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The Trek Nation - Prophecy

Prophecy

By Michelle Erica Green
Posted at January 13, 2004 - 11:21 PM GMT

See Also: 'Prophecy' Episode Guide

When a Klingon ship decloaks and fires at Voyager, Janeway is shocked to be labeled a sworn enemy of the Empire by Klingons who left the Alpha Quadrant before the 80-year old peace treaty. Their captain agrees to come on board and meet Voyager's Klingon crewmember. When Captain Kohlar meets Lieutenant Torres and discovers that she is with child, he promises to stop fighting even before reading the Khitomer Accords. On his own ship, Kohlar cites prophecies about two warring houses making peace, and a messiah who will be known "before I know the world." Torres' child, he insists, is their savior.

Voyager's crew discovers that the Klingons' warp core has breached. They beam all 204 passengers aboard as the ship explodes. Neelix establishes plans for Voyager crewmembers to share quarters, moving himself in with a reluctant Tuvok. When Janeway realizes the Klingons self-destructed their vessel and demands to know why, Kohlar says they have a sacred duty to be on Voyager, for they believe Torres' unborn child is the Kuvah'Magh -- the promised leader who will help them forge a new empire. Paris says he wants his daughter to be special, but never dreamed she'd be a Klingon messiah.

After some drinking songs and fights over gagh, Kohlar leads a hunger strike to get Torres to meet with his council of elders. He wants his people to believe that her child is the Kuvah'Magh because after traveling 30,000 light years, they have found nothing but hardship. He believes she represents an end to their journey and is willing to interpret their scripture to prove it, even if Torres isn't sure she fits the prophecies. She is, after all, an offworlder like the scrolls predict, and she defeated 10,000 warriors when she disabled the Borg Queen's ship. Kohlar reminds her of prayers she learned in childhood to honor the Klingon dead and convinces her to impress his warriors with tales of her battles against the Hirogen.

Skeptic T'Greth suspects Torres is being led by Kohlar, and asks whether she is his puppet in the bedchamber too. When Paris objects, T'Greth challenges him to a death match. Janeway insists they not fight with lethal weapons. Paris holds his own until T'Greth suddenly collapses. The Klingons admit that they carry a disease, which the Doctor identifies as a retrovirus that lies dormant until it kills the host. Only Klingons can catch it -- including both Torres and her unborn baby.

When T'Greth awakens, Torres snarls that he has infected both herself and her child. This contradicts the prophecy that the Kuvah'Magh will be stronger than sickness, so T'Greth and his allies scheme to sieze Voyager and usurp Kohlar. One of the rebels learns from Kim how to use the transporter. When Seven finds a suitable planet for resettling the Klingons, T'Greth volunteers for an away mission, then knocks out Chakotay and starts beaming Voyager's crew down to the planet instead. Tuvok protects the bridge from transport with a force field, but the rebels beam themselves there and start shooting. Janeway and Paris defend their turf against the Klingons and start beaming their crew back aboard.

T'Greth comes to consciousness in sickbay, cured. Kohlar says the Kuvah'Magh has healed them all; the Doctor has used the fetus' hybrid stem cells to synthesize an antidote to the disease. The Klingons prepare to leave, though not before Tuvok's quarters get destroyed by Neelix's lovemaking with a Klingon woman he lured away from Kim. Kohlar gives Torres a bat'leth as a gift for her daughter, hoping the child will someday learn about the Klingons she saved. Paris finds all the coincidences in the prophecies a little suspicious, and wants to add "Kuvah'Magh" to the list of potential baby names.

Analysis:

Like so many Klingon episodes, "Prophecy" is pretty stupid but fairly enjoyable. Plus it has the benefit of being on a show that hasn't suffered from a surfeit of ridged warriors who spout off at the mouth about honor and try to kill each other every five minutes. Their cloak-equipped vessel holds up well against Voyager's weapons and inflicts some damage to Voyager's shields. Janeway's condescending announcement that the Klingon ship is no match for hers sounds pretty silly, especially since her own people teach the Klingons to use equipment that anyone with half a brain would know better than to give to a recent adversary.

It's a good thing Torres didn't successfully remove all the Klingon DNA from her daughter a few weeks back! I'm surprised the Doc can't just resequence her genes to protect her from the retrovirus, but what the heck. What the heck also about why the Klingons can't beam the bridge crew off the ship through the forcefield, but can beam themselves onto the bridge through the forcefield; if I think too much about details like that, I'll start wondering why that idiot Janeway doesn't order the transporters offline the moment Tuvok tells her there's phaser fire in the transporter room.

Let's stick to character issues, like Torres (have I mentioned how pleased I am that she has kept her own name?) The ridges of which she felt so ashamed two weeks ago have now been labeled not big enough. She has gone from feeling isolated to having more Klingons around than anyone knows what to do with; she asks Tom to remind her to be careful what she wishes for. Hey, Tom is no longer the only Voyager crewmember to have slept with a Klingon woman! There's a scene in which the Doc warns Harry that if such a dame is interested in him, his only choices are to mate or kill her; then he hands Harry a padd with permission to engage in sexual relations with an alien. It's played for laughs, but there's a nasty edge to it -- what if it were the captain being harrassed by one of those hulking warriors, would that be giggle material? Well, OK, it would be an improvement on Lord Burleigh and sort of akin to genocidal hunk Kashyk, but still.

So Torres, whom a few weeks ago wanted to quit being Klingon, has now discovered that she may be carrying the Chosen One. If only we all had such solutions to our feelings of oddness and rejection. At least B'Elanna has the good sense to resist Nostrakahless' prophecies, which Paris seems willing to accept so he can gloat about his daughter being special even before her birth. Paris is rather charming in this episode, and does what all good men are expected to do, namely: agree to fight to the death to prove their manhood! He has rationalized that this is so he can maintain credibility with the Klingons, but wouldn't it have been easier just to pretend that Chakotay was the baby's father, since Chakotay has experience fighting warriors? Ah, but Paris does get to restore the crew to the ship, just like in "Basics" -- a reminder that he is good for something.

Gee, I'm dissing again, and I really did enjoy this episode. Mostly I liked seeing Klingons whose faith is stronger than honor, with a captain whose loyalty to the needs of his crew surpasses his personal obsession with the quest on which he leads them. The one Klingon who spouts off about honor and Sto-Vo-Kor is the bad guy, the sort who says a real man wouldn't let a woman speak for him even if she is a starship captain. Kohlar -- whose voice sounds a lot like Captain Sisko's -- is an extremely honorable character, without having to challenge people to death matches or spout off about his House. I suppose there are fans who will argue he's not really a good Klingon as a result, but he seems quite in fitting with how I remember the pre-TNG Klingons, and it's rather refreshing.

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.