Star Trek: Voyager
Air date: 11/22/2000
Teleplay by Andre Bormanis
Story by Robert Lederman & Dave Long
Directed by LeVar Burton
Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan
"I scanned you."
"You scanned me?"
"In the Jeffries tube. Your blood pressure and neurotransmitter readings indicated a state of arousal."
"It was hot!"
— Icheb and B'Elanna
In brief: A nigh-perfect example of too little, too late.
"Nightingale" didn't do much for me. I'm not entirely sure whether to blame the episode or the series as a whole, so I'll do the honorable thing and blame both.
But in all seriousness, an episode like "Nightingale" suffers all the more because it's an example of the adage "too little, too late."
Well, too bad.
Ensign Harry Kim, as many people undoubtedly know, is by far not my favorite Voyager character. In my view, he's the best candidate for ripping apart and making fun. The writers apparently share that view, and frequently give him episodes where he's the butt of the joke. (The story break meetings must boil down to: "That darn Harry! He's such a funny, naive kid! How green can we make him this week?") Witness the very end of "Inside Man," for example, and you see Harry being the victim of a joke that seems to reinforce the fact that he hasn't advanced a step forward since day one. Besides, when the character is saddled with episodes like "Favorite Son" or "The Disease," how can we possibly believe the writers see him as anything more than the lovable goofball who gets some of the worst shows?
Now we get "Nightingale," which seems to be a last-ditch effort by the writing staff to redeem themselves for years of Harry non-growth. Does it work? Not really. Could it have? I'm honestly not sure. The show wants us to accept Harry as a starship captain. That's sort of like asking us to accept Tuvok as a stand-up comedian.
Harry ends up in command of a ship by complete accident, which is perhaps a telling sign. Wandering into an alien conflict by chance, Harry makes a choice while on a Delta Flyer mission with Seven and Neelix: He opts to stop one ship from firing on another. Strictly speaking as a matter of policy, the conflict is not his concern, but humanitarian instincts tell him that saving the crippled ship under attack is the right thing to do.
The decision he makes is not a bad one, though it will raise complications later. When the Delta Flyer crew boards the vessel to tend to survivors, Harry finds that the ship's captain and senior officers have all been killed (how convenient!), and this crippled ship needs the help of experienced personnel to make repairs. They're called the Kraylor, and they say they're on a mission of mercy to deliver medicine to their world. They need protection from the Annari, who are the ones who attacked them. They are particularly vulnerable without their cloaking device working.
Harry offers them help in making repairs, after which they ask if he would be willing to take command of their ship and take them to safety. He routes them to Voyager's position and asks Janeway for an opportunity to see this mission through. There's a speech here where Harry makes his case for getting his first "real command" — which is a relevant idea after all these years — and he even makes mention of the fact he's been an ensign for the past six years ("If we were back home, I'd be a lieutenant by now — maybe even a lieutenant commander"). Not that Janeway couldn't have given him a field promotion at any time; she gave rank to the Maquis officers and promoted Tuvok (and Paris, after demoting him), but never mind.
So Janeway gives Harry his chance to sit in the big chair of this Kraylor vessel. Harry takes command of the Kraylor ship and quickly names it the Nightingale, hence the episode's title. There's a complication here: The Annari, the Kraylor's enemies, are in the middle of some trade negotiations with Voyager, so Harry's mission must be conducted outside their knowledge.
The problem with "Nightingale" is that the crises are far too obvious and the story is not subtle enough. Harry takes command, and it's almost as if the power of the captain's chair instantly rushes straight to his head and turns him into a magnified version of his already blatantly naive self. As captain, he's an annoying micromanager, giving an order to his officer and then practically shoving the officer out of the way to do it himself, so it's done right.
Also, Harry carries an air of arrogance that practically snuffs out our sympathy for him. He doesn't gain the respect of those under him and instead assumes he has it because he sits in the captain's chair. Frankly, if I were serving under him, he wouldn't have my respect either. (Does Harry have a single character trait besides being green?)
The best scenes are probably the ones where Seven kicks Harry in the rear with her direct opinions ("There is a malfunction in one of the ship's systems — its captain.") whenever he makes a mistake. But he should already be realizing these mistakes if he ever commanded Voyager during the night shift. By throwing us such ham-fisted Harry actions, the story doesn't really give us a sampling of Harry's abilities but instead examples of why he shouldn't even be in the chair in the first place.
There's some extra plotting to "Nightingale" involving the hidden motives of the Kraylor, as mostly filtered through the mysterious character of Dr. Loken (Ron Glass). They aren't trying to deliver medical supplies but instead the ship's prototype cloaking device. This exposed deception leads Harry to order the mission abandoned, at which point the crew answers in mutiny by refusing to follow his order to turn around. Harry decides it best to flee the ship in an escape pod rather than be a party to delivering military equipment. But then he changes his mind after getting dressed down by Seven and decides to see the mission through anyway, at which point I wondered if a crew would really accept him back. (Somewhat indulgent is the show's portrayal of Harry as heroic for coming to this decision, and making so much of his return to the bridge.)
There's a B-story in "Nightingale" that goes down as one of the most disposable filler B-stories in some time. It involves Icheb coming to terms with an unexpected crush on B'Elanna. Being unfamiliar with romantic signals, he perceives simple friendliness as signs that B'Elanna has an interest in him. While not offensive, this subplot is the lightest of lightweight and not one bit necessary or interesting. The comic "twist" is when Icheb confuses the facts until he's telling B'Elanna they must "stop seeing each other." The story misses its lighthearted payoff moment by showing B'Elanna annoyed after the strange misunderstanding instead of smiling at the absurdity of it. (C'mon, 'Lanna — lighten up!)
Now that I think about it, I don't know that this show could've actually succeeded. It's probably unfair that "Nightingale" suffers from the mistakes that were made before — and perhaps it reveals my bias against a character long reduced to a single joke. But this is a show that can't really work as entertainment unless we feel the central dilemma about Harry is worth our time. All the alien conflicts and hidden agendas are just stock McGuffin material (and too mediocre to be compelling); the real story is about Harry. And I can't really say that the real story is anything but mediocre either. The ending in particular doesn't ring true, because it shows that Harry seems to think he's captain material. He's not. But the episode seems to want us to think he is, or at least that he might be someday down the road.
I dunno. By the end of the episode I didn't get the sense that Harry learned much of anything. What's more, I didn't really care.
Next week: Doc is pulled into the plight of a group of sentient holograms.
Previous episode: Body and Soul
Next episode: Flesh and Blood
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98 comments on this post
Tue, Mar 10, 2009, 12:52am (UTC -5)
Meh. At least there were those cool shots of the warp nacelles being refurbished.
Fri, Nov 27, 2009, 6:32am (UTC -5)
Mon, Dec 21, 2009, 5:40pm (UTC -5)
The truth is that in some scenes, Harry appears to be quite a strong leader - a deeper voice, more confidant, etc. While I don't doubt the credibility of this character EVENTUALLY... it comes right out of left field here. Simply put, the character did not undergo enough transformation to make what is shown here credible.
