The Great Star Trek TNG Rewatch: Redemption I+II

The time has come for Gowron to take his place as Klingon High Chancellor, but even though Duras has been killed, it’s not going to be plain sailing. Not only have Duras’ sisters supposedly found Duras’ son and heir, but Gowron’s refusal to restore honour to Worf’s family can only make things more difficult for all concerned. Can Picard step in without dragging the Federation into an internal Klingon affair – but why should he remain neutral when it seems like the Romulans might be involved?

There’s a lot going on in this two-part season finale/season opener, and whilst it’s more Klingon Boys Club than Best of Both Worlds, it’s still entertaining. We have Klingons in battle, Klingons talking about honour, Klingons beating each other up for no reason, Klingon women in revealing battle armour, and, as a bonus – Romulans. And not just any Romulans, as Denise Crosby returns as Sela, the half-Romulan daughter of alternate timeline Tasha Yar. With so much going on, it’s what one might call a “cracking watch”, as long as you don’t think too hard about whether it all makes sense, as I’m just about to do.

Klingons vs Klingons vs Romulans

Picard: Mr Worf, as a Starfleet officer I cannot let you interfere in an internal Klingon matter.

Worf: Well, you’ve never let that stop you from interfering, Captain.

Picard played Arbiter of Succession, but in this two-parter he decides not to directly intervene, probably because outright support of Gowron is less politically neutral than secretly trying to discredit Duras. Honestly, the line drawn by the Prime Directive feels completely arbitrary at time, and driven only by plot necessity.

That being said, maybe Picard was wise not to interfere. Openly backing Gowron might have made Gowron seem weak to other Klingons, and thus further endangered his position. And if Gowron lost, the Federation would then be less able to talk its way into an alliance with the Duras faction, having openly supported the other side.

  • Women are not allowed to serve on the High Council, even though I thought I saw at least one female council member at Worf’s discommendation. Even if I’m wrong about that, in Star Trek VI we saw a female Chancellor, plus in Reunion K’Ehleyr was offered a seat on the council. At any rate, this is a needlessly sexist rule, and surely some other reason could have been invented to stop Lursa and B’Etor taking Duras’ place. They could have been ineligible due to illegitimate birth, or lack of qualifications, or just anything that isn’t “no women in the Klingon Boys’ Club, kthxbai”.
  • Gowron had already been selected as council leader, so what difference does Duras having a son make? He might have inherited a seat on the council, but not the right to be leader.
  • Starship formations always appear to be in the plane, as no one thinks three-dimensionally.
  • I guess it’s just their honourable way, but it’s surprising that Klingons can just drink with their enemies at the end of the day and not try to sneakily kill them. Who is enforcing the neutrality of these Klingon drinking establishments?
  • One year on from the Battle ofWolf 359, and Starfleet is still low on ships and crew (this isn’t a criticism since it takes a while to build decent ships and train good people, but it is worth noting.)
  • Sela considers Tasha Yar a traitor for trying to escape when Sela’s father gave her a home and a child – we can’t blame Sela for thinking this way when this was the society she was brought up in, but still it smacks of a “blame the woman, what more could she have wanted?” philosophy, when Tasha was clearly held against her will and likely raped.
  • It would have been interesting if Worf had become Toral’s “big brother” and tried to teach him to be less of a jerk. But then again, Worf doesn’t fulfil his duties in looking after either Jeremy Aster or his own son Alexander, so we can’t expect too much.
  • Despite being the younger brother, Kurn is captain of his own ship, whilst Worf is a lowly security officer. How’s that for comparative career progression?
  • Guinan is more proficient at phaser training than Worf.

Summary – Redemption: More Klingons than you can shake a stick at. And don’t shake a stick at them anyway – they don’t take it well.

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