Category Archives: 2367


“Before I restore your family honor, you must tell me why Klingon blood is no longer pink. And don’t tell me, ‘It is a long story.'”

Part I: The Enterprise heads to the Klingon homeworld so Picard can finish his duties as arbiter of succession (see “Reunion”). New Klingon leader Gowron (Robert O’Reilly) pops up and tells Picard he needs help to avert a civil war (actually a “KLINGON CIVIL WAR”, as Gowron says, somewhat annoyingly). Turns out the family of Duras — who had been in the running for the top spot before Worf killed him and went medieval on his ass — is staging some sort of a power play. Later, at Gowron’s induction, Duras’s sisters, Lursa (Barbara March) and B’Etor (Gwynyth Walsh) show up and bring with them Duras’s illegitimate son, Toral (JD Cullum), whom they say should rule the empire (females can’t serve on the council, apparently). Meanwhile, Worf convinces his brother Kurn (Tony Todd) to support Gowron in hopes that doing so will force Gowron to return their family honor (see “Sins of the Father”). Picard rules against the Duras claim and civil war erupts. The Federation can’t intervene in an internal matter, so Worf resigns from Starfleet to fight for Gowron — who overturns the decision that made Worf a pariah now that Kurn and his allies have joined his cause. Meanwhile, we learn that the Romulans — including a blond commander who looks a lot like the mom from “Pet Semetary”  — are helping the Duras.

Part II: With the war raging and Gowron losing, Picard gets Starfleet to approve his plan to determine whether the Romulans are helping the Duras family. He takes a small fleet to the Romulan border equipped with Geordi’s newest innovation that will determine if cloaked ships are in the area. That prompts Romulan Commander Sela (Denise Crosby) to appear. She demands Picard remove the blockade and tells him that she is Tasha Yar’s half-Romulan daughter, and that Tasha was on the Enterprise-C when it was captured 23 years earlier. Guinan (who has an inkling of what happened in “Yesterday’s Enterprise” because of her Guinan-ness) confirms the claim. Sela’s people find a way to disrupt Picard’s sensor net, but Data saves the day by finding another way to detect the Romulans, who turn back once they’re discovered. Without Romulan assistance, the Duras forces fall to Gowron, and Kurn rescues Worf (who had been captured). Lursa and B’Etor escape, but Gowron gives Worf the chance to kill Toral. He declines, and with the war over, resumes duty on the Enterprise.

“I am secretly looking forward to becoming a Bajoran security officer.”

Why it’s important

This two-parter, perhaps more than any other episode, cements the power triangle among the three Alpha Quadrant heavyweights. The Romulans want to undermine the Federation/Klingon alliance at nearly any cost. The introduction of Lursa and B’Etor is important, as well, as they show up in DS9 (“Past Prologue”) in TNG’s seventh season (“Bloodlines”) and, most importantly, in “Star Trek: Generations”. Toral shows up again, too, in DS9’s “The Sword of Kahless”.

Of course, the events here kept the Federation/Klingon alliance from crumbling, as the empire led by the Duras family likely would have allied itself differently. Gowron’s installation and victory is key, too — as is the establishment his strong relationship with Worf . This shows up again in later TNG with “Rightful Heir” and when Worf joins DS9 in “The Way of the Warrior” and Gowron asks for his assistance in the invasion of Cardassia. Not believing Gowron’s rationale — that the Cardassian government had been taken over by Changeling infiltrators — Worf refuses and again becomes a pariah.

And, the introduction of Sela brings back the events from “Yesterday’s Enterprise” but also sets up Sela’s involvement in the Romulan plot to invade Vulcan in the “Unification” two-parter.

Lastly, Picard’s efforts to assemble his small fleet sure seems to indicate, once again, that Starfleet has a relatively small number of vessels and that the Borg attack in “The Best of Both Worlds” really weakened the Federation’s defenses. Dialog with Picard, Riker, La Forge and Data seems to indicate that many ships didn’t have full crews and were still under construction. Keep in mind that these ships had to be relatively close to the Klingon Empire — and that the ships destroyed at Wolf 359 were pretty far away.

