Star Trek: Voyager

“The Disease”

1 star.

Air date: 2/24/1999
Teleplay by Michael Taylor
Story by Kenneth Biller
Directed by David Livingston

"I would've never guessed that when it came down to the basics ... Well, let's just say the birds and bees would be very confused." — Harry Kim on sex with alien woman Tal, details of which we're thankful not to have

Review Text

Nutshell: It's at least worth news coverage...

DELTA QUADRANT, Milky Way Galaxy — A respected ensign on the only known Federation starship in the galaxy's Delta Quadrant has been formally reprimanded by his captain for fraternizing and engaging in sexual activity with an alien woman, according to reports from The Associated Galactic Press.

Ensign Harry Kim, bridge officer on the USS Voyager, had a formal reprimand placed on his permanent record resulting from his unauthorized sexual affair with Tal [Musetta Vander], an engineer on an alien Delta Quadrant vessel that the Voyager had been in contact with last week.

Kim failed to attend a press conference held in the Voyager briefing room Saturday. He also did not return hails made to his ship's quarters on Thursday and Friday.

"I didn't like having to do it," said Capt. Kathryn Janeway, commander of the USS Voyager, in regards to the reprimand. "But he left me no choice. Sex is not a trivial matter on my ship. Especially considering the scandal in America's White House back at the end of the 20th century — I have no wish to have the independent counsel walking through my corridors or subpoenaing my officers. I have a ship to run and a crew to get home."

It was unknown at press time whether Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr would risk the dangers of time travel to prosecute Kim or anyone else on board the USS Voyager.

"He's always falling for the wrong woman," said Ensign Tom Paris, Kim's best friend who frequently provides him with advice concerning women. "Harry's a good guy, but I feel sorry for him. Every time he has the opportunity for female companionship, he somehow gets shafted. It's almost as if he's the victim in some unfair plot being written by writers who like to torture him."

As a fellow ensign, Paris occasionally looks out for his friend.

"I disguised an unauthorized comm [communication] signal to cover for him," he said. "I just hope the captain doesn't find out. She might put me in jail again, and another demotion would make Harry my senior officer. Is this off the record?"

Opinion concerning the captain's decision varied among the Voyager officers.

"I was surprised by the action," said Voyager first officer Cmdr. Chakotay of Janeway's decision to reprimand Kim. "According to something I scribbled down in a written log last year, I had also had an affair with an alien woman. Unfortunately, I don't recall having that affair, or sex for that matter, and the captain apparently didn't take disciplinary action. I really don't remember, which is too bad because my notes say she was unforgettable."

Voyager chief of security Lt. Cmdr. Tuvok agreed with the captain's decision.

"Mr. Kim's behavior was completely illogical," Tuvok said. "Ensign Kim was unable to control his emotions and detoured a shuttle mission to satisfy his own personal desires. I noticed several thousand electrons were out of place and discovered he had finished his assigned task ahead of schedule but had not returned to the ship. Subsequently, we learned he had disobeyed orders and beamed Tal aboard his shuttle."

Tuvok had denied allegations Feb. 3 that he had an unauthorized affair with an alien woman named Noss while stranded on a failed shuttle mission.

"Your course of reasoning is flawed," he said when again asked about the alleged encounter. "The entire incident was recorded, and I assure you no regulations were broken."

Bloomington, Ill., resident Jamahl Epsicokhan is one of many who views the fully edited and assembled "caught on tape" documentary segments of the Voyager crew through a temporal anomaly that transmits the images nearly 400 years back in time and approximately 35,000 light-years to Earth (Sector 001 in the Alpha Quadrant), where he receives the images on his 20th-century television set.

In an interview via temporal-displacement phone on Saturday, he laughed when asked to comment on the Voyager scandal. "That episode was indeed very funny," said Epsicokhan, who views the documentary broadcasts every week. "I don't remember laughing at a show as much as I laughed at 'The Disease.' This show was as dumb as a box of rocks."

Strangely, Epsicokhan, along with millions of viewers on Earth in the 20th century, believes the aired Voyager news segments are actually a series of fictional stories produced at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, Calif.

"I've watched Harry go through a lot in the last few years, and yet he never seems to change," said Epsicokhan. "The whole theme of 'The Disease' was that Harry 'is a man,' and not a kid. But I think I've seen that idea in an episode at least three times now, and it never seems to stick. His character pretends to develop but never really does. After five years in the Delta Quadrant, we still have the captain treating him like he's 20 years old. Did you know that Garrett Wang in real life is 30?"

When reporters tried to inform Epsicokhan that Kim is actually a real person living 400 years in the future, whose documentary stories are transmitted through a temporal anomaly, he dismissed the possibility and accused reporters of "yanking his chain."

But Epsicokhan finally granted the possibility. "Fine then," he said. "Then someone needs to tell them to cover a new beat, or at least a different aspect of Harry's life. If I have to sit through one more 'Harry's not a kid' segment, punctuated by a sabotage plot that can't possibly be cared about in the slightest, I'll write a letter to the editor. By the way, aren't you putting the entire timeline in jeopardy just by talking to me?"

Seven of Nine, Voyager bridge and science officer adjunct, likened love to that of a disease.

"Ensign Kim was acting erratically and emotionally because of romantic feelings," said Nine. "The Borg view love as a disease because of the way it adversely affects the body's biochemistry. In Mr. Kim's case, he felt emotionally distraught when apart from Tal. Also, the alien nature of the bond caused his epidermis to luminesce."

When asked why she thought Kim did not simply resist his feelings and adhere to protocol, Nine paused for a moment and then said, "Resistance is futile."

Nine refused to grant reporters the unique perspective of the youngest member of the crew.

"Naomi Wildman will not comment. She is too young. Her mother has forbidden discussion of the matter," said Nine. When reporters informed Nine they would attempt to contact Naomi Wildman anyway, Nine said simply, "You will fail."

Reporters, however, could not locate Naomi's mother, Samantha Wildman, anywhere on the ship. Sources say Wildman has not been seen since a salvage mission of the Delta Flyer on Nov. 11, leading to speculation by some members of the crew that Nine has "taken care of" Wildman and adopted her daughter. An investigation is pending.

Voyager cook and morale officer Neelix could not comment on the Ensign Kim scandal, saying he did not know enough of the incident's specifics. He did, however, offer reporters a hot bowl of soup with assorted "veggies."

Epsicokhan called the romance angle of the documentary "a travesty" and said it was the perfect example of how not to do romance on Trek. "This show 'The Disease' is the antithesis of DS9's 'Chimera' — an evil twin," he said. "There's not a believable emotion to be found anywhere in the relationship. It claims to be about love, but it's simply about uninteresting lust, with stretches of Harry histrionics."

Epsicokhan criticized Tal as "completely bland," and said that all the guest actors' performances were "exceedingly weak." He also called the dialogue "embarrassingly trite," and said that if he weren't laughing so hard during several of the broadcast's attempted sentimental moments, the degree of the broadcast's clichéd triteness concerning romance would have caused him to "bury [his] head in [his] hands and cry."

However, "This is not a laughing matter," said Voyager chief medical officer Dr. "Doc" Doctor, a hologram who stressed he was "shocked and chagrined" at both Kim's actions and Epsicokhan's casual dismissal of the matter.

"The risk factors of having intimate relations with an alien without medical clearance is a very serious matter," Doctor said. "Anything that can cause someone's skin to emit light cannot be a good thing. Mr. Kim's irresponsibility of getting caught 'in the heat of the moment' is not an excuse. He could have introduced a destructive disease into their population or vice versa."

Epsicokhan was skeptical of Doctor's "grandstanding," as he put it. "Yeah, that's all we need — a ridiculously obvious 24th-century safe-sex allegory," he said. "I'll pass."

When confronted about a sexual affair he had with a Vidiian woman three years ago this week, Doctor said, "Well, that was different. We were both holograms, so there was no risk of infection. Frankly, I'm still amazed we were able to pull off such a feat. The reprogramming of my matrix was an ... interesting experience, if I may say so."

Public opinion of the ensign is supportive. While most disagree with what he did, he still maintains a very high degree of popularity among the American people.

"I disapprove of what the ensign did, but he's still very high in the polls," said 20th-century Washington, D.C., Future Events Analyst Joel Flanagan. "It's only sex! It's not like he betrayed the ship or put the crew in danger! Frankly, I don't think it's a high crime or a misdemeanor! Personally, I think we need to turn our attention to the Microsoft and Disney corporations, which maintain joint ownership of Earth in 2031."

Strangely, no one on board the Voyager could remember the Starfleet protocols on alien romance as being so strict or explicit.

"I think they just made them up for the sake of this episode," said Epsicokhan. "There's never been one bit of evidence of their existence in the past. But then again, we see so little sex on Star Trek that maybe the case is that no one has ever really had 'confirmed' sex until this week."

Federation records, however, indicate that the protocols were put on the books mostly in response to the frequent romantic encounters of the legendary Capt. James T. Kirk a century ago. And although the application of the protocol is granted to the commanding officer's discretion — thereby not specifically affecting Kirk at the time — Starfleet felt it was prudent to have rules that applied to officers.

How these rules apply to Starfleet officers of different species is uncertain, though most speculate that medical clearance among Klingons and humans is approved. Lt. B'Elanna Torres, Voyager's chief engineer, has been in a relationship with Ensign Paris for the past 18 months. Sources are uncertain, however, if the relationship has been consummated, and neither Paris nor Torres would talk to reporters about the matter.

"All of you get out of here or I'm calling security," said Torres when reporters tried to conduct an interview on the Voyager engineering deck. "We're trying to run a level-three spectral analysis on the gravimetric intensity in the warp coil isolation reflux chamber, and with all of you in here, you're affecting the upper-baryon results of the isometric relay variable outtake inhibitor module."

According to Janeway, the harsh-seeming disciplining of Kim did not arise out of an abhorrence of sex, nor from her unresolved feelings of a sketchy incident with her first officer three years ago while isolated with him on an uninhabited world.

Rather, it's simply a matter of maternal instincts.

"I'm very protective of Harry," she said. "He's very much like a son, and Seven is like a daughter. You could say I'm a maternal figure for both of them. Maybe I'm overprotective and over-nurturing at times, but that's just the way I am when it comes to my crew."

Epsicokhan said he respected Janeway's intentions, but did not necessarily agree with the extremes to which she sometimes carries these sentiments for the cameras.

"I can understand Janeway's anger at Harry losing some of that perfect Starfleet officer status, and I understand her maternal attitudes," he said. "But we might as well rename this episode 'Favorite Son, Part II' while we're at it."

Next week: The crew faces a "deadly" epidemic—even though it was this week's episode that was called "The Disease." Go figure.

