the story: The Doctor seeks temporary refuge within Seven's circuits, taking over in the process.
what it's all about: "Body and Soul" is the kind of episode that can easily be dismissed as gimmicky, where Jeri Ryan (Seven) is basically being asked to impersonate Robert Picardo (the Doctor), and that's really the whole point. There's of course a reason why it's happening, and it's relevant to the recurring subplot in the series about how holograms are interpreted by various cultures, but the way it's used this time is hugely reminiscent of the far superior "Counterpoint," and so I wouldn't go out of my way to sell in on those merits.
Instead, what's most noteworthy about the episode is how Tuvok's pon farr is the subplot. Obviously it would've been difficult to make the main story center around it ("Amok Time" is difficult to contend with, and Voyager already had a Vulcan have a crisis over it in "Blood Fever"), but the fact that the series deals with it at all is a nice touch. Like Kes's short lifespan stood over the early seasons as a ticking time bomb, seemingly designed to become relevant at some point (eventually in "Before and After"), Tuvok being stranded so far from home, and his wife, meant it was bound to happen eventually. I'm glad it did.
- franchise - The classic pon farr matter is once again addressed.
series- Seems like an episode that was done on a lark.
- character - The Doctor and Seven are always fun to watch together.
essential- Not especially.