Star Trek: The Next Generation

“Birthright, Part II”

2 stars.

Air date: 3/1/1993
Written by Rene Echevarria
Directed by Dan Curry

Review Text

Worf discovers a secret community that a quarter of a century ago began its life as a Klingon prison camp for the Khitomer massacre survivors but has since evolved into a place where Romulans and Klingons coexist peacefully. Once the warden of this facility, Romulan Tokath (Alan Scarfe) now leads it as its patriarch, having long ago abandoned his life as a military officer to instead build a community and a life that eschews the hatred that Romulans and Klingons typically hold for each other. Fearing Worf will bring others that will dismantle this way of life, Tokath forbids Worf from leaving, instead telling him he must assimilate into this community.

"Birthright, Part II" contains interesting issues worth exploring but is a failure at turning those issues into compelling drama. On the one hand, we have Tokath, who is wearing blinders in thinking he has done everyone a favor in turning a POW camp into a closed community that, make no mistake, is still very much a prison, even if it might be a pleasant one. On the other hand is Worf, who wants to expose the lie that is this place, where Klingon culture has been all but eradicated, resulting in a generation of youths who have no idea how Klingons elsewhere live. (Tokath and the Klingon elders have fed the new generation plenty of lies about life outside the community.)

Unfortunately, some rather clunky execution makes this a deadly dull affair. This community is depicted with such confined sterility that it's hard to imagine the Klingon elders didn't revolt against it decades ago. And when Worf begins trying to win the hearts and minds of the younger Klingons, including a young man named Toq (Sterling Macer Jr.), the lessons are so simplistically depicted that the storytelling never transcends that of a wooden, preordained parable. Worf takes Toq — initially a staunch skeptic — on a single ritualistic hunt that magically awakens the Klingon blood inside him and turns him into an instant believer.

Meanwhile, a superfluous romantic angle between Worf and Ba'el (Jennifer Gatti) is established for no good reason except, apparently, because she is Klingon and female. It's certainly not because Worf and Ba'el have a single thing in common or any sort of chemistry, because they don't. Actually, Ba'el is half Romulan, and Tokath is her father, which results in predictable Worf reactions of disgust, then reconsideration, then begrudged acceptance.

Ultimately, Tokath gives Worf an ultimatum: stop stirring dissent, or be put to death. Worf, naturally, chooses the honorable choice of death (which, ultimately, is averted by a display of Klingon solidarity). That Tokath thinks he can, by killing Worf, undo the power of knowledge that Worf has unleashed is a testament of Tokath's willful self-delusion. Tokath has essentially traded everyone's freedom of mind for the manufactured illusion of peace while telling himself he has created something grand — which is destroyed here when the lie is revealed. That's not a bad story. The problem with this episode, however, is that it tells this story without ever bringing a moment of tension or drama to it. It's a static recitation of ideas, painfully short-changing what could've been an admirable tale of the power of Worf's righteous will.

Previous episode: Birthright, Part I
Next episode: Starship Mine

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102 comments on this post

    I had always wished that when Worf was on Deep Space Nine, that he would have made off hand comment of wanting to confront (and mostly likely kick the ass) of the wayward Yridian that set him up in this two-part episode. It wasn't like DS9 didn't sprinkle a lot of TNG trivia tidbits regarding Worf throughout his 4 seasons with them. (They mentioned Berlinghoff Rassmussen from TNG's "A Matter of Time" for chrissakes!)

    God, I'm such a nerd.

    This is such a horrible follow-up to the promising first part. It's strange that the plot with Data and Bashir is only in the first part. I know the story came to a natural end there, but it just shows how poorly planned the whole thing was.

    I'm the opposite of most people on this pair of episodes (there must be a word for that!), I much, much prefer episode 2, I found it somewhat emotional and was very in to the story, but I know I'm in the minority!

    "predictable Worf reactions of disgust, then reconsideration, then begrudged acceptance."

    Holeecow that's perfect

    1 star--Just the epitome of bland Klingon storytelling, TNG moralizing, failed one-off romances and where is the rest of the cast.

    One of the worst of the series' run.

    I'll join you, Tim--I like this one too. I enjoy seeing Klingons who have taken a different path and thought everyone acted in this really well.

    Ugh. What a mess!

    So, the Romulans and Klingons live together peacefully (albeit perhaps a bit too neatly) to the point of interbreeding. That's an interesting idea and it's a major point of relevance to the Trek universe. But all Worf cares about is whether the Klingons still hunt live game and sing old songs. Preserving cultural traditions is important and Tokath's fear that retaining old customs will undermine the new peace is also a reasonable character trait and an interesting issue.

    We've got Idea A (Tokath) and Idea B (Worf) with plenty of time and room for a classical dialectical synthesis into Idea C, but the best the writers can do is to literally combine a Klingon and a Romulan into Bile. If that weren't stupid enough, instead of exploring the issues with her, they make her some generic Juliette character whom Worf loves for no reason.

    Padding out the episode is a laundry list of clichés: hidden heirlooms, spontaneous singing (and banging of tankards), and the "Klingon solidarity" moment (this hilarity echoed so well the buffoonery from Part 1's dream sequence--what balanced storytelling).

    1.5* I think at best.

    Haven't watched this for awhile, but I remember wanting it to be more exciting, compelling as a drama: similar to 5th season's Unification. Perhaps Garak was right, everything on Romulus is grey, "... the clothes, the people ... even the Romulan heart" ;) jk.

    Like Jammer, I think the themes were compelling: mortal enemies learning to live in peace, and a closed community that values harmony over freedom. I bought Ba'el's attraction to Worf, the bold outsider, and Worf rejecting her because she was part Romulan was sad, and well written.

    I guess it comes down to the standalone episode having only a short time to develop its story, and that TNG episodes relied on suspense and tension for excitement. In "Birthright II" it was a lot of people standing around talking (and a lot of grey, ;), but not a lot of jeopardy, which made it dull and wooden in parts.

    Also, I think you have to be willing to accept "archetypal" characters and themes, like those used in myths, and accept symbolic sets, like those used in plays, to enjoy many Star Trek episodes. TNG and VOY, like others have said, are not usually told with consequences and complex emotional threads connecting the different stories.

    So the old Klingon sez they tried to starve themselves to death but the Romulans kept them alive, then he tells Worf that he hopes if his son arrived, he'd be Klingon enough to kill him...but then...why doesn't he just kill himself now? Starving to death would have been suicide anyways, so what's the difference then and now? Agreed with all the others that this is a hot mess of an episode.

    It's weird.

    "Heart of Glory" (Season 1) has rogue Klingons harping on Worf for assimilating to Earthlings... the fact Worf would later grow his hair into a ponytail (while every other Klingon in existence never had) only solidifies that. By season 6, I started calling Worf "My Little Pony" as a result. It's a shame they can't use CGI to restore his hair, back to when it looked cool (seasons 4 & 5). But with all this assimilating, Worf doesn't realize his own assimilation, while whining to the other Klingons about lost heritage, smelling the blood, blah blah blah. There's a disparity, or rather a context I've yet to find that conclusively makes Worf's POV worthwhile rather than forced.

    The episode wants to tell something very poignant, but it ends up being all over the map and not really knowing why, apart from heavyhandedly putting out one POV (a one-sided preach was normal for TNG by this period...)

    I want to like the episode, but one has to ignore so many previous episodes, never mind Worf's abhorrent racism toward the girl of the story, who never did anything wrong but is treated as if she's a killer on death row once Worf finds out that - gasp - she's partly Romulan. No, he didn't learn from "The Enemy" about such compassion to an innocent person, but the circumstances of "Birthright II" really make Worf's reactions unpalatable.

    It's got a good ending; Worf lying and Picard seeing through it (but having enough sense to leave it be).

    By season 6, the Klingon multi-season arc had been done with, and this episode felt like it was burying the lore even further into the ground. Never mind DS9 digging things down another 500 feet... The TNG Klingons had some absolute mojo, but it got worn out. Mixed with TNG's preachiness of its latter years and, yeah, it's a clunker, regardless of what it's trying to say.

    It's also amazing how quickly Worf gets his fellow Klingons to blindly side with him at the story's climax, where he's about to die. Or maybe it's an irony, but it felt contrived.

    Thankfully the compound is a compound and not a real "melting pot" society being made for the benefit of all within. Otherwise I really would dislike this episode, since Worf would then be doing to these Klingons what the Klingons in "Heart of Glory" tried to do with him!

    Birthright was done a disservice by having Data's dream quest forced upon it. I think both stories were hurt by having to share screen time.
    Part 2 was quite riveting and enjoyable. I'm sure Jammer has a good reason for giving only 2 stars, but I'm ll read about that later. As for me, I enjoyed Worf's journey. I'm glad he did not find his father here because he did not need to deal with anymore dishonor surrounding his family tree.
    What we got was a good character study as Worf showed that he had grown in the area of teaching young Klingons their heritage. Rather than trying to force it on them, he led by example and let their instincts do the rest.
    He did get past his apprehension of the half Romulan pretty quickly but TNG rarely handles romance right anyway. I think that the young Klingons' desire to leave once their blood started flowing, was quite believable. Worf had awakened what their parents had tried to bury.
    I was impressed with Worf here. 3 stars from me.

    This is such a potentially interesting episode, totally botched in execution. I might write more about it later, but frankly it's all been covered above by Jammer and the other posters. I actually think the episode should have been great, even -- the suggestion that the price of cultural integration is the *loss* of culture, represented by Tokath's de-Klingoning the Klingons for the sake of peace, and that the price of maintaining connection to one's roots is that all the negative parts of the culture stay in if not left guarded, represented by Worf's genuine racism and blood hatred for Romulans being part of the package that also makes Worf a man of great and indomitable will. But the episode goes off the rails, forces Worf/Ba'el with no motivation, fails at having Worf learn about the advantages of some loss of the destructive elements of culture (i.e. blood feuds), has Tokath think ordering Worf's assassination after one song night is a good idea, and so on. Certainly, I could imagine that a genuine escalation to the point where Tokath decided to execute Worf could happen convincingly, but the episode's escalation is so silly and generic and half-hearted.