Previous episode: Dark Frontier
Next episode: Course: Oblivion

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Comment Section

133 comments on this post

    I like these non-standard approaches to episode reviews, a clever way to tackle lackluster episodes.

    Must suck to finally lose his virginity and get std from hell

    Why the hatred? I kind of liked this one. I thought Harry was convincingly indignant at the way the Captain treated him, and I thought his love affair was believable. What was ridiculous was the sudden invention of the "no sex with aliens without clearance" rule. Or did they make it because of Kirk and Riker?

    I was interested in the alien ship--reminded me of Heinlein's ship in "Orphans of the Sky." I was a little disappointed the plot didn't move in that direction.

    Overall, a decent outing.

    mlk: He has a girl at home (Libby) I doubt he started the series as a virgin

    I thought this a fairly solid episode with a good SF premise about whether or not a generation starship would hold together. Some deep issues were there to think about - an exploration of duty, honour, responsibility to the collective versus responsibility to ones own desires. And how much is love simply a physiological response that is rationalised away with sophistry? It certainly deserved more than one star, still holds up well watching it in 2009.

    Having read the majority of your reviews, admittedly over a long period of time, I can't remember another which has come close to making me laugh as much as that. The Torres quote is absolutely priceless.

    As one star shows go though, I've seen a lot worse.

    Ah, hapless Harry Kim finally gets some booty. Mazal tov! Given his track record of hardly every being able to lock on to anything with the transporter, penetrate dampening fields or perform phase-variance calculations, I was afraid he might hurt himself by inserting his probe into the wrong place. But, though he somehow did the "business" without injuring himself, he still managed to end up in a whole lot of bother.

    The guy's such a schmoe; he should just give up. Go back to not being able to do you job as an ensign, Harry!


    It was worth watching it just for your review (it wouldn't have been otherwise, obviously). Very very good, I love how approximately 5 minutes worth of reading the comments of one man exceeds by far the quality of a whole 45 minutes of the "professional", high budget and highly staffed TV show it refers to.

    As for Harry, poor guy. Such.A.Woobie.

    Fantastic review to an absolute underwhelming 45 minutes of awfulness. I second the notion above that your witty write-up was far more entertainung than the actual episode.

    In my opinion you not even had to include yourself as an one of the interviewed who speaks his mind for your point hit home nonetheless.

    The Seven of Nine and Torres bits are especially brilliant.

    I must finish Voyager one of these days. Just can't bring myself to watch it with so many episodes like this (oh okayyyy it's not that bad, it's still not exactly fantastic)

    Low content comment but I keep clicking on the unsubscribe link in the email notifications instead of the view-the-thread link so I have to comment to resubscribe..

    It's not riveting but it's solid. Kim's the weak link in the series (He's the Troi, the Checkov, the entire cast except Odo, the entire cast except the Dog, you get the idea). Stories about him are bound to be weaker. Among his outings (if one doesn't count Timeless), this is probably the best--actually Emanations wasn't too bad either, just a bit cheesy.

    Regarding the sex policies...well I have mixed feelings, I had no trouble imagining that Kirk and Riker and the rest observed these protocols off camera, and since they were usually dealing with canonically established species (the big exception which comes to mind is TNG's First Contact), I can see this being a relatively simple procedure to follow. In Voyager's case, well they're in the DQ, things are more complex. Tuvok didn't have sex with Noss. The woman in Unforgettable (as forgettable as the episode was) was on board for a while and had been checked by the Doctor. It really was not so distracting.

    To me it wasn;t about the sex itself, it was about all the issues which come attached to it: in this case, political negotiations with Janeway and Tal, military issues with Harry's job and familial issues with Janeway.

    Again, not a standout episode, not really much more than mediocre, but certainly deserving of about 2 stars. Not a failure at all.

    I found the scene where Janeway takes Kim to task for having sex without her permission unintentionally hilarious. I found it amusing that crew members have to get the captain's permission before they have sex with other species. I had an image of Janeway sitting at her desk going through a pile of permission forms with a rubber stamp.

    Pretty terrible episode though - the romance was insipid and hampered by poor writing and profoundly mediocre performances and the plot involving the alien ship and the dissidents...well, it seemed like an afterthought and as though the writers didn't really care.

    This episode is very inconsistent with personal romantic relationship. In the beginning of the show, Janeway talked about how starfleet doesn't want to get involved with the personal intterrelationship between the crews. There was one episode where she didn't like why people are not discrete or how surprised she was about 2 people that Chakotay told her he found kissing in the turbolift. Heck don't even get me started on other ST series.

    Although I agree that "safe sex" is good policy, getting reprimanded seem excessive. Things just didn't add up.

    I actually didn't think it was as bad as many have suggested. I agree with Elliott; I'd give it two stars.

    However, I certainly can't fault Jammer for his review. I haven't laughed so much in ages.

    Actually, even in the course of our own history, when alien bacteria collides there have been catastrophic results. Migratory patterns of the dinosaurs during the latter stages of their primacy show them driven in the search for new sources of water, food and hunting grounds. They came into contact with all sorts of previously unknown plant and animal life. Mass collections of fossilized remains have been discovered showing no violence to the remains, the bones showing no signs of malnourishment, yet hundred's of remains as if they just lay down and died. A plausible speculation but let's fast forward.
    The Bubonic Plague, the Black Death,was the fruit of the silk road - the first openings of trade between the Occidental and Oriental civilizations. New germs new bacteria, with Europe laying vulnerable before them. Millions died. It took generations for immunities to develop in Europe.
    Fast foward again to the discovery of the New World. Aztec and Incan civilizations already devasted by interal strife and famine are suddenly exposed to boatloads (literally) of new germs. By the time a few Europeans realized what was happening and started handing out blankets, the indigenous populations were already decimated.

    I'm not splitting hairs on half-klingon or half whatever nonsense - we can assume that since our cultures have been in contact for some time now that we have developed immunities towards each other. THIS situation in THIS episode is a completely NEW species. I can't understand the flippant manner that the reviewer and most comments dismiss the idea that there would be "sex protocols." History - and current science and medicine stand behind it - shows the devastation that can come from a simple bacterial exchange.

    I don't care about continuity. Right HERE in THIS episode in a FIRST CONTACT situation, that policy should be followed to the letter.

    @Rosario, you strike me as a person who really needs to get laid...

    @Justin - As long is its a member of my own species, I'm all for it! :D

    @Elliott, et al.: Once again I feel I must come to the defense of Garrett Wang. I love his performance here. I especially like the scene when he compares his disease to Janeway's loss -- he's forceful and mature -- I really think her response should have been more pronounced. I wonder whether we're watching the same episode. Maybe he's not chewing the scenery a la Picard and Sisko, but don't put him into the same category as Troi, who seemed to avoid any facial expressions at all for fear she might wrinkle. I do agree that the writing is weak, and that Charles Rocket just phoned his part in, but basing the episode on Harry was not the problem.

    @Rosario: Your argument is sensible, and I was able to buy the fact that you would need clearance from a medical officer before having sex. The part that doesn't make sense is needing the Captian's permission as well - on what grounds could a Captain refuse permission if there is no medical risk?

    The episode, like most Trek stand-alone romances, has a very adolescent view of love, and the chemistry-less scenes between Kim and Tal were cringe-worthy. But I nevertheless enjoyed the scenes between Kim and Janeway. Harry may not have changed much in seven seasons, but that doesn't really bother me because, well, he's like most people (myself included) in that respect.

    I'm going from memory on this ep, but I liked Garrett's perfomance: he came across as genuine and invested in his role. I sensed his romantic interest found her lines amusing, but I still liked their playful banter, their innocence, and Tal's sense of wonder.

    I took Janeway's condemnation to mean Harry created first contact problems (pun intended ;) !), i.e. making it hard to negotiate with Tal's people, and putting himself ahead of his duty.
    True to life, there's usually not a crackdown until consequences arise, like Harry's electric reaction to Tal (having pun again ;).

    I'm okay with the criticism of Voyager: even Michael Piller admitted in an interview (Season 2 DVD) that shows like ER at the time were moving ahead of Star Trek, production wise. One thing about reviewing is that it can come across as jaded much of the time. I suppose my defense is not of Voyager as much, but to keep a part of that child-like wonder at discovery, and the nobility and empathy that Star Trek often showed.

    I can enjoy Voyager as long as I forget about the two most significant plot points:

    1.) Half of the ship are Maquis terrorists. Would they really follow Janeway so blindly? And shouldn't she get in big trouble for letting terrorists just throw on some uniforms and become Starfleet officers? It seems like the writers regretted the whole Maquis thing later on. Chakotay and B'Elanna reminisce about their days at Starfleet Academy. Wtf is that? They should have just written them as Starfleet characters, and it seems like they realize that. Therefore, I will turn off my mind and pretend I never heard the word "Maquis."

    2.) They're stranded in the Delta Quadrant. In the beginning there were worries about replicator rations and gel packs. Now the ship suffers damage almost every episode and everything's just a-ok. I'm not sure if the writers realized their mistake or if they just got lazy. Either way, the series would make a lot more sense if it was set in the Alpha Quadrant with a regular old Starfleet crew. If they're not going to utilize the shows premises, why have them at all?

    Excepting all that, I do enjoy Voyager for what it is. Episodes like this on the other hand... *cringe*

    On a side note, why is there only one Bajoran in the Maquis? I would be really interested to know how the peace-loving Chakotay got involved with a terrorist group, and not only that, but one on another planet. Why is he so invested in Bajor? And why is B'Elanna, for that matter?

    @Adara: Chakotay's home colony, Dorvan V, seen in "Journey's End," was one of several Federation colonies given to the Cardassians (in exchange for Cardassian colonies) as part of an ill-fated peace treaty.

    The Cardassians mistreated the colonists on several planets -- apparently, to try to get them to leave -- leading to the formation of the Maquis. Cardassia's occupation of Bajor had nothing to do with the Maquis, other than the Bajorans who joined the group. So, Chakotay joined to fight for his home colony. B'Elaana (like Tom Paris) joined because they apparently had nowhere else to go. They apparently didn't really care about Bajor.

    To your larger point, Janeway incorporated probably 30 Maquis into the crew after 'Caretaker'. She did it because she couldn't lock them up for the entire trip home and because of the substantial losses Voyager took in the pilot (first officer, chief engineer, helmsman).

    Also, the Maquis were viewed with some sympathy because of what caused them to become terrorists. Chakotay in particular showed his worth to Janeway -- by sacrificing his ship -- in 'Caretaker.'

    So, it made sense and SHOULD have set up some dramatic payoff to incorporate the Maquis into the Voyager crew. But after the first few episodes, the creators kind of threw this out. Same thing with Voyager's isolation/lack of supplies (as you noted).

    All these years, and nobody mentions the time Trip got hisself knocked up.

