Star Trek: Voyager
Air date: 9/25/1995
Written by Brannon Braga
Directed by David Livingston
Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan
"Anyway, I got as far as Deep Space Nine, where I got into a bar fight with a Ferengi, and I was thrown into the brig by a very unpleasant shapeshifter..." — Paris, on why he "missed" the Voyager
Nutshell: The alternate-reality premise is okay, but the episode moves at snail's pace and suffers because of some surprisingly weak performances. And the conclusion is painfully routine.
Harry Kim wakes up one morning to find himself in an alternate reality where he lives in San Francisco and everybody treats him as if he had never been on board the Voyager. Unfortunately, the interesting premise is wasted due to execution problems, and the episode has big troubles figuring out its dramatic dynamics.
I like the way this mystery begins, by throwing Harry into a situation where he hasn't got a clue (and neither do we) and must try to wrestle out a solution given very little information. The first act or so seems to be working very well as we sample a day in the life of a misplaced protagonist.
Unfortunately, "Non Sequitur" loses momentum fast, and is sabotaged by some sub-par performances and a rather heavy-handed direction by David Livingston. The underlying problem here seems to be a lack of material that necessitates scene after scene to be drawn out into slow, laborious exercises; almost as if the teleplay timed out early.
In the search for what has happened, Harry begins looking through Voyager's classified files (which to the Harry of this reality should not even be accessible). This makes Starfleet Security suspicious, which begins monitoring his movement. Meanwhile, Harry's search is hampered by the presence of his fiance Libby (Jennifer Gatti), whom he cannot begin to make understand that he does not belong on Earth, but on board the Voyager. In this reality, the Voyager is still apparently lost in space, except that some of the people who were supposed to be on board aren't for some reason or another. Harry Kim is one of them. Another is...Tom Paris.
So Kim looks up Paris, who happens to be in France (no pun intended). Hopefully Paris may have some answers or insights. But Paris has no answers to give him—he's just a pool-shooting drunk who didn't make it onto the Voyager in this reality. (In the show's most entertaining scene, Paris explains to Harry the reason he "missed" the Voyager: because he was arrested by Odo after a bar fight with Quark at DS9 right before the ship left.) This scene has more dramatic depth than anything else in the show, showing what Paris could've been without the chance to prove himself as Voyager's ace pilot. Here, he's just a loser. Brannon Braga's script supplies Paris with some good material and Robert McNeill delivers a fine performance.
Because of Harry's mysterious info-gathering and movement around the planet, Starfleet begins to think he's a Maquis spy. They come to arrest him, and suddenly Harry finds himself on the run. The show supplies a decent foot chase scene, and then Paris comes to the rescue to prove he's not a loser, and the two try to find a way to set things back to normal.
But how can Harry fix the space-time continuum to get back to his reality? Here's where the storyline completely takes the easy, highly contrived road. It turns out that the local restaurant owner, Cosimo (Louis Giambalvo) is an alien assuming human form to guide Harry's integration into this alternate reality. Cosimo explains that there was an accident between Harry's shuttlecraft and one of his alien's "time stream." As a result, things got a little bit shuffled around but, for the most part, back to normal.
I wanted to cover my ears during this preposterous explanation. When they first introduced the Cosimo character, I had a feeling it was going to result in some outrageous "revelation," but I was hoping deep down that I would be wrong. Alas, I was not, and the plot resolution comes down to the most obvious and insipid, simply dropping the solution into Harry's lap. To set things back to normal, all Harry has to do is recreate the accident as "exactly" as possible. For the episode, that means the usual, implausible technical procedures which prove only as convenient or difficult as the story needs them to be. So Paris and Kim break into Starfleet and steal a Runabout so they can re-alter reality.
Alternate reality stories can be fun, because it gives a chance to explore character dynamics that would ordinarily not be possible. But aside from the brief moment where we see Paris' apathetic lifestyle, there is nothing at all dynamic about the characters in "Non Sequitur." Garrett Wang's performance is sometimes passable, but Jennifer Gatti's portrayal of Libby is so sluggish that it manages to sabotage almost every scene between Harry and Libby. Based on the chemistry between these two characters, it's no wonder that Harry decided he couldn't stay in this reality!
Previous episode: Elogium
Next episode: Twisted
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126 comments on this post
Wed, Sep 17, 2008, 9:12am (UTC -5)
I also fear for Earth if that is the kind of security you get at Starfleet headquarters. Ankle bracelets, on-foot chase scenes, break-ins at Starfleet, stolen ships - what inept fool is running Starfleet security?
Wed, Jun 17, 2009, 11:55am (UTC -5)
Tue, Oct 27, 2009, 9:16am (UTC -5)
Tue, Oct 27, 2009, 9:55pm (UTC -5)
I agree with you that the episode probably deserves more than two stars, but you probably have to provide us with a little more than "Easily my favorite from season two." You know, like reasons.
The good: We see Earth! Other than DS9's amazing two-parter 4x11 Homefront, 4x12 Paradise Lost, there is very little of Earth in any of the Star Trek episodes. (Who cares about ENT?). Nice to see small details like the Trans-America Pyramid and One Market. The public transportation (BART?) stops are a pretty cool touch. Evidently even the Mission becomes yuppified by the 24th century :-)
Paris - as mentioned, Tom does a great job. Maybe the show would have been better as a buddy episode (Tom & Harry), rather than a Harry (and the awful Libby) hour.
On a side note, Cosimo's (and the Sisko restaurant in DS9) always make me scratch my head - how the fuck do these businesses work in a society with no money!
The bad: As mentioned, the quick fix deus ex machina. Harry is a smart guy, why couldn't he have been allowed to figure out the solution. Just let it be a temporal anomaly. This is San Francisco, and maybe the time-stream is the 24th century equivalent of the San Andreas fault. No magic aliens required.
Nevertheless, I think the episode is a strong 2.5 stars. Not a three star by any stretch of the imagination, but still clearly better than some other Harry vehicles like 1x09 Emanations (a 2 star outing), or another alternate-time outing, like 1x04 Time and Again (also only 2 stars).
Tue, Jan 5, 2010, 4:55pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Jul 27, 2010, 7:21pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Feb 5, 2011, 9:43am (UTC -5)
Are you saying that only the talented chefs and restaurant managers can run restaurants? Who decides who is most passionate and talented?
What if there were more chefs than we need restaurants... what then? Who decides who gets to have a restaurant from who doesn't?
Who owns the land the restaurants are built on? How much land do we allocate for restaurants and for other things?
If someone wants to make a restaurant and nobody attends because the food is horrible, what happens? Without money, how would it ever go out of business as a sign that it doesn't work?
If someone wants to build a restaurant and there are already too many restaurants or not enough land, how does he go about getting his restaurant?
If there are too many restaurants and too many chefs... will they be forced to stop being a chef for the good of the planet? How does that work?
The concept of money, capitalism and property solves all of these problems easily. The fake future in Star Trek does not solve them at all - it just pretends to, even though they can offer no logical explanation as to how. After all, similar models like communism that are very similar to how people live on Star Trek didn't work... so why would it stand any chance of working in the 24th century for?
The answer: It won't. As long as we want to remain a free people who have rights by the virtue of being a human being, we can never get rid of the concept of money. Without money, rights will get violated and force will need to be used - which has and does get used in many cases in Star Trek actually (especially on DS9 - as much as I think the writing on the show is the best among all the series').
Sun, Feb 6, 2011, 6:41am (UTC -5)
The real problem is that I don't believe the motivation for Harry to get back. If it were me, I would have been quite happy with the way things turned out.
Sure, some people lost and gained in the "Accident", but that's not Kim's fault. It's not like he took an action that forced these circumstances on the various people (Paris, Byrd, etc.). The fact that he's taking this moral "high road" and is taking for responsibility for it is actually not very believable.
The other big problem with the episode is Libby. The actor they got to play her is really awful. The chemistry between Kim and Libby is just... off. The dialog and the actions are totally out of sync. Some of Libby's emotional reactions are just not authentic at all, and the episode really suffers.
And as someone else pointed out, I don't understand why they couldn't just lock onto Kim and Paris with a transporter at various times during the chase scenes. Is Starfleet security really that inept? It *is* government after all, so maybe so... but this is not how Starfleet is painted in many episodes. Starfleet is supposed to be competent and exemplify the best in humanity. These security officers are nothing of the sort.
Conclusion: One Bad episode.
Thu, Feb 10, 2011, 10:22pm (UTC -5)
I remember having hated this episode when I first saw it. After a recent viewing, I realise I only hate the last act. It really does spoil a lot of what happened already which (aside from Libby) is actually very compelling given it's a Harry story. There didn't need to be any action/adventure stuff...Cosimo could have felt he didn't have a right to purposefully effect the timeline again, until Harry realised he needed to go back...that who he (and Paris) had become on Voyager was worth the sacrifice of being so far from home. He could have just done it with a flick of his fingers or something, it should have taken 20 seconds.
@Ken. Seriously, shut the hell up about communism. Ask any successful capitalist if passion "has nothing to do with" his success and see what he tells you. People's worth is simply not measured in terms of currency in Roddenberry's style of communism. It's the future, it's fiction...no one has proved anything about it being impossible. It has no effect on the quality (or lack thereof) of this episode; shut the hell up.
Overall, I think a fair review. I wish they had scrapped the whole action scene for something substantive.
Fri, Feb 11, 2011, 6:29am (UTC -5)
Fri, Feb 11, 2011, 10:50am (UTC -5)
Passion alone won't make warp drive, replicators or Leola Root Stew possible either...you're on a tirade against socialism and it's pretty damned silly on a Star Trek page. You can't simply say things like "it's perfectly rational and true" when you're trying to talk down a Utopian economic system. No number of bullet points can prove it won't or will happen. It's all speculation. You just don't like it.
Fri, Feb 11, 2011, 11:01am (UTC -5)
I merely said that passion would not make it function perfectly. I brought up many logical flaws and problems with this claim, to which you have not bothered to answer.
And yes, it is rational to know in advance that a 24th century Utopian economic system would not work.
Fri, Feb 11, 2011, 11:19am (UTC -5)
If you want to play this little polemics game (which I'm sorely tempted not to play with you, because I'm under the suspicion you wouldn't like an episode of Trek unless it read like a Rand novel), then explain to me what the hell "too many chefs" is.
Sun, Apr 10, 2011, 4:40pm (UTC -5)
If some of those chefs are actually pretty bad cooks - but they still have "high passion" - nobody is going to attend their restaurants (or at least very few... favouring the chefs that make better food).
What you're going to have is a bunch of wasted land and chefs not cooking very much while others are cooking like crazy - all for the same reward. Is it first come first serve? What if you invented the latest warp drive - should you not be able to eat at the best restaurants? Or should you let the lowly janitor get the best food just because he was there first?
There could be the case where there are simply an oversupply of chefs to meet the natural demand of them. And it doesn't stop with chefs. How can passion be used as criteria for any kind of business? It's nonsensical.
How many people are passionate about running businesses but have no freaking clue how to run one? If we allowed all of these incompetent yet passionate businesses owners their way, we'd have a pretty horrible set of services to pick from.
The idea that passion is somehow a valid requirement for being a good chef and running a good restaurant is preposterous.
Sun, Apr 10, 2011, 9:10pm (UTC -5)
Any good capitalist knows that making good food is one of the least important aspects of being a successful chef and it is the reason some people (like I) object to it as a system. The fact that you casually regard a janitor as "lowly" is evidence of your caste-value system which is really the heart of your prejudice against enlightened philosophies. At any rate, part of having a society in which one may pursue being a chef without making money at it is that there would be no janitors (such tasks are relegated to the available technology). As any artist can tell you, competition between people of talent does not vanish when money is taken out of the equation. Artists don't expect to make any money doing what they do, yet they still work to do better than their peers, and if they can't or don't they don't achieve success. Now the problem is, each of these people still has to eat, so he must work some other form of labour to survive while still finding the time to pursue his art. This is silly. Why force people to waste their time when there's no need?
