In which Worf is uptight, Bashir is disappointed, and the Federation endures.
Yet another day at Quark’s. As Morn leads his human date away, and Odo and Sisko chat about the problems of naming a baby in a world where pretty much any set of phonemes could mean something unpleasant in an important language. Jadzia’s been pulling a muscle in her neck regularly over the last month… Her injury record lately is second only to Worf’s. The two of them are going to Risa for a vacation, but Worf is taking it very seriously, particularly since Jadzia is having lunch with the ex-lover… the one with the transparent skull. Before things can get worse, Odo and Sisko scamper. Julian and Leeta ask to tag along on the runabout ride, and Worf grudgingly agrees, but keeps repeating that they have ‘much to discuss.’ On the way to the shuttle,, Sisko makes a crack about he and (Curzon) Dax having great times on Risa. It turns out that Quark is tagging along too. The vacation is off to a great start.
Worf literally threatens to turn the shuttle around of Quark won’t stop bothering him. Before Quark retreats, he gives everyone but Worf a Horgon, the Risian DTF flag. Everyone (but Worf) changes into something more comfortable, and while Bashir and Leeta immediately go find someplace to lie down and Quark immediately flags down to ladies for Jamaharon. Meanwhile, Worf refuses to change out of his uniform because the Starfleet Uniform is designed for maximal comfort in the most extreme of environments, and is cynical about all the weather and geostabilizing technology that goes into keeping Risa from being a miserable earthquate-ridden rainforest.
So, Risian culture is centered around pleasure and hedonism, so it makes sense that the Federation would want to make it one of their vacation destinations of choice, and sink resources into keeping it Bdenic. You have to wonder if there was ever a point where the Risians felt like the weather-stabilization tech was a form of extortion by the vast interstellar empire. You know, like ‘keep entertaining our troops or we take everything away.’ Or maybe they just don’t think like that. That would be nice.
Worf grumps about not coming to admire the scenery, so Jadzia takes her skirt off and he changes his mind. Jadzia then runs into an old friend – the woman who killed Curzon in the throes of… jamaharon. Or snu-snu, whatever you want to call it. Worf is, of course, both jealous and envious, and extremely upset that Jadzia hasn’t married him already, and trying to pretend he isn’t. In order to prove the point that she won’t let him run his life, she goes to drink something she’s allergic to and makes him go put on his swimsuit. While he contemplates this, he receives a meeting from Pascal Fullerton, a representative of the Essentialist Movement, dedicated to ‘restoring the moral and ethical foundations’ of the Federation. He sees in Worf a kindred spirit, and tells him about a rally on Risa, intended to shut the whole thing down. Worf is initially sympathetic.
Leeta is being… tended to… by a masseuse using a techno-massager that looks like it would take all the fun out the whole process, used by someone who’s not Bashir. They also see Bashir tending to someone who’s not Leeta. This is all reenforcing Worf’s disdain of Risa as a moral sink. The locals are attending the rally because an invective-fueled Moral Hazard preacher is always entertaining if you’re in the right frame of mind, and since he seems to be enjoying himself, who are they to stop him? After all, he can’t make the oceans cold or the winds sour.
He gives a speech about how everyone on Risa is a pampered child, ripe for the taking by the Borg, or the Dominion. He eschews the ease of life that replicators provide, and nobody really listens. After the fact, Worf tries to convince Bashir that the Klingons only attacked because they think the Federation is soft and weak. It’s about then that Leeta shows up, and Worf can’t contain his disgrace for their adulterous ways. Only it turns out that there’s an old Bajoran custom for breaking up which involves celebration of the time together and a gradual parting of ways. It’s clearly a ritual for… amicable separation.
However, now the Essentialists begin to conduct an armed raid on the restaurant… which turns out to be a hoax, just to prove a point. Their phasers were completely drained, but if the Essentialists had been Breen, everyone would be dead. And because of that, nobody deserves a vacation ever, apparently. Worf isn’t condoning, but we can see him contemplating the point.
Finally, Worf gets a chance to talk to Jadzia about the things that are bothering him – she’s more impulsive than he’d like and he’s way to rigid and is taking the relationship more seriously than she’d like.
Next morning, the Risians have the trashed room back into shape, because contrary to Fullerton’s perceptions, they’re not pampered and lazy, they’re just committed to their lifestyle. Also, Fullerton needs to get laid, badly. So does Worf, apparently. He’s the most… rigid… Klingon anyone’s ever met.
Leeta and Bashir are completing the ritual separation, and Quark is really disappointed at all the fighting they didn’t do. Once the breakup happens, Leeta can finally be honest that she’s been fantasizing about another man – Rom. It’s hard to say whether Bashir or Quark is more offended.
Worf finds Jadzia playing with clay and Curzon’s ex, and he’s not at all happy about it. The Essentialists aren’t happy either, but now they’ve got a new recruit, and Worf gives them an idea.
Bashir and Quark are giving Jadzia relationship advice – namely that she’s an exhausting enigma. It’s to the point where Bashir and Quark are about to go skinny-dipping, when all of a sudden a thunderstorm starts – the weather grid is down, because Fullerton and Worf took it down for three or four days, to remind everyone that Risa is an illusion.Rather than pull Worf and the Essentialists in as terrorists, the Risian prefect gives them a disappointed look. This committment to the ideals of universal happiness does not, sadly, warm his heart.
The Ferengi have 178 words for rain and no word for ‘crisp’ and nobody’s enjoying themselves any more. Having done his job destroying the local mood, Worf departs, and Fullerton decides to make the memories a little more permanent with the weather grid uplink while Worf gloats about ruining some vacations. And let’s talk about that. We don’t know quite where Risa is, but it’s not way out on the borders of Federation space. It’s a fairly common vacation destination. Talking about Risa getting stormed by Jem’Hadar soldiers is like saying Disney World is going to get invaded by the FSB.
Dax is so pissed at Worf for not trusting her, or asking him anything, that she starts in on explaining just how unlike other Klingons Worf is, in that he has no passion for anything fun. This is because, as a child, he played soccer too hard and accidentally headbutted a kid to death. Worf has been holding himself back ever since, until it became perfect habit. Which finally explains why he’s got such a stick up him, and lets them break through a communications barrier.
And then the quakes start, curtesty of Fullerton. He’s ready to turn up the feedback on the seismic stabilizers to destroy Risian civilization, until Worf asks politely-but-with-menaces. Having learned his lesson about Federation values, Worf throws Fullerton across the room and enjoys the rest of his vacation and no charges were filed. But I bet Sisko yelled at him.