The Rewatch 175: Redemption

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 4.26 Redemption Pt 1 (6/17/91) | 5.1 Redemption Pt 2 (9/23/91) 100th Episode!
Rating: 5/5
Redshirt Status: 0/1/34 | 0/0/34

Notable Guest Stars:
Robert O’Reilly (Gowron) Gowron appears several times across TNG and DS9.  O’Reilly plays the character his complete run, and also performed the voice of Gowron for several video games as well.

Tony Todd (Kurn)-  Kurn, like Gowron will appear again on the franchise, again played by Tony Todd.  Todd is also known for being The Candyman.

Barbara March (Lursa)- Marsh is mostly known for her broadway work, and playing Lursa.  She would continue to play the character for several more epsiodes across the franchise.  She was married to Alan Scarfe, another Star Trek Alum.  She died of cancer in 2019.

Gwynth Walsh (B’Etor)- Walsh would continue to play B’Etor across the Star Trek franchise, as well as another character on Voyager. Like her onscreen sister, she has an established stage career.

JD Cullum (Toral)-  You may recognize Cullum from the film Glory, or television shows as ER and The Wizards of Weaverly Place. Surprisingly, Cullum was well into his twenties when he played the role of Toral, who appears much younger. 

Michael G. Hagerty (Larg)Hagerty is a long-term character actor, known for his roles on Friends, Shameless, and Medium.

Timothy Carhart (Christopher Hobson) Carhart has appeared in several popular movies, such as Ghostbusters, Thelma and Louise, and his appearances on CSI.

Fran Bennett (Shanthi)- a frequent actor on several soap operas, and television.

Denise Crosby (Sela)- Crosby once again appears as Sela, Tasha Yars daughter.  She would appear twice more as the character.

Review:

All through season 4 we have had an ongoing theme with Worf.  He lost his honor in the previous season due to the threat of a Klingon Civil War.  With Picard’s encouragement, and with the upcoming installation of Gowron as chancellor of the High Council, Worf sets out to clear his family name and regain his honor in the eyes of his people of birth.

Of course, nothing comes easily, especially when one needs to make a two partner episode.  The House of Duras is still around to muck things up, this time led by the lately departed Duras’ two sisters Lursa and B’Etor.  They put forth Toral, their brother’s son, as a candidate in his father’s place.  When Picard as arbiter declines the admission of Toral as a candidate, civil war ensues.

Lursa and B’Etor have no fondness for their brother, although it might have been more for sure.  They certainly had very little fondness for their nephew.  Like their father they had found allies in the Romulans, and with their help seem to be beating Gowron at every battle.

This episode pairing is not only big as far as arc goes (The Klingon Civil War has been brewing for seasons), but also for individual characterizations.

Picard we get to see in the role of stragegist, trying to weave a net without breaking the Federation’s non-involvement clause.  He has to thread a diplomatic thread without breaking it.

Worf’s characterization is really defined in this episode.  His story arc over the first four seasons was always dealing with him and his Klingon heritage and beliefs.  In this episode he does that, but he also comes to recognize that growing up with Humans has given him alternative methods that make him not quite the perfect Klingon, but perhaps the perfect Worf.  It shows the fundamental differences between he and Kurn, raised differently but still both Klingon at heart.  And perhaps it makes Gowron understand him better.

It also is a good episode for Data, who finally gets to command his own ship, however briefly.  This does bring up the question – why hasn’t Data been given promotions?  Is no one seeking him out as a first officer?  His record is great, so I don’t see why not.  He does, perhaps, have to work on his “bedside” manner so to speak.

This episode is also a good episode for exposure to Klingon culture.  We see Klingons amongst themselves, and Worf as a way to compare their culture.  Worf is a bit more focused and a bit more conservative about violence then his companions. He’s a bit prone to being an introvert in a species are pretty much all extroverts.

We also get to see more of Sela, who first appeared two episodes prior when Geordi was being brainwashed to be an assassin.  She explains her existence, what happened to the Tasha Yar of the Enterprise C, and clearly has a lot of parental issues.

Story wise, this was wonderfully written, and flows quite well as a two-parter.  It has political intrigue, action sequences, powerful female characters, character growth and development, and some very good acting on behalf the cast.