Sure, Harry makes some pretty bad mistakes as captain... and I suppose you should make mistakes when your learning command. Still, the mistakes even come out of left field... and the dialog and acting make it go way over the top. When Harry was "being the big man", I was cringing. I had a sick feeling to my stomach. I felt that the writers were pushing too hard to force this on Harry. The dialog and logic behind his actions also kind of didn't make sense.
The whole episode is just two much of an extreme. I get emotional stomach pain watching.
Wed, Jan 20, 2010, 5:11pm (UTC -5)
Sun, Jan 24, 2010, 12:06am (UTC -5)
Harry was a waste of bridge space. No one lasts 7 years as an ensign if they're doing a good job. Given how much Garrett phoned it in, I'm not surprised that might reflect on his character development.
Data said the average ensign life span was 3 years.
Fri, Jul 16, 2010, 1:29pm (UTC -5)
I liked that footage, too, but what struck me (and this is not the first time) was how tiny Voyager was made to look compared to the people scampering around it. It's sized more like a jumbojet than a starship bearing a dozen or so decks. I remember thinking the same the few times Voyager was shown landing on a planet and was shot with crewmembers standing near it.
Anyway, soooooo, Harry "Can't-Get-A-Lock" Kim a captain!?! Wow. That guy couldn't captain a third-division junior highschool hopscotch team!! LOL!!! But another fine mess he got Voyager into.
"The show wants us to accept Harry as a starship captain. That's sort of like asking us to accept Tuvok as a stand-up comedian."
No-Lock: "If we werre back home, I'd be a  lieutenant-commander[.]"
Ha! Given the number of things he screwed up over the seven years, I'd have him scrubbing plasma-conduits! I'd sooner have Icheb be an admiral than "No-Lock" anything above an ensign, and even that's really pushing it. He is always depicted as a nice guy but there wasn't a single moment I remember him really shining.
Speaking of Icheb, that poor guy's probably still having wet dreams, ten years after the episode was shot! Man, the scriptwriters can be really cruel!! *grin*
Um, anyhow, here's what I don't get: The Kraylor planet is in dire straits and its inhabitants may die of starvation due to the Anari blockade of the planet. So, the planet is not self-sufficient? Unlikely. Secondly, why did "Dr. Loken" develop the cloaking technology so far away from the planet instead of on the planet itself? Ah, never mind.
Good show. I liked the action sequences. It deserves three stars, in my view.
Sun, Mar 13, 2011, 10:34am (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 7, 2011, 6:06pm (UTC -5)
Dull as dishwater, just like Kim himself.. I almost nodded off, if not for the odd slightly interesting moment like watching slices of nacelle being moved around.
One star, and not a golden one...
Sun, Nov 13, 2011, 5:19am (UTC -5)
I guess there's too much interference to move him?
Fri, Mar 16, 2012, 5:26pm (UTC -5)
I'd say that's court-martial material right there.
An overlooked point is that while Harry is interfering in an alien squabble he knows nothing about, Voyager is helplessly planetside with its insides splayed out in the open. So if there's a hostile response to Kim's meddling, Voyager not only can't come to his rescue, but has zero capacity to defend anyone at all.
Both Janeway and Kim were lucky that all the Annari did was escort Voyager out of their space. If they had decided to arrest everyone and impound Voyager, what could the crew have down, given that the ship was totally helpless during its maintenance?
Zero stars. Unless it becomes a two-parter with Kim being court-martialed the next episode.
Tue, Apr 10, 2012, 2:46am (UTC -5)
I think it was my first and only Trek review! I sort of felt the need to vent about the series and this particular episode culminated a lot of those frustrations.
Tue, Jul 3, 2012, 4:43am (UTC -5)
The words of wisdom spouted from Seven concerning Harry's "command" should really have come from Neelix. He is the one with the introspection necessary to have made those somments in a useful fashion...as much as I like Seven, those comments didnt seem right coming from her. She looks better in tight clothes than Neelix and that is always good for ratings...
Tue, Jul 3, 2012, 4:45am (UTC -5)
Mon, Oct 22, 2012, 12:04am (UTC -5)
Go back to previous episodes with Harry Kim as the main plot character and read the forums section and you'll see what I'm talking about.
Thu, May 9, 2013, 12:58am (UTC -5)
Wow, what a terrible episode. I'm not sure if the Harry Kim character or Garrett Wang's acting is worse, but they're both positively cringe-worthy.
One thing that really bugged me that no one else brought up is the idea that flying a ship automatically equals a chain of command. If I ask someone else to drive my car home, that doesn't mean I'm going to call them "sir" and let them bark orders at me. I thought that was very presumptuous on Kim's part, to make the jump from chauffeur to captain. I would drive home blind before I'd let someone I just met boss me around.
Sat, Jun 15, 2013, 1:04pm (UTC -5)
Certainly that had to be true here too, with Robert Beltran complaining the loudest.
Firefly this ain't, but Firefly's writers didn't have to come up with seven years of material based on three previous series dating back 45 years.
Wed, Jun 26, 2013, 12:42am (UTC -5)
I don't think I ever actually saw this episode when it first aired (I believe I would have had exams coming up in late Nov). It's not really *that* bad, and although I pretty much agree with Jammer's review, I do find Kim just affable enough to enjoy watching. He's the star of some of the worst episodes of the series and makes for the blandest character on a ship on which Tom Paris, Tuvok, and Chakotay also serve.
The Icheb subplot is a reasonably well executed cliche, but "guy misreads situation" is almost too pedestrian for the amount of screen time it gets. Snooze.
Wed, Jun 26, 2013, 1:30am (UTC -5)
Mon, Jul 29, 2013, 5:06pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Aug 6, 2013, 9:13pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Aug 23, 2013, 11:50am (UTC -5)
i swear, some of you guys dont understand it is about entertainment.
i was fully entertained. i was not bored. i liked belannas wry smile over ichebs comments.
i think it is so silly that jammer makes fun of kim the whole review but doesnt mention the smart job he did to save the scientist and the ship. in the end he came through... jammer makes it look like he failed. he just came over an initial flaw and had the cajones to realize he was wrong in his initial command.
Fri, Sep 13, 2013, 3:20pm (UTC -5)
I was grateful to see a Harry Kim episode. It was definitely long overdue and not the best character development, but I honestly could see where the writers were trying to go. This episode would have been much better suited to seasons 3 or 4 than to 7 but, here it is, anyway.
The beginning of the episode had potential to let Kim shine and demonstrate growth. By the middle of the episode, his chance to solidify our confidence were sabotaged by the plot. I understood every decision that Kim made and probably would have done the same thing. The circumstances were a big fat Catch 22 trap!
