In which we meet Martok’s wife, see a Klingon bachelor party, and cancel another wedding.
The Federation is back in charge of Deep Space Nine, and I’d love to have been in on the meeting where the Federation first introduced the concept of flags to some species that had never bothered with them before. Everyone’s still more or less glowing over the return to expected forms, and Martok is here to see Sisko. He’s very upset about being promoted to Supreme Commander of the Ninth Fleet, because that’s a whole lot of paperwork. He’s also asking for the continued loan of Worf, once the man’s done chattering about his wedding and his son.
Speaking of Alexander, he’s still basically Ship’s Mascot, and regaling Dax with stories of his screwups, and he’s about to be transferred from the Rotaran to the Ya’veng. This seems to be a cause of some worry. Quark drops by to offer the bar as a wedding venue, and since they don’t know when the war’s going to end, Worf agrees. And Alexander is still a klutz, although if Klingon children are anything like humans he might still be at the tail end of his growth spurt and still figuring out where his limbs end.
Kira’s about to shake some stuff up by telling Jadzia she should be ware more insistent about the wedding. Jadzia doesn’t care that much, since she’s already been though several weddings and doesn’t find them to be that special. Also, Odo and Kira have been avoiding each other, as one might expect.
Worf pulls in Sisko, Martok, Bashir, and O’Brien about his bachelor party, the Kalhaya ritual, also known as the Path of Clarity. The four nights are supposed to be full of song and revelry, meanwhile Jadzia gets to hang out with Martok’s wife. Martok says ‘wife’ the way some people say ‘ingrown toenail.’ Martok’s wife Sirella gets to approve all entries to the House of Martok, and she could give Grilka lessons in imperiousness, but he seems to find her just as excellent as when he married her.
Worf is not happy that Jadzia isn’t hand-crafting every facet of the wedding by hand, down to making her own candles out of genuine targ-tallow. Jadzia is sure that this won’t matter, and boy is she wrong. The fact that they’re ‘obvious fakes’ does raise a question though – how obvious are they? I’m choosing to mark this down as further evidence that when the replicator stores the pattern for something, particulaly if it’s a small replicator or it’s not a common item, it stores one pattern, and every copy made will be identical. Thus, the fake ritual candles were easily spotted because the colored tallow layers were shaped exactly the same on each one. A less obvious fake would be if Jadzia had replicated the tallow and hand-poured it, as it least then the shapes and sizes would be different. Then again, maybe Sirella’s just being ornery and bigoted.
Worf and Martok discuss Sirella’s… ornerosity. Martok is a general and supreme commander of a joint Federation/Klingon fleet, but the Legwear of Authority in that household is very clearly whatever Sirella happens to be wearing. Since she doesn’t even like Worf that much but has accepted there’s nothing she can do about it, a question arises. If Worf wants to go ahead and marry Jadzia over her objections, what happens, exactly? Does he remain in the house of Martok but Jadzia doesn’t? Is Worf just Not Allowed to marry her on penalty of being expelled? It is with these concerns in mind that the bachelor’s party , including Alexander, make their way to the Klingon sweat lodge cave. The first thing they get are the traditional beating-sticks to symbolize when Kahless and Lukara were attacked just after their wedding. There’s also a four-day fast, along with the constant temptation of food, and a whole bunch of other grueling rituals, because Klingons know how to party hardy.
Quark is getting the bar ready, and Jake comes in to gloat about ‘selling’ a book. Of course, that just means the Federation News Service is publishing it, not that he’s getting paid. The two of them speculate about the debauchery going on in the holosuite, when the truth is more that they’re sweat-lodging it out. Alexander passed out, and both Miles and Julian try to get the heat turned down… for Alexander’s sake, of course. Meanwhile, Jadzia is holding smoldering buckets at arm’s reach and going through a ritual and enduring acute emotional abuse from Sirilla for not being Klingon enough. She also has to recite Klingon history though Sirilla’s female lineage, and (probably deliberately) antagonizing her by editorializing about the joys of democracy. And also casting doubt on the legitimacy of Sirilla’s actual heritage before ultimately agreeing to perpetuate the lie. I can see her figuring out that Sirilla’s heritage was a lie, but managing to determine who her actual ancestor was after the records had almost certainly been destroyed is pretty impressive. Jadzia has clearly given up on being liked.
Jake gets an invite-by-proxy to Jadzia’s shindig, gets to watch Kira and Odo continue to be awkward at each other, and in Worf’s party, a half-asleep Julian gets volunteered to be bled first. Jadzia’s party, meanwhile, is evidently not a Klingon affair. Someone turned off the fire suppressors and a lieutenant from the Southerland is performing a polynesian-type fire dance. We cut back and forth between the two parties, where Julian and Miles are manacled over a pit of hot coals, ready to kill Worf for this. Odo shows up to Jadzia’s party responding to a noise complaint, and this is the point where he and Kira finally bite the bullet and talk about their issues. And that’s when Sirilla shows up. Words are exchanged, what’s probably a ritual challenge and denouncement are thrown out, and it seems like Sirilla does, in fact, have the authority to cancel the wedding itself.
Morn and Lt. Firespinner wander out of the party at 10:30 the next morning, just about when Worf walks in to discuss the matter. Kira and Odo are still talking the next morning, right through their duty shifts. Now, Sirella can forbit Jadzia to join the House of Martok in a Traditional Klingon Meaningful way, but the two fo them could just go to Ben Sisko’s office and get a nice perfunctory legal Federation marriage… if Worf weren’t dead-set on the Klingon Wedding Scrapbook he’s been making since he was nine. The Wedding is Off, although Miles and Julian are damned if they’re going to let all that suffering go to waste. Oh no wait they’re going to eat something. It’ll be Martok who discusses things with Worf.
I want to point out, by the way, that both Worf and Martok are quartered on their ships, despite being assigned to more permanent installations. I think Martok deciding to quarter on the Rotaran was thrown in specifically to draw the parallel between Jadzia’s strength of character and Sirilla’s. I digress. Martok sits and listens to Worf try to talk himself out of loving Jadzia, and his response is basically ‘yeah, well. Tough. You love her, and it sucks to be you.’ Martok and Sisko catch Julian and Miles just in time to stop them from eating, but Jadzia still needs the Wise Counsel of a Good Friend. Sisko’s speech is even more curt than Martok’s. Summarized: ‘you fell in love with a relative baby. If you weren’t going to be willing to play pretend with him, you should’ve done thing’s differently so gential up.’ Unfortunately for Jadzia, Dax is just a hopeless, passionate romantic.
Sirilla seems to have accepted the apology, and the wedding, complete with fire and drums and the ancient Klingon legend of how the Klingons were created in pairs and then slew their gods for being timid cowards. The rings are swords, and the Klingon wedding garb is blood-red and has the traditional Klingon centerboob window. Klingon tradition also holds that the woman’s heart was both stronger and smarter than the man’s heart. The Klingon wedding vows are, of course, framed in terms of fighting back-to-back against endless foes. Which is when the traditional Klingon post-nuptual beating sticks come in.