15 October 2015


Episode: s4, ep 7

This episode follows on from the events of two previous episodes. Blimey, it's like this show has story arcs or summat.

Also it is super hard to find pictures from a Trek episode called "Reunion", I have scrolled through so many convention photos of the actors.

What Happens
A Klingon ship intercepts the Enterprise and Picard is hailed by K'Ehleyr, Federation Ambassador to the Klingon Empire. She is also Worf's ex-lover who we first encountered in The Emissary (still not of Bajor). Worf asks Picard not to make him go and meet her, citing his discommendation from Sins of The Father as the reason he shouldn't approach other Klingons. Picard doesn't accept this and orders him to do his duty. K'Ehleyr arrives with a small child, he seems to be Worf's son.
K'Ehleyr tells the senior crew that the Klingon Empire is heading for civil war because the Council leader is dying and he's come to meet with Picard. The Captain goes to see the old leader, who wants Picard to mediate between his potential successors and find out which one poisoned him. Poisoning is very un-Klingon, so whoever
did it can't succeed. Worf tells Picard it's probably Duras, the guy whose family reputation Worf protected by accepting the discommendation. Picard tells Worf he's going to investigate and mediate as asked, it's like he forgot Duras tried to have them both killed that time. Neither potential leader is happy that Picard is involved and want to get it done quick. Picard takes K'Ehleyr's advice on stretching things out. A bomb goes off, and kills two Klingons, but no one with a name or anything.
Worf spends time with the boy, Alexander. K'Ehleyr tries to get Worf to acknowledge Alexander, but Worf refuses because his dishonour will pass to his son. K'Ehleyr explains her reasons for not telling Worf, but she's realised that she does want to be with him after all. When Worf still refuses she questions him about the discommendation, but he won't tell her anything. She tries to ask Picard, but he won't tell her anything either. Gowron tries to extort K'Ehleyr, making him seem suspect. The bomb was a Romulan design, which is shocking as Romulans are deadly enemies of the Klingons, though Duras's father betrayed his people to them (which is what Worf and Picard helped cover up before).
K'Ehleyr looks into what happened when the Enterprise went to the Klingon council. She finds various records sealed by Duras. He learns that she was looking into things and confronts her. Worf brings Alexander to her quarters and finds K'Ehleyr dying. She says it wasn't Gowron and after the medical team arrives Worf leaves Alexander with them (and the corpse of his mother) and goes to Duras's ship for revenge. When Riker and Data arrive Worf kills Duras in front of them, as is his right as K'Ehleyr's mate. (Yes, that really is the word he uses to describe their relationship. And yes, I do think it's kind of dumb and sort of feel like she would've hated it)
Picard rebukes Worf over the killing, even though the Klingons have let it go. Worf explains why he's still not telling the truth about what happened. Worf acknowledges that he is Alexander's father then sends the boy to live with his foster-parents on Earth.

Oh Captain My Captain
Picard ignores Worf's request not to greet K'Ehleyr and tells him to do his duty, which will be a theme of their conversations this episode. I don't know whether Picard knows about Worf and K'Ehleyr's history. On the one hand there's no reason he should and I'm sure he would publicly profess no interest in the matter. On the other hand if it is generally known (which it might not be, Worf's pretty private) I bet that Picard knows (like how teachers actually do know the playground gossip but usually pretend that they don't) and sends Worf to greet her anyway for laughs.
Picard's diplomatic skills are required, except that in actual fact Picard is meant to play detective. It turns out Klingons are very much against secret assassinations, which makes sense as part of their culture. As the mediator seems to be largely a ceremonial role I guess Picard was probably chosen as he's the only outsider who knows the true events surrounding Worf's discommendation, and his team were the ones that figured out what actually happened. I do find it odd that Picard keeps giving Duras the benefit of the doubt when he's already tried to secretly kill Picard and Worf once. Picard tells Worf that he won't hold Duras responsible for his father's treachery, but Duras arranged to have them killed all by himself. Picard even mentioned that earlier in the episode. Admittedly he doesn't know Gowron at all, but if assassination is generally anathema to Klingons then surely this history makes Duras the prime suspect?
Picard and K'Ehleyr cook up as many ways as they can to prolong the succession ritual, including resurrecting ancient ceremonial speeches. It sounds like a deeply tedious but effective way of stalling for time. It's clear K'Ehleyr enjoys the prospect of using stuffy Klingon rituals against other Klingons. I think Picard also enjoys bringing Worf along as a disruptive presence, which suggests he might not have been totally sincere earlier when he said he understood that Worf was uncomfortable around other Klingons.
At the end Picard has to reprimand Worf for killing Duras; it might have been legal under Klingon law, but Worf is an officer and must act according to Star Fleet rules. Picard mentions having crew from 13 different planets aboard, all with different belief systems* which he respects, but everyone has agreed to serve Starfleet. The Captain's view is that if their beliefs don't allow them to do that then they should resign. This is an interesting stance on people serving as part of a multicultural crew, and the intersection of duty and belief. Or it would be if we ever actually saw any of these other crew members or the issues they might face in the course of their work. As it is, almost everyone is human -even if they're from planets besides Earth- and they all seem to share the same basic moral background with only Worf providing an Othered viewpoint.

