Jammer's Review

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

"Sons of Mogh"

***

Air date: 2/12/1996
Written by Ronald D. Moore
Directed by David Livingston

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"For a long time I have tried to walk the line between the Empire and the Federation. I told myself I could live in either world—that it was my choice. But the truth is I can not go back to the Empire." — Worf

Nutshell: I believe we've seen Klingon honor about 100 times now, but this brotherly tale is surprisingly poignant.

Worf's brother Kurn (Tony Todd) comes to DS9 to ask his older brother to kill him according to the Klingon Mauk-to'Vor ritual—allowing him to end his destroyed and dishonored life and enter an honored and dignified afterlife.

"Sons of Mogh," contrary to the stale superficiality that the previews suggested we were in for, is a well-written human story about purpose and duty, highlighting how the problems between the Klingons and the Federation are affecting individual lives—specifically those of the sons of Mogh.

Because of Worf's siding against Gowron in "Way of the Warrior," Kurn's once-honorable life in Klingon civilization has since been taken away. The family's land was seized by the government, the name stripped of title, and Kurn lost his seat on the High Council. He has become a man with no purpose nor allies. So Worf obliges his brother and plunges the knife into Kurn's chest. But Dax realizes what's going on and intervenes; Kurn is beamed to the infirmary in timed to be saved.

Sisko is not happy with Worf's attempted killing (I don't think I've seen the captain chew out an officer as severely as he does here). Murder, as Starfleet would likely see it, is not condoned in any form—despite cultural rituals and family beliefs. This leaves Kurn with a problem: He can no longer die with honor (suicide would not be an honorable death), and he has no place to go in life. Worf, trying to do the least he can do for his brother, helps Kurn get a job on Odo's security team. Given his warrior disciplines, Kurn proves adept at security—too bad he hates it.

Kurn, with his death wish, allows himself to get shot on the job. As a result, Odo fires him. ("A man with a death wish is a danger, not only to himself, but to the rest of his team," Odo says.) Kurn wakes up from his injury, cheerless to find himself not dead. Defeated, he yields to Worf: "You're the older brother. You tell me what to do and I'll do it. My life is in your hands."

Tony Todd, who delivered a wonderful performance in "The Visitor" earlier this season, delivers again as the brooding, dead-spirited Klingon. He has a quiet, low-key way about him that is effective in displaying how alone his character feels. Worf is able to give Kurn one more mission, which links to the episode's B-story, involving some mysterious explosions along the Bajoran space borders. When a Klingon ship is severely damaged by one of these explosions, Kira, commanding the Defiant, tows it back to DS9 for repairs. Meanwhile, Worf figures out that the explosions are tests of a minefield the Klingons have been laying out. Minefields are illegal, and would be a problem if the Klingons were to declare war on the Federation. DS9 and Bajor would be cut off by the Klingons.

Sisko wants the damaged ship secretly searched for the data of the mine locations. This is where Worf and Kurn come in. Posing as members of the damaged vessel's crew, they beam in and gather the data. But not before a botched confrontation with an officer aboard the ship that results in Kurn killing him, and Worf questioning whether his Klingon instincts have become dulled over the years.

In this respect, the episode is also a good Worf show. He begins to finally realize that because of the path he was forced to choose, he may never have the chance to return to the Empire. It's a personal tragedy considering what he went through to restore his honor way back in TNG's fourth season, only to have it destroyed again because of Gowron's hostile intentions. For that matter, "Sons of Mogh" also explores why Worf chose to oppose Gowron in the first place—not just because of his duty to the Federation, but his duty to the Empire. A war between the Federation and the Empire would likely have the Klingons on the losing side. So by protecting the peace, Worf protects everybody, but at a personal cost. This is good stuff.

Using the stolen data, Kira auto-destructs the Klingons' minefield. True, this B-story is hardly climactic, but like "Return to Grace," it's just another example of the Klingon presence starting to brew in a plausible manner—bigger things are likely to happen down the road, so for now this is perfectly adequate set-up material.

