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Throughout the second series of Star Trek: Voyager, engineer Michael Jonas was secretly passing information to the Kazon - and I can't figure out why.

I know at first, his motive was, "Give them what they want and they'll leave us alone", but as time went on, it was clear they weren't going away, and rather than just sending information on the technology that they wanted (i.e. replicators, etc.) he seemed to be passing them tactical & confidential information about the running of Voyager - knowledge that put the ship at risk, and towards the end, seemed actually willing to lead Voyager into a trap! Basically exactly what he seemed to want to avoid at the beginning.

Did I miss something else? Why did he do all this?

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This was addressed by the character's actor, Raphael Sbarge in an interview with TVZone. In short it was a combination of upset at Janeway's failure to make a peace with the Kazon, unrequited passion for Seska, self-interest (in thinking that the ship was very likely to be taken by the Kazon and wanting to be on their good side) and blackmail; the threat of exposure if he failed to comply.

"He clearly saw that Voyager was going into some very dangerous territory without any sort of help. I think he began to feel that they were surrounded by the Kazon and would eventually be blown to bits unless they made some genuine and serious moves towards making peace or creating a balance with them. In his own way, at least initially, I think he did what he did from a sort of benevolent point of view. It wasn't completely good for everyone because it was really self-motivated but I don't think he intended for it to get as bad as it did. He eventually got himself in a position where Seska was blackmailing him and then he was stuck. When you lie you have to cover your lies. One lie leads to another lie and that's what happened to Jonas. He got in too deep." Regarding Jonas' familiarity with Seska, Sbarge reckoned, "My sense was that they probably knew each other when they were young and maybe there was even a romantic thing that went on there. That was my thought. Whether that is what was in the producers' minds, I don't know,"

Memory Alpha: Jonas - Background information


Trying to bargain with the Kazon after Janeway failed to secure a deal.

HOGAN: Nothings going to come of all this. B'Elanna, you were Seska's friend. Couldn't you get word to her, try to work things out?

TORRES: No, I couldn't.

Voy: Alliances

Attempting to ingratiate himself with the Kazon.

JONAS: In a matter of speaking. It's all in the file. This should prove my worth to you, Rettick.

RETTICK: We'll see.

Voy: Threshold

A desire to ingratiate himself with Seska.

LORRUM:Mister Jonas, your enthusiasm is appreciated, but I would prefer to know more about it before I bring it to Maje Culluh's attention.

JONAS: If I could just talk to Seska.

Voy: Dreadnought

Personal threats against him

Seska: One way or another, I'm going to take Voyager. You can either help me, or you can suffer along with Janeway and the others. Don't worry, Mike. Everything's been planned to the letter. Here's how it's going to work. We'll be waiting for you on a planet called Hemikek Four.

Voy: Lifesigns

  • If that is the case, then it's a real pity his character wasn't explored more – colmde Jul 2 '17 at 10:45
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    @colmde - I get the impression that they wanted to make his actions more of a continual arc, but were stymied by the studio who were very concerned that since the show was syndicated, episodes might need to be shown out of order in other markets. Having a 5-episode plotline is problematic if your German affiliate wants to show episode 4 before episode 3 for ratings reasons. In the end they had him be a bit traitorous in each episode, but not in any clear episodic fashion other than the first episode and the last – Valorum Jul 2 '17 at 10:48

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