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Old October 21 2013, 04:03 PM   #1
Jeyl's Avatar
Location: Asheville, NC
Episode of the Week: 3x17 "Sins of the Father"

Ronald D. Moore's "Sins of the Father" is arguably the episode that solidified how the Klingons would be interpreted in Star Trek for years to come. While most would regard this change to an alien culture as a good thing, I personally felt the change was... well, too much. Let me sum up.
  1. KURN: I am honored, Captain.
  2. KURN: I would be honored if you chose me.
  3. KURN: Together, we will restore the family honor.
  4. KURN: A Klingon's honor means more to him than his life.
  5. WORF: Why would you ask me to lay aside the honor of my father, my family?
  6. WORF: K'mpec urged me to drop my challenge, abandon my family honor.
  7. PICARD: The honor of his family must be restored.
  8. PICARD: What does this say of an Empire who holds honor so dear?
  9. K'MPEC: The Empire will not be destroyed for one family's honor.
  10. DURAS: His honor would demand revenge.
  11. PICARD: He needs you alive with your honor intact.
And that's just from this one episode. In the original Star Trek series, Kang is the only Klingon to ever use the word honor and it wasn't used to describe the Klingon culture.
KANG: For three years, the Federation and the Klingon Empire have been at peace. A treaty we have honored to the letter.
And that's it. No mention of being a warrior race either. Just an alien race that does their own thing without being so culturally obsessed about it.

Back to the episode. We open with Worf's brother coming aboard the Enterprise as part of an officer exchange program. We get more moments of Klingon culture where Kurn openly says he would have killed Riker for even offering to make a suggestion if they were on a Klingon ship. That's a very honorable thing to do, isn't it? And this is a race who not only managed to build starships capable of warp drive, but they also managed to beat the Federation in developing cloaking devices. Hard to imagine a culture that's so obsessed with being a warrior and also feeling justified at killing anyone who offers a suggestion be capable of even developing a motor.

But the real reason why Kurn is here is to tell Worf that their family honor is at stake and they need to go to the Klingon council in order to rectify it. Deceptions abound, the word honor is thrown, traitor this, traitor that, civil war this, civil war that. Basically it all comes down to Worf taking on this lie about his father being a traitor in order to preserve the Klingon culture. We end the episode with Worf being dishonored by everyone, including his reluctant brother. At this point, I wish there was a civil war because I don't see much of a culture here at all. Just a bunch of arrogant idiots who use the word honor like we use the word freedom. Yeah, it's great and all but there's got to be more to it than just that. Unfortunately, there's not much variety here.

I also find the restoration history regarding this episode to be a bit funny. When the preview BluRay disc was released that contained this episode with missing footage, there was another issue involving the framing of the episode. It looked as though the episode was "zoomed in" a bit. When the missing footage was found and reintegrated into the episode, the original framing was retained. So the one part of the episode that originally didn't look right is now the ONLY part of the episode that looks right. Restoration can be such a head ache.

CONCLUSION: Incase you didn't get it, I am NOT a fan of the TNG era Klingons and the reasons why are all on display in this episode, and unfortunately will get worse as we progress in this "Klingon Civil War" storyline. I know a lot of fans love this new depiction and I'm not here to tell you you're wrong in thinking that way. I just liked Klingons better when it wasn't all about honor. I'm at least glad Ron D. Moore didn't confuse Klingons with Orcs.

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