But Kurn is still a dead soul. In his own eyes, by siding with Worf and killing the Klingon officer, he has only dishonored himself further. Still, it's reassuring to see that Kurn understands why Worf has chosen the path with the Federation. But Kurn has nothing. He no longer belongs anywhere. This leads to Worf's and Dax's solution: Erasing Kurn's memory and giving him a new family and identity. This solution, unfortunately, just doesn't sit quite right in terms of the show. Granted, it does have an emotional impact concerning Worf (when the erased Kurn asks Worf if he is part of his family, Worf's response, "I have no family" really hits home), yet it seems too easy a solution for Kurn under the circumstances. It would have been more dramatic if the writers had come up with something a little less "sci-fi" and a little more dependent on a choice by Kurn. Is there really honor in abandoning one's identity? How is this different from killing oneself?

Objections to the ending aside, this show does a wonderful job of reevaluating Worf's position on DS9. It shows the kinds of sacrifices and consequences that make him an unsung hero. It also shows how the breakdown of the Klingon/Federation treaty has repercussions, without the obviousness of violence and death.

Previous episode: Return to Grace
Next episode: Bar Association

Season Index

36 comments on this review

AeC - Tue, May 20, 2008 - 11:00pm (USA Central)
"Is there really honor in abandoning one's identity? How is this different from killing oneself?"

What I found interesting upon rewatching this was that it seemed as if Kurn wasn't given the option to abandon his identity. He passes out, Dax suggests a third option, and the next thing we see him, he's unconscious on the operating table. Given the time it must have taken for Worf to contact his father's friend and for the friend to arrive, it seems unlikely that Kurn was unconscious for the entire time, as presented, one wonders.

The only other thing to stick out to me was the shot of Kurn toward the end, taking a swig from his bottle and then clumsily pointing a disruptor at his head. It didn't work; no doubt it was intended to be a poignant look at how far Kurn had fallen, but it felt almost comic, as if to say, "Whoops, here's Kurn about to botch another suicide." The way I envision the shot is a tighter close-up, starting with the bottle, slowly panning left to Kurn's face, then having the disruptor come shakily into frame.
Straha - Mon, Jul 28, 2008 - 7:12am (USA Central)
The ending completely ruined the show for me. What the hell were they thinking? In my book, intentionally erasing someone's personal identity IS murder - especially when the victim is not asked for his consent!!!
Rory - Wed, Sep 3, 2008 - 4:00am (USA Central)
My god. What a hideous, gigantic cop-out of an ending.

Sisko refused to condone ritual murder, therefore it's inconceivable that he would have condoned an involuntary brainwipe. Erasing an individual's personal identity is tantamount to psychological murder. If ritual murder doesn't fly as an expression of cultural diversity in Starfleet, then neither does this mind erasure. I don't care if Kurn was already having suicidal thoughts. To throw the man's personal agency out the window, "kill" him, and then rationalize it by saying he was considering suicide anyway... that's just messed up.

Even supposing that Kurn would have agreed to undergo this dishonorable "mind death", I don't understand the ethics of it. Assisted suicide by knife and assisted suicide by mindwipe are either both permissible or both immoral. If there is something unethical about the first case -- enough to send Sisko into a tizzy and Worf into brooding introspection -- then surely the second case is just as wrong.

Also, Bashir's willingness to perform the procedure is equally appalling. Here is a man who once fought tooth and nail for Vedic Bareil's right to quality of life in "Life Support". In that episode, Julian refused to kill Bareil's humanity and "spark of life" by replacing his brain with positronic implants. In "Hippocratic Oath", Julian also defended his personal principle of helping anyone in distress, even enemy Jem'Hadar. But here, we are supposed to believe that the doctor would aid and abet Worf's (or Dax's) plan to wipe Kurn out of existence? You've gotta be kidding me.

Blergh. This episode is *clearly* not a shining moment in Trek history.
EP - Tue, Feb 24, 2009 - 6:59pm (USA Central)
Others before me have already outlined why this episode is a gigantic loser - I'll pile on by adding how "Sons of Mogh" continues the wussification of Worf that began in season 7 of TNG. His lame "flirting" with Jadzia is inane, written by 'shippers for 'shippers ('relationshippers,' for those uninformed), for cheap laughs, and completely disregards the ferocious "Klingon" relationship he had with K'Ehlyr. I'm surprised the writers didn't give Worf acne and a bouquet of dead flowers?
Oh wait, someone stole my idea for STIX: Insurrection.
EP - Tue, Feb 24, 2009 - 7:07pm (USA Central)
Also, the "legality" of the ritual itself was silly, since Worf could have easily arranged transport and killed Kurn on some non-UFP planet. The whole scenario was forced and existed only because the writer wanted to say, "Wah wah, suicide/fratricide is wrong because I say so." What happened to the tolerance for other cultures shown in TNG's "Ethics," where Picard is prepared to allow Worf's suicide after his debilitating injury, ON BOARD THE ENTERPRISE-D?
SC - Sat, May 2, 2009 - 10:34pm (USA Central)
The ending is a huge cop-out, but my biggest problem is the whole premise of Sisko ordering Worf not to (and threatening him with a murder charge) is colossally off-base. Worf and Kurn's situation is, putting it simply, none of Sisko's fucking business.

