The Great Star Trek Voyager Rewatch: Nightingale

Whilst commanding the Delta Flyer, Harry comes to the rescue of a medical transport, and agrees to transport them to their destination. But Harry is so determined to see the mission through and prove his fitness for command, that he fails to notice that things aren’t quite as they seem.

Harry Kim is not a particularly interesting character. Over the course of Voyager’s run, he’s spent most of his time at Ops, trying to get transporter locks on all and sundry. In season six, he finally got to break out of his good boy image with The Disease. This season, his thing is that he’s frustrated that he hasn’t been promoted yet. I completely understand that feeling, and yet even this sympathy isn’t enough to make me care about this episode.

For one thing, it’s not as if Harry has a proper arc over the course of the series – it hardly feels like we’ve been watching him consistently grow and develop over the last seven years. For another, what we get in this episode is entirely by the book – Harry becomes possessive over his chance to prove himself, and then turns into a complete micromanager, before finally coming good in time to save the day. Hands up who didn’t see all that coming from a mile away.

There’s also a side story in which Icheb mistakenly thinks that B’Elanna is romantically pursuing him. Of course, this thin joke is not at all funny, and it’s a little sad that we don’t get a proper, platonic friendship developing between these two characters. It would certainly have helped to flesh them both out a bit.

Points of Note

  • Harry is upset over still being an ensign, but he fails to acknowledge that he still gets to lord it all over those non-commissioned crewmen. Also, he thinks he might have made it from ensign to lieutenant commander in just six years? Steady on, ego-boy.
  • I’m really not clear on the boundaries of the Prime Directive. Sometimes it seems almost mandatory to go and help any old ship that puts out a distress call. Other times it’s acceptable to let entire civilisation be destroyed rather than interfere in any way. It’s almost like this is just a television show written by many different writers. At any rate, Voyager has definitely just played a major part in affecting the balance of power between the Kraylor and the Annari.

Lost, crashed or destroyed shuttlecraft running total: 17

Destroyed Delta Flyer running total: 1

Possibly salvageable shuttlecraft running total: 10

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

Number of times a version of Voyager gets destroyed: 5

Summary – Nightingale: In which Harry gets a taste of command and immediately starts acting like a dick.

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