The Great Star Trek Voyager Rewatch: The Disease

Voyager has just spent the last two weeks helping the Varro, inhabitants of a generational starship, to repair their warp drive. Even though the Varro are generally reluctant to associate with strangers, Harry Kim manages to start a relationship with a Varro engineer. But his defiance of Starfleet protocols and Varro custom can only lead to trouble.

You know that thing where it feels like you’re being held to a higher standard over something than your colleagues? This episode is basically the embodiment of that idea, as Harry Kim gets in trouble for starting a relationship with an alien woman.

Let’s think about it for a moment. Ever since the days of the libidinous Captain Kirk, relationships with aliens of the week have been a core aspect of Star Trek. Not once did anyone ever get in trouble for breaking Starfleet protocols. But Harry decides to break the rules once, and not only does he get a touch of the space VD, but he also gets slapped with an official reprimand. I don’t even care that much about Harry, but still – poor guy.

Indeed, unless you’re a massive fan of Harry Kim – and who is – there’s not much for you here. This episode is clearly about trying to evolve Harry from his good guy image into someone a bit older and less squeaky clean, but unlike Timeless, it really doesn’t work. The bulk of the episode feels pretty phoned in, with Seven of Nine’s handful of lines being far more interesting and memorable than anything Harry does. It’s not terrible, it’s just that it’s like Harry himself – largely inoffensive.

Points of Note

  • If the Varro really don’t want to be helped, why is Janeway making such a point to do so? Does she feel she needs to do a Starfleet good deed after ignoring protocol to steal a transwarp coil in the last episode?
  • Sex with the Varro is apparently ‘very different’ to normal human intercourse, even though they appear almost identical to us. Colour me intrigued.
  • I really wish Paris would stop teasing Harry for falling in love with “the wrong woman”.

Lost, crashed or destroyed shuttlecraft running total: 15

Possibly salvageable shuttlecraft running total: 9

Number of times the entire crew gets enslaved or kicked off the ship: 3

Number of times Voyager gets destroyed: 3

Summary – The Disease: In which Harry gets a space STD.

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