Worf and Jadzia have to make some major decisions on the episode that originally aired on March 4,1998. This is Change of Heart.
Station Log Stardate 51597.2 Change of Heart
When a mission goes wrong Worf must choose between fulfilling his duties to a Starfleet officer or to Jadzia. As Worf is forced to make these difficult choices, O’Brien learns Tongo.
Story A: Mission Critical
Worf and O’Brien watch on as Jadzia plays Tongo against Quark and his Ferengi friends. Placing bets of who they think they will win, Worf is shocked when his wife looses to the bartender resulting in O’Brien winning a bottle of Scotch. That evening, even though they both lose, Worf and Jadzia enjoy find a consolation prize in each other.
The couple is awakened when Kira calls for them to participate in a mission that will take them into Dominion territory. They learn that they are being sent into the badlands together to rescue an operative. Boarding the Runabout Shenandoah, the two depart for the mission ahead.
On their journey to the Badlands they begin discussing their honeymoon with Jadzia expecting a fight when she asks for a lush vacation as opposed to a traditional Klingon experience. Jadzia is delighted when Worf seems amicable to the idea as he is willing to forgo his own comfort in support of hers.
Soon they arrive at their destination and, upon contacting their operative, they learn that he wants to defect immediately. Worf and Jadzia reluctantly agree to rescue the Cardassian defector and begin their mission into Dominion controlled space.
In the jungle, several days away from their target, the two head out into the dangerous jungle toward their target. With the tricorders of no use and only maps available to them, this promises to be a dangerous journey and soon come face to face with a Jem’Hadar patrol. Things go from bad to worse when Jadzia is struck by a blast from one of the Jem’Hadar weapons. It’s anti-coagulate nature means that Jadzia will bleed out if she remains untreated but she insists on continuing the mission. Before long it becomes apparent that she is only getting worse must be left behind for the Klingon to complete the mission.
Worf heads off on his own but soon realizes that he can not abandon his wife to die in the jungle alone. Turning back, the Klingon Warrior retrieves Jadzia and abandons their Cardassian contact to his own fate. Back on the station, although grateful, Sisko chastises Worf for abandoning his mission in favor of saving the life of Jadzia. Sisko informs Worf that this event will go into his service record as a black mark and will likely result in Worf never gaining a command position. He notes, however, that had Sisko faced the same situation, he would have made the same decision.
Jadzia pulls through and, while dissapointed in failing their mission, she is pleased that Worf came back for her.
Story B: Tongo Anyone?
Julian visits O’Brien to get the chief to join him in the holosuite, only to find O’Brien practicing Tongo. Julian soon finds himself in a game with Miles where he finds that the Chief is determined to become good enough to beat Quark at his own game. It is soon clear that he needs the practice but Miles gets an idea, maybe Julian, with his genetic enhancements, can beat Quark.
Arriving at the table, they are immediately rebuked but, after convincing the Ferengi’s to let them play, the game begins. Quark soon finds Julian to be more than a challenge than he expected and begins using Julian’s feelings for Jadzia against him. Falling for Quark’s distraction, Julian looses to the bartender.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
As a one off episode, it does not get much better than this. Change of Heart is a prime example of a perfectly balanced episode. While it does not have any major ramifications to the overarching story, it gives several of the characters some great character development without overplaying either the serious or the humorous stories involved.
Knowing what is to come, I have to admit, I teared up a bit at the end when Jadzia and Worf confess their love for one another. (Spoilers) When this was filmed, Terry Ferrell had already decided to leave the show and, on hindsight, this was a great way for the writers to make her departure even that much more impactful. Seeing Worf and Jadzia together and having Worf forgo his Klingon to complete his mission in favor of saving his love is a powerful message and one that really defines who Worf has become in the course of a few seasons. This is no longer the brash, angry Klingon security officer, this is a man who wants to be a better person for the one person in his life he loves the most.
On the flip side we find out the Julian is still very much in love with Jadzia and regrets not pursuing her more earnestly when she was single. In a way, even though his is using Julians’ feelings against him, Quark secretly cares for Jadzia as well. Once again, setting up a major emotional ending for a beloved character.
All in all, Change of Heart is a solid episode with wonderful character development and some serious foreshadowing that is used in only the best of ways. While this season may have a few duds, this episode is certainly not one of those.
Years ago I got a chance to chat with Michael Dorn (Worf) while at a comic convention. Don’t ask me how but I managed it but I was able to talk with him at length about his time on Star Trek (and even his time on I Am Weasel. Dorn was the voice of Weasel in case you didn’t know. Seriously check this out.) In that discussion I learned that, had Ferrell remained on the show, we would have seen many more episodes of them together on missions (despite Sisko’s insistence they never go on one together again) and that they would have further explored their relationship, even hinting that they may have ended up with a child together. While he would never clarify why she left, during our conversation he seemed sad that Terry had left the series but was supportive of her decision to leave.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- This mission is never mentioned again, so I guess the Cardassian Operative wasn’t that important afterall.
- Worf mentions his brother Nikolai, we met him on TNG, remember?
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Late To The Game 3/6/2022 (Originally published 1/10/2020)
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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