    We're trying to run a level-three spectral analysis on the gravimetric intensity in the warp coil isolation reflux chamber, and with all of you in here, you're affecting the upper-baryon results of the isometric relay variable outtake inhibitor module."

    Ba ha ha ha ha! That was classic!!


    The Captain could be privy to knowledge an under-officer might not be aware of. Perhaps it is a hostile first contact and the object of a sexual advance is the opposing ambassador's daughter and she hasn't told that detail to her paramour (as they never do tell on television.) Some might look at that and say, "Aw, this will heal everything!" but there are very great odds that the ambassador would see it as a violation. The ambassador may NOT view it that way but what if 99% of his species does? He won't be paving the way into any brave new worlds because he's going to be exiled in disgrace. Or perhaps used as an unwitting symbol to start a war.

    Just one example - I can think of many more. In short, the Doctor would provide medical clearance and the Captain would provide... well... "political" clearance I suppose would be the best (sadly) way to put it. Perhaps the Captain could even act as a diplomat to make sure it is okay with the other species. Actually I imagine that would be exactly the Captain's role.

    Don't misunderstand, I personally abhor any big-brother governmental type that wants a say in my life but when dealing with an alien species... one should approach things with caution.

    I don't imagine this would be the case on settled worlds or trade colonies.

    I'm alligned with those who said that this is a brilliant hilarious review for an awful *unintentionally* hilarious episode. I can sort of see why there maybe *some* regulation regarded inter-species relationships because of potential health risks, culture clashes, diplomatic complications etc...but what the episode presented was embarrassingly absurd and horribly executed. Not to mention the awfully boring story. I try to give Harrys' character a fair chance he just makes himself difficult to take seriously, or should I say the writing staff are the ones reducing him to a joke!

    It's funny how often Star Trek seems to hint that sex is more casual in the future thanks to better birth control, improved treatment and prevention of STDs, and inter-galactic travel pushing the boundaries on our human experiences and ideals about sexuality. Too bad "The Disease" subtracts from this interesting, realistic sci-fi idea.

    @Rosario - Bingo! You hit it on the head.

    Harry was NOT punished for having sex. He was punished for not following the rules beforehand in a situation that could have turned out badly. An officer. and a senior bridge officer at that, is expected to think with his brain and not his hormones.

    first of all.
    i like this episode for a couple of reasons.

    1. i like the idea of the generational ship. it makes you think, what would happen to voyager if they lost their warp drive or it took them 100s of years..?
    2. sex on that episode is very much like sex in real life. we get bonded to an individual when we are intimate. the more times you ahve sex with other people. the less each bond becomes. this is why your first love often hurts the most. i think the writers were trying to be extreme. but i think they made a case of how it is in real life.
    3. i enjoyed harry kims discussion with the captain. i liked that he wanted to feel the pain, and not just ignore it. it makes the love and memories more than just one encounter.
    4. enough withe maquis crap. yes, they could have written the earlier episodes with more friction. but once they became a "family," it was never going to happen. remember, even though these were seen as "terrorists." their actions were not done out of hate. these were either good or misguided people. it is not like EVERY maquis stayed in line...i.e. tessa and the traitor.
    5. i cant recall too many scenes where it is just janeway and harry kim...

    Very funny review, especially the Chakotay bit.

    I too understand why there would be regulations regarding sex with an unknown alien species/first contact situation. That wasn't my problem with the episode.

    Neither was the frustrated romance angle. Indeed, if done well, the "star-crossed lovers" concept can be very effective (no pun intended.)

    My problem was the awful dialogue, especially the convo where Harry and his girlfriend discuss the unexpected differences in their sex organs. "Let's just say the birds and the bees would be very confused," Harry chuckles.

    Oh, gosh, no. NO. NO. I haven't cringed this much since the "female" Changeling thanked Odo for teaching her how "solids" have sex as she got out of his bed on DS9 (I know that sounds like a joke, but it was supposed to be a serious scene.) That was grosser but at least it was just one scene. We had to endure this for 45 minutes.

    Worst episode since "Threshold."

    HAHA! Amazing review!

    This episode was truly difficult to watch. I know that the lizard episode was moronic, but at least it was bearable to sit through. This one was grating from beginning to end.

    Although I've definitely not been in favour of some reviews from episodes previous to this one, well done, amusing, and not too harsh, while wittily parodying some aspects that deserve parodying.

    I think that this episode shows that Kim is no Mayweather... that he has a bit more depth, and the story itself is probably more about the political repercussions of being imprudent than it is about Janeway being a prude, although it was interesting that she explored some feelings about being left by Mark in the process...

    I think it was a solid 2, if not 2.5, in exploring those interspecies issues.

    Although the leader of the generational ship was a real prick.

    Still though, can't see why Kim couldn't have been promoted, while Paris went up and down like a yo-yo.

    Not shown: Harry explaining what a "grower, not a shower" means.

    I remember liking this episode. But I was 16 and cheering Kim's rebellion on captain Janeway. I do recall at first groaning "Not another Harry sex life episode" but I got sucked in. I only question this emphasis on needing a permission slip. I suppose it makes sense given results like what happened to Kim but it was never used before to my knowledge with Paris etc...

    Not a stellar episode, but certainly not nearly as bad as Jammer's review and score would make one think. This was in fact more profound that it appears, if you think that it has dealt with the issue of loving a different species in an unknown quadrant of the galaxy, the moral difficulties of having personal life subject to hierarchical order, sort of unsafe sex in the 24th century, a bit of the peculiarities of being isolated in the Delta Quadrant... I enjoy seeing they talk about sex, which has been an aspect almost forgotten, almost a taboo in the series.

    And sure, a bit of insight on Kim, which was long overdue. It was clearly the best installment about him in a long time (if not ever). The scene where Seven goes talk to Kim and wishes fast recovery is touching. Sure, it was far from good writen and, as always, only average acted (Kim almost always looks childish and flat). But one star is just being too harsh on this one.

    It's a bit of a mess. First there's this thing that comes out of the blue about Star Fleet officers requiring permission to have intimate relationships with alien species, it blatantly contradicts what's come before in Star Trek.

    Strife in a generational ship could be interesting, but it's given short shrift to focus on the mess with Kim. This is not a xenophobic species, but a ship with xenophobic rules, that not everyone agrees to.

    And why doesn't Kim leave with Tal, or why doesn't Tal stay with Kim? They are so supposedly deeply in love, but break it off so easily. Tal's breaking away from her society, why not come along with Kim on Voyager? If this biochemical bond is so strong, would they really have left each other? It's the usual Trek thing that the relationship has to end by the end of the episode one way or another.

    It seems the episode isn't really sure what it is about. The internal conflict on the alien ship isn't given enough depth to carry the episode. Is it about love or following rules? It's just so hard to swallow the rule that getting the captain's permission for romantic relationships, because to swallow this, you have to ignore everything that has come before.

    I was less interested in "Harry's Story" than the generational ship, particularly its past. What was the world they left like? Is there a specific star or destination they sought out? What experiences did they have to make them so afraid to contact any other civilations?

    Loved the review! Much better than the actual episode.

    This is yet another leftist preaching episode. But ultimately, what would Voyager be gaining by helping a so-called "xenophobic" culture? What could possibly be worth the risk? The writers don't seem to care as they lunge Voyager into as many manufactured problems as possible to cover the fact that the whole show just wasn't about anything.

    Harry gets some spacenookee. It's actually not as terrible as it sounds. The STD scare was a bit 'eh', but Kirk got himself a lot more alien action and he turned out fine... most of the time.
    One thing that bothered me, though. Hasn't virtually everyone of the main cast gotten some intimate romantic action with alien species by this point?
    Tuvok had Noss only a few episodes ago. Chakotay had that alien chick who he forgot about because that's how her pheromones work. Tom had a fling with a spacechick and got busted by her husband. The Doctor had that Viidian chick in the earlier seasons. Hell, even Janeway herself had a fling with alien guy who was looking for telepaths.
    Only Neelix, B'elanna and Seven are not guilty of this charge.
    Sure, they might not have gotten laid, but where do you draw the line exactly? Seems kind of hypocritical to give Harry a severe reprimand in his record when everyone else, captain and first officer included, get away scotfree. Hardly seems fair towards poor Harry...

    @Xylar - You are correct, this episode is not as bad as it (or the 1 star rating) make it sound.

    The 2 biggest issues are that Janeway comes off really, really bad in this one and that Harry's new assertive character development will be dropped in 5 minutes the next time they need someone to act "green". ::eyeroll::

    BUT only one of those are problems with THIS episode. I also usually rail against gratuitous annoying shoehorning of Seven into EVERY plot where other characters might serve better... but given the history behind her friendship with Harry... it actually works here.

    As to your criticism though... if the regulation is to prevent "intimate contact with an alien species without medical clearance" very few of the crew are guilty.

    Tuvok, Tom and the Doctor either a) did not have sex with their "romances" or b) are a hologram and probably don't need medical clearance or I suppose c) can give medical clearance on the spot because they are the chief medical officer?

    I'm also not convinced Janeway had sex with the telepath hunter either. Chakotay definitely did, but I suppose Janeway probably filed a reprimand and it got deleted with their magical computer virus.

    This episode could have been good if not for the Doctor's self-righteousness, Wang's overacting and the disconnect with Tal easily moving on in the end. Still not that bad.

    I would say 2 stars, even 2.5 if it hadn't ended with Janeway being semi-apologetic rather than Seven changing her mind.

    This episode is totally ridiculous. Like they ran a writing contest at one of the local high schools in LA and a directing contest at a local junior high. All these years of the various versions of Star Trek and the freewheeling sexuality and this is the first we've ever heard of Star Fleet caring about this issue! And the poor direction. All of the regular cast seem like their bodies have been taken over by strangers. One of the all time worst Star Trek episodes of all series ever.

    I spent the first half of the episode wondering why they had to have Voyager docked to the massive ship instead of using the usual methods of transportation. But as soon as the hull-eating parasite makes its debut it all became clear - the ship had also contracted a 'sexually' transmitted virus; ho ho!
    Hardly worth the contrivance, but ultimately the least of the episode's flaws.

    What a piece of garbage! This was not a good episode with which to start my new year!

    So............Starfleet officers can't fuck new aliens without medical and command clearance? In TNG's first season episode "Justice," the crew of the Enterprise beam down to a planet populated by a half naked and super sexual species known as the "Edo" solely and exclusively so that they can fuck them because Picard believes the crew is stressed and needs a release! I'm serious! That's the premise of that episode!

    Unfortunately, they never get to the fucking because Wesley Crusher loses a ball and tramples on some flowers and the remainder of that episode is about the Edo deciding whether or not to kill him (literally), but my point is that the original purpose of the Enterprise even visiting the Edo planet is because the crew wanted to have sex with the aliens and Picard thought it would relieve the crew's stress!

