TNG: S7E21: “First Born”

In which Worf gets mugged, gets help, and gets yet another hole punched on his ‘frequent lesson-in-parenting-getter’ card. One more and he gets a free burrito.

Worf's least favorite talk ever, including the one where he convinces Sito to volunteer for a suicide mission.

Worf’s least favorite talk ever, including the one where he convinces Sito to volunteer for a suicide mission.

Worf is fully dressed in his ceremonial vestrobe, researching a speech about how boys become men and men become warriors, when Alexander runs into quarters and gets Worf pelted with a water balloon. This talk is off to a rough start. Any child who’s ever been pushed into a religious service they didn’t give a damn about has been where Alexander is now. Klingon rituals suck, and apparently this is the first time Worf has really sat down with Alexander and had a talk about his Klingon Bar Mitzvah. Alexander has his doubts about wanting to become a Klingon Warrior, and he decides not to do his Klingfirmation. As reactions go, a resigned sigh is about as good as we could expect from Worf, particularly before the credits.

Ship  business has the Enterprise waiting on another ship for rendezvous, so Picard is going to go for a joyride and everyone else is going to sneak in some maintenance and sciencing. Worf is distracted in the staff meeting, and Picard picks up on it and asks if everything is okay. Worf explains, and Picard offers Worf some leave to go visit a Klingon outpost, and even to divert the Enterprise, both so his CSO can work out some family drama and so that Stellar Dynamics can peep at the nebula en route. Plus we finally have some confirmation of just how pokey shuttles are. It would take the shuttle three days to get to the outpost, but the Enterprise can be there in a fraction of the time, presumably without having emergency authorization to break the warp speed limits.

If this looks silly, remember that these guys are swinging around greatswords and stopping them without contact.

If this looks silly, remember that these guys are swinging around greatswords and stopping them without contact.

The Klingon festival involves some sort of instrument made of bamboo, lots of singing and staged bat’leth combat set to Klingon Opera. It looks like a couple of other Enterprise crew have beamed down to watch. Worf interprets the story of the tyrant Molar. The whole vestival is an audience participation thing, and Worf steps in to take part. Leaving Alexander alone to get creeped on by another Klingon with big eyes while Worf gets ritually defeated as part of the festival, so that Alexander can join in the fun. Alexander clearly doesn’t understand the rules, but he had fun before the Kahless actor shows up and Alexander gets really excited about his heritage.

Now that Alexander has finally gotten into his heritage, Worf squishes his enthusiasm just before they get mugged by some thugs. They are saved by a mysterious guy with a disruptor, who evens the odds just long enough to make it Worf against two randos.

The stranger has a face and a crest that Worf recognizes, and was sent by Kurn to protect Worf, because somehow Kurn knew that Worf would be here? Something’s fishy here, but we cut to a scene change before K’Mtar has to come up with an explanation that we’re supposed to buy. Also, apparently Klingons have just a single word for ‘adviser so trusted he has become part of the family.’ Not a crazy German-style compound word, either. Worf heads off some drama betwen K’Mtar and Riker, and the evidence from the scene indicates that the attack came from the house of Duras. Lursa and B’etor jsut will not go away.

K’Mtar is also down on Worf for his failure to instill Klingon values into Alexander. Man, he’s parenting as best as he can, buddy. Since Alexander is the only male heir of the brothers Mogh, it’s apparently Vital that Alexander get with the program. K’Mtar offers to help out with the cultural intillment, and tells Alexander about some of the cool things that await on the Homeworld, if he ever chooses to go. He speaks with some solid conviction about Alexander’s future as a warrior, too. Plus there’s the way he looks at Alexander’s picture of K’ehleyr. He’s a damn good advisor, I guess. Nothing more complex going on here.

He looks like he's waiting for Slayer to take the stage.

He looks like he’s waiting for Slayer to take the stage.

Riker calls Deep Space Nine to call in a debt Quark owes him and use it to track the Duras sisters down. Quark gives Riker a tip that the sisters are out mining for magnesite, and on the way to track them down, K’Mtar has Alexander recreate the battle where they all met. The Holodeck makes a pretty useful teaching tool, given that you can freeze the program to see how stances shift. You could probably program the computer to fight with you in slow motion. Also, K’Mtar and Worf yell at Alexander when he doesn’t want o play his violent video game any more.

The Enterprise arrives at the site of the mine, and because the ore deposits interfere with sensor readings, Riker sends an away team down, none of whom are wearing emergency transporter pattern enhancing armbands in case of emergency. They meet guy chilling out at the bottom of the mine where the Duras sisters left him, and he makes a deal to get un-stranded. It is apparently a time for reconciliation, because K’Mtar goes to apologize to Worf for getting harsh. And then suggests Alexander be sent to military academy, to learn the real Klingon values.

Next up, K’Mtar is teaching Alexander his Torah portion, and Alexander keeps asking why some people had to fight. Klings don’t ask these questions. He keeps pushing, and insisting he knows exactly what Alexander would think and feel if he goes through with his Klingon rites.

Yeesh. They're never going to get all the glitter off their hull.

Yeesh. They’re never going to get all the glitter off their hull.

The Enterprise makes it to a Euridian freighter which has some magnesite ore, but not nearly as much as they were expecting to find. Riker bluffs his way into  buying five hundred kilograms of ore for half a gram of Anjoran biomimetic gel. I don’t know what the properties of Anjoran biomimetic gel are, but if half a gram of it is worth five hundred kilograms of something that was worth stealing, It’s worth a thousand times its weight in magnesite, which itself is worth a lot. Riker orders the ore beamed off the ship’s bow and blows it up, having guessed with perfect accuracy not only that the Duras sisters were sitting in a cloaked ship nearby, but exactly where they were sitting.

Riker and Worf confront the sisters over the blade, but it’s not exactly hard evidence. What’s more important, though, is that the Duras crest isn’t quite right, which Lursa and B’Etor explain. There’s a symbol on the crest that represents a child that hasn’t been born yet, and either Klingons don’t believe that the fetus is a person or they just haven’t gotten around to updating all their assassination daggers. They do not appear to be of legitimate provenance, and Worf stops K’Mtar from shooting Alexander while he sleeps, beats K’Mtar up, and forces him to admit that he is, in fact, Alexander. From the future. BECAUSE WHY NOT?

He’s able to prove his identity to Worf’s satisfaction, but now the question is why and how. The answer to the latter appears to be, basically “screw you for asking.” There was a guy who offered him the chance to Turn Left. Alexander, some time in the future, will have the chance to stop Worf from getting killed and be to cowardly or weak or unskilled to do it, so he took the chance to come back and guide his younger self into becoming a warrior. He tried to make Alexander a warrior, by trickery and guidance, and eventually when he decided he failed he just decided to kill his younger self in order to save his dad. It kind of makes sense in context.

Worf is able to talk his old son down because he’s gotten a valuable lesson in parenting, and turns that exasperated sigh from the opening teaser into a resounding anticlimax.

Did we miss something awesome?