This Star Trek: Picard article contains spoilers.
Perhaps today is a good day to die! More than 20 years since his last appearance as the Klingon warrior, Michael Dorn returns as Worf in the second episode of Star Trek: Picard season 3, “Disengage.” His big entrance in the episode is one of the first major twists in the new season of Picard, and sets up Worf’s role for the next several episodes, including his unlikely partnership with Raffi.
While “Disengage” actually ends by confirming that Jack Crusher (Ed Speleers) is in fact Jean-Luc’s biological son, the real twist here is that Worf is Raffi’s secret handler from Starfleet Intelligence. Just as Raffi’s cover is about to be blown in a Ferengi crime den, Worf charges in, slicing and dicing, just like the good old days. This is even more hardcore than anything we saw from the Klingon in The Next Generation or Deep Space Nine: Worf even chops off Ferengi dealer Sneed‘s head! It’s hard to find a Worf fight scene that’s more hardcore than what we see here.
And, to hear it from Michelle Hurd and Michael Dorn, this is only the beginning.
Ahead of the Picard season 3 premiere, Dorn confirmed to Den of Geek that many of the fights we’ll see this season were performed by both himself and Hurd.
“We’re both very athletic, so it wasn’t like they had to teach us how to do it,” Dorn says. “There are things that they’re not going to let us do, and the stunt doubles will do some of that. But you have to see our faces in these fights. So yeah, we’re doing a lot of those stunts ourselves.”
Hurd also highlights the contributions of Matt Mullins, the Picard fight coordinator, and Guy Fernandez, the stunt coordinator. “They both worked with us to highlight what we each do well,” she says. “So there’s a lot of work and thought but into making it look like we’re just effortlessly kicking ass.”
While Worf’s comeback may trigger a lot of ‘90s nostalgia for certain Trek fans, the return of this character is very much in the context of Picard. At the end of DS9, Worf went off to become an ambassador, though we’re also aware that at some point in book and comics canon, Worf became the Captain of the Enterprise-E. So what has Worf been doing in between the 2380s and 2402? The short answer is that we don’t know. Picard season 3 may fill in some of these gaps, but the series is very much about the present-tense of what Worf is doing now.
In this episode, he and Raffi are just beginning to unravel the bigger mystery of the season: Who stole the weapons from the Daystrom Station? Is the portal weapon a diversion, designed to take attention away from another, much bigger threat? In all of this, Worf and Raffi are about to become partners in crime-solving.
“On paper, I thought it was interesting,” Dorn says. “But in person, it became something none of us expected, just in terms of how much we clicked. What comes across on screen is that [Michelle and I] really clicked and we were joined at the hip from the very beginning.”
Hurd adds that her affection for Dorn is very genuine, even if Raffi and Worf don’t get along…at first. “It’s goofy to say, but we really like each other. And that’s gold when you’re creating content. We didn’t have to work on that. We didn’t have to search for this connection. We both trusted each other from the start.”
Star Trek: Picard season 3 is streaming now on Paramount+.