“Why does everyone say relax when they’re about to do something terrible?“
Harry Kim is Man-Out-Of-Time! I know he’s not horribly interesting, but we’ve got to have a Harry Kim episode at least once per season. We have to give Kate a week off once in a while, don’t we? He wakes up in a cute loft-style apartment somewhere in San Francisco next to his beautiful girlfriend, (who is still totally waiting for him back home) Libby. It turns out he never got the Voyager assignment, and he’s working at Starfleet Command on a top-secret ship project called “Yellowstone.” Every morning, his favorite barista, Cosimo, pours him his favorite Vulcan Mocha Java, and consistently reminds him he has a beautiful girlfriend (now fiancé) waiting for him at home. Harry, you see, has a life most men would envy. The only problem, other than Libby’s screechy dolphin-like voice, is that he doesn’t belong in this world. He was flying solo in a shuttlecraft when he hit something called a “time stream.” Cosimo fills him in as he was sent to monitor Harry’s activities in this manufactured San Francisco. I say it’s manufactured because I can’t be sure if any of this is real.
Harry Kim is On The Run! Starfleet has been snooping, and when they discover Harry has Voyager security clearance enabling him to access information as well as visiting recently-released Tom Paris (who also never boarded that fateful ship), they haul him in for questioning. His far-out story doesn’t help matters any, so they saddle him with an ankle monitor and put him under a house arrest of sorts. Harry thinks if he can get to the right place in the time stream, he can be propelled back to Voyager-proper. Cosimo gives him a disk which purports to have the right coordinates even though he can’t figure out why Harry would ever want to leave (what with his beautiful fiancé, Libby, and all). He tampers with his ankle monitor and Starfleet security men beam right into his apartment! That seems a little intrusive for a progressive and enlightened military organization, but they are convinced he is working with the Maquis because of his meeting with Paris. Shouldn’t they be worrying about the Dominion or something? If this is fantasy generated by powerful space aliens, why is Harry beset with such difficulty achieving his goal?
Harry Kim is Non-Sequitur Man! Devoted, beautiful fiancé Libby helps Harry escape the apartment. She even blocks the window and says, “Sorry” to the Starfleet security goons. She’s so polite. Harry climbs down an old-fashioned fire escape and runs down the street where he is greeted by Tom Paris, who has come to his senses and decided to help him. They make their way to headquarters, commandeer the Yellowstone runabout, and set course for the time stream as Kim hopes that his next leap … will be the leap home. This is a fun, not great episode; a slight improvement over the previous season’s “Emanations,” but Harry is a plain vanilla character that requires events to happen to him to make an interesting story. There are no insights to be absorbed. He has no mystery or idiosyncrasy about him except perhaps that he is an over-achiever and held to a much higher standard than any other character in the show. His colleagues and superior officers view him as a child. Janeway even promised his parents she would take care of Harry on his first deep-space assignment. Could you imagine Kirk, Picard, or Sisko making such a promise?
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