    Probably the biggest problem with Worf's training sessions (aside from the point DPC makes that Worf's presenting himself as an authentic representative of Klingon Klingon-ness is hard to take without *any* suggestion from him or the show that Worf is essentially self-taught, sometimes assimilated into human values and sometimes hewing to Klingon traditions that all other Klingons ignore entirely) is that they are just so bloodless. The mok'bara scene, the throwing-a-spear-through-a-hoop scene (where Worf proudly proclaims that it's not a game!) and the "do you smell something?" scene are so low-octane as action scenes, especially the last one. I'm usually fine with idea-dramas, but the entire point here is that Worf reawakens Toq's Klingon heart through the heart-pounding excitement of the hunt and so on, which is represented here by Worf talking about how you can smell the game if you are in the right position. Comparing this to "Heart of Glory" -- well, there's no comparison; while that episode has some problems, Ron Jones' score and Rob Bowman's direction *sell* the adrenaline. This episode is so half-hearted that it's impossible to feel what it is that Toq feels about Worf, and Worf just comes off throughout as a pompous windbag.

    And look, I get that dying for a cause is a great Klingon honour blah blah blah, but you still have a son, Worf. I thought that part of the point of "Ethics" was that Worf recognized that his responsibility to Alexander, who did not care about Klingon notions of honour and who was the son of K'Ehleyr who didn't care so deeply about those either, outweighs at least some of his monomaniacal devotion to Klingon honour and principles and the like. But of course, this episode makes it clear that Worf values Klingonness above all else, and his own identity as anything other than a walking dictionary of Klingon customs is erased. It's not wholly inconceivable that Worf would still choose to die rather than *escape* (which Ba'el offers him) because he cares so much about the honour of these kids (someone please think of the children!), but that he does not once mention Alexander, in an episode spurred on by Worf's recognition of how deeply he wants to know everything he can about his own father, reestablishes that Worf only marginally cares about his son.

    1.5-2 stars, I guess.

    So giving an opportunity to children to live in peace is a crime?

    I don't understand. Many (billions) of planets aren't space-faring and live only on their planets. Starfleet doesn't feel they need to tell them they live in prisons.

    What I see here is the potential for a new culture, that could possibly in 500 years become its own, entirely different. I don't understand the problem. And I don't understand how this doesn't fall under the Prime Directive. If the adults are happy here, it's their right to stay here and protect their children.

    Also, seeing as how Klingons live, the "war" may be over but I don't think they're lying when they're describing a life of violence and death... I've always seen the Klingons like a weird cult I guess. They're my least favourite species in ST and I don't really understand their culture I'm afraid...

    This episode got me thinking about what we know about Worf and how a lot of it doesn't make sense.

    Around the age of 10, he was at the Khitomer outpost when it was attacked by Romulans. He was rescued by Sergei Rozhenko (sp?) and raised on Galt and later on Earth. When he was old enough, he enrolled in Starfleet Academy. A few years later, in 2363-4, he began serving on the Enterprise-D.

    There's obviously a lot more after that, but anything after 2363 isn't important for my big question. Which is:

    How did Worf learn all the stuff he espoused in this episode and other episodes if he spent ages 10-25 (or so) with humans and in Starfleet?

    The only answer is that he spent some time with Klingons as an adolescent. It's unlikely that everything he learned was from reading about Klingon ways. But if he did, say, spend a few years on the Klingon homeworld or with Klingons elsewhere, why did he tell the Klingons in "Heart of Glory" that he'd spent "almost no" time with his own kind?

    It's possible that that line from "Heart of Glory" was shrugged off as first-season backstory that didn't later fit (for instance, Troi never calls Riker "Bill" after the first season or we kind of overlook the fact that Data said he was in the "class of '78", which doesn't work given timelines established later).

    But even then, it's odd that we never hear of how Worf learned what it is to be Klingon.

    There are other characters who have backstory problems like this (Data seems to become a lot more human in the seven years of TNG than in all the years before TNG, after his rescue). But Worf's is unique because he is SO hardcore about his Klingon ways. The only thing I can remember about Worf learning to be a Klingon pre-TNG was some talk in "Rightful Heir" that he had had a vision of Kahless as a child.

    Stuff like this happens on TV shows (Sisko refers to his father as deceased in early DS9 only to have him show up later, for instance). Still, I thought the Worf stuff was so glaring it warranted mention.

    Wasn't it mentioned that he served onboard a klingon ship, or am I misremembering? It has been so long since I watched the early seasons of TNG.

    I tend to think of Worf's "I know so much about Klingon-ness!" as posturing, which is part of the reason I find myself pretty unsympathetic to Worf throughout this episode. Personally, I think that most of Worf's ideas about Klingon honour come from Klingon books and plays and opera and the holodeck programs that he spends time on, which I have no doubt are meant to represent genuine Klingon ideas and ideals. We know that Helena Rozhenko would make "authentic" Rokeg blood pie. Certainly Worf probably had some of that before the Khitomer massacre, but I kind of suspect that at some point or another he would just have to be guessing about which aspects of "authentic" Klingon culture were really authentic and what weren't.

    This does have the effect that Worf is more spiritual, more preoccupied with honour, than most Klingons seem to be. Riker is surprised that Klingons laugh and have a good time, and Worf didn't exactly prepare him for that when helping him out. Worf himself is shocked and a little disgusted by what Klingon culture he takes in in "Redemption II." He definitely values Kurn and he tolerates Gowron, but with the possible exception of Kahless in "Rightful Heir" it's not really until DS9 that Worf finds another Klingon (Martok) whom he really genuinely admires and who lives up to Worf's standard of Klingon behaviour.

    This is why "Rightful Heir" works as something of a corrective to this episode. Worf acts here like he knows what he's talking about and The True Klingon Way when he clearly does not. He doesn't really know what The True Klingon Way is with Alexander, either, which is part of why he can't really deal with him. In "Rightful Heir," I think the crux of Worf's crisis of faith is that he "knows," deep down, that he can't actually recreate all of Klingon culture in his head, and be a Klingon society of one, but he also knows from his experience in "Sins of the Father" through "Redemption" that Klingon society is corrupt and far from the ideal he imagines. With Alexander and in "Birthright, Part II" he BSes his way through an imagined ideal Klingon society, but in "Rightful Heir" it hits him that he has no idea what he's actually doing.

    *To be clear, Worf loves K'Ehleyr. He loves Alexander, too. He doesn't really admire her (and certainly doesn't admire Alexander) *as a Klingon*, though. He doesn't look up to her as a model of behaviour, or an exemplar of the way Klingons should be. In DS9, Martok (and, in "Once More Unto the Breach," Kor) fits that bill.

    @William B: All good points. However, Worf's knowledge of what it is to be Klingon still seems like more than he could have come to without spending more time than it appears that he spent with them.

    It's true that Worf doesn't quite fit in with other Klingons on some of the nuances. But his level of Klingon knowledge (again, based on what we know) should be closer to Odo's knowledge of the Founders, shouldn't it?

    @Trent: Unless I totally missed it, I have no recollection of Worf serving on a Klingon ship (prior to the events of TNG and DS9).

    @Paul, well, I know what you mean. I think one thing to remember is that, as we can tell from Alexander's case, Klingons age very quickly, and so Worf's early experiences with his people could have a bigger impact on him than a human spending the first few years of their life with a people.

    It's worth noting too that dialogue in "Heart of Glory" suggests that Klingon rituals are shrouded in secrecy, which contradicts that very episode's premise wherein Worf reveals that he grew up largely among humans and also knows about Klingon-specific things like the Death Yell. So the show is definitely not fully consistent on these points.

    That said, there is a big difference between Worf's case and Odo's. Worf has his own memories, AND Klingon mythology is well known to him. Picard is able to pick up quite a lot about Klingon society from a few days' reading in "Sins of the Father," suggesting that while the inner workings of Klingon society are not common knowledge, they are accessible for people willing to do the work; I think Klingon opera and literature and mythology are something Worf would have regular access to. Before "The Search," Odo has no idea who his people even are, and after that they still remain completely alien with no real exchange of information. Odo's only real chance to find out about his people is through the Link, which conveys *something* but not everything. Worf had an incomplete understanding of his people, but a lot more than Odo was able to get.

    @Paul and William B: Interesting debate. I've always considered Worf a first-generation child immigrant. It's the old story of the child that moves to another culture with his parents. Sometimes they integrate well. But almost always, if the cultural differences are significant (Which they are in Worf's case!), the child will feel somehow 'unlike' the rest of the population, and may come to dislike and disapprove of the culture he now lives in. And what does he do? He studies and reads all that he can about his native culture, the one he was safe and sound in, and which instinctively feels right to him.

    Kids like this normally get to know the formalities of their culture - geography, history, religion, etc. - much better than the actual inhabitants of the countries they came from. But, if isolated from that native culture, they learn only what can be learned from books, in libraries - the 'high culture': music, litterature, arts and rituals - and not the kinds of things you learn about a culture by living and walking in its streets.

    I've personally seen the phenomenon often among expats of various nationalities in Europe: the kids either end up being totally like the rest of their adopted society, with mostly superficial knowledge of their native ways, or highly knowledgeable experts on their home countries and cultures. Depending on where you live, you may have experienced this, too.

    The latter, as they grow to know enormous amounts of such 'high culture' of their native people, will eventually 1) also begin to appreciate the good things about the new culture they now live in, and come to accept that culture; or 2) they end up convincing themselves of the utter superiority of their native culture, and reject the one they live in, and typically strive for either a) return home, or b) change or destroy the other culture.

