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The Best Harry Kim Episodes From Star Trek Voyager

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by Marisa Quinn-Haisu (subscribe)
My name is Marisa. I am a fiction writer, a blogger, and a freelance journalist.
Published May 19th 2020
Hes young, fresh scrubbed, and ready for duty
The Best Harry Kim Episodes from Star Trek Voyager
He plays a mean clarinet

"I think it's safe to say that... no one on this crew has been more... obsessed with getting home than I have. But... when I think about... everything we've been through together - maybe it's not the destination that matters. Maybe it's the journey. If that journey takes a little longer, so we can do something we all believe in, I can't think of any place I'd rather be, or any people I'd rather be with."

Harry Kim reflects on the journey, Star Trek Voyager

Harry Kim was a fictional character in the Star Trek franchise portrayed by Garrett Wang and a major character in the American television series Star Trek Voyager from 1995 to 2001. Harry Kim was the Operations Officer onboard the starship the USS Voyager. In the script for "Caretaker", the pilot episode of Star Trek Voyager, Harry Kim's character was described as a "a young Starfleet Ensign in his early twenties. Looks fresh scrubbed and right out of the Academy." When Harry joins Voyager, he is the baby of the crew, who lacks a lot of experience. It was always Harry's dream to join Starfleet. It was the happiest day of his life when he reported for duty onboard Voyager. Harry lived a sheltered life growing up, so when Voyager got lost in the Delta Quadrant, he was scared. He knew he had to grow up quickly, to rise to the challenge and to prove himself as a member of the crew. Throughout all seven seasons of Voyager, Harry always went about his job with diligence and grace, but never stopped yearning for home. Here are six of Harry's very best episodes!

1. The Chute

The Best Harry Kim Episodes from Star Trek Voyager
Harry and Tom fight to survive in an alien prison

Episode Details: Season 3, Episode 3
Air Date: 18 September 1996
Written by: Kenneth Biller and Clayvon C. Harris
Directed by: Les Landau

Best Quote:

Harry Kim: "Tom, listen to me. I... I almost killed you."

Tom Paris: "What are you saying? You're the one that kept me alive."

Harry Kim: "I was ready to hit you with the pipe. Don't you remember?"

Tom Paris: "You want to know what l remember? Someone saying, 'This man is my friend. Nobody touches him.' I'll remember that for a long time."

Tom Paris thanks Harry for saving him in the prison, "The Chute" Star Trek Voyager

Garrett Wang has stated that he feels like "The Chute" is one of Harry Kim's best episodes and has praised the episode for its story and the challenge it presented him as an actor. "The Chute" begins with Ensign Harry Kim descending down a chute into an alien prison occupied by deranged, violent men. He is relieved to find that his crewmate and friend, Lieutenant Tom Paris, is there as well. The two of them had been taking shore leave on the planet Akritiri, when they were caught in a terrorist bombing that killed 47 people. The local authorities blamed Kim and Paris for the attack, interrogated them, and then imprisoned them in a maximum security detention facility. Paris tells Kim that all of the prisoners, including both of them, have been fitted with a neural implant called "the clamp" at the back of their skull, which is designed to stress them out more and more until they eventually snap and kill each other off. Paris and Kim try to survive the prison, but find the inhabitants stressed, mentally disturbed, violent and starving. After Paris gets stabbed, it falls to Kim to try and find a way to escape, which causes him great stress. As the clamp begins to affect him more and more, Kim struggles to hold onto his patience and his humanity, as the pressure of being in the alien prison pushes him to the brink. This is a great Harry Kim episode. Garrett Wang is excellent in it and the episode did a good job strengthening the friendship between Paris and Kim.

2. Emanations

The Best Harry Kim Episodes from Star Trek Voyager
Harry must take a terrible risk to return to Voyager

Episode Details: Season 1, Episode 9
Air Date: 13 March 1995
Written by: Brannon Braga
Directed by: David Livingston

Best Quote:

Captain Janeway: "This may not make much sense to you now - a young man at the beginning of his career. But one of the things you learn as you move up the ranks and get a little older is that... you wish you had more time in your youth to really... absorb all the things that happen to you. It goes by so fast. It's so easy to become jaded, to treat the extraordinary like just another day at the office. But sometimes... there are experiences which transcend all that. You've just had one, Mr. Kim. And I want you to live with it for a little while. Write about it if you feel like it. Paint. Express yourself in some fashion. The bridge will still be there in two days."

Captain Janeway counsels Harry Kim, "Emanations" Star Trek Voyager

In the episode "Emanations" Harry Kim faces a situation unlike any he has ever faced before. The episode begins with the Voyager crew excited to have discovered a new element on a class D planet surrounded by a ring of asteroids. Commander Chakotay takes an away team with B'Elanna Torres and Harry Kim to one of the asteroids to investigate. When the team arrive, they discover the asteroid is filled with numerous, decaying bodies each covered in a strange, spider-web like substance. While they are there, there is an electrical disturbance, and Harry disappears and another dead body is left in the asteroid.

