So, here’s a situation: the episode ostensible focus is on Dr. Crusher. It’s about how she clashes over medical ethics with a visiting specialist over a particular patient. Small problem: Worf is that patient, and Jimmy and Tom routinely call him the MVP. And while Worf is involved in a subplot over assisted suicide, it does mean that the guys will probably have more to say about him than Crusher.
But hey, they like what they do.
Crusher clashes with a visiting specialist while Worf’s idea of Klingon recovery following a debilitating accident doesn’t sit well with others.
jimmy: Even death can’t keep a good MVP down.
tomk: It came pretty close.
jimmy: Redundancy for the win!
tomk: That’s why you should always save your data.
Unless Data can save himself.
jimmy: He probably does routine backups.
tomk: Worf probably realized Alexander would never become a good Klingon if Troi was raising him.
jimmy: As much as Worf clings to the Klingon ways, he generally folds when the plot needs him to be more human to appease Riker.
tomk: Would you trust Alexander with a knife?
jimmy: According to the ceremony, he only needs to hand it to Worf.
tomk: I’m pretty sure that kid would do even that in a way Worf finds a little disappointing.
jimmy: “Here’s the knife, father.”
trips and the knife flies up in the air, spinning and eventually coming down to rest embedded in Worf’s paralyzed legs.
Worf grumbles and rolls his eyes.
tomk: He managed to stab both legs that way? That is impressive.
jimmy: Mini MVP.
tomk: He’s learning. He won’t if Troi raises him.
jimmy: Worf sure asked a lot of people in this one. Riker to help him kill himself. Troi to raise his son. Crusher to, uh, leave him alone.
tomk: That visiting doc to do the experimental surgery that might kill him anyway.
jimmy: And have no qualms about it.
tomk: Crusher did.
jimmy: Rightfully so. Especially when Fake Pulaski’s treatments killed a man already and virtual simulations of Worf’s treatments only had a success rate of 37%.
tomk: Worf liked those odds as they were better than getting stabbed in the leg by his clumsy son.
jimmy: What did you think of Picard’s stance around letting Worf perform the ceremony and the experimental surgery? It almost seemed like it had more to do with needing someone to be the foil, moreso than how Picard might generally behave.
tomk: Picard does his level best to respect all the customs and traditions of a people. His time trying to mediate a successor to the Klingon High Council more or less makes him an honorary one.
jimmy: No doubt.
tomk: It’s what makes Picard a good diplomat.
jimmy: Yeah, and it was fine. I just felt like he was only taking that position because the plot needed it. Like if there had been an outside force wanting to put Worf to death, Picard would have fought tooth and nail to save him.
tomk: But this is Worf himself wanting to do it.
jimmy: Right. I dunno. Maybe it’s nothing. Just the way I felt. Either way, it was a very anti-suicide/assisted death episode, if you weren’t Klingon.
tomk: Well, I don’t think they would have gone the other way.
I mean, exploring different alien cultures is part of the point for a show like this.
jimmy: I wonder if Michael Dorn was leaving the show for some reason if they would have considered this same storyline with a different outcome?
tomk: In the middle of the season? That seems unlikely.
jimmy: Why? Yar wasn’t killed in the season finale.
tomk: You may be calling Worf a quitter. You might owe him something from your donut stash.
jimmy: No, it was a hypothetical. If Dorn was leaving the show, would Trek ever allow Worf to commit ritualistic suicide?
tomk: Maybe. But I don’t think so. He’d die in combat with, say, Lore or a possessed Troi or the Hamburglar or something along those lines.
jimmy: Man, the Hamburglar has gotten dark since losing his mascot gig.
tomk: No kidding. I didn’t expect him to hijack that subway.
jimmy: The man’s gotta eat.
tomk: He was demanding your donut stash.
jimmy: I gave him some. You don’t want to know what he was threatening to do to Mayor McCheese.
tomk: Expose him for embezzling?
jimmy: Times are tough when you’ve got a hamburger for a head.
tomk: Also tough when you’re a doctor who likes to test treatments on the living.
jimmy: How else will you find out if they work?!??
tomk: More computer simulation and general experimentation? Testing ideas on healthy volunteers?
jimmy: Ain’t nobody got time for that.
tomk: You make time if you want more people to live.
jimmy: Fake Pulaski didn’t seem too concerned about that.
tomk: Would the real Pulaski?
jimmy: Probably. She was never a fan favorite, but was probably a better doctor than Beverly.
jimmy: She never seems to be able to save anyone. Worf would be dead or paraplegic if left up to her.
tomk: The Klingons didn’t offer a lot of help in this one.
jimmy: Except with their redundant internal organs.
tomk: They don’t research nerve damage when suicide is the norm.
jimmy: Too bad they didn’t have a redundant spine as well, but then we’d have no episode.
tomk: Maybe if it was Riker.
jimmy: Regardless of Klingon traditions, if Worf doesn’t want to live as a paraplegic, should he not have that choice?
tomk: That’s not what some people think.
jimmy: No. I know.
tomk: Picard? He’ll let ya die!
Riker? Not so much.
jimmy: Worf should have asked Data to help him. He’s supposedly emotionless.
tomk: Data would have asked too many questions.
jimmy: Possibly. Poor Worf, why won’t they just let him die?
tomk: Poor Crusher. This was an episode that was probably supposed to focus on her…
jimmy: It did to a degree, but it’s hard to upstage the MVP.
tomk: It’s also hard for this show to make memorably good episodes that focus on the women.
jimmy: Especially when they’re not getting raped or killed or become mysteriously pregnant.
tomk: Those…were not really good episodes.
jimmy: I rest my case.
tomk: You rest your case?
jimmy: Seemed like the thing to say.
tomk: I see.
tomk: So, before we hit the beach and enjoy the weekend, anything else to add here, Jimmy?
jimmy: No. Worf’s got a new back. I’m sure over the upcoming episodes we’ll see him rehab and get to root for him until he’s back to 100%
tomk: Or we could get a Riker-based episode that is this show’s half-assed attempt to comment on a social issue with an analogy that doesn’t quite work.
jimmy: That doesn’t sound like them.
tomk: Well, we could find out, but then we might find out something about ourselves instead.
jimmy: For the sake of our fans, I think that’s a risk we have to be willing to take.
tomk: We have fans?
Is that through the Moose’s Only Fans account?
jimmy: A fan is a fan.
tomk: And the Moose does have a lovely yodeling act.
jimmy: Exactly. So let’s not disappoint him.
tomk: If you say so.
Weekend Trek “Ship In A Bottle”
Vikings: Valhalla “Pieces Of The Gods”
Noteworthy Issues: The Amazing Spider-Man #52 (September, 1967)