Lynch's LATE Spoiler Review: "Sins of the Father"

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tly...@heights.cit.cornell.edu

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Mar 24, 1990, 9:07:17 PM3/24/90
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:-( If you haven't, be warned.

Honest. Duck.

Hmm. This was..interesting. I'm not yet sure how high it's scoring, but it
was certainly interesting.

(By the way, the reason this is appearing on Saturday, rather than Thursday, is
that the station showing the program on Sunday unexpectedly died last week.
It's better now, so hopefully "Allegiance" will come out all right.)

Anyway, here's a quick synopsis:

The Enterprise takes on board one Commander Kern, Klingon Defense Force, as the
return favor to Riker's visit aboard the Pagh. Upon arriving, he immediately
jumps on everyone for various inefficiencies and the like. Everyone, that is,
except for Worf. Riker makes a formal suggestion to Kern that he adapt slightly
to Federation ways, just as Riker adapted to Klingon ways aboard the Pagh. He
says "This is not a Klingon ship," to which Kern replies, "No, Commander, it is
not--if this were a Klingon ship, I would have killed you for offering your
suggestion."

Soon, however, we find out the real reason Kern came aboard the Enterprise. He
is Worf's younger brother. (Shades of Sybok, but this is better done--Worf
didn't know he existed either.) He was only 1 Turn old (yes, Turn--someone's
been reading Anne McCaffrey) when Worf and his family left for the Khitomer
outpost, and was left with a friend of the family. Very few people in the
Empire know his true lineage. He came on board to see how "Klingon" Worf is.
When he discovers Worf is satisfactory, he tells Worf, "The challenge is yours
to make." Their father, Mogh, has been accused of treachery in the destruction
of the outpost, and Worf must go before the High Council to clear his father's
name. If he challenges and fails, he will be condemned as a traitor and exe-
cuted.

Worf immediately decides to go, and asks Picard for leave. Picard refuses,
saying that if a respected officer is going to be tried for a capital crime,
his Captain must be at his side. Worf chooses Kern as his cha'dIch (essen-
tially his second) for the trial. When he arrives, Durris (the son of his
father's greatest rival) makes the formal accusation, and Worf makes the
challenge.

The leader of the Council, Kempeck, privately urges Worf not to continue the
challenge, saying no dishonor will come to him if he departs before the mokba,
the formal presentation of evidence. Worf refuses. Durris ambushes Kern in
a tunnel below the city, telling him to let Worf stand alone, and saying that
he knows Kern's true lineage. Kern refuses, and is severely wounded by an
assassin. He will recover, but cannot be cha'dIch. Worf asks Picard to serve--
he accepts.

Thanks partially to the Enterprise computers, and partially to Picard's zeal in
finding the one other survivor of the Khitomer massacre, Worf's nurse Kahlest
(who lives in the Old Quarter, a rather rough part of town), the truth is dis-
covered. It was Durris's father who betrayed the outpost and sent the defense
codes to the Romulan attackers, but his family is influential, and the truth
could bring the Council down. They chose to implicate Mogh, not expecting Worf
to challenge, OR that there was a second son of Mogh. The judgment stands, but
Worf, rather than allow himself and his brother to die, accepts Discommodation:
essentially admitting his father's guilt and allowing the Council to turn its
back on him (assumedly forever). He wishes his brother to remain alive, to one
day clear Mogh's name.

Okay. Now, some comments.

This was, in general, a very sound episode. Most of the scenes on Klinzhai
(which is, of course, not named such--more on that later) were very nicely
done, and the characterization of the Klingons, in general, was sound, as were
those of the regulars. Some examples:

--Kern's subtle insults to Worf to provoke him before revealing himself.
--Durris stripping Worf of his sash upon the formal accusation, saying "you
shall not wear the emblem of our people".
--Worf's dressing-down of Kern, insisting on certain rights: "Aboard this
ship, you are my first officer, and I shall obey you. But in the
Council Chambers, you are MY cha'dIch, and you do NOT insist."
--Picard accepting Worf's invitation to be cha'dIch--IN KLINGON. Wonderful to
hear those syllables fall from his lips.

I may think of others while typing--if so, I'll mention them later. :-)

I did have a few minor quibbles. Most notably, there was no real motivation
behind Durris's attack on Kern. I suspect Kern would not have done as well as
Picard in tracking down Kahlest. It clearly had something to do with the whole
conspiracy of the High Council, but something clearer would have been nice.