The only issue I have is Toral.He quite literally is a child.  Given the way the Klingon’s grow, its quite possible he’s as young as five or six years old. I guess it surprises me that the Klingon’s are treating him like an adult already.  He has served no time in the military or any other facet of the Klingon culture except to be a child about his heritage.  So I applaud Worf for spearing his life but what are they going to do with him?  I realize he comes back later in the franchise, but I still wonder what the aftermath of this situation was.  Was he taken into foster care, like Worf and Kurn were?  Was he left to his own devices?  Given the attitudes I’m leaning towards the later, but we shall see when he returns.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Ronald D. Moore
  • Directed by Cliff Boyle (pt1) and David Carson (pt 2)
  • Ronald Reagan visited the set during the filming of part one.  He commented (According to memory Alpha) that Klingons reminded him of Congress.  Which, I can’t blame him. 
  • According to Piller, this was meant as a third season cliffhanger set, but they pushed it back for Best of Both Worlds.  I’m glad because it allowed them to develop the background of the episode and I think they were better off for it.
  • The two episodes were not written together, which is interesting as they flow quite well.  The second part wasn’t written till everyone came back from summer break.

Pros

  •  Well Written, well-acted
  • Characterization
  • Klingon Culture exposure
  • More of an exposure on how the quadrant works.

Cons:

  • There are some inconsistencies within the Klingon Government.  Gowron states that no woman could sit on the council, which is odd considering how generally equal the species seems to be in regard to genders.  But previously he had offered K’heylar a spot, and as we will see in the next film, there was once a female chancellor.  I’m going with Gowron has not see a woman sit on the council in his lifetime more then it’s an actual rule.
  • I can’t imagine why a species that makes sure to have extra armor around their spine would build armor that leaves the chest uncovered. But perhaps I am miss reading the Duras sisters as having armor on. Or perhaps it’s a Klingon way of saying I’m so good at my job I can bear my heart and you couldn’t get to it.

Screencap via CygnusX1.net

The Rewatch 166: Night Terrors

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 4.17 Night Terors (03/18/1991)
Rating:  2.5/5
Redshirt Status: 0/1/34

Notable Guest Stars:
John Vickery (Andrus Hagan) – Vickery was a reoccuring actor on the series, and will appear in several episodes of DS9. He also got to originate the role of Scar in The Lion King musical.

Review:

TRIGGER/CONTENT WARNING:  This episode contains suicidal behavior.

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The Rewatch 157: Reunion

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 4.07 Reunion (11/05/1990)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 0/0/33

Notable Guest Stars:

Suzie Plakson (K’Ehleyr) – Plakson has appeared before on TNG as a vulcan medical officer and once before as K’Ehleyr. She’ll return as Lady Q for Voyager.
Robert O’Reilly (Gowron)- 
He is an award winning director of theatre and will appear as Gowron for several years on TNG, DS9 and Star Trek: Klingon video game.
Patrick Masset (Duras)-
He is better known for his writing and production credits.  He did appear in the series Friday Night Lights, which he wrote and produced as well. More recently he produced The Black List.
Charles Cooper (K’mpec) –
Cooper returns as K’mpec for his second appearance but he also appeared in The Final Frontier as General Korrd.
Jon Paul Steuer (Alexander) –
The actor playing Alexander would be changed over the years, but Steuer got to create the role.  He was also known for his roles on Grace Under Fire and Little Giants.  However, he unfortunately died in 2018 at 33.
Basil Wallace(Klingon Guard) –
He gets a special mention for being in West Wing, though I honestly don’t recall his character. 

Review:

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The Rewatch 142: Sins of the Father

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 3.17 Sins of the Father (03-19-1990)
Rating: 5/5
Redshirt Status: 0/.5/22

Notable Guest Stars:

Charles Cooper – K’mpec, Cooper previously acted on Star Trek as Klingon General Kord. They got to reuse some of the costume for this episode. He will return for another episode as K’mpec
Tony Todd – Kurn.
Todd would return as Kurn for a couple episodes including on DS9, but he will also appear as an Adult Jake Sisko, and an Hirogen. He also did various voices for Star Trek video games. He also appeared in 1994’s The Crow
Patrick Massett –
Duras. He will appear once more as Duras. He is also a script writer, having co-written the script for the 2001 version of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.

Review:

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The Rewatch 130: The Bonding

Series: Star Trek:TNG
Episode: 3.05 The Bonding (10-22-1989)
Rating:  5/5
Redshirt Status: 1/1/22.5

Notable Guest Stars:

Gaberiel Damon – Jeremy Aster.  He’s no longer working as an actor, but one of his more famous roles is the voice of Little Foot in the original Land Before Time film.
Susan Powell-
Marla Aster.  She appeared on TV shows such as Emergency!, The Six million Dollar Man, and Quincy M.E. It was actually harder then normal to find out information about her, as she shares the name with a victim in a famous missing person case.