    Worf is a prime example of the former. Laas, that other one of the Hundred changelings we meet in "Chimera" [DS9], is a good example of the latter.

    We've known Klingons a long time by the time of TNG, and I don't have much difficulty in believing that Worf, saddened by being all alone in a Human society, soaked up everything there was to learn about the Klingon 'high culture' and truly immersed himself in said culture. Which is the exact reason why he, in many ways, is more Klingon than Klingons. As in most cases, books and operas alone don't tell you the whole story ;-)


    I really liked Birthright I but this, I hated. I just can't get over how much the Klingons annoy me. Warrior codes, ritual hunt, death before dishonor, family honor, etc. - ALL pretty sickening concepts to me. I realize I mostly comment when I really dislike an episode, truth is, there is much about Star Trek that I like but sometimes it just disappoints me on a really grand level. And I have my hot buttons. Alleged superiority of primitive cultures being one of them. Another, the glorification of the Klingons and their terrible ideas of honor. And yet another, the prime directive as a moral cop-out.

    One good thing about this one? The Romulan commander. I liked him. I'm liking the Romulans more and more anyway. I think they're my favorite ST alien species.

    @ Jons, thank you, once more I find myself agreeing with you.

    After this episode, I outright hate the Klingons. And they were my least favorite species before. I just don't understand why people like them so much. Do they really *admire* their kind of lifestyle?? And honor codes??

    The worst episode ever produced. Super boring and loses sight that klingon's are an abstraction for violent/backwards tendencies and if you look at them too close they disappear. Creating a cheesy culture mythos around klingons loses their soul and they become boring and simplistic. You can't romanticize barbarian behavior as it brings a story down. If you use it properly as a foil, it will bring the episode up. Only episode I fast forward over when rewatching TNG.

    I enjoyed these episodes (Birthright 1 and 2) very much! I'd give them 4 stars. They are some of my favorite Star Trek episodes. My only quibble is that the Data story was not revisited in the second episode. The Data story had the potential to be something greater. But, it was still special.

    Reasons why I like the episodes so much:

    1. The Klingon culture was articulated in a very thoughtful manner. The cultural practices presented were vivid and intricate. Worf's defense of Klingon culture was poetic. The culture felt incredibly real and vibrant.

    2. Worf's relationship to the half Romulan, half Klingon woman was complex and contained many interesting layers.

    3. The context with which this isolated colony had developed, and the way which the Romulan and Klingons interacted in that context was fascinating.

    4. The scenes with Data were great. Watching him learn to dream literally and figuratively was a very special experience. Watching him fly (through his eyes) was something transcendent.

    Kudos to the writers!

    There's one part of this episode that no one has commented on but is probably the biggest problem I have with the episode: the Worf/Ba'el romance. Oh, people have talked about it and its problems, but what about age? Worf is what, 30? 32? We have an upper limit of 25 for Ba'el, but she's probably closer to 16-18. She looks like a teenager and acts like a teenager. And no one writing or shooting this episode saw a problem with this?

    I can understand Ba'el being attracted to Worf, being a teenager and all, but I simply cannot see the opposite. Worf very clearly sees these other Klingons as youths. He sees a clear generation gap, not just in terms of culture but also age and experience. There's something rather squicky about Worf taking advantage of Ba'el's inexperience. Even worse, there was no reason for it. The closest plot reason was to cause the rift when he finds out she's Romulan, but as Jammer pointed out that plot point was dropped like a hot potato and nothing of any relevance came out of it. And naturally the relationship was dropped immediately after the episode ended. It should never have happened at all.

    Also, as a minor annoyance, even someone who likes Klingon episodes like me is starting to get sick of the way Worf describes everything. Every little detail is of profound implications? I'm starting to wonder if he just makes stuff up now. "It is the Moq'bagh, the right of calling shotgun. If I do not sit in that chair on the shuttlecraft my family will be disgraced for 12 generations!" "Uh, sure Worf. Whatever you say..."

    But besides that, I liked the episode. Like Jammer, I thought the themes were excellent. Unlike Jammer, I thought they were played out relatively intelligently. It's not just that Worf needed to get them some adrenaline and they would become Klingons. In fact, I'm glad that it didn't require fights to awaken a Klingon spirit. From watching it, I felt that it wasn't necessary the power of what Worf was telling the kids or the spirit of Klingonosity that was awakening in them, it was mostly the force of Worf's character.

    The old Klingons had been beaten down, cowed, and shamed. They lost the will to live, and had lost the will to rebel or even think for themselves. Even though it was clearly not Tokath's intention, he had beaten them into submission to the point that they were virtually lifeless. And they, either directly or indirectly, forced that lifelessness on their children. We see it in the way the kids don't question the prison aspect, despite the fact that there are walls, despite the fact that the Romulans wear uniforms and the Klingons don't. We see it in the way they are forbidden from questioning anything, and how what little tradition they pick up is completely meaningless to them.

    So now here comes Worf, who actually has some life in him. He cares about something more than himself, more than the compound. He can explain what things mean. He has exciting stories to tell. He has a richer and deeper culture than anything these people have experienced before. In contrast, the camp offers nothing. It offers no defense of its culture, but rather tries to shut Worf down. It offers no alternative, no desires, no myths, nothing but mere existence and the suppression of anything else. Is it any wonder that the kids would be curious?

    Yes, simply smelling one's prey is hardly an exciting transformation. But Worf was teaching Toq something new, something different, that hinted at a richer life than anything he had dealt with before. And Toq accomplished something in the hunt that he never did before. And he came back fresh and excited and wanting to share that experience with everyone else. And how did the Romulans act? By denying him his excitement, by decrying his accomplishments, and by executing the man who he had just befriended.

    Regardless of the quality of Klingon culture, is there any doubt that their commitment to the culture of Tokath's suppressive, dictatorial reign would fade? They didn't realize how much of a prison they were in until they were given a peek of the outside world and saw it slammed shut in their faces. And given that it was their only glimpse of the outside world, they clung hard to it. Their "Klingonness" was only skin deep. It was only the fact that the person who showed them the outside world, whose convictions were so strong that they could not be beaten down even at the point of death, that made their Klingon side awaken. Perhaps they will lose the desire to be Klingon once exposed to the rest of the galaxy. But at least now they have a real choice.

    To me, the quality of Klingoness was less important than the quality of having a strong moral center. I mean, I agree with WillliamB that Worf is hardly a true ambassador of what it means to be Klingon (and I like that they acknowledge this in Rightful Heir), I just don't think it was that important to the plot. In a situation like that, anyone would do to be able to teach the Klingon ways to these kids, at least enough to inspire them to learn more. The fact that it is someone with such a rock-hard set of ideals like Worf is more important than the quality of the teaching. I mean, it's important in the future, if these kids want to learn what it really means to be Klingon, but it's not important when it comes to awakening a spirit within the kids.

    So yeah, other than the tacked on Ba'el romance I thought it worked ok. I also liked the old Klingon's last line that reinforced the fact that, whatever Tokath's intentions may have been, this is still a prison. Some posters here may be ok with suppressing all other thought for their idea of a utopia, but it's nice to see that Trek doesn't always do that.

    This is a hard pair of episodes to judge - interesting ideas but the execution is mixed.

    I pretty much agree with everything you're saying here. Especially:
    "that plot point was dropped like a hot potato and nothing of any relevance came out of it. And naturally the relationship was dropped immediately after the episode ended. It should never have happened at all."
    I know, right? Just like the Tasha Yar thing on Yesterday's Enterprise. Why doesn't anybody complain about that one?

    (PS: I know there's no adult+teenager ick-factor in YesEnt, I'm just still trying to figure out why people like that episode so much)

    I realized this MUST be the worst episode of TNG ever because for the fourth time I tried to watch this all the way through and I just couldn't. And I've seen Shades of Gray (twice)!

    SO incredibly boring, with a soundtrack to match.

    Just awful.

    The writers rather backed themselves into a corner with their creation of the Klingon sense of honour. Why the constant whining about the massacre of the Klingon men, women and children on Khitamer if a Klingon's greatest honour is to fall in battle? And how many times has Worf had the opportunity to die honourably in battle yet somehow flubbed it? In Chain of Command we hear Dr Crusher admitting that she doesn't feel proud of her escape, but no mention at all about Worf's view (probably just as well - it would probably take a full 2 parter to work through his need to redeem himself for not perishing in the caves). I'm not really complaining about the failure to kill him off - I like Worf - but I don't care much for Klingons in general. I'd be hard pressed to think of a single one in any episode of TNG who has acted honourably according to anyone's code. Good points made by Andy's Friend - the expat/exile Worf has grown up to be more Klingon than the Klingons.

    "Good points made by Andy's Friend - the expat/exile Worf has grown up to be more Klingon than the Klingons. "

    Worf is like an American (or any other society's really) child. Filled with ideas of what America's promise is, propaganda learned in school, etc. and then ripped away from it he romanticizes it. He never got to live up to getting older and having the rose tinted glasses shattered (although they do a bit at the end of DS9). Worf may not be more Klingon than the Klingons but he probably lives up to what they think they are better than most.

    What I don't like about this episode is Worf isn't Worf. While Worf has always done a pretty good job being a Klingon for someone raised on Earth, he's never quite gotten there. In this episode, he seems to know everything about it. It's not just a matter of Worf romanticizing his culture -- Worf never at any point lived out his own culture the way he describes it in this episode. It's like Worf suddenly became a different person.