Also, I'm surprised that Worf allowed Picard and company to use so much infor-
mation from the Enterprise computers to get the evidence used in his favor. I
don't exactly know why, but I can't quite picture Worf seeing that as complete-
ly honorable. That may be a personal bias, though. (Heh--as if some of this
stuff I write ISN'T personal bias. :-) )

By the way, any lingering worries that perhaps the Khitomer outpost and
Norindra III (from the legendary "Yesterday's Enterprise") were perhaps one and
the same planet (a thought I'd managed to justify to myself) have now been
dispelled. Not only do all Federation peoples also refer to Khitomer as
Khitomer, but the nearest Federation starship to Khitomer during the attack was
the Intrepid-- NOT the Enterprise-C. Let the matter be put to rest.

Now, about the "Klinzhai" question. They don't name the planet Klinzhai, but
that's okay, because they don't name it AT ALL. Picard simply orders the ship
to "The First City of the Klingon Imperial Empire". A decent compromise
between admitting the novels exist (gasp!) and alienating a lot of John M.
Ford fans.

Perhaps it's because I'm six days late with this and still tired, but I really
don't have much more to say about the show. It was quite good, and I recommend
it, but it wasn't quite a 10. Let's see what happens.

Plot: 9. It was just an 8, but the further insistence of the High Council on
letting the charges stand even when they've been found out was unexpec-
ted enough to jump it up.
Plot Handling: 8.5. I wanted some motivation for the attack on Kern.
Characterization: 9.5. A couple of the Klingons were slightly too human, but
quite good apart from that.
Technical: 9. The analysis of the time-synchronization of the Intrepid sensor
logs with the Romulan logs was interesting, but there was a tad too
much stock footage.

TOTAL: 9. Nice work. I like it.

NEXT WEEK:

Picard is kidnapped and his place taken by a duplicate. Looks interesting, but
my main attention got caught by someone who appears to be of the race of Capt.
Rixx. (Remember him?)

Tim Lynch (Cornell's first Astronomy Major)
BITNET: H52Y@CRNLVAX5
INTERNET: H5...@VAX5.CIT.CORNELL.EDU
UUCP: ...!rochester!cornell!vax5.cit.cornell.edu!h52y
"Then you will have to fight--something Starfleet does not teach you!"
"You may test that assumption at your convenience."

Adam Porter

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Mar 24, 1990, 10:01:04 PM3/24/90
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>"Then you will have to fight--something Starfleet does not teach you!"
>"You may test that assumption at your convenience."

This comeback by Picard is definitely my nomination for line of the
week. (Even though I find it tough to swallow Picard as a Kirkesque
brawler. He's a bit too thin to be believable as Worf's choice to
fight by his side, although certainly more interesting and imaginative
than Riker (logical choice) would have been.) I suppose Sean Connery
woulda turned down the part anyway...
--
Adam Porter (por...@caip.rutgers.edu) C:\> alp
"ARMY training, sir."
-Bill Murray

pixel,c108,,

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Mar 24, 1990, 10:50:54 PM3/24/90
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From article <Mar.24.22.01...@caip.rutgers.edu>, by por...@caip.rutgers.edu (Adam Porter):

>>"Then you will have to fight--something Starfleet does not teach you!"
>>"You may test that assumption at your convenience."
>
> This comeback by Picard is definitely my nomination for line of the
> week. (Even though I find it tough to swallow Picard as a Kirkesque
> brawler. He's a bit too thin to be believable as Worf's choice to
> fight by his side, although certainly more interesting and imaginative
> than Riker (logical choice) would have been.) I suppose Sean Connery
> woulda turned down the part anyway...

Although his acting there was simply incredible.

> Adam Porter (por...@caip.rutgers.edu) C:\> alp

----
Pixel rick cooley, sablelover cooleyra@clutx. clarkson.edu | bitnet
"Nothing can stop him. Not even common sense." --Mark Komarinski
"Yeah..arrgh." --Steven Walsh. (corrected by his roommate)
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R. Bharat Rao

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Mar 25, 1990, 12:30:40 AM3/25/90
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Possible Spoliers ... hit "n"

Overall a very good episode - not quite as good as "Yesterday's
Enterprise" tho'.

The main problem I had was that they tried to pack way too much into a
single episode, with the result that each facet was partially
explored. For example, they could have gone into much more detail
about the interaction between the crew and a Klingon officer. Also
much of the evidence was produced ina contrived fashion - this is
necessary when you have to cram Picard's trip into the old city + a
fight, the denounment of the High Council, and Worf's decision into
the last 12-15 minutes. Therefore it was clearly not possible to
locate Worf's "nanny" in any other way.

