You remember how Worf had a son right? You know, that kid he kept shunting off to his own parents on Earth when things got tough. Okay, that is important to remember in this one because he comes back. Originally airing on October 13, 1997. This is Sons and Daughters.
Station Log Stardate Undetermined: Sons and Daughters
Worf deals with the return of his son aboard the IKS Rotarran while Tora Ziyal returns to Terok Nor much to the delight of a certain Cardassian leader.
Story A: Sons
After being rescued from the uncharted planet, Sisko and crew find themselves aboard the IKS Rotarran on their way back to Starbase 375. As Dax gives her farewells to Worf and the crewmen lament their recent rations, Martok and Sisko make a bet on who will be the first to set foot on DS9. After their departure, Worf is shocked and dissapointed to see his son, Alexander, has joined the crew of the Rotarran. It is soon clear that there is no love lost between the two of them.
Martok soon informs Worf that they have orders to protect a convoy and expect to face the glory of battle. Martok asks Worf why he has never mentioned his son before and soon learns that Worf and Alexander have never seen eye to eye. Worf asks to be allowed to handle his son on his own as to which Martok reluctantly agrees. Worf calls his son to his quarters where he learns that Alexander has joined to ‘serve the Empire’. It is clear that the young man has nothing but spite for his father and Worf realizes that this assignment will not be and easy one.
Joining the convoy, the Rotarran begins it’s mission and Alexander soon finds life with Klingons is not as easy as he thought it would be. It soon becomes clear that the other Klingons see this boy as nothing more than a pushover and soon a fight breaks out. Before long, it is abundantly clear that Alexander is no match for any of his fellow crewmen and it is only when Worf steps in to stop the fight that Alexander is spared. It is then that Worf realizes that his son is gravely outmatched and may not survive the battle ahead.
Later, Martok questions Worf’s actions in the mess hall. Martok makes it clear that it is Worf’s duty to teach the boy to survive and not to step in when he is in danger. Soon they are informed that a Jem’Hadar vessel is mounting an attack and they rush to the bridge. There, after what appears to be a false attack, it soon becomes clear that Alexander forgot to clear the battle simulator from his station, causing them to react to nothing resulting in Alexander being the butt of the bridge crews jokes. Worf realizes that Alexander has become nothing more than the ships fool.
Worf attempts to train his son only to find that the boy has learned nothing in the intervening years. Alexander is concerned that Worf will just send him away again and that his father will only be happy once Alexander has been killed. After Worf leaves, Martok encounters Alexander practicing in the armory. It is abundantly clear that the boy is not the warrior he thinks he is and Martok asks him why he is on board his ship. Martok informs Alexander that the boy will be transferred off the vessel at Worf’s request much to Alexanders dismay. In response, Alexander challenges his father to a fight telling him that if he wants him off his ship Worf will have to kill him. It soon becomes clear that Alexander has felt abandoned by Worf and this is his final attempt to get to know him. Suddenly the alert goes out and the ship is under attack.
During the battle, the ship receives damage and Alexander volunteers to seal the leak threatening the ship. After the battle, Worf finds his son trapped in a room after having accidentally locking himself in a storage room. Finding the situation humorous and that his son is safe, Worf pulls the boy aside and agrees to work with him on their relationship. That evening, Alexander is welcomed into the House of Martok in a ceremony between Alexander, Worf and Martok himself.
Story B: Daughters
On Terok Nor, Odo and Kira begin their plotting to begin the new Resistance. Soon Jake arrives asking to join them only to be pushed aside. Quark, however, offers the young Sisko a job as a waiter much to Jake’s dismay. Soon, at the docking ring, Kira meets with Gul Dukat where she is shocked to see that Ziyal has left Bajor to join them on the station. Despite Kira’s protests, the three plan to have dinner that evening to catch up.
That evening, Kira visits Ziyal and indicates that she has no interest to have dinner with her and Dukat. Kira is confused that Ziyal has returned to the station and learns that the young lady felt like an outcast on Bajor. After talking with her father, Ziyal has become convinced that her father wants the best for her. Ziyal asks Kira to join them that night as she has something special to share with them both. Kira reluctantly agrees to attend much to Ziyal’s delight.
That night Ziyal shows Dukat and Kira her artwork with news that she wants to use it to help bring the Cardassians and the Bajorans together. Kira finds herself in an odd position with Dukat showing true appreciating to Kira for her attention to his daughter.