It would have been one thing to focus on forgivable errors like not being able to delegate without taking over or perhaps not taking suggestions from the crew. Instead, we get all of that PLUS a "flip of the script" when the mission changes from humanitarian to military. Harry has to deal with lies, an attack, the death of a crew member, mutiny, and being dressed down by Seven. He's lucky to have fared well at all. Anyone would.
I think the writers have done little service to the character, Harry Kim, and have encouraged the unrelenting ire of Star Trek fans. It's a shame. I wish others could see the character as fondly as I do.
Fri, Sep 13, 2013, 7:01pm (UTC -5)
That said, whatever derision Kim deserves, failing to be promoted -- or to grow at all -- is not the reason. On DS9, while many characters traveled a grand arc, O'Brien was the eternal Chief. (Unless you consider his evolution from TNG extra to be an arc.) Even having a son changed O'Brien none whatsoever. Perhaps because he was already mature, his lack of growth was less noticeable than Kim's because Kim would've been expected to emerge from his galaxy-spanning odyssey changed in some way. (After serving as a chew toy, one might imagine Kim was eager to get home so he could quit Starfleet for good.)
Kim earned mockery, and O'Brien did not, because Kim was portrayed as incompetent. (Except when the plot needed him to be a genius.) That would've been interesting if he had been aware of and bothered by it, like the misfits in "Good Shepherd." Instead, as Jammer explains here and which few will deny, he was a victim of the writers' neglect. The negativity aimed at Kim is a natural response to the character as portrayed; that he shouldn't have been portrayed so poorly earns Kim no sympathy.
Sat, Sep 14, 2013, 1:33am (UTC -5)
Some have complained about Garrett Wang's performance, as well as his character's incompetence. I disagree with those views. I think Mr. Wang has portrayed a believable character in Harry Kim. And, I think that Harry Kim is competent although eternally "green." The disservice is in leaving him at Season 1.
This character helps to build the Delta Flyer, single-handedly creates Astro-Metrics and among other skills, understands Holomatrix technology but he is "the incompetent" one? I don't see that. What does this guy have to do to earn a pip on this ship?
He is also "green" in the area of romance, but only compared to the chemistry established with such pairings as Tom/Kes, Tom/B'Elanna, Janeway/Chakotay, The Doctor/Seven, etc. Harry Kim has forever been relegated to "wing man."
I really feel for the guy, if for nothing else than that he is the true "underdog."
Sun, Oct 13, 2013, 7:02pm (UTC -5)
Harrys' situation was an interesting one where he's in an unknown conflict surrounded by catch-22s and opposition on every front, with serious self-doubts looming over his head; not to mention a hefty responsibility ranking up the pressure dangerously close to melting point.
His reactions are believable and while the episode didn't really live up to much of its potential, I liked the new sides shown to the character particularly with how he dealt with failure.
He's got the instincts, but life's got plenty left to teach him. My favourite scene was when Harry asks Janeway for a chance to prove himself. Her proud smile niggled with worry and thoughtfulness was a beautiful Voyager 'family' moment.
It's not perfect, the ending was abrupt and the juvenile B plot was a big waste of time, its definitively a good character story for the one guy who really needed one.
Tue, Jan 21, 2014, 2:10pm (UTC -5)
Anyway, Kim is quite a developed character, in hindsight, after watching Enterprise with erm... wotsisname... thingy... Mayweather.
Tue, Feb 11, 2014, 10:25am (UTC -5)
I thought the story with Icheb and B'Elanna was hilarious! I think the thing I liked best about this episode – not that I thought it was the greatest – was just the tension between the characters in both plots. I think that's what made it good for me.
Fri, Aug 1, 2014, 3:27am (UTC -5)
You've got Repression. Which is basically "hey look at the things we could have done to make this show really good a long time ago." The mutiny that really should have happened in season 1 or 2. And should have been real. This reminded me of the other mutiny that was fake, Worst Case Scenario. Although that episode was more worthwhile since it was more of a fun episode where the mutiny was a holodeck program where everyone was enjoying playing the parts in it.
Then you've got Inside Man where we see episodes that could have been with the excellent Pathfinder cast. They brought back the entire that made Pathfinder so good and wasted them on a Ferengi episode. It only serves as a reminder of how these characters should have been a much larger part of the show.
And now Nightingale showing us an episode that should have happened in season 1 where Harry Kim actually gets some development. Learning how to be in command, realizing what it means to be in command. But we all know it won't stick. Harry will still be the lovable dumb sap that we all know and hate. So should I say "development."
I have already seen the series finale, so I know that we don't even see anything that happens after Voyager gets home. Because presumably that would be too difficult for the writers to come up with. No mention of Doc and Seven integrating into society. No mention of the crew coming home after being gone for seven years and trying to re-integrate (not that they ever thought they were going to not make it home anyway). No meetings with Barclay and the Pathfinder crew. Nothing. Just "Voyager's home, roll credits."
So basically season 7 is just trolling everyone who cared about the show. How did this happen.
Mon, Sep 8, 2014, 4:39pm (UTC -5)
I think this show was an interesting exploration of the Prime Directive rules. It was a good conflict to compare and contrast what Kim might have learned since the academy. Unfortunately, the Voyager crew was not integrated into Kim's story, and the larger frame story was not fully developed. Due to the absence of a larger frame story, the episode hinges completely on Kim and the characters of the crew of the ship he commands. This puts a lot of pressure on the guest actors and Kim's character. Still, the episode accomplished the goal of featuring Kim as the main character in a reasonably appropriate plot for a personal journey.
Thu, Oct 23, 2014, 7:01pm (UTC -5)
Oh, I get it. The Kraylor guy actually said, "[We're on a] Kraylorian [mission]” and the universal translator rendered it as "We're on a humanitarian mission." That must be it.
Thu, Nov 13, 2014, 8:45pm (UTC -5)
-It came too late in the series. Season 4 would have been the right time, with room for Harry to grow from there.
-Wang’s acting (sorry. Sometimes he's good, but here he's just ok)
-A few logical issues, notably how ridiculously easy it was for Harry to « use [the enemy’s] weapons against them » twice in the episode.
Still, I respect the writer’s good intentions for once, so I’ll be generous and give it 2.5 stars.
Wed, Jan 21, 2015, 4:31am (UTC -5)
Sat, Apr 18, 2015, 7:42pm (UTC -5)
Berman actually wanted to fire Wang, but Wang made it on the cover of some magazine and helped give the show some recognition and ultimately I think he was chosen over Kes. His punishment (in his mind) was that his charcacter would never be full developed beyond geeky sidekick. Wang himself complains that towards the end that the series had become nothing more than the, "Doctor/7 show"
Mon, Jun 22, 2015, 7:58pm (UTC -5)
And then he's just plain old Harry Kim again. Poor guy has one interesting episode over the course of 7 seasons. That's rough. I always kind of liked Harry, but it seems he was destined to come in last.
The Icheb/B'elanna subplot was meh. It's believable, given what we know about Icheb but not really funny or interesting. Another episode of nothing really happened or changed and I doubt I'll remember this episode for very long.