    He was especially different when it came to respecting the Romulans. If Worf can live like a non-Klingon on the Enterprise, then why is he throwing such a fit when other Klingons have adapted to different situations? He can't call a Romulan wrong when all that guy wanted is for the two peoples to get along. If Klingon tradition wouldn't prevent the two from getting along in the past, then clearly the only reason it is now is because Worf is being belligerent about it (and for some reason the grown-ups thought their tradition wasn't worth teaching, somehow).

    Also, as far as the comments above about honor go, please don't let TNG affect how you feel about honor. For one, all fiction is the artificial construct of the writer, and events that happen there cannot reflect reality more than they reflect how the writer feels about reality. For another, Roddenberry's themes are often very anti-cultural -- anyone who isn't a "starfleet-minded" atheist is wrong and ignorant, and no series in the franchise reflected this more than TNG. These types of themes have been subtly hinted at throughout the series.

    It's no coincidence that many people here hate the Klingons. They were artificially constructed that way.

    I don't dislike this episode, but I don't necessarily like it either. Like most people say, it's boring. Jammer, IMO, accurately points out the whole thing plays out like a simplistic parable. By the end of the episode I was trying to think of a word that described it - and I think "parable" is the perfect label for something that felt so obvious and straightforward from nearly the minute it started. I'd give it 2.5 stars at the MOST - again, I don't dislike it and I think the concept it interesting, but it plays out with about as much life as a dying camp fire. I'm a big fan of how TNG generally handled Klingon culture episodes so this one being so tame is disappointing.

    One thing that's interesting to me is the "Part 2" aspect of this episode. In my opinion, it's the most unusual "part 2" in TNG - it plays more like a serialized followup than a standard two-parter. Worf's dilemma (as well as Data's story) were enough to make Part 1 work on its own. But Part 2 doesn't include the Data story (which is wise, since it was perfect the way it was in Part 1), but it also doesn't really involve Worf's story from Part 1 either. What happens in Part 2 is a completely different Worf story - at least plot-wise. Once Mogh is ruled out the rest of the hour tells its own story. Very few elements of Part 1 are present at all, including Data, DS9, Bashir, Mogh, and even the Yridian. This episode is loosely connected to its direct predecessor, but I'd hesitate to call it a conclusion. The "Part 1/Part 2" title scheme seems more like the producers really not knowing how to treat the serialization, so just going with the Part 1/2 convention, subverting the strict episodic nature of the series but doing so in a way that's not too unfamiliar to the regular audience.

    ^ Just clarifying my thoughts a bit more on how the two-part story was handled:

    TNG *often* had strong continuity, but storylines were often left to simmer and then return later on (to give the series weekly variety). "Birthright, Parts 1 and 2" contain very different plots, but are connected in the overall tissue of the show, not unlike "The Enemy" and "The Defector" were from Season 3. Or "Sins of the Father" and "Reunion" from Season 3+4. Strong continuity, but not necessarily unified plots or something that would work if aired side by side. I feel like the storytelling of the "Birthrights" is closer to that long-haul type of continuity than it is to the 90-minute plots of "Best of Both Worlds", "Time's Arrow", "Unification", etc.

    I'd give it 2-1/2 stars. I've often thought Worf had a somewhat realistic of what an ex-pat Klingon from a young age might turn out like. In particular I'm sure the Rozhenkos would have a guilt complex and encourage him to research Klingon ways. Like most things the abstract understaning of how Klingons are supposed to behave and how they actually do could easily be missed by Worf turning him into a purist. Reminds me of a friend who studied Buddhism and ended up finding out when he went to find a community they naturally didn't live up to the tennets of their religion (because no one does).
    As for Worf dating a younger Klingon, they were considered the "young" but they were Worf's peers (their parents were the same generation as Worf's father), though younger, I don't see an issue with romance and being the only game in town for both Worf and Ba'el, I'm sure sparks would be flying.
    The one thing I'm conflicted about should Worf's father have been there (or been there and died)? I'm not sure. Overall this part was a bit slow paced and a bit of a yawner. A bit more of Mogh would have spiced it up.

    Okay, the first and foremost question which cannot be asked enough about "Birthright, Part II" is.... why in God's name is "Birthright" a two-parter?! Why are these two rather unrelated stories crammed together only for one of them to be completely jettisoned for Part II? Am I honestly supposed to believe that this was the best the writers/show-runners could come up with? Both plots are genuinely interesting in their own rights. But, what we end up getting is a short-changing of both of them. Data's story from Part I should have been expanded into its own standalone episode and Worf's story also should have been expanded into its own two-parter. Maybe then we could have been spared "Aquiel," just saying.

    That's the most obvious problem, of course, but it's actually rather small compared to the episode's other problems. As Jammer and others have pointed out, much more eloquently than I could, those are... 1.) it's painfully dull, 2.) everything happens way too quickly, 3.) the Worf/Ba'el "romance" makes absolutely no sense (and doesn't she seem rather young for this?) and 4.) it's stuffed with cliches.

    But my biggest problem here, which I don't think anyone else has talked about yet, is that there are two (count them... one, TWO!) massive pink elephants in the room that the episode expects us to simply ignore. The first is that Worf's own history is completely ignored. Does this episode ever once mention the fact that Worf was raised by non-Klingons? Even once? Nope! We are just supposed to ignore the fact that Worf was raised by Humans from a very young age (first on a Federation colony world and then on Earth itself!). You would think that would be a critical piece to this puzzle. What we have here is a situation where two opposing, and vastly different, peoples have come together to form something of a harmony, a very flawed harmony but a harmony none-the-less. Given that Worf comes from an extremely similar situation in his own life, you would think he would be a little more receptive to where Tokath and the Klingon elders are coming from. I'm not saying he would naturally accept their claims and see no problems with the community (it is still deeply flawed, after all); but he should at least have some understanding of it. But, instead, he's written to be so blinded by his hatred and bigotry that he can't understand it at all until several of "youths" join forces with him - at which time he only grudgingly honors the elders. As a result, Worf comes across as some barbaric simpleton who I can't take seriously instead of the "voice of reason," which is what the episode clearly wants us to view him as. We're supposed to take Worf as the sterling representative of the "True Klingon Way" when he himself has been nurtured and raised by other former enemies of the empire? Are you kidding me?!

    Speaking of Worf not being that sterling representative, that brings me to the second massive pink elephant in the room - the fact that Worf was not only raised by Human but he also serves in their military organization (or exploratory/scientific organization for those out there who still insist that Starfleet isn't a military). Do you think that the fact that he's a Starfleet officer might, just might, be important to this story? Just a little? Well, apparently, we're supposed to think it's not because it's never mentioned once while Worf is at the camp. Did he even mention to Tokath that he was in Starfleet? Because I doubt it. Do you think Tokath would have been so quick to execute him if he knew he was in Starfleet? I doubt it. Given that Tokath is obviously still in contact with his Romulan superiors (if they're being supplied by the Romulan government) I would think those superiors would frown on the wanton execution of a Starfleet officer. I don't mean to exaggerate here, but that's something that could (if it becomes public knowledge) be the spark that leads to open war with the Federation. And "Face of the Enemy" established, not too long ago, that the Romulans know how costly such a war would be for them Not only that, but given that Worf is a rather influential figure in the empire (and the only Klingon in Starfleet) it could lead to war with the Klingons as well! The Romulans aren't stupid. They would never go along with something like that. But, hey, we'll never mention it, so just don't think about it. UGH!!!! Writers, you're asking me to shut off my brain in an episode where you're also asking me to think about deep issues! That's not good!

    In fact, did Worf ever mention to anybody, even the Klingons he takes with him, that he was in Stafleet? Again, I doubt it, for two reasons. When he and Toq beam onto the Enterprise, Toq looks at Crusher and Picard like they're totally alien to him (well, okay, they ARE aliens to him, but you get my point) and like he's totally unprepared to be meeting Humans. Also, it very well may have made a difference in Ba'el's decision to remain with her parents. Yes, she undoubtedly would not be welcomed in the Klingon Empire. She would be seen as a social pariah for being half-Romulan. She would also undoubtedly not be welcomed in the Romulan Empire and seen as a social pariah for being half-Klingon. But, (I'm just going to go out on a limb here) I think she would be accepted in the Federation! It is a rather tolerant and open-minded place, you know! Just a few years from this point they're going to accept a non-citizen Ferengi into Starfleet Academy - I'm just to throw that out there. But, hey, don't think about that while watching this thought-provoking episode! UGH!!!!

    Finally, here's two rather huge plot-holes to throw into the mix. Apparently, the Romulans, and the Klingons at first, are absolutely determined to keep Worf from escaping because they don't want knowledge of their camp/community getting out. But, you know that Yridian with a shuttle over there; the one that was literally within ear-shot of Worf's apprehension and which Worf was trying to get to? We'll just let him go on his merry way. WHAT?! And, of course, the entirety of this episode could have been easily avoided if Worf hadn't been a complete moron. So, he deliberately goes off, apparently with Picard and the Enterprise's knowledge and consent, to infiltrate a supposed Romulan prison camp and he has no way of letting the Enterprise (or Starfleet in general) know where he is? WHAT?!! He didn't think to take a Federation homing device of some kind with him? Tokath is smart enough to use a tracking device on him, but he's not smart enough to use one himself? And this guy is the Chief Tactical Officer for the flagship? GEEZ!!

    So, wheres Part I is just a dud of an episode, "Birthright, Part II" is just a huge wasted opportunity. This could have actually been an outstanding episode. All of the elements are there for it to be truly great. But the execution is just so horrendously bad that it's almost laughable.


    Worf finds a colony of pacifistic Klingons and awakens their warrior heritage. Basically, that's it. The Data plot line from part 1 goes out the window, and what we're left with is a fairly dull and pedestrian talking head show.

    It also, for something that probably didn't merit being a two-parter, ironically seems to move astonishingly quickly. Worf's romance appears out of the blue, and the Klingon's set aside 20 years of history on the basis of an animal carcass and a sing-song. It just doesn't seem plausible. 1.5 stars.

