Sunday, November 19, 2017

Star Trek: The Next Generation - Episode 173 (Firstborn)

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

Worf is a Klingon and proud of it. Klingons are a warrior people with a long, proud tradition. Being a Klingon parent, Worf wants his son to grow up with said Klingon traditions. Unfortunately, Alexander doesn’t want to grow up as a Klingon. Alexander spent the first few years of his life with his mother, K'Ehleyr, who was half human. (Alexander is 3/4 Klingon and 1/4 Human.) She didn’t particularly embrace Klingon traditions and values and passed this sentiment on to her son.

It hasn’t been easy for Worf to instill Klingon values in Alexander. It comes to a head in this episode when Worf wants to have a talk with Alexander about the first Klingon Right of Ascension. The First Right of Ascension is a coming-of-age ceremony where a Klingon dedicates himself to the ways of the warrior. Alexander has the right to refuse to undergo this, but if he doesn’t do it before his thirteenth birthday, he can never do it.

Alexander finally becomes excited when he and Worf visit a Klingon outpost that the Enterprise happens to be near. There’s a festival underway, which would be a good way for Alexander to see part of what it means to be Klingon. Alexander does get excited about his Klingon heritage and has a chance to meet other Klingons his own age. However, when Alexander and Worf are heading home, several Klingons attack them. Another Klingon comes to the rescue. He identifies himself as K’Mtar, who Worf recognizes.

K’Mtar is a trusted member of Worf’s house. (Here, house is used in the sense of noble family.) Worf’s brother, Kern, sent K’Mtar to protect Worf and Alexander. The word is that the Duras sisters are out to assassinate someone in Worf’s house. (The Duras sisters are members of a rival house.) The Enterprise eventually tracks them down. When presented with the evidence, one of the sisters notices something strange. Eventually, the truth comes out. For the sake of not ruining it, I won’t give it away. However, Worf and Alexander seem to come away understanding each other a little better.

The latter part of the final season of Star Trek: The Next Generation had a sort of lame-duck feel to it. The series got to end on its own terms, which meant that everyone knew that the end was coming. You can see it in a few other episodes. They all seem to be preparing for the final episode, which ties everything together.

Here, the acting was pretty good, as was the script and the sets. However, they weren’t great. When K'Ehleyr and worf were together, they served as great foils for each other. It took a while for Alexander to fill that role. In previous episodes, he always appeared a little out of place in the episode. Even in this episode, Alexander seemed a little awkward. The character was just about where he needed to be, but not quite. (Alexander appeared in a few episodes of Deep Space Nine, but was played by a different actor and had started to accept his role as a warrior.)

It’s a good episode, but not excellent. It’s somewhere between three and four episodes, not really average but not really above average. I’m more inclined to give it three stars.

IMDb page

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