Ensign Kim gets a command of his own and Icheb gets the hots for a certain Engineer on the episode that originally aired on November 22, 2000. This is Nightingale.
Captain’s Log Stardate 54274.7 Nightingale
Harry gets a chance to sit in the big seat while Icheb learns about love and loss. Needless to say, only one of them gets out relatively unscathed.
After saving a cloaked medical frigate from certain death, Harry Kim is asked to take command of the vessel in order to lead it out of enemy space. With Seven of Nine and Neelix, the three assist in taking the vessel through enemy space in order to get a vaccine to their people. Reaching Voyager, which has landed on a planet for repairs, Harry is surprised that the Annari, who are hunting the medical frigate, have already arrived and have started negotiations for supplies with Janeway. Once the Annari leave, Harry explains the situation to Janeway and the Captain agrees to let Harry and Seven continue their mission to get the Frigate to it’s home planet. Renaming the ship ‘The Nightingale’, Harry takes command and, eventually comes face to face with the Annari. After some quick maneuvering and a few tricks against the enemies , Harry manages to escape the Annari but soon discovers that this is not a medical frigate but a stolen prototype that was intended to be used to outfit the Kraylor ships with cloaking devices in order to turn the tide of war. Kim goes through significant self doubt after losing a crewmember in battle but ultimately decides to assist, knowing the the Annari are indeed a villainous race. In the end Harry gets the ship out of Annari space and to the Kraylor homeworld. Kim and Seven rejoin Voyager and they continue on their journey home.
The B story involves Icheb falling for B’Elanna mistaking her encouragement for romantic intention. However B’Elanna, being married, clearly has no interest in the Teen Borg Boy but he is convinced nonetheless. Signals are mixed, hearts are broken but in the end Icheb realizes that he can not continue courting B’Elanna and ‘let’s her go’ much to her surprise.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
I love The Eternal Ensign Harry Kim, especially when he has a chance to be in command despite his clear inexperience. The thing is, after seven years on a Starship and having gone through so much, well, you would think he would have a better grip on command itself. Honestly, this episode shows the main reason Ensign Kim has never been promoted, he hasn’t really learned anything but how to keep his head down in all the time he has been on board. This is a really sad revelation but finally gives us a clear answer to this characters lack of promotion despite, or maybe because, of his rather clean record this far.
Additionally, this episode brings about an interesting conundrum for Harry and Voyager. While Harry gets a chance at command in this episode, his first instinct is to leave the conflict as per Starfleet protocol. While he is under the impression that the ship is a medical frigate, his intuition was actually pretty on par as the Kraylor were not being honest with him. This causes a problem as Harry thinks he is helping on a humanitarian situation but, when it is discovered he is not, he still agrees to help the Kraylor. Now, the proper action would have been to return to Voyager and send these people on their way, by assisting them, Kim has essentially turned the tide of war in a sector of space which could have significant repercussions for more than just the Kraylor and the Annari. These ramifications are never seen nor felt but Voyager is essentially responsible for any change of power and it’s ramifications in this sector. However, once the mission is over, Voyager goes on it’s way as if nothing occurred. This isn’t completely Kim’s fault, Janeway should have addressed this, in fact this should have been the start to a multi episode arc but…no… Voyager just assisted in a war and left…as they do…time and again.
Overall, despite the clear violation of the Prime Directive, this is a pretty solid episode guided by none other than LeVar Burton. We get a chance to see Harry finally get a feeling of what it is to be in command while also seeing some enjoyable character development for Icheb in his pursuit of B’Elanna. While this episode doesn’t have any long lasting effects on the series as a whole and is more of a filler episode, I really did enjoy the story itself, flaws and all.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- 0 photon torpedoes fired, -20 remaining.
- 0 shuttlecraft lost or destroyed, -6 remaining
- Harry calls out Janeway insisting that he would either be a Lieutenant or Lt Commander. He’s not wrong…ish.
- The Doctor gives romantic advice to Icheb….even though he really hasn’t had much success himself.
- We never find out if Voyager finished the repairs…we have to assume they did at some point…right?
- You might recognize Loken as a certain spiritual man from another scifi series. Ron Glass also appeared in Firefly as Shepherd Book.
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: Flesh and Blood
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Late To The Game 3/19/2021
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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