We can't possibly have an intelligent debate about this until you start considering carefully what you say and how you say it; your arguments are hollow and lack a cogent centre. They aren't so much easily defeated as casually dismissed.
Sun, Apr 10, 2011, 10:58pm (UTC -5)
I never said making good food (or a good atmosphere, entertainment, whatever) makes a good business. You inferred this. I only said that passion alone would not do it. There is a difference.
The market would determine what they wanted in a restaurant. I can't decide that. Nobody could. It is up to each chef/restaurant owner to research their potential customers and create the kind of restaurant that would appeal to them. That could be good food, a good atmosphere or naked females dancing in front of you as you eat - who knows.
Elliot: "The fact that you casually regard a janitor as "lowly" is evidence of your caste-value system which is really the heart of your prejudice against enlightened philosophies."
That janitor might actually be amazing at his job - and maybe he is to commended for that work - but nonetheless... the work he produces is less valuable than the person who invented an airplane, a skyscraper or a warp engine. It is also less valuable than the productiveness of the owner of the restaurant who pays him.
It is not prejudice - it is a fact. I would say that it is prejudice to assume that all work is somehow equal and that all people are equal in their level of productiveness - this is absolutely false.
Elliot: "At any rate, part of having a society in which one may pursue being a chef without making money at it is that there would be no janitors (such tasks are relegated to the available technology)."
There would still be work that is less demanding and less valuable compared to others in such a society. Janitor or no, the point is still valid.
Just because technology improves, it would not change the fact that supply and demand would still exist in this society.
Elliot: "As any artist can tell you, competition between people of talent does not vanish when money is taken out of the equation. Artists don't expect to make any money doing what they do, yet they still work to do better than their peers, and if they can't or don't they don't achieve success."
What? This is absolutely false. I'm sure a whole myriad of musical bands, architects, etc. fully expect to get paid for their productive effort.
When people choose to create art, they can do so for spiritual and/or physical rewards. So much choose to self-sacrifice and not want to get paid, but that hardly describes "As any artist" as you put it.
And if artist don't get paid, how the hell are they suppose to create their art in the first place? Steal other people's money through the use of government subsidies to allow them to create their art? How?
Also, good art or bad art (i.e. talented art as you put it) is not the point of this discussion - art is only as valuable as people are willing to pay for it. Clearly society values Beyoncé a lot more than Mozart, and society values Mass Effect or even a simple pinball machine a lot more than Opera.
You might not like this fact, but value can be attached to artwork as anything else.
Elliot: "Now the problem is, each of these people still has to eat, so he must work some other form of labour to survive while still finding the time to pursue his art. This is silly. Why force people to waste their time when there's no need?"
Again, false. Who is going to pay for their food? Their housing? Is it going to magically appear on their lap?
And moreover, why do artists get the privilege of not earning their keep but others have to? Why are they entitled to special treatment for?
If artists in society got such treatment, what would be the incentive to do anything else then? Wouldn't everyone want to be artist so they didn't have to work a day in their life and could just do art all the time? If everyone did this, who would be left to feed them? And who would decide these things? Who would decide who gets to do art from who doesn't?
If government pays the artists to create the art, where does government get the money? Taxes? So each individual is now forced by the government to give part of their earnings to support artwork that they don't even like? Should the Christians have to pay for art that depicts Jesus as an evil demon that rapes children? How is that going to work Elliot?
If the artwork was truly valued by members in society, they should be able to invest in it privately - either before the art is complete (which is no different than venture capital) or afterward. The point is that each individual has to consensually trade money for art.
If nobody in society is willing to pay for art (which is highly doubtful), then that art has no right to exist in the first place.
If art is created through the theft of money from others, it is no longer art. That art should never have existed. In fact, it is a symbol of theft because that art required the use of force in order to exist. It is unearned achievement.
Elliot, what you're saying is entirely nonsensical.
Wed, Apr 13, 2011, 3:26pm (UTC -5)
About this episode... Ugh. This episode did have some potential. I think that they could have made the dynamic they went with of wanting to get home at any cost work better if they had focused on Paris. Finding out what happens when Paris has an accident and wakes up a useless drunk in France would have been compelling. He also would have had a genuine reason to want to get back to the regular time line.
I also think this episode would have worked well if Harry had woken up in the scenario presented and had NOT wanted to correct the timeline. The episode could have been about the alien trying to force him back to Harry's regular timeline, or maybe even Voyager itself finding a way to pull him out of this alternate reality. Harry is always talking about how much he wants to go home. It's easy for me to imagine Harry seeing the events of the beginning of this episode as though he had just won the lottery. He's home, he's getting married, he has a great job... How cruel and dramatic would it have been for him to accept this new reality only to be "rescued" by Voyager? It would have been very powerful.
Also, in that scenario, they could have spent the last act showing how Harry deals with trying to balance gratitude that his friends on Voyager cared enough to rescue him (possibly at great risk to the ship) with the dissapointment of having his dream of getting home so aburptly snatched away from him. I for one would have welcomed that kind of depth in an otherwise boring character.
But, instead we get Kim acting like a starfleet robot who MUST go back to his reality because... Well, because it's the starfleet thing to do! I guess. I frankly have no idea why he would want to go back. Of course, there was also the matter of the terribly wooden acting and the paint by numbers ending. It was nice to see Earth again. But, all in all, the premise of this episode was completely wasted and over all the whole thing sucked.
One and a half stars from me.
Wed, Apr 13, 2011, 7:22pm (UTC -5)
I believe this is what I was saying all along - there is no way the Star Trek form of government and philosophy world actually work in reality.
The problem is that some people seem to think that this show is a prediction of how humans "ought" to live. They really do think this is an "enlightened" philosophy. And yes, they'd wish we would live in the world of Star Trek as a end result.
This is actually a really big problem. They offer no proof to show this humans "ought" to live this way. They offer no moral proof. They claim that I "have't proven anything" - but quite the contrary - it really doesn't take make much to point out counter-examples which logically disprove their position from all sides - proof by counter-example is a valid form of proof (but he ignores this).
I ask him to offer a proof for his claims, but we both know that's not possible. After all, it didn't take much reasoning to disprove them in the first place.
As for the proof that we live in reality, we use reason and logic to know about that reality, that reason should be our highest virtue, that our own life is the ultimate standard of value in which we judge what is good and evil, and the proof that capitalism is the only moral system of government - these are already proven by Ayn Rand and have not been disproved...
... well, except for people disproving things she never actually said in the first place. There are lots of people on youtube that criticize Ayn Rand and I can tell they have no clue what he positions are at all. They just glossed over them and made many errors. This is extremely common. They never actually take the time to understand what she said, and some of these "critics" admit to not even have read her work - just commentary on her work. If you want to judge her work, maybe the best thing to do is to actually read what she actually said as opposed to someone's opinion on what she said.
Star Trek does not offered an 'enlightened' philosophy. It is just plain wrong.
Fri, Apr 15, 2011, 12:03am (UTC -5)
What I do care about, is a good story. This episode missed more than one opportunity to be a good story. That's all I want to discuss in my comments. I'm not here to debate the moral positions of Ayn Rand. I'm here to debate the emotional validity and questionable logic of Harry Kim's desire to get back to Voyager. If you have an opinion on the actual story in this episode, then discussion is welcome.
Tue, May 31, 2011, 11:25am (UTC -5)
Well said - thought I's stumbled into a Politics blog in error. It's a science fiction show for god's sake. Whilst I might have some concerns over whether the economic philosophy of the Federation is viable, this comments thread, about this specific story and the author's review of it is unarguably not the forum for it.
Have you thought about anger management?
Tue, May 31, 2011, 11:28am (UTC -5)
So I say something absolutely makes sense and is true, and that suddenly means I need anger management?
Mon, Aug 1, 2011, 9:14pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Aug 15, 2011, 8:50am (UTC -5)
Mon, Aug 15, 2011, 5:45pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Oct 29, 2011, 3:27am (UTC -5)
Seriously, Kim's actions seemed very off. Picard at the beginning of "The Inner Light" is how I imagine someone reacting to suddenly waking up in a different life. Kim was way too accepting and didn't try to tell other people what was going on until it was too late.
And the 'time stream' was garbage. I think it would have been much more interesting had it switched at the halfway point to the 'real' timeline, and we saw the non-Voyager Kim on Voyager - in other words, Kims from two alternate timelines had been switched. The end would switch them back not through any action of theirs but through some Q-magnitude being realizing a mistake had been made and undoing the switch. And the day or so that had elapsed would have actually happened in both timelines, so it would be implied that both Kims would have to undo the damage caused by the other Kims.
Sat, Jan 14, 2012, 8:37am (UTC -5)
Mon, Feb 20, 2012, 8:54pm (UTC -5)
I agree. And restaurants don't make sense to me in ST either. What the hell are they doing there? If there's no money, shouldn't there just be a bunch government run cafeterias instead? Or community soup kitchens or some such?
"The problem is that some people seem to think that this show is a prediction of how humans "ought" to live. They really do think this is an "enlightened" philosophy. And yes, they'd wish we would live in the world of Star Trek as a end result.
This is actually a really big problem."
No it isn't. People realize that its fiction. They don't start philosophical movements based on it. There's no "Gene Roddenberry Institute", They would have to be really detached from reality to do that. Also, the infeasibility of a system without money would prevent it from ever happening, so you have nothing to worry about.
And I would argue, that when people say they think the Star Trek world would be a nice place to live, and that it seems more "enlightened" they don't think that just because of the "no money" aspect of it, but rather the fact that there's no more war or famine on Earth, or most human worlds, or even federation worlds for that matter. Education/health care seems a lot better, lifespans are higher... AND when starfleet encounters an indigeous species on a planet they leave them alone, they don't try to push them out of the way or exploit them. They have a code of ethics that I don't really see here in our world. Like when Janeway chose to destroy the array instead of using it to get home. We wouldn't do that, we'd totally use the array to get home, fuck the Occampa. Starfleet has policies (like the prime directive) that are there to protect indigenous people (species) from exploitation or outside interference, however well-meaning. There's really not an equivalent to that today. (yes, I know the PD has a lot of flaws: not the point). In that episode where they find some photonic fleas behind a bulkhead, Janeway says: "lets find a more suitable home for them shall we?" What would we have done? We would have sprayed them! (its easy to be enlightened when you have transporters), I'm sure you guys can come up with a bunch more examples. In Gene Roddenberry's fiction, he takes the position that instead of wiping out our civilization with global warming, or continuing to fight amongst one another forever, we worked together and reached for the stars! Sure, things aren't perfect, but still... compared to today, thinks look pretty good. The lack of currency is actually one minor piece of the picture. Heck, I thought ST was utopic, but for the longest time I didn't know about there being no currency! (probably because of DS9).
Mon, Mar 19, 2012, 10:33am (UTC -5)
With replicator technology, free necessary medical care, and clean energy too cheap too meter, most people probably get some kind of basic monthly income that takes care of all their needs. Those who want more personal wealth or property than the basic allowance can work for it as independent businessmen.
The key here is to remember that scarcity just isn't the same kind of problem for them that it is for us.
Thu, Jul 26, 2012, 7:33am (UTC -5)
Wed, Mar 27, 2013, 3:28pm (UTC -5)
I love this episode and I think it is much beloved by true fans of this show. If you hate Voyager or you don't already like the characters on the show, it isn't going to do much for you. If you watch Voyager not to bash it but actually because you prefer the Voyager cast to the rest of Star Trek, this is an especially gratifying episode. Let me explain why:
In the first place, it has one of the most intriguing openings of any episode of Voyager, with Harry's face lit up by the sun as he wakes up on planet Earth, with Captain Janeway's voice mysteriously echoing in his head, as if everything that has happened so far on the show has been only a dream. As others have said, its very refreshing to see an episode set on Earth, as it gives us a rare glimpse into life in the 24th-century.
