Thursday, April 22, 2010

Deep Space Nine--"Sword of Kahless"

“The Sword of Kahless” is Indiana Jones meets Treasure of the Sierra Madre--with Klingons. It is highly un-Trek and more in tune with the sex and guns request Patrick Stewart made which prompted the awful TNG episode “Captain’s Holiday.” After that debacle, it was brave for the powers that be to give it another go. The result is trite, but still enjoyable.

Kor, who previously appeared in TOS’ ’Errand of Mercy” and DS9’s “Blood Oath,” returns to enlist Dax and now Worf in an effort to find the Sword of Kahless, an item which will entitle the owner to rule the Klingon Empire. Kor believes the sword is on a remote planet I the Gamma Quadrant. The three of them are pursued by Toral, the illegitimate son of Duras. He is making a second effort to take over the Empire. In Tng’s “Redemption I/II,” he failed in his first effort to inherit power because he was considered too young, inexperienced, and his birth status was in question. He failed the Obama Gambit, in other words.

The story is mostly a straight adventure homage to Indiana Jones. The small television budget does force an even bigger suspension of disbelief than even the fantastical adventures of the famed archeologist. I am aware some planned booby traps and such had to becut for lack of budget. What we did get…well, we just kind of have to go with it.

The story turns into Treasure of the Sierra Madre when the sword is found. A conflict erupts between Kor and Worf as both become convinced they are destined to possess it, thereby becoming ruler. They eventually decide to jettison the sword I order to keep anyone from possessing it. One of the elements that has disappointed fans is the sword actually possessed no powers. Many fans cannot see why it would affect Kor ad Worf the way it did. I am disappointed they do not appreciate the honest look into human nature. Power corrupts, folks. The sword only has to have the perception of power for it to gain a hold of people.

“The sword of Kahless” is not a bad episode, but it does feel like it is thrown together in order to give the newly added worf something to do. It is certainly logical to have a worf-centric episode. He has been relegated to either the B-story or a few laugh lines since “The Way of the Warrior.” but considering he is on Ds9 because of the deterioration of the Klingon/Federation alliance and that story has yet to advance much beyond some casual comments made by characters in passing, should the episode not have dealt with that? It feels awkward not to.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

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