Sat, Aug 29, 2015, 10:39am (UTC -5)
Sun, Mar 13, 2016, 9:35am (UTC -5)
I was a Manager of Operations in IT, and I know many people who have told me they have no interest in management. They are smart, technically minded people who are perfectly happy to stay where they are in life and career. Some of them would make great managers, but some would definitely not be good. Some people are born salesmen, whereas others can try, study, imitate, but never truly be as good as The Born Salesman. I believe the same goes for Leadership Qualities and People Skills. Kim has been written as someone who is technically gifted, but lacking in leadership. Time to take him off the night shift Captain duty, (before he beams up another bomb), and give someone else a chance to prove themselves. To Kim: Focus on your strengths. Command is not one of them.
Sun, Mar 13, 2016, 10:16am (UTC -5)
Even Picard violated The Prime Directive "9 times" as stated in one episode. Violating it has apparently no consequences at all.
Mon, Mar 21, 2016, 1:43pm (UTC -5)
The Icheb B-story is about as light as it gets, but amiable enough all the same. But only 2 stars.
Mon, Apr 11, 2016, 2:28pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Apr 18, 2016, 10:24pm (UTC -5)
Speaking of the Icheb subplot, it was light as a feather, but perfectly adequate. Seeing him get involved more with the ship is a good idea and nice continuity with Survival Instinct, and I guess if anyone is going to have such a clueless romantic encounter it would be him. Dawson plays the part of the completely befuddled Torres perfectly, and her reactions once Icheb announces that they have to break it off was probably the best part. I also liked Icheb's interpretation of Tom talking about racing cars as being an invitation to a duel for Torres' honor. I wasn't expecting that part (I was expecting Icheb to interpret this as Tom being open to Icheb pursuing romantic relationship with B'Elanna), and I liked that interpretation of it. But like I said, this was a harmless fluff of a B-plot, and it filled its role adequately. Which is a good thing, because the A-plot failed.
I'm not one to complain about Harry being static. I think there were some attempts, albeit very light, to make him grow. In Demon, he really did stop being a wallflower and start asserting himself more, and I think that aspect of his character did stick with him through the 5th and 6th seasons. He did start getting command of the night shift. He did stop pining for home constantly. Yes, these are barely present, and there are incredible step-backs such as his naivete at the end of Inside Man, but they are there. So seeing him try to assert himself here works as well, and I think works reasonably given Harry's minimal character arc, rather than seeming to come out of nowhere.
The problem, though, is that it was done so poorly. Twice we have the patented Voyager method for character development. Character A acts in an extremely one-sided manner through several scenes. Character B has a talk with Character A. Character A then becomes the complete opposite of what he was like before. And then circumstances twist themselves in a way to validate the new approach Character A has. It's pretty ham-fisted, but it's an approach Voyager's been using for years. They love it so much they use it twice here, both times with Seven as the one to chat with Harry. Unfortunately, they both fail, albeit for different reasons.
In the first, we have Harry being completely incompetent in his first command, being so heavy handed about the people surrounding him. Given that he's been watching Janeway for seven years, and seeing that he's been running the night shift for a year, shouldn't he know that stuff by now? Was he really micromanaging things on the bridge of Voyager? That seemed rather ridiculousness to me. Seriously, Wesley had more ability as a leader back in Pen Pals than Harry does here. He was so pathetic that it basically rips his character apart. How is Seven smarter than him here?
And of course, the second time around was the wrong lesson. So Harry quits being captain after learning that he has inadvertently taken a side and engaged in military matters in a war. And then Seven claims he's only quitting because of his self-confidence. Excuse me? Harry is completely violating about a gazilion Federation protocols, so of course he should quit. Of course he ought to avoid working with them anymore. Yet the episode goes out of its way to declare that that is not the issue, that Harry should be helping these people. People who lied to him, who are transporting military equipment, who are basically trying to drag him into a war. What does he possibly owe these folks?
Really, the episode takes some time to make it clear how messy the situation is in and how delicate Voyager needs to be when treading in these internal affairs. But then throws it all away in a desperate attempt to give Kim something to do. It's bad writing when you completely fail to appreciate the larger points of your plot just to create a ham-fisted character development piece that doesn't really work to begin with.
And, like I said, the episode then creates a contrivance to show how awesome of a captain Harry can be. So what does he do? He violates the Geneva Convention. Well, ok, I'm sure there is no Geneva Convention in the Delta Quadrant, but his solution is basically a war crime. Faking a surrender is heavily frowned upon, and for good reason. What Harry taught his "enemies" is that his allies can't be trusted, and so the next time an ally tries to surrender the enemy will blow them to bits. After all, how can they be certain that an attempt at surrender isn't just another trick? But of course, the episode doesn't even think about that sort of thing.
I have no qualms with the idea of giving Harry some well needed character development, but it was just so clear that they had an endgame in mind and were going to force a bad plot into that endgame regardless of the logic or consequences of that plot.
Sat, Apr 30, 2016, 4:16pm (UTC -5)
However, I would like to see Harry stabbing Janeway repeatedly in the head with a letter opener - it would certainly have me tuning in. Its about time Harry lost his cool - and kicked Chakotay in the nuts, and rammed his head into the coms panel for added effect.
Unlike most people, I really like Harry, but he has certainly been on the wrong end of the script for long enough - its time he went FULL RETARD! Get your self respect back Harry - its going to cost a lot of lives - but so long as its members of the Voyager crew - then all those lives are meaningless.
Tue, Jun 7, 2016, 8:47am (UTC -5)
Besides, everyone agrees that Harry's character didn't develop much (if at all) in seven years. Even if there was an opening he could have been promoted into, Janeway might well have decided that he wasn't ready.
Tue, Jun 7, 2016, 10:52am (UTC -5)
While this may be a reasonable in-universe reason for Harry's lack of advancement, it still doesn't excuse the writer's lack of ingenuity or reluctance to shake things up and give a long suffering character some development. He started the series green and wide-eyed and seven years later after experiencing many a life-changing experiences, ended the series green and wide-eyed.
I love comparing Harry, who is by all accounts a static, hardly changing character to DS9s Nog, who went from petty Juvinile delinquint to a starfleet lieutenant over the same time frame of seven years.
Again, there may be some in-universe reasons for the differences, but it really comes down to the writers of one show willing to take their characters places that evolve and change them, while the writers of another were too paralysed by fear to even allow for something that before now, (such as on TNG where promotions happen off-screen with hardly a mention) had been treated as a minor, almost unimportant event.
Tell you what though, I bet Harry was a bit ticked to find out when he got home that some upstart Ferengi child out-ranked him after only four years in Starfleet.
Imagine that storyline, Voyager gets home and Harry has PTSD and ends up wanting to go back to the DQ, because that's all he knows and is the only place he feels alive and worth anything, after being disatisfied with life at home.
