Have you ever woken up and felt that your life is not your own? That somehow something very wrong happened and everything you are doing now is not at all what and where you are supposed to be? Now imagine waking up in an alternate universe where one singe thing changed but you have all of the memories of your original universe. Originally airing on September 25, 1995 this is Non Sequitur.
Personal Log, Harry Kim, Stardate 49011: Non Sequitur
Ensign Harry Kim awakes to find himself in an alternate universe where he never served on the USS Voyager. Determined to get back home, Harry risks everything even a chance to be with the love of his life.
Harry Kim wakes to the voice of Janeway calling out about an emergency transport. Soon he opens his eyes to that of his girlfriend Libby and he discovered that he is back on Earth. Shocked at the situation, Harry begins to try to figure out what is going on. Is he in the past, a holodeck recreation, is Libby an alien? When he mentions Voyager, Libby is clearly disappointed as their mutual friend, Danny Byrd, was lost when Voyager disappeared in the badlands two months prior.
Rushed by the upset Libby to get to work, Kim dresses and gets a Vulcan Mocha from his local coffee shop. There he learns that, not only is he engaged to Libby, he is working on a new starship design and today he is presenting this new ship. Soon his project partner, Lt Laska, arrives and they rush to the meeting with the Admirals to present the new runabout, the Yellowstone. Unfortunately Harry is not prepared having never heard of this project and just as it becomes apparent to the Admiral and his staff that something is amiss, Harry informs them that he is in fact sick and asks for a delay in the presentation. The Admiralty reluctantly agrees but informs Kim and Lasca that it will be at least three weeks before they can meet again. Lasca, clearly upset at Kim, leaves the confused Ensign wondering what is going on.
Visiting his office, Harry learns that he never served aboard Voyager and was instead assigned to the Starfleet Engineering Corps. Determining that there has been no temporal anomalies recently reported and discovering that information on Voyager has been classified, Harry uses his Voyager Security clearance to get more information. There he learns that his friend Daniel Byrd was the Operation Officer not Harry. Returning home Harry struggles to find his apartment while being watched by the barista, Cosimo, who gave him his Vulcan Mocha that very morning.
Finding his apartment, Harry is greeted by Libby and comforts his fiance by telling her that he feels that he hasn’t seen her in two months. That night, waking next to her, Harry gets out of bed and begins to look up his former crew-mates. Soon he discovers that he is not alone as Tom Paris is currently living in Marseilles, France after being paroled. Soon Libby finds Kim researching the crew of Voyager and becomes concerned about her fiance. Worried that he is having second thoughts about the wedding she suggests getting help. Kim assures her that everything is fine but he must first go to Marseilles to get some answers. Arriving in France, Harry finds Tom Paris but his friend does not recognize him.
After trying unsuccessfully to convince Tom Paris of their mutual alternate lives, Kim returns to his apartment to be greeted by Starfleet Security questioning his actions and why he has been digging into classified files concerning Voyager. After being taken to Starfleet Headquarters, Harry attempts to explain what has happened to him to little success. Harry is suspected of being a Maquis spy, having been seen meeting with a former Maquis Tom Paris. Fitted with an ankle bracelet, Kim is placed on house arrest and restricted from off planet travel. Returning to his apartment, Kim is confronted by Cosimo who confirms that Kim is indeed not from this reality.
Cosimo informs Kim that the kindly barista has been sent to keep an eye on him after an accident scrambled time landing Harry where he is now. Although the Cosimo pleads with Harry to stop trying to find a way back home, Harry convinces the time travelling alien to provide the young Ensign with the coordinates of a time stream in his region so that Harry can attempt to get back. Returning to his apartment, Kim is confronted by Libby who is concerned that her fiance is trying to get away from her. Harry explains that he will never be the Harry Kim she fell in love with and that he has to fix the timeline so that others, Paris and Byrd, get to live their real lives as well. Harry removes his ankle bracelet causing security to arrive and, although she does not fully believe him, she blocks their way allowing Kim to escape.
Fleeing, Harry is nearly captured but is saved by his old friend Tom Paris. Tom figures that if Harry is right then this is his only chance to lead a better life and the two find their way back to Harry’s office and steal the experimental shuttlecraft Yellowstone. Pursued by Star Fleet, Paris and Kim make it to the time stream and try to recreate the events that got him into this alternate universe.
Kim awakes to Janeway hailing his ship beaming the young Ensign out just before the shuttle explodes. Back on the Bridge, Kim thanks a rather confused Paris for his help.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
Personally, I love this episode. For the first time in the series so far we get a complete episode focusing on the lowest ranking member of the crew, Harry Kim. Not only is this a Harry Kim-centric episode but, in a rather rare instance for Star Trek, it focuses solely on this character allowing actor Garrett Wang to really show his abilities.
For most of the first season Harry Kim has been a rather sidelined character, never being more than a punching bag or someone who is used solely to push the plot forward. The closest we got to a Harry Kim story was when he was transported to another dimension(?) but, although he got some pretty great character development, even that didn’t fully explore Harry Kim as a character. However, with Non Sequitur, not only do we explore Harry Kim’s character, we get a chance to see who he was and even who he might have been.
