One of the things about Star Trek is that many of the various alien races were shaped greatly by the actors who played some of the best known of them. Leonard Nimoy had a lot to do with how the Vulcans turned out, just as Armin Shimmerman and Marc Alaimo arguably did for the Ferengi and the Cardassians, respectively.
But then there’s Michael Dorn, the very model of the Klingon, and the actor who has appeared in more episodes of various Star Trek series than any other. That is obviously on display in an episode like “Birthright Part Two” where Worf teaches other Klingons what it means to be one, and I can’t think of a better teacher than Dorn. Jimmy and I have some thoughts the episode below.
“Birthright Part Two”
Worf teaches some young Klingons about their heritage
jimmy: Data’s Dream Warrior storyline was so intriguing it didn’t even make it to part 2.
tomk: You think he was going to have fancy dreams to tell Picard where to find Worf?
jimmy: It would have given some more purpose to the story besides learning that Data’s hair grows.
As an aside, I just watched a tonne of deleted scenes for this one. Seems like they could have stretched it out to two full Worf episodes without the Data B story in Part 1.
tomk: That was my understanding.
jimmy: That it should have been two Worfs, no Data?
tomk: You want two Worfs? Is one MVP not enough?
jimmy: Why settle for just one?
tomk: Because you only really need one to completely disrupt a Romulan prison camp.
jimmy: So, did you feel like Worf was in the wrong here? Or is there no “right” answer?
tomk: Worf didn’t choose to be captured. As much as the Romulan commander was trying to be a decent guy, he didn’t understand Klingon culture. That’s a problem when the young Klingons, who did no wrong, were not given a chance to know who they were.
jimmy: I can see that. But I can also see the “leave well enough alone” angle.
tomk: There’s something to be said of robbing a people of their heritage, even by the well-meaning.
jimmy: The Klingon elders weren’t exactly innocent there either.
tomk: No, they weren’t. But they lost their honor.
It’s probably more complicated as a result.
jimmy: And that some of the kids were half Romulan.
Well, one at least.
tomk: Just the one notorious Romulan hater Worf fell for and had to leave behind as a result.
jimmy: Their romance doesn’t continue to blossom over the next several episodes? (Though she did seem way too young for him.)
tomk: She reminded him of K’Ehleyr. Worf likes Klingon women who aren’t 100% Klingon.
jimmy: He was pretty repulsed when he first found out.
tomk: Well, he can be a space racist.
jimmy: But he comes around quickly.
tomk: Well, she’s a good kisser.
jimmy: And Worf needed to lay the groundwork in case he did end up there forever.
tomk: Or what happens when Picard gets mad Worf left without permission.
jimmy: Though Picard seemed to know all about Worf’s little excursion.
tomk: He knows enough to tell when a Klingon lies to save someone’s honor.
jimmy: He is an honorary Klingon.
tomk: He can namedrop Gowron to get results.
jimmy: Not everyone can do that.
tomk: Well, not successfully.
jimmy: Worf would rather talk about Kahless.
tomk: Wouldn’t you?
jimmy: I don’t really know him.
tomk: He’s known more by reputation anyway.
jimmy: That happens when your tears fill the ocean.
tomk: They are an emotional people.
jimmy: Though not necessarily rational.
tomk: Eh, they do alright.
jimmy: So why didn’t the captured Klingons find more ways than not eating to attempt to kill themselves?
tomk: I dunno. They had weapons if that one guy was using a spear to hoe a garden.
jimmy: And that ceremonial blade rusting in a drawer.
tomk: Rusty weapons can still cut. They can even cause infections and kill that way.
jimmy: Maybe they weren’t given back their weapons until they accepted their fate.
tomk: Could be. So why not jump off a cliff?
jimmy: Maybe the planet doesn’t have any.
tomk: They have trees. You can climb and jump off a tree.
jimmy: That better be one hell of a tree.
tomk: It won a tree beauty pageant.
jimmy: Lol. You win.
tomk: I did better than Alien Cromwell and Deep Space Nine. Picard referenced them, but we didn’t see them this time.
jimmy: We saw Cromwell for like 2 seconds. (If it was even him.)
tomk: It was probably Ronny Cox.
jimmy: It doesn’t much matter. The Romulans captured Worf and didn’t care too much about Cromalien getting away.