Review:

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The Rewatch 123: The Emissary

Series: Star Trek:TNG
Episode: 2.20 The Emissary (6-19-1989)
Rating: 5/5
Redshirt Status: 0/18.5/21.5

Notable Guest Stars:
Suzie Plakson – K’Ehlyr. She also has appeared as a Vulcan doctor, and later as Mrs. Q.
Lance Legault –
K’Temoc
Georgann Johnson –
Admiral Gromek
Anne Elizabeth Ramsay –
Clancy. She is known for her role on Mad about You
Diedrich Bader –
Tactical Crewman. I know him as Jethro Bodine in the film version of the Beverly Hillbillies.

Review:

This episode is an important episode for Worf’s storyline, as well as a major Klingon episode. The episode starts with a poker game, but the main plot begins when the Enterprise is sent on a special mission and an emissary is sent – via a probe – to tellthem the particulars.

K’Ehlyr is a character I wish we had seen more of. She’s a half human Klingon and seems to work as a federation ambassador to the Klingon Empire. She is sent to help the Enterprise to greet a Klingon ship that has been in cyrogentic sleep since before the treaty between the Empire and the Federation and would therefore want to attack Federation colonies along their route.

This almost plays second fiddle to the secondary plot of K’Ehlyr and Worf’s romance. It develops the traditions of the Klingons involving marriage. Klinons seem to be romantics, where lust, love and marriage are all intertwined. Worf is very particular about this, though he seems to loosen on the matter later seasons (evidenced by how he handles his relationships with Deanna and Jadzia.)

Back to the main plot, this episode ties back into the Kirk era. This episode takes place about 80 years after the events of The Final Frontier so this mission must have been sent out around the same time. So imagine the Klingons from that point in time coming across the Federation of Worf and Co. Its going to be a long process helping them adapt.

On a bright now, K’Ehylr will return in a later season, but not for a while. I wish we could have seen more of her. Seeing her interact with B’Elanna would also have been interesting. They are both hybrids, though the halfs are switched.

This episode was well written. It may have had two plots, as is common in TV shows, but it was balanced so you don’t feel like one story outweighed the other. Each part has a satisfying conclusion to the story at hand.

As I’m scheduling this to post, I realized it is kind of amusing that an episode dealing with Worf and his first love ends up posting on Valentine’s Day.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Thomas Calder
  • Directed by Cliff Bole
  • This is the second Dixon novel episode.
  • This the first of two episodes involving K’Ehylr and both are important to Worf’s storyarc as a character.

Pros:

  • K’Ehylr
  • Klingon Culture explored.
  • Worf backstory
  • Seeing Picard deal with his crew on different things.

Cons:
Nothing really stands out in this episode. 

Screencap via CygnusX1.net

The Rewatch 121: The Final Frontier

Series: Star Trek TOS era Films
Episode: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier(6-9-89)
Rating:  3/5
Redshirt Status:

Notable Guest Stars:
Laurence Luckinbill – Sybok. He is mainly known for his role in this film, but he also appeared in several TV movies as minor characters, and narrated the 1985 mini series Space.
David Warner –
John Talbot,.  He most recently appeared on Screen as Admiral Boom in Mary Poppins Returns. He would also appear in the next film as Chancellor Gorkon.
Charles Cooper –
Korrd.  He appeared as Judge Robert Boucher in the 90s TV series The Practice. He appeared in Star Trek TNG as K’mpec.
Spice Williams-Crosby –
Vixis  She went on to have a stunt career, being the stunt double of Denise Crosby and Jeri Ryan on Star Trek.  She married into the family of Bing Crosby and both her husband and son are actors as well.
George Murdock –
“God”. He has appeared in Torchwood: Miracle Day as Preacher, and had a reoccurring role on Judging Amy. He would later appear in TNG as Admiral J.P. Hansen.
Harve  Bennet –
Starfleet Chief of Staff.  He was a long time writer and producer of Star Trek films.
Melanie Shatner
– Yeoman.  She is the daughter of William Shatner.  This is her third appearance on Star trek, her first being the TOS episode Miri.  She appeared as a jogger in The Voyage Home as well.

Review:

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