Star Trek 373: Sons of Mogh

373. Sons of Mogh

FORMULA: Redemption + Ethics

WHY WE LIKE IT: Kurn! (Actually, I like it for all the character bits.)

WHY WE DON'T: Emo Kurn.

REVIEW: Worf's decisions have humiliated and destroyed Kurn, who returns to the series for the last time. Tony Todd gives us the impatient Kurn of Sins of the Father, contemptuous of Federation comfort, the loyal brother of Redemption, but adds a new layer. Kurn is not a man who takes failure (dishonor) well. Though it works well enough in the context of the story, I wonder if this isn't too humiliating for such a strong character. He's fallen to drinking and seeks suicide by any means. When given a Klingon uniform again, it looks like he's about to sing "I feel pretty, so pretty..." and of course, there's no honorable way out for him. Being mindwiped lacks any dignity the character might have deserved.

Meanwhile, the Klingons have been mining the the border between Cardassian and Bajoran space. It's a good enough diversion/mystery that dovetails into the main plot and gives Worf and Kurn some action. It also puts a big question mark on the files seized by Dukat in the previous episode when Kurn reveals the Klingons' disinformation methods. The tide won't be turned so easily. It's also a chance for Worf to admit his place isn't in the Empire anymore, though it seems like he's made that realization more than once now.

The character moments I alluded to above are what delighted me most however (Kurn is such a drama queen, you tire of him). Dax's seduction of Worf, for example, is perfect. She's sly and he's flustered. Worf having to ask Odo for a favor is also fun, especially since Odo won't let him forget it. Sisko finally reaches his limit when it comes to respecting alien customs. Ritual murder is right out. I so love that man when he's angry. And Kira passing out in a runabout is, for some reason, hilarious to me. O'Brien's gentle humor in that scene is also appreciated.

LESSON: Kurn must be sad because he's got a hideously deformed chest. (That never showed through Worf's shirt!)

REWATCHABILITY - Medium: Most Klingon episodes have an earnest tone that makes them go down well, and that's true here again. However, Kurn's ultimate fate just isn't very satisfying.


Andrew Gilbertson said...

It's funny that Worf once again realizes that he has no place in the Empire- considering that the finale, the Countdown comics (that don't get that All Good Things' future isn't SUPPOSED to be emulated), and Alexander's hypothetical future from Firstborn all place him there as an ending. :-)

Having just rewatched this, I agree about the lack of dignity... but it does seem to be perfectly in keeping with the ongoing character assassination of the Klingons, which plagues the Empire in general, Kurn, Gowron (toward the end), and eventually Worf himself (I say 'eventually,' but Hippocratic Oath and Sword of Kahless have already started the job). Much as Enterprise was pretty insulting to anyone that knew Vulcans, anyone familiar with Klingon culture, and either their honor, or Worf's in particular, are bound to be disappointed by their off-the-mark portrayal in DS9... though at least later seasons will manage to rehab the general populace, if not the specific individuals.

On the plus side- while I noticed the same 'I look so pretty' moment, I have to say that Kurn in a Bajoran uniform is unintentionally hilarious-looking, for some reason. (Even if his complaints about its comfort are either oddly out of character, or totally hypocritical, given the conversation about Worf's 'soft, comfortable' quarters from Kurn's first appearance, also reprised here).

Andrew Gilbertson said...

Also, re: Sisko... funny, because I can't stand him when he's angry (which it seems he constantly and overreactively is in DS9's final years). Also, his respect for other cultures has never been particularly exemplary, and it's also strange that he says he's 'tired of tiptoeing around the Klingons,' since he really never has. Heck, he sparked tensions in Way of the Warrior by outright shooting at the first Klingon ship he encountered. His 'limit of restraint' implies a past body of strong restraint, and... I haven't seen one. :-)


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