The episode is even more interesting for suggesting a darker side to life in the Federation "utopia". There is a distinctly 1984-esque feeling to the whole setting, from the constant electronic surveillance of every living being on the planet and the artificial cleanliness and feeling of all-pervading control, to the Big Brother-like way Starfleet immediately comes down on Harry when he starts poking around and asking questions.
Many have commented that the actress who plays Libby leaves something to be desired, but I think she plays her character just right: there is something plastic and artificial even to Harry's relationship to his girlfriend, and this fits with what we know about his character. Harry was a goodie-goodie straight A student on the path to a successful and promising career, and it makes sense that this kind of guy would end up in a relationship with a status conscious, superficial and controlling girlfriend.
Not only that, but the fact that all her "love" for Harry immediately seems to fade as soon as he starts acting unpredictable (messing with his career) reinforces both the creepy, 1984 aspect to the story and also the fact that Harry belongs on Voyager. Reviewers who complain about the lack of passion between Harry and his girlfriend, and who go on to say he should've wanted to stay on Earth, miss the point entirely: Harry belongs on Voyager, not just out of a sense of duty and obligation (although these are some of Harry Kim's defining virtues) but also because he has found real warmth and the strength of a true community on Voyager in a way he never could've found in his sterile, by-the-numbers career or Earth.
Another great and subtle characterization is added by Harry's "friend" Lieutenant Lasca. This individual belongs to the same class of ultra-ambitious career climbing plastic slimeball who, like Libby, immediately turns on his friend the instant Harry begins to act unpredictable in a way that might become a career liability rather than an asset. The untrustworthy Lasca instantly spots an opportunity to turn the situation to his advantage, as he moves to ingratiate himself with Starfleet command by spearheading the investigation into Harry's unorthodox behavior. The accusations of alien influence or Maquis sympathies illustrate to what degree the Federation utopia (dystopia) lives under a subtly oppressive atmosphere of paranoia.
There is also, I must say, an even more subtle suggestion that Lasca would be moving in on Harry's girlfriend behind his back. Mark Kiely gives off a vibe very similar to Tony Goldwyn in "Ghost," as the kind of slimy yuppie whose outward virtuousness masks an ambitious ego-driven opportunist. Maybe this is the reason we hear no more of Libby later in the series: in the real timeline, Lasca moved in to "comfort" Libby and took her away from Harry. Maybe this is just me, but I definitely got this vibe from the whole situation.
Regardless, hypocritical insincerity and rigid conformity of the other characters up to this point are contrasted splendidly by the appearance of the unruly and rebellious Tom Paris. In many ways this is Rober Duncan McNeill's episode, since it reveals the most about his character and since it is he who ultimately saves the day. When we first see him, he has become a caricature of himself as he was at the beginning of the series -- and it's great to see some more of cavalier, cynical, antisocial Tom Paris from the beginning of Season 1. This scene includes a neat little reference to DS9 and also poignantly shows us, in "It's a Wonderful Life" style, the sad fate that would've befallen Tom Paris had he not met Harry Kim and been stranded on Voyager.
Indeed, it was a selfless interest to protect the young, naive Ensign Kim from being cheated which originally pulled Tom out of his self-absorbed cynical wallowing -- and in this episode it happens again, as an even more cynical and hard-bitten Tom Paris is once again redeemed by his sympathy for Harry Kim's plight. The best thing about the episode is the way it suggests that, even in a different lifetime on another world, Tom and Harry were destined to become best friends. Anyone who has ever had a friend who is like a brother will be moved by the moment when Harry, betrayed by the people he trusted and hunted animal by Starfleet security, is saved by an intervening fist thrown by the bar-brawler Paris which decks the Starfleet cop.
The technical details of the return home flight are irrelevant -- I actually applaud this episode for keeping the technobabble to a minimum by having it casually summarized by the entertaining and likable Cosimo character. It's not important that we know how or why any of it works -- what's important is how it affects the drama, how it pushes goodie-goodie Kim to defy everything he was taught to follow out of loyalty to his shipmates, and how it further cements the bond between Harry and Tom. The very exciting action climax neatly ties us back to the almost-forgotten ghost voice of Captain Janeway in the opening moments of the show, as Tom takes his greatest risk yet and actually gets killed trying to return Harry to his timeline.
When we finally see the Voyager bridge, like Harry we feel comforted by the familiar setting and are glad to be back. This ultimately explains why Harry would rather be on Voyager: his old life was hollow and phony, and he has only truly found himself in the comaradarie on Voyager. There is a nice little acknowledgement of his debt of gratitude to alternate-timeline Tom, and his faith in his friend is doubly renewed by the knowledge that even in an alternate reality, his friend comes through for him.
Trust and loyalty are the main themes of this show: the way Harry's girlfriend, his colleague and his superiors on Earth are untrustworthy and don't trust him, and the way he trusts his friends on Voyager and they trust him, even to the point of risking death -- Tom risking death to save Harry, and Harry risking his career and death in order to be back fighting shoulder to shoulder with his comrades lost in space.
"Non Sequitur" is one of Voyager's best episodes and in many ways acts as a dry run to the even more dramatic Season 5 episode "Timeless," which also features uses the character of Harry Kim to surprisingly dramatic effect and ends in a shuttle explosion resetting a fatal timeline. The atmosphere is very subtly dystopian, the show builds sympathy for its main character through isolation and confusion, there are some great guest appearances, the music is uniformly excellent, the whole story is intense and dreamlike, and it builds to a very tense conclusion which affirms some great things about the characters.
Four stars in my book.
Thu, Apr 25, 2013, 5:25pm (UTC -5)
As V_is_for_Voyager mentioned, Tom risked his life and his freedom to rescue Harry, and also to return Harry to his time-line. The final scene where Harry basically acknowledges what a great friend Tom is, I often found moving.
Anyways this is basically entertainment, and on that purpose this episode does the job well. I would give it 3 stars.
Mon, May 13, 2013, 6:30am (UTC -5)
"I agree Jammer nitpicks this episode unfairly (in a way he would never do for DS9, I might add!)."
NO FUCKING KIDDING!!! The way Jammer criticizes episodes like "Time's Arrow" & "A Fistful of Datas" while basically drooling over "Past Tense" & "Our Man Bashir," episodes which tell the SAME DAMN STORY, is just sick.
Mon, May 13, 2013, 2:51pm (UTC -5)
Come on, dude. Jammer clearly prefers DS9 to the other series, and his reviews show that. But you know what? That's fine -- this is an opinion site.
It's far from sick that he expresses his opinions.
Thu, May 23, 2013, 4:17pm (UTC -5)
you are more subtle than most trolls here. Comparing two TNG turds to good DS9 should get you attention.
Wed, May 29, 2013, 9:29am (UTC -5)
I'll keep that in mind if & when I compare 2 TNG turds to good DS9
Thu, Sep 5, 2013, 4:07pm (UTC -5)
What I don't understand is Harry's lack of intelligence in discerning just what the hell happened to him. He thinks holodeck, he thinks hallucination, but he doesn't consider alternate reality until much later than I think he should.
Fri, Sep 13, 2013, 1:49pm (UTC -5)
I'm going to be the first to point out it's preposterous for a Lt and Ens to be designing starships on their own...
Would have also been cool to see what decision in Harry's life caused this reality. Did Harry lose a coin toss to Byrd? But that's a bit too TNG's "TAPESTRY"...
Aside from the ending not living up to the rest of the episode, I enjoyed it very much; I liked seeing life in 24th Century San Francisco. It deserves more than 2 stars. For much of the first couple of acts I was convinced aliens had created this from Harry's mind to get him to solve the secrets of dilithium fracture, or he was in a parallel universe. Great stuff.
Sat, Feb 1, 2014, 7:46am (UTC -5)
If anything, Jammer is being generous about the acting. I couldn't believe how ridiculous everyone came across. Most of the time I felt I was watching actors playing make-believe than characters in a story. Felt more like that than anything I've watched in a long time (and I watch tons of TOS). Harry sounds like a kid pretending to be some sooper-serious action hero. His fiancee sounds like a different person in each scene until it's time for some emotion (which is when she sounds like an android falling apart).
I thought there'd be an extra-cool explanation for Harry's situation to justify the fakeness of it all, but no. Only explanation I see is very bad writing served up with mediocre acting and direction. Sometimes Trek has a neat idea that burns up in the atmosphere or plows into the ground. Either way, the failure is spectacular. This episode is a neat idea that just slowly evaporates before your eyes (if you can keep 'em open). One star.
Sat, Feb 1, 2014, 6:32pm (UTC -5)
Nice work Ken. Roddenberry's future isn't unreasonable, it's necessary.
Thu, Feb 27, 2014, 7:56am (UTC -5)
As far as Star Trek's economy, it is presumably quite different than the economy of today. What not using money means isn't clear, and that probably is for the best.
Tue, Mar 4, 2014, 1:57pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Mar 4, 2014, 2:01pm (UTC -5)
Sun, Jul 20, 2014, 9:09pm (UTC -5)
Anyway, whoa that's a harsh rating. Watching Voyager from the beginning I found this one quite good. It goes off the rails towards the end but I still found it pretty satisfying.
Mon, Jul 21, 2014, 7:41am (UTC -5)
I guess I'll have to go and watch this one again. I don't remember it being as Jammer reviews.
Let true Capitolism run. all those "problems" you list are caused by progressive governments "helping" and "protecting" everyone.
Gene's "utopia" was created when the US began it's "war of poverty". It's all liberal think tank crap that has no real application on real life. We (the US) has spent over 1 trillion dollars on this stupid war and the numbers reflect it has had no impact what-so-ever.
Mon, Jul 21, 2014, 7:50am (UTC -5)
And Star Trek was created in the middle of the Cold War. Being a socialist could get you incarcerated fairly easy. Gene's was definitely not a vision which jelled with the Zeitgeist
Mon, Jul 21, 2014, 8:12am (UTC -5)
Literally we're talking there is unlimited land (at least the amount of jackasses that get their own colonies across the stars would suggest that) and most goods can be replicated at the press of a button.
Mon, Jul 21, 2014, 8:15am (UTC -5)
Mon, Jul 21, 2014, 11:30pm (UTC -5)
I'll have to rewatch it (not sure if that's a good thing or not haha), but they way I remember the episode playing out, Harry had way more chemistry with Tom than with his beard in San Francisco.
Mon, Jul 21, 2014, 11:46pm (UTC -5)
As for Corey and Elliot, capitalism isn't what we have right now. It's hardly unregulated and is nothing even close to what capitalism is. There is so much regulation, from both right and the left (even more from the right under Bush) that one could hardly call it capitalism. Every year, the state gets bigger and bigger. There's nothing capitalistic about what we have right now, so if you think capitalism is at fault, you're criticizing the wrong thing. This is not capitalism.
Tue, Jul 22, 2014, 12:43am (UTC -5)
Tue, Aug 19, 2014, 9:47pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Aug 19, 2014, 10:18pm (UTC -5)
When I refer to capitalism, and I am referring to Laissez-faire capitalism where the markets are not controlled by governments and there is a respect for property rights.
Wed, Aug 20, 2014, 11:52am (UTC -5)
That's exactly what I mean by "faith-based economic system"; the market is not a god or a being which can decide things, it is a system of controlling the distribution of wealth. When the system is nominally free of regulation (laissez-faire), those who already have accumulated wealth are free to direct the markets in their own favour, artificially increasing both their wealth and power, thus, ironically, making the whole system really very un-free for the majority of people. Also, "consensual trading" is not capitalism. Trading with consent means that each individual assigns an arbitrary value to his goods for the purpose of trade. Capitalism uses currency whose value is determined by a complicated set of market factors, none of which require the consent of anyone but a few cronies at the top.
