TNG Rewatch: 4x26 - "Redemption Pt. 1"

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Trekker4747, Jul 16, 2014.

  1. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2001
    Kansas City

    The Enterprise is en route to Qo'noS where Picard is to complete his role as the arbitrator of succession and see Gowron installed as the leader of the High Council. While on the way they're intercepted by a Klingon battleship carrying Gowron who says that it's urgent he talk to Picard as soon as possible in order to possibly prevent a Klingon civil war.

    In the intervening time since Gowron was selected, mostly by default, as the successor to the throne the surviving family of Duras, the other family with a claim to the throne has come forward trying to restate their claim. This baffles Picard and Gowron since the only surviving Duras family members are the Duras Sisters (Lursa and B'Etor) and females cannot serve on the council. So while it's unsure on what foundation they want to make their claims to the throne the Duras family is powerful enough to make the challenge something to be concerned about.

    On arrival at Qo'noS Picard is set to perform his final duty as the Arbiter of Succession but before he can complete the rite the Duras sisters charge in with a Klingon adolescent claiming to have a right to the throne, forcing Picard to consider this challenge.

    Meanwhile, Worf has been working to convince Gowron to restore his family honor but finds himself having to run over the hurdles of the restrictions Picard is putting on Worf to prevent conflicts of interest between the Federation and Empire and also by Gowron saying the support for Duras's family is still too strong for Worf's family name to be restored. So Worf devises to work with his brother, Kurn, to get him and the squadrons he controls to support Gowron in any civil war.

    We see the Duras family working with Romulans in building their conspiracy, and the Duras sisters try and to lure Picard into their side, but ultimately Picard is un-swayed and officially installs Gowron as leader of the Klingon High Council.

    Duras's son stands up and challenges the ruling, wondering if the Federation now rules their government, members of the council follow the young man in the challenge and walk out of the throne room.

    A civil war breaks out among the Klingons, and while he cannot guarantee Federation support Worf's offering of Kurn's squadron and his own loyalty (along with the evidence he was able to provide from records) convinces Gowron to restore the Mogh family name's honor.

    With the matter being a civil war the Federation is unable to provide any aid, even to the sitting leader of the government, and the Enterprise prepares to leave the area immediately. Worf's request for a leave of absence is denied so he resigns his commission in order to stay behind and fight for his people.

    As the Enterprise breaks orbit and leaves Klingon space the Romulan co-conspirators celebrate with the Duras family but they're reminded by a woman in the shadows not to underestimate the Federation and Picard, who is human. And humans have the tendency to show up when you least expect them. As she steps from the shadows it is revealed that shadowed Romulan woman (previously seen in "The Mind's Eye" and earlier in this episode) is non-other than a Romulan Tasha Yar.

    DUN. DUN. DUN!!!!!!

    This episode, more or less, ends the "Worf's Honor" arc that's been going on in the series since early in the second season and the penultimate episode in the "Klingon Civil War" arc that's been going on for just as long. And it makes for an interesting installment, especially given the extreme rarity of arcs in the series.

    Naturally there's a lot of questions in how politics and such work in the Klingon government, mostly being that if Gowron had not yet be installed as leader of the High Council then who's been running the Empire all of this time?

    It's also a strain to believe that the Enterprise's refusal to help out as Gowron's ship is attacked and as war breaks out that this wouldn't put a strain on the relationship between the Federation and the Klingon Empire.

    Tony Todd does his usual great job as Worf's brother, Kurn, as well as Robert O'Reilly (co-starring with his own eyes) Gowron. This episode also introduces us to the Duras Sisters who generally make for a fun addition to the episode. There's just something funny about the way B'Etor tries to put on a submissive servant mode for Picard when he meets with the sisters to discuss their challenge, including her stroking at Picard's bald head.

    But, of course, the big reveal in this episode is seeing Denise Crosby return as Sela, a Romulan Commander. Which I suspect must have been quite the surprise for people watching this show for the first time back in the day. Though this more goes with the next episode when it's revealed how this is possible, I always found this particular plot-twist kind of fun and nice twist on the malleability of time concept seen in Trek. Unfortuantely not much more is really done with Sela, which after the Redemption episodes they could have just left well enough alone and not used her again, but then she comes back during the "Reunification" episodes in the fifth season.

    This episode has a good, interesting, scene between Worf and Guinan in the ship's firing range.

    One does wonder, however, how it is the adolescent Duras son is able to get so many to follow him. Did these Klingons honestly think a child would make for a good leader? That he wouldn't be the visible part of a puppet regime being controlled by the Duras sisters?

