Star Trek 613: Nightingale

613. Nightingale

FORMULA: Valiant + The Arsenal of Freedom

WHY WE LIKE IT: Harry's first command.

WHY WE DON'T: So why exactly can't the boy get ahead?

REVIEW: As we all know, Harry's been on the ship for almost 7 years, and he hasn't seen so much as a hint they might promote him. This episode deals with that (good), but manages to highlight how ridiculous his non-advancement is (bad). According to this story, Harry thinks he'd have made Lt. Commander by now if it wasn't for Voyager's special circumstances. What circumstances would those be exactly? A bunch of officers died on the trip to the Delta Quadrant. They're on an extended mission in which Harry's proven himself again and again. Being far from home hasn't stopped Tuvok from advancing. Janeway gave out field commissions to all the Maquis, Chakotay and B'Elanna especially. Ex-con Tom Paris yo-yoed himself back up to Lieutenant. Even the EMH got himself a pip. Other than a wish to keep the series bible intact, there's no reason to keep thinking of Harry Kim as "green" anymore.

Because Nightingale discusses this so heavily, it makes Janeway a bit of a jerk about this. As for his Nightingale mission, sure, he gets taken by the Kraylor's cover story, but so does everyone else. There's a stupid bit where he expects the crew to keep following his orders when he discovers their real plans, but otherwise, he acquits himself pretty well. He inspires a young crewman and bluffs his way to success. Seven does even better as his first officer though, calling him on his micro-management and other command issues.

Voyager's part in this is minimal, basically acting as a sitting duck when the Kraylor's enemies come visiting (real nice effects on the drydock sequences though). And there's the subplot, in which Icheb thinks B'Elanna has romantic feelings for him. It's total fluff, but it showcases B'Elanna's newfound maturity as she lets him down easy rather than throwing him out an airlock. Still, Harry has to look out for Icheb. The new golden boy may yet make Lieutenant before he does...

LESSON: You want to become captain BECAUSE you can have underlings do all the tedious button pushing.

REWATCHABILITY - Medium: A watchable, but predictable episode that does little more than put a spotlight on one of the show's errors.

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