Ray Walston is utterly wasted in his final appearance as Boothby as Chakotay gets to be the focus of The Inevitable Boxing Episode. It’s a nifty little first-contact story, but it’s still The Inevitable Boxing Episode. The Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch gets into “The Fight.”
The general story here is perfectly serviceable. “Chaotic space” is yet another bit of nonsense that sounds cool but isn’t based on any actual astronomical phenomenon, which by this point in Trek’s evolution had become depressingly commonplace. But the general storyline of two very disparate life forms trying to communicate with each other, and of the problem of the week being solved by talking, is very good to see, and nicely played out. Yes, we’ve seen this sort of thing before—the original series’ “Devil in the Dark,” TNG’s “Darmok” and “Night Terrors,” DS9’s “Emissary,” etc.—but it’s still a solid premise.