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Heart of Glory

Review

Series : The Next Generation Rating : 4
Disc No : 1.5 Episode : 19
First Aired : 21 Mar 1988 Stardate : 41503.7
Director : Robert Bowman Year : 2364
Writers : D.C. Fontana, Herbert Wright, Maurice Hurley Season : 1
Guest Cast :
Brad Zerbst as Nurse
Charles H. Hyman as Lieutenant Konmel
David Froman as Commander K'Nera
Dennis Madalone as Ramos
Guy Vardaman as Darien Wallace
Robert Bauer as Kunivas
Vaughn Armstrong as Captain Korris
Moral :
Glory : Going down in flames is the dream of every Klingon
YATI : Worf claims that Klingons do not take hostages. Tell that to Kor, the revered Klingon dahar master who took hundreds of Organians hostage and had them all shot in "Errand of Mercy".

On the freighter, why does Data ask Geordi and Riker for help? They have to expose themselves to the damaged warp core to get to the problem, and once they do get there Data is the one who does all the work while they just stand around.

Korris refers to "the traitors of Kling!" This implies that the Klingon home world was intended to be called Kling, yet that name will never be used again - from now on the Klingon home planet will simply be called "Homeworld" or Qo'noS (pronounced Kronos). To be forgiving, one might compare this to how our planet can variously be referred to as Earth, Terra, or Sol III.

So the upper deck of main engineering has glass floors that shatter if an adult person falls over on them? Health and Safety in the workplace, dudes!

Great Moment : Worf's death howl over the Korris in engineering.
Body Count : Kunivas dies of his wounds aboard the Enterprise. Konmel is killed escaping the brig, as is at least one security yellowshirt. Another security yellowshirt is hit and probably killed in the escape from the brig. Worf kills Korris.
Factoid : This episode gives us our first look at how Geordi sees the world through his VISOR.
Quote : "What magnificent battles we could have at the helm of this ship!" - Klingon to Worf; on the Enterprise

"Cowards take hostages, Klingons do not." - Worf to Yar

"The true test of a warrior is not without, it is within!" - Worf to Korris

"Yet in all you say, where are the words duty, honour, loyalty? Without which a warrior is nothing!" - Worf to Korris

Korris : "You are a sham! My words were dust upon the ground! Your blood has no fire! You are weak like them! I don't care what you look like you are no Klingon!"
Worf : "Perhaps not." (Worf shoots Korris, killing him.)

Plotline

The Enterprise receives word of a battle being detected in the Neutral Zone. Proceeding to the scene, the ship discovers a Talarian freighter called the Batris adrift in space, heavily damaged. Riker leads a team aboard, where they discover three Klingons are the only survivors. One of the men is close to death, but despite the disintergrating condition of the freighter the away team manages to get them back to the Starship in the nick of time.

In sickbay, Crusher tries to treat the injured Klingon but warns that his wounds are critical. The other two announce themselves as Commander Korris and Lieutenant Konmel, and claim that they were travelling aboard the Batris when a Ferengi cruiser attacked without warning. The captain, having no combat experience, allowed the two to take command of his ship and they were able to lure the ship into dropping its shields before destroying it. They mock Worf for serving in Starfleet, wondering if it has made him docile - a ploy to see if he will lose his temper. Worf assures them that his heart remains Klingon no matter where he serves.

Picard calls to inform the two that their comrade, Kunivas, is dying. They go to sickbay to watch him pass, whereupon the pair and Worf emit deafening roars to the sky - the Klingon death howl, a warning to those in the afterlife that they should beware as a Klingon warrior is about to arrive. Once this is done the body is considered to be an empty shell, to be disposed of as needed.

Worf asks the two Klingons what really happened on the Batris. they confess that the attacking ship was not Ferengi, but in fact Klingon. The three are outcasts from Klingon society because they hate the peace which reigns in the modern Empire, and seek a return to the old ways of conquest. Worf is horrified by their actions, but he can't deny that he feels the pull of his Klingon heritage and appears tempted to join the two.

On the bridge, Data detects a Klingon warship approaching. Picard contacts its commander, K'Nera, and is told about the renegades. he sends Yar to confine them, which she duly does despite their appeal to Worf for help.

As the Klingon ship arrives Worf begs its captain to allow the fugitives to go free so that they can die honourable deaths in combat, but K'Nera refuses. Whilst the ship prepares to transfer them to Klingon custody, Korris and Konmel assemble a phaser weapon from various pieces scattered around their clothing and manage to break free, shooting a guard in the process. Kommel is killed in the fight, but Korris makes his way to engineering and climbs to the upper deck where he points his phaser at the warp core and threatens to fire it unless his demands are met; he wants the Enterprise to separate so that he can take the engineering hull and head off on his own to do battle.

Worf goes down to engineering and approaches Korris, telling him bluntly that he will not succeed. Korris implores Worf to join him, and becomes enraged when he calmly declines. Korris declares that Worf is no Klingon - which Worf conceeds may be true before pulling his phaser and shooting him. Korris falls to the deck below, and as he dies Worf performs the death howl.

Back on the bridge, K'Nera offers to let Worf serve on his ship, commenting that they have much to teach him and perhaps a little to learn from him as well. Worf says he would be honoured, once he has finished aboard the Enterprise - onyl to tell everybody that he was just being polite once the channel is closed.

Analysis

This is a really good episode, by the standards of the time, and still holds up reasonably well today. It's the first time that we start to get a detailed look at Klingon culture, the first time that they begin to be assigned real complexity. We get to see their funeral rites, we get to hear them talk about their motivations, and we get to see Worf in a whole new light; this episode will start his long "conflicted soul" arc that continues throughout his time in Trek. A great episode.

One minor gripe is that I didn't like the whole thing about Geordi's VISOR transmitter. It felt like a plot element added purely to pad out time - and god, how much time did they spend on the Batris standing around talking about it? This ship was falling apart at the seams, and they took minutes to chat about how Geordi sees androids comapared to people! If they had spent so much as five seconds longer waffling about on that, the entire away team would have been killed when the freighter exploded. Simply incredible.


Copyright Graham Kennedy Page views : 4,683 Last updated : 24 Nov 2014