Regulating capitalism (known as the social market) prevents this kind of corruption; limiting the freedom of those who would stand to become exorbitantly wealthy at the expense of the majority, but expanding economic freedom to the vast majority. Freedom is not absolute, it is a compromise.
Sat, Aug 30, 2014, 9:32pm (UTC -5)
"Harry is always talking about how much he wants to go home."
I haven't seen this one in a while. Did Harry even take the opportunity to visit his parents?
Sat, Nov 15, 2014, 1:15pm (UTC -5)
I agree with Carbetarian, this should definitely have been a Tom Paris episode. Back in Caretaker, I noticed how smoothly Paris moved into the role of being Janeway's go-to guy after the disaster struck (Tuvok of course was still with Chakotay). I assumed this was meant to show that the uncaring rogue persona he showed off was not actually who he truly was. It was simply him giving up on life. Beforehand, he didn't consider himself worthy of a second chance, and thus never tried to get on with his life. But when disaster struck, he stepped up to the plate, and the second chance he never strove for was given to him, and he presumably acknowledged it without thinking about it. His role on Voyager is the true Tom Paris. The bar crawling punk in France is the Paris who never gave up.
And let's face it, he was far more interesting in this episode than Harry was. So why not make him the focus? Tom wakes up in France, une belle femme at his side, and wonders what the heck is going on. The woman doesn't seem to care about him and leaves after getting angry at his confused nature, and Tom moves out into 24th century France. A friend finds him and they go to play pool or whatever. Tom initially enjoys it, but eventually gets bored and tries to find out what's going on. The alien meets up with him and explains. The timestream screwed up, and now Tom never went on Voyager. He's living his life in France, hustling visitors in pool, drinking away his welfare checks (or whatever; I'm not getting into the silliness of Federation economy), and hitting on the ladies. This is the life he chose for himself, it's an easy life, and he might as well enjoy it.
But Tom comes to discover that he doesn't enjoy it. He is surprised at this; after all, this is what he likes doing in his downtime on Voyager. He realizes he enjoyed being part of the team, of accomplishing something. And he wants to do that again. He doesn't want to return to Voyager yet; why would he? The only friend he has there at this point is Harry, and that simply isn't worth all the danger and rough life. He wants both: the bar in Marseilles, and the feeling of having a meaning to his life.
So he tries. He considers rejoining Starfleet, but the admissions officers laugh at him. He tries to become a civilian pilot, but gets rejected by everyone he applies to. After all, they can check out his biography: major error in Starfleet, lied about it, washed out there, joined the Maquis, screwed up there, went to prison, then just became a barfly. Nobody knows what he knows, that he was a respected bridge officer on Voyager, a key member of the crew, and working that job admirably despite the danger and stress of being the only ship in the quadrant. Nobody gives him the second chance he needs. Before, he might have been able to find one. But after a year of lazing around in France, the galaxy's opinion of him is final.
The best he's able to get is a job shuttling cargo between the Earth and the moon. Boring as hell. Not at all what he thinks he is qualified for, not at all what he thinks he can contribute. But he lost his chance at a second chance here, and that's the best he can get. In despair, he returns to the alien and asks if there is any way of getting back home. The alien mentions the possibility of recreating the accident, so on his next shuttle run, Tom veers off course, yadda yadda yadda, makes it back home. Hooray!
Is that a bit derivative of Tapestry? Perhaps. But frankly, that plot line fits Paris much better than it does Picard, and other than the lack of Q quips, this episode could have been much better than Tapestry. But what did we get instead?
What did we get? Did we learn anything about Harry Kim? Did we examine his character? Was he forced to struggle with a difficult decision? No! The first 2/3 of the episode was about him trying to figure out what happened. But he never does, and it's all just explained to him by the resident helpful alien. And as glad as I was that there wasn't gobs of technobabble in the explanation, for all the buildup of what happened to him, the answer was, well, a weird accident. So why was it such a huge focus of the episode? Then the last third is the dramatic attempt to get home. Lots of action, but ultimately meaningless.
Notice what's missing? The decision by Kim to go home. We don't know why he made the decision to leave his ideal life on Earth behind. After all, the best explanation he gives is that Tom is miserable in this timeline, and he gives that explanation to his fiancee as a reason to make her miserable (no wonder people claim Harry is secretly gay for Tom; he clearly cares more about Paris than his fiancee in this episode). And then he just says that he has to do this with no explanation. Why? Because the plot demands it. Who cares if it's realistic for the character or not?
That's not to say this episode couldn't have been done with Kim's character. But I think the "mystery" of what happened needed to be shrunken considerably to allow time for Harry to actually make a decision. We needed to see why Kim would prefer to return to Voyager. Unfortunately, we see nothing.
A lot of people complain about Voyager's lack of story arcs or pressing the reset button or losing out on the dark possibilities of the Maquis crew or having the ship slowly fall apart or having mutinies on board or whatever. Some of that stuff doesn't bother me too much. Voyager doesn't need story arcs, and the lack of spaceports doesn't necessarily mean that hostilities would abound on board the ship. But stuff like this annoys me. They had an interesting what if concept, but then had no idea how to handle it. Instead of a classic, we got a routine, boring little episode of fluff. It's just going through the motions and missing out on the possibility of excellence.
Fri, Mar 13, 2015, 3:50pm (UTC -5)
Lurking and reading these reviews and comments has shown me that I rarely agree with Elliot's comments regarding the quality (or lack there of) of Voyager/DS9, but reading the above arguments about economics and specifically capitalism has reminded me that despite how I view myself a a "mindful" person, I am still subject to common human psychological tendencies that I strive to be above, in this case, developing feelings about and judging someone based on a tiny sample of their behavior (comments about Star Trek reviews). Not to say I had strong feelings either way but I did have *some* feelings so it was a bit of a surprise to see him say something in a debate that almost took the words out of my mouth, and was pleasantly intruiging and had me thinking about the above, and my own sillyness in not checking that tendency to develop even a small amount of animosity for someone based on disagreements about which Star Trek is better.
Fri, Mar 13, 2015, 4:22pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Jul 28, 2015, 12:33pm (UTC -5)
Free markets are the answer... BUT, before all you commies hit your head on the ceiling... the banking system does need regulation. Especially since it's all numbers now.
Communism, Socialism. dictatorships never work, never have. It's a pipe dream promulgated by those in power to justify confiscating other people's property and to maintain their power. Then of course, as history tells us, when the "subjects" under a dictatorship become vocal, they are just eliminated.
Gene's money free utopia is impossible without replicator technology and not even practiced between members of the almighty Federation.
But back to this episode, the only redeeming factor, or character building part, is that Harry gets to learn more about Tom's character without the real Tom knowing about it.
Other than that this is a snooze fest.
Wed, Jul 29, 2015, 7:28am (UTC -5)
Truer words were never spoken, this conversation may be more interesting than the episode!
"Gene's money free utopia is impossible without replicator"
While I will agree with that, in a post scarcity economy (enough land/food for everyone), everyone should have all basic needs met by the government and work should be for luxuries.
I take the mid-way approach whereby the free market is good but what people should be working for are improvements to their free time, not basic needs. IE free market encourages innovation, but it's not acceptable to say that you don't deserve food/shelter/clothing because you can't find a good enough job. For me the socialism vs free market is a cocktail... the thing to argue about is the percentages.
The only thing that'd fail as hard as 100% socialism is 100% free market (although you do admit you want regulation, so you clearly agree with me). As China gets bigger on the world stage it loses some % of socialism too. I don't know what the "correct" mix is, but due to the wealth gap in this country I don't think we currently have it.
Wed, Jul 29, 2015, 8:46am (UTC -5)
Good to chat with you again. It's been awhile. :-)
I will say that our economy is a mixture, but we all see where that's going. No one was punished for the 2008 bubble burst (just how the hell can that happen?) and we just go deeper and deeper into debt. My argument is that while a safety net should be provided for those that actually NEED it, to say that the government should provide all basic needs is what got us into this mess. The "wealth gap" is trumpeted all around, but our poverty percentages were no better when the gap was smaller. That argument is just class warfare in my view.
Wed, Jul 29, 2015, 1:52pm (UTC -5)
Totally agree with you about poverty, but the wealth gap is more about the demise of the middle class than fixing poverty.
Sat, Oct 10, 2015, 11:58pm (UTC -5)
Right allow me to paint a picture for those of you severely lacking in imagination. Yes I'm looking at you Ken.
Every problem you can think of ultimately comes down to a lack of space and resources. Now it's clear that in a time where multiple planets have been colonised that space will not be an issue. As for resources, if we manage to crack cold fusion it will offer a practically limitless source of energy. Couple this with a form of energy matter conversion we can have a limitless amount of resources. Even if this does not happen there is still a huge amount of resources to work with, much more than we are lead to believe. Now in this future there will be super quantum computers which we can allow to manage these resources. A large portion would be dedicated to essential services and functions allowing everyone to have decent living space, food, transport etc. nobody works or does anything they dont want to do and everything remedial, right down to the postal service (joke, the postal service wouldn't exist) would be automated. So many people join the sciences because they have interest and want to better the world or help people (doctors), some people paint and make music and have sex for entertainment just because and yes some useless pricks will do nothing. These will be the "lower class" who will be ostracised because of their uselessness. This is the general structure. So lets look at something more specific, a restaurant model perhaps (whatever made me think of that). A person has a passion for food and decides he/she wants to share this with their community. They make a plan and put it forward for approval. The computer comes back and and says, census shows a demand for this service and resource drain is more than acceptable (It may say the opposite but lets speculate). Happy days says this individual I have a few friends willing to help me, we will only open 2 nights a week so no ones commits more than 12 hours, my restaurant will only seat 12 people so service isn't too stressful, and none of the usual nobby customers are complaining because it's all freeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If it is terrible then nobody comes, all parties lose interest and everything is recycled back into the system. If it is brilliant then everybody loves the idea, the person becomes a local legend and the restaurant is considered an essential service of the area. This works for anything, space, resource and demand is all that need be considered. I would go into crime and other things but I think that wlll do for now, just please try to think about these things in simple terms and don't let familiarity of this system warp you into thinking that there is no other way than a monetary system. Money is baaaaaaaaaaaaaddd MmmmmKay
Ps as someone pointed out there is nothing wrong with being slightly sauced mid afternoon just not every afternoon.
Tue, Nov 17, 2015, 5:31pm (UTC -5)
Nonetheless I have to agree this isn't one of their better outings. Can't-Get-A-Lock Kim wasn't really responding with any sense of urgency to find answers to his plight. Not the way I believe Tom would have.
In any event it would have been a lot more interesting if Tom were the one whom got stuck in this alternate timeline. And just as worse off as he is already is. Of course, that probably would have compelled the alien to try to send him back sooner rather than "wait things out". In Kim's case it looked like he had it pretty good actually. Still would have made for a more interesting ep either way, if for no other reason just to see how things would have turned out watching Paris trying to get out of a downward spiral he suddenly found himself in.
I liked Jennifer Gatti. For some reason she reminds me vaguely of Heather Langenkamp. When this aired it was the first time I had seen her, admittedly. I didn't watch Next Gen in its original airing. So I didn't catch her performance in the Birthright 2-parter till 12 years after its airing. Not that it saved this episode from what it was.
I wouldn't have given this one more than 1 and a half stars. Alternate timeline stories have been done much better. Like Next Gen's Parallels or Tapestry. This was at least a step up from Threshold. But I thought Demon was better than this. You were a half star more decent than I would have been, Jammer...wherever ye are...