And, again, all that’s in keeping with what we see of Starfleet in TNG. But DS9’s later seasons would seem to indicate that 40 starships is a very, very small percentage of the Federation’s forces.

“Now that that K’Ehleyr hussy is out of the way …”

What doesn’t hold up

Part I mostly works, though it’s weird that Worf wears his Starfleet uniform while on leave and doing back-alley stuff with Kurn and Gowron. Isn’t that sort of representing the Federation in internal Klingon affairs? Oh, and since when can women not serve on the High Council? Gowron offered K’Ehleyr a spot there in “Reunion” and Azetbur serves as head of the council in “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country”. Now, the second instance was produced AFTER this episode premiered, but still. Are we to believe that Klingons became less progressive after “Reunion”? Maybe it’s because all their blood turned red?

Part II is far more problematic. Picard’s blockade doesn’t make a ton of sense — as we’re talking about, you know, three-dimensional space. Couldn’t the cloaked Romulan ships just fly around the Starfleet vessels? I guess that doing so would have slowed them down …

Also, what’s the deal with Worf when he sees Sela on the viewscreen after he’s captured by Lursa and B’Etor? He hardly reacts — when his reaction should be like Picard’s from earlier in the episode (my guess is a scene where he learned of Sela was cut for time). Speaking of weird reactions, the whole business on the Sutherland — the ship Data commands in the blockade — was poorly done. Hobson (Timothy Carhart), Data’s first officer, is WAY too pig-headed in his distrust of Data. And the drama at the end where Data defies orders to test his theory — when he could have messaged Picard to stand by while he tested another approach — was dumb.

There’s also the matter of Romulan supplies being key to the Duras’s war efforts. What kind of supplies are we talking about? Weapons? Food? Dilithium? Pink blood? If Picard’s big idea is to use the blockade to demonstrate Romulan involvement, why didn’t he try to determine whether any recovered supplies could be traced to the Romulans? Surely, some ship wreckage could have been obtained or Data and Geordi could have done some technical magic to determine whether anything was of a Romulan origin (as they did with a detonator in “Reunion” and with phasers in “The Mind’s Eye”).

Honestly, the blockade/supply business is something that might make sense in a story about a 20th-century naval battle. But it’s almost preposterous in a universe where ships can travel in three dimensions and replicators and other technology are available. Unless the Romulans were providing fully functional ships or troops — which would have obviously been traced back to them — what supplies could they have provided that weren’t easily attainable?

Finally, it’s hard to believe that Worf could just resume duty with no questions asked. Picard likely could have stalled on filing the resignation paperwork. But what if the war had gone on longer than what seems like a few weeks? Given the dialog at the end of part one — in which Worf talks about how he has spent most of his life around humans — it would have been much more believable for Worf to stay with his people, especially given the high standing his family has in the years to come. He, Gowron and Kurn could have pretty much ruled the empire — but Worf goes back to being a lieutenant in Starfleet? Hmmm …

“Let’s negotiate, Picard. I like to ‘Seal-a deal.’ Get it?”

Final thoughts

Part II reminds me of the TV show “LOST” or the worst of the rebooted “Battlestar Galactica”. Glaring logical problems are necessary to prop up (somewhat) compelling drama and action. It’s a shame, because the Klingon intrigue was a major undercurrent of second-generation Trek, and a lot of it works, especially the back stories and the general look and feel.

That said, even part II has some cool moments, like the scene on Kurn’s ship to start the episode. The Klingon stuff in TNG is really the closest thing the series had to a mini arc (other than the Borg stuff and the regular Q episodes). TNG, of course, aired in an era when serialized dramas were much less common than they are today — or even when the other three second-generation series were being broadcast.