A far better approach would have been to make this a two part episode,
with the first half ending with the attack on Worf's brother (why did
they attack him - how did they find out - why were his enemies silent
for so long?? - similar questions could be asked about different
facets of the show). The second part could have been devoted to a
excavation of the evidence (as I said it seemed to easy to gather the
evidence - also what sort of trial forces the defence to answer
instantly to charges that have just now been presented?), Picard's
trip, and Worf's final decision.

Now to the good points - the surprise twist when the Council decided
to go ahead and execute Worf anyway was a real shocker - I was
complacently waiting for the Council to reinstate Mogh's name. ALso
this episode had some excellent one liners, including "you are still
fat ..".


-Bharat
R.Bharat Rao, AI Group, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
E-Mail: bha...@gaea.cs.uiuc.edu
US Mail: Beckman Institute, 405 N Matthews, Urbana, IL61801

Mark Runyan

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Mar 26, 1990, 2:55:22 PM3/26/90
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>/ bha...@delta.uucp (R. Bharat Rao) / 9:30 pm Mar 24, 1990 /

>
>Possible Spoliers ... hit "n"

>A far better approach would have been to make this a two part episode,
>with the first half ending with the attack on Worf's brother (why did
>they attack him

They attacked the brother in an attempt to silence Worf and stop the
challenge.

>- how did they find out


It was a trap. Remember the brother being handed a note (possibly
referring to a meeting place and possibly promising information) in
the council chambers when he separated from Worf.
Finding out he was a brother probably took very little time once Worf
arrived for no apparent reason. A quick search of the computer for
Krem's (brother's name) birth record.

>- why were his enemies silent for so long?? ...

The Romulan craft was captured only recently according to Data.

Mark Runyan

Robert Knighton

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Mar 26, 1990, 11:15:37 AM3/26/90
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Spoilers....

Ya sure?


Very good episode. Should have been a two parter..., but well done.

I think that the most important part of the episode has yet to be addressed.
The way that the writers have been developing Worf's character has, at
times, been aggravating, but this episode really lets us see how Worf, as
a klingon raised in the federation and trained by starfleet, has learned
to control himself as very few other klingons have. He can growl with
the best of them, and exact just payback "YOU are the son of a traitor.
(WHACK!!)" My favorite line. But he can control himself admirably as well.
I mean, he didn't just cold cock Kern as some other insulted klingons are
wont to do, he tried to find out why Kern was baiting him. in short, he
acted much as a federation officer was expected to act.

Worf wanted nothing more than to clear the honor of his family. But he
didn't want his brother to die. Seeing that they were in a no win
situation, he did the only thing possible that allowed for the family name
to eventually be cleared: he accepted personal disgrace and permanent
exile so that his family name would live on in the empire through his
brother's family. Picard's line to Kern is very good, "You must not forget
what happens here today, You must not let your children forget."

All in all, I think that the events in this episode will have a lasting
effect on the way the klingon council does things in regards to the
federation. Worf, by his actions and reasoning in the chairman's
office, won great respect from the chairman. The chairman seemed, IMHO,
to realize that incorporation into the federation just might not ruin
the klingon people after all. In fact, I have the feeling that he will
be working for closer ties with the federation after this.

Rating : 9 (would be a 10 if done well in two parts)

--
Robert Knighton | Disclaimer: <insert standard one here>
knig...@oswego.oswego.edu | Beat Murphy at his own game:
rutgers!sunybcs!oswego!knighton | Speculate!! Then use Occam's razor.
| <Just don't let Murphy near the blade!> (:^)

R. Bharat Rao

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Mar 27, 1990, 5:49:48 PM3/27/90
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In article <147...@hpcuhc.HP.COM> run...@hpcuhc.HP.COM (Mark Runyan) writes:
>>/ bha...@delta.uucp (R. Bharat Rao) / 9:30 pm Mar 24, 1990 /
>>
>>Possible Spoliers ... hit "n"
>
>>- why were his enemies silent for so long?? ...
>
> The Romulan craft was captured only recently according to Data.
>
>Mark Runyan

Meaning - if Mogh's enemies hated him so much and knew of the
existance of Worf's brother, it is conceivable if not very likely that
some attempts would have been made to silence Krem BEFORE trying to
blame Mogh - unless as you have suggested (see below) that they found
out about Krem after the challenge - this is extremely unlikely, given
that the plot to kill Krem took place almost immediately after Worf's
challenge.

> Finding out he was a brother probably took very little time once Worf
> arrived for no apparent reason. A quick search of the computer for
> Krem's (brother's name) birth record.
>

To reiterate I think that it was a very good episode, but could have
been great if done as a two-parter.

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