb in astrometrics, where he says that he wants to take the Starfleet Academy entrance exam. Seven leaves, but is unable to regenerate. According to the computer, her cortical node is malfunctioning. Neelix sees her in the mess hall and attempts to help, but Seven refuses. Suddenly, she faints and goes into convulsions.
Act Two Edit
In sickbay, The Doctor wakes up Seven and Captain Janeway tells her what happened. Apparently, Seven's body is rejecting her Borg implants which in turn are shutting down one by one, including ones that maintain vital functions. Seven insists that her Borg parts would adapt but The Doctor and Janeway aren't so sure. Janeway searches a Borg cube debris field to find a replacement for Seven's cortical node. On her way to the Delta Flyer, Icheb talks to Janeway regarding his request to join Starfleet Academy and take the appropriate exams. She tells him what has happened to Seven, and Icheb offers to come along, though Janeway refuses. Icheb goes to sickbay to talk to Seven where she grows angry. The Doctor tells Icheb that her anger is natural given her situation.
Janeway, Tuvok, and Tom Paris arrive at the Borg debris field and find that a part of the cube still has atmosphere. Janeway and Tuvok board the vessel in search of an intact cortical node. They find a dead Borg drone and remove the node. Paris hails them and says that they have company. Three unidentified humanoids arrive and declare that the debris field belongs to them.
Act Three Edit
The two groups get into a scuffle, but Paris manages to beam them out at the nick of time. In sickbay, Neelix arrives with flowers for Seven and wishes to keep her company. The Doctor then tricks her into playing a game of kadis-kot with Neelix by claiming that she wouldn't stand a chance against him in her weakened state. Janeway arrives with the cortical node and The Doctor attempts to replace it. Seven's body is rejecting the new node and she dies; however, it was only a simulation. After twelve attempts, she still dies in every simulation. The node has been inactive too long. Janeway then states that they must find a living drone and use its node. While Seven is awaiting news on the simulation, she beats Neelix at kadis-kot. The Doctor comes to tell her the bad news.
Seven, who seems to be accepting her situation, wants to return to duty but neither The Doctor nor Janeway will let her. Icheb arrives with her work so she can work in sickbay, but Seven is gone after having deactivated The Doctor and left her combadge there. Lieutenant Torres finds Seven in engineering and the two begin talking about death. Seven tells her that when a drone dies, their memory lives on; as long as the collective exists, every drone will live on. As her link to the collective has been severed for several years now, she fears to fade into meaninglessness. Torres, however, assures her that she has made an impact on each member of Voyager's crew and her fear is therefore without reason. The Doctor finds the two and attempts to get Seven back to sickbay or else her condition will deteriorate faster, but lets her stay as long as she wears a cortical monitor. Seven finds Icheb in their cargo bay and tells him that Janeway approved his request and provides a list of those who can help him study. But Icheb wants Seven to help him with astrometrics. He is upset and angered because Seven has apparently given up on herself.
Act Four Edit
Icheb talks to The Doctor and offers his node to replace Seven's. He claims that since he is younger, his body should be able to adapt to the loss more easily. In astrometrics, Seven is reviewing places on Earth, such as the Grand Canyon and Janeway's birthplace. She doesn't believe she'll ever make it back to Earth. Janeway tells her that had she thought that way she would have settled on the first M-class planet and stayed there. Seven tells her that her death would be more significant than other crew member deaths.
The Doctor tells Seven and Janeway about Icheb's plan. Seven refuses, saying that any danger to Icheb is too great. Icheb asks Janeway to order Seven to go through with it, but Janeway won't override Seven's wishes. Icheb calls The Doctor and Janeway to his alcove where he has programmed it to remove his cortical node to prove it could work.
Act Five Edit
Janeway, Icheb, and The Doctor are immediately transported to sickbay. Neither Seven nor Icheb wants the node so that it can save the other. Some of Icheb's implants are adapting but not all. Seven claims that he is acting this way because he relies too much on her, but Icheb claims that she doesn't rely enough on others hence why she's been acting this way. Seven agrees to undergo the operation.
Fortunately, the operation turns out to be a success and after six days, Seven wakes up in her alcove. Although Icheb is still recovering, he will be fine. When he regains consciousness, Seven tells him that she expects him to recover since she intends to help him with the astrometrics portion of the entrance exam. Icheb points out that her ocular implant is malfunctioning again since he can see tears, but The Doctor reassures him that this time the implant is working perfectly.
Memorable quotes Edit
"Adapting to your absence will be difficult."