    But here, no sex during first contact? I bet Starfleet made that regulation after the incident with the Edo, lest someone loses one of their balls again (pun intended).

    What I found disturbing about this episode is the Doctor asking Janeway to order Kim to be treated. Um, isn't treating a patient against his will a violation of the Doctor's programming? In the 4th season episode "The Gift" the Doctor said, in reference to Seven, "If a patient told me not to treat them, even if the situation were life threatening, I would be ethically compelled to honor that request." Right. He should have added, "Unless, of course, Mr. Kim becomes a sex addict, then all ethical subroutines are being turned off for the sake of the mental health of the rest of the crew! The last thing we need to see is a sex starved virgin at heart Ensign. I'm a doctor, not a masochist!"

    azcats - Tue, Aug 6, 2013 - 4:10pm (USA Central)

    "the more times you have sex with other people. the less each bond becomes."

    This is puritanical bullshit! I'm going to assume you've never been in an open relationship.

    Well, it was better than I expected, but that's not exactly saying much. After all, based on the description, I was expecting a potential "worst episode ever!" experience. So bravo for not failing that bad! Then again, it failed in an entirely different way, as the episode showed actual promise but failed to live up to it.

    The biggest problem is that the A and B plots should be switched. The Generation Ship looked intriguing, and certainly better than the generic alien ships that we're used to. The design was unique, and it led itself to a myriad of possibilities. Did they build the ship over time, adding new modules as the population expands? How long have they been out, why are they there, where did they come from? Are they the only ones left of their species? How many people are on the ship; can their population survive if the dissidents leave? Is that why the leader was so demanding on the dissidents, refusing to allow anyone to leave? Did success of their flight require everyone to stay and do their duty, or else society would break down?

    How long has this dissident movement been around? Has it, too, been around for generations? Have there been multiple cultures springing up on this ship, different mythos, different cultures? Is this a struggle for what society means? Do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few in this case? Is it moral to suppress freedom of movement if society would be destroyed if too many did move? Or is a society that requires such suppression deserve to even survive? Could there be some sort of compromise between the dissident movement and the leadership? What about tradition? What sort of duty does one have to society? Should one suppress one's selfish desires for the good of the many? Is demanding to leave, itself, the wrong course of action?

    Who the heck knows, because the episode sure didn't care about any of that, all of which was far more interesting than Harry getting some. The episode could have even used that as a secondary plot. After all, it parallels some of the same potential themes: fidelity vs frivolity, duty vs desire. Kim abandoning his duty for his loins works well with the idea of an existential struggle on board the generational ship.

    So that's the biggest problem with the episode; it never showed us a reason to care about the people on the ship. But what about the plot itself?

    Well, that left me cold, too. I mean, the scene where Kim pleads with Janeway about his twue wuv that will last foweveh? Sounds like a whiny 16 year old arguing with his mom that she just doesn't understand, man! And then to prove it, he goes off and steals his mom's minivan and takes his girlfriend to makeout point. It just felt so laughably wrong. Is Harry Kim, the perfect Starfleet officer, going to get caught up with a girl and break protocol? Enh, maybe, I guess it's a typical plot point. Is he then going to have an emotional breakdown and stomp off in a hissy fit, going for a joyride? Then it starts getting ridiculous.

    Oh, wait, it wasn't really him, it was his disease making him do that. Um, er, ok. But then, what's the point? Just to show how dangerous letting your shields down and engaging thrusters is? Well, gee, that's a roundabout way of showing it rather than have him grow an extra arm or something, and just as silly. Or is it for the excitement and drama of seeing Kim act like a doofus? Well, wasn't very exciting for me. So basically, they A) took the plot in a ridiculous direction by having Kim act like a teenager and then B) gave it an absurd justification that ruined any point of it. So why bother?

    Meanwhile, to top off the ridiculousness of Harry declaring this to be twue wuv, at the end of the episode his paramour gains her freedom and can go anywhere she wants. Surely, after all that flirting and lovey dovey talk between the two, she would ask to join Voyager's crew, right? Nope! She drops Harry like a hot potato and runs off. My guess is, she didn't care for him, but was just using him to rebel against the society. Ok, wait, that could be an interesting plot point, would they bring that up? Of course not! She just leaves because she's a guest character of the week so of course that's what she does! No reason to, you know, turn it into a part of the plot. But anyways, she dumps Harry and dumps Harry good. And yet, at the end, he is still pining for her as his one true love! If that last scene was supposed to be a heartbreaking, emotional scene, it failed miserably. You knew a girl for two weeks and found out she was using you and had no feelings for you. Get over it!

    So, to recap, I assumed this episode would have no potential and then fail. Instead, it showed lots of potential, but still failed. At least they tried, I guess...

    Oh, and as for the controversial protocols? I'm ok with it; I think it does make sense for first or early contact with aliens. The Doc for medical approval, and the captain for political/diplomatic approval. On the other hand, I have a hard time believing the book is 3 cm thick. Three words thick - "Don't do it" - should be sufficient. Maybe the rest of it is a Foreward by James T Kirk.

    Otherwise known as 'Harry Gets The Horn'. This one seemed to go on forever, which is a reflection on the slow pace for the most part. The generational ship is an interesting concept, and I have some sympathy with those suggesting the rebel movement should have been the main focus. As it is, the story seemed a bit bolted on and less than fully formed. But the Harry story - poorly written, poorly played and basically trite, overbearing and clumsy. File this under 'Harry Kim can't carry a whole episode'.

    The VFX were excellent, however, and the opening shot something we haven't really seen before. 1.5 stars.

    ** Yanks tips cap to Jammer **

    That's some funny stuff there boss. :-)

    Teal'c did better with her than Harry did :-)

    This made me think of the beginning of BAB5 when Captain Sinclair says something to the effect ... "stick to the list" :-)

    I don't know that Star Fleet never had a "list", but I don't think we ever really discussed it in trek. I always just figured that knowledge was "briefed".

    I'm not quite as hard, I'll go 1.5 stars.

    Seven Of Nine not wanting to leave sickbay because of contamination?! Hahaha sure - she was waiting for Harry Kim to spill the beans on sex :-D She knew he was in love, too.

    This episode is not so bad. And its also consistent with the series. In the episode what-its-name when the vidians attack and Janeway orders Kim to take young Naomi Wildman and get over to the other Voyager you can clearly hear the emotion in her voice. This time she is disappointed by Harry Kim - or maybe jealous - not unlike a mother when her son has a girlfriend.

    Wang may not be the best actor, but he did pretty well in this episode.

    People complain about Voyagers reset button, but even if there is some continuity, they will still complain. Voyager - and especially Harry Kim - can never do it right.

    I would have liked to find out more about the generational ship and their technologies.

    3 Shining Stars for this episode

    One thing they did get right was the pairing, here, as there is real chemistry between Kim and the alien. They rarely manage this. On the whole, though, a lackluster episode with too much dialogue filler.

    Am I the only person who was irritated by Janeway's comment to the other captain, something along the lines of "It could easily be several generations before Voyager reaches Earth."

    When they started off they were 75k ly away.. Kes gave them 10k ly, the quantum warp drive or whatever (from Timeless) gave them 10k ly, the Borg transwarp coil gave them 20k ly... and they've probably traveled another 5k ly by conventional means. So at this point they're only 30k ly from Earth, or about 3 decades. And at the rate they've been finding special leaps of distance they're on pace to be home in about 3 years. The only way it would take several generations to get home is if they were all Ocampa (lol) or if their warp core got destroyed, and in the case of the latter, they might as well just forget interstellar travel altogether.

    Huge continuity issue with that statement, unless you just take it as Janeway using disingenuous hyperbole as an attempt to seem relatable to these aliens.

    A contrived sex rule made up to fit the story they wanted to tell. Bad storytelling. May as well make up a rule, don't shake hands with aliens, you might pick up or pass something through contact. (0)

    There are really two episodes contained within this one: the first is the 'Voyager establishment doing its thing', and the second is 'love story of the week.' In a sense these two narratives are at odds with each other and don't even make congruent sense when placed in the same episode. The Janeway/Doctor side of it seems to fit in with an episode involving insubordinate and selfish action on the part of an officer, where a moral lapse has occurred. The love story side of it seems to be about individual needs as they conflict with the needs of the group. These two sides should never have met, and indeed as some other commenters have mentioned, the scenes between Harry and Janeway/Doc are unintentionally humorous because of how stupid they are. Actually my reaction was anger rather than laughter, as I found their treatment of him to hardly more advanced than would be someone's attitude towards this kind of thing in the 1980's. It's hardly a model of advanced views towards sex or even basic tolerance towards human errors. Some have argued that this was really about first contact protocol - and on paper that holds, but as the episode plays it's really not about that. Let's face it: it's about a prudish attitude towards sex along with, yes, the heavy-handed morality play about STD. It doesn't belong in Trek.

    However the *other* episode going on at the same time DOES belong in Trek, and moreover, it is the ideal story to tell about a lost ship. What happens when the needs of 'the ship' begin to grate on the needs of individual members of the crew? What happens when one member feels s/he really needs something, but 'protocol' or even 'efficiency' says no? In regular Starfleet service the answer would be simple: "if you really need this then maybe serving on this ship isn't for you." But on Voyager there is no choice in the matter, and so some element of compromise - or at least negotiation - in that direction would be entirely fitting. Maybe the crew could negotiate with the captain for certain policy changes to fit their new lifestyle? It would make sense, and would be great food for episodic tensions. Even forgetting about the long-lost hope of tensions between the Maquis and the Starfleet crew, at the very least individual complaints could be addressed from time to time. The last occasion where this happened was with Tom Paris, and - oops! It was all a trick. Everyone was happy after all. What a farce.

    As far as direction goes, the 'love story' part of this episode always takes me by surprise as I find it works very well. Too well, considering the writing surrounding it. Somehow they managed to create a real human emotion in an episode that wasn't mitigated by or explained by any phenomenon, astronomical event, shuttle crash, or plot device. Two people just fell for each other. It doesn't matter whether it was lust, love, or whatever. It's a bottle episode concept that on its own worked very well. If the writing was better the notion of the generational ship could have been tied in to the impulse to couple up. Sex -> procreation -> next generation of the ship. DUH. So Harry's impulse to find a mate should have been painted as being right and proper for a ship seeing itself as generational, with the only problem being his haste in ignoring the medical regs. It didn't have to be a "Harry broke the rules" episode. It should have been a "Harry did a good thing in a bad way" episode, where the crew could feel sorry that they didn't have the infrastructure to have a true generational ship like that other race had, since they weren't designed for that and don't have enough people.