Tue, Jun 7, 2016, 10:55am (UTC -5)
I don't tend to follow the Voyager reviews but I'm responding to your comment because the rank issue was a major peeve of mine while Voyager was on the air. Yes, promotions generally have as their assumption spots for the officers to occupy, but this is only a major issue with Commanders and Captains, who need to be CO's or XO's of a ship. Other than that you can have the tactical officer be an ensign, Lt., Lt. Commander; it doesn't really matter. The difference for the crew is that there is only so much you can learn as an ensign since a lieutenant would have new responsibilities. From what we gather from the ST universe being an ensign tends to last at most a few years. Lt. junior and then senior grade take more time to advance. Worf, for instance, was a Lieutenant for all of TNG. Data, as a Lt. Commander, was in Starfleet for (I think) 17 years, but in his case I think it's safe to assume they were slow to promote him because he was an android.
Kim needed to learn to handle more responsibility. Because he was one of the stars of the show he attended senior staff meetings (illogically), but even so when was he supposed to learn how to command if he was never promoted and trained? This is doubly true since any of the crew could have been killed at any time with no possible replacements. It's not that Janeway needed to have ten Lt. Commanders around, it's that she needed to have a number of people groomed to take command of the ship in case of an emergency. Plus she was treating them all like Starfleet officers through the whole series, and it's simply not fair to them as officers to deny them promotion arbitrarily. Kim stayed a kid for the whole series not because of some character flaw, but because they never bothered to write anything else for him. To be fair this could be because the actor was weak and they didn't think they could do anything with him, which I totally get. It's hard to recover from casting errors.
Tue, Jun 7, 2016, 10:57am (UTC -5)
To say he can't be promoted until some other LT dies is gobbledygook.
They promoted Tuvok, didn't they?
A complete oversight on the writer's part.
Tue, Jun 7, 2016, 12:07pm (UTC -5)
As others have said, the producers should have allowed the crew to grow. As higher-ranking officers are lost in shuttle crashes or turned into cubes and crushed, our heroes rise to take their place. New recruits -- Maquis, Equinox, Borg foundlings, useless loads like Neelix -- fill out the bottom ranks. That way, everyone knows who's in charge.
I'm thinking of "Band of Brothers," which clearly portrayed the promotions within Easy Company during their one year in combat.
Tue, Jun 7, 2016, 3:23pm (UTC -5)
Really though it's very odd that Kim was never promoted. It'd be one thing if rank were declared not to matter, but Kim complains about Tom getting re-promoted above him ("there's no box on my chair") and in this ep says he would have been lieutenant or lieutenant commander by now. Tuvok gets promoted doing the exact same job. More to the point, it is not like there are many senior officers on the ship to begin with -- as far as I can remember, the only major characters we see with a rank over lieutenant junior grade are Janeway, Chakotay and Tuvok. Paris as the navigator *and* only medical personnel with commission, Torres who is the *chief engineer*, etc. could clearly eventually have gotten lieutenant senior commissions. Kim is apparently important enough and competent enough to be able to basically run the ship by himself in The Killing Game.
Checking Memory Alpha (memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/USS_Voyager_personnel), apparently there were a handful of other senior we never saw who were listed on jokey crew manifests named after crew members (i.e. Commander Rick Berman, Commander Brannon Braga, Lt. Commander Michael Piller) but I assume those don't count. I haven't bothered going through each page to see whether the lieutenants listed are junior or senior grade, because I may be a pedantic nerd but even I have my limits.
Tue, Jun 7, 2016, 3:34pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Jun 7, 2016, 3:45pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Jun 7, 2016, 3:48pm (UTC -5)
Wasn't Ensign Kim designing engineering marvels throughout the series, including the Delta Flyer? Hardly the hallmark of an undistinguished middling officer who thrived on carrying reports around. This guy could probably have gone on to be a designer at Utopia Planitia after they got home.
Tue, Jun 7, 2016, 3:55pm (UTC -5)
Exactly. They regularly portrayed him as very competent and imaginative as an engineer and scientist, except in episodes that were specifically about how he's a loser who is perpetually 22.
Wed, Jun 22, 2016, 12:59pm (UTC -5)
Ah, yup... and it wasn't a good one. Harry: "Captain, can I go play Captain please?" Can I huh, can I"?
Well, we get Ron Glass and I still want to learn more about Sheppard Book. :-)
The whole B'Elanna pregnant/Icheb thing was pretty darn funny. I about lost it when she said "I was hot!!" ... lol
It is what it is, Seven has to tell Harry how to be Captain.... jeesh... even when Harry is in charge he needs a kick in the nuts.
2.5 stars I guess.
Wed, Aug 3, 2016, 10:28am (UTC -5)
Harry generally seemed bright rather than incompetent but I'm one of the fans who doesn't expect the characters to get promoted or see their not being promoted as indicating bad performance. In fact to me Dax getting promoted between DS9 Season 3 and 4 feels quite unearned (maybe just so she would outrank Bashir and not be outranked by Worf) and I think most agree Paris suddenly getting repromoted was quite unearned. Regardless, bad as "The Disease" was in it Harry did show some pretty bad judgment and it can provide a lot of explanation for why Harry didn't get promoted even if it otherwise would be expected.
Thu, Aug 25, 2016, 1:38am (UTC -5)
Can a guy get a break?
Sat, Sep 24, 2016, 10:43am (UTC -5)
Sun, Nov 20, 2016, 6:11am (UTC -5)
Thu, Jan 5, 2017, 6:17pm (UTC -5)
I don't even care about anything after this point in the episode. Everyone on the ship is fired. You all fail basic deplomacy.
Wed, Feb 15, 2017, 12:31am (UTC -5)
However, a lot of his stuff was writing... they didn't seem to care about him. Even the most non descript boring and conservative officer would at least get up to Lt. Jr Grade or something like that, right? It honestly made no sense to have a bridge officer, who went on dozens and dozens of life threatening away missions, did have his fair share of creative ideas to solve their problems, and was in senior meetings week after week, to never be promoted. I suppose it was intended as a rib, but someone needs to own up to why they did that.
Wed, Feb 15, 2017, 9:15am (UTC -5)
Speaking of which, it actually made no sense to make a fresh Academy graduate on his first posting a senior officer on Voyager. Maybe on some small escort ship or unimportant shore facility... On a state-of-the-art vessel with a crew of 150, he'd probably be training under a division head for a year or two before getting a promotion and assuming more responsibilities.
Tue, Feb 21, 2017, 9:08am (UTC -5)
I also really like Kim and Wang's portrayal of him and agree with SpiceRak2 that I'm a bit surprised at the amount of vitriol Jammer and a lot of the fandom have for him. Per his 'wooden' acting, there was an interview where Wang said that all humans were specifically instructed by Berman to show a minimum amount of emotion, as Berman didn't want the humans upstaging the non-human races. That being said, I think the good ensign works best when he's paired off with Tom or B'elanna, since those three seem to have a natural chemistry.