Harry wakes up on an alien world inside a coffin-like device called a cenotaph. He discovers he is on a world where the alien species, the Vhnori, have elaborate death rituals. The Vhnori believe that naturally-occurring subspace vacuoles on their planet transport them to their afterlife, which they call the Next Emanation. The Vhnori believe that the Next Emanation is supposed to be a beautiful place where they will reunite with long lost love ones. They have no idea their dead bodies are being left to rot inside an asteroid. The Vhnori send people to the Next Emanation by putting them the cenotaph, which euthanizes the occupant, and then transports their body via a subspace vacuole to the planet in the Delta Quadrant with the bodies.

The Vhnori use the cenotaph not just for the dying, but also for people who are depressed, lonely or disabled, who are often encouraged by their family to move on to the Next Emanation "out of love". When Harry arrives on the Vhnori home world, his arrival causes some members of the Vhnori to question their afterlife beliefs. In order for Harry to return to Voyager, he realizes that he must willingly get into a cenotaph and let himself be euthanized, so he could be transported back to the asteroid and then hope that Voyager will revive him.

"Emanations" is not only a great Harry Kim episode that explores and develops his character well, but I would also argue it is one of the best episodes of Star Trek Voyager. The Vhnori are a fascinating, well developed species, with interesting beliefs about life and death. And the moral dilemma that Harry finds himself in is classic Star Trek. He finds himself torn between respecting the Prime Directive, which prohibits Starfleet officers from interfering with the internal and natural development of alien civilizations, and doing whatever he can to get back to Voyager. A great episode and a great performance from Garrett Wang.

3. The Thaw

The Best Harry Kim Episodes from Star Trek Voyager
Harry gets trapped in a horrifying simulated reality

Episode Details: Season 2, Episode 23
Air Date: 26 April 1996
Written by: Joe Menosky and Richard Gadas
Directed by: Marvin V. Rush

Best Quote:

The Clown: "What will become of us? Of me?"

Captain Janeway: "Like all fear, you eventually... vanish."

The Clown: "I'm afraid."

Captain Janeway: [whispers] "I know."

The Clown: "Drat."

Captain Janeway confronts the Clown, "The Thaw" Star Trek Voyager

"The Thaw" is one of the most interesting, strange and different looking episodes of Star Trek Voyager. Its visual style, vibrant colours, make up and design has been compared to Star Trek: The Original Series. The episode begins with Voyager discovering a planet that used to be a major trading port that suffered a major ecological disaster nineteen years ago which wiped out a population of 40,000 people.

Voyager believes the planet to be abandoned, but then discovers a small group of survivors are still alive on the planet in a state of artificial hibernation. The survivors programmed a computer to awake them after fifteen years and left an automatic message asking that no one interrupt their timetable. The crew scan the planet and discover three faint life signs held in stasis deep underground. They beam the stasis pods onboard to find out why their hibernation failed to end. A quick investigation tells them that the colonists could have woken themselves from hibernation at any time, but have never activated their escape hatch.

Tom Paris suggests they haven't left the environment because they might like it in there, but the Doctor disagrees, and tells them that there is evidence the two colonists discovered dead in the pods experienced neural trauma before death, which suggests they suffered mental stress caused by extreme fear. The crew decide to use the two empty stasis pods to enter the artificial environment and ask the colonists why they have not woken themselves up. Harry Kim volunteers to be plugged into the stasis pod along with Lt. B'Elanna Torres.

Harry and B'Elanna are hooked up to the computer system and wake up in an artificial environment designed to look like a circus. There is music playing and bizarre, colourful looking characters wearing masks and tutus doing cartwheels and dancing. Harry and B'Elanna find the colonists and discover that they are being held hostage by an evil, maniacal clown, who is the personification of their fears. The colonists were so afraid that their hibernation would fail, their fear of death morphed into the Clown, who then turned their artificial environment into a violent and torturous dream landscape. The Clown spent nineteen years gleefully torturing the colonists and killed three of them by making them think they were being executed by being placed into a guillotine.

The Clown was such a clever, terrifying character. An emotionally erratic and disturbed individual, he was an excellent villain. He was played by special guest star Michael McKean who was amazing as the Clown. Michael McKean was eager to accept the role of the Clown and his enjoyment and glee at playing such an outlandish, strange character is evident in the episode. He steals every scene that he is in and is able to blend humour and horror together to create a truly disturbing character.

