3/25/13

Star Trek: Asterisk "The Emissary"

Vital Information
Series: The Next Generation
Episode: S02E20
Air Date: June 29, 1989
Written by: Richard Manning & Hans Beimler and Thomas H. Calder
Directed by: Cliff Bole

Premise
Worf's old flame comes aboard to act as emissary to some freeze-dried Klingons.

Review
Perhaps ironically, while The Original Series often referred to chess games, The Next Generation's game appears to be poker. And that's where we find ourselves at the beginning of this episode. Worf, Riker, Pulaski, Data and Geordi around the poker table, describing the intricacies of the game to a Klingon who seems to be winning against all odds. Worf makes another high bet, but then their game is interrupted by a call to the bridge. Geordi insists he was bluffing, but Worf says Klingons never bluff. Probably because they'd had enough of it from Kirk all those years.

The message from Starfleet was cryptic. All Picard knows is that they're supposed to pick up some sort of emissary who'll be arriving on a Class 1 probe going at warp 9 to meet them. When they transport the probe, which is big enough only to fit one person, they find K'Ehleyr, who is a Human/Klingon hybrid. When she meets the senior staff, they all discover that she already knows Worf. In fact, they used to be very close. So, true to Worf's nature, he tries to ignore her. Which is difficult when Picard assigns him to help her with their plan.
He can still smell her.
The mission is to reach an 70-year-old Klingon battle cruiser before its crew wakes up from a cryogenic sleep and destroys the Federation outposts around it. A Klingon ship is on its way, but the Enterprise is closer. Basically, they have to go tell these guys that the war is over and they need to cool their jets. K'Ehleyr doesn't believe they'll listen and the only course of action is going to be to destroy them. Picard refuses to accept that, so he has her and Worf work on another option.

Meanwhile, Worf acts all kinds of awkward around her. All their unresolved issues are getting in the way of their work and they basically blow up over nothing. K'Ehleyr goes back to her quarters and destroys a glass table. That's when Troi comes in and suggests that she go work out her stress in the holodeck. Worf happens to have the same idea, so when he goes to the holodeck, he's surprised to find his own calisthenics program running already.
Worf has something against Skeletor.
He and K'Ehleyr fight against Skeletor and his friends for a while and when all their enemies are defeated they find themselves in the heat of the moment and... get it on. During the commercial break, we're meant to believe that they had hot and heavy Klingon sex. So they finally got over themselves, right? Nope. Sex only complicated things. Worf thinks they should now get married according to Klingon tradition and K'Ehleyr is having none of that. So now working together is even more awkward. So awkward, in fact, that Worf brings along Data as a buffer.

They still have to come up with a plan to convince the 70-year-old Klingons that the war is over. K'Ehleyr is convinced they'll have to destroy them. And it looks like it's coming to that when they encounter the Klingons and they immediately fire on the Enterprise. But then Worf comes up with a brilliant plan. He dresses in his finest Klingon attire and hails the Klingon ship. He pretends to be in command of the Enterprise as he attempts to convince the other Klingons that the war is over and they had won! A Klingon bluff at its finest.
"I believe you, Worf, because Klingons never bluff."
After things calm down, K'Ehleyr is set to head over to the Klingon ship and assimilate them into the 24th century before the other Klingon ship arrives to escort them to Qo'nos. But before she transports over, she has a private conversation with Worf in the transporter room. Here she reveals that she may not be quite so apposed to marrying Worf some time down the line. They resolve their feelings and leave the option of their meeting again open to the writers.

Overall Thoughts
I love any episode that takes us deeper into Klingon culture. I don't know why it fascinates me so much, but it's probably something to do with the fact that the Federation can so easily get along with them if they only try. What I would really like to know, however, is what these cryogenically frozen Klingon's mission was. This was kind of glossed over, but now the question is just hanging there. In any case, I highly approve of this episode and the consequences of it, which we'll get into down the line...