Also regarding the comparisons of Nog to Kim, I also don't think it's a fair comparison to make, and I agree with a former poster who stated that Nog's ascent in Starfleet ranks required a considerable suspension of belief. Character wise, everything about Nog was beyond obnoxious, from the way he brown-nosed all the important people to his condescension towards people who were non-Starfleet (Jake, especially in 'Valiant'). Not to mention, he had a very harsh and grating voice, which made his line delivery/character all the more annoying..! At no point did Harry Kim ever come close to being this irritating.
Wed, Apr 12, 2017, 1:44am (UTC -5)
Sun, Aug 6, 2017, 12:52am (UTC -5)
I enjoyed the scenes where they showed crewmen working on the outside of the ship.
I laughed when i saw Icheb munching on nachos
I enjoyed B'elanna laughing off Icheb's misperception
I am one of those who thinks Kim has gotten a raw deal. Yes, he is one of the weaker characters, but the degree of vitriol that he receives is beyond what he deserves in my opinion. Again, I get that he is hapless in love, gullible, slow to evolve, and has made some whopping errors in judgment at times, but throughout the series he has often demonstrated competence and imagination in solving problems, he's efficient, extremely hard working and dedicated, he has demonstrated much courage in going on dangerous away missions multiple times. I admit, I crack up when he shouts, "i can't get a lock!" but if the writers make the story line so that he can't get a lock how can you blame Harry?
If you're going to criticize Harry for breaking the prime directive here, better rag on Janeway too because she's done it many times and would doubtless have done it here (she even admitted as much).
I had never seen Harry micromanage like this, but it seems very appropriate in this episode because the passengers had insisted that they were not crew and the one kid who had any experience (at least to Harry's knowledge), barely had any--I would have been checking to make sure they did it right too.
Finally, though i haven't watched it in a while, I remember from the episode Timeless, that Harry did show he was capable of significant growth and honor.
Thu, Aug 31, 2017, 5:17am (UTC -5)
Regarding comparisons with Nog... Honestly? To me, Nog is three-dimensionally flawed and entertaining character, to others he's an annoying jackass. But even if you hate him, there is at least something there to even hate. Unlike Harry, who's entire character revolves around being miserable buttmuch.
Fri, Oct 20, 2017, 9:27pm (UTC -5)
And the B story? We didn't even get to see a testosterone-filled car race between Tom and Icheb.
Really weak episode. The shots of Voyager on the surface were the highlights of it, if anything at all. And Jammer's following comment in his review:
"The show wants us to accept Harry as a starship captain. That's sort of like asking us to accept Tuvok as a stand-up comedian."
Hahahaha, that's great Jammer..
Wed, Nov 29, 2017, 4:35pm (UTC -5)
I didn't think 7 needed to be used as the one pointing out to Kim where he's failing as a captain but everybody else outranks him -- just that 7 is overused on Voyager, but she's become a great character since her intro. Perhaps Neelix could have played this role?
The episode is idealistic in terms of showing Kim the challenges of command and he's way too eager to get involved in this situation. But he does have good points about still being an ensign after 7 years on Voyager. So Janeway lets him run with the command -- which immediately goes to his head. I think the episode did a decent job showing the micromanaging part which makes sense for someone who is a worker bee but gets elevated to queen bee.
Some random thoughts: Nice visual of Voyager landed on the planet and people walking on it for repairs etc. Gives an idea of how big the ship is, which is nice for a change. But really not a fan of the Icheb scenes with B'Elanna. That B-plot was pretty lame.
Barely 2.5 stars for "Nightingale" -- good to get Harry Kim a reasonable episode that focuses on his character, even if ultimately he realizes he's where he is for a reason. Nothing wrong with that. Some deceptive aliens and the cloaking technology and the ever-present Voyager spaceship battle scenes, but the B-plot kinda sucked.
Sat, Mar 10, 2018, 11:44pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Mar 27, 2018, 4:38pm (UTC -5)
Main plot: Jammer nails it; and so does Skeptical in his comment above. I didn't even think about how bad pretending to surrender is, not just morally but in terms of how it will hurt the Kraylor's future. But Harry screws up throughout the episode, and the idea that he continues serving the Kraylor *after* it's revealed that they had been lying to him the whole time and that this is presented as a good thing -- and the idea that Seven presents that his refusing to work for them because he's throwing a fit because he's unhappy being captain now -- is mind-boggling. It's out of character for Seven; it's a bizarre idea; and it totally undermines whatever this episode was doing otherwise. Now, the basic idea of doing an episode on whether Harry can have a command -- which is basically of asking whether he's stifled by Voyager's command structure -- isn't a bad one, and/but it plays out really badly by playing up Harry's incompetence and then letting the Kraylor's duplicity go completely, and thus Harry's more overt violation of Starfleet protocol, go unchecked. (It also reflects badly on Harry that he didn't seem to even check whether this ship does have the vaccines that they claim to have.) Anyway the episode is sort of tolerable until Neelix tells Harry he needs to be DECISIVE in order to be captain, which basically plays out an exact mirror of Harry telling Neelix he needs to be an aggressive reporter back in Investigations, and which similarly derails the episode by having the lead act totally inappropriately over-the-top. It is nice to see Ron Glass, though.
The thing is, watching the show again, it seems clear to me that Harry is actually portrayed more competently in episodes not directly about him than in episodes that are. I mean, he basically ran a one-person insurgency in The Killing Game, has helped to design the Flyer, etc. In something like Muse last year he apparently makes it across a continent or two to get to B'Elanna. The idea that Harry is hopelessly in over his head, and the continual episodes showing "progress" where he starts out at -100 and makes it to -99 not only makes for poor drama -- Demon, Warhead, this one -- but also seems to me to be unfair to the Harry that we occasionally get glimpses of who seems to actually know what he's doing.
Anyway, 1.5 stars, mostly for the B-plot.
Tue, Mar 27, 2018, 6:53pm (UTC -5)
Alter Ego before it became a Tuvok only show
Ashes to Ashes
Not a great list. At least he gets Timeless.
Tue, Mar 27, 2018, 6:58pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Jun 18, 2018, 1:00pm (UTC -5)
Then we need to wade through about half an hour or so more of Harry being the most incapable officer ever to have graced the bridge of a starship, interspersed, of course, with a sprinkling of that intelligent Kim-dialogue about his intense desire to crawl back into his mother's spacious womb, that by the end, when he does ultimately resolve the situation, who still cares anymore ?
That is why this episode does not work, or MOST Voyager episodes for that matter and why this show was the start of the steep decline of quality in Trek, lazy writing around unrealistic characters nobody can empathize with.
Let's be honest for a minute. Even if they did do a turn-around at this point and actually gave him an episode to shine in, it STILL wouldn't work since we all know by know he's some sort of genetically engineered lab construct that escaped from a lab where real people were researching a cure to attachment disorder. And what is this garbage B-story about Icheb and Torres ? Every time this lingering remnant of one of Voyager's worst outings concerning the Borg gets screen time my heart crumples, since it's just more proof that getting the other three "Borg children" of the ship was NOT the realization they committed a horrible mistake and trying to make up for it, but rather just a stroke of luck. Beam that thing out into space already.