Coming later this week …

Here come the Bajora. I mean, the Bajorans …

“The Host”

“Odan! Is that a slug in your pocket or …”

Crusher’s all that and a bag of chips about Trill Ambassador Odan (Franc Luz). They can’t keep their hands off each other as the Enterprise transports Odan to negotiate a treaty between two intractable sets of aliens (TOS was always delivering medicines, TNG is always mediating disputes). After being injured in a shuttle, Odan reveals that his body is just a host and Odan is really some sluggish thing inside. All Trills are like this, it seems, but the slug (the symbiont) now needs a new body — and the nearest one is 40 hours away. Riker volunteers to host Odan to save the symbiont and the negotiations. This, of course, throws Crusher for a loop, but she accepts Riker/Odan (allowing Jonathan Frakes and Gates McFadden some kissy time) and the ambassador completes the negotiations. Afterward, a new host arrives just in time but (sad trombone) she’s a she. Riker is saved, but the episode ends with Crusher saying she “can’t keep up” with all the changes. Odan (in the new female body) leaves amicably.

Good thing Riker put on some pounds as the series went on.

Why it’s important

As far as making the tapestry, this episode was a very close call. Typically, the introduction of a major race in Star Trek warrants our attention, but Trills just aren’t huge players going forward — and what’s shown of them here is almost entirely at odds with what we see of Trills on DS9 (where Jadzia and later Ezri Dax are main characters).

But with the Trill stuff AND Trek’s first go at addressing same-sex relationships, we decided to review it. Interestingly, Crusher doesn’t go for Odan in a female body … but she admits that her inability to do so is a failing, mostly stemming from her difficulty in adjusting. Considering that this episode aired in 1991 and it was the first of many Trek episodes that broached this topic (with typical sci-fi couching) over the next few years AND it introduced us to a fairly major Trek race, we decided to give it a review.

What Trills look like after this episode. Yes, it’s an improvement.

What doesn’t hold up

The problem with this episode isn’t the message. You could argue that Crusher is somewhat old-school in her views … but I’d fall back on the infinite diversity in infinite combinations that our buddy Spock threw at us back in the day. Crusher’s inability to be with Odan in a female body isn’t because she’s morally opposed to the idea. She’s just not down for it personally.

The problems with this episode have very little to do with the episode itself. They have to do with what was established here about Trills compared with what we learn later. A quick list:

1) Trills here have bumpy foreheads, kind of looking like Romulans without the ears. Trills in DS9 appear basically human with spots running down their bodies. This is a problem if we stick with the Trek method of making all members of an alien race look pretty much the same — and all Trills going forward have spots.

2) Trills apparently can’t use transporters. But we see Jadzia Dax and other Trills do it often on DS9 — though we didn’t see that happen until at least a season of DS9 aired.

3) Hosts and symbionts have more of a mutual relationship in DS9. Here, the host body is really just a set of arms and legs. This, of course, is important if you consider that we learn on DS9 that most humanoid Trills DON’T have a symbiont. Oh, and the symbiont here looks a lot different than the Dax symbiont (though, there could be different kinds of symbionts, I guess).

The fact that most humanoid Trills aren’t joined flies in the face of Odan’s justification for NOT telling Crusher about his true nature. Odan (in Riker’s body) tells her that he never thought to mention it, asking her why she didn’t think to tell him that she wasn’t a joined species. This sort of works if ALL Trills are joined. It’s less believable if only a select number are (as DS9 tells us). Odan should be very aware of what he is because many of his fellow Trills are different.

4) The biggest problem, though, is that this episode makes it seem like the Federation knows next to nothing about Trills — as no one on the Enterprise had any idea that Trills were a joined species. But, on DS9, we know that Trills were on Earth more than 100 years earlier, sometime in the mid 23rd century (one of Dax’s earlier hosts knew Leonard McCoy and his “hands of a surgeon”) and Curzon Dax helped negotiate the Klingon-Federation peace treaty.