Even now, assisted suicide is becoming increasingly an option; the idea that 400 years from now, in a Federation of innumerable cultures, Sisko can just blithely order Worf to obey his cultural traditions, without appeal to anyone, is utter garbage.

TNG's "Ethics" already did this plot, and Picard correctly stated that the question of assisted suicide was ultimately Worf's, and everyone else would have to accept his choice. We followed Riker as he wrestled with his personal opposition (and his attempts to have Picard do exactly what Sisko does here), before deciding that it is Worf's choice, though he refuses to help.

Even damn Janeway got this right in VOY's "Death Wish".

"Sons of Mogh" reads like Republican propaganda for the Schiavo case, with Sisko as the heroic Tom DeLay, courageously meddling in somebody's private affairs.
Durandal_1707 - Sat, Oct 3, 2009 - 10:14pm (USA Central)
I dunno, I've gotta go with Rory on this one. Hell, if they'd just stuck it out a few years, Kurn would have gotten everything back anyway.
Nic - Fri, Oct 9, 2009 - 9:26am (USA Central)
I agree. Terrible ending. Moore has said that he put the suicide ritual at the beginning of the episode to undo the audience's expectations about how the episode would end, but I think Worf really should have killed Kurn at the end of the episode, and Sisko should have let him do it (as mentioned above it would be more consistent with "Ethics").
RT - Sat, Dec 4, 2010 - 1:14am (USA Central)
This wasn't my favorite ending either. Julian's unblinking willingness to perform the procedure, and the implication that Kurn had no active role in the decision, both seemed very wrong.

However, I had no problem with Sisko's position. "The Emissary" was all we needed to see to know that Sisko was not going to be Picard. "The Way of the Warrior" established that Sisko was going to treat Worf as an officer first, and a Klingon second. Picard was an aloof cultural relativist. Sisko is, almost above all, a family man. Like it or not, what he did was in keeping with his character, and also made sense with the backdrop of the Khitomer Accords having been recently shredded.

While it becomes purely apocryphal speculation, it's also reasonable to assume that Worf finds Kurn after the war and plays some role in his life, maybe even revealing that he is his brother. In this case not only has Kurn's life been spared, justifying the ending, but a semblance of his honor would be restored as well.

In any case, Todd's performance here was almost as memorable as his turn in "The Visitor", which obviously is saying something. This episode needed less "action" in the closing acts, and a much tighter focus on the emotional and cultural gravity of the final decision. As poorly executed as the final act was in terms of plot, I have always been moved by Worf's final line. Acting didn't just save this episode, it made it something special, warts and all.
Jake - Tue, Feb 28, 2012 - 5:30pm (USA Central)
RT, that excuse for Sisko sticking his damn nose in something that's not his business is even less convincing that Mr. Burns disguised as Mr. Sinrub
Justin - Tue, Mar 13, 2012 - 4:55pm (USA Central)
This is a good episode that stands up as a standalone and as part of the overarching DS9 Dominion storyline. It also had a nice bit of foreshadowing, intentional or not, when Dukat says under no uncertain and quite chilling terms, "Everything I have lost, I will regain. I'ts just a matter of time."
Justin - Tue, Mar 13, 2012 - 10:29pm (USA Central)
Oops, disregard previous post. It was meant for "Return To Grace."

