TNG: “Birthright” Parts 1 and 2

Date: May 16, 2020

Season 6, Episodes 16 and 17

Musical Accompaniment: A collection of classical music symphonies.

Interstellar News: Husband and I spent several hours outside cleaning out and rearranging the shed in 80 degree weather surrounded by wasps and spiders, so my brain is totally fried. Did I mention there were spiders?

Favorite Quotes:

Troi: Did the table do something wrong?

Troi: Would you like to talk about what’s bothering you or would you like to break some more furniture?

Troi: If you’re so sure about that, why are you still so upset? Worf, you can’t deny the possibility just because you don’t want it to be true. If you want to talk about this, you know where to find me.

A collection of three amazing lines by Troi, all aimed at Worf.

Worf’s One-Two Punch: “Delicious.” in response to La Forge saying “I don’t see how you can eat that stuff. It tastes like liquid polymer.”

Worf sighing softly, according to the caption

L’kor: Why did you come here? If you had found your father you would have found only dishonor.

Worf: If he had been captured as you were, if I had found him here, I would be glad to see him. There is no room in my heart for shame.

L’kor: I can only hope that if my son came here, he would be Klingon enough to kill me.

Riddle me this Batman, why couldn’t they all just kill each other at that point? Seriously, don’t shame Worf who probably has a better understanding of honor than you do…

Quick Summary:

Part 1: The Enterprise arrives at the Deep Space 9 station to help the Bajorans. Data goes to check on a breach in sick bay where he meets Dr. Bashier who is trying to analyze some equipment and is fascinated by Data. Bashier, La Forge, and Data decide to test the device in engineering, but Data is hit by a plasma shock and has what I can only describe as an out-of-body experience. La Forge tells him he was offline but Data remembers seeing Dr. Soong, and the plot thickens. Data talks to Worf, who once went on the Klingon version of a vision quest, and Picard and decides to paint and “be inspired”. Data paints 23 images, but some are not quite from the vision he originally saw so he asks Bashier and La Forge to help him recreate the experience. This time Data meets a very young Dr. Soong who explains that Data has finally learned how to dream. Data shares with Bashier that he will take some time to turn himself “off” everyday to see what new experiences he can create.

A very young Dr. Soong clutches Data's face
It’s Spiner-ception.

Worf is approached by a Yridian named Jaglom Shrek who tells him that his father is still alive in a Romulan prison camp. After speaking with Data, Worf realizes he must find out what happened to his father. Worf and Shrek travel to the Carraya sector where Worf finds other 73 Klingons and some Romulans. Mogh, he father, is not one of them as he really died on Khitomer. Disappointed, Worf is still determined to free the Klingons but is instead captured for his trouble.

This is not the Shrek you’re looking for…

Part 2: The older Klingons explain to Worf what happened and that he now has to stay there. Worf interacts with the young Klingons, some of whom appear to be just a wee bit Romulan, and realize they have been told lies to “keep them safe”. Worf meets Tokath, creates a diversion, and tries to leave the camp but is captured and confined to stay within the walls. Once he is at the camp he cannot stand for the youngsters to not know of their heritage, their culture, and he takes on the role of teacher quite well… starting with mok’bara and telling them stories. Ba’el and Worf are super flirty until Worf sees her ears and realizes she’s part Klingon and part Romulan. He gets super ridiculous and racist and begins preaching that those two races could never mate, how unholy that is, maybe forgetting that he also bedded and procreated with someone who was half-not-his-species. The next day Worf has the decency to apologize, I mean it is super hard to overcome some deep seeded hatred just like that, and then he decides to teach Toq how to hunt. Toq drinks the Klingon Kool-Aid and leads everyone in the victory song, which totally sounds like when the dwarves sing “The Misty Mountains Cold” in The Hobbit. Tokath decides Worf is too dangerous and decides to put him to death only to have others in the camp stand beside him and his Klingon wife tell him that they should let the kids go explore the universe.

A group of Klingon youths surround Worf, demanding to be allowed to leave or else kill them too.
We are Klingons, and Klingons die together!
(I’m trying to harness “ducks fly together” from The Mighty Ducks)

At some point the Enterprise figures out Worf is missing. They head out to find him only to receive a cryptic message about meeting a Romulan vessel. He and those that wanted to leave the Klingon camp beam aboard and, when asked by Picard, Worf lies through his teeth about the others being survivors of a crash. I think we all know Picard sees right through him, but lets it slide. Clearly Picard believes that Worf knows what is best.

My Thoughts and Impressions: I absolutely loved these episodes. Let’s start with Data’s story. When Data first confronts Bashier his first instinct is to help Bashier with the problem but then he’s like “waaaaait a minute, you still need permission”! It’s similar to when he was escorting Kamala around the ship in “The Perfect Mate” and a few other occasions my tired brain can’t remember right now where his positronic brain wants to do the thing someone asked for before something else kicks in and he knows he must do something else. I also think it’s adorable that he’s going to take some time out of his day for himself. Everyone needs self care, even androids.

"Treat Yo Self" from Parks and Rec
You should totally watch Parks and Rec if you haven’t already.
I promise it gets waaaaay better after Season 1.

Worf’s story was excellent from beginning to end. The intrigue that his father might be alive, the processing of his very complicated feelings, and his eventual reunion with some more of his kind… even if it leads to his capture. He sort of embodies the council elder who’s supposed to teach all of the kids about “how to be Klingon”, only he does it on his own and without any prodding. I was practically screaming at him to be like this with Alexander, but maybe it is because of Alexander he wanted to develop the minds of Klingon youths. I think it’s great that Klingons have something similar to a quinceañera, debutante ball, or Sweet 16 tradition, only it’s for mating instead of “introducing a young lady to society” or whatever. All I’ll say is my Sweet 16 was amazing and a lot of folks from my high school still talk about how baller the food was.

"the two yutes" from the movie My Cousin Vinny
What’s a “yute”?

Just a few flaws, and all of them are just more in line with my questioning nature. I’m still not sure why the Romulans didn’t just execute their prisoners, or the Klingons didn’t just kill each other. I also don’t know why Shrek even bothered with Worf once he was told he was going to get paid after, and did that even ever happen one wonders. Also, Ba’el can’t really ever leave the colony unless she has surgery, always hides her ears, or someone lies about her parentage… right? I also didn’t like how ridiculous Worf was with Ba’el, as he sounded like someone pre-Civil Rights who thought White and Black people shouldn’t “mix”, ugh get over yourself Worf. Okay so Worf kind of did get over himself not too long after, but I kind of hate it when a character I like isn’t perfect – okay! Overall the first part helped set up the second part beautifully and I loved that Data’s journey influenced Worf’s and they both wound up with something they weren’t expecting but enhanced their lives nonetheless. I also really loved that both episodes focused on alien cultures that I’ve wanted to know more about since introduced. We see a Romulan who chose compassion over career, a Klingon or two who are able to eventually see past cultural differences, and android who will maybe, hopefully dream of electric sheep, and the humans are all superfluous. For a science fiction show set in an intergalactic universe, this is what I’m here for. Together these two episodes earn themselves a 9.9 on the Richter Scale.

TA Out!

Published by njdevil12

I'm just a big city girl living in a not so big city with my fur children and partner.

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