Sons of Mogh

By Michelle Erica Green
Posted at January 13, 2004 - 10:19 AM GMT

See Also: 'Sons of Mogh' Episode Guide

Kurn, an outcast among Klingons because of Worf's dishonor, asks his brother to perform a ritual execution. Bashir provides an alternative - surgery which will wipe out Kurn's memories, turning him into a member of a non-disgraced house.


I don't love Klingon episodes, but they are an integral part of Trek, so I suppose that I should get used to hearing words like "honor" ad nauseam. As Klingon episodes go, this one was one the better ones: real, meaty stuff which emphasizes just how human-centric the Federation is, and powerful Klingon character arcs as well. The most interesting and disturbing aspect of the show for me was the constant harping on how "human" Worf is. Since when are Federation values identical with human values?

Sisko had one of his strongest scenes as a Starfleet Captain yet weakest scenes as a Federation leader, shouting at Worf after the deadly Klingon ritual which Sisko made no effort to understand. I recognize the need for murder to be illegal in Starfleet, but where does that leave various alien cultures' beliefs in euthanasia, assisted suicide, even abortion? By the standards of his own culture, Worf was not committing murder, so what gives the Federation the right to judge the act as such?

There should have been some discussion of this, with Worf and the Bajoran, Trill, Ferengi, Vulcan, and various other Federation members arguing that he has the right to practice his culture's rituals without being judged by the human standards that dominate the Federation. Then we also could have had some discussion about the selfishness of Kurn's desire to die, given the fact that we never learn the fate of his wife and sons.

Instead we got redundant talk about duty and family, all the stuff we've heard before which the Klingons think they invented. Kurn's best line was "I have no life" -- I've felt that way about a LOT of Klingons! No wonder Worf prefers the Federation, in spite of everything. For the race obsessed with honor, there seem to be a large number of Klingons with little fear of dishonor -- skirting treaties, acting like bullies.

Poor Worf is back to where he started as Klingon raised on Earth -- disconnected from his people in every way -- but I'm starting to feel like there's not a single familiar Klingon anywhere, with the entire Duras family killed off and Alexander gone and Kurn turned into someone else. The most interesting Klingons these days are barely Klingon -- Worf on DS9 working for Starfeet, and B'Elanna Torres on Voyager, only half-Klingon in the first place and trying to dissociate herself even from that. How are we supposed to feel about the Federation's seemingly dual desire to destroy the Old Bad Klingons and assimilate the new softer ones?

I agree wholeheartedly with Kira that Worf needs a sense of humor; Dorn was moving at moments, but there's too much of the same scowling gloom all the time. Let the man show a little range. Sisko, too, throws a mean tantrum, but lately that's the only way he exerts his authority. There was a little too much babealiciousness for me -- Dax in those two tight outfits flirting with Worf, and Kira in command again for once, but wearing a catsuit and high heels -- what an image, both on the bridge of the Defiant and at the start of the episode, when she was lying sprawled and prone while O'Brien flew the ship. I was annoyed with Kira for letting the Klingons off the hook early on, especially after that little incident with Dukat last week -- did she tell HIM what the Klingons were up to? -- but I liked her blowing up the mines.

Odo fared much worse; first he left Worf alone in his quarters just after the latter attempted to kill someone, then he made that little speech about how he's a man who collects on his debts. Not when it's Kira who owes him, he's not...

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.