I agree with the prevailing wisdom that this was a failure of an episode based on it's wholly contrived, implausible, and just-plain-wrong ending. Wiping Kurn's memory was tantamount to murdering him as a person. They could have come up with a third option for Kurn to find an honorable place in-between the Klingons and the Federation like becoming an agent trained to seek out and stop changeling infiltrators. Heck, then he might have had a place in the season 5 premier episode...
Tom - Fri, Apr 27, 2012 - 8:33pm (USA Central)
I liked the episode since I'm big fan of Worf and Klingons but I was expecting a sequel. I think Kurn losing his memory would make a great story for another episode later in the series. What if Worf crossed paths with Kurn again, it would be interesting to see how would they interact with Kurn not knownig Worf is his brother etc. With so many episodes spent in the final season in the holodeck they could spare an episode in the aftermath of this.
Jacob - Wed, May 9, 2012 - 7:43am (USA Central)
@ Tom
Having a follow up for this episode would be brilliant, unfortunatelly that didn't happened. (It seems that Vic Fontain and Ezri - whiney - Dax were writers' pets and more important to the storyline *sarcasm* ).
Ian - Thu, Jul 5, 2012 - 9:28pm (USA Central)
Why is ritual suicide not honorable to the Klingons? That seems like a forced excuse.
The Japanese Samurai were strong believers in honor and saving face and they practiced ritual suicide as a honorable death.
After all it seems that decision was made early on to change the Klingons from something like Neo-Nazis into Neo-Samurai in the Trek mythos...
John - Fri, Aug 17, 2012 - 9:54pm (USA Central)
Yeah I also have to agree that the resolution to this one is poor at best.

But damn it Tony Todd is just so fricken bitchin as Kurn that I enjoyed all the preceding acts immensely.

Note: I for one like how in season 4 Brooks starts playing Sisko as pretty much a villain. He's got teeth and I think it's incredibly unique for Trek to have the Captain shout out dialogue you would normally get from the archetypal bad guy.
Cail Corishev - Mon, Sep 17, 2012 - 8:30pm (USA Central)
The ending is a pretty big cop-out, and like others, I didn't see how a mind-wipe could be fine with everyone when an honorable death wasn't. Also, are the gates of Stovokor really that legalistic? Slicing up your own guts without anesthetic sends you to the bad place, but goading someone into blasting you gets you in with all the honorable heroes? Really?

On the other hand, if Sisko had given in Picard-style and let them do it, that would have turned the episode into a big pro-assisted-suicide commercial. So that wouldn't be any better. Maybe a better resolution would have had them get into a fight with the Klingons setting the mines, with Kurn dying honorably there. Still kind of a cop-out, but not as bad as what we got.
Jay - Sat, Oct 13, 2012 - 8:03pm (USA Central)
I agree with the poster above...wiping his memory essentially is essentially "killing" Kurn anyways...why not let him have the Klingon death?
Jack - Sat, Nov 24, 2012 - 2:55pm (USA Central)
Which brings up the point...assuming we grant the "reality" of Sto'vo'kor...will this individual that Kurn's body is turned into get to "be" Kurn when he dies? If Kurn has "earned" the right to go to Sto'vo'kor, which as presented it would seem he has, does this new entity still get to go there eventually, and will be get to spend eternity "as Kurn"?
DG - Sun, Dec 2, 2012 - 5:13am (USA Central)
Maybe it's just Kurn I've never quite liked? I've wanted to whack him across the head with something since the first time he walked onto the Enterprise.

And it's not the actor, it's the character. Tony Todd makes a phenomenal adult Jake Sisko.

I've decided this Worf is a different guy than TNG, a clone of some kind. :)

That being said, I really wish Sisko would have got off his a** and let them do the ritual.
David - Sat, Dec 8, 2012 - 12:11am (USA Central)
I'm wondering if a scene where Kurn gave the plan his approval would allay my concerns with the ending. And I doubt Kurn would have objected...from his perspective the outcome is essentially the same, he ceases to exist when he wakes up as someone else. I also wonder if Sisko knew about this? I assume his objections would have continued. Maybe they did it in their off-hours! But then they are still on a Starfleet facility, using Starfleet equipment.

On the other hand I'm not sure how this all affects his honour. If honour is some sort of "true state" regardless of people's awareness of it, then his new life continues to carry dishonour...but then if no one in the Empire knows who he really is, does it even matter?

Anyway, I could swallow it a lot better if there was a discussion about death and Worf said "there is another option", cut to the infirmary, Bashir asks "are you sure you want to do this?" It's a subtle tweak that would still leave problems but is much smoother.

