Series: The Next Generation
Air Date: March 19, 1990
Written by: Ronald D. Moore & W. Reed Moran and Drew Deighan
Directed by: Les Landau
A Klingon comes aboard the Enterprise to act as first officer and drag Worf into a trial for their father's alleged misdeeds.
Klingon Commander Kurn is assigned aboard the USS Enterprise as part of the same officer exchange program that Riker took part in last season. When Kurn takes charge, it takes a lot of getting used to from the crew, especially Wesley who does a lot of complaining about how stringent the Klingon is to everyone except for the one person who probably wouldn't mind it: Worf. It doesn't take too long before we find out why. They're brothers. But that doesn't explain it fully. See, a Klingon is supposed to be under tough command. Kurn being lenient on Worf is a dishonor to Worf. So why would a brother dishonor his brother? As a test to see if he's still Klingon. By babying him, Kurn is basically turning to Worf and saying "COME AT ME, BRO!"
In a private meeting, Kurn tells Worf that their family is under trial because evidence arose that their father, Mogh, was the source of information given to the Romulans who attacked Khitomer on the day of their father's death. Such betrayal to the Klingon Empire, if proven, would mean Worf's dishonor and, if defended, his death. The Empire does not yet know that Kurn is a son of Mogh, so Worf is the only one who can defend the family name from dishonor. At the risk of his life.
|"I challenge you to a thumb war."|
Obviously, this can't be true, because Worf, and, by extension, his father, is a good guy, right? It looks pretty bad for Mogh and his sons. Especially when, during recess, Kurn receives a note to meet someone in an isolated corredor and that someone turns out to be Duras. Duras knows that Kurn is a son of Mogh and attacks him with a band of his buddies. Kurn is badly injured. Dr. Crusher says she can fix him, but he's not going to be able to be Worf's Cha'DIch anymore. So guess who steps up to the plate.
|Who said the French were cowards?|
So Picard goes to find her. Kahlest doesn't initially want to take part in the trial, partly because she wants that part of her life gone, partly because Chancellor K'mpec has the hots for her. She refuses, but after Picard is attacked outside of her home, she changes her mind. When she enters the courtroom, a hush falls upon the crowd. Chancellor K'mpec asks Worf, Picard, Kahlest, and Duras to come into his private chambers to finish the trial. He's hoping Worf will take a settlement? Kahlest will marry him? What's going on? Why are we continuing it private?
|There's a hole in the table. Shoddy Klingon craftsmanship.|
Worf is willing to die in Kurn's place to save the Empire, but Picard objects. There's only one other option: to face discommendation. In this ritual, Worf is stripped of his honor and social position among the Klingon Empire. So, it's a good thing he has Starfleet to fall back on. After all the Klingons in the courtroom, including Kurn, turn their back on Worf, he and Picard walk out. And that's the end.
Can't go wrong with a Klingon episode. It's nice to see exactly where Worf stands in the Klingon Empire, even if now he really doesn't. We got only a little bit of a backstory for Worf before, but now we're pretty much caught up with him. The only Klingon serving in Starfleet, and now a pariah because of the douchebaggery of the Klingon Empire. Seriously, the Empire is in a bad way at this point in future history. And that's not going to change until Deep Space Nine. So, there's something to look forward to!