To sum up, trash, as usual.
Note : I wrote this before reading Jammer's review. Seems we share a lot of common points on this one
Fri, Jul 13, 2018, 11:34am (UTC -5)
"Besides, everyone agrees that Harry's character didn't develop much (if at all) in seven years. Even if there was an opening he could have been promoted into, Janeway might well have decided that he wasn't ready."
Which is at odds with Janeway's out-of-nowhere remark in season 2's "Twisted" about how Harry has really impressed her and has far exceeded her expectations.
Thu, Jul 26, 2018, 11:32pm (UTC -5)
Once the deception is revealed, it's appalling that Harry continues to aid the Kraylor in their military endeavors rather than extricate himself and Seven from the situation as gingerly as possibly. It's not like the Annari were especially cruel or unreasonable. I think we were supposed to feel like Harry was just evening the odds a bit, but we really don't know what the real military situation was or whether the Kraylor were at helpless as we were lead to believe.
At any rate, Ensign Kim should have faced some sort of consequences for needlessly involving Voyager in a dangerous conflict and potentially shifting the balance of power between two civilizations. The lack of resolution just illustrates the sort of sloppy, lazy writing we came to expect from Voyager, I suppose.
On the bright side, the CGI shots of Voyager on the planet's surface were unique and looked terrific. . I also liked the Icheb/B'Elanna stuff. It was light and fluffy, but sometimes light and fluffy is fine when you just want to chill with the crew of Voyager at the end of a long day.
Sat, Aug 25, 2018, 9:40pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Nov 8, 2018, 10:05pm (UTC -5)
Not much interesting going on here. The main story just doesn't grab my interest, hard to care about "the mission."
The B'Ellana B story is fun and keeps the ep from being a total waste of time.
Thu, Nov 8, 2018, 11:08pm (UTC -5)
--Yowza on the Kim comments and debate. Yes, he was a blah character. Was it the acting or the writing? To me, that's s "chicken or the egg" question, i.e., hard to know which came first.
--I thought, with the B story, we were seeing a bit of a Kim-replacement for the role of "wide eyed naive guy" in Icheb. Kim learns from his experience "misreading the signals" because he has Seven and other inescapable signs of reality to set him straight; B'Ellana humors Icheb, no one confronts him, so he goes on his merry way not having learned a thing.
Sun, Nov 25, 2018, 10:59am (UTC -5)
Tue, Nov 27, 2018, 8:49pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Apr 2, 2019, 7:58am (UTC -5)
I understand why they had Seven in almost every background shot. They were trying to keep our interest anyway they could.
I liked the Icheb story. It was cute.
Fri, Jun 28, 2019, 10:48am (UTC -5)
My main concern was with helping the Kraylor get their cloaking device. We've seen races in ST who were destroyed, or nearly so, because they were "bad" and there was a good reason for them to be confined to their own world.
In Voyager, we've had the Trabe be homeless because they'd been jerks, and we've had those few thousand folks in the 800-year-old ships who'd been naughty in the past as well (not on my normal computer, so I'm not looking the names up today). Now these folks with Sheppard Book (he even had the same haircut as on Firefly!) ask for help to escape their world, which is under blockade. Until I knew if the blockade was bad, or for the good of the galaxy, I'd not help either one of them.
As far as promotions, it has been noted here and elsewhere that there were only two that we ever saw/noticed: Paris and Tuvok. I don't really believe those count. Paris had no rank when he started, and flipped back and forth between Ensign and Jr. Grade, while Tuvok started out as a Lt. Commander. I think they just fouled up by giving him Lieutenant pips and kept him there, and fixed/retconned it later.
I figured since we didn't see anyone else ever get promoted, they decided to leave everyone where they were at, and if/when they got home, the ranks could be adjusted. I mean, if it were to actually be 70 years to get home (as originally postulated), who'd care what your rank was when you retired on the generational ship? That was how I thought of it anyway. :)
Have a Great Day Everyone... RT
Wed, Dec 11, 2019, 11:39pm (UTC -5)
Alas, they underserve him again. They didn’t HAVE to make him an indecisive, micro-managing, arrogant and unsympathetic middle manager. Those characteristics do not naturally emerge from earlier shows where he’s been shown to have more judgment and maturity. He could just as believably - and more rewardingly - have been allowed to demonstrate more ability here. The writers pranked him.
And they made it worse by saddling the episode with the unmotivated, unmitigated, and unconvincing B-plot.
Did the writers have it in for Garret Wang because he’d been proclaimed as beautiful, or was he a prima donna jerk to them?
I’m often an advocate for the underdog installment, but there’s little to redeem this snooze-fest.
Thu, Dec 12, 2019, 9:23am (UTC -5)
Thu, Dec 12, 2019, 9:58am (UTC -5)
Thu, Dec 12, 2019, 12:47pm (UTC -5)
"Alas, they underserve him again. They didn’t HAVE to make him an indecisive, micro-managing, arrogant and unsympathetic middle manager. Those characteristics do not naturally emerge from earlier shows where he’s been shown to have more judgment and maturity. He could just as believably - and more rewardingly - have been allowed to demonstrate more ability here. The writers pranked him."
Yeah. I think part of the problem is that the writers wanted to make "a command episode" for Kim which is *only* about his command abilities, and so that necessarily means they have to have some kind of arc about his command abilities, and so the arc they settled on is "he is bad at it but learns," and then they went about it in a hamhanded way. They might have done better if they'd made Kim commanding part of an episode about something else (as they did in season five sometimes).
Thu, Dec 12, 2019, 1:35pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Dec 12, 2019, 2:01pm (UTC -5)
Strictly speaking, the "character bible" versions of Kim and Kes were some of the characters who would have the most obvious arcs over the course of the series, as the youngest, the naifs who would be expected to change the most over the seven-year journey. It's sort of a shame that one's story was truncated by her leaving the show and the other was kept in a semi-artificial stasis. I say sort of because it's hard to know how much the show could have really done for the characters given the possible limitations of the actors (either in terms of range or in terms of personal problems getting in the way, or maybe both). In fact the best episode (arguably) for each character is one which jumped ahead in time (Before and After, Timeless) to a "fully developed" version of the character, even though in principle we could have seen some of this development in real time. (I know that we did, a bit -- Elliott I'm sure will talk about what Kes development actually did happen in season 3, especially.)
Fri, Dec 13, 2019, 4:28pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Dec 24, 2019, 3:56pm (UTC -5)
Wed, Jan 1, 2020, 2:08pm (UTC -5)
Seeing Harry pulling himself together after some pretty serious incidents was believable and quite impressive. Have to admit that I got a tad disappointing not seeing any holodeck rock climbing (they teased about it 2 times!), which I feel would have added to the otherwise rather bleak b-story.
Anyway, seeing as I was quite amused through the whole episode - with it's exciting twists keeping the viewer guessing - it's in order to award it with some praise.
