DS9: S2E19: “Blood Oath”

In which Jadzia must honor a promise.

This is new. We’re starting with the Paramount stamp. I don’t know why this is happening. I’m so confused.

Quark is calling Odo in to help him evict a Klingon from the holosuite, who is losing a battle so loudly that you can hear it through what one would have hoped would be soundproofed doors. Odo has Quark shut off the power, despite the threats against Quark’s bodily integrity, because Odo doesn’t care that much. Odo, as it turns out, is a fairly effective people person when he has to be. The battle was a famous Klingon defeat of the Romulans, which reads at about the same level as civil war reenactment.

Behind that fantastic mustache is an ego to match.

Behind that fantastic mustache is an ego to match.

Koloth, the drunk Kor’s buddy and a Dahar Master, goes to pick him up from the drunk tank. Only he’s really just there to make a dramatic gesture and storm out.

When Odo complains about his afternoon in Ops, Jadzia recognizes the names Kor and Koloth, and also mentions as Kang, and goes to bail him out herself and introduces herself as the new Dax. They’re old friends and battlemates, and they go to find Koloth using his ritual knives to cut pudding.

Recall that Curzon was once a diplomat, and his history with Koloth involved some level of negitations. The two of them are on the station because Kang wanted to get the group back together for a reunion tour. Kang has located someone called ‘the Albino,’ who they have all four taken a blood oath to hunt down together. Kang and Koloth have trouble accepting Jadzia as Curzon’s successor, but that’ll shake out later. Kang just received word of where their mortal enemy is, implies heavily that he murdered the people who confirmed the information, and discusses some recipes he has planned. We don’t quite know what The Albino actually did, but it was probably something about killing their kids, judging by the dialogue. The Albino is some sort of spymaster.

Curzon was one of the lead negotiators between the Federation and the Klingon empire, which means the Trill homeworld has been a Federation member since the peace talks at Khitomer. Kang was around then, too, and reminisces about the good old days when the Klingon Empire was feared by everyone. He releases Jadzia from the oath Curzon swore, and we’re not clear how Jadzia feels about this, but she’s definitely not pleased. ‘Betrayed’ might be a more appropriate word.

Sadly, this won't pay off until the Mirror Universe episodes start showing up.

Sadly, this won’t pay off until the Mirror Universe episodes start showing up.

So she asks Kira about all the murder she did in the Resistance. She, Jadzia, is clearly trying to decide if she wants to insist on joining the hunt, and is trying to difure out what that’s going to do to her.

Back in the day, the Albino apparently escaped capture by Kor, Koloth, and Kang, and infected their kids, one of whom was Curzon’s godson, with a genetically modified plague that killed them horribly. We know that Trill philosophy insists that new lives be separate from old ones, but we also know Jadzia Dax is prone to feel responsible for the actions of Curzon, even to the point of allowing herself to be put on trial. Kira’s only advice is that killing people sucks, and that’s from the point of view of someone who was raised under military occupation. Imagine how much worse it will be for someone raised in the Federation.

Jadzia finds Kor in Quark’s, and asks him to intervene on her behalf with Koloth and Kang. By the way, if Kor looks and sounds familiar, there’s a reason for that. Same for Koloth and Kang. Given that history, Kor seems to have fallen a lot farther than the others. This may be due to the psychological burden of both failing to kill Kirk and also being humiliated by a bunch of ‘farmers.’ Jadzia goes next to Koloth to shame him into letter her come, which comes down to her ordering up a bat’leth with far more specificity than we’ve ever seen anyone order anything from the computer except that one time. They fight, and at the very least it proves that Dax’s connection with Klingon culture was far more than a political fiction. She still gets beaten by Koloth, but only with effort, and he’s, like, a triple-black-belt. Kang, however, is not moved.

Jadzia then has to convince him, by bringing up a time when Curzon understood Kang so well that he walked out during negotiations. As it turns out, Kang is pretty sure it’s a suicide mission, which is why he won’t permit Jadzia to die in Curzon’s place, sketching a more detailed understanding of Klingon Honor. Having finally convinced the three of them, Jadzia now has to get a leave of absence, which Sisko refuses until she hits him with a good exit line.

Always remember that Klingon armor design took its cues from 1980s Earth.

Always remember that Klingon armor design took its cues from 1980s Earth.

Aboard a small Klingon scout ship, the four of them plan thier assault. This would probably go a lot smoother if they had Michael Westin on their side, but you go into battle with the aging vengeful strike-team you have, not the aging vengeful strike-team you want. There’s a possibility that the defenses are lax, or that the defenses look deliberately weak as a trap. Kang is all about charging in head-on, despite the obviously better strategy of sneaking in. When challgenged on it, he admits that he’d spoken with the Albino while following up on his leads, and that he was invited for a last glorious combat – the Albino’s best 40 soldiers against three Dahar masters.

Fortunately, Jadzia is a science officer, and it’s her job to have better ideas. She can create a field which disables energy weapons, making it a fight where three masters of melee combat have a real chance at an honorable victory instead of a glorious death.

Speaking of glorious death, the addition of a Federation tricorder allows our heroes to detect that the location of their battle was pre-mined. A highly dishonorable move. Our intrepid band seems reconciled to using stealth and diversionary tactics. Guile. Jadzia blows the power, and the Albino, in his compound, seems to be pretty on-the-ball as far as adapting goes. But given his team’s reliance of phasers, its unlikely they’re going to do a particularly good job with bayonets.

A note about bat’leth combat. Most of the moves they appear to be doing are quarterstaff combat, but with the occasional use of the inner blades to both cut and trip their opponents. And I don’t care what you say about its practicality in a real fight, it looks damn good in stage combat. Koloth gets sucker-stabbed from out of nowhere, Kor gets injured as well, and with Jadzia busy, Kang gets into a one-on-one with the Albino and gets stabbed as well. Jadzia surprises him, and he taunts her with her inability to kill. For about a second you think she might wind up sparing him, but Kang is able to satisfy honor by telling her she was just saving the death blow for him. Koloth and Kang are dead, Kor is injured, and Jadzia steps back into Ops having lost some of Sisko’s respect, and some innocence. But hey, honor is satisfied.

Did we miss something awesome?