Now, maybe you could argue that the Trills were active in Federation/Starfleet affairs but generally kept their true nature secret. That MIGHT work, except that Benjamin Sisko and Curzon Dax had a relationship going back at least a decade prior to the events of “The Host”. Either Curzon sprung it on Benjamin after the incident with Odan — “Hey, Ben. There’s something I gotta tell you … ” — or the creators  just screwed the pooch on this one.

Really, they just should have made Dax a different kind of joined species, one the Federation knew about. It’s another instance of Trek amping up the mystery of something — like the Romulans in “The Neutral Zone” — only to crap all over continuity later by clearly establishing there wasn’t any mystery at all (or, that there shouldn’t have been). As for the details changing, DS9 had a similar problem with its interpretation of the Bajorans, whom we’ll meet for the first time a bit later in TNG and, of course, become key players in DS9.

Many of the Trill inconsistencies are addressed on Memory Alpha. As for the change in appearance, Paramount apparently didn’t want Terry Farrell (who played Jadzia Dax on DS9) to be hidden behind the makeup we see in the episode.

Final thoughts

While I like the message of this episode, it’s a little disappointing that one of the few Crusher-centric shows is a love story. She’s probably the least utilized character in the ensemble, and three of her big moments (this episode, “Attached” and arguably the series’ worst offering “Sub Rosa”) all have her going gaga for some dude. TNG became more Picard/Data focused as the years went by, but Crusher probably fared worse as far as the stories about her than any other character.

I did like the scene with Crusher and Troi in Ten-Forward, though. It’s always good when Troi is doing more than reading the emotions of bad guys on the bridge (ugh) or being kind of creepy when asking about the crew’s feelings and experiences (yuck). Here, McFadden and Marina Sirtis do a nice job of conveying the emotion of the situation without going overboard.

Final thoughts

Klingon society once again displays its honor and stability … NOT.

“First Contact”

Do you know Dr. Frasier Crane — I mean, Captain Morgan Batesman?

Riker, on an undercover mission to a planet about to make its first warp flight, is hospitalized — and his hidden human features freak out his doctors. Meanwhile, Picard and Troi introduce themselves to Mirasta Yale (Carolyn Seymour) the scientist leading the warp program and then, the planet’s Chancellor Avel Durken (George Coe). They explain how the Federation makes first contact, often after covertly studying worlds about to travel faster than light for years. Traditionalists on the planet, including defense minister Krola (Michael Ensign) were already concerned and almost paranoid about what lies ahead — even before they knew of the Federation and aliens who had been posing as the planets’ inhabitants for years. When Riker’s presence becomes known — the Enterprise hasn’t been able to find him — Krola visits him in the hospital and uses his phaser to make it look as if Riker shot him. Detecting the phaser fire, Crusher and Worf beam down and rescue Riker (who was about to go to the old poker table in the sky) and Krola (who was only stunned). When Durken discovers what Krola tried to do, he decides to hold off on the warp flight to let his people catch up with technology. Yale, unwilling to take a step back, decides to stay with the Enterprise.

People of Malcor II, we’re proud to present … humanity! Oh, and a Beta-something.

Why it’s important

It’s unlikely that “First Contact” is among anyone’s most or least favorite episodes of TNG. While it has some interesting ideas, it’s talky, involves a lot of guest characters and a race — the Malcorians — who are never seen or heard of again (partly because of the episode’s resolution). In fact, if you might be surprised to find “First Contact” among the episodes we’ve chosen to review, if you remember it at all. It’s not bad, but it’s sort of a fair-to-middlin’ hour, in many ways.

But, this is an episode that really explains a large part of what the Federation does and how it deals with less-advanced species. Picard’s demeanor (and Patrick Stewart’s delivery) really conveys just how delicate first-contact missions can be. Picard explains the work the Federation puts into first contact by mentioning how badly first contact went with the Klingons (which doesn’t exactly jibe with what we see on “Enterprise” but never mind). If you want an episode that focuses on the high-sounding ideals of the Federation, this one definitely works.