Sun, Dec 20, 2015, 2:28pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Dec 29, 2015, 7:59pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Dec 31, 2015, 3:32am (UTC -5)
Sat, Jan 9, 2016, 12:40pm (UTC -5)
It's a fairly hokey premise - that requires the hokiest of plot hooks, the guardian alien - but could have been made to work except for a desperately dull and leaden performance and a story that seems to take ages to get anywhere. I'd agree that deadbeat Tom would have been a better lead - earnest Harry just doesn't work when all he seems to want to do is get away from everything he wants to get back to. To return is a perfectly valid story conclusion - but to barely address why you'd want to is an omission in my book. 2 stars.
Tue, Mar 15, 2016, 12:14am (UTC -5)
Tue, Mar 15, 2016, 8:07am (UTC -5)
Tue, Mar 15, 2016, 10:23am (UTC -5)
And he couldn't send them back because he was too weak, even if he didn't find any viable candidates on board.
More likely I would imagine that in the alternate timeline only Torres would've been sent to the Ocampa (and possibly somebody else from Voyager if there was another match in crew that was only there in the alternate timeline but we can't know that and it's moot anyways), and the dying caretaker still wouldn't have sent anybody back.
Tue, Mar 15, 2016, 10:30am (UTC -5)
Wed, May 25, 2016, 5:37pm (UTC -5)
Also, Harry could have proved he was saying the truth by saying that he didn't know his warp theory. Think he would have embarrassed himself on purpose?
Fri, Jun 3, 2016, 8:48am (UTC -5)
Fri, Jun 3, 2016, 9:00am (UTC -5)
Tue, Jul 26, 2016, 3:50pm (UTC -5)
Kim and Paris do have chemistry but Harry feeling he has to return just feels too underdeveloped and forced rather than sincere.
Thu, Aug 11, 2016, 1:13am (UTC -5)
Sat, Aug 13, 2016, 11:28pm (UTC -5)
The episode concept doesn't work. If Harry changed the time stream (somehow), then the Harry that changed the time stream wouldn't be the one we see on Earth. The Harry who changed the flow of time would die with everyone else in that time. The Harry in the altered timeline would be an altered timeline Harry who had never been on Voyager and would have no knowledge of Voyager because he had never stepped foot on Voyager. That creates one of the episode's huge story problems. There was a Harry who became one of the greatest up and coming engineers in Starfleet, but that Harry Kim, the only one who could possibly exist in this new timeline, ceases to exist and the Harry Kim who was destroyed alongside the original timeline, somehow replaces the alternate timeline Harry Kim even though that that is impossible. Either only the alternate timeline Harry Kim would exist or both Harry Kims would exist simultaneously. But it is completely impossible for original Harry Kim to replace alternate timeline Harry Kim.
The Voyager writers will make the exact same mistake when Kes travels backwards in time. Kes wouldn't be taking the guise of the younger Keses, she would exist alongside the younger Keses because Kes is being sent back, but the Keses in the earlier timelines would still have to exist. In the Star Trek universe, when you travel back in time your physical body travels back in time such that you could meet your younger self and have lunch together. This is the only way that time travel could work. You can't travel back in time and be your younger self unless you transplant your soul into the body of the younger you. So both Kes and Harry Kim must run into their younger selves and when old Kes travels back in time she'd still be old. Old Kes isn't going to jump back in time and become young Kes, she'd jump back in time and SEE her younger self while still being 9 years old and on death's door. Harry would see the version of himself in the alternate timeline and everyone would look in disbelief at seeing two Harry Kims!
The story around Paris doesn't work. Paris wouldn't get into a fight with the Ferengi, he wouldn't even talk to that Ferengi. When we see Paris watching Kim getting ripped off on Deep Space Nine, he doesn't come in and violently accost the Ferengi, he coolly deflects the Ferengi as he is above the obvious Ferengi bullshit. This character isn't going to get into a fight with a Ferengi over some cheap crystals when he knows that Ferengi are full of bullshit from the getgo. Paris therefore still went with Voyager even during the alternate timeline.
Cosimo doesn't work because he contradicts himself. First he says that his people live inside the timestream and that he left the timestream to come to Earth to help Harry adapt. But then he says that he can't help Harry enter the timestream and come out at Voyager's location. If Cosimo exited the timeline at this point to help Harry adjust then his species clearly knows how to leave the timeline at a precise time and place so he clearly can help Harry get back to Voyager. This was a huge plot hole that swallowed up the episode and caused the writer's to resort to a deus ex machina. A better way to write this episode would be to have Cosimo refuse to help Harry because Cosimo is afraid that Harry in trying to get back might create an even bigger disruption in the timeline that could destroy all sentient life on Earth or something. Then Harry could partner up with Tom to try getting back into the timeline on his own because Cosimo won't help him which is why he must partner with Tom as Tom is the only capable pilot willing to work with him to help him reenter the timestream in violation of Starfleet orders.
Finally just to nitpick, when Harry refuses to continue answering questions until he is provided counsel, Starfleet had not yet formally charged Harry with any wrongdoing. That means that Starfleet could not attach an anklet to Harry and could not put him under effective house arrest. Starfleet would need to formally charge and convict Harry before they can put him under house arrest. But they had not yet even filed a complaint. And where was Harry's counsel to protest the house arrest without a charge and conviction? Why was the anklet so large? Considering the level of technology and the strength of the materials available, it is absolutely ludicrous for that anklet to be that thick.
Wed, Aug 17, 2016, 6:05pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Oct 14, 2016, 12:35pm (UTC -5)
I am so glad I'm not the only one who can't stand her! I didn't like her whiny, annoying voice or acting on the TNG episode she was in, either.
Fri, Oct 21, 2016, 4:49am (UTC -5)
Anyone else have an office at WeWork?
Fri, Nov 11, 2016, 5:31pm (UTC -5)
I really thought Harry wouldn't be able to live with himself if he didn't try to get back to Voyager, because he'd know Paris would probably end up living a sad existence, and because another person ended up on Voyager who wasn't supposed to be there. I mean, what's the worst that could happen if he failed? Oh, right, Boom. At least in this scenario.
I kept waiting for Harry to simply ask for a Vulcan mind-meld, to prove (at least to the Vulcan) that Harry was indeed from Voyager and probably needed to go back to set things straight. Or, use some of that 23'd century technology from "Wolf in the Fold" and have a computer determine if he was telling the truth. I'd have loved that. Sometimes I wonder how much Star Trek the writers had actually seen...
Have a great day... RT
Thu, Feb 2, 2017, 10:26pm (UTC -5)
I like the episode up until the last five or 10 minutes or so, not because the plot made much sense, but because I was entertained and interested. I really thought the guest star performances were good. The actor playing Cosimo gave a nuanced relaxed performance.
It's only when you start digging into the motivations of the characters that the episode really begins to break down. Have to say, knowing how much Kim misses home, it doesn't make sense to me that he would be so eager to get back to "his" reality given that everything he loves is right here in front of him and he is going well out of his way to escape it. Want to be in love with a woman, and in Kim's Place, there's no way I would leave her. Who am I hurting? And who is to say this isn't where I'm supposed to be?
I completely agree that the last five minutes would have been better used in an examination of how Kim dealt with being back on Voyager rather than the paint-by-numbers last-minute escape we've seen so many times before. Dad, I'd give us episode a 3 on my own scale. As long as I am entertained and want to know what happens at the end, the episode is worth a 3. And that's exactly how I felt here, even with all the flaws.
Thu, Feb 2, 2017, 10:29pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Mar 6, 2017, 12:51am (UTC -5)
Kim can get computer to give him classified information about Voyager, but he has to ask the restaurant guy for his own address?
The writers can come up with potentially good stories and then the writers themselves sabotage the script so much, I can’t tell. Is she a bad actress, or done in by bad writing?
Yeah, I think I’ll go check out some Flat Earth videos—even they’d have more credibility than this.
Mon, Mar 13, 2017, 1:29am (UTC -5)
- The main character played by the show's weakest actor being the center of the show.. Wang is a dud, sorry to say.
- Some awful dialog-writing.. I mean, that first conversation between Libby and Harry where he reveals the truth to her is embarrassing to watch. Kim's initial explanation for his strange behavior is three-sentence long, the Libby has the typical "if you don't love me or have doubts" emotional sentence, Kim delivers some more vague sentences, then says "trust me" to which Libby simply replies "Ok." And Harry leaves. Just an "Ok"??? Never mind that the man she was planning to marry soon marry told her "none of this is supposed to happen" and that he is from another reality.. And then the dialog between Harry and Tom in Marseille (I have to disagree with Jammer about this scene), especially after Tom's "You're beginning to annoy me" line ... really? And then, the techno babble talk in the runabout for Harry to explain the plasma field release to Tom for 25 seconds while under fire.. Oh dear..
On a separate note... The ankle security for a Starfleet Officer just based on suspicion? Come on...
Wed, May 10, 2017, 8:17pm (UTC -5)
It's an entertaining episode in regards to keeping you wondering what's happening to Harry, but that's about it. The pay off isn't too great either. PS Tom Paris is Nick Locarno and always will be.
Mon, Jul 3, 2017, 11:49am (UTC -5)
Terrible episode. I hated the deus ex machina ending; when all seemed lost, it turns out aliens were monitoring and there to help all this time.
This one had an interesting premise and a better script, acting, and resolution could have saved it, but it was not to be. 1.5 stars.
Tue, Sep 5, 2017, 11:04am (UTC -5)
On the other hand, I liked the stuff with Paris -- much more, really, than almost any material with the "real" universe's Paris up to this point. He seemed to be plausibly someone who felt like his life has gone wrong and has a chip on his shoulder about it, but has mostly consigned himself to angry mediocrity rather than an over-the-top life of crime, living down to his reputation as a selfish coward and wasting his life away doing nothing. It's a pretty believable portrait of what a 24th century failure would look like -- the issue isn't really that this universe's Paris is evil or even that much of a bad boy (and he doesn't seem to be a total drunk), but that he's lonely, unhappy, unreliable, and that his potential is going completely to waste. The idea that having Kim to save from Quark's predatory con was the *one thing* which saved Paris from screwing up his life again with some petty brawl has some emotional weight and really does underline how important Kim and Paris are to each other -- Paris as someone whose life Kim was able to turn around and to also help him gain a more realistic view of the world, Kim as someone for Paris to take under his wing and also someone who treats him as the person he wants to be rather than the way his father and Starfleet as a whole sees him. Kim *does* list Paris as one of the reasons for returning to The Real reality, and again I think the episode could have either indicated that Kim sees Paris' growth as important enough to protect that he's willing to give up his cushy life which he is *tempted* to keep, or to suggest that Kim maybe sees his friendship with Paris as actually more important to him (and more important to maintain) than even his engagement to Libby.
Of course the action sequences at the end of the episode are very dumb, both the idea that Kim would be able to escape security in San Francisco, Starfleet HQ and also that he genuinely puts his faith in "recreating the shuttle accident" which Cosimo sort of shrugs and says can have any impact. It kind of hurts the episode even more. Still, I do appreciate that it's his own ship that Kim steals, and that he even uses that tetryonic radiation thing that was discussed earlier in the episode; Trek is the only thing I can think of that carefully sets up technobabble Checkov's guns, and sometimes it does so effectively.
A shaky 2 stars, mostly for Paris and some of the early Kim material.
Fri, Sep 22, 2017, 3:18am (UTC -5)
Kim wakes up in an alternate universe. What does he do? Head to Starfleet and explain what happened? No. He goes to Starfleet for a meeting he knows nothing about, then begs off as sick and leaves. Then breaks into classified files and runs off to France to find Tom, who doesn't know him, to convince Tom to go back to Starfleet with him. Wut??? None of that makes any sense.
He goes back and is taken to Starfleet (again), where he has a chance to explain, and they accuse him of being a spy and instead of insisting he is innocent, and that they investigate, he asks for a lawyer and says he isn't talking anymore. Wut??? Makes no sense.
