Thursday, August 10, 2017

Star Trek: The Next Generation - Episode 149 (Rightful Heir)

Note:  This review was originally posted to my Epinions account.

Worf has always tried to be a model Klingon. It wasn’t easy having to grow up among humans. When it becomes apparent that Worf needs time off, Captain Picard insists that he go on leave and visit Boreth, a Klingon outpost. This isn’t any outpost, though. This is an outpost on a planet that’s orbiting a star that holds significance to Klingons.

Kahless founded the Klingon Empire 1,500 years ago. Kahless pointed to this star and promised to return there. Worf is about ready to leave the outpost when one of the caretakers convinces him to stay. Shortly thereafter, Kahless appears.

Kahless’s position is roughly equivalent to that of Jesus in Christianity. Kahless’s appearance is something that reinforces Worf’s faith a great deal. At first, he’s skeptical. He wants to scan Kahless with a tricorder, which only reveals that he is a Klingon. (However, it does rule out some sort of artificial life form.) All other tests would seem to indicate that Kahless is who he claims to be.

The Enterprise is called to Boreth to escort Kahless to the Klingon home world. There, Gowron, leader of the high council, comes on board with a genetic sample of the original Kahless. It’s a perfect match. Gowron is scared, though. The Empire has strayed from what Kahless laid down 1,500 years ago. He could unite the Empire, but he could also divide it. Not all is as it seems.

You don’t really have to have seen any other episodes to appreciate this one, but it does help. Worf has always been sure of himself. However, events in Birthright led him to have doubts. Michael Dorn is great in this episode as Worf. He has a lot to work with, going from someone who doubts to someone who’s sure of what’s going on to someone who’s taking charge of the situation.

Gowron, played by Robert O’Reilly, is a great character. Again, there’s a lot of history in the series with that character that a casual viewer might not pick up on. This is the only actual appearance of Kahless in the series. However, there were certain episodes that led up to this and he will be mentioned in later episodes. (There was actually an episode of the original series with Kahless, but if I recall, a good deal of imagination went into that.)

I’d give the episode four stars. It’s an interesting story with a few plot twists. (I don’t want to ruin the ending for you.) It’s possible that someone could watch this episode without having seen the rest of the series, but this is near the end of the sixth season. I’d recommend this more for people who have seen more of the series.

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