Four Maquis are trained by Tuvok in how to be proper Starfleet officers, and much wackiness ensues, plus Neelix’s cheese endangers the ship, because of course it does. The first season ends with a whimper as the Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch grades on a “Learning Curve.”
Back in 2011 when I was rewatching The Next Generation, I mentioned how frustrating it was that the premise of TNG was that there were children and families on the Enterprise, yet nothing significant was done with that until “When the Bough Breaks,” the sixteenth episode of the season.
History repeats itself here. “Caretaker” set up a situation where the Maquis had to integrate with the Starfleet crew to work together to get home, but it’s taken until the fifteenth episode of the season for an episode to be built around it, though, to be fair, it was also part of the texture of “Parallax,” “Prime Factors,” and “State of Flux,” though the latter two would still have worked the same if the crew was just Starfleet, as the being-stranded-far-from-home part was more important than the mixed-crew part of both stories. Still, the events of “Learning Curve” are the sorts of things that should’ve happened much sooner in the first season.