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Rating: **** 1/2
Edited Length: 45:32
U.S. Airdate: June 30, 1991
Nielsen Rating/Rank: [10.9/2]
Robert O'Reilly: [Gowron]
Tony Todd: [Commander Kurn]
Barbara March: [Lursa]
Gwynyth Walsh: [B'Etor]
Ben Slack: [K'Tal]
Nicholas Kepros: [General Movar]
J.D. Cullum: [Toral]
[Denise Crosby: Commander Sela]
and Special Guest Star
Whoopi Goldberg: Guinan
Co-Producer: Peter Lauritson
Producer: David Livingston
Supervising Producer: Jeri Taylor
Executive Producer: Michael Piller
Written by: Ronald D. Moore
Directed by: Cliff Bole
Executive Producer: Gene Roddenberry
Executive Producer: Rick Berman
Associate Producer: Wendy Neuss
Executive Story Editor: Ronald D. Moore
Executive Story Editor: Joe Menosky
Story Editors: David Bennett Carren & J. Larry Carroll
Tom Ormeny: Klingon 1st Officer
[Clifton Jones: Helmsman]
Majel Barrett: Computer Voice
Currently, this feature is disabled... Sorry.
The Enterprise is en route to the Klingon homeworld to install Gowron as the next leader of the Empire. However, after Picard briefly talks to Worf and urges him to challenge the Council and restore his family's honor, all aboard are surprised to find an escort; the Bortas, with Gowron himself on board. Gowron tells them they must hurry-if they are to prevent a Klingon civil war.
You see, although Duras is dead, his legacy lives on. His family is still powerful, and Duras's two sisters, Lursa and B'Etor, are mounting their own challenge to the throne. Gowron asks Jean- Luc to see his duty as arbiter of the succession through to the end, and support Gowron's rightful accession. Picard says that he will only act within the bounds of Klingon law: but that may not be enough...
Worf takes Gowron back to the transporter room (and Picard, based on past experience with Duras's family, orders a search for Romulan communications nearby), and then asks Gowron for the restoration of his good name. Gowron refuses, even after hearing that not only was it Duras's family that was responsible for the Khitomer attack, but that the Council members knew about it. Gowron is isolated, and needs the support of the Council to survive-so he cannot challenge them on Worf's behalf yet.
After Guinan and Worf talk on the phaser range for a bit (ending with Guinan's observation that Worf is only now discovering what it's really like to be a Klingon), Worf asks Picard for a leave of absence. Picard grants it, and wishes Worf luck.
Worf then locates and boards the ship belonging to his brother Kurn, now a captain. Kurn is initially against Gowron, preferring to sweep the entire Council aside in favor of new blood, but Worf, as the older brother, claims that he is the one to speak for the family. After Worf points out that they will not support him until he has nowhere left to turn (and insist on the restoration of their family's honor as recompense) Kurn agrees, and says he shall attempt to persuade his own allies to support Gowron.
Before the Council, Picard reports that Gowron is the choice for leader. At the last minute, however, there comes a challenge: from Toral, a mere stripling, and, apparently, Duras's heretofore unknown son. Lursa and B'Etor tell K'Tal, interim leader of the Council, that Toral's bloodline is true, and K'Tal puts the whole matter in Picard's lap.
Some time later, Lursa, B'Etor, and Toral are talking to Movar, a Romulan. Movar is saying that everything is going well-and his companion, cloaked in shadow, says that when the time is right, they will deal with the Federation, and Captain Picard.
Kurn reports to Worf that of his four squadron- commanding allies, three are with him, one against. Most of the Fleet hasn't decided yet which banner to follow. Kurn shall return soon. Worf then works with Data on accessing Federation records of the Khitomer massacre, but Picard briefly takes him aside and yells at him about using Federation influence and privileges to influence local politics. Picard realizes that he's primarily worried about crossing that line himself (certainly he has no wish to see the Duras family in power), and backs off-but he insists he cannot take sides. He allows Worf access to the Khitomer records, and will also open it to anyone else who wishes it- but this is the farthest he will go.
Picard then goes planetside and briefly pays an invited visit to Lursa and B'Etor, who attempt to convince him that Toral's challenge must be approved. Picard, however, realizes that they've manipulated the situation to their advantage: if he rules in favor of Toral, they win; and if he rules against Toral, they claim Federation interference and declare war on Gowron (and, Lursa points out, if they win, it's the end of the alliance...). He congratulates them on a strategy worthy of a Romulan, and departs.
The next day, Picard rules in favor of Gowron, saying that Toral has done nothing to prove his worthiness. Toral claims interference and calls his allies to war; Gowron claims that the law is on his side. The Council splits, with nearly all in favor of Toral.
Later, Worf goes on the Bortas to offer his assistance to Gowron. Gowron is not impressed- until Worf mentions that Kurn is his brother, and brings four squadrons. Gowron is then willing to listen, but also demands Federation help, and becomes very angry when Worf refuses to talk to Picard about it.
Their argument is interrupted, however, when the Bortas comes under fire from two ships. ("It's begun," says Picard.) The Bortas is heavily damaged, but Picard, bending over backward to avoid taking sides, merely orders the Enterprise out of the fighting area. Worf deceives the two ships and suckers them in close, managing to destroy one; and Kurn returns just in time, causing the other to flee. He offers his allegiance to Gowron, who accepts, and invites all down to witness his installment as leader.
His first act as leader is to restore Worf's good name, saying that in the recent struggle, he proved himself to have the heart of a Klingon. "Let your name be spoken once again. You are Worf, son of Mogh." Gowron then formally requests Federation aid as leader of the Empire, but Picard refuses to intervene in what is clearly an internal conflict, even refusing Worf's plea. Worf, unwilling to leave the sector in such a critical period, resigns his commission.
Later, Worf, in old Klingon garb, is packing his bags. Picard comes by to check that he's certain he's doing the right thing. Worf is sure he is, and Picard congratulates him for taking the best of humanity into himself. Worf, with a full honor guard, makes his way to the transporter room and departs for the Bortas (there to serve as weapons officer).
Finally, we see Movar, Duras's sisters and son, and Movar's companion, still cloaked in darkness. Movar smugly reports, "Picard has rejected Gowron's plea for help. The Enterprise has left orbit." Toral, brash and foolish as ever, says "Coward! He didn't have the courage to face us! The Federation-"
"Celebrate later, Toral!" says Movar's companion, now stepping into the light to reveal a slim, blonde figure who bears more than a passing resemblance to Tasha Yar (although her name is not said). "You should not discount Jean- Luc Picard yet. He is human-and humans have a way of showing up when you least expect them."
TO BE CONTINUED...
Technical design, graphic design, interactive features, HTML & CGI programming by Andrew Tong. || All materials Copyright © 1987-1995 by their respective authors. || Document created: January 28, 1995 || Last Modified: November 09, 2010