It’s also an allegory that could have been right at home in TOS, as the Malcorians are clearly made to be very human-like. Not surprisingly, there are some logical problems and heavy-handed moments …

Here’s hoping your species can drink alcohol, and that you don’t have substance-abuse problems.

What doesn’t hold up

Krola is just FAR too one-dimensional and poorly written. It’s unlikely that anyone so in favor of traditional values would actually use the kind of language he uses. His character speaks as if he was written by someone who thought a traditionalist stance was stupid. Part of the issue is that the arguments of someone actually in Krola’s position would take much longer to explain, as they’d be less direct (and probably less overtly at odds with the chancellor who likely appointed him). Krola’s necessary for the story, but I’ve got to wonder if he could have been more nuanced. Maybe there just wasn’t time?

There’s also the question of the observers who were already on the planet (whom Riker was presumably meeting). Did they go underground after Riker was taken the hospital? Were they trying to get him out? Were they communicating with the Enterprise? If they knew the planet — and they’d been there for years — and the area where Riker was injured, couldn’t they have helped the Enterprise find him?

Speaking of the hospital, I find it hard to believe that the administrator would wait as long as he did before reporting Riker’s presence. The rationale sort of boils down to the administrator not wanting the hospital to become a circus (and to provide Riker with proper care) but by waiting, that’s sort of what happens. The reason for the delay wasn’t all that necessary for the story, either, as Krola’s martyring act could have been delayed by impediments from the chancellor or something else.

Lastly, what the hell happened to Yale after this episode? Picard gets her quarters on board the ship and then, we never hear from her again. I guess she went the way of that weird alien in “Future Imperfect” and the warp speed limits from “Force of Nature”.

Final thoughts

We typically stay way from Universal Translator issues on this site. Complaining about them usually is like shooting fish in a barrel or like getting mad about the weather. The UT is a necessary conceit to make Star Trek possible — but every so often, an episode comes around where the goofiness of the UT’s near-magic powers stands out as a laughable.

In other episodes, we learn that the UT is housed in Starfleet communicator badges — and we know that Riker had his badge when he arrived on the planet but doesn’t have it in the hospital (he asks for it when he wakes up). Maybe Riker had another UT on him, but we never see the device other than comm badges in any episode or movie that takes place in the 24th century. Now, we see Quark, Rom and Nog with UTs in their lobes during “Little Green Men”, but I doubt Riker has something similar in his ear. Otherwise, the Malcorian doctors would have probably found it.

Of course, Riker’s pretense of having deformities (his hands and feet are different than Malcorians’) wouldn’t have stood up for a moment if he hadn’t been able to speak the normal language. And, in this episode, the apparent lack of a UT really stands out.

Lastly, the appearance by Bebe Neuwirth (Lilith from “Cheers”) as the freaky Malcorian who wants to have sex with Riker in the hospital was weird, but mostly welcome. The way the scene was shot makes you wonder just how far Riker went. My guess is, not very far, but you never know. This is Will Riker we’re talking about.

Coming later this week ..

Memo to Dr. Crusher: That Trill ambassador has a slug in his belly, and he’s not just happy to see you.


“The Wounded”

They are Cardassians, and it is a long story.