    Hello Everyone!

    I'm sort of okay with this episode. A two-star that I kinda like but have a little disappointment in. Heh, I suppose that could be the definition of two-star. :)

    I mostly liked the concept. It is an intriguing thought that if Klingons are not taught to be warriors, they might be fine being farmers. Not that they had a farm we could see, just a little hobby garden. But even in a warrior society, Someone has to be the scientist or farmer...

    Upon first watching the original, and my recent viewing, I'm struck that Ba'el could argue for their peaceful community, when the only ones with the weapons are the Romulans. Yes, they have peace, but it is the peace of the sword. There are no Klingon guards, only Romulan. Perhaps since she grew up with it, and is part Romulan, these things seem natural to her. Yes they can leave the compound, but there is no doubt they have to return. Hmm... if they seem to be the only ones on the planet, why keep them all in a compound? The whole planet could/would be a prison, and they could all be a part of a fledgling agrarian society. But somehow I doubt many of the Romulans were tending the garden anyway. That was for the Klingons to take care of. Life in the compound seems like it would have been deadly dull.

    And I kept thinking of K'Ehleyr while Worf was being a jerk to Ba'el. It just seemed... off... for him to be so (originally) disgusted by her lineage.

    I'm thinking that when things started to go sideways, Tokath would have put Worf in one of the cells that must certainly still remain, since this was originally a prison. Killing Worf might make him a martyr, but the Klingons may have understood him being under lock-and-key. And I doubt he would have let anyone leave, even with their word they wouldn't tell anyone about the camp. Klingons seem to get loose lips when they've been drinking...

    Now about Worf. The comments above by Troy about the Buddhist echoes my thoughts. Worf learned about Klingon society from the outside, and has an idealized version of it in his head. He knows how their honor should work, knows the stories, knows how they should strive to live. But there is a difference between theory and reality. Klingons should be above politics, be all-for-one, but reality is they have plenty. Worf always seems ready for battle, even at party events or in 10-Forward, but reality is they let their guard down a bit when off-duty (as shown in the mess hall when Riker served aboard one of their ships). And it was told that Klingons don't drink with their enemies, but reality is that if they are fighting each other, they do drink with them at neutral locations. These are compromises that are made with their beliefs. They know about their codes, but realize there are grey areas, and they are used to living with them. Worf, on the other hand, believes everything should be set in stone, because that is how he was self-taught. I think Worf starts to lose faith with Klingon society in general, because they don't live up to his expectaions. We see more of that a few episodes in the future.

    Have a Great Day Everyone... RT

    *long time listener, first time caller*

    I think the 'penal colony' looks like a lovely little society which will only get lovelier with the passing of time and the production of more little Klingulans and Romgons. Playing hoops in the cabbage patch beats the hell out of interminable bloodwine benders and head-butting competitions. Much nicer architecture than Q'onoS, too.

    Worf displays an unusual degree of ass-hattery even for him in instantly deciding that this is all unacceptable and dishonourable.

    Tokath: Well, Worf, you've had quite an effect on the young people.
    Worf: I have done nothing more than show them who they are.
    Tokath: No. You have shown them what you want them to be.

    I'm on Team Tokath, and I'd have had Worf shot the second he started his seditious shenanigans.

    Unless I am mistaken, it was never addressed WHY the Yridian lied to Worf about Mogh being alive, who hired him, for what purpose? Did he just stumble onto the colony, found out the connection between Worf and Khitomer (how?) and made a plan to profit from it? Why pick Worf and not any other relative of those at the colony? So many questions!

    Yes Worf how dare a Romulan teach Klingons that life isn't just about mindless violence in the name of "Honor" Worf was raised by humans and was probably exposed to pacifist believes. Why does he never rant about his adoptive parents not returning him to Klingon relatives or family friends?

    I am thoroughly convinced most of those kids Worf brought back were killed within 5 years because they accidentally bumped into a normal Klingon or any other petty reason a Klingon needs to kill another of their species.

    I liked the idea of peaceful Klingons who don't like violence, but then Worf proves that deep down Klingons are Violent bloodthirsty savages who even if they grow up never seeing a weapon raised in anger will go back to their old ways. I want to think thats not the message the writers were intending.

    @elsiskito my guess is that the yridian wasnt necessarily lying, he may have heard from other traders about the colony. ( Bael mentioned supply ships) he may have made the run himself. Being that there were klingon men there from khitomer it would be enough inducement for the yridian to try and make a quick buck off of worf.

    Worf was the perfect mark for this scheme. His fathers involvement at khitomer was well known, worf was accessible via DS9, and being a starfleet officer maybe ole stretch cunningham felt that worf would be less likely to kill him once the lie was exposed. Trying to find the disgraced families on Qonos would have been hard and getting them out of there maybe harder.

    I havent seen this 2 parter since its first run until now. I had always remembered this as 1 episode.
    I like this one a lot. Many have said that worf forced his own ways upon this colony. Simply put he offered the young ones a choice. The elders did not. And if this is not a prison why are there 2 armed romulans on standby? (3 arms including their weapons ;))
    In a sense these are worfs people from khitomer. Yet if the elders accept their fate should not the young ones have the same chance as worf did to learn their heritage? I see his motivations as purely honest.
    He was willing to die to give something to these kids their parents lost long ago.
    I also like the love angle with worf bael. Why does it need to have some tie-in with the story? Cant it just stand on its own? She is a beautiful young woman born into two worlds somewhat like worf and I thought she played it well. Can you blame her for falling for worf? Hes the first man she has ever seen. Can you blame worf? Probably the first klingon female he has seen nude since kaylar or the holodeck.
    Also it is a parallel to toq. Again the first man he has seen, and like bael, awoken dormant feelings within him. I love toqs transformation from an arrogant snitch to the young man who stood in front of worf at his execution. Also i loved how the old klingon male who wished death at khitomer stood with them, finally getting some of his lost honor back.

    Iirc wasnt it toq who bael thought was spying on her skinnydip in part
    1? These kids had unaddressed feelings, and worf addressed them where others would not.

    There is one nit to pik someone mentioned here,.. worf would have had his ass burned by starfleet.

    I know many people dont like klingons and I respect that. But I love them, you either love em or hate em.

    3.5 stars for me.

    Some of these complaints seem kind of petty, like complaining that "Time Squared" ended without an explanation. Yeah, Worf could have admitted/discussed how he was raised by humans and is in Starfleet and some of the plot developments were a bit simple and rushed. To me those flaws are hardly devastating.
    I loved how the episode had Klingons acting so un-Klingonlike and their parents being ashamed of but reluctantly accepting their situation, the intensity of the conflict between Worf and Tokath (if anything helped by how much the focus is narrowed to them following the dual plots of the previous episode), how both are understandable and yet quite flawed, how the viewer can be conflicted about the situation (a harmonious community that is actually also a prison).

    Birthright Part I was good. Part II? Well... as Mr. Spock once said, "yes, quite untidy."

    The whole premise of this story is that Klingons being captured and held is a terrible dishonor... one that echoes down the generations. If Mogh is alive, even Alexander will be dishonored.

    So, here we have Worf, an apostle of Klingon culture, preaching to the Khitomer captives and their offspring -- at their secret enclave -- where he tells them all about their cultural rites, rituals and legends. That's all well and good, right up to the point where those kids are allowed to leave while the original captive grown-ups stay behind. Everyone is sworn to secrecy. Nobody can know this place exists.

    Worf tells Picard the kids are survivors of a long ago ship crash. The captain accepts this with the equanimity of a man who knows he is being played.

    Now maybe Picard, being somewhat clued in, isn't bound to pry into the little white lie fobbed off on him by his security chief (we'll ignore the fact said security chief just lied to his captain), but all these so-called ship crash survivors need to be accounted for in the Klingon establishment.

    Whose house to they belong to? To whom will they be repatriated? How does one explain their presence to anyone on the Klingon home world, Quo'nos, without accounting for their parentage, something they've sworn to never reveal?

    In reality Worf has removed these Khitomer captive descendants from a place where their identity, secret and shameful as he thought it might be, at least had a context.

    Who are they supposed to be now? Where can they go without the whole story unraveling?

    I get Worf clinging to an idealistic view of heritage since he's a Klingon in a human culture, but sad to see that he's learned nothing from his time in Starfleet about respecting other's culture (these Klingons & Romulans had developed a new culture), thinking rather than acting on his feelings and the value of different peoples living peacefully. I agree that the truth is often ultimately better, but this concept could have been carried out in a more thoughtful way. I also would like have seen more consequences about Data's "vision" other than allowing himself to "dream" periodically. Or even closure where Data and Worf share moment in Ten Forward reflecting on what they've gained from their fathers.

    Boring episode. I'd have rather watched Data paint and angst over his dreams some more for 45 minutes. I never did understand why they didn't just let Worf go other than for the sake of drama-did he ever show an inclination to reveal them? The "love interest" was unlikeable and whiny, not the sort of strong woman Klingon males are supposedly attracted to and certainly not the sort Worf's been shown to be into. Would have been so much better without that plot line. Zero mention of Alexander or Worf's previous lover-did he forget them? He has no qualms about dying here and orphaning Alexander. (He's such a horrible parent, he probably knows Troi will do a better job than him anyway.) Worf pretends to be a Klingon expert and never once mentions he's adopted. I could pick holes in this all day.

    No big questions about him coming back on a Romulan ship? Even if you dont care where the other Klingons came from, shouldnt they be questioning what a starfleet officer is doing hanging out with enemies? On the bright side, I don't think that Yridian got his money...

    I enjoyed this one. It explores themes of mixed marriage and second generation expatriates. Especially relevant is the scene where the Klingons all start singing, upsetting the class mentality of the Romulan who married into these "people".

