The Great Star Trek DS9 Rewatch: Sons and Daughters

When Martok and Worf welcome some new recruits onto the Rotarran, Worf is surprised to find that his son Alexander is among their number. Alexander has never before shown any interest in becoming a Klingon warrior, and his lack of aptitude soon makes him the laughingstock of the crew. Can Worf help Alexander find his place on board the ship? Meanwhile, Ziyal’s return to the station brings Kira uncomfortably close to Dukat.

The son of Worf

Last time we saw Alexander, he was already a precocious child – a four year old who looked to be more like 8-10. Flash forward another four years, and he’s now only eight years old, but seems to be more like 16-18. Whilst teenaged Alexander is an interesting development, it’s still a bit much to swallow – and it feels tiny bit like he’s just been brought back to please the fans.

That being sad, I am one of those fans, and whilst I’m not wild about teen Alexander, it does add a new layer to both his character, and that of Worf. At the end of TNG, we saw Future Alexander go back in time to try to make his younger self into more of a warrior, but with Worf ultimately accepting that his son should follow his own path. Now, Alexander, who once rebelled against Worf’s traditional Klingon teaching, has decided to join the Klingon Defence Force – not Starfleet – and despite his general ineptitude, live as a warrior. In some ways, it feels like an about-face for a character whose role was to teach Worf that there’s more to life than Klingon traditions. Then again, it makes sense in the context of a son desperate to get his father’s attention. Twice now, Worf has walked away from being Alexander’s guardian. Alexander knows full well how highly Worf values Klingon tradition, and so in his mind, perhaps the only way to gain his father’s respect is to follow the Klingon path.

The daughter of Dukat

Ziyal also returns in this episode, but this arc is less about her than her catalysing role on Dukat and Kira. Both Kira and Dukat feel protective and parental towards Ziyal, and with all three of them together on the station, Kira finds herself falling into a ‘happy families’ situation. Of course, she ultimately realises that she can’t suddenly become best friends with Dukat, but the placement of this development is a bit odd. Just last episode, Kira realised that she didn’t want to just live a cosy life on DS9, cooperating with the Cardassians and Dominion, and now she almost ends up falling into the very same trap again. It would have made more sense to me if Kira’s big “I don’t want to be a collaborator” moment came at the end of this episode – especially as there are hardly any developments on the secret DS9 resistance here.

Continuity and other tales

  • At the start of the episode, O’Brien says “I never thought I’d miss Starfleet field rations”. Way back in The Siege, he was singing the praises of field rations.
  • Alexander says Worf sent him away five years. It’s only about three and a half years since Alexander was living with Worf on the Enterprise-D. And how did he get sent back to his grandparents when they already said once that they were too old to raise a boisterous young Klingon?
  • Speaking of which, Worf makes out to Martok that Alexander only lived with him for a very short time before going to stay with his grandparents. In fact, it was about two and a half years – although admittedly it felt longer than it actually was.

Summary – Sons and Daughters: Unrelated to the 80s Australian soap opera of the same name.

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