Tuesday, February 26, 2013

S1E20 Heart of Glory

Season 1 Episode 20: Heart of Glory

Watchability: Extra Credit
Short Answer: Definitely worth watching to see a little more about Worf's character.
Quotations: "That is not our way. Cowards take hostages."

I enjoyed this episode because it featured a number of new topics for the series. It is the first time we see a story centered around Worf. It's nice to see that he gets a moment to shine this early in the series, because he has a much bigger role later. It is also the first episode where we get a deeper look into Klingon culture.

Vaguely Spoilery...
The story is about a group of ship-wrecked Klingons. Talking to them, Worf is forced to explain to why he chose Starfleet over being a "true Klingon". As we find out more about the survivors, it becomes apparent that they are also asking the same questions about the Klingon Empire. They feel that in collaborating with the Federation, the Empire has lost it's Klingon heritage.

I like this episode a lot because of that dynamic. At the beginning of the episode, Worf is excited at the chance to see other people of his race. Instead, they question whether he is a "real" Klingon. By questioning his decisions, they make him feel like an outsider. By the end of the episode, the Klingon rebels are the outsiders because they are unwilling to accept the change that is happening in their society. Worf, as it turns out is the ideal that the Klingon Empire is building toward. I made this episode Extra Credit, but I highly recommend it.

Side Notes
(1) In the first ten minutes of the episode, we get a glimpse of what Geordi is "seeing" through his visor. It is an odd side bar, since it never comes up again in the plot of the episode. One part that stood out to me is an exchange between Picard and La Forge. Picard asks him about the aura around Data and La Forge responds that it's because Data is an android. Picard comments that Geordi talks as if everyone can see it. I'm not sure if it was intentional, but it stuck out as a hint to the bromance between Data and La Forge that persists through the show.

(2) If you are new to Star Trek, the Klingons were the enemy of the Federation (Earth and its allies) during TOS. In between the two shows, the Federation and the Klingon Empire have become allies. The Undiscovered Country, a TOS movie that came out after this episode aired, shows those events in detail. (Nested Side Note!) The actor that plays Worf has a small part in the movie where he plays Worf's grandfather.

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