The crew meets a friendly people who love food and nice things and love stories and are great at hospitality. They also have technology that can get the crew closer to home. But in the end, the people are assholes and the technology won’t work for them. Life sucks, sometimes. The Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch does “Prime Factors.”
Ronald Guttman has been a favorite of mine since his role as the chief engineer in The Hunt for Red October all the way to his recent brilliant turn as an old man turned into a vampire in Preacher, and he’s perfect here. He’s a hedonist, and he is all over Janeway, but he also offers the crew something they desperately need. Honestly, he’s the perfect predator, which is exactly what the role calls for. Indeed, all the Sikarians are to a degree, as they are hungry for new experiences, and are willing to manipulate people and give them pretty gifts in exchange for it, whether it’s Labin’s offer to give Janeway tons of clothes, Otel’s offer of the trajector, or Eudana taking Kim to another world.
And as soon as Janeway sees through it, he gets pouty and angry and throws a tantrum, blaming her for harshing his mellow. It’s classic predator behavior, and Guttman just nails it. To Janeway’s credit, the minute he shows his true colors and makes it clear that there’s no longer a benefit to her crew to stay, she packs up and leaves.