I’m going through “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and reviewing every episode, complete with commentary and a grade from A-F. I’ve also included a score and comment from my wife, who has never seen the show before. There are SPOILERS for each episode below.
“Redemption, Part I”
The crew of the Enterprise, and in particular Worf and Picard, are thrust directly into a potential civil war building up in the Klingon Empire. Gowron seeks to take his place as the head of the High Council, but the Duras family claims a newly found child should instead take the place of the Klingon leader. Meanwhile, Worf–prompted by Picard–seeks a way to clear his father’s name and restore his family’s honor. Gowron is reluctant to give Worf’s family their honor back for the little support Worf can offer, but ultimately, after Worf’s brother saves Gowron, does restore Worf’s honor. However, the split in the Klingon Empire–revealed to be prompted by the Romulans, remains wide.
Watching TNG all in a row makes you much more cognizant of the continuous storylines that are threaded throughout. There are the stories of Data’s development towards humanity, Wesley’s growth, and Troi/Riker’s past, among others. Worf’s Klingon background, however, is one of the hardest-hitting themes of the series.
We have seen Worf enduring much hardship for the last season and a half or so, with his family’s name dishonored among all Klingons due to his decision to take the fall for the Duras family due to the political pressures building in the Klingon Empire. To have him finally seek to clear his father’s name is a wonderful premise for this episode to go along with the real tension of the possibility of a new Klingon-Romulan alliance.
Gowron’s restoration of Worf’s honor was an awesome moment, finally clearing Worf’s family’s name. But even more epic was Worf resigning from the Federation after Picard chose to maintain a strict non-interference policy related to the Civil War. The final scene, in which Worf leaves the Enterprise with the whole crew honoring him on the way to the transporter room, seals the deal on this excellent episode.
Also, let’s not forget the scene with Guinan schooling Worf in phaser tag.
Grade: A “Worf’s family is redeemed, but at what cost?”
Wife’s Grade and Comment: A- “This episode was chock full of intrigue and featured an exciting cliffhanger.”
Okay, I accidentally managed to review an episode twice this season, so this single-episode review wraps up season 4! Next we’ll have the Season 4 awards post, and then dive into season 5!
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