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Startrek Voyager Episode Guides Section

     Episode Guides Home : Startrek Voyager : Season 1 Episode 16

Learning Curve

Episode:  
   16
Season:  
   1
Air Date:  
   22-May-1995
Director:  
   David Livingston
Written By:  
   Ronald Wilkerson & Jean Louise Matthias
 
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  Synopsis
 
StarDate: 48846.5

Tuvok incurs the wrath of Maquis crewmembers when he's put in charge of a "boot camp" designed to bring them up to Starfleet standards.

When a Maquis engineer named Dalby disrupts power to the ship's energy grid by making an unauthorized repair, Janeway realizes that she can't expect Starfleet behavior from people who never went to the Academy. To bring the Maquis officers up to speed on Starfleet protocol, Janeway asks Tuvok to train a group of four recruits, including Dalby. Predictably, the Maquis recruits balk at Tuvok's by-the-book discipline until Chakotay forcefully gets the point across that this is not a voluntary exercise.

Like any good drill sergeant, Tuvok comes down hard on his Maquis charges, demanding regulation attire and behavior. Dalby complains to Torres about Tuvok's tough tactics, but Torres suggests that Dalby is afraid he can't cut it. The conversation is abruptly halted, however, when one of the ship's bio-neural gel packs malfunctions, the second time in days. Torres takes the pack to Sickbay, and the Doctor notes that the partially biological component has an infection and must be "cured" before it spreads to the rest of the ship's systems.

Tuvok's rigorous training sessions seem to work at a superficial level, but the Maquis are easily discouraged. Tuvok confesses to Neelix that he doesn't understand why his techniques, honed through years of instructing cadets at the Academy, aren't working. Neelix advises Tuvok to be more flexible in his approach.

While pondering the Talaxian's advice in the mess hall, Tuvok wonders if bacterial spores from Neelix's newly made homemade cheese is being absorbed by the ship's ventilation ducts, serving as the source of the gel pack's infection. The Doctor inspects the cheese, and Tuvok's hunch turns out to be correct.

Not long after, Tuvok and his students find themselves trapped in a Cargo Bay when another system falls victim to the virus. When the Voyager crew infuses the gel-packs with a plasma burst of heat to kill the infection, noxious vapors leak into the cargo bay where Tuvok and his recruits are stranded. Nearly overcome by the fumes, Tuvok helps three of the four cadets escape, then goes back for the incapacitated fourth. As the toxic gas ultimately overcomes him, his three black sheep finally band together to become an effective team, forcing open the door and rescuing both men. Later, Dalby notes that if Tuvok can break the rules sometimes, then maybe they could learn to follow protocol under his tutelage after all.

 
  Cast
 
Kate Mulgrew as Kathryn Janeway
Robert Beltran as Chakotay
Roxann Biggs-Dawson as B'Elanna Torres
Robert Duncan McNeill as Tom Paris
Jennifer Lien as Kes
Ethan Phillips as Neelix
Robert Picardo as The Doctor
Tim Russ as Tuvok
Garrett Wang as Harry Kim

 
  Guest Cast
 
Armand Shultz as Dalby
Derek McGrath as Chell
Scott Miles as Terek
Catherine MacNeal as Henley
Thomas Alexander Dekker as Henry
Lindsey Haun as Beatrice

 
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