Then he finds out that Cosimo is actually an alien sent here to make sure he's all right. Whatever that means. But he can't do anything to help him in any way. So why watch over him? What for? And if Cosimo went there at the same time Kim did, how does Cosimo know everything about him and his life? And if he went there 8 months ago, then he's just been hanging out on the corner for 8 months watching Kim? Was he going to stay there forever watching Kim? Cosimo tries to convince Kim to stay in this reality. Why? Then he gives him the coordinates for the timestream. Wut??? All nonsense.
Then Kim decides to steal a shuttle, and look who shows up just in the nick of time! It's Paris come to help 'a friend'. If you look at it from Paris's point of view here's what happened. This guy Kim, that he never met before and didn't know in the slightest, shows up in a bar acting all crazy, babbling about alternate realities, then insults him and beats him up and leaves. So of course he would travel halfway around the world to help this insane stranger. Why not? He's now his friend for some reason. Total nonsense.
So they steal an experimental shuttle from Starfleet with hardly any trouble. Apparently everyone at Starfleet are incompetent boobs. Then they fly out to this timestream thing and Paris kills himself to save this crazy stranger, that he's known for about 10 minutes. Why? Because the insane guy called him a loser and he just can't go on living? Wut? More nonsense.
Cosimo told him there was no way to predict what would happen if he went back into the timestream. He may end up a billion years in the future, or in the past, or who knows what, but of course it works perfectly and he's returned to the exact time and place he left from. Whatever.
Don't even get me started on the girlfriend. Ugh.
This episode is a giant ball of nonsense, and boring on top of that.
1/2 star from me, and it would have been zero, but Neelix isn't in it, so that's worth 1/2 a star right there.
Sun, Oct 8, 2017, 8:37pm (UTC -5)
I just have one quibble and it's just a tiny one. At the end they are in the Yellowstone - the prototype shuttle. At the beginning, they go to a design meeting. Why are they having a design meeting for something they have already built? Anyone?
Tue, Oct 10, 2017, 10:36pm (UTC -5)
It’s a prototype ship with a technical problem. But it’s a partially functioning vessel.
This episode is symptomatic of Voyager’s pathology: too quickly hitting the reset button, and little risk in characters evolving over the course of an episode or the series. Arcs are stalled.
Tue, Jan 23, 2018, 12:20am (UTC -5)
It's Wang's time to shine with Harry Kim being the main character and I have no major issues with his performance. The scenes with his woman were tedious but that's not totally Wang's fault. I liked his scenes with Paris in France and the final scene where they get Harry back to his reality was well acted although the overall likelihood that it should work out perfectly (based on the alien's warnings about the timestream) has to be minuscule.
And who is this alien with its timestreams and something going wrong when Harry's shuttle gets caught up in it? This is just arbitrary nonsense.
At least an elaborate set was built and the "run Harry run" chase scene was good. Of course, Paris pops up and slugs the Star Fleet dude at the perfect moment. Timing is everything. Or it's BS.
2 stars for "Non Sequitur" -- familiar premise but whose details are poorly conceived and it comes off as a major miracle happening. It was also quite predictable. But maybe there's something we learn about Harry Kim that he goes back to the reality that he's on Voyager so that Paris has a better future and some other dude is not stuck in the DQ. He could have stayed in his new reality and enjoyed life at Star Fleet with his boring woman. Inconsequential stuff here.
Fri, Jun 1, 2018, 1:53pm (UTC -5)
Sigh. This is just lazy world-building. But I guess I still like it, because I still watch it.
Wed, Aug 15, 2018, 7:49pm (UTC -5)
The first is very trivial, but shows a lack of continuity. That is that Harry said earlier to Paris that he has to sleep with a sleep mask to block out all light. I would think that his not wearing one in bed was the first clue that something is wrong.
The second is much more important. It's disturbing the immorality even in shows like Star Trek. Why couldn't that girl be his wife and not his fiancee? Then Harry would not have been fornicating with a woman, and rather be sleeping with his wife? It's this kind of thing that is one of the reasons I don't watch much television.
The plot elements themselves were ok. I think it was a creative idea that was well executed
Wed, Aug 15, 2018, 9:06pm (UTC -5)
I'm going to say this in all seriousness: assuming you're speaking from faith in your various comments here when you mention your religious conviction, I would like to inform you that the likeliest result of mentioning your faith *in this way* is to discredit it and make it sound dismissive and foolish. And I'm not saying that it is foolish, but this is what's going to be received. Is it your intent to convince people through these comments? If so I'll suggest that your method is counterproductive to your intent. If not...then why mention these things at all? Here's an example:
"The second is much more important. It's disturbing the immorality even in shows like Star Trek. Why couldn't that girl be his wife and not his fiancee? Then Harry would not have been fornicating with a woman, and rather be sleeping with his wife?"
Did it occur to you that the reason is because the writer doesn't share your beliefs and doesn't see it as immoral? That there is literally no good reason for someone who doesn't agree with you to have foreseen your objection and write it differently (or to want to)?
But let me try another tack while I'm at it. If your problem is sexual immorality, you might want to consider that by writing in that they value marriage we're already talking about a situation better - by your standard - than the newly popular notion that marriage doesn't mean very much and isn't really the natural 'end-point' of a relationship any more.
I'll say this too, without any irony: if you believe strongly in certain values and are unhappy that they aren't portrayed on TV then maybe you should be taking steps to try to create artistic material that's both quality and moral in your view. Not a joke - if you don't like what you're seeing it's up to you to try to put something better out there. If not you, then who? I say this as an artist, so this isn't armchair advice.
Wed, Aug 15, 2018, 9:38pm (UTC -5)
I appreciate what you are saying. And you are right that a lot of people will not agree with the assessment given. Rather than create fiction to mass produce, I use my time in a ministry preaching to people about the bible's promises for the future (not here on an online forum, I am speaking of what I do "in the real world")
That said though, I can not ignore such things in my assessment. And religious beliefs aside, and even putting aside whether people follow God's word, the bible or not, seeing the rise of divorce, the increase in general relationship unhappiness (as can be seen by the rise in such things as counseling, self-help, and other things created to fix relationships), the failure of such "free love" seems evident to me.
Among people of my religion, the divorce rate is MUCH lower than the world average, and by following the bible's counsel, we have much happier relationships where people work on the bumps in marriage rather than moving on to the next one. This is not to say that we are better than anyone else, because we're not. It is just that following the Guidebook to life produces better, happier results.
Yes, they do value marriage in that they are getting married, but again, by entering into marriage without engaging in sex, the marriage will be stronger and more binding
Thu, Aug 16, 2018, 1:16am (UTC -5)
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, 12:51am (UTC -5)
Of course, I can only go by what I have seen, and that is a small number of people, but from what I have seen the couples in my congregation, and among surrounding congregations are generally happier than the people I have worked with who seem to not be happy in their relationships, and/or are unhappy now that they are out of relationships.
Think of it as a warranty. The Hyundai in my opinion is not the best automobile out there (but certainly not the worst), yet the 100k mile warranty gives people the assurance and security of knowing that their car will be covered (in powertrain at least) for far longer than standard 36k warranties) If both mates are working towards the goal of strengthening their marriage rather than having the attitude of when the going gets tough, we can dissolve everything, there is that security.
Besides which, we are taught not only to stay in a marriage, but also how to resolve differences and strengthen the marriage bond. I find this to be a great example of what I mean:
This is just a small sampling
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, 9:54am (UTC -5)
"That said though, I can not ignore such things in my assessment. And religious beliefs aside, and even putting aside whether people follow God's word, the bible or not, seeing the rise of divorce, the increase in general relationship unhappiness (as can be seen by the rise in such things as counseling, self-help, and other things created to fix relationships), the failure of such "free love" seems evident to me."
If there are real-world pragmatic reasons for your views then that is all the more reason to use real-world pragmatic analysis of a non-religious TV show. It should be judged on what it's trying to do from its point of view, not from yours. I see this as similar to watching an action movie and criticizing the fact that people in it kill others, which is wrong. I mean, sure, it is, but one undermines the premise of the material to suppose that the thing being headlined is immoral and therefore they've made a mistake. No, it's no mistake that action movies have violence, and if that's offputting (for example) then one would be well advised to avoid that kind of material. Similarly, Trek is clearly about the advance of secular humanism and certain classically liberal values, one of which is non-judgementalism in the realm of people's sexual relationships. It's simply wrong-headed to watch media of that sort and then critique sexual immorality.
That strays anyhow from my original point, which is that I truly believe posting pronouncements from on high on an internet forum is going to cast your religion in a poor light, and certainly not a good one. I don't know what you think you're helping in making these kinds of statements. You're absolutely free to, but I just wanted to advise that I think you're hurting rather than helping your cause.
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, 12:20pm (UTC -5)
I do understand what you are saying, but I do not have an off-switch as far as religion. My faith in God is an integral part of my life. And yes, that is why I am very selective in the films I watch. I do not watch violent or sexual media for instance. Star Trek is typically not like that (it does not glorify violence, nor does it usually have sexually immoral overtones-at least not the series I watch. I think I saw the first couple episodes of the new series, and stopped watching it.
And you may be right about a lot of people seeing religion in a poor light, but as long as it is possible that one person (or more) consider the statement, then I don't feel it is in vain. Even again, in the 'real world', many do spurn our ministry, but not all
Besides which, I have seen some truly bizarre opinions on this forum (I don't know how some people watch a fantasy show and get into a political debate of all things for instance), so I do not think what I said can be unwelcome.
I do appreciate your comment, though, Peter. I can see it is not meant mockingly, and is well-thought out.
I may not always have time to respond promptly. As I said, my time is limited. I am a photography by trade, and that coupled with my religious duties, I really have to budget my time. I've just been rewatching Star Trek for the first time since it came out (for DS9 & Voyager. I didn't see all of Enterprise on it's first run), and found this forum
Sun, Oct 28, 2018, 10:54pm (UTC -5)
Back to the episode for a moment: I agree with those who think this would have been a lot better if the writers had bothered to show us a reason for Harry to go "home" to Voyager.
Tue, Oct 30, 2018, 6:08pm (UTC -5)
I loved how the episode didn't make it easy for him to want to leave. There was nothing sinister at all about the altered reality, and the people he encountered were genuine. It was a noble thing for him to do, because he knew the altered reality was not fair to his friends and he had strong hope that he would return in the non-altered reality. He did some good thinking in the end to return back and the altered reality Paris acted heroically. What a poignant thing to say for that Paris to say that he'd rather live a reality where he didn't end up being a bum.
The episode kept me guessing all the way what would happen. Hooray for a view of what a future San Francisco might look. Not too futuristic, still recognizable - a nice touch. And boo to a suggestion of an episode focusing instead on Paris as the drunk and wanting to return. Boo, how predictable a story-line would that be.
Mon, Nov 5, 2018, 6:08pm (UTC -5)
Harry Kim is seen sleeping with the sunlight on his face (doesn't harry sleep blind-folded?), while Janeway's frantic voice is heard calling to him and slowly fades away. Hers is replaced by the voice of a woman who awakens next to him, whom Harry calls “Libby” (c.f. “Time and Again”) and a glance out the window reveals that he is in San Francisco. Voyager really does have a talent for snappy teasers.