Klingon Warrior
It turns out Worf is a dad. When he sees Alexander his eyes widen (still not as bug-eyed as Gowron).
Though, how old is Alexander? The Emissary is at end of series 2, and this is early series 4. I don't know anything about Klingon gestation or child development, but I guess this isn't a one series = one year kind of deal or Alexander would still be a baby, surely. I don't always agree with his outlook on things, but I do feel really sorry for Worf here. That's no way for a person to find out they're a parent. Much as I really like K'Ehleyr I do think it was a dick move not telling Worf he has a child. Especially as she's so insistent for Worf to claim Alexander, and even tries to guilt him into it, despite the fact that that seemed to be the very thing she was avoiding by not telling him about the boy in the first place. I get that she wasn't sure about marriage, or being in a traditional Klingon family, or even Worf himself, but it does seem like she finally made up her mind and just expected Worf to go along with that. Plus even if she didn't want Worf involved in her life, she still could've told him. I assume he couldn't have married her without her permission, and even if Klingon custom/law allows for that she's a Federation Ambassador, there would be protections in place. Besides Worf is not the sort of person who would force someone to be his wife, she wouldn't like him if he was. Worf's reaction when K'Ehleyr dies shows the depths of his feelings for her. It's all terrible timing as I'm sure she could have eventually talked him round to being part of the family and he would have liked nothing more. Worf is good at self-sacrifice and avoiding happiness.
Worf sort of bonds with Alexander, but refuses to acknowledge him as he doesn't want Alexander to be tainted by his dishonour. K'Ehleyr makes clear that she wants Alexander to choose his own path, not to be bound by Klingon traditions, which seems to confuse Worf. That was always an area where they couldn't agree. Worf watches over Alexander at the playschool and shows the boy his bat'leth. You've mostly got to feel bad for Alexander here. His mother says he doesn't spend much time with other children, so presumably she's been dragging him around with her on diplomatic business. I don't suppose he has many other people in his life. He's introduced to a strange man who starts building a bond with him. Then he sees his mother die, the man scares him with a death roar then tells him to remember the moment (as if this is the kind of thing anyone would forget.) Then the man runs off as soon as the medical team arrive, and they largely ignore him to tend to his mother's body. Finally the man, who turns out to be his father, sends him off to live with strangers. Now we've already see that they're very nice strangers, with experience of raising a Klingon boy, but it's still a dreadful thing to happen. I assume K'Ehleyr's parents aren't around?
On the professional side of things Worf is uncomfortable being around other Klingons because of his dishonoured status, but he will do his duties as normal when ordered. I believe Picard does use Worf's status to disrupt things, but he also sticks up for Worf as a member of his crew. Picard and Worf are the only people who know the truth behind Worf's dishonour and they both keep it secret as agreed. At the end Picard suggests that Worf could reveal that his dishonour is false since there's no reason to protect Duras, but Worf continues to keep the secret for the sake of the rest of the Klingon Council. Plus it sounds as though he and his secret brother have a plan to change things later. Have they been plotting?

Gowron has the buggiest eyes of any Klingon

Staff Meetings: 5
1.  K'Ehleyr explains the Klingon situation and how she thinks it could affect the Federation. Then tells Picard that he has been invited to see the dying Klingon leader alone.
2. Picard and K'Ehleyr meet with the two candidates and tell them they will be using old, long version of the succession ceremony, it could take hours or days. The candidates are angry.
3. Senior staff and K'Ehleyr meet to discuss how a Romulan bomb was planted on a Klingon ship. There is concern that a Klingon-Roumlan alliance would drastically shift power balance and make problems for the Federation. K'Ehleyr reveals Gowron's suspect conversation with her.
4. Picard talks to the two candidates about the bomb and asks for the results of their investigations, you get the sense neither really tried very hard. Worf comes in deliver the results of the Enterprise's investigation, provoking immediate disgust and anger from both candidates. Picard insists on Worf's presence and when he mentions the Romulan connection both leave to check their findings.
5. Picard rebukes Worf for killing Duras and reminds him of his duty to Starfleet. Worf receives a reprimand in his record, but Picard is glad he doesn't resign. He sympathises about K'Ehleyr and asks if Worf wants to reveal the truth about his father.

Death by Space Misadventure   ...OK, more politics than misadventure, but it does happen in space.

Those 2 unnamed Klingon guys die in the bomb blast. The one who worked for Duras had the bomb embedded in his arm, so that was a suicide, but apparently taking an enemy with you is perfectly honourable in Klingon culture.

K'Ehleyr, Federation Ambassador to the Klingon Empire was murdered by Duras for poking into files that he'd sealed and figuring out the truth of a secret at the heart of the Empire. It's sad because I really liked K'Ehleyr, she was smart and confident and mostly cool. She and Worf were both outsiders in Klingon society, but whereas Worf reveres the culture and tradition that he grew up without K'Ehleyr rejects and mocks those parts of it she doesn't like or finds constraining, even while it's clear that she knows a lot about it. K'Ehleyr had a strong personality and she must have been pretty badass as she worked closely with the Empire despite being half-human and also while being a single mother.

The End
Worf admits to Alexander that he is his father and they hug before Alexander is sent away. Bit sad.

* Is it one belief system per planet? That can't be how it works, just look at Earth! Plus isn't the Federation made up of a lot of planets/species/cultures? In that circumstance only 13 planets seems kind of low. Or is he just referring to the crew from non-Federation planets, like Worf?

No comments:

Post a Comment