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Star Trek TNG - Season 3 - Episode 17

Star Trek TNG - 3x17 - Sins of the Father

Originally Aired: 1990-3-19

Synopsis:
Worf defends his late father. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 7.38

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 5 3 2 4 26 2 6 13 34 56 30

Problems
- In the original airing of this episode, the lighting and perspective of the Klingon ship were both a bit off. This error was fixed for the Blu-ray remastering.

Factoids
- This is the first Star Trek episode in which we get to actually see the Klingon homeworld.

Remarkable Scenes
- Kurn. Has everybody on edge. He is the very model of a modern Klingon.
- Kurn patronizing Worf.
- Kurn: "If it were a Klingon ship, I would have killed you for offering your suggestion."
- Kurn's reaction to human food.
- Worf confronting Kurn.
- Worf confronting the Klingon High Council.
- Worf: "It is a good day to die, Duras. But the day is not yet over." The first time the classic Klingon phrase "it is a good day to die" was ever used on screen.
- Picard trying to find a way to clear Worf's name.
- K'mpec urging Worf to dissolve his challenge.
- Picard holding his own against Klingon assassins.
- Kahlest insulting K'mpec's weight.
- K'mpec: "Kahlest, it is good to see you again." Kahlest: "You are still fat, K'mpec." Kahlest exits...
- Picard standing up to the chancellor of the Klingon Empire in defense of Worf, knowing that he may be about to start a war...
- Worf's discommendation.

My Review
A soap opera episode and a continuity goldmine. First, we get mention of Riker's experience aboard the Pagh. Then we meet Kurn, son of Mogh. Worf's long lost brother! Then we get to hear about Worf's past and about his father. This is also a milestone TNG episode which will have a serious impact on Worf's character in the coming years. We even get to see the great leader of the Klingon Empire who presumably forged the alliance with the Federation. Marvelous!

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-25 at 4:10am:
    - Someone needs to replace the light bulbs in the transporter room. When Kurn beams aboard the Enterprise, the transporter platform is very dark. Maybe he called ahead to tell the transporter chief he wanted to make a dramatic entrance ;)
    - Picard replicates a variety of foods for Kurn to sample. One of them is roast turkey. Why would the replicators aboard the Enterprise replicate bones? Doesn't this seem like a waste of enegy? Picard must be a real stickler for authenticity ;)
  • From thaibites on 2011-02-05 at 12:05am:
    To say that this episode is a soap opera brings dishonor to this episode. A soap opera is where some slut is having an affair with her boss, while her Mom is banging some guy upstairs, and then the boss wants to bang the Mom, but the Mom is now depressed because blah, blah, blah...

    This episode is intense and obviously had a lot of energy put into it. I love how the Klingon homeworld is shown as a dark, sterile, foreboding place. The lighting is great! For me, this is the best episode of TNG so far, chronologically speaking. It's flawless.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-22 at 10:12am:
    This becomes a really superb episode once the main plot starts. No wonder Klingons became popular, they had some strong episodes in TNG. It also adds a lot of dimension to both Worf and the Klingons to see that not all Klingons are as rigidly obsessed with honor as Worf – that he has essentially overcompensated for his Federation upbringing by trying to become the perfect Klingon.
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-09-27 at 10:48pm:
    Tony Todd who played Kurn, Worf's younger brother, also appeared in several other Star Trek episodes, two TNG episodes where he reprises the role of Kurn (as he does in one DS9 episode) plus one other DS9 episode (The Visitor) where he played the older Jake Sisco. This DS9 episode is arguably the best Star Trek episode ever. Certainly, Todd's performance was a major factor in that. Todd also plus the Alpha Hirgen on Voyager.
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-09-28 at 12:47pm:
    Tony Todd who played Kurn, Worf's younger brother, also appeared in several other Star Trek episodes, two TNG episodes where he reprises the role of Kurn (as he does in one DS9 episode) plus one other DS9 episode (The Visitor) where he played the older Jake Sisco. This DS9 episode is arguably the best Star Trek episode ever. Certainly, Todd's performance was a major factor in that. Todd also plus the Alpha Hirgen on Voyager.
  • From John on 2011-11-22 at 9:33pm:
    That I really like this episode. I tend to like most Klingon episodes, but this one in particular because it's the first time we get to meet Worf's brother Kurn, played so well by Tony Todd.

    There's only one thing about this episode that confuses me. It's really a nitpick, but... when Picard first finds out the story behind why Kurn is there, he orders a course change to the first city of the "Klingon Imperial Empire". As opposed to the Klingon "non-Imperial" Empire. If it's an empire, then it's imperial. What's up with the redundance?

    Other than that I think this episode is great.
  • From Ggen on 2012-03-22 at 12:21am:
    Another excellent episode. There are almost two separate halves here, each interesting in its own way: first Kurn as exchange commander, and then Warf's legal drama on the Klingon homeworld.

    Kurn is a great character, with the tension on the bridge practically dripping off the ceiling... And the heartfelt scenes of loyalty between both Warf/Kurn and Warf/Picard were great. And finally the legal drama was excellent, with all its open court and behind-the-scenes elements.

    I'd imagine this is how many of our earlier courts operated, complete with stabbings in the halls. Unfortunately, I also strongly suspect that our modern courts aren't a heck of a lot better, not when there's a "powerful family" involved, and there's a perceived threat to "national security." There are backroom deals, plea bargains, and all sorts of extralegal, purely political considerations. See the mock "trial" of MLK's assassin, James Earl Ray, for a very prominent example.
  • From Daniel on 2014-07-02 at 6:04am:
    I too loved this episode for many of the same reasons as others do. I like the introduction of Kurn and the seeding of a future storyline with Worf and the Klingons. I do have one nitpick about one particular scene... When Wesley Crusher is at his post to navigate and Kurn is in command, Kurn gives the coordinates and speed, then says "Execute" - which is the Klingon version of Picard's "Engage"... Now, any other Starfleet officer would have simply replied, "Aye, Sir!" And obeyed the command. But, Wesley, upstart brat that he is, replies very vehemently "Engage!" Thus correcting his commanding officer's choice of words in pure spite. No one seemed to notice this. If Kurn had noticed Wesley's smart-ass response, he would have killed him, as any Klingon would do. If Picard or Riker had noticed Wesley's contempt of his commanding officer, they'd have scolded him and possibly reprimanded him. Yet, somehow, the boy wonder gets away with being insolent. Doesn't seem right! What about the rigid Starfleet regulations and code of honor? Since when is it okay for a Federation Starship crew member to correct his superior officer... And spitefully too, since the correction is unnecessary?
  • From Axel on 2015-03-02 at 9:13pm:
    John's comment made me laugh only because I thought the same thing. THe first time I saw this episode, I had to rewind and listen again because I thought I misheard. But "Imperial Empire" doesn't make a lot of sense. Was that in the script or was it just a flub-up?

    That redundancy aside, this episode was awesome with lots of great plot twists. The Worf-Picard relationship evolves a lot in this one, and will continue to do so in "Reunion" and "Redemption" as they discuss Worf's family honor and their mutual struggles to balance between Federation and Klingon interests and cultures.

    On a side note, Tony Todd is one of the better guest actors in Star Trek. He does a great job as Kurn in TNG and DS9, and also portrays an older Jake Sisko in DS9: The Visitor.

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