In Favorite Son, Harry Kim begins to mutate genetically and it seems that he’s not really human, but a being from Taresia, a planet that Voyager visits thanks to the unusual abilities of Kim who saves the ship from certain destruction at the hands of a Nasari vessel. The planet is the classic dream planet of the average American 90s guy (and probably also of the average guy of any time in general, for that matter), ask ZZ Top for further explanations. It’s a planet full of beautiful girls. And not only that! As soon as Kim lands on the planet with the captain and other crew, he’s surrounded by a bunch of young girls who immediately kiss and touch him eagerly (they’re played by Cari Shayne, Kelli Kirland, and Kristanna S. Loken, the latter reached the pinnacle of her career with the horrible Terminator 3 in 2003…).
Ok, it seems to go back to Risa as in the first season of The Next Generation with Riker ecstatic to see all those almost naked girls. Things are a bit different here since it soon turns out that something’s wrong… To put it simple, towards the end of the episode it becomes clear that these beautiful Taresians don’t want to make love with Kim, but they want to kill him!
This episode is low on energy and wastes what could have been a great opportunity to give some life to Harry Kim’s character which, let’s face it, is not interesting at all. And not because of poor Garrett Wang! They didn’t give him much material, entrusting him with a character that is basically perfect: young, eager to do well, popular with everyone… you need a dark side to make someone interesting, or at least a story to develop! For example Tom Paris was in prison, Chakotay was a maquis, B’Elanna was a maquis and is half Klingon, the Doctor wants to become more human, Neelix was a smuggler and is a born liar… but Kim is just simple plain vanilla perfect. Making it alien would have been an interesting choice!
Unfortunately, this opportunity (which, I’ve read, had been taken into consideration, but then abandoned) is wasted, thrown to the wind. And with that, this makes three consecutive mediocre episodes (along with the previous Darkling and Rise). Too bad, because this third season had offered excellent quality peaks (like Flashback, to name one) and the discovery of the Borg (in Blood Fever and Unity) promised something more. Let’s hope that it will improve in its final episodes! Ciao!
PS: The Delta Flyers podcast shout out: Garrett Wang revealed that a geneticist from a California University for two consecutive years showed Favorite Son in class to his students and then surprised them with Wang as a special guest. The professors of my University never did anything as cool as that…
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