The Great Star Trek TNG Rewatch: Firstborn

Frustrated that Alexander seems disinclined to undertake the Rite of Ascension and become a warrior, Worf decides to take him to a Klingon outpost to try to spark the boy’s interest in their ways. There, an attack on Worf is foiled by K’mtar, a family advisor who is there not only to protect the House of Mogh, but to help Worf in his quest to turn Alexander into a real warrior.

I really enjoyed this episode back in the day, especially the twist that K’mtar is actually Future-Alexander. It’s also our last chance to enjoy some Klingon posturing in TNG, but whilst it’s one of the better episode of late season seven, it’s not as amazing as I remember. Maybe it’s because the bulk of it is all about adhering to stereotypes, and it’s only at the very end that a positive message of “be who you want to be and we’ll work out the rest as it comes” finally shines through. Maybe the Lursa and B’Etor plot is a bit weak – especially given the sudden DS9-like emphasis on monetary transactions. Maybe we’re all just a bit tired and ready to move on from TNG.

They mystery of Alexander’s age, and other stories

  • This episode is yet another step in Alexander’s disturbingly rapid ageing. Let’s take a moment to set out the facts. Alexander was born in 2366 and it is now 2370, so chronologically he is is a mere four years old, yet the writers try to pull the wool over our eyes not once, but twice. Future Alexander says that K’Ehleyr was killed when he was three years old, when in fact he was merely a precocious and amazingly mature one-year-old. In this episode, Worf is worried about Alexander committing to the Rite of Ascension, which must occur on or before the time he turns thirteen. Well, great, but there’s a while to go yet. He’s just an amazingly mature four-year-old!
  • Is Future Alexander impersonating a real friend of the family named K’mtar? If the real K’mtar is so close to the House of Mogh, why doesn’t Worf know what he looks like? Also, if he’s that important, why has he never been mentioned before? Maybe Kurn befriended the real K’mtar in the last few years and told Worf about him, but they’ve never met in person.
  • Why are Lursa and B’Etor said to be scheming for a spot on the High Council when we’ve been told that women aren’t allowed into the Klingon Boys’ Club? Unless of course the rules have changed recently.
  • K’mtar says that Kurn has no male heir, but does tell Alexander that he has cousins on the homeworld. Does this mean Kurn has daughters? If so, why are they never mentioned again? They certainly play no part in Kurn’s dishonour and subsequent loss of memory in DS9. Maybe K’mtar was lying about them to get Alexander more interested in going to the homeworld, but the lie would soon have been found out. Or maybe he just meant more distant cousins, who similarly play no part in any of the House of Mogh drama of TNG or DS9.
  • Since Lursa and B’Etor are killed in Generations, the fate of Lursa’s unborn child is unknown. Is it even born before the events of Generations? Lursa doesn’t appear obviously pregnant in the film, so presumably the answer is yes.

Money, money, money

There’s no money in the Federation. So why does any of the following happen?

  • Why does Alexander have money to spend at the festival? Even if Klingons have money, where does Alexander get his from, given that he lives on a Federation starship?
  • Why does Riker care at all about his winnings from the dabo table? He goes so far as to say “you can spend latinum almost anywhere”, but one of the places you can’t spend it is in the Federation, where he can get everything he wants for free. Does he use the latinum to pay for prostitutes?

Summary – Firstborn: In which Worf accepts that it’s okay for his son to be gay.

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