Star Trek: Voyager: Nightingale   Rewatch 
June 14, 2018 7:39 AM - Season 7, Episode 8 - Subscribe

Harry Kim gets his first command, an alien ship with a mysterious purpose. And no, it's not to harvest his genetic material or make a deuterium duplicate of him or exploit him for space terrorism purposes

I am hereby requested and required to relinquish command of this background information to Memory Alpha:

- This episode's working title was "The Command".

- The Nightingale is a reuse of a Federation attack fighter.


"How long have you been captain?"
"I'm just an ensign."
"Ensign? Uh, what is that?"
"A junior officer. The lowest ranked officer, actually."

- Terek and Harry Kim discussing rank


"You've been seeing a lot of my wife lately. Should I be worried?"

- Tom Paris, to Icheb


"Your blood pressure and neurotransmitter readings indicated a state of arousal."
"It was hot!"

- Icheb thinking B'Elanna Torres is attracted to him


"I should have stuck to playing Buster Kincaid..."

- Harry Kim


Poster's Log:
I dunno, if I were the only Earthling on a ship that I had been suddenly made captain of, I might've christened it after some inspiring avian creature of my hosts' world, rather than being all culturally-imperialistic about it by christening it Nightingale. But that's the Federation for ya. (I also wouldn't have used the word "christened," unless the universal translator can aaaand nevermind let's not go down THAT rabbit hole.)

Anyway, I'd have to call this possibly the most forgettable episode in a season or two. Memory Alpha seems to agree, judging by the amazing paucity of background info for me to steal for this thread. And is it my imagination, or did even marvelous guest star Ron Glass (of Barney Miller and Firefly fame) seem kinda bored here?

Maybe the most striking thing in this is the shots of grounded Voyager being worked on. And I guess the Icheb subplot was cute, and not too icky.

Poster's Log, Supplemental:
We will see the Annari species again seven episodes from now, in "The Void."
posted by CheesesOfBrazil (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Particle of the Week: Polarons seemed like a clear winner.
Pointless STO Comparison of the Week: It's possible to make a knock off of the Annari vessel in game by purchasing a Peregrine fighter (as mentioned by Cheeses), arming it with a polaron beam array to get a purple weapon and slapping on the Adapted MACO space set for an extremely limited cloaking effect.

... I guess what I'm saying is that the model reuse was very distracting because I see those fighters all the time. (In particular, Mirror Universe forces deploy piles of them.)

Ongoing Counts:
* Maximum Possible Photon Torpedoes: -17.
* Crew: 137.
* Credulity Straining Alpha Quadrant Contacts: 14.
* Janeway's Big Red Button: 2 aborted self-destructs, 1 successful, 2 games of chicken, 1 ramming speed.

Notes:
* It's Those People!

As mentioned above, Ron Glass was here, and didn't seem to be having much fun.

Dayla was played by Beverly Leech, a very prolific character actress I couldn't have named from anything specific, but just sort of generally recognized.

* Disliked the B-plot intensely.

I could've done without Icheb claiming B'Ellana had been aroused based on secretly scanning her. I think that was supposed to be funny, but it was gross.

I was also disappointed because it was sort of fun just seeing Voyager acknowledge that ships need dry dock repairs from time to time. Like, I would've been happy just seeing some people around the ship taking care of damage accrued over the series with a few nods to how they got it.

* Kim's subplot was okay, but not well thought out.

I dunno, if I were the only Earthling on a ship that I had been suddenly made captain of, I might've christened it after some inspiring avian creature of my hosts' world, rather than being all culturally-imperialistic about it by christening it Nightingale.

Yeah. I know Harry was supposed to be complimenting them, but that was a very Voyager facepalm.

The other thing that really bugged me was that violating Starfleet policy was a pretty bad idea here. We don't know much of anything about the Annari or the Kraylor except that the Annari are presently winning whatever conflict they've got. The Kraylor lied to Kim about their cargo and intentions, there's no reason to believe they were honest about the rest of it either.

I wish that had either been skipped or acknowledged a little better. Harry probably deserved a reprimand or worse, not a command. (I mean, the main difference between this and Tom's offense in Thirty Days is that Harry didn't manage to personally offend Janeway.)

