Sins of the Father:
Worf's younger brother makes a surprise visit to the Enterprise, and leads Worf to the Klingon homeworld, to defend the honor of his family name.
The episode that started it all...the Klingon civil war saga, the Duras family, Gowron and much more Klingon Shakespearean drama. The episode itself starts out rather slowly, Kurn is both annoyingly and amusingly a fish out of water, putting the crew through Klingon's rigid code while feeling out his older brother. The final reveal of just who he is is effective, with mixed conflict and argument. The political intrigue that follows often is less interesting to outside fans the Trekkers, but I enjoy it. Layers are revealed, other survivors come forth. Picard is drawn into the personal struggle, over and beyond his original official Starfleet efforts. There are assassination attempts galore, and then final a truth is revealed, only to be followed by one of the better scenes of surprise in Trek history...there is no easy way out, no one episode wrap-up. The challenge by Worf could never have succeeded. I was quite surprised back in 1990. The neat wrap up at the end in the face of certain execution may be the only weakness of the episode, but I suppose it fits the purposes of the series, and continues in the even better sequel episode "Reunion".
Excellent acting by all concerned. I love when the crew plays detective, as when they find Khalest and the errors in the time index system. Kampek comes off perfectly as a pawn to Klingon politics, but still retains enough honor to be respectable. Picard again commands the episode, he is noticed even surrounded by such loud and flamboyant Klingons.
The art direction won an award here...granted the design is good, but it's not shot particularly well. The episode is rather enclosed, even the Klingon sets are small. The old matte painting is a revelation in the HD format but doesn't add much to the scope.
Remastering: The HD transfer is clearer, brighter, but there is a bit too much grain. I know the logic behind leaving it there, but hopefully they will use some noise reduction for the season 1 discs. Aside from the obvious great picture, the HD bluray edition doesn't add much to the quality of the overall episode. The Klingon BoP and planet FX are quite an improvement. Back in the original airing, this episode lacked some sound FX, but I am now realizing they were added back in the DVDs, and probably expanded for the 7.1 surround mix.
Episode rating: ***** out of 5
Remastered rating: *****