Act 1 : *.5, 17%
Harry is naturally confused, but his girlfriend just shoves him into the closet [I will not make gay jokes] and tells him to put his uniform on. He has an important meeting this morning. So Harry, dutiful boy that he is, just puts on his uniform as ordered...and finally begins questioning Libby about these odd circumstances. Being a recent Starfleet graduate, he ticks off the list of likely sci-fi bullshit that might be happening here; he's not moved through time, he's not hallucinating, he's not in a holodeck. He's odd (and woodenly-delivered) questions prompt Libby to give us a bit of an AQ update (besides that whole peace with the Klingons dissolving). A memorial for the Voyager (presumed destroyed) was held some time around “Cathexis.” One of the crew, Danny Byrd, was a friend of Harry's. Because this is fiction, instead of behaving like normal people, Libby just kind of brushes off Harry's insane comments and leaves the room, while Harry asks the audience “what is going on?”
Well, Harry takes a little stroll through the Paramount lot...I mean, the streets of San Francisco. He is greeted by name by a coffee-man with a cartoon accent who hands him his usual “Vulcan mocha, extra sweet.” First of all, I'm willing to bet the reason Janeway never promotes this guy is because he takes his coffee like a 14-year-old girl. Second, naming this Starbucks abomination after the Vulcans is just cruel. He too knows about Harry's meeting, filling him in on further details; Harry's big meeting is about a new ship he's designing. Also, Libby is now his fiancée. He's pulled away by another gold-shirt who insists on dragging him to this meeting because Harry is too dumb to think of an excuse not to.
The two gold-shirts seat themselves across from a panel of stuffy admirals. They are supposed to be explaining how they've solved some tech problem with this new ship, but of course, Harry has no idea what this thing even is. The head admiral, last seen as a Romulan in “Visionary” who looks like a toad, enters and makes stereotypical stuffy admiral comments, prompting Harry's new buddy, Lasca, to begin the presentation. Lasca talks up the new design, but Admiral Toadface is skeptical over the tech subspace nonsense that this ship would incur. Lasca introduces him to the promising young engineer, Ensign Harry Kim, to explain how they've solved this problem. Garret Wang then makes hammy uncomfortable faces for the camera.
Act 2 : *.5, 17%
Harry decides to postpone the meeting, citing illness. Admiral Toadface regrets that it will have to wait until he returns from his tour of the Cardassian border. Lasca isn't pleased, but whatever, Harry has bigger problems, which he insists on self-narrating while he tours his own office. He pulls up his service record and learns that his request to be assigned to the Voyager was denied, leading him to the Starfleet engineering corps. Further digging reveals that information on the Voyager is also classified due to its covert mission.
Harry returns to the coffee shoppe because...anyway, the coffee-man (Cosimo) thinks he's there for some afternoon delight with Libby, but Harry doesn't know where he lives, so Cosimo fills him in. Harry doesn't question how his barista knows his apartment number because...[I will not male gay jokes]. Before Harry heads home, Cosimo makes sure to remind him that life is good—he has success in his job, a fiancée, friends...maybe Harry shouldn't be looking a gift horse in the mouth.
I guess it took him 3 hours to walk up to the fourth floor os his building, because when he enters his apartment, the sun is setting. Libby greets him fresh out of the shower. What follows is a scene that tries so very hard to be about something. Jennifer Gatti (whom we last saw as Bile in the execrable “Birthright”) gives such a poor performance that inexperienced Wang has very little to work with. After the stilted dialogue, Harry decides, what the hell, I'll sleep with with my fiancée. There's a brief cut to the Golden Gate Bridge and a fog horn because San Francisco™, then we see Harry leave Libby to sleep off the eight months of pent up sexual frustration he's accumulated (well, except for those nights with Tom an—nope. I will NOT make gay jokes). Harry takes a little tour of his own life, fingering his clarinet (ahem), and checking through those classified Voyager records. He finally notes that Paris, speak of the devil, did not make it aboard either. Instead, he was recently paroled and made his way back to Marseilles (c.f. “The Cloud”).
His activity wakens Libby, who decides that now is the right time to confront him about his odd behaviour. Erm. Okay. Anyway, Harry tries to explain to her what he thinks is going on, but manages to phrase his explanation so ambiguously that Libby thinks he's trying to tell her he doesn't want to get married. [facepalm] Harry has determined that his best course of action is to find Tom [I will not make gay jokes] instead of...going to Starfleet HQ maybe and telling them what the fuck is going on? Oh and you've got to love this example of Star Trek comedy:
KIM: I've got to see Paris.
LIBBY: But you just said you were going to Marseilles.
So we cut to France—in which is somehow also nighttime—specifically, to the real Sandrine's, where Harry (back in uniform for no reason) finds Tom within seconds. Well good.
Act 3 : **.5, 17%
A drunk and scruffy Tom explains that the events of “Caretaker” happened slightly differently than in the way we know. Without Harry there to be naïve, Tom ended up getting into a fight with Quark somehow before Odo threw him in jail. Despite Paris' extreme usefulness to Janeway's mission, Sisko apparently saw no reason to have him released and so the Voyager left without him. Somehow, it still got thrown to the DQ, despite the fact that there was no Tom Paris to direct it towards the Maquis stronghold. Harry tries to explain the plot to his paramour and asks him to try and help set things right. Paris just laughs at him and refuses. There are some problems with the dialogue, but the scene is actually not too bad. Wang and MacNeil have excellent chemistry, and the exploration of Tom's character is most welcome, having not done much with it in Season 1. Harry leaves his drunk friend on the pool table when he tries to throw a punch and returns to California, disappointed. Ah...but we see that Cosimo is here as well, dressed in a beret because Ho ho ho this is France, mes amoureux.
At home, Harry is greeted by Lasca and a couple of armed Starfleet security guards. Lasca explains that accessing the classified Voyager files has raised some suspicion on him. So naturally, instead of beaming to France or calling him into HQ, Starfleet figured the most pragmatic course was to have these men sit with Libby in their apartment until morning. Yeah.
So, Harry is brought before a sarcastic Admiral Toadface, and finally explains himself. Toadface isn't hearing it, in light of Harry's recent meeting with the “convicted traitor and Maquis sympathiser.” The Admiral thinks he's a Maquis spy, running reverse intelligence on the Voyager's mission. So, they have a tracking anklet fastened to him—meaning he can't even take his pants off until the investigation concludes. Yeah, that's Starfleet—and is dimsmissed.
Act 4 : **, 17%
Coffee-man Cosimo sits Harry down in his shoppe to explain everything. Seriously. He not only explains the entire technobabble premise of the episode (something about crossing the time streams and altering reality—oh and he's some sort of magical alien guardian), but also hands the reset button to Harry. He repeats his point from before, asking Harry why he would be so quick to exchange this new reality for being lost and alone in the Delta Quadrant. Harry's answer is...interesting.
KIM: What about Danny Byrd? He isn't so lucky. And Tom Paris? Fate wasn't so kind to him. No, it isn't supposed to be this way. I'm supposed to be on Voyager in the Delta Quadrant.
Harry returns home with techo-solution in hand and begins tampering with his anklet. Libby confronts him for another annoying conversation. If you can look past the truly atrocious acting (not easy), we do learn a couple of things about Harry. It took him weeks to ask her out—a sign of his extreme introversion. He insists that doing the obvious thing, accepting the change to the timeline and settling in on Earth, as he presumably would have tried to do after the Voyager's original mission was completed, is “not him.” After opening this intriguing character door, however, Harry gives absolutely no reason WHY he just *is* like this. What exactly has changed for Harry since “Eye of the Needle,” when he was willing to jump back 20 years in time to get back home?
Well anyway, Harry's tampering triggers Starfleet which beams security guards right into his apartment. Um...what kind of Orwellian nightmare has Earth been turned into that this total disrespect for privacy and autonomy? I think maybe Admiral Satie has been hard at work ever since the the incident in “The Adversary.” This leads into the god-damned action scene, which is horribly anachronistic. I mean...the director has put a lot of effort into making the scenes engaging (not so for the composer), but seeing Starfleet officers chase each other down fire escapes and what not is just...weird. Well, luckily, Paris has made his way to San Francisco to repay Harry for the punch, knocking out the security officer and providing his usual quippy remarks.
Act 5 : *, 17%
Tom has decided that Harry's brief description of his alternative life on the Voyager sounds better than the one he's leading, so he's agreed to help him out. Oh, and he has a sight-to-sight transporter hidden up his ass. The things you learn in prison... So, they beam into Harry's office because Brannon Braga doesn't know how to pace his stories properly. Then they beam away yet again, this time to that experimental runabout alt-Harry designed. Wait a minute...so they BUILT Harry's ship before they finished correcting the tech nonsense problem from act 1? Sigh...
So the runabout escapes the Dyson Sphere, I mean whatever space port they're in. Starfleet sends a ship after them leading to an inevitable core breach...the subspace nonsense allows them to pull a “Generations”-style whatever to slow down the other ship...cliché action nonsense...we gloss over the fact that Harry was on a shuttle mission BY HIMSELF for no reason...emergency transport...things blow up...and we're back in the DQ. The action scene inexplicably CONTINUES with the bridge crew shouting nonsense at each other. The shuttle explodes (twice in as many episodes, now) and they save Kim. Harry arrives on the bridge and makes homoerotic comments to Paris, and the end.
Episode as Functionary : **, 10%
As I noted in my Season 1 writeup, Harry hasn't really changed since the pilot. “Emanations” utilised Harry as a plot device (and a good one) but didn't ask many questions about him as a character, and failed to give him and Chakotay some dialogue that would have provided him some depth. So, besides the fact that he likes to play Beowulf and fall out of gondolas, who the hell is Harry Kim?
While the bones of this story are alright, Braga seems more interested in exploring sci-fi nonsense than in exploring the characters, something Harry desperately needs. In this respect, I'm reminded of “Parallels,” and episode I kind of hate, but which others seem to enjoy. Likewise, that story was more about the what-if alternate timeline stuff than about Worf as a person. This episode's saving grace is the friendship between Harry and Kim. I realise it was basically impossible in 1995, but in all seriousness, if there had been a way to make these two a couple, I think it could have worked marvellously for the show. We see that Tom instinctually seems to recognise that Harry is good for him, that he brings out his better qualities. Given the anaemic Libby/Harry relationship, it also seems Harry is motivated by being the kind of person who makes others their best selves. I don't think Braga realised what he was doing here, but in rejecting the comfortable, balanced life he could have had in San Francisco for the one in which a very flawed Paris finds that he has untapped potential partially through their friendship, Harry is *attracted* to suffering. I don't mean this as a criticism. Some people really do gravitate towards the broken to try and heal them. Harry has a greater purpose on the Voyager than he would designing spacecraft and marrying an ostensibly put-together woman. Food for thought as we move forward.
Overall, despite some interesting ideas that can be teased out of the Kim/Paris relationship, the premise is very under-utilised, the acting mostly horrible, and the pacing unpleasant.
Final Score : **
Mon, Nov 5, 2018, 6:19pm (UTC -5)
HARRY: I like it. It reminds me of when I was in my mother's womb.
LIBBY: That is the strangest thing I have ever heard and if you do not take it off immediately I am leaving.
Mon, Nov 5, 2018, 6:32pm (UTC -5)
lol Getting Œdipal with Harry Kim is a dangerous game.
LIBBY: Do you always think about your mother's womb when we're in bed together?
KIM: Well, if I don't I seem to have these nightmares where vampire women beat me with large phalluses.
KIM: One time, this girl transported me 40,000 lightyears away to a planet with Viagra in the wind, and I didn't even kiss her!
KIM: I swear, my love, if I ever fell for another woman, I would ask my Vulcan friend to teach me how to suppress all of my emotio--
LIBBY: Just put the god-damned blind fold back on, Harry.
Fri, Jan 11, 2019, 7:41pm (UTC -5)
But not only did the Cosimo reveal seem highly implausible, the rest of the episode started to tank. I liked the interaction with Paris, but was stunned that Earth has become some sort of Stalinist police state! On top of that, the whole ankle security bracelet and chase scene just seemed totally out if place. Then there’s the stolen prototype ship and it’s destruction by the Starfleet pursuit ship. If they suspected Harry and Paris of being spies bent on some plot, wouldn’t capturing them alive (say, with a tractor beam) make more sense?
