Revisiting Star Trek TNG: Redemption Pt.1

Star Trek: The Next Generation closes its fourth season with a high-stakes episode seeded across the previous runs...

This article comes from Den of Geek UK.

This review contains spoilers.

4.26 Redepemption Pt. 1

As the episode begins, Picard is taking his whole ship to Qo’noS so that he can perform a minor role as arbiter in the appointment of the Klingon Chancellor’s ascension. He uses this opportunity to meddle in Worf’s personal life, encouraging him to clear his family’s honour while they’re in the neighbourhood. You know, like he’s suggesting he visit his great aunt (he might also be doing that, to be fair.)

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Worf is clearly not enthusiastic about the idea, but before he can get too into it Gowron arrives asking for help preventing a Klingon Civil War. Yep, one of those again. It turns out Duras’ family are still powerful and want to challenge his new leadership. Picard says he’s going to stick to the law, like he always does except on the few occasions he feels morally obliged to help despite the law. You know, every three episodes or so.

Learning that Gowron needs help, Worf tries to convince him to restore his family’s honour and reveals the truth: that Duras’ father betrayed the Klingons at Khitomer, not Worf’s father. Gowron is pleased to learn the truth, but tells Worf to take it like a spaceman. He agrees. Then Guinan tells Worf he has to sort himself out, so he changes his mind. Worf requests a leave of absence which Picard grants, knowing that 90% of the Enterprise’s crew isn’t doing anything anyway.

Worf tells his brother they’re going to support Kurn, which he agrees to do because Klingons just do whatever the hell the last person they spoke to told them to do, I guess. Gowron tries to take his place as leader, but he’s interrupted by Toral, the illegitimate son of Duras, who has a claim to the Klingon throne (or whatever it is they sit on. Probably a live Targ or something). Picard has to decide whether this is acceptable, because arbiters gonna arbitrate.

Duras’ sisters, Lursa and B’Etor try to convince Picard to side with Toral, admitting that they’ve deliberately manoeuvred Picard into a difficult situation: if he chooses Toral, the Klingon council will be delivered to the enemy and Gowron, a Federation ally, will be killed. If he chooses Gowron, he’s setting up a civil war that could dissolve the alliance and put the Klingons in an alliance with the Romulans. Presumably his Starfleet bosses might be slightly interested in learning this is all going on, but he apparently opts not to discuss it with them and instead makes the choice on his own: he supports Gowron.

Duly, the Klingon leadership is split, with Worf and Kurn and a bunch of off-screen Squadron leaders siding with the newly-installed Gowron and literally everyone else with Duras. There’s a brief skirmish between Gowron and the Durases, but Picard declines Gowron’s request for help because he’s trying very hard to make sure the war isn’t any more his fault than it already is. He also orders Worf to stop dicking around and get back to work. Rather than do this, Worf finally stops doing what he’s told and resigns to go and work for Gowron. His family honour is restored!

As the episode ends, the various Durases speak to their Romulan collaborators. A woman steps out of the shadows to address them: she’s got a Romulan haircut and uniforms, but is otherwise identical to Tasha Yar. And on that mic drop, the episode is TO BE CONTINUED.

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TNG WTF: I think this is the first time the target practice arena appeared? If so, that thing is very confusing, not least because hand phasers just seem to fire their beams at whatever the hell you want them to regardless of how you’re actually holding it.

TNG LOL: It wasn’t intentionally funny, but I really laughed when Sela finally stepped out of the shadows for the express purpose of a dramatic reveal, having spent her previous appearances standing juuuuust in the right place so that you couldn’t see her face. Remember when the clichés still actually worked?

To Boldly Go: The Enterprise heads to the Klingon Homeworld so Picard can do some official business that basically conflicts with his position as a Starfleet captain. Well, that’s bold in a way, but it’s hardly the frontier.

Mistakes and Minutiae: Gowron says women can’t be on the Council, but we saw a female Chancellor in Star Trek VI after her father, Chancellor Gorkon, was killed. Guess they might have changed the rules since then.

Who’s That Face?: There are loads of people who’ve been in loads of things in this episode, but the thing that interested me most was learning that Tony Todd (Kurn) was the voice of The Fallen in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. He’s also the Candyman in three Candyman films, but I feel like I might have mentioned that before.

Time Until Meeting: 37:00. Picard, Riker, Worf and Gowron meet up to discuss the impending civil war, then Worf resigns. They made us wait, but it was a good one.

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Captain’s Log: What an episode. After last year’s season finale, The Best Of Both Worlds, you can sort of understand why they felt they had to go big with this one too, and it doesn’t disappoint. Everything that’s at stake feels incredibly important, and it helps that this storyline has been seeded across the seasons in various ways. I really believe that it’s not just Worf at stake, but the whole future of the Klingon-Federation alliance.

It helps that the plot piles on the twists, and has all the dramatic timing of a Mexican soap opera. It’s also a fantastic character piece for Worf, such that basically no-one else even gets a look in. And the cliffhanger of Worf resigning his commission and getting an honourable send-off from his crewmates was heart-warming stuff.

If I had to nitpick, I’d say that the explanation of Worf’s discommendation could’ve been more cleanly explained. I sort of remember what the problem was, but not quite, and I’ve got no idea why the Enterprise has any evidence that’ll help.

And I’m just trying to imagine how crazy that Sela reveal would’ve been back in its day. I imagine most people would’ve thought it was Tasha Yar somehow hiding as a Romulan? Hey, if you were there, let me know. At any rate, it has to have received a better resolution than the Best Of Both Worlds cliffhanger did…

Read James’ look-back at the previous episode, In Theory, here.