Date: September 20, 2020
Season 2, Episode 5
Musical Accompaniment: I’m watching The American Barbecue Showdown on Netflix while I write this. I can cook and bake, but I cannot fry or grill… and I love watching grilling competitions. I absolutely love ribs and that’s the episode I’m watching.
Interstellar News: The last few days have been absolutely terrible and today has only had one highlight… watching Silverado. I’m sorry I’ve not been up for more than one episode a day, I hope to be back tomorrow.
TL;DR: Kim wakes up on present-day Earth and it’s what life would be like if he never was accepted to the Voyager‘s crew… except he remembers all of his time on Voyager. Libby is his fiancee, he’s in Starfleet’s Engineering Corps, and he get a Vulcan mocha, extra sweet from a very flamboyant Italian man named Cosimo every morning. Kim tries to figure out what happened and he goes to see Paris, who also never made it to Voyager as he got into a fight with Quark and Odo put him in lockup. Paris is a drunken mess and when Kim returns to San Fransisco he’s put under observation because they think he’s a spy. Kim and Cosimo speak, Cosimo is an alien who was sent to check up on Kim because he was in an accident and got lost in the time stream. He tells Kim what he could do if he wants and Kim attempts to escape. Paris comes to help Kim, they break into Starfleet headquarters, steal a runabout, and recreate the accident… and it works. He’s transported back to Voyager from the runabout, debriefs with Janeway, and tells Paris he owes him.
Kim: You also told me you were afraid of what would happen to you if you didn’t take Captain Janeway up on her offer. Now I see why.
Paris: What do you see, Ensign?
Kim: A loser and a drunk.
Kim: I guess in this reality, that’s all you’ll ever be.Kim getting one on Paris.
“Look, that was another lifetime. I’m doing the best I can.”: This episode reminded me of a less successful “flash-sideways” like they did in Lost. I thought this was a fun way to show how Kim’s life would be different, but the story never sucks me in to WHY Kim is so determined to get back. Just four episodes ago Kim was figuring out if he wanted to stay with the 37’s or live the rest of his life on a starship and now he’s fighting against an almost idyllic life to return to life as an Ensign? I don’t get it. Maybe if there had been more to what happened on the runabout or if he was trying to stop Voyager from getting blown up, but all he wants is to get back and doesn’t help me to understand why. Kim never once tells anyone about what he thinks happened to Voyager and it’s also not really clear what they think happened to Voyager either.
I also have no idea why Paris shows up at the end. The Paris we see is down on his luck, drunk, and has never met Harry Kim before. Why would he travel from France to San Fransisco to help some guy he just met and why oh why would he be okay with dying when he had no idea if Kim was even right? I’m also appalled by Starfleet Security’s ineptitude for the last half of the episode, they were just abysmally awful. I don’t really have a lot to say about this episode, because it just wasn’t great. There were so many things that were missing or could have been done better and this was not Voyager’s best. I’m going to watch more BBQ show now, because it’s more entertaining.