The Enterprise is called on to stop the seemingly unprovoked attacks on Cardassian targets by the starship Phoenix. The Cardassians and the Federation have a peace treaty, but they had military dealings in the past. After a brief battle with a Cardassian ship, the Enterprise takes on three Cardassian officers as they pursue the renegade Phoenix. Turns out Chief O’Brien (Colm Meaney) served under the Phoenix’s commander, Captain Benjamin Maxwell (Bob Gunton, otherwise known as the warden in “The Shawshank Redemption”), and O’Brien has some issues with Cardassians from those days. The Enterprise tracks down the Phoenix and Picard confronts Maxwell, who believes some of the recent actions by the Cardassians are evidence that they’re prepping for military action. Maxwell (convinced Picard is a feckless bureaucrat) finds a Cardassian supply ship that is strangely shielded from scans. He tells Picard he’ll destroy the ship unless the Enterprise boards it to prove his theory. O’Brien saves the day when he finds a way to beam through the Phoenix’s shields and successfully talks Maxwell down. With the Phoenix no longer a threat, Picard tells the Cardassian commander, Gul Macet (Marc Alaimo) that he believes Maxwell was right in his suspicions, though wrong in his actions — and that the Federation will be watching.

You know, Chief, after I get busted out of Starfleet, I’d really love to make it into a movie that’s on TBS, TNT, AMC and any other basic-cable channel at least once a day.

Why it’s important

The introduction of the Cardassians — even though they’re a little rough around the edges here, as we’ll discuss — is hugely important. They become major players in the Alpha Quadrant (on par with the Klingons and Romulans) and their decades-long occupation of Bajor is the backdrop for DS9. They become one of Trek’s most interesting species and are the baddies in one of TNG’s best showings, the “Chain of Command” two-parter in the sixth season.

The treaty between the Cardassians and the Federation also spawns the terrorist group the Maquis, which we see in late TNG, throughout much of DS9 and as a major part of Voyager. Essentially, the treaty put some Cardassian planets in the Federation and some Federation planets in Cardassia. When Federation colonists grew angry at the rule of the Cardassians, they created the Maquis to fight back.

For DS9, the Federation’s closest outpost to the border, that opened up stories beyond the Bajoran political strife of the first and early second seasons. The Maquis attacks were later part of the destabilization of Cardassia that led to the decision by series regular Gul Dukat (also played by Marc Alaimo) to have the empire join the Dominion — an aggressive organization from the Gamma Quadrant with eyes on taking over the Alpha Quadrant. Shortly thereafter, the Dominion and the Federation went to war, the central plot of DS9’s final two seasons.

Voyager, of course, was on a mission to stop a Maquis ship (led by former Starfleet officer Chakotay) when it was swept into the Delta Quadrant. When the Maquis ship (also taken to the Delta Quadrant) was destroyed, the Starfleet and Maquis crews merged on Voyager and learned to work together (too easily, but we’ll get to that later).

Back to this episode, it was nice to see Maxwell give Riker some props for, you know, stopping the Borg. It’s a quick moment when Riker meets Maxwell in the transporter room, but it’s a good bit of continuity — the likes of which should have been more prevalent. Riker did, you know, save Earth and likely the Federation with his leadership. Why we don’t see more of this in TNG is really a mystery. If anything, Riker’s place as a hot commodity within Starfleet seems to diminish after “The Best of Both Worlds”. It takes another 12 years, in the last TNG film (“Star Trek: Nemesis”) before we see any indication that he’s offered his own command again. Prior to the Borg incident, he had been offered three ships in a span of like four years!

In this episode, the Borg incident is referenced (indirectly) when a Starfleet admiral tells Picard just how important it is for the Federation to keep the peace with the Cardassians. Essentially, he says that he doesn’t “have to tell” Picard how the Federation isn’t ready for another war. The likely implication is that Picard already knows (from his own awful experiences) that the fleet isn’t at full strength. Of course, this brings us back to the point of whether 40 ships is really THAT big of a dent in Starfleet. TNG would seem to indicate that it is. DS9? Not so much.

‘Gul Du-what?’

What doesn’t hold up

The size and scope of the Cardassian Union/Empire — both labels are used going forward — in this episode doesn’t really match what we see later. Picard has a log entry mentioning the “Cardassian sector.” Based on what we see later in TNG and on DS9, the Cardassians control MUCH more than one sector — even if their empire isn’t as big as the Federation (or, necessarily, the territories of the Klingons and Romulans). The standard Cardassian arrogance that we see in later episodes — a trademark of most Cardassian characters — isn’t quite there yet, either. Of course, it’s possible that not all or most Cardassians act the same.