    Bah. The parts of the episode that don't belong (the 'Voyager establishment parts') are indeed one star, if not zero, since they are both tedious as well as morally backwards. The parts that are about Harry needing some damn human contact I'd give 3.5 stars, as those parts are among my favorite in the entire series for their simple honesty. Most love stories on Voyager ride entirely on plot pretence; a strange forgetting spell; a shuttle crash; intrigue while hiding telepaths; it's all contrivances. This one was just honest, if simple.

    My final score should combine the two scores, it it doesn't, because I'm happy to compartmentalize the episode and ignore the stupid parts. The Harry story is doing battle with the Voyager story, and since I root for the Harry story I'll take its side and give the episode its rating. 3.5.

    Dumb episode, great review. :)

    The whole sex with aliens rule was preposterous and unbelievable. Riker boned (or tried to) every woman who crossed his path. And do you think the crew got sex passes before going to Risa?

    And, oh, I just met the man of my dreams, but I'm not going with him. Riiight.

    I just have to shake my head and wonder what drugs the writers were on that day.

    I think 1 star is a bit harsh. I'd give it 2 stars just because Harry finally got some action.

    But I still want to punch him in the face for running away from Seven like a scared little girl.

    I don't think the sex protocols would really need to be enforced in the Alpha quadrant because for the most part, Starfleet was meeting species they were already aware of and knew what to expect if people had sex.

    It seems like it would have been simple to be approved. Just tell Cap you want to get with this woman, get the Doc to test you both out to make sure one of you won't die, and then have at it.

    If any of you watched B5, in the pilot they mentioned there was an "approved list" for humans to have sex with. Some guy was in a bar hitting on a woman and wasn't aware that her species ate the men after sex. Sinclair reminds him to stick with the list.

    It also seems Janeway has been celebate for 5 years..... so, it probably pisses he off that one of her crew have sex..... so she takes a Tuvokian approach to the regs on that one.


    Voyager writers are terrible with continuity, so they may have messed up on the distance and time to get home. When I saw the episode the first time, I just thought Janeway was BSing the guy about "several generations to get home" in order to get access to what she wanted to do. She seemed to be doing a sales pitch about how they had more in common than he thought.

    Well, a generation is about 20-30 years technically. My child is 5 and her great grandma is 90. So that's 4 generations with 85 years between them.

    The ship was initially 70 years from home. So initially "generations" isn't an unreasonable assumption.

    This episode is about 4.5 years out from the pilot (and they went backwards a LOT in the first two years) but let's give them the benefit of the doubt and say they progressed 4 years (even though I don't think that's true).

    Kes' jump was good for 10 years. They gained another 2 years in Night. But then they had another 10 year jump in Timeless and another 15 year jump in Dark Frontier. That's nearly 40 years total travelled in the last year and a half alone (after making very little progress in the first 2.5 years.... 2.5 years out in Fair Trade they hadn't even progressed past the area of space Neelix usually spends time in.

    So when Disease airs they have about 30 years left or less. At this point I sort of agree that saying they could become a generational ship is sort of stretching it. I mean Naomi could have kids and then they'd have 3 generations on one ship, but that's about it. If anybody else had kids now it'd take another 20+ years for those kids to have kids. So we're talking that by the time grandchildren are reasonably entering the picture for Voyager's crew you're around 5 years from home. And that's assuming no other short cuts. At all.

    That said, this episode airs right after Dark Frontier and so the writers may have been thinking they were closer to 45 years from home at the time of writing.

    I also loved when Janeway threatened his rank. I wish they had him say "I am still an Ensign, you won't promote me... I don't care about rank!".

    This would have been a good moment to write him out of the show by having him go off with the woman. It would have actually been a nice finish for his character .

    This episode gave me the most "WTF?!?" moment I've had since I started binge watching Voyager recently, when I noticed Voyager episodes were airing on the BBC. Never got to watch much of the original airing so I'm seeing a lot of this for the first time. This episode had some good ideas with the generational ship and even the sexual compatibility issues between humans and aliens, which should've always been more of an issue than Trek makes it out to be. However, sudden onset vanishing Starfleet Regulations 3 centimeters thick?!? "That level of ass pull is beyond comprehension." *Tuvok's voice, ominous music playing in background*

    Nobody batted an eyelash when Chakotay was knocking boots with an alien who's body chemistry released psychoactive pheromones that eradicated specific memories within a few hours. Who knows what effect her vaginal fluids might've had on Chakotay. Might have even erased him from the series or if she sat on his face that body graffiti off his forehead. Janeway didn't give herself a bowel-liquefying wrist-slapping when she lip-locked her love muscles on Inspector Gadgets orbicularis oris, but I guess there's a different standard of protocol applied to tactical make-out sessions. Ensign Kim should've filled out the application for first contact heavy petting. He wouldn't have been sanctioned for intercourse unbecoming a low ranked penis.

    And could they even be any more heavy-handed with the love is an STD that even your spaceship isn't safe from nonsense? Next time put a sock on your docking clamps! No balloons no party!!

    The episode is pretty good for what it is. Janeway's reaction was believable (as a captain), as was Harry's. The lack of consistency with previous episodes (didn't Paris sex up an alien woman in an earlier season?) bothered me a bit, though.

    And why didn't Tal join Voyager? She was obviously romantically involved with Kim, and she wanted to explore the galaxy. Any reason why she couldn't become Harry's girl? I'd give it 2 stars.

    Good show; I liked the dialogue between Janeway and Kim at the end acknowledging how he's changed as a character. At this point in the series, it kind of rang true. Overall I thought this was the best Harry Kim episode I've seen yet, focusing on his relationship and motivations in a fairly believable way.

    Past Harry episodes typically rely on some kind of sci-fi gimmick, including the overrated "Timeless," in order to eek some character growth out of him. It was refreshing that this episode didn't do that. And the glowing skin STD, which I found mightily amusing, turned out to be more an external sign of their love -- kind of like a hickey -- than an actual disease. Indeed, the "disease" of the title refers more to Seven's amusing comparison of love to a disease than to the glowing skin. And I liked the dialogue and situations. I wish Voyager would do more episodes like this one where the characters grow and change without the prompting of some kind of time paradox, alien technology, or reset button. Although I didn't expect Tal to stay on the show, I didn't feel like the Almighty Reset Button was hanging over this one the way it hung over "Timeless," and you've got to give "The Disease" some credit for that.

    This is probably my favorite review Jammers done.

    I call BS on there being an interspecies protocol since having sex with a newly contacted species be they male,female,androgynous had pretty much become a Star Trek staple by this point. Harry's only crime was getting the glowing clap.

    1 star

    Harry is such a useless character. Then you put him into a tiresome romance plot. The results were t going to be good. Then you have to sit through the cringeworthy Harry takes a stand. And the generational ship plot was a snooze

    This episode is bad (and gave us one of the great Jammer reviews) but it's not quite as bad as I remembered. The sexual prime directive stuff is overplayed and both the Doctor's and Janeway's reactions read as over-the-top, but while exaggerated it doesn't seem wholly incredible that they'd be concerned about unauthorized intimate contact leading to the introduction of pathogens into one species or the other or that Harry's secret dalliance is going to ruin the delicate diplomatic balance that they've struck with these xenophobes. The problem I think is that the focus is a little too diffuse, because yeah, there's been enough precedent of one-off romances that it is weird to act as if Harry has broken an obvious cardinal rule that we've never heard of.

    One of the big problems I remember with this episode was how lifeless and half-assed the "generation ship...time to break up!" subplot was, and that's still true-ish; Voyager doesn't even do anything except for following Harry's idea to extend the field or whatever to minimize the damage, and so we are vaguely disinterested witnesses to an internal rebellion. But I think I get the reason for it, which is more to reflect on the main story. Tal and the Generation Ship Captain Guy mirror Harry and Janeway. Captain Guy preserves the order of the ship, with a kind of assumption that they're one big village which he commands and which resists contact with outsiders, and Tal demands her freedom to explore her own life. Janeway's shock and chagrin is mostly that Harry would defy her orders, let alone to have a romantic affair, and the episode emphasizes again and again that Harry's a straight-up perfect officer and Janeway simply never would have expected him to defy an order for personal reasons.

    This element is the most (only?) interesting thing in the show, because it hints at wider problems which we mostly don't get to see explored, but: let's consider how the Generational Ship compares to Voyager. Janeway draws the comparisons and even mentions that they might become a Generational Ship themselves. So Janeway maybe wants and expects her own crew to pair off at some point. Janeway has given up the possibility of love *off* Voyager, in Resolutions to come back and command the ship, and in Counterpoint when her only option was a reformed authoritarian thug who turned out not to be reformed. Since she's not planning on pursuing anything with Chakotay while on the ship (and would be far too high in rank to pursue with anyone else, since Tuvok is married and the next highest ranking officer is, what, B'Elanna?), the only way for her to have a family is if Voyager is her family, and they are her children, and she gets to be a Community Leader rather than just a captain. This is just a possibility, because there is *also* a distinct lack of encouragement of or planning for the crew pairing off; she seems okay with it, but I don't think the issue of whether they should start having families has come up since Elogium (or I guess in the alternate future in Before and After). Anyway, because of Voyager's particular situations, the only options if a person *wants* romantic love are another crew member from an extremely limited pool or aliens-of-the-week. And realistically, this should be causing problems, because people are probably getting lonely and restless, realizing that their loved ones have moved on in some cases, and if they find that they can't find someone that's compatible with them on the ship (or can't find someone who returns their affections), they are pretty out of luck for any long-term relationship, and if they additionally have to clear every alien one-night-stand with the captain, this will also cause some conflict.

    One of the more surreal moments in the episode was Janeway asking Harry with shock why he was willing to risk his career over this thing with this woman. I mean, yeah, it's true that defying orders and stealing a shuttle (!) was an extreme action. But let's face it, what career? Harry is probably spending the rest of his life on Voyager, and on some level, Janeway is unlikely to remove him from bridge duty unless he does something bad -- Tom got away with an act of terrorism with a demotion and 30 days solitary. The whole idea of a "career" is a narrow and inappropriate way to look at what it means to live as part of a community of a hundred and forty or so for the rest of your life, and I'm amazed Janeway doesn't see that. But mostly, the point is that there are significantly fewer options and outlets. On the Enterprise-D, Riker did sleep with alien women apparently without permission, but let's say that Picard had the same rules at the time that Janeway has now. Riker could pursue one of the civilians on the ship, or go to the nearest starbase, or Risa, or whatever, and I'm sure he did, in order to find potential mates -- *including* long-term ones if that's what he wanted. It's still hard to find a compatible person, and one who would be willing to accept someone who prioritizes their career (hence the end to his relationship with Troi the first time), but the possibilities are there -- and, most importantly, if he really decided that he wanted love more than he wanted advancement, he could resign his commission, or accept worse assignments, or whatever. The whole idea of career vs. personal life as a framing falls apart when the only real options are stay on the ship or leave the ship, and at best Harry could get a transfer or a promotion, but these would represent motion within a tiny community rather than within a large, society-wide structure like Starfleet in the Alpha Quadrant. Let's remember that Harry did have a girlfriend on Earth (oddly forgotten about) and that this was not abnormal, because Starfleet isn't some sort of puritanical organization that forbids *having girlfriends*; the point is that it was not hard to have relationships when there are billions of Federation citizens and other Alpha Quadrant races that you have the possibility of seeing again.

