Thursday, 23 January 2014

Review: Voyager 2.5: Non Sequitur
Unfortunately, no Harry Kim Death Count. Shame.
Star Trek Voyager - Season Two, Episode Five - Non Sequitur
Written 22/6/13

Harry Kim! Harry is a somewhat useful character to have in the background not doing much, showing Voyager's fresh-faced innocence. However, like a freshly cut diamond, any attempt to take closer look into his shining exterior will reveal the flaws in his fundamental structure. Non-Sequitur has a semi-interesting idea at its heart, but where it falls down is in applying Harry Kim to that scenario and the problems that come with what I find to be his fundamentally alien personality. I can't feel for this kid, now matter how shitty I continue to find the idea of being a part of Starfleet. (Those damn Uniforms can't be comfortable.)
     Harry awakens in his girlfriend's bed apparently having had his request to join Voyager denied and instead now living in San Fransisco as a successful cadet who's about to come into some fame and fortune after designing a new kind of ship. Harry can't remember any of this; he's travelled from his home Universe after an accident in a shuttecraft, and despite his life of happiness and success he's insistent upon returning home. In the process, the fact that he knows Voyager security codes and talks to not-on-the-ship Tom Paris sets him up to appear to Starfleet as a spy for the Maquis, leading him into some serious shit as he and Paris re-create the conditions of his accident and return him to his home universe.
     Now of course, I fail to sympathise. I can understand Harry's first day, where he's confused and doesn't have a shit about what's going on, but if I was in that situation I would just roll with it. I'm gonna get married to the girl of my dreams, my career prospects are on the rise, and I'm not stranded 70,000 lightyears away from home on a ship that, for all Harry knows at this point, won't get home until he's a pensioner. There's nothing really to pull Harry back... except, of course, the irresistable pull of the Reset Button. Here's an idea; having knowledge of Voyager's disappearance and what went on in his Universe directly afterwards, he could join the team of people at Starfleet (that we see in later seasons) that are looking for it. That way he gets to enjoy the creature comforts of life on Earth while still not feeling guilty about leaving the ship behind.
Parallel!Tom knows what's up, man.
     But no. Harry Kim is supposed to be some kind of perpetual innocent, but that problem is that it's taken to odd extremes and he ends up coming off like a less threatening Neelix, with an obsessive personality and a devotion to his superiors that borders on the ritualistic. When he meets bummed-out Tom Paris, he fights him and calls him nothing but a loser and a drunk - because that's totally the way you convince someone to help you, eh Harry. I take it as a sign of his total disparity from reality that when handed on a platter everything he's wanted for the past year-and-a-half, he has to try and go back out of a strange sense of loyalty to people in a different god-damn Universe.
     Non-Sequitur feels like a fairly appropriate title for an episode which seems to divert so wildly from its expectations. It's not by any means a badly written episode, and I'm not saying for a minute that I think that Harry is being out of character, but at the same time that doesn't mean I have to like it. I don't know exactly where ther to blame my disdain of this episode on Harry's characterisation, its obsession with the reset button or with the fact that even with a premise as strange and wonderful as this I was still left feeling just a little bit perturbed by the whole thing.


NEXT WEEK: The last of the "hold-back" episodes. It's totally Twisted.

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