From the beginning of the series Harry Kim has made it clear that he is homesick and, having just graduated from the academy, he does not have the experience necessary to really handle the extreme situation that Voyager has been placed in. Now that is not saying he has done poorly, in fact for a green Ensign he has performed rather admirably, but nonetheless, the guy is homesick and sometimes comes across as a little desperate and innocent. Now imagine waking up to literally everything you hoped for after believing yourself lost and unable to return home. Not only does he have a successful career at Star Fleet with the promise of a promotion (something he will never get unfortunately), but he is also back with the love of his life, Libby, and is even engaged to be married. To someone like Harry Kim, this is a dream come true, but, like most dreams fulfilled there is a cost. That cost is that not only has one of his friend vanished with Voyager but also his one friend aboard Voyager is living the worst version of his life due to this alteration of the timeline.
The interesting thing is that, this single change permanently alters the adventures of Voyager in ways we can never imagine. Without Harry or Tom events that transpired aboard the ship will have been radically changed in ways that could even indicate that Voyager’s crew is in a very different place. Think of the times where Kim and Paris have been instrumental to saving the crew, or key crew members so far, from Paris saving Janeway in Time and Again to Harry ugh…well…come to think of it has Harry really contributed anything to Voyager so far. I mean, he has mostly been infected by a virus, taken to another dimension, and ‘eaten’ by an energy being. Heck he has even died once. Okay maybe he found a wormhole that gave the crew hope and ultimately crushed their hope.. oh man. I think Voyager may have actually been better off without Harry.
Come to think of it, that really explains Harry’s sacrifice in giving up his happiness. While he didn’t want his friend Danny Byrd to have to face the horrors of the Delta Quadrant, Harry knew that without Paris, there is every chance that Voyager might have been destroyed or significantly altered in serious ways. In a way, this really makes Harry’s sacrifice that much more meaningful giving up on a real life to live on a Starship where he has been rather useless for the past few months.
Speaking of months. Did you catch the indication of how long Voyager has been ‘missing’. Libby indicates that it has been two months since the memorial indicating that Voyager has been missing at least that long. Later Lt Lasca mentions that Harry has been waiting six months for the chance to present his new ship designs. Cosimo indicated that Harry has been out of the Academy for Eight Months. So at the shortest Voyager has only been missing for three months and at the longest seven (giving a month before Harry get’s an assignment and all). Think of everything they have gone through in those, lets say six, months. It is pretty amazing that the crew is not stark raving mad by now. Props to Janeway for managing to keep the crew sane seeing that torment they have experienced in only half a year. Now if she could just stop changing course to explore an anomaly that might or might not have coffee in it.
All in all, This is a terrific story that really gives us a chance to see more of Harry Kim’s past and get a better understanding of what he left behind in order to join the crew of Voyager. Even though it is now painfully obvious that he has yet to really contribute to the crew in any real way, I can forgive his longing to be back home and his reluctance to accept that he and Libby will never see one another again. My hat’s off to you Harry Kim, your sacrifice will not go unnoticed….well actually it will be seeing the poor guy never gets a promotion in seven years but hey, it’s the thought that counts….right?
All that aside, One thing this episode does do it really cements the friendship between Paris and Harry showing that, even in an alternate timeline, that friendship still manages to bubble up. I guess the two of them are connected on a much deeper level and that friendship will continue to be a big part of their story as the series progresses.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- 0 photon torpedoes fired, 37 remaining.
- 1 Shuttle destroyed, six remaining.
- We learn that Harry’s middle initial is ‘L’ from his Star Fleet Diploma and personnel file. Will we find out what the ‘L’ Stand for?
- We never do find out who or what Cosimo really is and why his people felt it important to ‘watch’ a single human who is displaced in time. I have to wonder what it is that they see in Harry to make him such a focal point. Did they just send this random dude to literally live his life on Earth to watch this other random dude for no reason or is there more going on here. Sadly we never find out but I really want to know!
- You might recognize actress Jennifer Gatti who plays Libby from her previous appearance in Star Trek as the half Klingon/half Romulan woman by the name of Ba’el.
- There is also a pretty cool easter egg in Harry’s office depicting none other that the flagship of the federation itself, the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D. Sadly this would have been after it’s destruction in Generations but still, good on you Harry!
- This episode also marks the first appearance of Kim’s Clarinet. It will return.
Thanks for reading the Retro TV Review, I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you, one episode at a time every Monday, Wednesday and Friday! Next Review: Twisted
If you would like to read more reviews I have a weekly series called Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday and for more retro TV goodness check out the rest of the Retro TV Reviews here.
As always, please feel free to comment below and share your experiences with these episodes as well. If you just happened by, tell me what you think! Don’t Forget To Follow me if you like the blog!
Late To The Game 5/18/2020
Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available. Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.
“Star Trek and all related marks, logos and characters are solely owned by CBS Studios Inc. This fan production is not endorsed by, sponsored by, nor affiliated with CBS, Paramount Pictures, or any other Star Trek franchise, and is a non-commercial fan-made production intended for recreational use. No commercial exhibition or distribution is permitted. No alleged independent rights will be asserted against CBS or Paramount Pictures.”