Harry Kim and the Venusian Virus. Originally airing on February 24,1999 this is The Disease.
Captain’s Log Stardate undetermined: The Disease.
Voyager encounters a generational ship, Harry breaks some rules and get complicated.
Seriously, those descriptions up there pretty much sum it up. Voyager meets up with a race known as the Varro who need help with their generational ship but are reluctant to meet new species. Harry Kim has sex with one of the Varro after being under orders to not do that and catches a disease that causes him to glow. Meanwhile the girl, Tal, ends up trying to sabotage the generational ship to force her people to start to explore instead of hide. In fact there is a whole movement she works with who wish for the same. She is arrested and Harry is in trouble possibly being forced to take a vaccine that will make him not love her anymore. The Varro are forced to abandon the generational ship allowing Tal to go exploring and ultimately leaves Harry alone on Voyager. Harry refuses to take the vaccine as he wants to accept it as his punishment for breaking protocol. The events are placed on his ‘permanent record’ and Seven claims she learned more about love from watching Harry Kim Suffer. The end.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
After the events of Dark Frontier they really should have opted for either a really intense story dealing with the emotional ramifications for Seven of Nine or a fun lighthearted humorous one, but no, instead we got Space Herpes. I mean, sure, okay, it’s a Harry Kim centric episode but seriously, an episode that was basically a warning promoting safe sex and warning against xenophobia was probably not the right direction to take.
The only thing it does manage is to give us the idea that Voyager could end up a generational ship at some point (which would have been a MUCH better ending to the series than we got, but I am getting ahead of myself), and even that is a stretch. I mean, this is yet another case of Janeway giving technology and knowledge to another species violating the Prime Directive while chastising Harry Kim for violating protocol by ‘playing with’ an alien woman without being cleared by the Doctor first. I mean, Janeway herself has had some alien relationships of her own and do you think she got clearance first…HA! right.
Overall, this is just a decent filler episode that you can skip without missing much. It is a forced and rather silly story that, while I love Garret Wang’s portrayal of Harry Kim, it was not a good episode for him. Honestly, this is yet another in a long line of missed opportunities for the series. We could have easily had Tal temporarily join the crew to go ‘explore’ with Harry allowing the series to explore their relationship a little further. Heck, it still could have ended similarly but it would have made for a great character development opportunity making it even harder for Harry and Tal at the end. But no, that is not the case. Sure, Harry gets lucky for once and at least he wasn’t being groomed to be food but still…the guy just can’t catch a break. It’s pretty weak with nothing really established or any real character growth but, unless you want the tale of Space Herpes then be my guest.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- 0 photon torpedoes fired, -10 remaining.
- 0 shuttlecraft lost or destroyed, -3 remaining
- It is really no surprise that Harry never get’s promoted at this point…this guy…
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: Course: Oblivion
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Late To The Game 12/9/2020
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.
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