Once Harry was in command, I did buy that he would make the mistakes he did, and that Seven would call him out on it, so I guess that was fine. It doesn't speak well for the rest of Voyager's command staff for not giving him additional training over the past six years, but given that Janeway's shown zero interest in promoting him, it does track.

Overall, I'm mostly with Cheeses: this was a very forgettable episode. Indeed, I'm not sure if I saw it during the original run or not. Seeing Ron Glass was familiar, but I didn't remember the twist.
posted by mordax at 9:51 AM on June 14, 2018 [2 favorites]


Well, I had a somewhat different feeling about the episode, although I'll admit that it's because I'm willing to look past the episode's shortcomings. Yeah, the Prime Directive got put in a corner, but that's something that's always been more honored in the breach, anyway, and it's a bit of a failure for the entire franchise that the Prime Directive has never actually been spelled out in more than half a century. The Federation has also historically been opposed to strongly hegemonic powers--although, given its non-aggression policy, it may be more accurate to say that they oppose the Federation, which has been accused of being weakly (softly?) hegemonic itself. I'd say that the real issue here isn't so much the PD as it is that the Kraylor could have been another Vaadwaur, and that, while the real nature of their mission doesn't make them the Vaadwaur, it also doesn't make them the pure innocents that they pretend to be, either. (Although one of the ex-Maquis might have had a different perspective on that as a former member of the AQ's badly-outgunned underdogs.)

But I can overlook something like that (or Harry's geocentric naming of the Nightingale, because it's pretty clear that the Kraylor don't really care about ship names), because glory glory freakin' hallelujah, Kim's lack of promotion finally comes up with Janeway! Even though nothing is really done about it. I can understand how he may not have been trained in a lot of command principles and protocols, since he's ops branch, and the main ops officer would be pretty busy on a ship that's always short on resources, but he's still the main ops officer and part of the command team. It's just dumb not to promote this guy when Paris gets re-promoted after being busted down. It's not as if every single person on the ship is going to be a four-pip admiral if it takes them 25 years to get back. Even if Harry technically outranked all the ex-Maquis, because of their rank officially being provisional (which I'm pretty sure wasn't actually the case; wasn't there an episode recently when B'Elanna commented on it?), it's still dumb. It felt a little weird for Seven to be the one commenting on The Nature of Command; they could have used Neelix instead because he's got a service record, and could therefore comment on command, plus being able to do some tinkering and also not outranking Harry. (Sorry. I'll have the small Baconator combo, with Diet Sprite.)

Other things: yeah, they didn't use Ron Glass very well--it would have been better if he'd been more amiable at first, then gotten a bit colder once his deception was revealed. And I'm willing to forgive Icheb some tricorder misuse because, despite his precocious intellect, he's still a child and has to be taught that stuff like that is inappropriate (especially coming from having been Borged and therefore probably still learning about boundary issues; a better use of Seven in this episode would have been her coming back to the ship and both sympathizing with him and also sternly reminding him about Certain Things That They Have Talked About Before). Finally, I thought that Dayla's sacrifice was a nice callback to the end of STII.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:20 AM on June 14, 2018 [2 favorites]


I'd say that the real issue here isn't so much the PD as it is that the Kraylor could have been another Vaadwaur, and that, while the real nature of their mission doesn't make them the Vaadwaur, it also doesn't make them the pure innocents that they pretend to be, either. (Although one of the ex-Maquis might have had a different perspective on that as a former member of the AQ's badly-outgunned underdogs.)

Yeah, this isn't so much about the Prime Directive for me, it's more... they have no idea what's going on here. At all. It's telling to me that the Annari were pretty reasonable even after Harry rendered aid to the Kraylor - a lot of aliens of the week would've opened fire on Voyager, grounded or not. (Harry also cost Voyager what looked like a pretty helpful trade deal.)

I can understand how he may not have been trained in a lot of command principles and protocols, since he's ops branch, and the main ops officer would be pretty busy on a ship that's always short on resources, but he's still the main ops officer and part of the command team. It's just dumb not to promote this guy when Paris gets re-promoted after being busted down.

