21 – Non Sequitur

Grade: C

Non Sequitur (1995) on IMDb


Harry Kim wakes up in San Francisco, apparently having been returned home – he is not on Voyager. Obviously, we are as confused as he is about how he ended up here. Was it some kind of malfunction or a rift in the space-time continuum or is someone behind it? Maybe this is a Holodeck story or perhaps he has been kidnapped by some aliens or something. All he knows is that he wants to get back to Voyager where he feels he belongs.


Up to this point in Star Trek, the alternate reality stories take place in situations that are worse than the original situations. Here, however, Kim is home on Earth with his fiancée, and he has an excellent job at Starfleet headquarters. It doesn’t seem like he should want to get back to Voyager.

But on the other hand, he really doesn’t seem like he wants to stay there, either. There is very little chemistry between the two main actors – Harry and Libby don’t really seem like they love each other. The acting in this episode is very weak, and there aren’t many true character moments between these two people. Honestly, I don’t want to seem like I’m nit-picking, but this episode really needed to have something more. It’s not at all clear to the audience why Harry would want to go back to Voyager, not when everything is going so well back on Earth.

The writing is a little off, too. In one scene, the Admiral in charge says that he will be going to the Cardassian border in just a few days and that he won’t be back for several weeks. Then later in the episode (presumably the next day), he says he and Kim are going to spend a lot of time together. Uh, oops. Maybe he’s planning to take Kim with him. Probably not.

One major problem I have with this episode is how it all wraps up. The alien tells him that there’s no way to tell where Harry will end up if he can duplicate the exact same conditions that brought him there in the first place. So there’s a chance he’ll be back on Voyager, but he doesn’t know when. He may even end up back where Voyager is now, but in a different time – maybe even before sentient life developed on Earth. So really what he’s saying is that even IF Harry can duplicate those conditions, where he will appear is completely random. Yeah, right. Does anyone watching this episode really believe that?

OK, so I’ve seen all the episodes before and I know that Harry ends up back on Voyager, so yeah, maybe it’s harder for me to accept this storyline than it would be for someone watching this for the first time. But this isn’t the first time I’ve ever seen a Star Trek episode, so I’m familiar with the “astronomical odds” nonsense that this franchise spits out all the time. And it’s getting really old. I didn’t believe for a nanosecond that anything would happen to Harry except that he’d end up on Voyager and that the Reset Button would make everything OK again.

So Harry and Paris steal a shuttle and go to those coordinates where they can duplicate the scene of the accident. Obviously, Starfleet doesn’t want them to do that, and Harry tries to save Paris’s life, but it’s Paris who has to shove Harry into the transporter so he can go back to Voyager. The ending is lame. There is no other way to say it – it’s just lame. Why? Because Paris wasn’t on the shuttle in that other reality, so the conditions are not duplicated. But it all works out anyway, and we’re supposed to be happy that Harry is back “home” on Voyager where he belongs instead of back on Earth planning his wedding. Lame.

I guess what I’m really saying is that this show could have taken some big risks, but they shy away from all risk whatsoever. The stories fall back on the same old and tired clichés that we’ve seen on every other Star Trek series. This series was supposed to be different, but it’s really no different than anything else we’ve ever seen.

They could have done almost anything else. Personally, I think the alien reveals everything way too late. He should have told him everything right at the beginning of the episode. Then instead of making this a “how do I get back” story, it could have been a “why should I want to go back” story instead. I’m not saying that he should have found out that he really wasn’t on Earth. I’m just saying we as the audience never really understand why he wants to go back to Earth so much. Picard had the same thing happen to him in the great episode Inner Light. Except there, Picard eventually gives up trying to go back and just enjoys his life on that dying planet. That was a great episode. This one is just bland because we as the audience never understand any of the characters’ motivations. All we know is that in 41 minutes, Kim will be back on Voyager and nothing will ever be different because of it.

Of Note

Jennifer Gatti plays Harry’s fiancée in this episode. She also appeared in the Next Generation episode called Birthright, when Worf goes to find out about his father, who may be alive in a prison camp. What’s interesting is that the character that Gatti plays has a relationship with Worf, but he decides to leave the prison camp instead of stay there with her. In Non Sequitur, Harry Kim ultimately decides to return to Voyager instead of stay on Earth with her. Hmm.

Another connection between Birthright and Non Sequitur is that right before Kim enters the bar in France to meet Tom Paris, there is an alien who leaves the bar. He is of the same species as the alien who told Worf about his father in the prison camp. I don’t know if the Eurydian connection between both episodes is intentional, however.

This is the second episode in which there’s a shuttle crash. Two down. Who knows how many more to go.