Worf faces the sins of his past and must determine the path of the House of Mogh in the episode that originally aired on February 12,1996, this is Sons of Mogh. 

The Episode:

Station Log Stardate 49556.2 Sons of Mogh

After the return of Worf’s Brother Kurn, Worf is faced with a tough decision.  Meanwhile, Klingon ships begin to appear outside of Bajoran Space.

The Breakdown:

We open with Worf and Jadzia in battle, training  in one of the Holosuites.  Jadzia is a stanch defender of the Bat’leth over the Mek’leth and the two begin flirting with one another as they discuss the matter. They are interrupted when Worf is called to deal with an intoxicated Klingon who happens to be his brother Kurn.  Kurn surprises Worf when he requests that Worf perform the ritual of Mauk-to’Vor for him.

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In his quarters, Worf tends to his brother where he finds that Kurn is upset at the fall of the House of Mogh due to Worf’s remaining with the Federation.  Kurn informs his brother that all of their assets and lands had been taken and the Mogh name stricken from the Klingon people.  He wants his brother to give him back his honor by giving him a death via ritual suicide. The next morning Jadzia is concerned when Worf does not arrive for their exercise and soon discovers Worf performing the Mauk-to’Vor for his brother.  She and Odo burst into his quarters just after Worf plunges the ritual dagger into Kurn’s chest.  Jadzia beams Kurn to the infirmary and Worf is called to discuss the matter with Captain Sisko who is not happy with the situation at all.

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With Kurn clearly upset at being saved, Jadzia recommends recruiting Kurn into Odo’s security team and Odo agrees to give him a try. The next day, Kurn begins his work as part of Station Security where he starts off admirably.  Odo pays Kurn a complement and Kurn informs Worf that while he hates his uniform he has accepted his place as a Bajoran Security officer and will not disgrace Worf in his duty.  Unfortunately Kurn has a death-wish and soon causes himself to get hurt in the line of duty resulting in his expulsion from the security detail.

As Worf deals with Kurn,  O’Brien and Kira begin their return home after their tour of Bajoran colonies along the Cardassian border.  They soon detect an explosion near the Bajoran border indicating something cloaked has detonated.  Approaching, they are confronted by a Klingon ship that instructs them to return to Bajoran space or face destruction. Returning to the station, they are asked by Sisko to investigate further.  Soon, after returning to the border, Kira and the crew witness a Klingon ship explode for no apparent reason but refuses assistance.  Soon they receive a call requesting medical assistance and the ship allows them to tow them to DS9. Upon arrival, Bashir makes his report about the Klingon crew wounds and nothing seems out of the ordinary.  As they discuss the matter, Worf realizes that the Klingon ship was hit by a mine.  It appears that the Klingons have been secretly mining the nearby star systems effectively cutting DS9 and Bajor off from the rest of the galaxy.

Worf and Kurn  go under cover and infiltrate the Klingon vessel in order to discover what the Empire has been up to.  They are soon caught in the act and Kurn manages to save his brothers life when one of the officers attack.  Worf and Kurn return to the station and provide the information they gained to Sisko and team.  Although their mission was successful Worf finds that he has lost his Klingon instinct and should have been able to save himself.  He realizes that he has become more Human than Klingon and that he will never have a place among the Klingon Empire again.  He also realizes that Kurn has no place to go while Worf has the Federation to rely on. Dax suggests a way to kill Kurn, without taking his life.

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Kira, commanding the Defiant, informs the Klingon fleet that she intends to destroy the mine field and that they need to depart before they are destroyed.  As Kira begins detonating the mines, Klingon ships begin to head back to Klingon space.

Back on DS9, Worf finds his brother considering a dishonorable suicide.  Worf stops him and takes him to the infirmary where Julian begins to wipe his memory and alter Kurn in a way that will make him no longer the person he once was.  Worf contacts an old friend of their family who is willing to give Kurn a new identity.  Julian warns Worf that Kurn will never remember his past but Worf insists on the operation.

Kurn awakes, now called Rodek with Worf’s friend Noggra informing him of his new identity.  Rodek/Kurn walks past Worf and does not recognize his brother indicating that the operation was a success.   As Kurn leaves, Worf watches his last tie to the Klingon Empire depart the station.

Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:

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While it is a solid episode, I have some problems with the story on several fronts.  First off, the Worf from STNG would have never allowed his brother to have his mind erased.  Family was too important to the Worf and to do such an act, even to keep Kurn alive, goes against everything they have been through.  While Worf uses excuses like becoming too human as justification for his actions, this seems like a cop-out to just allow our favorite Klingon son to cut his ties with the Klingon Empire so that there would be no reason for him not to fight against them when they finally attack.  A more interesting story would have been Kurn fighting for the Empire and Worf fighting for the Federation and the two meeting in battle.  Sadly, the writers of the series chose a cheaper and less impactful way out and we never really find out what happens to Kurn in his new life as Rodek. I wonder if Worf ever told Alexander about his uncle…hmmm

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The other aspect that I was not thrilled about was how Sisko outright denied Worf the right to follow a Klingon Ritual even after it was established in the TNG Episode Ethics that such things are pretty acceptable but only if both parties involved agree.  While well within his rights as their commanding officer, this seemed a little rash and out of place.  Then again, it really shows the difference between Sisko and Picard, while Picard would have contemplated the moral implications of the situation allowing him to arrive at a middle ground, Sisko straight out said, Nope, not on my watch, and moved on to more pressing matters.  From a military perspective, Sisko has what it takes to keep this station in order.  You kinda have to respect that. Plus, Avery Brooks NAILED his speech about respecting diversity and his limitations in that respect.  This dude was on fire!

Now let’s talk about Tony Todd and just how incredible he is in this episode.  If you have been reading my blog, you know how much I love Tony Todd as an actor.  From his time as Candyman to his various roles in Star Trek, this guy is one of the best.  I was first fully aware of Todd through his work in horror but, as I grew older I found that he was just incredible in everything he was in.  I can think of no better casting for Kurn than Todd and, frankly, I think they shortchanged that character a bit.  To remove Worf’s last relative (outside of Alexander, who is hardly in his life anyhow) was such a mistake. As I said earlier, they could have used him in so many better ways.  Needless to say, Todd nailed his role in every way.

All in all, it is yet another solid and well produced episode that seems to take some liberties with the characters but manages to push the plot forward substantially.  Now that the Klingons have been caught planting mines, a blatant act of war, it is only a matter of time before THAT comes to a head.

Gleanings and Cool Bits:

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  • Worf owes Odo a debt for allowing Kurn to become part of Station Security.
  • This is the last time we see Kurn on the series but certainly not the last time we will see Tony Todd in a Star Trek role.
  • This marks the beginning of the relationship between Jadzia and Worf, one of the best romances the Star Trek Franchise has ever seen.  More on that as it develops.

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: Bar Association

If you would like to read more reviews I have a weekly series called Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday and for more retro TV goodness check out the rest of the Retro TV Reviews here.

As always, please feel free to comment below and share your experiences with these episodes as well. If you just happened by, tell me what you think! Don’t Forget To Follow me if you like the blog!

Late To The Game 9/9/2019

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Where do Klingons shop for towels, small home appliances, and weapons? 
 Bed Bat’leth and Beyond.

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.

Star Trek and all related marks, logos and characters are solely owned by CBS Studios Inc. This fan production is not endorsed by, sponsored by, nor affiliated with CBS, Paramount Pictures, or any other Star Trek franchise, and is a non-commercial fan-made production intended for recreational use.  No commercial exhibition or distribution is permitted. No alleged independent rights will be asserted against CBS or Paramount Pictures.”

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