July 13, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Weekend Trek “Once More Unto The Breach”

Worf gives aging Klingon hero Kor a final chance for glory.

The first Klingon to ever appear in any incarnation of Star Trek was Kor as played by longtime character actor John Colicos.  Like the other two Klingon from the original series, he reappeared on Deep Space Nine as played by the same actors, but unlike the other two, Kor managed to survive his return appearance and then make one more.

It seems only appropriate that Kor meet his end in a Klingon sort of way.

It also seems appropriate that Worf clarifies for Bashir and O’Brien the truth behind Davy Crocket, and it all comes down to whether or not one believes the legend or the likely reality of Davy Crocket.  That would be about when Kor walks in.  He’s old.  There’s a war going on.  He wants in if for no other reason than to die as a warrior should and not as an old man in his bed.  He’s burned too many bridges, and there’s no other way.  Can Worf get him a command?

Worf thinks so, but then he finds out asking Martok isn’t going to work.

I find it a bit funny:  Martok is one of the most accepting Klingons in all of Trek.  He’s generally a lot more tolerant of even the people who annoy Worf.  This is the guy who not only let Quark of all people tag along on a mission to get Jadzia into Sto’vo’cor, but he handclasped with the Ferengi when the battle was over.  He’s been a source of Klingon wisdom for the series since his rescue, someone who would adopt into his family a disgraced Klingon like Worf and Worf’s somewhat inept son Alexander as well.  He’s very much a Klingon in all the classic ways, but he’s also someone who’s been tempered by age, a noble general but not someone inclined to violence without a good reason.  What does it say when Martok is angry at someone enough to reject him outright?

It turns out it’s an honor thing.  In his youth, Martok belonged to no noble house, but with a boost from his father and a lot of hard work and talent, he had the opportunity to attend a prestigious Klingon military academy, but his application was rejected by Kor, and only good fortune during a fight got Martok into the Klingon military at all.  By then, Martok’s father was dead and never saw his son achieve his eventual path to martial glory.  Kor, for his part, never met Martok and did so only for snobbish reasons.  Heck, when asked, he doesn’t even remember it, and it took Worf two attempts to get any part of that story out of Martok at all.

The episode is very much a Klingon-based one, one where the Klingons and their traditions are very much front and center here.  Martok’s elderly aide and his younger subordinates all adore Kor, and Kor’s habit of telling tall tales is very much a Klingon thing, but Worf’s compromise was to make Kor the ship’s third officer, behind himself and Martok, during a raid on a Jem’Hadar cloning facility.  Kor does approve of Martok’s plan, largely because it reminds him of one he and Kang used against the Federation in ages gone by.

By the by, the B-plot here dealt with Quark’s trying to convince Ezri not to romance Worf again, done for largely self-centered reasons, but I will admit the short scene where Kor and Ezri chat because Kor would of course talk to the newest Dax was nice.

As it is, this is a somewhat sad episode.  Dumb luck finds Kor temporarily in command of Martok’s ship, and he has a weird flashback, thinking he and Kang were fighting the Federation again, almost leading to the destruction of the shop and all hands onboard.

Now, here is where I think the episode got a little more interesting.  Martok, afterwards, stops to mock Kor in the Klingon dining facility, a moment that like his rage felt out-of-character, but while the younger Klingons who had been revering Kor up until that point join in, Martok later admits to Worf that it felt wrong to mock the old warrior.

Then again, that old aide does fill in Kor about a plan for Worf to lead a suicide mission to delay some pursuing Jem’Hadar ships.  Kor manages to take his place and die heroically in a battle that never appears on screen, but it does allow Kor to have the glorious death he wanted, and Martok can finally respect the old man.

That is such a Klingon way to do things.  But I will admit, I did like Martok’s arc here.