tomk: They like prisoners with thumbs.
jimmy: Lol. Yeah, how does that species hold a fork?
tomk: They use a straw and slurp everything.
jimmy: Hard to slurp a hamburger.
tomk: That’s what blenders are for.
tomk: Why do you think Worf found him so distasteful?
jimmy: It’s no alien pasta.
tomk: You’re right. Have a baked ziti.
jimmy: I’ve never had it before but it looks delicious.
tomk: The DS9 singing Klingon chef made it.
jimmy: He knows what he’s doing.
tomk: But wait til Worf introduces those kids to GAGH!
jimmy: Interesting. They probably don’t have Klingon “cuisine” there.
tomk: I get the impression they’re gonna like it.
jimmy: They seemed to like that warrior song and playing Stick Ring.
tomk: Wouldn’t you? It beats the Romulan games like Connect Five and Cardassian Checkers.
jimmy: So that kid that shows up near the end, in full Klingon garb…that fits him perfectly, where did he get that?
tomk: He’s actually big into cosplay.
jimmy: Makes sense.
tomk: Like how you’re big into watching Worf play Romulans for saps.
jimmy: By blowing up precious supplies to scale a wall he didn’t need a distraction to do?
tomk: He doesn’t do things in a halfassed way. He uses his whole ass.
jimmy: Which was on full display scaling that wall.
tomk: Maybe that’s why that girl took a liking to him.
jimmy: He is fit.
tomk: See, maybe Cousin Minka would like you better if you told good stories or could scale a wall.
jimmy: It’s worth a try.
tomk: You can start with that wall over there. It’s only about waist high on a tall man.
jimmy: Hey! I did it!
tomk: Good. Did you use that open gate over there?
tomk: No, that’s good. It means you aren’t lazy.
jimmy: I’d fit right in using ceremonial spears to til soil.
tomk: I don’t think you’d mistake an obvious spear for a hoe.
jimmy: Like, no one gave him a proper tool?
tomk: He sure was acting like a proper tool before Worf took him hunting.
jimmy: Lol. Good thing Worf showed up to wreak havoc. Imagine the upheaval if Worf’s father was there as was originally scripted?
tomk: Worf would probably have a hard time explaining how Alexander, left alone on the Enterprise, was such a weenie.
jimmy: Blame the human blood.
tomk: For leaving that kid alone on the ship? Is Troi babysitting or something?
jimmy: I was thinking more because he is 1/4 human.
tomk: Still left home alone. What if the Wet Bandits break into Worf’s quarters?
jimmy: I think they’re the sticky bandits now.
tomk: They’ll be sticky with something if Alexander sets up some Klingon booby traps.
jimmy: Sounds like a hell of an episode.
tomk: Yeah, but instead, you just deal with Worf in the Romulan camp and, every so often, Picard pops up looking for clues.
jimmy: You could only keep him distracted with an aqueduct side story for so long.
tomk: Lots of people enjoy aqueducts. They provide fresh water to distant communities.
jimmy: But they’re not good storytelling.
tomk: You have obviously never heard Picard tell his best aqueduct stories.
jimmy: You’re right. I haven’t.
tomk: It is truly an epic tale of action, adventure, and the right amount of humor, all with sexy results.
tomk: Just like that. And when it gets too sexy, Picard makes a different face.
jimmy: Luckily it didn’t get too sexy. Unluckily for Worf.
tomk: He’s probably used to it by now.
jimmy: Poor Worf.
tomk: Poor Jimmy misses the aqueduct story.
jimmy: I wouldn’t say I miss it…
tomk: Jimmy, I know what kind of things you don’t miss.
jimmy: I wish I never had.
tomk: There’s worse in the world. Imagine if you watched the rest of the movie that clip came from.
jimmy: Shut your mouth.
tomk: I’m not talking about Shaft.
jimmy: Then I can dig it.
tomk: You want more garbage day?
tomk: Would you rather something else like Picard in Die Hard?
jimmy: That would be awesome!
tomk: Well, the next episode might be the one for you if you have nothing else to add here.
tomk: You just wanna hear Picard say “Yippee kai yay, Number One!”
jimmy: I sure do now!
tomk: That might not happen, but let’s see what will.