    Thanks Jammer. After the yawnfest of part 1, I came here first before going for the second episode. Now I can just skip it and move on. You've saved me from another hour of tedium.

    Polly (above) hit the nail on its head.

    I'm willing to suspend my disbelief about a lot of stuff (technology, mainly), but the Klingons seem out of place. They are so bent on honour and death, that it is hard to imagine them ever achieving space travel. Who would want to be a Klingon scientist? There is no *honour* in dying of old age, writing books! A true Klingon lives and dies for *battle* and *glory*!

    The second part of 'Birthright' marks a sudden transition from a Worf/Data story to a story about Worf alone. The part about his father still being alive, when denied by the old Klingon POWs, is quickly dropped and never explained. In retrospect, it looks like a cheap trick to grab the audience's attention in part one.
    What led the Yridian to believe Mogh had survived in the first place, and what exactly is his role in all this? We never learn.

    The prison, if you can call it that, is a unique example of Klingons and Romulans living in peace. At first Worf wants nothing to do with the place; he tries to escape, but they recapture him only to plunk him back down in the settlement and tell him "not to cause trouble." He's a Klingon being held somewhere against his will! Of course he's going to cause trouble! How he does it is the interesting part; I did like seeing him teach the prisoners' peaceful children about their warrior heritage, as well as the relationship with the Klingon/Romulan girl, which surprised me because I usually find Klingon episodes and Trek romances pretty tedious. There's just something about this one that holds my interest.

    You could say that Worf is turning a perfectly functional society upside down for no good reason, and there's validity to that. But he sincerely believes he is doing the right thing, he does not insist that any of the Klingon youths leave with him (those who do make their own decision in the matter), and for those who remain he promises not to reveal the settlement's existence. How this promise could possibly be kept, I'm not sure. It's a dreadful risk, one I doubt I'd be willing to take if I lived there myself. This part two is far from perfect; a very different animal from part one, and ultimately they don't hang together very well. Despite that, I enjoyed them both quite a bit. While I agree with Jammer's rating for part one, I would give three stars to part two as well.

    There's a pretty good story here buried behind some wooden acting, slow pacing and a needless (and lifeless) romance for Worf.

    Was bizarre seeing all these Klingons not acting like Klingons while still basically under Romulan control. However, Tokath wasn't acting like a pure Romulan either -- he was not deceitful. If he truly wanted to save his "paradise" I think he could have killed Worf in a conniving manner and avoided the show of solidarity at the end.

    I did like the theme about Worf trying to awaken the Klingon instincts in the younger Klingons (telling stories of Kahless, the hunting etc.) That much made sense although it's a very watered down version of some far more famous uprising stories. It all begins with him doing his tai-chi ... but it falls a bit flat in the execution due to the poor secondary actors. Even Worf could have shown a bit more rage/emotion.

    It is nice to think Romulans and Klingons can live peacefully together. It would have been good to get a Romulan understanding of what they think is equivalent to Klingon honor but this is primarily another Klingon culture and tradition / Worf episode.

    2.5 stars for "Birthright, Part II" -- turns out to be a fairly typical TNG episode with decent intentions but generally falls flat, almost as if the actors were reading teleprompters. The solidarity scene at the end was a bit cliche but writing it in made sense to spur the end of the colony.

    I liked this episode for all the reasons everyone else gave that liked it.

    2 stars

    Worf is often portrayed as more human than Klingon, but in this case he is the Klingon expert, trying to teach the traditional ways to the other. That's interesting in itself, but this whole episode just seems uneventful. The characters just aren't that interesting, though I feel sorry for them all. It would have been better if Worf led an overthrow of the facility. N

    I don't think anyone else noticed or commented on the fact that Dan Curry directed this episode! I know I'm way late to the discussion, but I think that's the reason for the dullness here. Dan Curry is tremendously talented, but has anyone listened to him on the DVD extras? He is DEADLY DULL to listen to. He was one of the SPFX guys on the show - WHAT was he doing directing?? Just plain weird, IMO.

    @Tempah: Worf did lead a revolt against the facility. Not through military means but by enlightening the Klingons through heritage and culture, which proves more powerful.

    Not an action episode, but showed a lot of character development for he actually fell for a woman that had Romulan blood in her. Thats a pretty big step for him. I thought the ending was dramatic when the resident Klingons decided to step in the line of fire and stand up for their heritage. 3 stars.

    As always in TNG the Klingon rituals look ridiculous and Word has, contrary to what we are constantly told, neither brains nor brawns (in TNG). The hunting game, the hunt, the meditation, his racism, his believe that Klingon culture is the only and superior way for people no matter under what circumstances they grew up, that is all so awefully ridiculous and close-minded unfitting a Starfleet officer, the latter parts more importantly than the bad portrayal of supposedly superior warrior hunter skills.

    Yes, this place is a prison, the Romulan a patriarch, the community forced or at least socially coerced into living a certain way of life. That however is not what Word criticises but instead that the Klingon children, who never lived among "true" Klingons are not educated as Klingons and supposedly are deprived of what he assumes for them as the better way of life.
    Plus totally denying that both might indeed be compatible or a fusion of both and any other kind of influence might work just as well for them.

    I am really disappointed with Star Trek making Klingons usually dumb impulsives (who happen to be high tech space farers) and brave at best and the Romulans a treacherous people. That coming from a series that otherwise is all about keeping an open mind, letting go prejudice and so on. There are exceptions but for the most bit the protagonist non-human races are always good for action but never truly explored in-depth as a culure with not just a different but alternative point of view.

    I don't see anything wrong with hunting or meditation.

    But you are right about Worfs racism. He is extremely racist througout the entire franchise. Constantly telling the audience why Klingons are better than everyone else because they seek to "die with honor in battle." I think the attempt is for him to show character growth as time goes on, but it is certainly cringeworthy at times.

    Worf's complicated. I'm not sure that the writers agreed on who he was.

    He's a Klingon supremacist who exclusively dates non-Klingons.

    A guy who learned everything he knows about karate from the strip mall dojo and Hollywood / learned everything he knows about Klingon society from literature and fanciful sources, but who effortlessly navigates the actual culture.

    A guy who retains his fanciful notions despite having seen how none of it is actually true...but who is constantly flummoxed by Federation principles....but wishes to remain with Starfleet and spend his days looking at his crewmates in befuddlement.

    A guy who twice sacrifices the Enterprise through his refusal to fire twice upon Birds of Prey (Rascals, ST:Generations) while later slaughtering them in DS9.

    I don't know who he is. Maybe that's why I've never liked the character. He's a living contradiction of the arbitrary sort.

    “Worf's complicated. I'm not sure that the writers agreed on who he was. ”

    I think Michael Dorm insisted as the show went on that he’d never be a typical Klingon. In fact, one of his conditions for signing onto DS9 was that he’d always be unique among other Klingons. I think it works on the whole if you consider that he was with Klingons until age 5 or so so he must enjoy Klingon foods and speak the language and know some customs firsthand. Other things he may have learned from friends of the House of Mog which was at least, at one point, a prestigious house.

    “A guy who twice sacrifices the Enterprise through his refusal to fire twice upon Birds of Prey (Rascals, ST:Generations) while later slaughtering them in DS9. ”

    Now this is just character assignation. Worf fired on the birds of prey but they had enhanced shielding and in the Generations case, the ships had a huge edge and first shot on the Enterprise. Worf’s knowledge of the birds of prey at least saved them all from certain death (and took out the Duras sisters’ ship).

    Sorry, random spelling “corrections” from mobile. Should read Michael Dorn and character assasination.

    Sometimes character assignation *is* character assassination. Like with Harry Kim :(

    "Worf fired on the birds of prey but they had enhanced shielding and in the Generations case, the ships had a huge edge and first shot on the Enterprise."

    I can't assassinate a character who changes from episode to episode. *That* version of Worf was shown only firing once in each episode. Apparently this was sufficient such that nobody turned to look at him askance as they did in "Parallels" but it was not enough to challenge the BoPs that were raining hell upon his ship. All we have to go on is what we saw and what we saw is very suspicious.

    The behavior of that version of Riker is also suspicious. If space battles were the subject of Vegas betting there would be a major federal investigation after "Rascals" Enterprise vs. 2 BoP scout ships and "Generations" Enterprise vs. 1 BoP.

    @Chris P

    You answered your own question. Worf was acting under orders from Riker who was trying to flee from the Ferengi. It’s not like Worf can go out firing on his own. Though, if Riker’s first instinct was to flee from the Birds of Prey, he may have accessed the Enterprise was not a match for them at their current position.

    I don't mind Worf's typical remarks about Klingons don't do this and that, honour, Klingons, warrios, Klingons, honourable, etc. too much in small doses, but this is an entire episode where he hardly ever says anything else. I really felt like gimme a break, I'm getting really tired of this Klingon BS.

    And you can never be sure if he's not just making stuff up like his earlier "Klingons don't laugh".

    Giant YAWN.

    Utterly boring. Klingons are one of the stupidest, most single-minded races in the galaxy. Vulcans are even more annoying for their one-note life.

    Work was all arrr, honour, arrr, tradition, arr arr arr.

    I liked this better than the first half. 8.5/10

    I always enjoy when the stories are about others and not just humans. I think that is why I liked DS9 so much (amongst other reasons).

    Worf shows his inflexibility and inability to concede any benefits to the hybrid camp. The Romulans show their disdain perhaps for Klingon culture and tradition. Or maybe it is only fear of the warrior traditions and strengths. The older Klingons live in a weird shame existence but also try and protect it from outside discovery.

    Ba'el has Worf's ticket and calls him on it. He claims love but not love enough to stay in the camp. She points out she won't be accepted outside (after he gives his answer to take her away from the camp). It's funny how proud and rigid Worf is in his identification of cultural traditions but not able to see the validity in change or growth in those traditions. Pride is only for him and not for others. The hybrid camp has plenty to be proud about.

