Date: May 19, 2020
Season 6, Episodes 22 and 23
Musical Accompaniment: The Ultimate Movie Score playlist, as found on YouTube
Interstellar News: It rained, all day. I also almost broke my work laptop, but thankfully my electrical engineer of a husband is my personal IT guy.
Favorite Quote from “Suspicions”:
Guinan: You know, I’ve never been to a formal inquiry.
Crusher: Well I’ll see if I can arrange one for you. All you have to do is disobey orders, violate medical ethics, and cause an interstellar incident.
Guinan: Well I guess that would do it.Crusher freaking out and Guinan agreeing with her assessment.
“Suspicions” opens with a distraught Dr. Crusher in her room when Guinan comes in, complaining of tennis elbow, and Crusher reveals she’s no longer a doctor on the Enterprise. As Crusher tries to help, she tells Guinan what happened over the last few days that brought her to this point and we get treated to flashbacks and voice-overs.
It all started with a Ferengi scientist named Dr. Reyga who needed a little more exposure, so Crusher arranges for scientists who are Vulcan, human, Klingon, and Takaran, to come discuss the project. They all decide a test is the best course of action and Dr. Jo’Bril, the Takaran, will pilot the modified shuttle so he can be impartial. The test works until it doesn’t and Jo’Bril dies. During autopsy there is no cause of death and Reyga is having no luck either with the shuttle. Unfortunately, Reyga is found dead under suspicious circumstances.
Crusher believes he was murdered but cannot prove it without an autopsy and, unfortunately for her, the Ferengi death ritual means she cannot do one. For some reason she, and not Worf or security, questions the other scientists but doesn’t get anywhere so she decides to disobey orders and do the autopsy, where she finds nothing and then tells Picard. We come out of the flashback to current time where Guinan helps Crusher to see she has nothing to lose for the next 24 hours, so Crusher continues to investigate (even though she has no privileges on board). Ogawa helps Crusher with the files and investigation which leads Crusher to following a hunch and takes a shuttle out to the star, proving Reyga’s shield did work but was sabotaged. Suddenly Jo’Bril pops out of the shuttle because he apparently wasn’t dead and wanted to develop the technology himself. They struggle and she kills him, leaving behind no damn proof. She also doesn’t face any consequences at the hearing and Guinan admits she never played tennis.
This episode boils down to the coroner playing detective ala NCIS or CSI or one of the acronym police procedural. The problem with this one is it’s lame. Okay so I totally didn’t see Jo’Brill being alive at the end, they got me there. I also loved how Guinan was her usual self and then came clean about not playing tennis. Aside from those two things, though, Crusher is just not a compelling story teller. She disobeys orders and fucks up another culture’s death ritual all because she thinks she’s right. She’s right that his invention works and it was sabotaged, but she was totally wrong to interfere without consent. She also steals a shuttlecraft and I’ve got to blame Worf and security on this one because there’s at least one shuttlecraft theft a damn season, come on! The other characters were not so great either. Dr. T’Pan had too much sass and not a lot of lines, Kurak was to pouty, and Dr. Christopher was far too emotional for someone married to a Vulcan. Like I said above, there were really only 2 things I liked about this episode… so there’s that.
Favorite Quote from “Rightful Heir”:
Picard: If he really is an imposter then you have nothing to worry about.
Gowron: Kahless has been dead for a thousand years, but the idea of Kahless is still alive. Have you ever fought an idea, Picard? It has no weapon to destroy, no body to kill. The idea of Kahless’ return must be stopped here, now, or it will travel through the Empire like a wave and leave nothing but destruction behind.Gowron and his bulgy eyes have a point…
The Teachings of Kahless: “Perhaps the words are more important than the man.”
“Rightful Heir” begins with a shift change on the Enterprise, the first one where Worf is late. So naturally Riker believes something is wrong and shows up to Worf’s quarters where Worf is totally in a vision quest. Picard comes to reprimand Worf and Worf goes on and on about how unfulfilled he feels after the events of “Birthright“. Picard suggests a spiritual retreat and Worf takes a leave of absence to visit Boreth in the hopes of seeing a vision of Kahless, or as I like to call him… Klingon Jesus. After almost two weeks Worf begins to show impatience, but tries one more time at the urging of Koroth. This time Kahless does appear but he’s no vision, he’s real flesh and blood… just ask the tricorder. Kahless tells those gathered about how he made the bat’leth, but Worf is skeptical and challenges him to a fight. During the fight Kahless just stops and begins a chant about how Klingons are awesome and Worf is confused.
Back on the Enterprise, Gowron joins the crew and the Khaless entourage and proposes a test of the DNA from the blood on a holy artifact of Khaless and the Klingon formerly known as Kahless. Science doesn’t lie and he really is Kahless, except Gowron pokes holes in every story and challenges Kahless to a fight, and Kahless loses. Worf gets the truth from Koroth that they made a clone of Kahless to give the people someone to believe in again. Worf and Data have a chat about faith and Worf gives the proposal to Gowron that Kahless could be the moral leader, the emperor, and just like that Worf fixes the Klingon empire.
I’ve got to say, I really like Worf with his long hair… especially when he wears it down. Kahless sounds very much like Marie Kondo when he talks about joy, I mean can’t you just hear him saying “this Klingon does not spark joy”? I will say I did not see a clone coming and thought that it was a nice touch. I also think Worf is amazing when he comes up with compromises and plans that seem to work for everyone. He’s like the great Klingon ambassador who has never actually lived on the home world. Maybe that’s what it takes to be the “ideal” of something is to study the fuck out of it but never actually live in it so you cannot be corrupted. This episode has so much going for it; religion and faith discussions, political maneuvering, cloning, and even some bits about self-care (you can’t perform your duties if you’re sweating and chanting into a fire). The actors all played their parts well and even though we missed Troi, La Forge, and a few of the other regular crew, we got another excellent Klingon story and got to find out more about another culture and their faith practices. Kahless is absolutely correct, though, the words are always more important. I’ve got 9.5 important words for you: Wear your damn masks and stay inside you rat bast…