After a meeting about unification between the Bajoran and Cardassian people, Kira receives a dress from Gul Dukat as a gift for a party that evening. Realizing what he is attempting, Kira returns the gift to Dukat, Dukat tries to convince Kira that they have a bond and tries to use their mutual love of his daughter as a ploy to get to her. Knowing he will not win over Kira with gifts he gives the dress to his daughter under the guise that it was originally for her. After the party, Ziyal approaches Kira to ask her not to force her to choose between Kira and her father. Kira knows that things will never be the same between her and Ziyal as long as Dukat is involved.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
Okay, lets go ahead and get this out of the way. Worf is a HORRIBLE father. From the moment he took responsibility for Alexander it was clear that this Nobel Warrior had no room in his life for a son and he did nothing to hide that fact. From the get go he did everything he could to push his son away and it seems that, in all of his attempts, he was finally successful.
When we last saw Alexander, he was still a child with Worf on board the Enterprise. In that episode we are introduced to K’Mtar who ends up being Alexander from the future there to train or kill himself due to his causing his own fathers death in the future. Since that episode, there has been a bit of a mystery as to what exactly happened to Worf’s son. In casual conversation we learn that the boy has been, once again, shunted off to his grandparents place on Earth (despite them making it clear they can’t handle raising another Klingon) and, when Worf joins DS9 it was odd that his son was not with him. Here is a station where the commander himself has his son on board and even O’Brien has a whole family there, yet Worf remains reluctant to even allow Alexander a visit.
This uncaring attitude toward his only child has some serious affect on the estranged Klingon boy which finally come to a head in this episode. In many ways Sons and Daughters is a direct reflection of Firstborn with Alexander attempting to be the warrior that he believes his father wants him to be only to show that he is not up for the role. Unfortunately we only get to see Alexander once more in the series proving definitively that Worf is Star Treks worst father. I guess he learned nothing from his time with Sisko. Sad really.
On the flip side, we are presented with an interesting relationship between Kira, Dukat and a young woman they both love despite their hatred for one another. While Ziyal is not Kira’s blood, Kira is the closest Ziyal has ever know to a mother figure. There is a certain bond between the two that has formed due to her mixed heritage and Kira’s desire to free the young woman from her connection with the vile Gul Dukat.
Interestingly, even though Dukat has made it clear he has no real interest in his own daughter, Ziyal is devoted to him in every way. She is desperate for his acceptance and appreciation making her the perfect tool in Dukat’s Tool Box. It is abundantly clear that Dukat has an interest in Kira and he will stop at nothing to find a way to ‘own’ her even if Kira has no interest in him. This includes using his own daughter to make it happen.
Ziyal is the perfect blend of Cardassian and Bajoran making her one of the most innocent and loving characters on the series and one that is painfully ignorant of the horrible deeds her father has committed. Whether this ignorance is from choice or is real is not made clear but there is no doubt that she is desperate for her fathers approval. In many ways her desperation is a stark contrast to that of Alexanders relationship with Worf. For Alexander, he had his father as a young and found that this man had no time for him making him the bitter young adult that he has become. In contrast, Ziyal never really know her father growing up so she is desperate to get to know him and ignores any and all signs that he actually has no interest in her. Ironically, Worf genuinely loves his son but has no idea how to be a father and fails at it miserably while Dukat feigns interest in his child for his own devices even though he really has no care for her. While I do claim that Worf is the worst father in Star Trek, the title may belong to Dukat himself. Especially after this story arc is concluded.
Overall, this is a great episode that manages to have the A and B stories reflect and balance one another showing different angles of the parenthood paradigm. While neither families are solid, we see the constant wish of the children to gain the acceptance of their fathers, no matter how much they know they will never be good enough.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- There is a bit of a mystery as to how Alexander grew up so fast in just five years. We never get a straight answer so we will chalk it up to a Klingon Growth spurt.
- We only see Alexander once more and never really find out what happens to him post DS9. Unless he appears in the Picard series at some point, I doubt we will ever know.
- The bet Martok and Sisko make is revisited in a later episode. It’s continuity like this that makes this show so damned good.
- Is it just me or does Jake’s story as a reporter for the Federation News Service seem a little tacked on. It is almost like the writers had a great idea and forgot where they were going with it once the story started filling in. Unfortunately there was no way to get Jake back and they were kinda stuck. Poor Jake, not even Odo and Kira will give him the time of day.
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Late To The Game 1/22/2022 (Originally published 12/11/2019)
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