    I don't buy that Worf is so innocent here. He didn't bring just knowledge as a threat. He also brought rapid change and provocation without discussion. He himself should be more self aware at how difficult it is for people to change. And he expects the senior people to suddenly change and rock the fine balance they created in the camp. Didn't his fatherhood of Alexander teach him anything? It is only the knowledge that he wants to impart that is important to him. Not any other truths or viewpoints. Ba'el challenges that by her very existence. Now what bucket does she fall into? He can't try and shame her into being Klingon his way like he does the boy. And he doesn't know what to make of having feelings for an icky Romulan.

    At the end they make Worf seem righteous by having the young Klingon join him at the firing line. But I don't buy this . The Klingons have raised their young quite well in the camp. For them to go back to the homeworld will take some getting used to. In part 1, Picard said to Data that he is a culture of one. And this camp is also a unique culture. It is highly unlikely the Klingon world doesn't have lots of cultural subgroups. Worf of course has been called out for being more Klingon than other Klingons in the past.

    The plot swerved to a more reasonable ending of sorts. Not revealing the secret is what the elders were afraid of all along. But now because of Worf being provocative and forcing the issue, the children will be ill prepared: they don't really belong in the Klingon home world. At least not as is. At the end it seems from Worf's look of sorrow that perhaps he understands what he has done. Where will Bael go now? She won't be welcomed in either world and the camp won't have the numbers of young people to make a society.

    I am usually a Worf/ Klingon tale fan but this two-parter suggests the Klingon culture is crass and brutish -somewhere around Ernest Borgnine and Kirk Douglas' take on the Vikings ( sans any of that movie's fun).

    This was a yawn fest of monumental proportions and a pointless story.

    Guys, it's a prison camp.

    These guys were kidnapped from their colony, put in a detention camp, and forced to live there for decades. Their children have grown up in bondage and any hybrid children born aren't there entirely willingly if just due to the power dynamic. This is no different than Bajorans living under Cardassian rule.

    So what language is being spoken in this camp? Obviously not Klingonese, because the generation raised there need the lyrics of a Klingon song translated for them line by line. They're not using something like a universal translator, because it's not translating the Klingon.

    I guess I can imagine the prisoners being fluent in Romulan by now, and it might be their children's first language, if that's what's spoken in the camp. But is Worf fluent in Romulan?

    I know, we're not supposed to ask these things.

    Richard Herd is a versatile actor. I enjoyed his performance as L'Kor.

    When watching this episode on Amazon, one of the production notes said that the crew went on holiday and forgot to leave the lights on for the plants, which died. That kind of says it all about this episode.

    Romulans really know luxury with the eggcrate mattresses.

    I can't hear the Klingon victory chant without thinking of the Pogo Data & Picard song.

    THis episode failed me because it failed to let Warf see that the Klingons on the homeworld are stupid angry idiots who turned Kronos into a nightmare dystopia where one has to constantly fear being killed in the street by assassins. The writer of this episode must have never seen the episode where Warf realized that Klingon culture was garbage when he found out that Klingon culture is nothing but a bunch of psychopathic angry idiots running around killing each other. He was asked to kill a child whose only crime was being born and told that killing this child for such a ludicrous crime was part of the Klingon tradition of the dumb angry psychopathic idiots that make up the world of Kronos. That was when Warf turned his back on Klingon culture and tradition by returning to Starfleet so that he didn't have to kill a child.

    Even children are prone to being murdered on Kronos. Kronos contains no engineers, doctors, farmers, scientists. There is no industry on Kronos, no agriculture, no science, no art. Kronos is a worthless planet and Klingon culture is worthless garbage.

    It should also be pointed out that the "honorable" Klingon culture creates and uses only stealthed warships which attack other ships without provocation while being stealthed so that the ship they are attacking doesn't even know the Klingon ship is even there.

    A good writer would give Warf some development by letting him see that Klingon culture is garbage and the culture of the peaceful humans is vastly superior in EVERY WAY. Warf should have seen the utopia that the Klingons on this planet live in and been like, we have to make sure ALL Klingons adapt this vastly superior peaceful culture instead of the culture which turned Kronos into an endless hellscape.

    Instead the dumb writer basically just has Warf constantly chafe at seeing Klingons live in utopia on this planet instead of the dystopia hell on Kronos and try to ruin the utopia by making them adopt the stupid culture of the dumb angry psychotic Klingons on Kronos.

    The complete lack of realization by Warf about how stupid and awful Klingon culture is and how much he tried to ruin the utopia on this planet made this episode hard to watch.

    I could understand if the writer wanted to do a sort of story like the first Matrix which failed because it was too perfect as there wasn't enough suffering so all the people rejected it, but that isn't what they did here. By all accounts the Klingons on this utopia planet are the happiest and most prosperous Klingons in the universe. No one lives in constant fear of being stabbed in the back, there are no fights to the death to establish dominance, there are no angry Klingons constantly lashing out at each other in anger and discontent. There are no Klingons dying because they didn't get space supplies.

    Warf even drives home how awful Klingon culture is by talking about how Klingons hunt because they enjoy killing animals even though they have replicators and don't need the meat. The peaceful Klingons on this planet were taken aback and how wasteful and needlessly cruel that was. That should have been a good wake up moment for Warf. But it isn't because this writer had a hardon for the angry idiot Klingons on Kronos.

    The angry idiots on Kronos don't have a future. There is absolutely no way that those Klingons could have developed spaceships, could build spaceships, could maintain a technological arms race with the Romulans and the Federation when the Klingon culture is just a bunch of barbarians killing themselves which denies all forms of industry, science, agriculture, etc. It is only by deus ex machina and writer handwaving that the Klingon empire exists and doesn't get instantly steamrolled by the Romulans or the Cardassians when it implodes to the constant infighting.

    I think this quote sums it up best:

    "The Mark of the Immature Man Is That He Wants To Die Nobly for a Cause, While the Mark of the Mature Man Is That He Wants To Live Humbly for One"

    My favorite bit of this one is Worf explaining to Picard, a man he respects probably more than anyone alive, that the information was bogus. He had to put his word above his respect, and it had to be a wrenching moment for him.

    But Picard’s smile and simple, “I understand,” makes you wonder just how much he does understand. It’s left to wonder, as it should be.

    I watched both halves of this sub-par two parter (two-sub-par-ter?) over the last couple of days, and comments here apply to both.

    I was never a fan of Deep Sleep 9, and only ever saw a couple of them. I assume the Bashir content in this one is intended as a sort of trailer for the new series; it adds nothing. I sort of liked the Data 'dream' story, but not that much really.

    The remarkably humane Romulan open prison on the remote planet is just bizarre. It's hard to know what to make of it. Is the ageing Romulan, married to a Klingon no less, some sort of saint, to have achieved such harmony between these two bitter enemy races? He is after all their jailer in a real sense, and in charge of Romulan soldiers who are ultimately shown to be prepared to use lethal force.

    Why do the Romulans even bother with this? Just to indulge an old soldier? And why would the captive Klingons accept this fate so readily? I don't really buy the excuse that their honour had already been lost so anything goes. If the Klingon woman who married Tokath felt so strongly that her honour had been stolen, why would she do that? Let alone the consideration that Tokath was one of the attacking force who supposedly carried out a massacre against her people.

    I'm always surprised at the ease with which, in the Star Trek universe, species from different planets can reproduce. It seems phenomenally unlikely to me that a Romulan could get a Klingon pregnant (or even want to in all honesty; those cranial ridges aren't the most feminine feature). Worf's remarks to the mixed-race girl about her parentage are actually quite hateful, although he apologises later. And falls in love with her, quite suddenly and with no real development in their relationship having been apparent. As if the writer couldn't help squeezing another cliche in.

    So I'm afraid this one is quite poor. It's just too incoherent and nonsensical. It looks to me like the Data plot was considered inadequate to sustain a whole episode, so they stretched out a pretty risible story about a Romulan prison planet for Klingons to accommodate it.

    One last thought - how does the alien that Worf pays to take him there even know about it? But maybe I wasn't paying attention properly. It seems to me though that information like that could be more valuable (and therefore lucrative) to the Klingon government than to Worf. Either way it's not a very secure secret. Perhaps he should have been killed off in an accident.

    Dire episode.

    I don’t k ow if I’m an “alienist” but I seriously hate the Klingons and all their fake honor. If death is so glorious, why don’t they just commit mass suicide and be done with that species.

    Wow, people really do seem to fall in love quickly in the 24th Century. Not just a crush or lust, true love. As we all know, "wuv, tru wuv, will fowow you foweva" (Impressive Clergyman, Princess Bride).

    As much as I like Worf-y (he has some of the best one-liners in TNG) this one was weak and poorly done. The romance ruined it for me. Wouldn't it have been better if he developed an instant rapport with a Romulan/Klingon young man and then found out he was mixed? Bromance stories can be much stronger than romance stories.

    It’s a curse of episode storytelling, and the crux of why Star Trek romances are so weak in general — they are rushed, never last, and stakes don’t seem real.

    Without Lysergic Data, DS9, and Bashir, this was never going to be as good as Part 1.

    HOWEVER.. it’s the best Klingon episode - no posturing braggadocio, but instead a unique Romulan/Klingon detente in a strange prison where both sides have given up their birthrights in the name of peaceful coexistence.

    Sadly there are several flaws. The romance was superfluous; the boy Toq was too quickly turned; the ‘prison’ was unconvincing (with a whole planet to themselves, you’d think they would have done more than a mere compound). But the biggest flaw was Worf. As an orphan of Kittomer, brought up in a non-Klingon household and culture, and who then, serving as the only Klingon on a Federation starship, fell in love with a half-human Klingon, he of all people would understand what it means to give up a birthright for something larger. It just didn’t ring true that he wouldn’t accept what he found on the planet, and that was the biggest hollow note of what could - should - have been a truly great and memorable episode.

