Harry learns his true heritage in the episode that originally aired on March 19, 1997. This is Favorite Son.
Captain’s Log Stardate 50732.4 Favorite Son
Harry Kim is shocked when he learns that he is actually from the Delta Quadrant and his people have come to claim him.
After feeling as if Voyager has been through this sector of space before, Harry Kim launches a preemptive attack on an oncoming vessel claiming that the ship is about to attack Voyager.
After the battle, Voyager is damaged but has managed to fend of the alien craft. Wanting answers from Kim, Janeway demands an explanation but Kim can only respond that he ‘knew’ that they were going to attack. Kim is suspended from duty until they can determine what has happened and Torres is taken to sickbay to be treated for some serious wound.
Kim, having taken a minor wound himself, goes to sickbay to find Torres being treated. Feeling guilty for his earlier actions, he heads to his quarters only to have a nightmare about having what is essentially chicken pox only for him to awake with a rash all over his face. Reporting to Sickbay he finds the Torres has recovered and, after suggesting it might be Mendakan Pox he had as a child, he reports to Janeway who has some interesting news.
It seems that the alien vessel was in fact about to launch an attack and Harry’s actions saved the ship. Janeway still wonders how it is that Kim knew it was going to happen. Harry only knows that the area feels…familiar somehow. Their conversation is interrupted when three ships similar to the one previously launch an attack. Harry pulls up a star chart and requests that Janeway set course for a nearby planet that he knows will be safe. Complying, Janeway is shocked when another alien ship arrives and helps Voyager fend off the attackers. Contacting their new friend, they are all surprised when the woman in the alien ship welcomes Harry back home.
Beaming to the planet with Kim, Paris and Tuvok, Janeway learns that Harry Kim was implanted with their DNA and taken to Earth as an embryo. He developed as human and has since been biologically driven to return home. It would seem that this species procreates using the DNA of other species and, when a male returns home to Taresia, they never leave. Soon everyone but Harry leaves so he can explore his new home but, when they discover that Harry has been infected with a retrovirus, the crew return to Tarisia only to find that the Taresians are anything but welcoming. It seems that Harry was infected during an away mission and that his entire ‘origin’ story was false.
On the planet, Kim begins to learn of his new culture and witnesses a group wedding between a Taresian male and three women. He is dissapointed to learn that he can no longer contact Voyager but is encouraged to join in the celebrations by one of the attending women. However, before long Harry discovers the dark truth is that the Tarisian mating practice kills their male partners and that the Tarisian’s harvest males using a DNA retrovirus to obtain male participants. Trying to save another male from his
death by snusnu fate, Kim is accosted by his friends ‘wives’ and it looks as if he is about to die of the same fate only to be beamed out at the last moment.
Leaving the system being pursued by the Tarisians, Voyager finds the original ship that they had a battle with and, to their surprise, the alien ship attacks the Tarisians. Fending them off, Voyager continues on it’s journey with Harry’s DNA cleaned up.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
Meh. While I do enjoy a good Harry Must Suffer episode, which really makes me realize that Harry Kim is indeed this series whipping boy, I really find this episode pretty droll to be honest. It is, once again, a very contrived and rather forced episode that, sadly, has no lasting effects on the crew or the ship. It is literally just a complete waste of Voyager’s resources giving them no real development for Harry or any of the other crew. That would be okay if it was an interesting story but even that aspect fails as the story is basically just, as it is suggested in the episode itself, a rehash of the Siren Story from the Odyssey.
The end of the episode, which I didn’t bother fully describing, indicates that this species is similar to the Sirens of the Odyssey, attracting hapless males to die in a mating process furthering a species that is 90% female. Had the writers had seeded this story earlier in the series with Harry feeling things were familiar from the start, I imagine this payoff would have been much better but, being contained in a single episode feels rather….forced at best.
The thing that makes this episode worse is how easily Harry is ready to accept that he is indeed an alien. I get that this guy is lonely and wants to belong but this almost seems like a cry for help. For a Star Fleet officer, you would think he would be a little more skeptical of the convenient ‘male fantasy’ of being part of a species made up almost entirely of women. I get it Harry, I really do but this is why you never make it past the rank of Ensign in your seven years aboard Voyager, you have some serious maturing to do.
Overall, this is a great example of a filler episode that has no real purpose for the overall narrative. While it would have made for a pretty solid Original Series entry or even one for TNG, by the time Voyager was being produced, an episode like this just doesn’t work. It is contrived and frankly embarrassing at best. This is yet another that you can skip and probably should.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- 0 photon torpedoes fired, 27 remaining.
- 0 shuttlecraft lost or destroyed, 4 remaining.
- We do get to see Harry as a kid and we meet his mom for the first time so there is that.
- While this species poses a massive threat to the quadrant and, frankly the galaxy….nothing happens to them. At. All. Voyager just takes their crew-member and heads on home. In fact, they don’t even make it a point to leave a warning buoy for future travelers. Odysseus would be ashamed.
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: Before and After
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 8/21/2020
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.”