3 Solid ones
Mon, Jan 20, 2020, 8:06pm (UTC -5)
Wed, Jul 8, 2020, 6:26pm (UTC -5)
Sun, Aug 9, 2020, 12:59pm (UTC -5)
* As a newly commissioned ensign, he had no business being anywhere near the senior officer table. There were at least five lieutenants on Voyager other than the main cast, and as many Starfleet ensigns who would have more seniority than him. He should have earned that place at Janeway's "grown-up table".
* He seemed to vacillate between being an excellent and capable officer and being a green ensign. Instead of having him grow from "lower decks goldshirt who doesn't have a clue" to "seasoned and competent senior officer", they just stuck him with the former's rank and the latter's duties and left him to stagnate.
* With the sole exception of Data, every single character on TNG and DS9 either ranked up in situ or was offered a promotion elsewhere (Picard to rear admiral and commandant, Riker to captain of his own ship). Voyager forgot how to do this. Harry is not the only victim of this (B'Elanna was stuck at JG for 7 years), but he's the worst. A competent ensign is supposed to be promoted to lieutenant, full stop. The rationale was "someone has to be the ensign", but that was false. TNG only had a commissioned ensign in its main cast briefly (Wesley), and DS9 never had one at all.
Wed, Sep 2, 2020, 2:45pm (UTC -5)
Moreover, they also wanted Harry to be intelligent and capable. They had him leading a department on a starship and sitting at Janeway's "grownup table" almost from the start. Janeway would not tolerate an incompetent officer there, and she would not have left one in command of any shift. Further, look at Harry's alternate timeline in "Non Sequitur". He is eight months out of academy, and his colleague says that his work could get him promoted to lieutenant before the day is out. Bottom line: the overwhelming evidence is that Harry is a well trained, intelligent, and extraordinarily capable officer, but the scriptwriters think that we'll ignore that if they keep his nominal rank unchanged. Sadly, given what Jammer has said in his review, it would seem that they managed to fool him.
Thu, Dec 24, 2020, 4:17am (UTC -5)
))One thing that really bugged me that no one else brought up is the idea that flying a ship automatically equals a chain of command. If I ask someone else to drive my car home, that doesn't mean I'm going to call them "sir" and let them bark orders at me.((
Driving a car is only a very remote analogy to "captaining a starship." There was literally no one else there - except for a green cadet - with any idea how to run a starship.
))I thought that was very presumptuous on Kim's part, to make the jump from chauffeur to captain.((
It wasn't "presumptuous" of Kim. He *was* the most-qualified person there, on the spot. And the aliens *asked* him to take command (or at least, *accepted* his offer).
))I would drive home blind before I'd let someone I just met boss me around.((
One can, of course, question the aliens' judgement in inviting Kim to take charge (but again, there was no one else around with even an hour of command experience) - but they were duplicitous anyway, and had a hidden agenda. They probably also needed and respected the combined *technical* experience which Kim and Seven "brought to the table."
The only legitimate grievance / objection that I will let stand is the extremely reckless decision of Janeway to allow a Starfleet officer to become involved in a tense - and opaque (what with the deception the aliens were pulling) - military situation. After Kim reported back on the Voyager bridge, Janeway could have *forgiven* Kim's interference up to that point in time - but in view of the obvious complex military / political / ethical situation and the possibility that there impression of the aliens' true motives was mistaken, Janeway should have ordered Kim to return to his usual post at Communications. The situation was even exacerbated by the fact that Voyager was hamstrung by the maintenance work and wouldn't be able to intervene, if necessary (or to protect herself in the event that the other aliens took offense - which is exactly what happened).
Tue, Aug 31, 2021, 11:48pm (UTC -5)
The Icheb story was interesting but took a weird twist with his misinterpretation of Torres' interest in him. But in general, he is the first successful Star Trek kid with a recurring role. Wesley Crusher was annoying but did improve, and Jake Sisko was awful. Icheb is intelligent, humble, and generally likeable.
Sun, Oct 10, 2021, 10:04am (UTC -5)
Over all score for "Nightingale" is: 5/10
Sun, Oct 17, 2021, 1:38am (UTC -5)
Seven's brief reality check and dress-down about his micro-managing was terrific. The mutiny was painful to watch.
The "non-growth" problem with Harry does exist and it is really hard to see it as anything other than a kind of bias against the actor. Brings to mind that old SNL character Mr. Bill.
Sun, Oct 17, 2021, 3:09pm (UTC -5)
And while we're on the subject, it occurs to me... In the pilot, the writers set up a special little relationship between Kim and Torres, what with the two of them being isolated from each other and her giving him the pet nickname of "Starfleet". This relationship went nowhere and was eventually dropped. Torres, of course, eventually ended up dating Paris. Then in Season 3, the writers let Kim get interested in the Vulcan chess game thingy. This could have led to a development between him and Tuvok, perhaps a mentor/mentee type relationship to reinforce Tuvok's role as an elder and reinforce Kim as the bright, upcoming Starfleet officer. That went nowhere (but did get a callback or two), and Tuvok later went on to mentor Kes and even Torres to some extent. Then in Season 4, Kim was the first one to have lengthy interactions with Seven outside of Janeway. This could have led to a friendship, but was abandoned. Seven later went on to have a close friendship with the Doctor (and even Naomi!).
Basically, I have a hard time seeing the writers having an agenda against Kim when they kept TRYING to give him new stuff to do, and it just not going anywhere. Was that due to their attempts being bad, or was it due to Wang's acting? I'm not going to judge that, but the only other person who didn't gain new relationships after the pilot (Kim obviously still kept his "Tom's sidekick" role) was Chakotay, and it's well known that Beltran mentally checked out of his role pretty early on. If everything keeps happening to you and you alone, maybe that means you're the problem.
Wed, Oct 20, 2021, 4:24pm (UTC -5)
Thanks for taking up this topic. You've presented a nice review of some of the tribulations different characters endured over the seasons.
However, the expression "bias toward the actor" as I used it, does not equal "animosity toward Wang". No animosity is at work here and it was not my intention to allege that there was.
The problem is, I think closer to one of age-misidentification or underestimation of the actor's gravitas. It's subtle, but it's there. It may have worked as follows: The writers do not see Wang aging significantly (even after 6+ seasons). He is therefore given episodes in which his character is the 'young one' long after he should have advanced to a new stage. Harry has to experience scenarios where he is still 'wet behind the ears' no matter how much experience he has. His character is often exposed as a light-weight, who cannot handle new responsibilities. Or if he does handle them, he remains under a cloud.
Garrett Wang looks young; therefore, I contend that the writers insert Harry Kim into trope-filled 'coming of age' episodes. This is a form of bias from which he cannot escape. He is a servicable actor... but if perpetually given nowhere lines, or scenes in which he 'cannot get a lock', or ends up having to run away from an over-sexed Klingon female in cartoon fashion so that Neelix of all people gets the girl, what is he supposed to do?
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