OK, after that weird quirk where this episode played before the actual second episode of the season, it’s time to check in on everyone’s favorite Klingon child Alexander.
My has he grown. Probably because he’s not longer played by the youngest kid from Family Ties.
OK, so, with war on and a title like that, it suggests there is a son and a daughter at play. The son is Alexander. I’ll have plenty to say about him below. The daughter is Ziyal, back on the station and trying to act as a go-between between her father Dukat and her good friend Kira, the only Bajoran who apparently didn’t treat her poorly for being half Cardassian. It really is a good plotline like 90% or so of all Kira-based plotlines are, ending when Kira realizes that nothing will ever make her feel like Dukat is OK, including going to a party to celebrate Ziyal’s work appearing in a prestigious art exhibit. Ziyal, she really wants both of these people to get along, and she likewise does not want to choose sides, but Kira basically suggests Dukat is more important as he is family and she’s just a friend.
I suppose I’ll see how long that lasts.
But then there’s Alexander. Now, DS9 hasn’t been all that shy about questioning Worf’s parenting. It’s almost something of a joke at times. To be fair, it wasn’t like TNG was ever going to spend that much time with one of the main cast’s children. Heck, DS9 has found ways to limit how much the audience sees of O’Brien’s kids, but the same is true for his wife so it makes sense. In Worf’s case, he’s a single dad. He should see his son more, but for one reason or another barely even mentions the lad. As such, it does make sense that Worf would have no idea that Alexander went and joined the Klingon military.
Oh, and if there is any doubt this is Alexander, he outright uses some very Alexander-ish vocabulary when he and Worf argue at one point, words that sound like the sort of stuff a child might say, and that may be the problem here. Alexander is not much of a warrior, and as Worf is quick to point out to Martok, Alexander never really expressed much interest in being a warrior before. Alexander doesn’t really have the training for it, and having been raised in part by a father who didn’t get him and some elderly human grandparents, well, why should he know how to stand up for himself when he becomes the target of the sort of bullying behavior that’s pretty damn common on a Klingon ship? Alexander isn’t impressing his shipmates (including a pre-fame Gabrielle Union), he isn’t impressing Worf, and he even fails to impress the generally more pragmatic and understanding Martok.
By the by, Martok says at one point war is more fun when you’re winning, so that should show even Klingons have their limits when it comes to combat. But this post is mostly about Alexander.
Essentially, the kid keeps screwing up. Worf is either worried or embarrassed (could go either way honestly). Even Martok can only excuse so much, and the time to maybe, as Alexander always so eloquently puts it, “send him away,” comes to a halt when the Dominion attacks and Alexander proves himself.
Oh, he doesn’t do so at the weapons console or anything like that. No, he does it when he sees he can fix a problem in the ship while under fire. It’s dangerous, but he can do it with the help from one other, getting the offer from his biggest tormenter (and no, it is not Worf), and while Alexander is successful at fixing the ship and preventing disaster, he does lock himself in a store room afterwards and need to be released by Worf. He’s still being laughed at, but it’s a different kind of laughter. The Alexander story is arguably not over yet. There’s room for the character to grow into something. He may not be good at fighting, but perhaps he’d make fine Klingon engineer.
Too bad the character has maybe one more appearance in DS9.
I’ll have to settle for Worf’s promise to be a better father as his son trains to be a better warrior, a promise I am pretty sure Worf has made before, and Martok initiates Alexander into the family. That involves bloodletting, and I have to wonder why Klingons don’t have more scars on their palms, but that’s a concern for another day.
Weekend Trek “Ship In A Bottle”
Vikings: Valhalla “Pieces Of The Gods”
Noteworthy Issues: The Amazing Spider-Man #52 (September, 1967)