Stardust begins like Absolute Candor ended with Seven aboard Rios’ ship. She has become a Fenris Ranger after Icheb, a former Borg drone she helped while attached to Voyager, dies brutally on an operating table.
Years earlier, without any sedative or other pain killer, a crazy surgeon rips out Icheb’s synthetic eye while he screams in agony. Seven arrives soon after, kills the surgeon, and then tearfully shoots Fenris to put him out of his misery.
And it just so happens the person who ran the chop shop is on Free Cloud in Stardust City.
Her name is Bjayzl, who employed the same surgeon who tortured Iched. Plus, Bruce Maddox is in Free Cloud. And he owes Bjayzl money which he can’t repay. Initially she wants to kill him, but then decides to make money off him stead. Hence the meet up with Picard, Rios, and Elnor to “trade” Seven for Maddox.
The viewer also learns that Dr. Agnes Jurati had a romantic relationship with Maddox and the feelings are still there. And I could understand why as the mission went along that she got nervous. So much so that the on board hospitality hologram comes online twice in the episode.
And just as the mission comes to a close and before Jurati beams up the others, she kills Maddox. Commander Oh turned her against her love and their creations Soji and Dahj. What exactly Jurati saw is not shown in flashback or spoken of in the episode.
Normally a story line like this would be riveting especially with the Jurati curve ball. However, this is not the case. Instead the silliness of the costume charade Picard etc pull, plus Bjayzl not being bad ass , plus other bad scene execution knocks this episode down to being okay.