    I don't think Janeway can be totally ignorant of these factors, which is why I think that she comes down on Harry for a different reason -- probably that she's upset and disappointed that he prioritized a relationship over following *her* orders, not so much because she's a power-mad dictator as that it's a bit of a reminder that her "youngest child" (well, except Naomi) can't find all that he wants in the nest. And I think that's interesting.

    I guess the way this can relate to everyday life of this is that it still does happen at some point that people who are really, really dedicated to their jobs (or their parents, or whatever else) grow up and realize they want other things out of life, too, and it's just particularly obvious in the specifics of Voyager's situation that they won't always be compatible.

    As for the rest -- I dunno, I didn't find the romance convincing, and I felt the performances were weak, and the dialogue pretty bad, all the standard complaints. It's unclear why Tal couldn't tag along with Harry at the episode's end given that she gained her independence, and why that wasn't even considered. And the last couple scenes where people assure Harry that they were wrong to criticize him and his feelings were eye-rolling. Why exactly does Janeway claim that Harry is a "better man"? What has Harry done that makes him "better"? (He was willing to stand up for himself and his feelings, fine, and that maybe makes him a more complete person, but "better man" implies something else, that he's more morally upstanding or something.) And then Seven's line about how she's discovered now that love can be a source of great strength is total crap -- what exactly has she observed? Is it just that he did her astrometrics readings for her?

    Anyway, the episode's interesting elements are there but they're both underwritten and not that well executed, and the rest is pretty much a wash. I guess I'd agree with 1 star.

    Although, I agree with Peter G.'s comment above about the simplicity of some of the Harry/Tal scenes -- that the idea is basically just that he needs some human contact, and also that the show should have explicitly tied in his impulse to find someone with what Voyager should have been doing. That's sort of what I was trying to get at with my comment, on the second point. I said I don't find the Harry/Tal scenes convincing, and that's still true, but I appreciate the idea of them that there's no overwhelming mega-story but he is just looking for some connection and intimacy, and there are some moments of sweetness between them.

    Another thing the episode did sort of all right is to show how being "the good one" can actually have an ironic effect. Janeway had Harry pegged as the good boy, so when he did defy her orders even for essentially harmless reasons she came down *very* hard on him, partly out of a sense of betrayal that Harry wasn't the person she thought he was. It's like she's angry that he deceived her, when it's her fault she got upset, for assuming that he'd always be the same guy. I think this dynamic where golden boys get hit hard when they "fall" and people end up being less sympathetic to them than they are to most people. I think it's part of the Wesley story over on TNG, to an extent; it's not so much that Wesley gets disproportionately unfairly treated in The First Duty, but I think Wesley really *fears* it, because his whole identity (and the identity that's formed by others about him) is so based around being the wunderkind that it's unclear who he even is (or if it would still be possible to hold the respect of his mother or Picard) if he suddenly was just a teenager. Somewhat similarly, maybe, Harry's identity as a schmuck and a loser seems to be relatively set by this point, and we get the annual "now I'm going to change!" episode and he never does, but it's partly that Harry gets slotted into this by other people and then nothing he does can change their mind. It's mostly affectionate *within* series, though it probably still annoys Harry, and outside the series it's mostly less affectionate (he gets a lot of character hate).

    Probably a lot of the appeal of Tal is that she is someone who could look at Harry and see a dashing officer rather than a toy soldier or the perpetual butt of the joke. And the point there is how important it is to be able to meet new people, especially when going through changes in one's life, to explore new parts of one's identity.

    I still think none of these elements were dealt with particularly well, but I can almost see how this episode could have worked. Anyway, right, I think I'll go to 1.5 stars instead of 1.

    If you feel the need to constantly leave comments longer than Jammer’s actual reviews, please report to the Captain’s Ready Room for disciplinary proceedings.

    I actually liked this episode! I felt chemistry between Harry and the alien chick (who was damn attractive--to put it mildly) and both directing (e.g., movement of the camera during few scenes instead of using regular cuts from one camera angle to another) and acting were handled pretty well in this episode. Anyway, the very ending was dissappointing and I'll use quotes from previous comments to prove my point:

    @K'Elvis: "And why doesn't Kim leave with Tal, or why doesn't Tal stay with Kim? They are so supposedly deeply in love, but break it off so easily. Tal's breaking away from her society, why not come along with Kim on Voyager? If this biochemical bond is so strong, would they really have left each other? It's the usual Trek thing that the relationship has to end by the end of the episode one way or another."

    @Kristi R: "And, oh, I just met the man of my dreams, but I'm not going with him. Riiight."

    @Mazra: "And why didn't Tal join Voyager? She was obviously romantically involved with Kim, and she wanted to explore the galaxy. Any reason why she couldn't become Harry's girl? I'd give it 2 stars."

    WTF, indeed...

    This episode leads to lots of questions about Riker, that guy slept with aliens left and right and no one batted an eye.

    @ Clark,

    Or maybe it leads to a lot of questions about Kenneth Biller and Michael Taylor, who it seems never watched TNG.

    Worth noting is that I feel that most of Biller's stories are sub-par, with some of them being outright bad episodes. While on the other hand, Taylor is the writer of the teleplay for both The Visitor and In the Pale Moonlight!!! So my 'joke' may not actually be a joke. Maybe Taylor literally didn't know what went on in TNG.

    @Peter G.

    Yeah, this show really seems to either completely ignore its predecessor's or copy them directly. Would have actually been really funny if they referred the regulation as the "Riker Rule," created after after all the messes he caused (genderless alien race anyone?).

    Can someone tell me why Harry didn't receive punishment yet Tom was locked up for 30 days and got demoted? Harry also disobeyed Janeway and stole a shuttle.

    Tom attempted large-scale industrial sabotage with the aim of forcibly changing a society's entire policy. Harry had a consensual if secret romantic affair. The scales of their goals were completely different.

    The generational ship captain was Ferris Beuller's dad. That's about all I care to remember about this snoozer. Oh...and Harry's lady-friend had a pretty slammin' body.

    Correction on previous comment: after sufficient internet research I realize that is not the same fellow who played Mr. Beuller. I guess I just wanted it to,be him.

    Lie to yourself long enough and it becomes truth.

    I agree with Peter G. This episode is very prudish. The captain thinks that she has the right to control Harry's sexuality, even though he's an adult.

    But the most disturbing part is how unfair this was to Kim. It's no secret that Garrett Wang was deeply frustrated by his character's treatment on Voyager (see: Straight Talk with Voyager’s Garrett Wang on He was never given a promotion.

    This is one of the most egregious examples of a double standard.

    Janeway almost states that double standard explicitly : It wouldn't have been so bad for Tom to do this, but Harry? Unacceptable.

    I suspect that the writers were unconsciously influenced by racial stereotypes against Asians:

    As Wikipedia explains : ""Mainstream America, for the most part, gets uncomfortable with seeing an East Asian man portrayed in a sexual light." Asian men are often portrayed as feminine or sexless in American media."

    That was a deplorable episode. There's no reason why Tal should not have joined Voyager and stayed on as Harry's companion.

    @ Tom,

    "That was a deplorable episode. There's no reason why Tal should not have joined Voyager and stayed on as Harry's companion."

    Ah, but there is a reason. Voyager's producers were cheapskates and didn't want to have to pay for recurring characters. It's palpable when watching the show to notice over almost every season the distinct lack of familiar faces or anyone recognizable among the crew other than the main cast. It's a complaint even many Voyager fans make, and I can't imagine it was for any reason other than to avoid paying actors when they could just make do with the people they were already obliged to pay each week.

    Usually Harry Kim episodes aren't great and this one is no exception -- it's basically been done before. A lot of the usual negatives about VOY episodes are present here (random wooden aliens and their conflict which no one gives AF about, arbitrary explosions but things work out for Voyager in the end, some rules never heard of before get trotted out, a poorly constructed romance etc.) But this time Janeway has to recant her steps, which adds to her character weakening. And in the end, has Harry Kim's character really developed? And what about the hypocrisy with Harry reprimanded for falling in love while others crew members have also fallen in love with aliens and gotten off without even a slap on the wrist?

    Have to admit I shook my head after the opener with Harry and some alien female who looks far too human getting it on. Not exactly a promising episode.

    But as for Harry, it's fine if he's a play-it-by-the-book guy and has an inner conflict. We have to take the alien bonding thing as powerful enough to break down what he's lived by for practically all his adult life. Might as well be a body-snatching premise, except that it acts out the sore point of Harry's life which we all know about already -- struggles with women.

    It just seems that Janeway's initial reprimand goes nowhere -- she's just basically reading the riot act for adding something weighty to this mediocrity. Instead, her authority and decisions go nowhere. It's such nonsense the thing about Harry now being a man and not a boy -- he's always supposed to have been a man FFS. That Janeway finally realizes this after 5 years makes her look like an idiot.

    Given that, once again, the female Harry's interested in is shady and is a lousy actress that couldn't act to show the interest in Harry that he showed in her, the romance comes off as artificial. So seeing Harry trying to get over love lost fell flat for me. The alien race's leader was a major stiff. And of course these are supposed to be xenophobic aliens.

    1.5 stars for "The Disease" -- Harry Kim wasn't the weakness in this episode for me. It was the premise, the guest actors, the writing, and the overall concept. I didn't mind Harry standing up to Janeway, but in the end, this is a very bad episode for her character. Wang isn't the actor to turn this mediocrity into something half-decent. Neat review Jammer!

    Jammer's review of this episode is genuinely more original and entertaining and contained more thoughtfulness and insight than the episode itself. There is clearly some sort of law at work here, such that especially forgettable episodes produce especially memorable reviews. It's some consolation.

    It was hard top buy what the ep was selling: that Harry Kim was so wildly in love with this woman he just met, that he would defy Janeway and much more.

    Ep was mediocre overall, though the concept of a generational ship was an interesting one that I wish had been better explored. Too much focus on the Kim romance, which just was not that exciting.

    Kim toughing it out at the end reminded me of the Doc having to do the same, just recently. Ultimately they are no shortcuts to dealing with emotional hurts and scars.