    Overall a good episode, as far as season-end cliff hangers go it obviously has nothing on "Best of Both Worlds" but it's still a good episode. Doesn't stand out much in one way or another but it's still a perfectly good and watchable episode.
  2. jimbotron

    jimbotron Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Nov 27, 2012
    Bay Area, CA
    I imagine the Duras sisters promised a lot of power to those who followed them, and were able to back that up with the clandestine backing of the Romulans.

    It was established prior that there was a lot of corruption within the Empire, so it's natural that the crooked guys would follow the more crooked option.
  3. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    More Klingon nonsense. Makes you wonder how they ever made it into space, much less built an empire. Then the return of Denise Crosby doesn't help matters.
  4. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

    Mar 2, 2003
    San Francisco Bay Area, CA
    I really love this episode, especially after watching the season recently and realizing how much this episode kind of wraps up the season. The reveal of Sela at the end is no revealing of Picard as Locutus, but it was still cliffhanger-y. I wish Part 2 had lived up to part 1, but that's for next week.
  5. jimbotron

    jimbotron Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Nov 27, 2012
    Bay Area, CA
    Minor change on the Blu-ray. When Sela is revealed and the "To Be Continued" appears, the shot no longer freezes. It continues on for a few seconds before fading to black. It's a little jarring because her eyes wander at the end.
  6. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    Wouldn't that be exactly why many Klingons would wish for Toral to take the top seat? Apparently, a large part of the Empire liked the way Duras ran things, and they would hold hopes that his sisters would keep up the good work.

    Of course, in a society where high level politics may be conducted with bladed weapons, who would really complain about having a weakling child as his or her duel opponent...? I rather like the idea of diversity on the high seat, from the fat K'Mpec to the puppet Toral to the scheming and possibly assassinating Gowron to the do-good Worf to the popular hero Martok. An empire that can take that much variety is all the more intriguing and worthy of respect!

    Timo Saloniemi
  7. steevo

    steevo Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Jan 10, 2009
    I recently re-watched season 4 of TNG and while this didn't have the heavy impact of "Best of Both Worlds", I still enjoyed it. This straddled the fine line in the Federation-Klingon relationship with the Fed refusing to get involved in the Klingon civil war, but what if the Duras side won? What would happen to the alliance then? The Sela reveal at the end was perplexing, but effective.
  8. varek

    varek Commander Red Shirt

    Sep 3, 2009
    Danville, IN, USA
    The Duras family was powerful and influential on the Council. The awesome Duras sisters filled in magnificently when Duras was killed and acted as the guardian. They were intelligent, wily and conniving, so they were formidable allies and/or enemies.

    Although they were bad, I kind of miss them, after their career ended in Generations.
  9. TheAdmiralty

    TheAdmiralty Commander Red Shirt

    Jul 8, 2014
    I love the Redemption arc. One of the few things that could have held up well after The Best of Both Worlds in the previous season.
  10. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

    Sep 10, 2012
    USS Berlin
    When Ron D. Moore first heard about the idea to bring back Denise Crosby he just said it's insane, having already killed that character twice and she was still coming back. :lol:

    But apparently he was in search of a really good cliffhangar ending / surprise and eventually warmed up to the whole idea.

    IIRC, the actress in "The Mind's Eye" was retroactively dubbed by Denise Crosby.

  11. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    Yup, apparently so - but "The Mind's Eye" must have already been shot with the idea that the character was Yar re-reincarnated. What else could it have been all about? Foreshadowing of that sort makes little sense for an all-new villain character.

    Cosby wasn't used for the actual shoot as there was no practical need to hire and schedule this expensive and busy actor when a cheap extra would do. But the cheap extra had the physical attributes of a Crosby/Yar character, and probably not by chance. So yes, retroactive looping, but most likely not retroactive storytelling.

    Timo Saloniemi
  12. MikeS

    MikeS Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Sep 6, 2008
    Liverpool, UK
    This was a great episode with plenty of intrigue without the silly tagging on of Sela. That ruined it for me.
  13. Keith1701

    Keith1701 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Dec 26, 2002
    Warner Robins Georgia
    This a great episode for sure.
  14. Armored Saint

    Armored Saint Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Oct 26, 2012
    Quebec City
    I love Redemption part 1 and 2, but I tend to agree with you. That's why appreciate to see non-canon stuff (like the game Klingon Academy or the novel Cast No Shadow) trying to reconciliate the sophisticated Klingons of STVI and the Klingon culture (including political culture) developped in TNG and other series.