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The Trek Nation - The Sword of Kahless

The Sword of Kahless

By Michelle Erica Green
Posted at January 13, 2004 - 10:13 AM GMT

See Also: 'The Sword of Kahless' Episode Guide

Kor convinces Worf and Dax to accompany him on a search for the mythical weapon of the great Klingon leader, which he believes can unite the Empire. Instead, it almost tears apart the three of them.

Analysis:

I'm very glad that I started giving seperate Trek and DS9 ratings, because while I can't figure out where the show I loved has gone, I've been pleased to see several times this season that TOS is back. This episode did two things brilliantly: it mentioned Classic Trek and TNG predecessor episodes incessantly, and it didn't have a distracting subplot. As DS9, it had almost nothing to recommend it, but once I accepted that, I enjoyed it utterly.

I love hearing Kirk's name come out of current mouths -- loved it when the Intendant said it in "Crossover," loved it when Riker did it in "Generations," loved hearing Worf say it here even if he had the details wrong. And although Klingons frequently bore me, their history has depth and consistency -- more so than a lot of individual characters. Like "Way of the Warrior" this is terrific Klingon history unfolding: epic about honor and family and more honor. That's what Klingons are all about, and -- as this episode so aptly reminded us -- it's been that way since Kirk had to deal with Kang, Koloth, and Kor. So maybe they've gotten more patriarchal and less humorous than they used to be; they've also gotten a richer, more complex heritage.

If figures they'd have a Sword of Kahless (though why in khest it wasn't called the Bat'leth of Kahless is beyond me), and it figures that the aforementioned Sword would cause more trouble than it's worth, and it figures that that little Duras twerp would how up to muck with it...and it figures that Worf, having declined to kill the brat once, didn't let a second opportunity go by. Predictable, but perfectly executed.

I wish they'd give Worf a sense of humor and let Michael Dorn have a little fun. It's hard not to like Kor better than Worf, but then it was hard not to root for Kor a little against Kirk, too, since both noble guys were playing straight man to a slightly sadistic Klingon. I'm very glad they didn't kill Kor off; I hope he comes back with another cockamamie scheme that proves effective in, say, two seasons (they'll undoubtedly bring him back earlier as rating suggest, but you can't win them all).Fine use of Trek history; like I always say, if you're going to recycle, recycle the good stuff.

But as DS9, this episode was just plain dreadful. I'm glad Sisko is an all-purpose risker of small craft for selfish crew purposes (Janeway's worse, after all), and I'm glad they had the sense not to muck up this episode with gratuitous appearances by the regulars except in the opening scene. I wish the writers had remembered that Dax is a SCIENTIST -- listening to Worf tell HER how to modulate the field harmonics, or whatever the hell she did to bring down the force field, was downright embarrassing -- but I rooted for her when she shot the men!

And I like the scene where Worf told Jadzia his history (surely Curzon already know all about his family). This is the only connection Worf has to a DS9 regular that I find interesting and productive for both characters. Again I must offer kudos to Terry Farrell, who has really been "on" all season. Maybe Dax just looks good in respect to the rest of the DS9 regulars, who've been reduced to caricatures of their former selves.

Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.


Michelle Erica Green reviews 'Enterprise' episodes for the Trek Nation, for which she is also a news writer. An archive of her work can be found at The Little Review.