    An incredibly stupid episode. This is why I stopped watching new television a few years ago-the way it depicts sex and relationships is truly appalling. If people did not have immoral sex the way Kim does here, none of this would have happened. I know my opinion may not be a popular one among fans of this forum, but I actually do not usually have a low opinion of Kim as many do, but seeing this kind of behaviour definitely decreases it

    I wasn't going to go into this again, but this episode is a big problem with the entertainment media today-it completely teaches the wrong values! Not only is their the immoral acts of one "hero" of the show, but then another tries to cover for him instead of getting him the help he needs! Paris is always portrayed as the "swashbuckling hero" of the show. And yet, he does this kind of stuff! A real hero would make sure Kim either went to the captain, or told her himself. It amazes me how this is portrayed.

    I completely disagree with Tom and Peter G. Prudish? If anything, this episode isn't "prudish" enough!

    Sean, respectfully, you can't really expect the script to reflect all your personal beliefs. This isn't a Christian-written show.


    I do understand that, but it still needs to be said. Honestly, I believe this and Home Improvement were two of the last shows I watched. I honestly don't have a lot of time for television anyway, and most of what I have are old '80s shows (like Magnum PI). I have all the Star Trek series, and have been rewatching them (or watching them in the case of "Enterprise" as I missed it on its initial run)

    But frankly, I know that if I wrote this show, there would be quite a few things that wouldn't generally be agreed with by many people here. Thanks, Jordy.


    @ Sean Hagins,

    In the world of Voyager it is factually the case that the culture in question supposedly believes that sex and love are separate things (as shown on TNG explicitly, and implicitly a bit on DS9) and that there is literally nothing wrong with "sex for fun." The fact that Kim may actually have feelings for the girl here is nice and all, but even if he didn't the Trek concept of 24th century values is that this is totally legit. Your opinion on whether it's legit is fine, but also irrelevant to judging whether - within context - the episode is correctly portraying Trek and Federation values. And in context of that, yes, this episode is completely prudish and also hypocritical. You can look outside of Federation values and say that it's not prudish enough by *your values*, which is sensible, but that is again not relevant to assessing critically whether what's being portrayed is consistent with Trek canon.

    If you're going to bring your own morality into it you're basically doing the same thing people do who want to nitpick whether warp drive is really possible or whether aliens could really have sex with humans. The show says it is and they can, so that's the imaginary setting. Naysaying those things is basically to refute the premise, in which case you have to scrap the whole project and say that the show is a failure. But if you're going to accept the imaginary circumstance, this must also include the world portrayed in the show, in which we've been shown countless times that sex before marriage *is not* sinful behavior. This is simply a show premise; disagree with it as you like, but the only thing a show *should* do is be consistent within its own premise.

    I agree with you, btw, that shows often show bad things. I couldn't help feeling, while trying to watch How I Met Your Mother, for instance, that the show's basic premise about how to treat others was wrong, and that situations that were meant to be cute or funny actually came off as creepy and unhealthy. So I get it. But my choice was then to turn it off and call it a day. I'm not saying you should turn Trek off in similar fashion, but if this one premise really gets your goat then I think the only thing to do is to resign yourself to knowing you disagree strongly with Roddenberry's views on sex and to sort of write off anything to do with those, rather than critiquing them at every turn as if the show could have been portrayed any other way by the time of VOY. If you're going to offer critique based on how the should *should have been conceived* then you're sort of into the fan-fic department instead of assessing how well they carried out what they intended to. Once you want to undermine a premise as fundamental as what role sex has in Federation society, you could turn around and make other arguments like "every time Picard fires torpedoes he's committing murder because violence is never justified under any circumstances." I mean, such an argument is technically cogent, since absolute pacifism is an actual belief, but in making that kind of critique of Picard's 'character' you'd basically be leaving the show as intended far behind.

    I hope I was clear...

    I'm totally confused here. What is immoral about any kind of consensual sex?

    @ Peter G

    Again, I understand what you are saying, Peter, but if something is wrong, it is wrong. It is just as wrong for Harry Kim to have extra-martial sex as it would be for him to just start firing phasers at random ships they come across. If an episode had that, and especially in the light of it being a healthy way to satisfy some maniacal urge, I am sure there would be people complaining. I do not remember this episode-I likely did not watch it when it came out for this very reason, and hence forgot it-so it was that much of a surprise. Believe me, if Voyager had indecent sexually themes as a regular basis, I would not have watched it-it's one reason I don't watch new television, like the latest series

    @ Immanuel

    Sexual relations are for married people only

    @ Sean,

    "Again, I understand what you are saying, Peter,"

    Honestly, I don't really think you do.

    Rewatching, whoa the acting is bad.

    The episode maybe improves a little around the middle, where it suggests that Chakotay and of course Paris and even Janeway herself consider that Janeway is being too stringent, the protocol actually *is* rarely actually enforced or even taken seriously but Janeway just chose to do so (kind of the only way to make the episode fit with the franchise overall), but then the ending has Janeway, despite some outreach to Kim, insisting and Harry agreeing that it is standard typical policy, she always would and any captain would.

    There's maybe a little credit for the end of the episode pretty much, or sort of, admitting that Tal didn't love Harry, for her it was just lust, and Harry at least vaguely admits it to himself, but that slight admitting, that little reaction or denial isn't interesting enough, sure doesn't make the episode wothwhile enough.

    Wow, 2031 is only 12 years away now.

    Nice Disney prediction, Jammer!

    Ok, the next 1 star episode. Full disclosure. I switched from golden sicilian white wine to Bacardi Cola and yes I know that Barcardi was basically a terrorist organisation back then (look it up sheeple) but I didn't have Havana Club and the Bacardi was a leftover of a party from last week. Sue me.

    This is another "Oh Harry" episode. In Enterprise it was weird sex scenes, I guess 1 star episodes have to include Harry. He is not a bad looking guy, ok he is not Tom Paris and certainly no Chakotay but still... Harry find a women who doesn't give you a virus or is made up of photons.

    What else... ehh there is this one guy who is the captain/King/Mullah of the other ship. He is an idiot, kind of. The whole "let my people go" story was so superficial. I did not care one bit about it. By the way, are there systems on Voyager who actually work when they should be (in this case the docking clams).

    Is there anything else... well Jery Ryan is always filmed in the center of the frame. (Here a video about male gaze: I think Jery Ryan is giving me gender dysphoria.

    I laughed quite a few times. To quote the doctor: Sometimes I think everybody has been possessed by alien hormones.

    Indeed, Doc. Indeed.

    Let's see what Jammer has to say.

    Ok, so this episode finally made Jammer snap. This is a weird review. To think that he had to go through four seasons of Enterprise and two seasons of... what is the new show called oblivious... obstacle... ... no its Discovery, yes, two seasons of discovery. I want to give the guy a hug. Is it a he... was that ever confirmed. I think so.

    He is right of course. This Harry + horny alien episode is not about love but about sex. They don't know each other apart from certain body parts. We never see them sharing anything deeper than having sex.

    Again two heavy mistakes in Jammers review. Tal (Harry's hottie) is not an engineer. She is an assistant engineer. GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT, SIR!

    The second mistake shows what a corporate shill Jammer is. To quote: "I think we need to turn our attention to the Microsoft and Disney corporations, which maintain joint ownership of Earth in 2031"

    Really 2031. Come on Jammer Disney took over in 2018. Who paid you!!

    Positive things about the episode: I really liked Tal's lipstick.

    Rewatching this just now, it actually has some nice character moments. Not a complete disaster.

    This review is epic.. is Jammer auditioning for a role in a future Trek?
    Dire episode though.

    Tom told Harry, way back in season 1 during "Ex Post Facto": "Someday it will be you, Harry. You'll meet her, and you'll know it's wrong from the first moment you see her, and you'll know there's nothing you can do about it."

    Five years later it happens. And Tom knows full well what's going on. I always enjoy the friendship these two have. Tom covers for him by stopping the illicit transmission before Tuvok can trace it. That could have landed Tom in as much trouble as Harry, but he did it anyway. Good scene.

    I can't say I have as much of a problem with this episode as Jammer and some of the others here. Yes, the "no sex with alien species until it's been medically cleared" idea seems at odds with what we've already seen on TNG and DS9 (Kirk was a century earlier, so I don't assume all the same regulations existed for him), but there's probably a way to work around that. And as some have noted, Janeway enforced this particular rule on this occasion more because of who broke it than for any other reason, as she admits at the end of the episode. She wasn't being consistent and treating Harry's infraction in the same way she would otherwise have done if it had been committed by another member of the crew. Garret Wang does a good job in all his major scenes, and I'll be curious to hear his thoughts on this episode whenever his podcast gets this far into reviewing Voyager.

    It's another middle of the road Voyager episode for me: enjoyable to watch with some good scenes. Not stellar, but not full of major deficiencies either. Two stars.

    Well, now....

    The alien chick is hottttttttt-cha-cha!!! Heck, I'd do her even if it'd mean spending the rest of the journey in the brig! As an actress though? Her blandness is only surpassed by her paramour's.

    Speaking of, Harry "Can't-Get-A-Lock-On-Anything-Ever" Kim is a total nebesh. A schmoe. A schlemiel. A schmuck. A putz. Five seasons in, I can't take him, anything he does, or anything he's mixed up with seriously. His character has by now gotten so compromised that he should've been written out and given little, if any, screen time. Against even Tom Paris, Harry is like crushed ice compared to a banana-and-peanut-butter snow-cone: beyond lackadaisical and eminently forgettable. Did I get my point across? LOL!

    Now that's out of the way, this was actually a decent episode; definitely watchable. More accurately, it's an episode with an intriguing question: How does/would intimacy with a newly-encountered species work, given all the nasties that could be transmitted thereby? That question is not really explored, even pseudo-scientifically, which is a pity. Nor, for that matter, was the B-story about the alien race and its internal strife; also a pity.

    It is nice that you enjoy the episode but could you please consider not telling everybody here with what character on the show you want to have sex?

    @MikeyZ @Booming

    Kirk and Riker actually did have sex with every alien. I don’t find Mikey offensive, it’s a little funny in a low brow way. He’s not being overly vulgar or anything and it’s not the only thing he’s saying.

    I think most people who love Trek agree that an open forum dedicated to Trek should be a welcoming place to everybody who enjoys Star Trek and a 15 year old female teenager might have a different perception of a guy objectifying and fantasizing about having sex with a female character and even risking going to prison for years because of it.

    But as one could see in a later post he either didn't see my post or cared to moderate his language.

    Okay well I’m pretty sure there are not any 15 year old females posting on here and if there are I don’t think they’d be offended. Neither of us are qualified to speak for these imaginary girls. Personally I would never automatically think they would be so shaken and mentally weak that someone making an offhand comment about an actress being hot would just send their world tumbling down. Also you are being very dramatic by bringing up “prison”. I think he said something to the effect of the alien would be worth a night in the brig? (Worth breaking protocols by being romantic with her). That truth is such a far cry from the desperate painted narrative of him saying “she’s worth prison”. He’s just having fun. Try it some time.