"... I'll miss you too."
- - Mezoti and Icheb as Mezoti, Azan, and Rebi leave Voyager
"It's not everyday we go looking for the Borg. What's up?"
- - Chakotay, to Janeway
"I want to help Seven as much as anyone, but if we're not careful, we'll all end up with cortical nodes."
- - Chakotay, pointing out the danger of Janeway's decision
"I have isolated a section that contains the bodies of approximately thirty seven drones."
"Thirty seven doesn't sound approximate to me."
- - Tuvok and Tom Paris
"I need you at tactical! When I bring us around, target their engine core."
- - Tom Paris and Captain Janeway
"We difficult patients need to stick together."
- - Torres, after Seven escaped The Doctor
"Icheb to The Doctor, report to cargo bay 2 immediately!"
"Not to worry. I'll make it clear to him that persistence is futile."
- - Icheb, Seven, and The Doctor
"I won't accept the node!"
"And I won't keep it!"
"Someone had better use the damn thing... If it stays disconnected much longer it won't do either of you any good!"
- - Seven, Icheb, and The Doctor
"Your ocular implant; it's malfunctioning again."
"Actually it's functioning perfectly."
- - Icheb and The Doctor, on Seven with tears in her eyes
Background information Edit
- Filming for this episode began on 5 July 2000 on Paramount Stage 9 (X) and finished on 13 July 2000 (X).
- This episode featured an okudagram computer display of a casualty listing of all the crewpersons lost to Voyager by this point. Several names were in-jokes referring to characters from the television series The West Wing. See casualty report for more information.
- This episode was originally supposed to air after "Drive", and a few errors exist due to the switch. First of all, the new Delta Flyer II is present, whereas it was properly introduced in "Drive", but most importantly, during the operation on Seven of Nine, Tom Paris is clearly seen wearing a wedding ring. Also, the stardates indicate that this episode takes place after "Repression" as well.
- This is the last appearance of the Borg until "Q2".
- This episode marks the final appearances of Marley S. McClean as Mezoti, Kurt Wetherill as Azan and Cody Wetherill as Rebi on the series. The Borg baby featured in "Collective" was originally going to be seen accompanying the Borg children to the planet.
- Icheb is without a combadge for the entire episode. He is one of the only recurring Voyager characters that do not receive combadges (apart from the alternate future timeline witnessed in "Shattered" in which he is commissioned officer.) He gains a combadge by "Q2" when he becomes a Starfleet Cadet.
- In 2011, Manu Intiraymi (Icheb) named this episode his favorite from his eleven appearances on Star Trek: Voyager. 
- In this episode Seven of Nine reads a list of casualties for USS Voyager's mission to date. Of the ten names displayed on screen, seven are references to main characters from the NBC television show The West Wing.
Video and DVD releases Edit
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, Paramount Home Entertainment): Volume 7.1, 19 March 2001
- As part of the VOY Season 7 DVD collection
Links and references Edit
Also starring Edit
- Robert Beltran as Commander Chakotay
- Roxann Dawson as Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres
- Robert Duncan McNeill as Lieutenant Junior Grade Tom Paris
- Ethan Phillips as Neelix
- Robert Picardo as The Doctor
- Tim Russ as Lieutenant Commander Tuvok
- Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine
- Garrett Wang as Ensign Harry Kim
Guest stars Edit
- Michael McFall as a Salvage Alien #1
- Debbie Grattan as a Wysanti
- Kurt Wetherill as Azan
- Cody Wetherill as Rebi
- Majel Barrett as Computer Voice
Uncredited co-stars Edit
Stunt double Edit
2377; anaphylactic shock; assimilation; autonomy protocol; Azan; Ballard, Lyndsay; Bartlett, J.; Bloomington; Borg alcove; Borg Collective; Craig, Claudia; cortical node; Delta Flyer II; dizziness; DNA resequencing; doctor-patient confidentiality; Earth; emotional subroutine; filing; gladiola; Grand Canyon; holodeck; Icheb; Indiana; Janeway; kadis-kot; Kaplan, Marie; Lang, Timothy; letter of recommendation; Lyman, J.; McGarry, L.; Mezoti; millijoule; neurocortical monitor; ocular implant; Puccini, Giacomo; pupil; Rebi; Seaborn, S.; Sector 949; Starfleet Academy; Talaxian omelette; Tarcanian wildflower; Tosca; Wysanti; Wysanti (planet); Yontasa Expanse; Young, Charles; Ziegler, T.;
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