Welcome Season Five of Star Trek the Next Generation. It has been a crazy long journey and today’s article marks the 100th episode of STNG and the 100th entry of the Retro TV Review series! Today’s episode is the continuation of the Season Four Finale and certainly makes some fun updates to the Star Trek Universe.
So now, the episode that originally aired on September 23, 1991, this is Redemption II.
And now the conclusion…
Stardate 45020.4 Redemption II
The Klingon Civil War is in full effect and Worf is serving aboard his brother’s ship, the Hegh’ta. As the Klingon Empire is in flames, Picard attempts to expose the Duras family and their alliance with the Romulans, however there is a new player he is not aware of.
There is a lot going on in this episode so I will break it up as best I can.
Story A: The Klingon Civil War
Worf finds himself learning what it is to be Klingon as his brother and his crew celebrate during their repair time in between skirmishes. The Duras sisters notice Worf not fitting in with the other Klingons and begin to hatch a plan to pull him away from his brother. They soon talk with Sela and the Romulans about the blockade led by Picard on the Federation border.
The Romulans soon discover that the Federation has deployed a tachyon field that will prevent the Romulan ships from entering Klingon Space. Sela decides to contact Picard and the Enterprise.
After a fight in the bar with other Klingons, Worf awakes to find B’Etor attempting to seduce him. Lursa and B’Etor propose that Worf and B’Etor join in union in order to strengthen Duras’ claim. He declines and is taken captive by their Romulan conspirators.
Soon the Romulans abandon House Duras and they are facing defeat. Worf fights for his life as the Duras Sisters abandon him and the Son of Duras, Toral. Kurn arrives in time to save his brother and they capture Toral in the process. Gowron later gives Worf a chance to claim a right of vengeance against Toral by allowing Worf the chance to kill the son of Duras. Worf declines siting that while it may be the Klingon Way, it is not his way.
Story B: The Federation Blockade
Talking with Starfleet Admiralty, Picard argues that the Federation should assist in preventing the Romulans from helping the Duras family in the Klingon Civil War. He has a plan to form a blockade that will prevent the flow of supplies to House Duras which could turn the tide of war for Gowron.
Picard reassigns his crew to Command various ships in the new blockade. He assigns Riker and LaForge to the Excalibur and then, after discussion, Data to the USS Sutherland. With their blockade being prepared, Picard is ready to make to help where he can.
The Blockade begins and The Enterprise is soon greeted by Sela, who identifies herself as Tasha Yar’s daughter. Troi and Crusher do not believe this is possible as Tasha would have been a child when Sela was born. Guinan talks with Picard about the events on the Enterprise C, she explains that Tasha was aboard the ship due to an unexplained event in which Picard sent Tasha to the past. Picard is dumbfounded and refuses to accept the fact that he may be responsible for the very civil war he is trying to end.
Picard arranges a meeting with Sela to discuss the Romulan’s presence on the Neutral Zone. He also wants to learn of her past and soon discovers how Sela is who she claims to be. Tasha was captured when the Enterprise C had fallen and she became the consort of a Romulan General. Tasha tried to escape with her daughter Sela and was killed when Sela cried out in terror. Tasha was executed and, at that moment, Sela gave up her humanity. Picard informs her that this will have no bearing on his future actions.
Picard contacts Gowron and informs him of the Romulan force they have stalled. It is there that Picard learns that Worf has been captured.
Soon the Romulans think they have a way to get through Picard’s net and, when Picard sets a trap, they ignore the opportunity. They believe they have a way to disrupt the tachyon field and begin to attack where Data’s ship is stationed. Data devises a plan to expose the Romulans and causes the enemy ships to retreat.
The Klingon Civil War is diverted and Worf returns to the Enterprise with Picard accepting his request to return to duty.
Story C: Data’s Command.
When Data reports to the Sutherland, he receive pushback from the ships first officer. Commander Hobson tells Data that he doesn’t believe Data is suited for Command and requests a reassignment. Data denies him his request and they continue their work repairing the ship.
Hobson, ignoring Data’s command, takes command of the ship despite the androids presence. Dodson doesn’t see a use of this Captain and it is becoming a point of contention.
When the fleet is ordered to a new location, Data devises a plan to find the Romulan fleet. Dobson challenges his actions and Data informs Dobson that he has a plan. Soon Data is able to locate the Romulans and transmits his data to the fleet. Dobson soon learns not to argue with his new Android Captain.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
Wrapping up a major part of Worf’s story but also setting the stage for things to come, this opening episode is a terrific opening to the fifth season. While we will not see the end to many of these threads until much later, this episode set up some incredible long-term story arcs. By the end of this episode, Worf has his honor back, his rightful place in the Klingon Empire and the respect of its leadership. That is quite a series of accomplishments. Let’s just hope he can hold onto all of that.
In many ways this second half was more about Picard and his way of balancing his duty with his desire to assist in something that will affect them all more than what the Federation wants to believe. He is also dealing with the fact that he may have inadvertently changed the timeline by sending Tasha Yar back to the past in order to avoid her having yet another senseless death. While the changes were subtle on the Federation side of things, it seems that he may have been responsible for much of the Romulan’s renewed interest in destabilizing the Federation/Klingon alliance. While this aspect is not fully explored, it is still a cool subplot that makes you think a bit.
I imagine the Department of Temporal Investigations had a field day cleaning up this mess. Now before you say the DTI didn’t exist yet….just remember, it’s all about time.
Now as for the rest of the season, we will have a few changes to deal with. Not big ones but a few.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
We learn that Data has been in Starfleet for 26 years.
Data gets his first command aboard the USS Sutherland, although his first officer Dobson is rather reluctant to accept it.
We get a chance to see Miles O’Brien at tactical, a position he held while on the USS Rutledge prior to his post on the Enterprise.
Data also gets a chance to stretch his command legs a bit and, while it wouldn’t be easy being under an android captain, he does an admirable job at his temporary post.
This is not the last we see of Sela, nor the last we see of the House of Duras. Trust me, those thorns stick around a bit.
Thanks for reading the Retro TV Review, I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you, one episode at a time every Monday, Wednesday and Friday! Next Review: Darmok
For more retro TV goodness check out the rest of the Retro TV Reviews here.
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Late To The Game 8/20/18
Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available. Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.
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