I’m think what bothered me the most however was Harry Kim’s total lack of any hesitation before deciding he must try to get back to his own reality despite the very small chance of success. Let’s see...if I was stuck on a ship that’s been lost in a distant corner of space and is facing a 70-year journey home, or I could magically be back in my own life, with woman I love, a very cool apartment, my old clarinet, a promising engineering career, etc.—knowing that it is all real, although not my original time stream—I think I’d at least be somewhat torn. I would suspect Harry Kim (or any other member of Voyager’s crew) would be as well. 2 stars.
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 6:06pm (UTC -5)
Instead it falls rather flat. Harry Kim is annoyingly incompetent in adapting to the situation. Instead of playing along (and spend some quality time with his fiancée he hasn't seen for months) and ease his way out of the problem, he incomptetently messes everything up way more than necessary.
The fact that he completely lacks personality doesn't help. Luckily Paris has one drink too many and decides to give it all he got anyway.
Mon, Jul 22, 2019, 12:31am (UTC -5)
Mon, Jul 22, 2019, 12:48am (UTC -5)
Tue, Oct 1, 2019, 6:20pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Oct 12, 2019, 12:50am (UTC -5)
Tue, Oct 22, 2019, 12:52pm (UTC -5)
This is one of the worst episodes of ST ever.
You must now turn in your Star Trek license.
Sun, Feb 9, 2020, 4:14pm (UTC -5)
1. Deep Space Nine. 2. Next Generation. 3. Original series.
Voyager is No. 4, but it's not some really distant fourth. I like it, and I'm enjoying my first retrospective since the show aired. I am seeing a few episodes I never saw, and I'm seeing others I didn't remember much about.
I'm definitely more delighted by Voyager than most folks here on Jammer's awesome board. Case in point: I liked this episode.
I always liked Garrett Wang and Harry Kim. (Maybe I'm just swayed by the fact that I think he's handsome). But I thought this was a good vehicle for him.
I do agree with general sentiment that Libby wasn't a success. The same actress played Keesha on Young and Restless, and she was unfortunately the weak link in an otherwise riveting HIV storyline.
Anyway, I liked the Harry-Tom bromance aspect of the episode, and it was cool to see their conception of San Francisco in that era. Clever way to give us an Earth-set episode.
I think in general Star Trek relied too heavily on time travel. And let's be clear: This is no "City on the Edge of Forever" or "Yesterday's Enterprise." And the time travel explanation was a bit lame (but all time travel explanations ultimately are).
Anyway, despite it not being an example of stellar Star Trek, it was a perfectly good "middle range" episode that was an enjoyable hour of TV for me.
I'm really puzzled by folks who really disliked Voyager and were still watching by this stage. Just hanging in for a Season 3 blossoming?
Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 10:38pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Mar 10, 2020, 9:11am (UTC -5)
1 - Harry Kim is way too passive. The whole situation should produce an enormous range of emotional conflict for Harry, but Wang plays him as so calm and deadpan the whole time as Harry is dragged around by the plot. We know Wang can act... think of how good he is in "Timeless". More of that passion needed to be on display here as Harry is torn between being with Libby versus loyalty to his friends and shipmates.
2 - Harry essentially has all the answers dropped in his lap by the alien. He doesn't have to work to resolve the plot, and indeed, could not have solved it by himself, given the nature of the "timestream". I would prefer to see Harry earn his solution rather than have it simply given to him, and stealing a runabout doesn't count.
This could have been a really good episode, given the concept, but it's oddly rather dull. The exception would be the few scenes where Tom Paris shows up. Robert McNeill puts a lot more feeling into the alternate Tom than Garret Wang manages with Harry, and so I care a lot more about Tom's plight than Harry's. At least the episode makes it clear that Tom has a better life because he was stranded in the Delta Quadrant with Voyager.
This episode had potential, but the final product is just dull.
Wed, Apr 8, 2020, 1:01am (UTC -5)
WHY in the world would Kim EVER leave his hot fiance.... to be stuck in the Delta quadrant is beyond me...
In fact its very hard to read this episode as anything other than Kims closeted and repressed homosexual love for Paris.... theres not a whole lot of other motivation that makes sense given the text of the show
I agree with most of the comments here, making this episode about Paris instead would have worked a whole lot better, he has a compelling and interesting reason to want to get back to Voyager.
Fri, May 15, 2020, 10:16am (UTC -5)
I guess it's been about 11 years since I last commented on this episode. But what can I say, I still think it is a solid 2 1/2 stars.
Tons of plot holes? Sure.
Unwed fornication? Sure ;-)
(I kid @ Sean Hagins because I love, promise).
But the atmosphere of San Francisco feels right. And the bar in Marseille was a treat to see IRL (as against to the holodeck).
Did Harry Kim do everything wrong? Sure. But he was just 26 at the time. Weren't we all just as stupid back then?
Wed, Sep 2, 2020, 3:13pm (UTC -5)
Additionally, they could have had a B-story where Daniel Byrd unexpectedly winds up on Voyager, and they're trying to figure out who he is, why he's there, and what happened to Harry.
It would certainly be better than the dreadfully stupid handling of Harry's character. A nine-year-old kid with a working knowledge of Naval ranks knows that an ensign is supposed to make lieutenant. Sadly, the schmucks in charge of Voyager did not.
Fri, Sep 4, 2020, 6:37pm (UTC -5)
I would have liked it better as a character episode in which Harry figures out the way back, but is torn over whether to leave paradise. It was strange that he never seemed at all tempted to embrace his situation and leave poor baffled Danny Byrd in his place.
Fri, Sep 4, 2020, 7:16pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Dec 25, 2020, 3:09pm (UTC -5)
It's easy to share when everybody can have everything. When scarcity exists, not so much.
Sun, Jun 20, 2021, 12:55am (UTC -5)
Weirdly, I was actually thinking about the Star Trek commerce problem while I was out walking last week, and I decided that in a space restricted area like San Francisco, (notice Harry seems to have the bedroom and the kitchen in a sort of one room studio apartment, probably lazy set design but actually kinda realistic to crowding?) buildings that you run businesses out of could have ‘rents’, but the rent comes in the form of ‘unit of thing given away’. So in other words, for the type of business you want to run, some datacruncher figures out what demand floor should be, and you have to clear a certain hurdle of meals produced or clothing given away each month to keep your spot. When someone goes out of ‘business’, potential replacements can pitch their businesses to people in the service area of their business, sort of like one of those competition shows (except probably like most civic things, at most a handful of people show up or care) and then the winner can take over the building. Complicated, but idk? That way demand doesn’t play no role in who gets to use what space.
Anyway, like other people have said, I think this episode went about things the wrong way. I think the better idea is that Tom should want to go back to Voyager. The twist I would put on things is that both Tom and Harry were in the shuttle- they both remember. Tom immediately starts scheming to get back. But he somehow gets arrested which puts a brief pause on his plans, during which time Harry settles into his new life. Harry gets therapy to cover the fact that something happened to him. He knows it’s probably not true, but he’s gotten some kind of bullshit trauma induced memory loss diagnosis because his friend was lost on Voyager. He’s trying to hide that he lost time and compensate.
Finally Tom is released and finds Harry. Harry is a bit freaked out, but at the same time, you get the sense that he is relieved to see Tom. Like others have pointed out, Libby and his new work pal aren’t that great, they’re status seekers so Harry’s great life is actually pretty fragile. He’s managed to keep things together for the time being, but as soon as Tom convinces Harry to use his Star Fleet access to start poking around, then it sets off the paranoid government response and then you start to see all the cracks appear in Harry’s life. So at first it seems like Voyager would be great for Tom but not Harry, but then you realize Harry’s life had some issues too. The fact that he is a high achiever means he’s attracted people who are users. This could also be the episode that got him over Libby, because he sees that actually she wasn’t that great.
Ugh, and after the last episode, I realized if they had wanted to pair Kes with a stable relationship, they would have been better to pair her with Harry I think? I mean that would have been so much more age appropriate and Kes and Harry are both kinda quiet, laid back low key people I think it would have made more sense. I mean Neelix was the worst, but then Tom was also a weird choice for her.
Tue, Jun 22, 2021, 4:50am (UTC -5)
Pause for historical interlude:
Captain's Log- Stardate 49011
"Four comments into the thread on Tuesday, October 27, 2009, a respectable lifeform named Mal mentioned Cosimo's restaurant (and Joseph Sisko's) in the context of money-use within the Federation."
"70 days later, on Jan. 5, 2010 Eduardo (comment #5) mentioned the word "passion" (rather than money) as a basis for happiness/success and all hell broke loose.
"The Great Laissez-faire Passion Fruit War of 2010-2012 had begun"
"On and on it raged until July 26, 2012, when a Milica gave the episode a 3 star rating."
(Cue music, crackling of vinyl, Vera Lynn 'There'll be bluebirds over, the white cliffs of Dover....'
4256 Days later,
A few points about the episode: I think that it suffered mostly in the writing and directing departments.
Here is just one set of examples drawn from the beginning of the episode: ... Harry, having just irritated his fiancee, Libby (aka "I'm-done-with-this-conversation Libby") who clearly loathes him, says to himself: "What is going on?" (excuse me, Does anyone actually say such a line to oneself out loud?) Then he goes down to the SF street (Presumably it's the street he had been living on 8 months before, but, em excuse me, he seems a bit dazed, much like George Bailey bewildered by the pawn shops and gin joints of Pottersville in 'It's A Wonderful Life').
He then is called out to by Cosimo, who he shouldn't know, but, em excuse me, he never says "Do I know you?" Which is generally what people say when they don't know somebody.
Finally, no sooner did he manage to survive the whole "I'm getting married? It's news to me" thing with Cosimo, then Lt. Lasca comes out of a handy niche-like doorway. Like a magnet to iron he picks Harry out from about 60 meters away, as if they were to meet at Cosimo's in the first place. Em excuse me, it's all too convenient...even for Voyager.
Simplistic, lacklustre direction, drags things down. Lasca may be a jerk-in-waiting, but the actor did a decent job. Libby's character suffers most from the lines she is given to say, not from poor delivery. She did teach me one thing though: One should never let the following sentence pass one's lips:
"We both have a long day ahead of us. Can we play this little game another time please?"
Sat, Sep 4, 2021, 9:57am (UTC -5)
I was also surprised David Livingston directed this; it's a strangely slack and lifeless episode by his standards, despite the gorgeous set design here and there.
As I understand it, "Non Sequitur" was intended to be the big Ensign Kim episode of the season, but it unfortunately can't touch the vastly superior "Emanations" in season 1. And as others have commented above, Kim doesn't seem able to carry an episode on his own. He's just not that interesting a character, and never rises above the level of ordinary nice guy.
Fri, Nov 19, 2021, 7:16pm (UTC -5)
"And let's face it, [Tom Paris] was far more interesting in this episode ['Non Sequitur'] than Harry was."
Let's face it, a leola root is more interesting than Harry Kim.
Wed, Jun 29, 2022, 5:33pm (UTC -5)
I'm ok with Wang's acting, but the character is too young for a lot of these episodes. He basically comes across as a lost puppy. I thought that was perfect for Emanations but not here.
Absolutely agreed that this should have been a Tom episode.
I still liked it though, up until Harry flees. The foot race, Tom appearing, them breaking into an office to beam aboard the shuttle, breaking the shuttle out of the space port, their pitched battle with the starship.
It's all so mindless and perfunctory. The interesting thing in the story was Harry and Tom's personal predicaments and the altered timeline, not the escape plot.
Making it worse, AFTER Harry is beamed back to the correct reality, we still get Voyager's actions to save him. BORING. To me, this should have been boiled down to Janeway "we thought we lost you!"
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