April 24, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Weekend Trek “You Are Cordially Invited”

Worf and Dax get married.

Anyone who has ever had any kind of wedding that isn’t just a quickie thing at City Hall will tell you it is an incredibly stressful time, and it isn’t exactly new for a TV series to at least temporarily postpone a wedding.  That’s more or less what happens here in an episode I was somewhat waiting for.

Also, much of what happens is somewhat Alexander’s fault, and this is apparently his last appearance on any Trek show.

Worf has been planning his wedding for a while, and Dax has, more or less, been going along with it the whole time.  Her basic attitude is she’s a Trill, she’s had something like five weddings (as both bride and groom), and Worf being comparatively young hasn’t had any, so let him have his dream wedding.  Worf has always idolized Klingon culture, and General Martok for one really wants his adopted son to finish the whole thing because he’s sick of hearing about wedding plans.  He’s also sick of hearing about Alexander, still somewhat clumsy but now treated like a good luck charm.  However, Alexander’s about to be transferred to another ship, so Dax suggests Worf move the wedding up to, like, immediately so Alexander can attend rather than wait for the war to end and have the ceremony on the Klingon homeworld.  Worf consents, and they have a week to get everything ready for a traditional Klingon ceremony, with Alexander set as the Best Man…or Swordbarer since, you know, Klingons.

From here, the episode is generally divided between the, let’s say, comedy of the Klingon Bachelor Party, and the more dramatic problems of Dax trying to get the approval of Martok’s wife Sirella to join the family, and it turns out Sirella wasn’t all that happy that Worf joined in the first place.

Let me just say that Sirella, as a character I am pretty sure does not reappear at any point in the future, is a fantastic sort of character.  She comes to the station, greeting her husband and Captain Sisko in a rather cold and formal manner, and with a camera set up in such a way to suggest she might be towering over the two men before stepping off the platform and revealing she’s probably about the same height as Martok. She’s also about as far removed from Martok in terms of personality that it is possible to get.  Excessively formal to Martok’s more freewheeling pragmatism, it’s unclear what they even see in each other…and that’s something even Martok himself comments on.  Love is mysterious.

Point is, Sirella is the mother-in-law from Hell in a very upper-class Klingon variety, someone who will not cut corners and wants everything to be as traditional as possible, so Dax’s inclinations to do things like replicate candles or do actual research into Sirella’s bloodline instead of the more legendary version Dax was supposed to memorize doesn’t really work to impress the older woman.

No wonder Dax, upon Sirella’s being Sirella at Dax’s wild night-before bash, punches Martok’s wife in the face.  And unlike other Klingons, Sirella isn’t impressed by that sort of thing.

Meanwhile, Sisko, Bashir, and O’Brien are finding out that a Klingon bachelor party is not a lot of feasting, storytelling, or the like but is actually four days of fasting and ceremonies, all inside a very hot cave (in a holosuite), the sort where Bashir becomes the first to volunteer for a bloodletting because he’s too sleepy to know the others stepped back when Worf and Martok asked for someone to go first.  About all those two guys have to look forward to is that they get to physically attack the groom when the wedding is over.

So yeah, the wedding does get called off, Worf is talked back much more easily, and Sisko has to tell Dax off because she isn’t Kurzon anymore, and for someone with a few centuries of experience, she needs to grow up and ask Sirella for forgiveness.  Or beg.  One of them.

But for all that this is an episode I really wanted to see, it struck me that a lot of stuff that was probably important happened off-screen.  Dax’s apology is successful, but it happens off-screen.  What did she say or do to make Sirella change her mind, enough so for Sirella to call Dax a daughter at the wedding?

And…what the hell happened between Odo and Kira?

The two spend the episode avoiding each other, well aware that they need to talk about what happened in the previous few episodes.  When they meet up at Dax’s party, after some uncomfortable hemming and hawing, they go off to talk in private in another room.  When Worf and Dax are hashing out what will be a temporary break-up, the two are still talking in a closet.  What are they talking about?  I have no idea.  But I sure would like to.

I mean, it’s a fine episode, but when I spend time wondering about what conversations are taking place off-screen because they might be more dramatically interesting than the ones on-screen, that may be a problem.

But at least Bashir and O’ Brien got to bash Worf with sticks.