Rules of Engagement (***½)
I just had an epiphany. How did society go from the way it is now to the utopia presented in the TNG era? Was it a reaction to the horrors of WW3? Was it the result of limitless energy? Was it due to matter replication technology? No, it was none of those things. It's the result of the absence of lawyers
. Think about it, there are no lawyers in the 24th century, their role having apparently been replaced by Starfleet officers. The only races we see to have lawyers are the Cardassians and Klingons, both oppressive and militaristic societies. Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have cracked the secret message that Gene Roddenberry was trying to teach us.
So, what about this episode then? I found it reasonably enjoyable. It's a courtroom episode, and that's been done many times already, but it manages to keep things interesting with the unusual flashbacks where the characters speak to camera. It's not great or anything, the technical aspect of how the Klingons managed to pull the ruse off is questionable for a race that often seem incapable of tying their own shoelaces, and I don't think the the accidental destruction of a civilian ship would have quite the impact they imagine it would. But overall the main plot is okay.
As an instrument for examining Worf it can be quite interesting. His actions and motivations were questionable, his desire to be respected and feared by other Klingons is driving him to a dangerous place, and he only gets away with it because he was being set up. The weird thing is that if this had been a real accident and not a political manoeuvre by the Klingons then Worf could well have been stripped of his rank and extradited. DS9 sure does love flawed main characters, doesn't it?