Honor, Duty and Family. Three things that matter most to a Klingon Warrior. When all of these are threatened we see a turning point for Worf in the episode that originally aired on November 5, 1990. This is Reunion.
Stardate 44246.3 Reunion.
Picard is asked by the dying Klingon Chancellor to be his Arbiter of Succession and help decide who shall lead the Klingon Empire. Meanwhile, Worf learns that he has a family member he was previously unaware of.
The Enterprise is on a routine mission when a Klingon Vessel arrives and makes contact. On board is Ambassador K’Ehleyr who asks to speak with Picard about an urgent situation. She beams aboard with a child much to Worf’s surprise. Worf is ashamed of his recent dishonor in the eyes of the Klingon Empire and, when she reveals to Worf that the boy is his son, he is afraid the boy will bare Worf’s dishonor as well.
K’Ehleyr informs the senior staff that the Klingon Empire is on the verge of war and Chancellor K’mpec wants to speak with Captain Picard. K’mpec reveals that he has been poisoned and will not live long. Picard is the only man the Chancellor can trust to choose who should lead the Klingon Empire. There is no one on the council who can be trusted and he has determined Picard is the best man for the job. There are two challengers for the title and it is between Duras and Gowron. K’mpec asks that Picard determine which of the two has killed him.
Picard agrees and, after K’mpec dies the two combatants arrive to go through the ceremony. During the event, a bomb explodes interrupting the transition. Afterward, Worf and K’Ehleyr discuss their future and she agrees to take the Oath with Worf. Worf starts but his honor prevents him from continuing as Worf’s dishonor is too great a burden on him. She understands but asks that Worf at least take the boy under his wing.
After talking with K’Ehleyr, Picard learns that, as arbitrator, he can choose how he want to go about the process. He chooses to use an ancient ritual in which each candidate must provide a list of their honors and accomplishments in order to prove their worth. They are upset in the matter but they must follow suit. Gowron later approaches K’Ehleyr and offers her whatever she wants if she speeds up the process, implicating that he was the one that not only killed K’mpec and set off the bomb.
Picard uses Worf as a distraction to discuss the explosive with the two Klingons. Worf reveals that the device was of Romulan design and both Duras and Gowron are incensed. As this is occurring, K’Ehleyr is investigating Worf’s discommendation. Duras discovers this and goes to her quarters where he kills her for finding out the truth about Duras’ father. Worf finds K’Ehleyr and , with her last breath she tells him Duras killed her and asks him to take care of their son. Worf leaves Alexander with the Doctor and then goes for his Bat’leth to take revenge on Duras for the death of his beloved.
Worf leaves the ship and fights with Duras, claiming the right of Vengeance against his foe. During the fight he bests his enemy and, just as Riker and Data arrive to stop him, Worf kills Duras with his Bat’leth.
Although the Klingon Empire considers the matter closed, Picard is upset that Worf took the matter into his own hands. He informs Worf that there will be a mark on his record for the event and asks Worf to consider petitioning for his honor.
Worf talks with Alexander, and explains that Worf’s parents will watch over his son. Although Alexander wants to stay with his father, he feels that he can not properly care for him aboard the Enterprise. In the end, he accepts the boy as his own.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
This is an excellent story which not only gives additional cultural background to the Klingons but also gives Worf and Picard some fantastic character development.
This is ultimately a story about Worf and his place in the universe. Finally having the one thing he desires, K’Ehleyr’s love and devotion, he finds himself unable to let her accept him as he no longer has his honor in the eyes of his people. Although she doesn’t care about that, he feels a deep connection to his lineage and it gets in his way every time. Even if he is not living in the Empire, he still is a Klingon at heart and it is a huge part of his life.
After K’Ehleyr’s death, Worf must make another decision. Does he reject or accept his orphaned son? The moment at the end when he informs Alexander that he is, indeed, the boy’s father is a turning point for Worf and one that would follow him through his career. Although he sends Alexander to live with the Rozhenko’s, this will not be the last we see of the Son of Worf.
For Picard, the fact that the leader of the Klingon Empire chooses him to be his Arbitrator is no minor thing. This is the recognition from an entire people of Picard’s own honor and stature. This reputation is also something that will continue to follow Picard throughout his career in Starfleet and will lead to more adventures in the Klingon Empire. It also firmly establishes him as a legendary Captain in the Star Trek universe having been able to do something that not even Captain Kirk could have done. Picard was able to help begin the path to peace within the Klingon Empire.
I was very disappointed that we didn’t get to know K’Ehleyr more. She was one of my favorite guest stars and I would have like to have had this story play out longer so that Worf and her could have had more time. In many ways if felt a little rushed but in the end it worked well.
While many people hate Alexander, I have always enjoyed seeing Worf as a father in addition to his warrior persona. This child adds some much needed depth to the character who is, until this point, basically the one who grunts and growls. Michael Dorn really dominates the episodes where he gets a chance to develop his character further and we will see that growth through this series and Deep Space Nine as well.
I had an opportunity to chat with Mr. Dorn many years ago and he is one of the most genuine and down to earth actors I have met. You really get a sense of pride from him when he speaks of Worf and it almost seems, at times, that they are really one in the same. Both come across as strong, honorable and admirable men who care about their friends and family.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
We get a chance to see a brand new Klingon Ship, the Vor’cha attack Cruiser. I remember building a model of one as a kid and loved the design of the ship…although the color really doesn’t strike much fear does it?
Yet another episode Directed by Riker himself, Jonathan Frakes. This man can Direct, that is for sure! And he still does in fact, having directed a recent episode of Star Trek Discovery!
This is the first time we meet Worf’s son, Alexander Rozhenko. He is also the first known quarter-Klingon as his mother K’Ehleyr is only half Klingon.
This episode also marks the first appearance of the Klingon Bat’leth, a weapon that will go down in history as THE warriors blade. This weapon eventually develops quite the history over time.
This is the first time we meet Gowron, one of my personal favorite Klingons and a character we will see again…many more times.
The episode also marks the first appearance of Crewman Jae who will appear in a total of 65 episodes in addition to several of the films. Keep an eye out for her, it’s a pretty cool bit of continuity.
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: Future Imperfect
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Late To The Game 11/24/2019 (Originally published 7/4/2018)
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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