Kurn was so set on killing himself, the writers may have felt consent was implied, but waiting until he passes out and bundling him into the infirmary for surgery, it's hard not to find that a bit creepy.
Sam - Mon, Dec 17, 2012 - 8:52pm (USA Central)
I don't know why people are so upset about Sisko's position on the Worf/Korn situation. The Captain himself told Worf that there is a limit to his support of his officers observances of cultural traditions, in other words, observing the "Day of Honor" (to give an example) is far different that the cultural practice of ritual killing. It also doesn't help that Worf did this behind the Captain's back. For all intents and purposes Sisko is the commanding officer and he must be given the choice to decide whether to let Worf proceed or not. If the Captain objects, then Worf can decide to resign from Starfleet if seeing this ritual through so important. The point is, as a Starfleet officer, Worf's loyalty is to the Federation and obviously his Captain first. Worf should only object to the Captain's orders when the order in question is relative to the Captain's actions not his own. Get it.
Nick P. - Fri, Feb 8, 2013 - 2:02pm (USA Central)
YUK!!! what a giant puke of an episode!!!!

I agree with everyone here. This was a wonderful episode until the finale. It disregards everything we know about Kurn, Worf, Klingons, DS9, Star TREk, Tolerance, just, yuk everything. This is probably the worst ending to an otherwise good episode.

It is obvious thta the writers just sat in a room and said how can we get rid of Kurn without condoing suicide and came up with this abortion of a concept.
Shawn Davis - Mon, Mar 11, 2013 - 2:23am (USA Central)
I agree with Jammer and most of everyone's comment about the ending of the episode. I don't see any difference between killing Kurn and wiping his mind except that one option involves kiling and the other involves being alive but his memory being wiped. One way or the other the destination is the same regardless of what different route that one takes.

However, I agree with Sam's comments about everyone being too hard on Sisko about chewing Worf out for doing the ritual that involves killing his brother due to his nihilism.

I'm all for the acceptance of different cultures, religions, traditions etc.; however, while it's okay it believe differently than everyone, to practice that believe sometimes may be a problem. There are some people around the world where they have religions, traditions, and cultural backgrounds that states that it's okay to sacrifices animals (even kidnapping your pet dog of cat from your front porch and killing them), hate other religions and kill others that are not in their religion (believe it of not some of this is in the christians bibles and muslims books like the quran and some christians and muslims have done this to follower that are not in their religion in the past), and hate and kill others that are not the same race as they are (the KKK for example). While it's their right to believe that, is it okay for them to practice it?

Otherwise the episode is great and I would give it 3 stars like Jammer also. Tony Todd performance as the Worf's brother Kurn is what made this episode worth watching.
charlie - Wed, May 1, 2013 - 5:57am (USA Central)
Let's face it, DS9 turned Worf into Harry Kim by coming up with crap episodes like this.
Patrick - Wed, May 1, 2013 - 9:34am (USA Central)
Actually, DS9 was turning Worf into Job the moment he stepped onto the station. In fact, the most horrible crap happened to Worf and O'Brien out of all the main characters on the show. Is it a coincidence that they both happened to originate on TNG? Hmmmm.....
Paul - Wed, May 1, 2013 - 11:46am (USA Central)
@charlie: What are you talking about?

I can understand not liking the direction DS9 took Worf in, particularly season 4. But comparing him with Harry Kim? WTF?

Harry was the naive kid/punching bag on Voyager for SEVEN YEARS. He showed no development and was always the "Maybe this (insert anomaly) will finally get us home!" guy.

I thought Worf worked pretty well on DS9. He continued his role as the straight man and the Klingon storyline from season 4 on was usually pretty interesting. I thought the episode where the Klingons frame him was dumb, but otherwise ...
charlie - Wed, May 22, 2013 - 7:56am (USA Central)
Patrick:
"In fact, the most horrible crap happened to Worf and O'Brien out of all the main characters on the show. Is it a coincidence that they both happened to originate on TNG? Hmmmm....."

A very good point, Patrick. This could be seen as more of Ira's hatred for TNG; hatred which, as far as I'm concerned, ensured that DS9 would not be embraced as TOS & TNG were.
ZurielSeven - Thu, Aug 22, 2013 - 7:27am (USA Central)
If Klingons have no tear ducts (Star Trek VI), then how the heck is Kurn crying in his last scene before his memory is wiped?
Jay - Sun, Sep 1, 2013 - 12:31pm (USA Central)
I'm with Jack...this mindwipe pretty much cheats Kurn of an eternity at Sto-Vo-Kor when he dies, unless death somehow triggers a reset back to the pre-mindwiped Kurn.

Trek has conjured up some hot mess stories, and this one of the messiest. And those messes tend to be episodes where Trek tries to beat some kind of absurd ethic into the audience's skulls.