Yep. And I mean... Harry actually sits in the big chair during some night shifts. He shouldn't be doing that without training - there are any number of plausible scenarios where he might have to command the ship in a proper emergency. He should know how.

Even if Harry technically outranked all the ex-Maquis, because of their rank officially being provisional (which I'm pretty sure wasn't actually the case; wasn't there an episode recently when B'Elanna commented on it?), it's still dumb

Pretty sure their ranks are not provisional, yeah. B'Ellana and Chakotay both clearly outrank him.

It felt a little weird for Seven to be the one commenting on The Nature of Command

That felt like another 'Harry gets no respect' gag - Janeway spends more time mentoring Seven than she does with him.

Additional STO Note: A reminder that by the time you meet Harry Kim in the MMO, you outrank him. His area is not accessible before a player reaches admiral, and Harry will still be a captain at that point.

And I'm willing to forgive Icheb some tricorder misuse because, despite his precocious intellect, he's still a child and has to be taught that stuff like that is inappropriate (especially coming from having been Borged and therefore probably still learning about boundary issues; a better use of Seven in this episode would have been her coming back to the ship and both sympathizing with him and also sternly reminding him about Certain Things That They Have Talked About Before).

I would've been better with it if someone had actually explained 'no don't do that.' As it was, the Doctor didn't mention 'PS it is unethical to scan people randomly,' and B'Ellana - understandably - just shrugged the whole thing off in exasperation.

Like... having him actually learn a Valuable Lesson would've made that work better, although it still felt like a waste of time.
posted by mordax at 11:35 AM on June 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


Speaking of STO, is the "Victory is Life" adventure/update also for admiral-level players?
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:13 PM on June 14, 2018


It's for everybody, yeah. The whole thing is sort of like Death Knights in WoW - if you make a Gamma Recruit, they start at level 60 with some benefits - decent gear, T5-U ship, 45 spec points already spent, Iconian and Borg rep at max. If you play them, you get account unlocks similar to the Delta Recruit event. This is all apparently true whether you have any admiral level alts or not - I guess someone signing up for the first time would immediately be catapulted to endgame during the event.

The new missions are endgame, but otherwise available to everybody. Chronologically, they take place after the New Frontiers (Lukari/Tzenkathi) arc.
posted by mordax at 2:58 PM on June 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


(The account unlocks only apply if you make a new Jem'Hadar before the 18th though, so if anybody's into STO, log in soon.)
posted by mordax at 2:59 PM on June 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the tip, mordax! My new Jem'Hadar dudes, Ricotta'Flan and Tomat'Oplant, also thank you.

Very cool that this new season has basically all the DS9 voices except Avery Brooks and Colm Meaney!

Too bad I can only get about twenty minutes into the new content before it crashes reliably (every time I try to beam to the Tzenkethi station on Odo's orders, to be precise). Even my old Starfleet main dude can't beam to the newly-redone DS9 without a crash.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 6:51 AM on June 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the tip, mordax! My new Jem'Hadar dudes, Ricotta'Flan and Tomat'Oplant, also thank you.

Haha, nice. My Jem'Hadar came up 'Duran'rex' during chargen, so I obviously had to roll with Duran'duran.

(Also, my favorite ship is the RRW Vorpal Epohh.)

Very cool that this new season has basically all the DS9 voices except Avery Brooks and Colm Meaney!

Yeah. I suspect Avery Brooks might be involved later, too.

Too bad I can only get about twenty minutes into the new content before it crashes reliably

D'oh. :(

If it's any help, I had a lot of trouble until I switched over to Lighting 2.0. Hope you're able to get that cleared up either way - the new missions were pretty cool.
posted by mordax at 5:11 PM on June 16, 2018


OK, but... do I already have to have a captain-level character to create a Gamma Recruit?
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:51 PM on June 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


I could be mistaken, but I'm pretty sure you don't.
posted by mordax at 10:39 PM on June 16, 2018


OK! I am First Snaka'Tak of the ship DV Solidz-R-Dumb.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:50 PM on June 17, 2018 [2 favorites]


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