Star Trek 172: Sins of the Father

172. Sins of the Father

FORMULA: A Matter of Honor + Heart of Glory + Court-Martial

WHY WE LIKE IT: The Klingon story arc is always good. Kurn making Wesley wet his pants.

WHY WE DON'T: Wesley wetting his pants. The word "discommendation" (huh?).

REVIEW: A sequel to A Matter of Honor was an excellent idea, and the first act is great fun as Kurn is introduced as a real tyrant. Riker should know better than to challenge his authority though, and I'm not sure we're given enough of a reason for Wesley to start running scared like he does. But overall, it's fun to see a "real" Klingon on the bridge and Tony Todd creates a fun, very primal character. We're even given parallel scenes to A Matter of Honor, such as the caviar dinner. Is it really worse than gagh? And then, the whole thing switches gears... and actually gets better.

Kurn turns out to be Worf's brother (should've known with those identical foreheads), which plunges us into TNG's first political Klingon story and our first visit to the Klingon homeworld. It's all very moody, and the Klingon government turns out to be highly hypocritical, though it IS attempting to prevent a civil war. The various Klingons we meet are well drawn except for Duras, which I always found either badly cast or badly acted. I guess he shouldn't be too Klingon since he is a traitor from a line of traitors, but his portrayal has never been all that great to me. A minor point, since he isn't meaningfully Worf's adversary here. The situation is. The Empire is. All of Duras' machinations are behind the scenes.

What we learn about Klingon honor, tradition and values is all interesting with the lone exception of the word "discommendation" which I find to be totally un-Klingon. The ceremony itself is pretty dramatic though, and Worf taking one for the team is an excellent moment, though defused a little by taking Worf out of an Empire he never really belonged to. Still, Sins of the Father is quite well-written, with memorable characters and loads of new information on the popular Klingons and Worf specifically.

LESSON: My dad can implicate your dad in an act of treason.

REWATCHABILITY - High: The Klingon stuff is as close as TNG ever really got to multi-part stories, and though you could say it all begins with The Emissary, that show was more of a prologue. This is chapter one, and it's excellent, with a downbeat resolution and the introduction of three important characters.

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