Another was when Molly fell into the time portal, and Julian spewed probably the most convoluted chunk of "ethical" nonsense I've ever heard when he said they couldn't send the older Molly back because then that older Molly wold never exist.

This Kurn cheat may be second only to that. Funny how Julian is always at the center of these crazy ethics.
Jay - Sun, Sep 1, 2013 - 12:32pm (USA Central)
ZurielSeven said:

"If Klingons have no tear ducts (Star Trek VI), then how the heck is Kurn crying in his last scene before his memory is wiped"

Klingons also had hot pink blood in ST:VI.
Kotas - Wed, Oct 23, 2013 - 6:00pm (USA Central)

Worf episodes don't seem to be that good.

5/10
Dusty - Sun, Feb 16, 2014 - 8:27pm (USA Central)
Another disappointing Klingon episode in this season. I was okay with everything until the ending. Why not send Worf's brother into battle and have him die an honorable death to save the Defiant? The mind-wiping thing is just insane. I can't believe Bashir would ever go along with it, or that Jadzia--someone who is supposed to respect Klingon tradition--would even suggest it. Tony Todd was awesome as Kurn; I just wish he'd had better material to work with.
RJC - Wed, Feb 19, 2014 - 5:07am (USA Central)
Enjoyable episode. My rationale for the ending is:

1) Kurn had given up all consent to Worf, as he repeated many times. In a strange way the ending respects the Klingons' cultural traditions, by not only adhering to the family rules (honour is both personal conduct, but also loyalty - as shown by Worf's [many] discommendations with the Klingon Empire). Kurn's consent was more than implied. I like to think Kurn would have either just said 'I'll do whatever my brother says, he is the older brother', or would agree. Kurn didn't want to fight alongside Gowron in Redemption Pts 1-2, but he did it because Worf made him under his authority as 'the older brother'.

2) [the best rationale for me] If we remember Kurn's introduction in TNG, Worf had no idea Kurn was his brother. It was a complete surprise. This episode acts as a kind of role reversal. I would have liked a follow-up after Worf is restored his honour and family name. This seemed to be left open by Dr Bashir - who said his memories would be 'nearly impossible' to restore.

In some ways I preferred this ending for those reasons, to Kurn succeeding in killing himself. That final scene where he idly points the disruptor at himself plays so that we see that isn't an option.

Worf's left in the same position he was before he met Kurn - he has no Klingon family any more, and only has Starfleet.

Good scene where Worf admitted to himself (and Dax) that he doesn't think like a true Klingon, which is quite the realisation for a character who's ran around in circles over that issue all his life.

MINOR SPOILER: Don't forget as well that Worf eventually joins the House of Martok, and is 'adopted' in a similar way that Kurn is.
DLPB - Thu, Feb 20, 2014 - 10:47pm (USA Central)
When you have a bunch of self-righteous writers and a subject matter that doesn't agree with them (honourable suicide, like Japanese kind), they just refuse to allow for it, and instead, conjure up a compromise that's ridiculous.

Mind wiping a Klingon is actually the worst thing they could have done, because it is a death without any honour.
Vylora - Mon, Feb 24, 2014 - 2:02pm (USA Central)
There are so many great things in this episode. I especially was thankful the writers delved into the ramifications of Worfs decision in "Way of the Warrior" as it pertains to his brother. It made this better than the standard "honorable-Klingon" outing that was at risk of becoming stale.

As for the comparisons between ancient Japanese honor code and Klingon honor code not making sense is a non-issue. They're different species with their own ideas. Thus any comparisons, while interesting to ponder, are irrelevant when it comes down to it. The basic ideas are similar but it doesn't mean the specifics (i.e. ritual suicide) have to be.

What really nearly ruined this story for me, and I agree with the consensus, was the mind-wipe of Kurn. That in and of itself is not a bad idea - it further shows sacrifice on Worfs part to lose his brother but save him at the same time. What I DIDN'T like was that we're left with the assumption it was done without Kurns knowledge. If their had at least been something in here implying that he agreed with the procedure it would have gone a long way towards salvaging this. It's also not one of those things, in my mind, that could have "happened off-screen". Too important.

It is rather unfortunate, too, as this ep was well on its way to being another high quality addition to season 4. As it is, it becomes the first official stumble in my opinion. The good parts here save it from being a total loss.

2.5 stars.

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