    "and a 15 year old female teenager might have a different perception of a guy objectifying and fantasizing about having sex with a female character and even risking going to prison for years because of it."

    I can't imagine even Gen Z females are this unspeakably lame.

    MikeyZ wrote:"The alien chick is hottttttttt-cha-cha!!! Heck, I'd do her even if it'd mean spending the rest of the journey in the brig!"

    Let's not drag this out. I get it. You think this kind of language is appropriate for this forum and nobody in their right mind should have a problem with it.

    Gee, I wonder what might put people off using this forum more - some straight guy writing "The alien chick is hot, I'd do her" in his review of an episode which is *about sex*, or the person who starts a tone-deaf argument constantly trying to police trivial bullshit like this on every single forum thread. Look, I've argued with people for using gross misogynist or hateful language on here before, but this isn't one of those cases. Writing "The alien chick/dude is hot" is perfectly fine, we're adults and we can talk about who we find attractive... the "I'd do her" addendum is maybe a bit juvenile, but the entire topic of the episode is Harry breaking protocols (albeit retconned for this episode) by having sex with an alien because he's overcome by the strength of his attraction. Mikey is just saying that he'd do the same as Harry in that situation, i.e. he is - unlike some people - commenting directly and personally on the central theme of the episode and saying what he'd do if presented with the same dilemma.

    "and a 15 year old female teenager might have a different perception of a guy objectifying and fantasizing about having sex with a female character and even risking going to prison for years because of it." - this is so typical, inventing an imaginary offended person to justify your outrage on their behalf and enforce your own social power. We get it.

    I think this one is slightly underrated and for me it's a 2.5. The biggest problem isn't the sex storyline or the acting, but the fact that the protocol not to get intimately involved with aliens is invented just for this episode. That's a fairly big problem. I like the concept and execution of the ship and I like Wang's performance as always.

    All I did was to ask a guy if he could tone it done. That was all that happened and I would not have commented on it anymore until cody and the free speech Mujahideen jumped in.

    This episode will probably have you laughing out loud over the "they expect us to believe this?" factor of Starfleet having a regulation about needing clearance to bang aliens. Even if you accept that it does (and that it has all along), then there's the additional hilarity of Harry being the only officer in the history of Starfleet to get called on it. Damn, Janeway. I know it's Harry, but that's cold. Hahahahaha.

    After that, though, it's perfectly fine as an episode. Is it something we needed to watch? A story that needed to be told? No. But nothing about it is offensively bad, either. Just offensively mediocre.

    What a great review lol. But the episode is 2.5 stars IMO, there’s been worse. Janeway is such a hypocrite in almost every way. Sex, prime directive, and so on.

    While watching Voyager-season 5, I have become convinced that a major thrust of the show is crew member misbehavior and discipline by Janeway. This is typified by the episode Disease in two great scenes in which she thrashes poor Harry Kim. In the second of the two scenes he pushes back pretty well....'have you ever been in love captain?' Wang's performance is great.

    Chakotay's probing questions about her uncompromising approach is also interesting. Man she's harsh! And in Dark Frontier she was unnecessarily awful to B'Elanna....couldn't let her feel good for 5 seconds, even though she had just solved a major engineering problem of adapting to the Borg technology. Ticked me off....what a morale destroyer! And I feel that way despite liking Janeway on many levels. Morale maintenance should be job one for any leader. Sometimes that means holding one's tongue about perceived infractions.

    I liked "Disease" again disagreeing with Jammer. Will enjoy watching it in the future. 4 Stars.

    Hey, another fan! I couldn't give it 4 stars because the sci-fi issue of an intergenerational ship is discarded wholesale as a backdrop to the Kim story, but it's one of my favorite VOY eps all the same.

    1. Jammer's review was funnier and more entertaining than the episode.

    2. Janeway saying she felt more protective of Kim was nice, but she did the same with Kes and 7 of 9. Honestly she's like that with everyone except Tuvok and Chakotay because they're more on her level. She even disciplines Tom like he's her "troubled son" at times like the previous ep she demoted him and sent him to the brig for 30 days.

    Can someone tell me was the PLOT of this episode anORIGINAL IDEA? And were the aliens unique and ORIGINAL??

    Generation ships and space STDs are both relatively novel premises. That is the end of my praise for this episode.

    I liked it, maybe 2.5 stars.

    Janeway is ridiculous here.

    There's some interesting camera and editing work here. In particular, there's a really nice continuous shot following Harry and Janeway from the ready room, across the bridge and into the conference room.

    The camera moves a lot and even features some long zooms.

    One case is inadvertently hilarious. In the climax, there's a wide shot that starts focused on Janeway and Chuckles then zooms in tight on Harry. The very next shot does the same from Janeway and Chuckles to Tuvok. It's pretty cheesy and a good example of why zooms are frowned upon.

    Correction, not zooms, looks like the camera is on a crane, but every bit as cheesy as zooms.

    Damn, I wish this article had touched on the manual imput polarization and sequential tachyon plasmatic nullifier array.

    The generation ship looked nifty. Add a half star for those special effects, must've been a lot of work back in the '90s.

    I am not one to inject race discussions everywhere, and I do enjoy the usually race-blind approaches to casting in Star Trek since Day One.

    But, wow, another example of how much the writers loathed Garrett Wang and leaned into anti-Asian tropes to besmirch him.

    Fiancee Libby? Forgotten after the first season.

    Ensign Kim is pusilanimous, a nerd, unlucky in love, pathetic for even lusting after a blond hottie, and when he rarely does get female attention, it is somehow wrong or weird or dismissable. Even the Season 7 episode where an aggressive Klingon lady likes him, we are supposed to find the idea hilarious in and of itself.

    The stereotypes relating to him are not overt like "buck teeth, loves calculus, bows excessively and smacks his head, and switches R and L," but the racist tropes are still there.

    When you live as a minority, you really start to notice these things. They are there. You get attuned to them by life more so than any rhetoric looking for CRT under every bed and in every closet. I could go on about white Americans in Indian or East Asian media, but that's a topic for another day.

    I don't think this is about sexual prudishness. It's about "reading your audience". This is a first contact situation. Maybe if they were making first contact with Risans, it would make sense that the crew would have lustful encounters. But consider that this is a first contact situation involving a technology crisis with a xenophobic race. The level of professionalism needs to be higher so as to not make a tense situation worse, especially when we know that the Varro society is so distrustful. Janeway herself says that informing the Varro of a possible biological/medical issue because of Harry's interlude could jeopardize the first contact relationship. I think that's more what this is about.

    Making matters worse was that Harry was concealing it. Why go to such great lengths to hide it if there's not something inappropriate about it? The Varro also demonstrated that their society is not okay with this. They reacted with new protocols to keep the two crews segregated while they work together. They made be the prudes, but they also become biologically dependent upon their mates in a way that could kill them if they are separated. So there are real consequences here.

    That said, the quoting of the "interspecies manual" was hilariously bad, considering all the on-screen interspecies romances we've seen in Star Trek over the decades. The Varro context was enough to condemn Harry, they didn't need to bring in a made-up Starfleet regulation that has never applied to the show before. First contact typically involves assessing any biological threats *immediately*, like before they even step in the same room as one another. I mean, Voyager was docked with the Varro ship for weeks and their crews were interspersed already for repairs. Clearly there was already safety. Anything extra that came up should be able to be handled by Federation medicine.

    So... to summarize my opinion, I think Harry's infraction had more to do with first contact than with Janeway being a sexual prude. She even said to Chakotay that she reprimanded Harry because he's an ensign and she needed to make an example of him for his benefit.

    I skipped this episode, but I happened upon the review by accident and it's hilarious! Brilliant writing, Jammer.

    Both the central sci-fi concepts in this episode are solid. The generational ship and first contact protocols are viable ideas. But building this story around Harry Kim was a mistake. Garret wang’s acting ability is, well…let’s just say ‘special’. Pair that with some of the worst possible melodramatic writing and you have a cringefest on your hands.

    I have to say, voyager actually deserves a little credit here for being the first Trek to delve into the area of first contact sexual relationships. Granted, the way it was written was super awkward and chuckle-inducing, but at its core it makes sense. Normally Trek is pretty freewheeling with its interspecies space bestiality, but the reality of that would be far more complex and dangerous than Kirk plowing his way across the galaxy ever implied. So, even tho that episode made me want to scrub my eyeballs clean, I have to say good job voyager. I guess.

    It also makes sense from a political first contact point of view. Before you let your crew start banging every alien that pops up, you might want to get a gauge on how that alien culture views sex and personal social interactions. Harry’s horniness could start a war or something.

    Also, was there a reason given that Harry’s electric lady friend couldn’t join the voyager crew? I mean, they were all in luuurve and stuff, and she was setting out on a whole new independent life. Seems like an undermanned ship like voyager would be a good place to begin a new chapter. I suppose expecting continuity and consequence is a bit much for voyager. A new crew member and major character life change for Harry Kim? Pffft, get the heck out of here..

    Good lord this episode is awful. Just nausea inducing. Why why why???? Also I hated the one where Trip got pregnant. Horny dipsh*ts in space.

    Leif : "Can someone tell me was the PLOT of this episode anORIGINAL IDEA? And were the aliens unique and ORIGINAL??"

    A: Hahahahaha.
    B: ROFL

    I did like the way the generation ship was designed. But plot? Was there a plot? And aliens? Again, ROFL.

    Also: Acting ability? Oh lordie. Writing? OMFG.

    I watched this episode back after years of not caring and it felt like the entire thing just oozed off the surface of my brain without leaving an impression.

    Well, maybe that's not fair. It did leave one impression: My word did this show hate Harry Kim. The character's limelight episodes always seem to conspire to make him look like a goober most of the time, and this one makes him out even worse. The Kim we see in this episode is too much of an immature manchild to be believable after five years in the Delta Quadrant. The potentially cool angle of the generational ship and its internal politics is entirely overshadowed by the cringe-worthy Harry material.

    This episode and Favorite Son both drive home for me just how much the writers treated Harry like the butt of a joke at best. Poor Garrett Wang.

    Wow. You could watch 10 minutes of this one and…
    ” Scanning for microfractures, “ leads me to believe that we should all be heading for sickbay. Cringey.

    Introducing a bio threat into their population.

    Another wonderful opportunity for Janeway to indulge herself in her elevated captain's privileges.
    I know she is the boss- but whenever Picard is trying to discipline his crew it comes over as respectful, whenever Janeway does it, she comes over as a bitchy psycho captain.

    Once again, I have no memory of this episode, but I see from the comments, that I watched it about 6 years ago. I really have not much to add as my earlier comments stand. Absolutely disgusting behaviour!

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