Remember "Caretaker"? This was its sequel. That's another reason why the second season was such an integral one for the series, because it did a ton of mythology episodes, rushing through a lot of serialized storytelling the network and producers would subsequently veto for the regular format of later seasons.
Here we finally meet the mate of the Caretaker who originally brought our crew into the Delta Quadrant, and typically, the easy answers everyone might have expected are subverted, so that this Caretaker is anything but, an embittered and vengeful being who wants nothing to do with the ship who technically helped solved the problems she left behind.
Oh, and this is the last time we see a significant grouping of Ocampa. This Caretaker has continued doing what the other one did, but far less benevolently, with a different philosophy entirely. In fact, "Cold Fire" suggests that the first Caretaker actually did the Ocampa a favor by rebooting their society, because all those skills Kes has been developing can and will be used for evil, very easily, suggesting that the Ocampa are inherently, at least in their social leanings, to villainy (with the same ironic fate as the Kazon, also in the continued spotlight this season). They would have been more Romulan than Vulcan, if you need a more conventional franchise analogy.
Anyway, of all the potential tickets home, this one may be one of the more depressing failures, especially for any fans who might have been holding out for some simple comfort, some predictable Star Trek happy ending (and that's probably another reason fans started to rebel against the Borg, because that was another Voyager subversion). The same fans who hated the series for not being depressing enough were the same fans who watched Star Trek for its hopeful message. (Well, one would hope, anyway.)
"Cold Fire" is a model of contradiction.
franchise * series * essential * character
Memory Alpha summary.