The Clown takes great pleasure in torturing Harry once he gets trapped in his environment. He pokes fun at all of his fears of being the baby of the crew and not being respected and tries to break him mentally. The Clown is not smart enough to break Captain Janeway though, who comes up with an ingenious way to retrieve Harry and the rest of the hostages, defeating the Clown and putting an end to his nightmare circus.

4. Timeless

The Best Harry Kim Episodes from Star Trek Voyager
Harry risks everything to save Voyager in the past

Best Quote:

Harry Kim: [in a recorded message to his younger self] "Hello, Harry. I don't have much time, so listen to me. Fifteen years ago, I made a mistake, and 150 people died. I've spent every day since then regretting that mistake. But if you're watching this right now, that means all of that's changed. You owe me one."

Harry Kim records a message to his younger self, "Timeless" Star Trek Voyager

"Timeless" has been called one of the best episodes of Star Trek Voyager. It has been praised for its storytelling, visual effects and its strong focus on Harry Kim. "Timeless" opens in the year 2390 with a sweeping shot of a vast, icy landscape. Two figures transport to the surface dressed in survival suits. It is Harry Kim and Chakotay. They hike across the terrain until they reach a certain spot. Chakotay slaps a combadge on his chest and alerts his companion that they have reached their destination. The shot rises upward to reveal Voyager entombed beneath a thick sheet of ice. Harry and Chakotay beam inside Voyager and find the ship in ruins and the frozen bodies of the crew. They reach sickbay and reactivate The Doctor and tell him they need his help to change history.

The episode then goes back fifteen years earlier to the year 2375. The crew of Voyager is celebrating upgrading their warp drive to a quantum slipstream drive. Captain Janeway is confident that the new drive will be able to enable them to return to Earth in mere hours rather than decades. Harry Kim is confident the new drive will work, but Tom Paris confesses to him he is worried the drive is a lemon and insists they run a few more tests. Harry is skeptical of his concerns, but agrees to perform the tests. The tests prove that Tom's concerns are right. There is a fatal flaw in the drive that could result in Voyager's destruction.

Tom and Harry report their findings to the senior staff. Kim comes up with a suggestion to prevent Voyager's demise: he will ride the rapids in front of Voyager in a shuttlecraft and map the slipstream threshold as it forms and transmit the phase corrections back to Voyager to allow their safe passage. Captain Janeway agrees to his plan. Harry and Chakotay are assigned to the shuttlecraft for the slipstream flight. When the time for the flight comes, it goes just as badly as Tom Paris feared. Harry becomes fearful and struggles to figure out the correct corrections to send back to Voyager. This causes them to be thrown out of the slipstream and to crash land on the ice planet killing the crew on impact. On board the shuttle craft, Harry is horrified that Voyager has been ejected from the slipstream. He insists they go and find them, but Chakotay tells him it would be too dangerous for them to leave the slipstream, so they are forced to continue to the Alpha Quadrant without them.

Years later, Harry Kim is stricken with post-traumatic stress and guilt over his actions which led to Voyager's destruction. Since returning home to Earth, he spent fifteen years thinking about his mistake, and is now convinced he can correct his error with a new set of phase corrections. Harry and Chakotay's plan is to find Seven's corpse and retrieve her interplexing beacon and chronometric node and then use a stolen Borg temporal transmitter to transmit the new phase corrections to Seven of Nine onboard Voyager in the past. Harry hopes that the new set of corrections will send enable Voyager to make it all the way home to Earth. The Doctor agrees to help Harry and Chakotay with their plan. Harry is able to transmit the corrections back to Seven in the past, but once again makes a mistake, and Voyager is again sent to an icy grave. In the future, Harry breaks down completely, and shrieks "I killed them! They trusted me and I KILLED THEM!" The Doctor encourages him to "dial Voyager again" with a different set of corrections, one designed to throw them out of the slipstream, but will leave them still alive in the Delta Quadrant. Harry agrees to try again and sends Voyager another set of corrections. This time, he is successful. Voyager is saved in the past and the alternative future timeline is erased with the help of a guardian angel named Harry Kim.

"Timeless" is an excellent episode. Garrett Wang does a really good job playing an older, grizzled version of Harry Kim, who doesn't care about his own life and is obsessed with changing the timeline and saving Voyager.

5. The Disease

The Best Harry Kim Episodes from Star Trek Voyager
Harry risks it all for love

Episode Details: Season 5, Episode 17
Air Date: 24 February 1999
Written by: Michael Taylor and Kenneth Biller
Directed by: David Livingston

Best Quote:

Captain Janeway: "I've been thinking about how I reacted to your relationship with Tal."

Harry Kim: "You reacted like any captain would."

