April 23, 2024

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Weekend Trek “The Way Of The Warrior”

Things get serious, and Sisko asks for help from Starfleet's only Klingon officer: Lt. Commander Worf.

In what may have initially been an attempt to boost ratings, Deep Space Nine added a new member to the main cast, and a (sort of) familiar face at that, namely Michael Dorn’s Lt. Commander Worf.  Dorn had just finished playing the character over seven seasons for The Next Generation, and it was somewhat of a surprise that he was willing to continue to spend all those hours donning the make-up.  It turns out to be something of a blessing as Worf fits in well with this cast as well.  Dorn’s one real request was to stop the old practice of having the threat-of-the-week routinely beat Worf up to show how powerful it was, and he likewise helped the writers understand his character better.

I think that will prove promising because, well, Worf is awesome.

As it is, this was a special double-length episode to establish a new status quo for the universe and for Starfleet in general.  The Klingon Empire, represented initially by one General Martok and led by Gowron, decides to invade the Cardassian Empire after the military dictatorship was overthrown in what the Klingons reason is suspicious behavior.  You know, not a weakened Cardassian high command after the Dominion managed to take out the Obsidian Order that kept things…orderly.  Sisko, now with a new shaved head, initially doesn’t mind a lot of Klingons around the station since the Klingons are allies these days, but that changes when he finds out what they’ve been up to and what they are planning, so he sends for a specialist to deal with them:  Worf.  It would seem this takes place just after the destruction of the Enterprise in Star Trek Generations, and Worf hasn’t gotten a new assignment yet.  He’s actually considering resigning his commission since he isn’t feeling at home anywhere with the Enterprise gone, and Alexander is apparently back at his Russian grandma’s house.

Much of this episode is a good showcase for Worf.  Gowron wants Worf to help with the invasion, but Worf refuses.  He made an oath to Starfleet, even if it means he has to stand against his own people.  He has scenes showing how he would get along with different members of the crew.  O’Brien is a familiar face he can reminisce with while Odo is a bit of a crusty fellow he might clash with.  He respects Sisko, and as for Dax…look, I know how it will go with Dax, but so far, the flirtation is coming entirely from her to him even as he bests her in a bat’leth match.  Quark, well, he just annoys Worf, but I shouldn’t expect much else.

So, will Worf stay in Statfleet?  Well, Dorn’s name is now in the modified opening credits, so I should say he will, but the rest of this extended episode also shows what Worf brings to the table.  He knows how to get intelligence from old Klingons with loose lips after a few glasses of blood wine, and he knows Klingon tactics.  He can take over the tactical station on the Defiant when the officer there is injured (or killed as it is ambiguous).  And when the episode ends with a massive fight between the station and a Klingon fleet, one that shows off the station’s new armament, he’ll be one of three still standing after repelling a wave of attackers on the command deck alongside Dax and Sisko–O’Brien and Kira were both injured but were otherwise OK–meaning that if there was concern Worf was just going to get his head handed to him every episode, that was not going to be a problem this time around.

Then again, so many Klingons were bringing bladed weapons to a phaser fight, so what do I know?

Of course, that battle also saw Dukat and Garek fighting side by side to protect the new Cardassian governing council because of course Gul Dukat would be the sort of weasel to retain his position in the event of a complete changeover in the Cardassian government.

In the end, Worf obviously opts to stay, shifting from security to command, and the Klingons pull out of the Khitomer Accords, the longstanding peace treaty with the Federation.  They aren’t quite going to war with the Federation yet, and they even quit their war with the Cardassians despite claiming a handful of colony worlds.  But the thing that Worf seemed most concerned about was the Klingon Empire hadn’t been involved in a war in a long time, and Klingons love a good war.  They’ve been looking for a good fight for about a century.  They are not going to be friendly going forward.

Which is probably exactly what the Changelings wanted in the first place.

But, in the meantime, we have a familiar face to spend time with on the station, one that brings more promise to an already intriguing series.