    Even so, I would give it a slightly grudging 3 stars.

    P.S. Did anyone else notice that when the Enterprise was using star maps to locate the planet, one of the three possibilities was called Echevarria? Oh to be a screenwriter, eh?

    Bit odd how the Romulans and Klingons are so concerned keeping the camp a secret and won't allow Worf to leave. But they are totally indifferent to the Yridian and let him fly off in his ship.

    This could have worked but yes somehow it's just super boring. I think pairing it with the Data stuff in part 1 may have contributed.

    Also, essentially every character here is in Proud Stoic Warrior mode which means they stand around reciting lines. BORING.

    I barely remember anything about this 2-parter, not because it's necessarily bad or uninteresting... I just was so blown away by Worf's hunting prowess that it's all I can recall.

    After watching it, I can now sneak up on pretty much any animal all while talking in my regular voice and rustling as many branches and bushes as I want. Every time I see this episode, I feel sorry for my 2 cats as I will for weeks after constantly stalk them around the house... hunkering down behind furniture when I feel the breeze change.

    They don't stand a chance.

    Why did Ba'el eventually decide to stay with her parents instead of leave? Even Worf looks quite surprised by that.

    The pay off was not believable... the love between Worf and the young woman; the young klingon man suddenly becoming an intransigent warrior; the public execution which any sane leader would have just done out in the jungle somewhere away from town.

    But the worst thing about this episode was the constant exposition. Worf teaching the young and ignorant was the vehicle for advancing the plot, yet the obstacles he faces are petty, and the pay off happens too instantaneously. Suddenly everyone wants to leave. Not to mention, there is such a dull and improperly fleshed-out reasoning for why the elders are so compliant.

    Consider that Worf was raisedby humans, yet he displays more resistance than any of the elders who were actual Klingon warriors in the battle. I could see those warriors PRETENDING that they wanted the quiet life in order to plan a huge uprising, but to actually accept it? No, it does not make sense. At best they would've taken their own lives in ritual suicide in order to preserve what honour they had left.

    Wasn't she like REALLY young for Worf? The romance thing came off as really creepy to me. It is curious that they crammed these two episodes together into a two-parter. Worf's story hardly took up any time in the first part, maybe a few minutes total. Data's story was completely finished in part 1 so it wasn't in part 2 at all.

    These really should have just been two standalone episodes. They only thing they had in common was DS9 and it was barely featured at all. No Sisko, no Odo, not even a Quark. All we got was Bashir for a few minutes.

    Yes, this romance was creepy! The actress may have been of age, but the behavior of the character was definitely not. The only decent thing for Worf to do would have been to decline her advances regardless of his own desires.

    As others have pointed out above, the emotional hook to create the dramatic tension for Worf did not require this romance, or any romance. His paternal feelings towards the young Klingons in general were plenty for that. So what was the point of this "romance" with a teenage girl? I suspect it was at least unconsciously part of the general trend in TV, movies, and literature of male writers trying to legitimize their own creepiness.

    I also felt sad for her being allowed to form this attachment, believe she has found love, and then presumably Worf bids her farewell as soon as he gets out of the prison camp. She must have felt pretty used after stepping in front of a disruptor for this man.

    "I suspect it was at least unconsciously part of the general trend in TV, movies, and literature of male writers trying to legitimize their own creepiness."

    I got to say the word "creepy" when used to describe a relationship between two consenting adults, even when there's a big age difference, is a bit judgmental.

    I mean I don't completely understand relationships between 20 something men and 60 something women, but I'm not "creeped out" by them nor do I wag my finger at people gor it.

    The Klingon love interest was naive and sheltered but there's nothing in the episode to suggest she was unable to consent to a relationship.

    I'll agree though that it was mostly perfunctory in an otherwise lacklustre outing.

    I think the creepiness comes to no small part from middle aged writers writing about middle aged guys hooking up with teenagers for no story purpose. We see that quite often. let's keep in mind that this was before the pre Weinstein/Ailes/others revelation era. These guys were really terrible but It always makes me wonder how the kind of shitty guys, who flew under the radar, acted towards young women.

    On TNG and TOS we only had older guys + younger women. Not the other way around, I think which could arguably seen as a reproduction of societal power structures.

    Booming, however messed up you think Hollywood was in the early 1990s - multiply that by 10.

    Is Worf middle-aged, though? True, Dorn was in his 40s when they made the episode, but per Memory Alpha Worf would only be in his late 20s and as far as we know has only one serious relationship behind him.

    "On TNG and TOS we only had older guys + younger women. Not the other way around, I think which could arguably seen as a reproduction of societal power structures."

    More likely a reproduction of differences in mating priorities between the sexes.

    But just on the topic of Weinstein et al. since when are the writers of scifi shows equivalent to big time media moguls?

    TNG in general certainly has some icky stuff along those lines. Like, why do we need to know that General Hansen was attracted to Cmdr. Shelby ("Just an old man's fantasies")?


    Worf was supposed to be

    "More likely a reproduction of differences in mating priorities between the sexes."
    I guess homosexuals have to die alone then. :)

    The average age gap in the US for heterosexuals is around 2.3 years. One could also mention that age gaps for marriage are decreasing for more than a hundred years now.
    Here a few numbers

    Furthermore, in ancient Rome older women had quite a bit of fun with young slaves. Just sayin'. One could also mention that lesbian and gay relationships have a higher age difference than heterosexual ones.

    Sorry, that was supposed to be "Worf was in his 20s?!!" Wow, I never would have thought that! That's like casting a 30 year old for one of those high schools shows.

    "The average age gap in the US for heterosexuals is around 2.3 years."


    "One could also mention that age gaps for marriage are decreasing for more than a hundred years now.
    Here a few numbers"

    It doesn't follow from anything I said that all or even most relationships involve 20 something girls with 80 year old men. Nor did I deny that culture plays a role in shaping expectations.

    Yet despite the averages, such relationships have been exceedingly common in many cultures and there's good reason to believe this has something to do with more than a mere happenstance of culture.

    Think of it like gravity: a weak but omnipresent force.

    Anyway I'll let the Eurythmics say it better than I could:

    For scientists what is perceived as good reason is seldom enough. :)

    I'm not an expert apart from some basic courses about demographics (far grimmer stuff than most believe) but from what I can gather it seems that the less developed a country, the higher the age gap. That could be correlated with the fact that less developed societies are normally far more male dominated, culturally and economically.

    Sure, a Human trait could be the reason. There also many other possibilities. Wealth for example.

    In other words there are numerous possible reasons why certain patterns exist in Humans and it seems rather convenient that older men often believe it to be an immutable fact and natural law that it is ok for them if they desire younger women and that those women should desire them. While older women should sit at home and happily nit socks in merry spinsterhood, I suppose. Or are 40 year old women hunting retirees??

    "Anyway I'll let the Eurythmics say it better than I could:"
    What does that have to do with age??

    Whatever the meaning, I would counter with this ;)

    I just cited the Eurythmics because

    1. There is a lot of judgment about May December relationships;
    2. Many presume when it's an older man with a young woman the man is exploiting the woman, but it isn't always so (see Anna Nicole Smith eg):
    3. Some people like being used.

    This isn't Saudi Arabia. Outside of a Jeffrey Epstein scenario if a 20 something is on the arm of an old man, odds are good she is getting some sort of satisfaction out of the relationship.

    "The Klingon love interest was naive and sheltered but there's nothing in the episode to suggest she was unable to consent to a relationship."

    I see a lot to suggest it. The role is written and acted as a young teen.

    Her mommy is still telling her what to do in her day-to-day life, while she sneaks around exploring forbidden things with childlike curiosity. Her demeanor toward Worf during most of this episode is wide-eyed and naive to a degree far beyond anything I could imagine from a 20-something or even an 18-year-old.

    Can you really picture a grown woman behaving in the way this character does?

    I'm sure the writers would claim that she is of age, and the actress was probably in her 20's. But it's no accident that she is written to behave much younger than the age of consent in most US states. Someone in the writing team thinks that's sexy. Eww.

    Worf is the most one-dimensional character in the entire franchise, and the Klingon storylines are the most boring. The TNG writers never got beyond square one with Klingons, or were they afraid of Worf?

    I love this episode.
    It has aged very strangely.
    Worf's "blood & soil" space-racism is very strong.

    He destroys a weird hippy-Romulan's hidden cult using the power of race-essentialism.

    Poor Tokath is a sort of progressive who has somehow evaded the facistic Romulan overlords.

    But Worf mercliessly rails against miscegenation and is disgusted by a racially impure woman... Who he then lusts for and sort of kidnaps.

    Later, he covers up the truth - that Klingons and Romulans can get along quite well.


    I was stunned rewatching this that Worf lies to Picard at the end moment. "The first duty of every Starfleet officer is to the truth, whether it's scientific truth or historical truth or personal truth! It is the guiding principle on which Starfleet is based," Picard tells Wesley Crusher in "The First Duty". Worf admires Picard so much, surely he would know Picard's commitment to the truth. He could have told him the truth privately and trusted him to not reveal it. After all, he trusted him enough to select him as his cha'DIch. Evidently personal integrity does not fall within the Klingon definition of honor. Otherwise I thought the episode was likeable enough, but that soured it for me.

    Mark Rankin, some previous posters (DPC, Andy in VA, and Buckbart) mentioned that while Picard might not know exactly what happened, he does know Worf is lying, but he should not pry into the situation. That's how I've always read it too. Lying may be dishonorable, but lying to save someone's honor may be more honorable than letting them be dishonored. *shrug*

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