TNG Episode 2.14: The Icarus Factor

In which ohana means pain.

Memory Alpha says: When Commander Riker is offered command of the starship Aries, his estranged father, Kyle Riker, is sent by Starfleet to brief him on the mission. Meanwhile, Data, La Forge, Dr. Pulaski, Wesley, and O’Brien help Worf celebrate the anniversary of his Rite of Ascension.

My Review

Going into this, I expect to be vastly more entertained by the Worf B-plot. The director of this episode noted that the A-plot about Riker and his dad was kind of a damp squib because, at this stage, Roddenberry was still really pushing the idea that by the 24th Century, humans have just grown beyond stuff like grief and resentment and Daddy Issues, a.k.a. all the best stuff for character conflict (and the entire basis of Lost, no wait, that was ultimately about Mommy Issues… and bunnies). Also, the thought of Data, Geordi, Pulaski, Wesley and O’Brien all being involved in some of Worf’s Klingon issues just makes me smile in anticipation. Awkward people UNITE.

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TNG Episode 1.20: Heart of Glory


Memory Alpha says: Worf faces a test of loyalties when three fugitive Klingons come on board the Enterprise-D. (Please click the Memory Alpha link for detailed information.)

My Review
Ah, it feels nice to get back to TNG, and I have a run of several more of these before I get back to DS9.

This episode is important because it starts to lay out who and what the Klingons are in the post-TOS world. For one thing, a lot more foreheady and armour-plated. So far Worf’s cultural background has been hinted at; in this story details begin to be filled in. Some of these details, like the use of Kling as the name of their home planet, later fell by the wayside, but the whole WARRIOR CODE OF HONOUR AND RAAAARRRR element remains important in all subsequent iterations of Trek, even if it’s hard not to think sometimes that it is really only believed by a diehard few, particularly by Worf, who grew up alienated (sorry) from Klingon culture and thus idealised it in a way that someone growing up with its quotidian realities probably wouldn’t.

It’s a lot like how Japan used to have this big samurai code that everyone cited while wrapping themselves in the national flag, but at the same time, come on, politics was always politics. Read the rest of this entry »