Captain Janeway: "Probably. But I can't help wondering if my response would have been the same if it had been, say... Tom Paris instead of you. Oh, don't get me wrong; I still would have been angry and disappointed. But... I wouldn't have been surprised."

Harry Kim: "Because Ensign Kim doesn't break the rules."

Captain Janeway: "The truth is, Harry... I think about you differently than the rest of the crew. Which isn't to suggest that I don't care deeply about each of them, but... you came to me fresh out of the Academy, wide-eyed with excitement about your first deep space assignment. From that first day, I've always felt more protective of you than the others."

Harry Kim: "I appreciate that. But that was five years ago. I've changed."

Captain Janeway: "Yes, you have."

Harry Kim: "Maybe I'm not the perfect officer anymore."

Captain Janeway: "Maybe not... but you're a better man."

Captain Janeway apologies to Harry Kim, "The Disease" Star Trek Voyager

"The Disease" marks an interesting point in the development of Harry Kim's character. For the first five seasons of Star Trek Voyager, Harry Kim was the perfect Starfleet officer, who always followed orders and never broke the rules. In "The Disease" we see Harry Kim risk his career and break Starfleet regulations to have a love affair with an alien woman named Tal. His relationship with Tal threatens not only his career onboard Voyager, but his health as well. His physical and emotional connection to Tal causes him to develop an actual illness, but he still feels a compulsion to continue the affair, refusing to stop even after he is discovered and reprimanded by Captain Janeway.

"The Disease" does a really good job exploring Harry Kim's character and examines why we sometimes stay in romantic relationships that are bad for us. I also really liked how the episode touched on the close, almost mother-son, relationship that exists between Harry and Captain Janeway. After Janeway finds out that Harry broke the rules to have an affair with Tal, she is hurt and surprised, because she never expected that Harry would ever break Starfleet rules. Harry points out to her that is not perfect and has flaws and he has grown up a lot since he first stepped onboard Voyager five years ago. Janeway agrees and tells him he has become a better man, wiser and more experienced. It was fun to see Harry Kim break the rules in "The Disease" and risk everything for love in while under the influence of alien hormones.

6. Ashes to Ashes

The Best Harry Kim Episodes from Star Trek Voyager
Harry reunites with a long lost love

Episode Details: Season 6, Episode 18
Air Date: 1 March 2000
Written by: Robert Doherty and Ronald Wilkerson
Directed by: Terry Windell

Best Quote:

Tom Paris: "Now, let's see. For those of us keeping score, Harry Kim has fallen for a hologram, a Borg, the wrong twin, and now the dearly departed."

Harry Kim: "We're friends, just like before. Er, all right, maybe there was a time when I thought of pursuing Lyndsay, but I closed the door on that, when we both got assigned to Voyager."

Tom Paris: "Mm. Don't look now; but that door is creaking open."

Tom Paris teases Harry about his romantic relationships, "Ashes to Ashes" Star Trek Voyager

In the episode "Ashes to Ashes" a long dead former officer who served onboard Voyager returns to the ship, claiming to be Ensign Lyndsay Ballard, a former close friend of Harry Kim's from Starfleet Academy. Ballard was killed in 2374 in an alien attack while serving on an away mission with Harry Kim. After returning to Voyager, Harry gave the eulogy at her funeral, and then Ballard's body was ejected into space.

Her body was later recovered by the Kobali, a race of aliens who reproduce by reanimating deceased corpses and altering their DNA to recreate them as Kobali. Ballard is reborn as a Kobali named Jhet'leya and placed with a Kobali family. But she cannot shake her memories of her former life and in 2376 escapes her Kobali family and returns to Voyager in an attempt to reclaim her life as Lyndsay Ballard. Harry Kim is emotional to reconnect with Ballard after believing her to be dead. He used to have a crush on her and sees her resurrection as his chance to be with her romantically. The Kobali are determined to reclaim Jhet'leya and vow to aggressively hunt down Voyager until she agrees to returns to them.

"Ashes to Ashes" is such a well written episode. I love the idea of an alien race that reproduces by reanimating and altering the DNA of recently deceased corpses to add to their population. I would argue that the Kobali are not just one of the most interesting alien races in Star Trek Voyager, but in the entire Star Trek franchise as a whole. I really liked the make up in this episode as well. "Ashes to Ashes" was even nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Make Up in a Series.

"Ashes to Ashes" does a good job exploring Harry Kim's character and his habit of always rushing into romantic relationships that are destined to fail. His relationship with Lyndsay/Jhet'leya is very sweet. Garrett Wang and Kim Rhodes (Lyndsay/Jhet'leya) both give excellent performances.

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Why? Harry Kim was serving as the Chief Operations Officer on the USS Voyager during his first deep space mission when Voyager got pulled into the Delta Quadrant and lost on the other side of the galaxy.
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