The look of the Cardassians isn’t quite right yet. The uniforms, particularly the really goofy head gear, aren’t well conceived — and the look vanishes around the time of DS9. That’s not a big thing, except that in DS9 episodes that flash back to events prior to this episode, the makeup and gear is more in keeping with what see in late TNG and DS9. This isn’t unprecedented but it is worth noting. I wonder if the creators originally intended for the Cardassians to continue to be key players or if they were set to be one-off baddies like the dudes in “Suddenly Human”.

Speaking of which, that episode, this one and DS9’s “The Adversary” indicate that the Federation had three pretty substantial wars within the past 20 years (not involving the Klingons or Romulans). That really stands in contrast to the peace-loving stuff we see in early TNG. Plus, it’s hard to imagine that we wouldn’t have heard of any of these races prior to the episodes referencing the previous wars. More on this point in later reviews.

Lastly, the dialog at the beginning of the episode about the Cardassians is odd. Troi (in reaction to Worf’s standard distrust) says that the Cardassians are Federation allies as a result of the new treaty — and what we see in this episode sort of jibes with that. But, later, the treaty seems more about the ending of hostilities, rather than the establishment of an alliance. Maybe Troi was just confused?

Final thoughts

This episode really cements O’Brien — and his wife, Keiko (Rosalind Chao) to a lesser degree — as more than just a background character. His past with the Cardassians set him up to be a natural fit on DS9, which gives us the wonderful Colm Meaney playing a main character for most of the next decade. What would DS9 have been without the annual “O’Brien suffers” episode?

This is also our first look at a Nebula-class starship, a cool design that’s sort of the 24th-century version of the Miranda-class vessels (like the Reliant from “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan”). It’s a cool look that pops up a bunch in TNG and DS9. And, of course, we see the Cardassian Galor-class warship for the first time, too — though we don’t hear its classification until later.

Coming next week …

Riker has relations with Lilith from “Cheers”. No, really.


This is not Klingon blood.

Our old buddy Ambassador K’Ehleyr  (Suzie Plakson from “The Emissary”) shows up and Picard is forced to mediate the transfer of power within the Klingon Empire. High council leader K’mpec (Charles Cooper) is dying and Duras (Patrick Massett) and newly introduced Gowron (Robert O’Reilly) are the two guys vying for the spot. Of course, we all know from “Sins of the Father” that Duras is likely untrustworthy as his pops conspired with the Romulans back in the day and he and K’mpec conspired to blame it on Worf’s father. But Picard has to judge on the merits, and an unstated point is that it’s unknown if Gowron is any better. Turns out K’mpec was poisoned (he dies early in the episode) so the Enterprise crew must stop whoever did that from leading the empire. Meanwhile, K’Ehleyr  brings with her Alexander (Jon Steuer), a small Klingon boy, and tells Worf that he’s a daddy (do Klingons smoke cigars?). Worf can’t acknowledge the connection because his dishonor would carry over to Alexander. K’Ehleyr, not buying Worf’s evasive answers, starts snooping around and figures out that Duras’s dad was the real traitor — in fact, Duras is conspiring with the Romulans in this episode — and Duras kills her when she confronts him. Worf claims the right of vengeance and kills Duras in some neato sword fighting. This, essentially, makes Gowron the new leader and gets Worf in some hot water with Picard. Worf then tells Alexander that he’s his father and sends him to live with his human parents.

No, seriously. this is NOT Klingon blood. Was Duras really Colonel West?

Why it’s important

In what is essentially the sequel to “Sins of the Father” and “The Emissary”, we learn more about the power struggles within the Klingon Empire. That someone as obviously skeezy as Duras could be next in line is pretty terrifying and doesn’t speak well of the Klingon political system.

Continue reading “Reunion”